University professor wins Fulbright to study sexual violence in Hungary

Mar 17, 2017

A University of Massachusetts Dartmouth professor has received a Fulbright scholarship to conduct research on sexual violence in Hungary.

Professor of Sociology Robin A. Robinson will head to Hungary for a two-part, two-year research project entitled, “Beyond Obstacles, Toward Justice for Victims of Sexual Violence in Hungary.” Her research will focus on the underreporting of rape and sexual assault in the central European nation, along with training of legal and victim response professionals to improve reporting and understanding sexual violence.

“Hungary — the country with the lowest rates of reported rapes in Europe — has recognized this as a problem of underreporting,” Robinson said in a news release. “As sexual assault within its universities was revealed, the problem of rape myth acceptance has become a focus of legitimate concern. Nationally, Hungarian researchers and officials seek to understand and act to dispel the myth that victims cause sexual violence, or that they invite it.”

For her Fulbright scholarship, Robinson’s host institution will be the National Institute of Criminology of Hungary, Scientific Research Institute of the Supreme Prosecution. She will work with colleagues at the Institute throughout the two years.

In year one, Robinson will design and lead a study of rape myth acceptance among legal professionals and others in Hungary, including judges, prosecutors, police, victim services providers, and first responders. In year two, she will work with Institute colleagues to develop training protocols for each of these groups to improve legal discretion and response from victim services, and further, to impact public perceptions and prevention.

Robinson is a professor of sociology and coordinator of the Community Engaged Research Initiative at UMass Dartmouth. With a Ph.D. in social policy from Brandeis University and a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from George Washington University, her research combines psychoanalytic theory and critical and feminist criminology in the study of trauma, criminality, and social control of women and girls.

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