Effects Of Child Abuse And Neglect On The Brain, Man Charged With Child Abuse in Kenya

July 24, 2014 Comments Off on Effects Of Child Abuse And Neglect On The Brain, Man Charged With Child Abuse in Kenya

Effects Of Child Abuse And Neglect On The Brain Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of children suffer from neglect, abuse and trauma during their early years. Many of the psychological consequences are well known, but it’s becoming increasingly clear just how damaging they are to the developing brain.

Today in the final part of our series from WBUR called “Brain Matters: Reporting from the Frontlines of Neuroscience,” Iris Adler looks at a key issue in brain development: the biological consequences of early childhood neglect and trauma.
http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/07/23/child-abuse-brain-effects

Man Charged in Oklahoma With Child Abuse in Kenya
OKLAHOMA CITY — Jul 22, 2014
By SEAN MURPHY Associated Press

An Oklahoma man has been charged with sexually abusing boys and girls while volunteering at an organization in Kenya that assists neglected children.

Matthew Lane Durham, of Edmond, is accused of engaging in sex acts with as many as ten children aged from 4 to 10 years while volunteering at Upendo Children’s Home in Nairobi from April to June 2014.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Western Oklahoma last week says the 19-year-old Durham has volunteered with Upendo since June 2012.

Durham wrote and signed a confession that an Upendo official provided to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, according to an affidavit filed by FBI agent Scott Lobb.

In it, he admitted to sexually abusing boys and girls in a bathroom at the children’s home. At least one of the victims is HIV positive, according to the affidavit….

Durham’s attorney Stephen Jones said Tuesday the affidavit is riddled with inaccuracies and that his client is innocent….
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/man-charged-oklahoma-child-abuse-kenya-24662622

Jimmy Savile caused concern with behaviour on visits to Prince Charles, Child abuse causes damage to the brain

October 31, 2012 Comments Off on Jimmy Savile caused concern with behaviour on visits to Prince Charles, Child abuse causes damage to the brain

Jimmy Savile caused concern with behaviour on visits to Prince Charles
Former royal aide says TV presenter would greet young female assistants at St James’s Palace by ‘rubbing lips up their arms’
Robert Booth    The Guardian, Monday 29 October 2012

A former senior royal aide has revealed that Jimmy Savile’s behaviour when he visited Prince Charles’s official home at St James’ Palace was a cause for “concern and suspicion”.

Dickie Arbiter, who handled media relations for the Prince and Princess of Wales while spokesman for the Queen between 1988 and 2000, said the suspected paedophile TV presenter used to rub his lips up the arms of Prince Charles’s young female assistants as a greeting.

Savile is understood to have visited Prince Charles’s official London residence several times in the late 1980s when he was acting as a kind of marriage counsellor between Charles and Princess Diana. A spokesman for the Prince of Wales confirmed the prince and Savile formed a relationship in the late 1970s after coming together through their work with wheelchair sports charities. Charles led tributes to Savile when he died a year ago.

“He would walk into the office and do the rounds of the young ladies taking their hands and rubbing his lips all the way up their arms if they were wearing short sleeves,” Arbiter said of Savile. “If it was summer [and their arms were bare] his bottom lip would curl out and he would run it up their arms. This was at St James’s Palace. The women were in their mid to late 20s doing typing and secretarial work.”

Arbiter did not raise his concerns formally and there is no suggestion Savile committed any crimes while on royal premises or when he was with Prince Charles on numerous occasions from the 1970s onwards. But the concern over his behaviour expressed by a senior aide will raise questions over how Savile, who is now under investigation in relation to child abuse involving 300 potential victims, managed to develop such a long-standing relationship with the heir to the throne….

Charles reportedly sent him a box of cigars and a pair of gold cufflinks on his 80th birthday with a note that read: “Nobody will ever know what you have done for this country Jimmy. This is to go some way in thanking you for that.”

Savile used to boast of his royal connections, made sure to be photographed with Charles on numerous occasions and ingratiated himself once telling the Daily Mail the prince was “the nicest man you will ever meet”.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/oct/29/jimmy-savile-behaviour-prince-charles

Child abuse causes damage to the brain Monday, October 29, 2012

Neurologists have discovered that the way children are treated in their early years can have a remarkable impact on their brain development.

