The Trauma of any origin can forever alter the way individuals live their everyday lives. Relationships with people, places, and the self are compromised and may never fully heal. Generally, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a globally accepted condition, with many great strides being made to provide centers of continual healing to those who suffer from it. The two most common demographics that are clinically diagnosed with PTSD are military Veterans and survivors of sexual assault. Where there is a lot of research and active development towards establishing treatments in combination with spacial and architectural design for Veterans, there is virtually no base of research of similar goals geared towards survivors of Sexual Assault. This group tends to be sequestered to crisis centers and hospital wings, with no real centralization of life-long care. Trauma and addiction recovery centers tend to take on PTSD as a secondary treatment to drug abuse. Sexual Assault Survivors exist within every niche of our communities. Still, due to culturally ingrained stigmas and the nature of the assault itself, it has been challenging to address the indefinite needs of these victims. PTSD is a condition that requires a medically invisible type of care. The cures can be achieved through spacial relationships, psychological reactions to color and light, and programs that allow individuals to be part of a group. Transparency through sight lines and curved walls paired with an encompassing sense of security along the perimeter and through entry are the end goals of the architectural design. These fundamental ideas can be the building blocks of architectural design to help build a center focused on providing continual healing to Sexual Assault Survivors.
Department, Program, or Center
Dennis A. Andrejko
Heliotis, Diana, "Addressing Sexual Assault: How Architectural Design Can Promote Life Long Healing" (2020). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus