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Hazing Education at the University of Virginia

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The Hidden Harm of Hazing

The concept of hidden harm has to do with the fact that we don’t know everything about the newest members of our organizations. We don’t even know EVERYTHING about our best friends. Someone who has just joined an organization or team could have a background that would make them highly susceptible to serious repercussions if hazed. Hazing can be physically or psychologically harmful to even perfectly healthy individuals, but mix hazing with any one of numerous issues individuals may be dealing with, and the damage can increase exponentially.

Have you dealt with or do you know anyone who:

  • Suffers from depression or another mental health issue?
  • Has served in the military or been in a war zone?
  • Been sexually assaulted?
  • Comes from an alcoholic family?
  • Has suffered the loss of a friend or family member?
  • Has had an alcohol or other addiction?
  • Has attempted or seriously considered suicide?
  • Is on medication or has been in counseling for a mental health disorder?
  • Has been abused physically or emotionally?
  • Has been hazed or bullied before?

All of the above backgrounds – as well as countless others we can’t even imagine, much less know about – could put someone at higher risk of being re-traumatized through hazing.

(Adapted from