These two images are brain scans of two three-year-old children. The brain on the left is much bigger and contains fewer dark “fuzzy” areas and less spots, reports the UK’s Telegraph.

The brain on the right is less developed in some fundamental areas, and neurologists say that child will become an adult who is less intelligent, less empathetic and more likely to be unemployed or get involved in drugs and crime than the other child.

While first glance might have people assuming a serious accident or illness must be responsible for the huge discrepancies, the truth is that the child on the right was neglected and abused by its mother, while the child on the left was raised in a loving, supportive home.

Professor Allan Schore, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) told the The Telegraph that babies rely on a strong bond with their mothers for healthy brain development in their first two years.

“The development of cerebral circuits depends on it,” he said.

And with 80 per cent of brain cells grown in the first two years of life –– problems in that development can affect people for life.

Dr Marc Seal, a research scientist at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, is doing similar research.

“If you deprive a child of affection and social contact and basic food, they will be stunted physically –– their brains will be smaller and so will their bodies,” he said.

“It becomes a cycle and people don’t achieve their potential.”
http://health.msn.co.nz/healthnews/8555843/child-abuse-causes-damage-to-the-brain

Brain – Psychopaths, C.I.A. Data Show 14-Year Project On Controlling Behavior

April 28, 2012 Comments Off on Brain – Psychopaths, C.I.A. Data Show 14-Year Project On Controlling Behavior

Y! Big Story: What the brain tells us By Vera H-C Chan 4/28/12

….Finding how to stop extreme behavior. Thanks to crime literature and serial killer movies, Americans are aware of many different “-paths”: sociopath, psychopath, and antisocial personality disorder. What has been a raging debate is if one is doomed to that diagnosis and basically lifetime incarceration, or if there’s a window of intervention. One researcher went on a roadtrip into the heart of darkness: Using a mobile MRI unit, a University of New Mexico associate professor of psychology took a snapshot of 2,000 inmate volunteers.

He found that compared to the average offender, 60 percent of psychopaths re-offend within the next 200 days. Maximum-security juveniles showed a similar pattern: 68 percent of individuals who were at high risk for psychopathy re-offended.

Using images of the brain, [Kent] Kiehl said he could predict psychopathy as well as one can with clinical error. (April 23, Duke (University) Research Blog)

Among preliminary findings, Kiehl zeroed in on the interaction with a gene (MAOA) and a “stressful” upbringing and that treatment like group therapy actually ends in “violent failure” among adults. For juveniles, intervention’s a different story and can show a 50% reduction in violent recidivism.

“We have a problem in the United States: We incarcerate a lot of people,” he said. “We incarcerate more per capita than any other country. It’s expensive—it costs $2.34 trillion per year, which is about the same as the annual estimate for all health care [in the country].” (April 23, Duke (University) Research Blog)

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now/y-big-story-brain-tells-us-000534638.html

C.I.A. Data Show 14-Year Project On Controlling Human Behavior; Data From C.I.A. Show Project on Human Behavior

By NICHOLAS M. HORROCK Special to The New York Times July 21, 1977
WASHINGTON, July 20 The Central Intelligence Agency conducted a 14-year program to find ways to “control human behavior” through the use of chemical, biological and radiological material, according to agency documents made public today by John Marks, a freelance journalist….

Marks: “To be sure, drugs were a part of it, ” he said, ” but so were such other techniques as electric shock, radiation, ultrasonics, psychosurgery, psychology and incapacitating agents, all of which were referred to in documents I have received.”….

According to Mr. Marks’s documents and an earlier Senate investigation, the C.I.A. conducted secret medical experiments from 1949 through 1963 under the code names Bluebird, Artichoke, MK Ultra and MK Delta. The C.I.A. inspector general’s report in 1963 described the program as the “research and development of chemical, biological and radiological materials capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behavior.”
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60A1FFC3E59157493C3AB178CD85F438785F9

Child Abuse Leaves Mark on Brain

February 15, 2012 Comments Off on Child Abuse Leaves Mark on Brain

Child Abuse Leaves Mark on Brain
Jennifer Welsh  Live Science Mon, 13 Feb 2012

Childhood abuse and maltreatment can shrink important parts of the brain, a new study of adults suggests.

