Pre-order the book here!!!! Book Birthday: 11 July 2023

Read the Introduction Chapter: What’s Racism Got To Do With It? Black Women & Girls, Sexual Abuse, & Liberation

My lecture at McLean Hospital Grand Rounds, Cultural Betrayal, Sexual Abuse, and Black Women: The Role of Institutional Courage in Mental Health and Wellness, October 2022.

HOPE Lab Description

PI: Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

I named my research laboratory The HOPE Lab to highlight that our work is not unilaterally depressing, but instead provides a needed mirror of pain, strength, and healing to some of our country’s most silenced.

As the creator of Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory (CBTT), we use this framework for researching the impact of violence in the context of inequality primarily in youth, young adults, and elders in order to identify avenues of hope & healing for individuals, families, communities, and society. See CV for more information about CBTT and other research.

See my Current Students and About sections for more information. Additional resources include the Gómez HOPE Lab Professional Development Series and the Gómez Social Justice & Institutional Change Collection.

Current Projects

Book Project

During my time as a CASBS Fellow at Stanford University (2021-22), I wrote my first academic book: The Cultural Betrayal of Black Women & Girls: A Black Feminist Approach to Healing from Sexual Abuse (Publisher: American Psychological Association; anticipated publication date: Summer 2023).

Cultural Betrayal will be the first book to use the CBTT research to contribute to academic and national discussions regarding anti-Black racism and sexual violence. Specifically, I will synthesize the quantitative and qualitative CBTT research that encompasses five data sets of diverse Black young women who have experienced cultural betrayal sexual trauma in their lives. In doing so, I will directly address the specific bind placed on Black women and girls to protect the Black community while Black men sexually violate them. Through utilizing critical race theory (e.g., Bell, 1995) and structural intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991) to theoretically integrate anti-Black racism and sexual violence together as two branches of intertwined contemporary social issues, I will also identify concrete ways forward, with a focus on healing and social justice on individual, familial, community, cultural, institutional, and societal levels.

With CBTT (Gómez, 2020b) as the foundation, this book will incorporate four literatures— Black feminist intersectionality work (e.g., Combahee River Collective, 1977; Collins, 1999; Crenshaw, 1991), sexual violence against Black women and girls (e.g., Bent-Goodley, 2009), cultural competency in clinical and extra-therapeutic intervention (e.g., French et al., 2020; Miller & Stiver, 1997), and institutional change (e.g., Freyd, 2014; Freyd & Smidt, 2019). Though seemingly ambitious, this roster is the logical next step in person-centering Black women and girls, thus providing a single resource for understanding and addressing sexual violence on individual, institutional, and societal levels.

Filmed January 2022, I discuss the content of the book and my writing process in Cultural Betrayal & ‘Conundrums’: The Making of a Book, at the BUSSW Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series.

Funding: 2021-22 CASBS Fellowship, Stanford University

Author: Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

ENRICH Study: Experimental Study of Violence & Race in High School

Young Adults, 18 – 30 years old

  • Full Sample, N = 2,874
    • Black Young Adults Subsample: N = 1,339
    • White Young Adults Subsample: N = 1,535
  • Experimental Vignette Design
  • Correlational Design
  • Select Constructs: Teacher/Student, Black/White High School Sexual Violence Vignette, Perpetrator/Victim Responsibility, Perceived Title IX Applicability, Cultural Betrayal Trauma, (Intra)Cultural Pressure, Violence History, Mental Health

Funding: Wayne State University Research Grant & Jennifer M. Gómez Start-Up Funds (Division of Research; Dept. of Psychology; MPSI)


  • McDaniel, M. C., Zelenak, L., & Gómez, J. M. (2022). Effect of White supremacy on White young people’s blame attributions in a male-perpetrated acquaintance rape vignette. Preprint (manuscript under review). https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/d6kwa

PI: Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

Experimental Vignette Design: Breanne Helmers & Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

Cultural Betrayal Multidimensional Inventory for Black American Young Adults (CBMI-BAYA)

Participants: University Students–historical White university, historically Black university (N = 342); Community (N = 619)


  • (intra)cultural trust
  • (intra)cultural support
  • (intra)cultural pressure
  • cultural betrayal
  • violence & racial discrimination
  • posttraumatic growth

Funding: Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (PI: Jennifer M. Gómez; 2018-19); National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant DRL- 1621416 (PI: Oliver Hill); Wayne State University Jennifer M. Gómez Start-Up Funds (Division of Research; Dept. of Psychology; MPSI)


PI: Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

Collaborators: Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez & Dr. Lars Johnson

SUID HEAL Study: Study on Suicidality, Disclosure, & Healing 

  • Participants: N = 600 Black Young Adults; Desi Young Adults
  • Correlational Design
  • Select Constructs: Violence History, Suicidality [ideation, attempts], Disclosure of Violence History & Suicidality, Mental Health [dissociation, depression, anxiety], Hope, Posttraumatic Growth, Qualitative: What is CBTT?

Funding: Wayne State University Jennifer M. Gómez Start-Up Funds (Division of Research; Dept. of Psychology; MPSI)


  • Gómez, J. M., & Gobin, R. L. (2022). “It will always feel worse because it comes with that added ‘betrayal’”: Black young women survivors’ reactions to cultural betrayal trauma theory. Preprint (manuscript under review). https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/hfe6z

PI: Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez  

CARA Study: Cardiovascular Disease & Cultural Betrayal Trauma in Black Middle Age & Older Adults Study

  • Participants: N = 400 Black Adults 40 years+ old
  • Correlational Design
  • Select Constructs: Violence History, Racial discrimination, Non-Suicidality Self Injury, Mental Health, Self-Reported Physical Health, Cardiovascular Disease Indicators 

Funding: Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR); Wayne State University Jennifer M. Gómez/Samuele Zilioli Start-Up Funds (Division of Research; Dept. of Psychology; MPSI; IOG)

Research Design

Co-PIs: Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez & Dr. Samuele Zilioli

Betrayal & Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church


2021-22- International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD) 2021 David Caul Research Grant; Initial Validation of the Religious Betrayal Multidimensional Inventory: Dissociation & Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

2022- Center for Institutional Courage; Initial Validation of the Religious Betrayal Multidimensional Inventory: Dissociation & Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

Research Design

Student PI: Logan Zelenak; Faculty Advisor/Collaborator: Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

Research Opportunities

See the Authorship subsection of the HOPE Lab Dynamics section of the Current Students section of my website.

Graduate students and undergraduates/post-bacs are involved in research through earning the opportunity to:

  • collaborate on current projects
  • add measures to data collections
  • co-author paper and poster conference presentations
  • lead projects that incorporate constructs of interest with a focus on betrayal and CBTT in marginalized youth, young adults, and elder populations
  • co-author manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals (articles), books (chapters), and the general public (op-eds)

See Current Students section for more information.

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