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Institutional Sexual Abuse in the #MeToo Era

Institutional Sexual Abuse in the #MeToo Era

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Edited by Jason D. Spraitz and Kendra N. Bowen


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)


Perspectives on Crime and Justice


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About the Book

Examining the evolving reach of the #MeToo Movement

In this timely and important collection, editors Jason D. Spraitz and Kendra N. Bowen bring together the work of contributors in the fields of criminal justice and criminology, sociology, journalism, and communications. These chapters show #MeToo is not only a support network of victims’ voices and testimonies but also a revolutionary interrogation of policies, power imbalances, and ethical failures that resulted in decades-long cover-ups and institutions  structured to ensure continued abuse. This book reveals #MeToo as so much more than a hashtag.

Contributors discuss how #MeToo has altered the landscape of higher education; detail a political history of sexual abuse in the United States and the UK; discuss a recent grand jury report about religious institutions; and address the foster care and correctional systems. Hollywood instances are noted for their fear of retaliation among victims and continued accolades for alleged abusers. In sports, contributors examine the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the abuse by Larry Nassar. Advertising and journalism are scrutinized for covering the #MeToo disclosures while dealing with their own scandals. Finally, social media platforms are investigated for harassment and threats of violent victimization.

Drawing on the general framework of the #MeToo Movement, contributors look at complex and very different institutions—athletics, academia, religion, politics, justice, childcare, social media, and entertainment. Contributors include revelatory case studies to ensure we hear the victims’ voices; bring to light the complicity and negligence of social institutions; and advocate for systemic solutions to institutional sexual abuse, violence, and harassment.


Jason D. Spraitz is an associate professor and the coordinator of the criminal justice program at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. Along with Kendra N. Bowen, he has coauthored several manuscripts that examine clergy sexual abuse and is a coeditor of Contemporary Criminal Justice: An Examination of the System, Its Challenges, and Its Future. Some of his work appears in Sexual Abuse and the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Kendra N. Bowen, an associate professor and director of the criminal justice graduate program at Texas Christian University, has coauthored numerous publications with Jason D. Spraitz about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. She has published essays in the Journal of Sexual Aggression and Sexual Abuse, among others.


Institutional Sexual Abuse in the #MeToo Era demonstrates the pervasiveness of sexual violence. It challenges the reader to grow beyond a focus on the impacts of sexual violence at the individual level and, instead, to become critical of the societal and institutional ineptitude that have sacrificed the well-being of generations who hold marginalized identities.”—Jennifer Brockman, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center