Reduced brain volume in parts of the hippocampus could help to explain why childhood problems often lead to later psychiatric disorders, such as depression, drug addiction and other mental health problems, the researchers say. This link could help researchers find better ways to treat survivors of childhood abuse.

“These results may provide one explanation for why childhood abuse has been identified with an increased risk for drug abuse or psychosis,” study researcher Martin Teicher, of Harvard University, told LiveScience. “Now that one can look at these sub-regions [in the brain], we can get a better idea of what treatments are helping.”

The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of 193 individuals between 18 and 25 years old, who had already undergone several rounds of testing to be qualified. They then analyzed the size of areas in the hippocampus and compared the results with the patient’s history. They saw that those who had been abused, neglected or maltreated (based on well-established questionnaires) as children had reduced volume in certain areas of the hippocampus by about 6 percent, compared with kids who hadn’t experienced child abuse.

They also had size reductions in a related brain area called the subiculum, which relays the signals from the hippocampus to other areas of the brain, including the dopamine system, also known as the brain’s “reward center.” Volume reduction in the subiculum has been associated with drug abuse and schizophrenia, as well….

The study was published today (Feb. 13) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.
http://www.livescience.com/18453-child-abuse-brain.html

brain differences in DID/MPD patients, child abuse changes the brain

June 12, 2011 Comments Off on brain differences in DID/MPD patients, child abuse changes the brain

Hippocampal and Amygdalar Volumes in Dissociative Identity Disorder
The neurobiological consequences of early stress and childhood maltreatment
Recent findings regarding brain development and childhood abuse/adversity
Does Child Abuse Permanently Alter the Brain?
The Psychobiology of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (including physical and sexual abuse)

Hippocampal and Amygdalar Volumes in Dissociative Identity Disorder
Eric Vermetten, M.D., Ph.D., Christian Schmahl, M.D., Sanneke Lindner, M.Sc., Richard J. Loewenstein, M.D., and J. Douglas Bremner, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 163:630-636, April 2006
doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.4.630….

METHOD: The authors used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the volumes of the hippocampus and amygdala in 15 female patients with dissociative identity disorder and 23 female subjects without dissociative identity disorder or any other psychiatric disorder. The volumetric measurements for the two groups were compared.

RESULTS: Hippocampal volume was 19.2% smaller and amygdalar volume was 31.6% smaller in the patients with dissociative identity disorder, compared to the healthy subjects. The ratio of hippocampal volume to amygdalar volume was significantly different between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings are consistent with the presence of smaller hippocampal and amygdalar volumes in patients with dissociative identity disorder, compared with healthy subjects.
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/163/4/630

full text
“The patients with dissociative identity disorder in our study showed a 19.2% smaller hippocampal volume and a 31.6% smaller amygdalar volume, compared with the healthy subjects.”
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/4/630

The neurobiological consequences of early stress and childhood maltreatment
Martin H. Teicher, Susan L. Andersena, Ann Polcarib, Carl M. Andersona, Carryl P. Navaltae, and Dennis M. Kima

Abstract
Early severe stress and maltreatment produces a cascade of neurobiological events that have the potential to cause enduring changes in brain development. These changes occur on multiple levels, from neurohumoral (especially the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal {HPA} axis) to structural and functional. The major structural consequences of early stress include reduced size of the mid-portions of the corpus callosum and attenuated development of the left neocortex, hippocampus, and amygdala.

