Week 5 Discussion

Violence

Consider the following two scenarios of violence from a psychological perspective:

· Cindy is 10 years old and has been physically beaten by her parents when she does something of which they do not approve. Over the past  5 years, Cindy has suffered a broken arm, black eyes, and many bruises as a result of her parents’ beatings.

· Susan is 36 years old and had a good childhood, but married an abusive man. Over the 10 years they have been married, Susan’s husband has consistently emotionally and physically abused her. To avoid legal or social repercussions against her husband, Susan has hidden her considerable injuries from employers, friends, and family members.

Though Cindy and Susan were both abused, their situations differ in that Cindy suffered the abuse as a child. Age has important implications for short and long-term effects of the abuse that women may suffer. Research suggests, for instance, that children or adolescents who experience domestic violence may experience physiological changes in their brain and lead to long-term psychological effects that are not present when the abuse occurs in adulthood.

To prepare for this Discussion, research potential long-term effects on girls and women of domestic violence that occurs during childhood and/or adolescence. Select one effect, potentially from this week’s media, to use for this Discussion and locate three peer-reviewed articles on it.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the effect you selected and a synthesis of the research you have found on it (include references to the media as well). Then suggest areas for further research on this effect. Use the Learning Resources and other current literature to support your response. Cite your references using APA format.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. Required Resources

Readings

· Levy, B. (2008). Violence against women: An overview. In Women and violence (pp. 1–40). CA: Seal Press. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Campbell, R., Greeson, M. R., Bybee, D., & Raja, S. (2008). The co-occurrence of childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment: A mediational model of posttraumatic stress disorder and physical health outcomes.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology76(2), 194–207. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Cavanaugh, C. E., Messing, J. T., Petras, H., Fowler, B., La Flair, L., Kub, J., & Campbell, J. C. (2011). Patterns of violence against women: A latent class analysis. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 4(2), 169-176. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Grella, C. E., Stein, J. A., & Greenwell, L. (2005). Associations among childhood trauma, adolescent problem behaviors, and adverse adult outcomes in substance-abusing women offenders. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors19(1), 43–53. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Lehavot, K., Walters, K. L., & Simoni, J. M. (2010). Abuse, mastery, and health among lesbian, bisexual, and two-spirit American Indian and Alaska Native women. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15(3), 275-84.  Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

· Rose, R. C., House, A. S., & Stepleman, L. M. (2010). Intimate partner violence and its effects on the health of African American HIV-positive women. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy2(4), 311–317.  Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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· Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Violence. Baltimore, MD: Author.

· Transcript of Media Reference

· PSYC 8574: Women’s Health “Violence” Program Transcript

· NARRATOR: Domestic violence is a very serious problem facing women of all ages, often causing devastating short- and long-term effects. Research on domestic violence is still evolving as researchers make new discoveries and come up with different strategies for mitigating its damage. In this video, Gail Reid, Director of Victim Advocacy at TurnAround, Incorporated, a domestic violence and sexual assault organization, discusses some of these effects and presents information about some important research studies done on domestic violence.

· GAIL REID: Because TurnAround is a dual-service agency, we provide services to both victims of both domestic violence and sexual violence. And the victim advocacy piece really has to do with the initial response to victims, so working with the criminal justice system, encouraging victims who want to report, who want to participate in the criminal justice system, providing advocates to be with the victim initially, and then also to be available to walk the victim through that very long process of both the criminal justice system, but also the process of their recovery.

· One thing that’s important to know in defining domestic violence is it’s really a pattern of abusive behavior within a relationship. And the objective of the perpetrator is really to intimidate and control their partner. But it’s really a pattern of behaviors that include emotional abuse, psychological abuse, can involve physical abuse. It can also involve sexual violence. About 2/3 of women who are physically assaulted by a partner are also sexually assaulted by that partner, although they may not disclose that as part of the violence and abuse.

· A sexual assault is a sex act that is either attempted or completed against someone’s will, without their consent, or against someone who’s unable to give consent. Some of the short-term effects or impact on victims of domestic and sexual violence are just trauma related. There’s certainly– there are injuries often. There are psychological trauma that can lead to anxiety disorders, depression. And there are also effects on– often children are secondary victims. In about 80% of the households where there’s domestic violence, there are children there who may not be directly abused but are exposed to violence. And that has a tremendous impact on their development and their future risks as well.

