Boundary Violations: Harassment, Exploitation, and Abuse

  • Thomas W. Miller
  • Lane J. Veltkamp

Violence in the school environment may take several forms. Bullying, exploitation, sexual harassment, and sexual boundary violations have become the focus of exploitation and abuse experts as a serious concern (Olarte, 1991; Veltkamp & Miller, 1994; Miller & Veltkamp, 1989; Crisci, 1999). The spectrum of sexual boundary violations range from tainted jokes, unwanted sexual advances, and inappropriate educator–child relationships to sexual harassment. During the last decade, many organizations have endorsed rules of ethical conduct that prohibit sexual contact between professionals and clients and advised members on the importance of setting sexual boundaries (American School Boards; American Psychiatric Association, 1995; American Psychoanalytic Association, 1993; American Psychological Association, 1995; National Association of Social Workers, Inc., 1990; Jordan & Walker, 1995). Major efforts have also been made to clarify and prohibit sexual contact in the workplace but those have only begun to read the educational setting. There is a dearth of research on sexual harassment or contact in either setting.

The purpose of this chapter is to elucidate the specific spectrum of sexual boundary violations that professionals must be aware of in the course of providing schoolbased services. It offers the reader an understanding of the triggers for potential sexual boundary violations, a perpetrator profile and victim profile, the exploitation of the victim in the school setting and the “Trauma Accommodation Syndrome,” and a legal case which has signatures for school-based professionals.


Sexual Abuse Sexual Harassment School Setting Sexual Contact Sexual Exploitation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas W. Miller
    • 1
  • Lane J. Veltkamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of KentuckyKentuckyUSA

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