Major functional consequences include increased electrical irritability in limbic structures and reduced functional activity of the cerebellar vermis. There are also gender differences in vulnerability and functional consequences. The neurobiological sequelae of early stress and maltreatment may play a significant role in the emergence of psychiatric disorders during development.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763403000071

Dr. Martin H. Teicher – Recent findings regarding brain development and childhood abuse/adversity
https://drteicher.wordpress.com/

https://drteicher.wordpress.com/2010/11/
Keynote: Pierre Janet memorial lecture ISSTD
Does Child Abuse Permanently Alter the Brain?
Martin H. Teicher, M.D., Ph.D. (PowerPoint)

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
New York Academy of Sciences June 1997
Volume 821 Psychobiology of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, The Pages xi–xv, 1–548
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.1997.821.issue-1/issuetoc
includes:
Psychobiological Effects of Sexual Abuse : A Longitudinal Study (pages 150–159)
FRANK W. PUTNAM and PENELOPE K. TRICKETT
DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb48276.x

Preliminary Evidence for Abnormal Cortical Development in Physically and Sexually Abused Children Using EEG Coherence and MRI (pages 160–175)
MARTIN H. TEICHER, YUTAKA ITO, CAROL A. GLOD, SUSAN L. ANDERSEN, NATALIE DUMONT and ERIKA ACKERMAN
DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb48277.x

Implicit and Explicit Memory for Trauma-Related Information in PTSD (pages 219–224) RICHARD J. MCNALLY
DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb48281.x

Trauma, Dissociation, and Memory (pages 225–237)
DAVID SPIEGEL DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb48282.x

 

neuroscience – brain of a serial killer; Rare Memo, Vatican Rebukes Cardinal

June 30, 2010 Comments Off on neuroscience – brain of a serial killer; Rare Memo, Vatican Rebukes Cardinal

A Neuroscientist Uncovers A Dark Secret by Barbara Bradley Hagerty June 29, 2010

….Fallon set out to see whether anyone in his family possesses the brain of a serial killer. Because he has studied the brains of dozens of psychopaths, he knew precisely what to look for. To demonstrate, he opened his laptop and called up an image of a brain on his computer screen. “Here is a brain that’s not normal,” he says. There are patches of yellow and red. Then he points to another section of the brain, in the front part of the brain, just behind the eyes. “Look at that — there’s almost nothing here,” Fallon says. This is the orbital cortex, the area that Fallon and other scientists believe is involved with ethical behavior, moral decision-making and impulse control. “People with low activity [in the orbital cortex] are either free-wheeling types or sociopaths,” he says.

Fallon’s Scans
He’s clearly oversimplifying, but Fallon says the orbital cortex puts a brake on another part of the brain called the amygdala, which is involved with aggression and appetites. But in some people, there’s an imbalance — the orbital cortex isn’t doing its job — perhaps because the person had a brain injury or was born that way. “What’s left? What takes over?” he asks. “The area of the brain that drives your id-type behaviors, which is rage, violence, eating, sex, drinking.”

….Along with brain scans, Fallon also tested each family member’s DNA for genes that are associated with violence. He looked at 12 genes related to aggression and violence and zeroed in on the MAO-A gene (monoamine oxidase A). This gene, which has been the target of considerable research, is also known as the “warrior gene” because it regulates serotonin in the brain. Serotonin affects your mood — think Prozac — and many scientists believe that if you have a certain version of the warrior gene, your brain won’t respond to the calming effects of serotonin.

….according to scientists who study this area. They believe that brain patterns and genetic makeup are not enough to make anyone a psychopath. You need a third ingredient: abuse or violence in one’s childhood. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127888976

In Rare Memo, Vatican Rebukes Cardinal By RACHEL DONADIO June 28, 2010
ROME — The Vatican  drew aside, for a brief and puzzling moment, the thick veil that covers its internal business. It issued an extraordinary communiqué on Monday chastising a powerful cardinal who had criticized another powerful cardinal — proof of a battle inside the Vatican walls that mirrors the anger over sexual abuse raging outside them….On its face, the communiqué is a public rebuke to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna. In April, he had implicitly criticized Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 82, the current dean of the College of Cardinals and Pope John Paul II’s last secretary of state, for blocking an investigation into an Austrian archbishop accused in the mid-1990s of abusing minors. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/world/europe/29pope.html

Forgotten Memories Are Still in Your Brain, Satanists, stopping child pornography

