Understanding “what is Institutional Abuse?” is the first step to healing.
The weight of responsibility for an Institution is far greater than any individual’s because of the Institution’s wide-reaching potential impact, its professional, and therefore, authoritarian standing, and its pervasive influence within its own organization, and significantly, upon other organizations and individuals. When an Institution has been informed of maltreatment and has verified it, in part or in full, it is incumbent upon the Institution to hold leadership to account, rectify the maltreatment, provide reparations to the victim commensurate to the harm done, and insure that it never happens again. However, often the Institution denies such victim abuse, justifies it, and/or stalls implementing consequences upon the perpetrators and reparations to the victims through avoidance actions that can take several forms:
- taking time to ‘educate’ the perpetrators(s)
- saving the perpetrators’ reputations for reasons of fearing reprisals,
- fear of jeopardizing employment standing,
- protecting academic or therapeutic titles or status.
The more this secondary maltreatment of Institutional Abuse and psychological trauma winds its way through the systemic layers of the Institution, the more insidious and pervasive the harm to the victim. Institutional abuse and psychological trauma carried out in avoiding the perpetrators’ responsibility and consequences, with reparations to the victim, creates Double Abuse and escalates Post Traumatic Stress Disorder into Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.