Lesson Plan: Why People Might Doubt Victims of Sexual Misconduct
II. While Reading Activities
- Neurobiological |ˌn(y)o͝orōbīˈäləjē| noun the biology of the nervous system.
- misconception |ˌmiskənˈsepSH(ə)n| noun-a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding: public misconceptions about AIDS remain high.
- trauma |ˈtrouməˈtrômə| noun (pl. traumas or traumata |-mətə| )a deeply distressing or disturbing experience: a personal trauma like the death of a child.
- credibility |ˌkredəˈbilədē| noun- the quality of being trusted and believed in: the government’s loss of credibility.
- distinguish |dəˈstiNGɡwiSH| verb [ with obj. ] recognize or treat (someone or something) as different: the child is perfectly capable of distinguishing reality from fantasy.
- encourage |inˈkərij| verb [ with obj. ]give support, confidence, or hope to (someone): we were encouraged by the success of this venture | (as adj. encouraged) : I feel much encouraged.
- fundamental |ˌfəndəˈmen(t)əl| adjective-forming a necessary base or core; of central importance: the protection of fundamental human rights | interpretation of evidence is fundamental to the historian’s craft.
- Confusion |kənˈfyo͞oZHən|noun-lack of understanding; uncertainty: there seems to be some confusion about which system does what | he cleared up the confusion over the party’s policy.
- hotline |ˈhätˌlīn| (also hot line) noun-a direct telephone line set up for a specific purpose, especially for use in emergencies or for communication between heads of government: a domestic violence hotline.
- camouflage |ˈkaməˌflä(d)ZH| verb [ with obj. ] conceal the existence of (something undesirable): grievances should be discussed, not camouflaged.
Source: New Oxford American Dictionary
Experts say that because many people are not psychologically prepared to accept how prevalent harassment and assault are, they tend to look for reasons to disbelieve. For example, offenders are more likely to choose victims who have been previously assaulted, statistics show, but a woman who reports more than one assault is less likely to be believed.
“Victims think that it was their fault, so in many cases they want continued contact,” said Roderick MacLeish, a Boston lawyer who has represented hundreds of victims of abuse by Catholic priests and schoolteachers. And then later they realize that it was for the perpetrator’s sexual gratification, and that’s devastating.”