Posts Tagged ‘ child abuse ’

Study: Domestic Violence Affects Kids’ Brains Similarly to Military Combat

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

A new study published this week in the journal Current Biology has found that the brains of children who are exposed to domestic violence, either perpetrated against themselves or other family members, are similar to the brains of military veterans who have witnessed traumatic combat situations.  Like soldiers, the study concludes, children who are in violent households are vulnerable to emotional disorders like depression and anxiety later in life.

Specifically, the researchers found that children from abusive families are 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and 6 times more likely to commit suicide. Roughly 80 percent go on to repeat the cycle of violence in adulthood.

“This new study, while small in sample size, demonstrates that children exposed to domestic violence may have a heightened neurological reaction to anger expressed by others. This may translate into greater anxiety and mistaken social cues in key social interactions and lead to other longer-term difficulties for children,” Makers of Memories Foundation researcher Jeffrey L Edleson, a Professor in the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and Director of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse, said in a statement.

Image: Sad young girl, via Shutterstock.

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Singer Mindy McCready Will Not Return Son, Alleges Abuse

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The country music singer Mindy McCready has said in an email to The Associated Press that she will not return her 5-year-old son Zander to Florida despite court orders that she return the boy to his guardian, McCready’s mother.  The singer, who is pregnant with twins, alleges that her mother has abused the child since winning custody of him in 2007 while the embattled singer underwent substance abuse rehabilitation and survived an apparent suicide attempt.  The AP reported that the court’s current role is to enforce the custody arrangement, not make judgments about the status of that arrangement:

“Once the child is located, we will pick him up and bring him back to Florida,” said Terri Durdaller, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families. “Although these circumstances are unfortunate for a young child, his safety and well-being are our number one priority.”

McCready provided a series of emails to the AP with Lee County Judge James Seals’ ruling to return the boy.

“Mom has violated the court’s custody order and we are simply restoring the child back into our custody,” the judge wrote. “Nothing more. Nothing less. The court makes no judgment about whether Mom will or will not competently care for the child while in her custody. It only wants the child back where the court placed him.”

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Penn State Coach Sandusky Admits He Showered with Boys

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

In an interview with NBC’s Bob Costas Monday night, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky admits that he showered and “horsed around” with boys as young as 10 years of age.  The 67-year-old Sandusky maintains that he is “innocent” of child sexual abuse allegations that have brought national attention and outrage to the Penn State campus, according to CNN.com:

In a telephone interview with NBC’s “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” Sandusky admitted that some details in the graphic 23-page grand jury report released earlier this month are correct.

“I could say I have done some of those things,” he said. “I have horsed around with kids I have showered (with) after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”

Still, Sandusky claimed he has been falsely accused of crimes. When pressed, the 67-year-old Sandusky said the only thing he did wrong was having “showered with those kids.”

(image via: http://www.pennlive.com)

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Preacher Advocates Spanking, Deaths Fuel Debate

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Michael Pearl, a Tennessee pastor whose book To Train Up a Child advocates the use of “the rod” in child discipline, is at the center of a growing debate that now includes the deaths of three children whose parents had copies of the book in their homes.  The New York Times reports:

Debate over the Pearls’ teachings, first seen on Christian Web sites, gained new intensity after the death of a third child, all allegedly at the hands of parents who kept the Pearls’ book, “To Train Up a Child,” in their homes. On Sept. 29, the parents were charged with homicide by abuse.

More than 670,000 copies of the Pearls’ self-published book are in circulation, and it is especially popular among Christian home-schoolers, who praise it in their magazines and on their Web sites. The Pearls provide instructions on using a switch from as early as six months to discourage misbehavior and describe how to make use of implements for hitting on the arms, legs or back, including a quarter-inch flexible plumbing line that, Mr. Pearl notes, “can be rolled up and carried in your pocket.”

The furor in part reflects societal disagreements over corporal punishment, which conservative Christians say is called for in the Bible and which many Americans consider reasonable up to a point, even as many parents and pediatricians reject it. The issue flared recently when a video was posted online of a Texas judge whipping his daughter.

Mr. Pearl, 66, and Mrs. Pearl, 60, say that blaming their book for extreme abuse by a few unstable parents is preposterous and that they explicitly counsel against acting in anger or causing a bruise. They say that their methods, properly used, yield peace and happy teenagers.

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Labor Secretary Urges Action on Domestic Violence

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis has issued a statement urging vigilance, zero-tolerance, and action in honor of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Three American women reportedly die each day from violent abuse, she said, adding that partner violence has far-reaching consequences for women and children:

As the chair of the president’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, I’ve seen how intimate partner violence is the number one cause of family homelessness in America. It puts our young women and men in danger of long-term physical and emotional harm. And it puts their children at greater risk of substance abuse, emotional disorders and becoming abusers themselves later in life.

To those who have been victimized by domestic violence, it’s crucial you know that there is support and shelter available to help you break the cycle of violence. And to those who perpetrate this cowardly act, know that we will not relent in our efforts until you are brought to justice. Let’s be our brother and sister’s keeper, help those who need it and lock up the perpetrators of these awful crimes.

Solis says anyone who witnesses domestic violence of any kind should call 800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit http://www.TheHotLine.org.

 

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