Violence and abuse

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  • Learning behavioral science is an important part of becoming physicians.More and more, professional and accrediting organizations are explicitly endorsing the necessity of physicians being skilled and well trained in these areas.

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  • n the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), tens of thousands of girls and women have suffered horrific acts of sexual violence. The government army is one of the main perpetrators. Commanders, even when confronted with abuses, have frequently failed to stop sexual violence and may themselves be guilty of war crimes or crimes against humanity as a consequence. In this report, Human Rights Watch looks at sexual violence committed by the army and more specifically the 14th brigade whose case illustrates the failure to enforce respect for humanitarian law.

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  • Health care workers have the opportunity and the obligation to identify, treat, and educate women who are being abused. Health care institutions can make significant contributions to addressing violence against women by supporting clinicians and clients. Developing and institutionalizing national health-sector policies, protocols, and norms about violence call attention to the problem of gender-based violence, and help ensure quality care for survivors of abuse. This Outlook issue focuses on the reproductive health consequences of violence against women.

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  • At the start of the 21st century, the learning potential of significant numbers of children and young people in every country in the world is compromised. Hunger, malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, parasite infections, drug and alcohol abuse, violence and injury, early and unintended pregnancy, and infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections threaten the health and lives of children and youth (UNESCO, 2001). Yet these conditions and behaviours can be improved.

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  • I am writing this Foreword in my role as the founding editor of the new Springer Series on Family Violence and editor of Volume I in the series entitled Battered Women and Their Families: Interven- tion Strategies and Treatment Programs, 2nd edition (1998).

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  • Thea Brown is Professor of Social Work and Director of the Family Violence and Family Court Research Program at Monash University. She has served on Family Court committees and on the Commonwealth Family Law Pathways Advisory Group. Dr Renata Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Law at Monash University and a member of the Victorian Bar. She was Deputy Registrar in the Family Court and is the author of Domestic Violence in Australia, 3rd edition. ..THEA BROWN RENATA ALEXANDER Understanding the issues facing human service and legal professionals .

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  • It is clear from the pages that follow that the physical abuse of one individual by another, or by both individuals of each other, is an integral component of some intimate relationships, perhaps many intimate relationships. This book is not about the violence as much as it is a reflection on our responses to—or our lack of responses to—that violation of physical integrity and the accompanying emotional and mental trauma. As these next pages indicate, we all too often fail to recognize the signs of physical violence.

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  • A frank discussion alone with the patient before the examination provides op- portunity to discuss any sexual symptoms or concerns without another person present. Common reasons for fearing or avoiding pelvic examinations include embarrassment, lack of information, cultural or language barriers, pain with previous examinations, or post-traumatic stress related to sexual abuse. Each of these circumstances requires additional sensitivity and efforts to minimize emotional or physical discomfort. Often, given an opportunity, patients can articulate ways to decrease personal discomfort.

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  • According to the focus group study in South Africa mentioned earlier, much of the abuse – and particularly domestic violence – occurred as a result of social disorder, exacerbated by crime, alcohol and drugs. Similar conclusions came from an exercise conducted by seven male community leaders of the Tamaho squatter camp in Katlehong, South Africa (15).

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  • School-related gender-based violence remains an obstacle to girls’ education. Efforts to address school safety are needed at all levels, including teacher training, community intervention and ministerial policy and practice. Ministries of Education can send a clear message that gender- based school violence will not be tolerated by firmly and quickly prosecuting perpetra- tors. Teacher training should include strong messages about professional and ethical conduct.

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  • Courts are now required to notify all domestic violence offenders of the two federal domestic violence-related gun prohibitions. Courts must inform all domestic violence offenders that they may be subject to federal firearm prohibition(s). The notification should also inform the abuser of applicable state, tribal, or territorial laws that may limit purchase or possession of firearms and ammunition. It is important that offenders are aware of these prohibitions.

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  • This study was conducted within RAND’s Public Safety and Justice program. RAND Public Safety and Justice conducts research and analysis that helps inform policymakers and communities in the areas of public safety, including law enforcement, terrorism preparedness, immigration, emergency response and management, and natural disasters; criminal justice, including sentencing and corrections policy, firearms, and community violence; and drug policy, which focuses on problems related to illegal drugs and substance abuse....

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  • As the NCPCR policy document states, “[...] civil unrest exposes children to multiple deprivations. Children are killed, hurt and maimed as a direct result of violence. Access to food, water, sanitation, health care and schooling deteriorates during unrest. Political insecurity pushes children into situations that can circumscribe the remainder of their lives. It disrupts families and social networks that support children’s physical, emotional and social development. The NCPCR has encountered children who are displaced and forced to drop out of school as a result.

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  • Women who are abused have poorer mental and physical health, more injuries, and a greater need for medical resources than non-abused women. 4 The WHO Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence found that abused women in Brazil, Japan, and Peru are almost twice as likely as non-abused women to report their current health status as poor or very poor. 5 The impact of gender-based abuse on physical health can be immediate and long-term. Women who are abused rarely seek medical care for acute trauma, however.

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  • Prison policies often overlook the special needs of women and their health. Many women in prison have high levels of mental illness and drug or alcohol dependence as well as histories of sexual and physical abuse and violence. Issues arising from gender-specific health care needs and family responsibilities are also frequently neglected. Although women represent a small percentage of the total prison population, their numbers are increasing and the rate of increase is much greater than that of men. ...

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  • Including urinary issues in the gynecologic evaluation is helpful. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common reasons to seek medical care and are sometimes triggered by sexual activity. Urinary incontinence is an increasingly recognized health problem (see Chapter 10). Finally, because domestic violence is common (2), screening for current or previous physical, emotional, or sexual abuse is an important part of the pa- tient’s history and in some states is mandatory.

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  • The health effects of violence against women are serious, far-reaching, and intertwined. Health care providers have the opportunity and the obligation to identify cases of abuse. For many women in developing countries, a visit to a health clinic for reproductive or child health services may be their only contact with the health care system. The health care sector can capitalize on this opportunity by ensuring a supportive and safe environment for clients, helping providers ask about abuse, and helping women receive the care they need.

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  • Displacing older people as heads of households and depriving them of their autonomy in the name of affection are cultural norms even in countries where the family is the central institution and the sense of filial obligation is strong (11). Such infantilization and overprotection can leave the older person isolated, depressed and demoralized, and can be considered a form of abuse. In some traditional societies, older widows are abandoned and their property seized.

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  • The impact that physical and psychological violence have on the health of an older person is exacerbated by the ageing process and diseases of old age. It is more difficult for the elderly to leave an abusive relationship or to make correct decisions because of the physical and cognitive impairments that usually come with old age. In some places, kinship obligations and the use of the extended family network to resolve difficulties may also lessen the ability of older people, particularly women, to escape from dangerous situations.

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  • Good Practice in the Law and Safeguarding Adults provides an up-to-date summary of developments in the legislative framework and best practice relevant to the area of adult protection work. It explains legislation that can be used in adult protection work, covering criminal and civil law, and crucial national guidance such as Achieving Best Evidence. Issues covered include confidentiality and information-sharing in adult protection work, capacity issues, police investigations, financial abuse, advocacy, witness support and honour-based violence.

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