Prof. Gómez Shares Expertise on Institutions’ Responsibility to Black Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Assistant Professor Jennifer M. Gómez, Boston University School of Social Work
Assistant Professor Jennifer M. Gómez, Boston University School of Social Work

Jennifer M. Gómez, PhD, an assistant professor at Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW), recently shared her expertise in sexual trauma and institutional courage at events hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and McLean Hospital, a global leader in psychiatric care. In both talks, she examines institutional change through the framework of cultural betrayal trauma theory (CBTT), which she developed as a tool for examining psychological, behavioral, physical and cultural outcomes of interpersonal trauma within the context of discrimination and inequality on abuse.

At NASEM’s event, the 2022 Public Summit of the National Academies’ Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, Gómez discussed her research on sexual abuse, using Jennifer Freyd’s concept of institutional courage to explain how universities can address sexual harassment alongside other violence and racial discrimination. Her presentation details operational and reparative steps that all universities can take as they work to address sexual abuse against Black young women.

Gómez also presented on institutional change at a Grand Rounds lecture for McLean Hospital’s Nancy Black Simches Visiting Scholar Series. The lecture uses the concepts of CBTT and institutional courage within the context of mental health institutions. Previewing her upcoming book on CBTT – slated to be published in summer 2023 by the American Psychological Association – Gómez explains the importance of addressing the mental health and wellness among Black women sexual assault survivors, and shares guidance on how institutions like McLean Hospital can make improvements.

Watch the McLean Grand Rounds lecture here, and view the NASEM panel below.

Learn More About Prof. Gómez’s Work