ATIXA Issues Stance on Trauma-Informed Training
ATIXA believes those who do Title IX-related work have “gotten ahead of the science” and need to take “a corrective and collective step back.”
The Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), the only membership association dedicated solely to Title IX compliance, issued its position statement on trauma-informed training and the neurobiology of trauma.
The statement reiterates the value of being trauma-informed in college and pre-K-12 sexual misconduct interview techniques but encourages ATIXA members and the education field to avoid the use of information on the neurobiology of trauma to substitute for evidence.
“Everyone in the field is on the trauma learning curve and needs to be cautious about making premature conclusions. Practitioners must wait for this body of knowledge to mature and ripen,” says the statement. “Perhaps the effective tools of truly understanding what causes trauma and what its effects are have not been invented yet. Regardless, for now, the aim should be to implement reputable trauma-informed investigation and interviewing practices and techniques.”
Regarding trauma-informed interviews, ATIXA had previously released these best practices and plans to issue a second version this fall.
The association recommends the field incorporate trauma-informed and interviewing methods into its best practices, as long as those practices don’t compromise the ability to obtain credible, relevant evidence.
In regards to the neurobiology of trauma following a sexual assault, ATIXA emphasizes the importance of not confusing studies of the long-term effects of PTSD with studies of the neurobiology of trauma in the immediate aftermath of sexual assault.
Overall, ATIXA believes the “Neurobiology of Trauma” shouldn’t significantly affect the ways K-12 schools and higher ed institutions evaluate evidence since improper use of trauma-informed methods turns trauma into evidence.
“The field of those who do Title IX-related work has, to some extent, gotten ahead of the science.
A corrective – and collective – step back is needed,” ATIXA urges.
The statement also discusses the following topics:
- The Mysteries of Traumatic Response
- Managing the Risk of Biased Trainings
- How Trauma Can and Should Be Used to Contextualize Evidence
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