Neurobiology, sexual trauma, and Empowerment Self-Defense: Research Paper


This paper unites the perspectives of three unique disciplines – empowerment self- defense (ESD), social work, and neurobiology – relating to the interdependent issues of prevention and treatment of trauma related to sexual violence. The discussion is informed by public health, criminal justice, and social science perspectives on population-level trends in victimization, prevention strategies, survivor experiences, and clinical and adjunctive interventions addressing PTSD. It suggests the relevance of ESD to the field of social work, and recommends future directions for research.

I wrote this paper as part of my class work with Professor Jessica Black at the Boston College School of Social Work.

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Neurobiology, sexual trauma, and Empowerment Self-Defense: Research Paper 

Neurobiology, sexual violence, and Empowerment Self-Defense: Annotated Bibliography


I prepared this annotated bibliography as part of my research for Professor Jessica Black's class at Boston College School of Social Work and to inform several professional projects. This is only a fraction of the evidence base describing what we know about prevention of sexual violence and the neurobiological impact of interpersonal trauma.

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Annotated Bibliography

3: Neurobiology of sexual trauma: Resilience, recovery, and Empowerment Self-Defense

The third of three PowerPoints translating my research on the intersection of Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD), the neurobiology of stress and resilience, and social work.

This slide-show describes how and why ESD is beneficial to survivors of sexual violence, and suggests avenues for future inquiry. Of particular interest to ESD instructors, survivors, and those who serve survivors is emerging evidence about the efficacy of mind-body interventions to treat post-traumatic stress.