Seminar keynote speaker to focus on sexual violence on campus

Dr. Jennifer Freyd, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon and a national authority on institutional betrayal and sexual violence, will speak at the University of New Mexico on Feb. 6 as the keynote speaker of the Campus Sexual Violence: Research and Response seminar.

Since graduating with a doctorate degree in psychology from Stanford University in 1983, Freyd has published more than 150 articles on institutional betrayal and sexual abuse . Her most recent work focuses on campus sexual assaults.

In 2014, Freyd presented in Washington D.C. at the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, a group appointed by former President Obama to improve the handling of campus sexual assault cases.

Freyd worked with students at the University of Oregon to develop and administer a survey to college students to assess their experience of sexual violence and related institutional behavior. The survey allows colleges to move past national averages and dig deeper into issues at their universities.

The seminar is part of a campus-wide effort to provide awareness around sexual misconduct. Education related to sexual assault is a key part of an agreement made last year between the university and the Department of Justice to improve the way that the university handles sexual assault and harassment, according to an Albuquerque Journal report.

The agreement between UNM and the DOJ resulted from an investigation launched by the feds in December 2014 into the way UNM handled sexual assault and harassment on campus, according to an Albuquerque Journal report.

The investigation found that UNM had failed to comply with federal gender anti-discrimination laws. It also criticized UNM’s policies on handling sexual assault cases. Along with events such as the Campus Sexual Violence seminar, UNM has started to address those criticisms by streamlining the process of reporting sexual misconduct and hiring more investigators, officials have said.

The Campus Sexual Violence: Research and Response seminar will begin at 10 a.m. with a session for UNM staff titled Investigation and Compliance.

Session two will start at 11 a.m. and again be open to UNM staff for the Response and Advocacy session.

After lunch, students and faculty are welcomed to join the seminar for the Teaching and Learning lecture from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Once the three sessions have been completed, Dr. Freyd will deliver her keynote address titled “Addressing Sexual Assault: Moving from Institutional Betrayal to Institutional Courage” from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


The Campus Sexual Violence: Research and Response seminar was organized by Faculty for a Sexual Assault Free Environment at UNM (SAFE UNM) in cooperation with the Feminist Research Institute and the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO).

Dr. Freyd’s invitation has been organized in coordination with the Feminist Research Institute and OEO’s Southwest Conference on Sexual Misconduct in Higher Education (April 2-4), as part of SAFE’s efforts to collaborate in strengthening research-based responses to sexual harassment and violence at UNM according to SAFE UNM.

Find more information on Faculty SAFE UNM’s website.