Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2021 Issue »

    Effective Modalities for Healing from Campus Sexual Assault

    Centering the Experiences of Women of Color Undergraduate Student Survivors

    Jessica C. Harris, Nadeeka Karunaratne, and Justin A. Gutzwa
    In this article, Jessica C. Harris, Nadeeka Karunaratne, and Justin A. Gutzwa examine the modalities Women of Color student survivors perceive as helpful in healing from campus sexual assault. Existing scholarship on healing from campus sexual assault largely relies on the reduction of psychological symptoms of trauma, an understanding that is often race-neutral and founded on the narratives of white women. Centering the experiences of 34 Women of Color undergraduate student survivors, this qualitative study reimagines healing through a race-conscious lens and positions it as a community-oriented and culturally contextual process that is often at odds with the ways US institutions of higher education aim to support survivors of sexual assault on their campuses. The authors’ findings guide implications for how institutions and individuals can account for and support student survivors’ multiple and intersecting identities in their healing journeys and also inform future research that centers minoritized students’ experiences with sexual assault in postsecondary contexts.

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    Jessica C. Harris (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5687-3888) is an assistant professor of higher education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research agenda focuses on racial (in)equity in postsecondary contexts and is animated by three research strands: multiraciality in postsecondary contexts, women of color and campus sexual assault, and the (mis)use of theory to advance racial equity in higher education. Through her research, Harris analyzes and disrupts racism and its intersecting systems of domination, such as sexism and classism, that are embedded throughout US education and that influence the educational experiences of people of color.

    Nadeeka Karunaratne (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8506-1528) is a PhD student in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program in the School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on issues of campus interpersonal violence, specifically exploring the experiences of minoritized survivors of sexual assault and dating violence and institutional practices that promote healing. Before beginning her doctoral work, Karunaratne worked in student affairs, including academic support services, multicultural affairs, and sexual violence prevention.

    Justin A. Gutzwa is a PhD candidate in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program in the School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Their research centers the lived experiences of queer and trans students, staff, and faculty in higher education, specifically exploring the academic and classroom experiences of trans collegians. Before beginning their doctoral work, Gutzwa worked in undergraduate admissions and international student services.
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    Summer 2021 Issue

    Abstracts

    “When I Show Up”
    Black Provosts at Predominantly White Institutions
    Russell S. Thacker and Sydney Freeman Jr.

    Book Notes

    Common-Sense Evidence
    Nora Gordon and Carrie Conaway

    Designing Constructionist Futures
    edited by Nathan Holbert, Matthew Berland, and Yasmin B. Kafai

    The Education Trap
    Cristina Viviana Groeger

    Unmuted
    Myisha Cherry