Psychology, Department of



Aliya R. Webermann

Kathryn J. Holland

Date of this Version



Psychology of Women Quarterly (2022), DOI: 10.1177/03616843221115340


U.S. government work


Title IX is a primary federal legal approach to address campus sexual and gender-based misconduct, yet few students utilize Title IX reporting as a formal campus support, and those that do frequently report negative experiences. In this study, we interviewed 11 student survivors at four Maryland public universities who engaged with the Title IX reporting and response process. Our aims were to (a) examine how Title IX functions in a state public education system with a robust Title IX policy; (b) describe commonalities and differences in experiences; and (c) use theories of institutional betrayal and support to understand aspects of the process most helpful or harmful for survivors, especially minoritized survivors. Results reflected several common themes, but also an inconsistent Title IX process both within and across institutions beholden to the same Title IX policy, representing potential policy deviations. Further, institutional betrayal was reflected in the experiences of minoritized survivors who described Title IX staff microaggressions and invalidations and survivors who unknowingly disclosed to mandatory reporters. Overall, experiences contributed to a perception of the Title IX office and reporting process as unhelpful and untrustworthy. Results identify the need to reduce inconsistencies in Title IX reporting and response processes to ameliorate process harms.

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