Thursday, September 30, 2010

Abusive Behaviors

Two recent Healthy Rounds programs dealt with the topics of domestic abuse and bullying.

Dr. John Foley, a cardiologist from Norwich, Connecticut, is a frequent lecturer on the topic of domestic violence and partner abuse. There are roughly 8.5 million incidents of intentional partner violence (IPV) each year. IPV is not restricted to adult heterosexual couples. It is often seen among dating teens and in same sex relationships. Some examples include physical injury or threats, sexual assault, psychological abuse and economic control. If you suspect someone you care about may be in an abusive relationship open a line of communication by asking if they are being abused. Although they will most likely deny it at first it is important for them to know you care and they can come to you when needed.

Dr. James O'Dea is a clinical psychologist at the William W. Backus Hospital. We recently discussed the alarming rise in school bullying. Each day approximately 150,000 young people fear going to school because of bullying. In the past, bullying consisted of verbal confrontation, physical violence or written messages. In the Internet age bullying has entered a new and much more harmful dimension. If bullying is suspected contact the child's school. Each school should have a process for dealing with bullying that involves everyone in the building including teachers, security, kitchen workers and janitorial staff.

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