· In speaking about some of the longer-term effects on children, there was a study done a number of years ago. It was a very large national study called the ACE Study, Adverse Childhood Effects. And it was a study done jointly with the CDC and with Kaiser Permanente. And they looked at a number of adverse events that happened to children, and one of those is exposure to domestic violence. And they found that exposure to family violence had a tremendous impact on

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· children in terms of their development and their ability to learn, their memory, they’re psychological adjustment, and long-term chronic negative health outcomes and other behaviors– increased risk of suicide, increased risk of substance abuse, increased risk of runaway behavior, which then exposes children to risks around sexual exploitation and trafficking.

· And it was interesting because the exposure to family violence was found to be the number one risk factor for both future victimization and a risk for becoming a perpetrator of violence. It’s important to understand that perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence are repeat offenders. They’re serial offenders. They don’t typically limit themselves to one incident or one victim. You have a number of serious health outcomes, and these all add up to dollars, for one thing, for communities, billions of dollars across the country that the result is from domestic and sexual violence.

· And also public safety. If you have a perpetrator that you’re able to hold accountable and arrest and incarcerate, you’re going to reduce ultimately the rate of sexual violence in the community and you’re going to improve safety in the community. About 85% of domestic violence victims are women, and the majority of perpetrators are men. I do think that domestic violence is part of a larger picture of gender inequality in our society. It’s also a social justice issue. And those are concerns that have to be addressed at a broader level.

· One area that is really important to highlight is the Violence Against Women Act, which is known as VALA. And this was an act that was originally passed in 1994. Not only has VALA really strengthened investigation and prosecution, but it has also provided funding for services for victims. It has provided funding for community education and awareness and prevention. a very important act that was part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement. And what this act did was really generate a federal policy about addressing sexual and domestic violence as serious violent crimes against women and improving statutes, improving laws, giving law enforcement more tools, giving victims more protection, more privacy, and to really encourage and make it possible for women to come forward and report these crimes, which is really the first step in beginning to address the issue.

· So what we are seeing is increased understanding that these are crimes that need to be investigated and prosecuted, and offenders need to be held accountable. And so, what this really does is provide victims with more access to the criminal justice system and encourage them to participate. Many victims, when they have tried to report in the past, have been very discouraged or even re-traumatized by the response of the system. And we’ve seen some significant changes in that. In fact, in domestic violence reporting since VALA was introduced, reporting of domestic violence has gone up 51%, which is a tremendous change.

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· I think the landscape for victims of domestic and sexual violence is really changing and changing in a significant way. And, for example, here in Baltimore, there was a very well-publicized expose of Baltimore’s response to sexual assault victims with the finding that Baltimore was number one in the nation in unfounded sexual assaults. And that means that police were responding to reports of sexual assault by saying we either don’t believe you or we don’t think there’s any basis to this claim. That was a shock to many of us that were working here in Baltimore. And we’ve been able to be part of really turning that around and really changing that response from changes in the department, training of investigators, introducing newer approaches to working with sexual assault victims and responding to victims.

· In the past, we had very little communication or interaction between, say, a victim advocate and a detective. And now we actually have victim advocates who work for TurnAround but who are placed as part of their time in the Sex Offense Unit. They respond to cases with the detectives. The detectives often engage the advocate in follow-up with the victim. And then we’re able to follow that victim through the criminal justice system.

· And we are in the process now of placing an advocate also in the prosecutor’s office so that victims who are– when their cases are moving forward through the criminal justice system, which is a very long and arduous process for victims, that they have that ongoing support. They have communication. Their kept up to date, and they have opportunities to participate in decisions about their case.

· And we’re seeing this across the country as well, is a coordinated community response that rather than each agency responding– you have law enforcement, you have prosecution, you have victim services, and everyone is sort of working in their own independent way– is really everyone working together. It’s a multi- disciplinary response. Now, when a victim reports a sexual assault, there’ll be a response from law enforcement. There’ll be an advocate present who will most likely remain with the victim. There’ll be a process of evidence collection. And there’s a great deal more collaboration and also more accountability when you have that kind of response to victims.

· There’s a lot happening right now in this area and a lot of potential for future research and improving, continuing to improve the system response, certainly understanding community education and prevention. How do we work with children? How do we work with young people to prevent violence, to increase healthy sexual behavior, and improve healthy relationships? We have to do more than just respond. We don’t want to just be a domestic violence and sexual assault industry. We want to be part of reducing the incidents of domestic and sexual violence.

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