"What was she thinking?": Seeking Understanding Through a Dignity-Informed Lens

Catherine Day

     Whether in the moments directly following an assault, or in the months and years following a disclosure, many victims of sexualized violence go on to engage with the person who hurt them in ways that are baffling and worrisome to their supporters, and also in ways that are frequently pathologized and misrepresented by professional stakeholders.  Social responses to such survivors can include pity, disapproval and even outright suspicion - generally because the survivor is defying received notions of what constitutes safe, sane or rational behaviour.

     Catherine Day will be presenting scenarios which illustrate the themes that are raised when a survivor of sexualized violence chooses or feels compelled to interact with the person who hurt them.  Notions of "risky" and "traumatized" behaviour will be challenged by taking a closer look at said behaviours through a Dignity-Informed lens.