Saturday, February 20, 2016

Q & A with Karen Terry & Andrew Harris on call for papers for a special edition of SAJRT on sexual violence in institutional and organizational settings

This is the first of two Q & A posts, over the next couple of weeks, on upcoming special editions of SAJRT. There is currently a call for papers out on a special edition related to “sexual violence in institutional and organizational settings”, please read the blog below and if you are interested in submitting an article follow the instructions on the SAJRT website (  – Kieran  

        What is the topic of this special issue?  

Our goal with this special issue is to advance the base of knowledge in the area of sexual violence and abuse that occurs within institutional or organizational settings.  We are looking for contributions from across a range of disciplines and frameworks that examine topics such as the dynamics and correlates of institutional sexual abuse; the ways in which institutional norms and structures may be implicated in sexual violence and abuse; perpetrator characteristics and related work on typology development, risk assessment, interdiction, and treatment; the nature and scope of sexual victimization within an institutional context; the ways in which organizations respond to allegations or known incidents of sexual abuse and violence; and promising practices related to sexual violence and abuse prevention within institutional and organizational contexts.  

Why publish the special edition in 2016?

In 2002, reports began emerging about the extent of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and the Church’s response to allegations of abuse. Since that time, we have seen an increasing recognition of the problem of sexual violence and abuse occurring within various youth-serving organizations, religious institutions, K-12 and post-secondary educational settings, military agencies, workplaces, and other organizational venues.  Coupled with this, we’ve seen growing media coverage of cases involving sexual violence and abuse in such settings, along with an expanded range of policy attention and activity.   Meanwhile, although we are seeing more attention to these issues in the research community, there is a growing demand for high-quality research on this topic. To date, there are few reliable studies examining the wide range of topics that we are seeking to explore through this special journal issue.   

Why is this special edition important to the field of sexual abuse research, and what are the potential implications of the special edition for practitioners?

It is critical that institutions and organizations improve their responses to sexual abuse incidents, address underlying organizational conditions that may foster such incidents, and develop viable systems of early intervention and prevention. It’s also important that they base these responses on the best available research evidence.  To this end, we believe that we will be successful in both providing a forum for emerging research and serving as a catalyst for more work in this critical area.  Ultimately, we hope that the issue will help refine our understanding of the correlates and dynamics of sexual abuse within institutional settings, and can aid in identifying the parameters of effective strategies and responses.    

Karen Terry, PhD, & Andrew Harris, PhD.

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