September 23, 2009 § Leave a comment

Exclusive: Satanists recruit new members in small ads 9/20/09 Lauren Crooks – Satanists are recruiting members in Scotland through an online classifieds site. The devil worshippers, who preach from Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible, hold regular meetings involving ritualistic sacrifice. Their advert on Gumtree, which is accompanied by a picture of a goat with the devil’s head, reads: “We are leaderless and nondenominational. We get together for discussion, food, drink, and ritual.”….Laurie Matthew, who set up the Ritual Abuse Network Scotland, insisted police should be keeping a close eye on the group to prevent anything illegal happening. She said: “We have counselled a lot of people – many more than you’d think – who have been affected by Satanic ritual.” Scotland has had problems with Satanists in the past. They were blamed for a spate of horse slayings at the time of the summer solstice last year.
http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2009/09/20/exclusive-satanists-recruit-new-members-in-small-ads-78057-21687232/

FBI nabs ‘Boy Lovers’ child-porn ring 9/21/09 The FBI today announced child-pornography charges against four men from Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, accusing them of operating a ring that distributed pornographic images and videos and referred to themselves by the name “Boy Lovers.”
….According to the complaints, the FBI began investigating the men in June after arresting one in their group. That man admitted to “possession, receipt, distribution and manufacture of child pornography,” the complaint said. The man “also stated he had contacts with many other child pornography enthusiasts, some of whom were molesting children.”
….Officials say he gave a USB drive to the witness on Aug. 29 that contained over 3,500 images and 60 videos of child pornography. http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/09/fbi-child-pornography-charges-garcia-maschke-stinefast-mcgill-west-chicago-schererville-indiana-cres.html

Forgotten Memories Are Still in Your Brain

By Brandon Keim September 9, 2009  …Though the memory is hidden from your conscious mind, it might not be gone. In a study of college students, brain imaging detected patterns of activation that corresponded to memories the students thought they’d lost. “Even though your brain still holds this information, you might not always have access to it,” said neurobiologist Jeffrey Johnson of the University of California, Irvine. His remarks appeared in the study he co-authored, published Wednesday in Neuron. That recalling a memory triggers the neurological patterns encoded when the memory was formed is a tenet of cognitive science. Less understood, however, is what becomes of those patterns at moments of incomplete recall….”It wasn’t quite clear what happens to them,” said Johnson of lost details. “But even when people claim that there are no details attached to their memories, we could still pick some of those details out.”….

Johnson’s team put eleven female and five male college students inside an fMRI machine, which measures real-time patterns of blood flow in the brain. Each student was shown a list of words, then asked to say each word backwards, think of how it could be used, and imagine how an artist would draw it. Twenty minutes later, the researchers showed them the list again, and asked the students to remember what they could of each word. Recollection triggered the original learning patterns, a process known technically as reinstatement; the stronger the memory, the stronger the signal. “What I think is cool about the study is that the degree of cortical reinstatement is related to the strength of our subjective experience of memory,” said Anthony Wagner, a Stanford University memory researcher who wasn’t involved in the experiment. But at the weak end of the gradient, where the students’ conscious recall had faded to zero, the signal was still there. It’s possible that the students lied about what they remembered. But if not, then memory may truly persist.

The question then is how long memories could last – weeks, months, even years. “We can only speculate that this is the case,” said Johnson, who plans to run brain-imaging studies of memory degradation over days and weeks. As for whether those memories could be intentionally guided to the surface, Johnson says that “at this stage, we’re just happy to be able to find evidence of reinstatement at a weak level. That would be something down the line.”
Citation: “Recollection, Familiarity, and Cortical Reinstatement: A Multivoxel Pattern Analysis.” By Jeffrey D. Johnson, Susan G.R. McDuff, Michael D. Rugg, and Kenneth A. Norman. Neuron, Vol. 63 Issue 5, September 8, 2009.
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/09/forgottenmemories/

Recollection, Familiarity, and Cortical Reinstatement: A Multivoxel Pattern Analysis
Jeffrey D. Johnson1, 4, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Susan G.R. McDuff2, 4, Michael D. Rugg1 and Kenneth A. Norman2, 3
1Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
3Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
Published: September 9, 2009.
Summary
Episodic memory retrieval is thought to involve reinstatement of the neurocognitive processes engaged when an episode was encoded. Prior fMRI studies and computational models have suggested that reinstatement is limited to instances in which specific episodic details are recollected. We used multivoxel pattern-classification analyses of fMRI data to investigate how reinstatement is associated with different memory judgments, particularly those accompanied by recollection versus a feeling of familiarity (when recollection is absent). Classifiers were trained to distinguish between brain activity patterns associated with different encoding tasks and were subsequently applied to recognition-related fMRI data to determine the degree to which patterns were reinstated. Reinstatement was evident during both recollection- and familiarity-based judgments, providing clear evidence that reinstatement is not sufficient for eliciting a recollective experience. The findings are interpreted as support for a continuous, recollection-related neural signal that has been central to recent debate over the nature of recognition memory processes.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WSS-4X6GR82-H&_user=10&_coverDate=09%2F10%2F2009&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ec41eaf57212c754a5f6a93f4d889eba

Call for Papers: “Sociology of Memory: New and Old Conceptualizations of Memory, Personal or Commodity, Public or Private?” Papers pertaining to: collective memory; personal memory; narrative; new and old sociological theories and conceptualizations of memory; sociological, psychological, historical or legal conceptualizations pertaining to personal, trauma, repressed, body memory; socio-political issues pertaining to “commodity memory” (such as electronic dataveillance, video surveillance; seed, sperm, egg or DNA banking); drug technology to improve or repress memory; and closely related topics are invited to present their research at the 2010 Pacific Sociological Association’s 81st Annual meeting, to be held at the Marriott Oakland City Center in downtown Oakland, California on April 8 – 11 (Thursday – Saturday), 2010. Past papers from this session are featured in the book, Sociology of Memory: Papers from the Spectrum (2009), forthcoming from Cambridge Scholars Publishing. For more information see: http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Sociology-of-Memory–Papers-from-the-Spectrum1-4438-0199-2.htm
Please send initial inquirers, abstracts and contact information to: Noel Packard at packardn@prodigy.net Visit the Pacific Sociological Association website at http://www.pacificsoc.org for conference information and paper submission procedures. Follow links to Session Category Theory, Sociological Imagination, Knowledge, Science and Technology and within that category find the Sociology of Memory link. Deadline: November 15, 2009.

Violence and Childhood: How Persisting Fear Can Alter the Developing Child’s Brain

August 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

Violence and Childhood: How Persisting Fear Can Alter the Developing Child’s Brain – A Special ChildTrauma Academy WebSite version of:


The Neurodevelopmental Impact of Violence in Childhood
Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.


The ChildTrauma Academy  http://www.ChildTrauma.org Web Version DRAFT
Perry, B.D. (2001b). The neurodevelopmental impact of violence in childhood. In Schetky D & Benedek, E. (Eds.) Textbook of child and adolescent forensic psychiatry. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, Inc. (221-238)\


Violence in Childhood: Scope of the Problem  – Violence in the Home


Childhood is a dangerous time. For infants and children, survival is dependent upon adults, most typically, the nuclear family. It is in the family setting that the child is fed, clothed, sheltered, nurtured and educated. Unfortunately, it is in the familial incubator that children are most frequently manipulated, coerced, degraded, inoculated with destructive beliefs and exposed to violence.


The home is the most violent place in America
(Straus, 1974). In 1995, the FBI reported that 27% of all violent crime involves family on family violence, 48% involved acquaintances with the violence often occurring in the home (National Incident-Based Reporting System, Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 1999). Children are often the witnesses to, or victims of, these violent crimes.
Violent crime statistics, however, grossly underestimate the prevalence of violence in the home. It is likely that less than 5% of all domestic violence results in a criminal report. Intra-familial abuse and domestic battery account for the majority of physical and emotional violence suffered by children in this country (see Koop et al., 1992; Horowitz et al., 1995; Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, 1995). This violence takes many forms. The child may witness the assault of her mother by father or boyfriend. The child may be the direct victim of violence – physical or emotional – from father, mother or even older siblings. Straus and Gelles (1996) have estimated that over 29 million children commit an act of violence against a sibling each year. The child may become the direct victim of the adult male if he or she tries to intervene and protect mother or sibling. While these all cause physical violence, an additional destructive element of this intra-familial toxicity is emotional violence – humiliation, coercion, degradation, and threat of abandonment or physical assault. http://www.childtrauma.org/ctamaterials/Vio_child.asp

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