Victim of the Scam

Children’s Exposure to Violence

In Domestic Violence, Dr. William Bernet, DSM-V, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome on October 17, 2010 at 11:19 am

Children’s exposure to violence…as protective parents, we understand the harm that comes from this.  As a childhood victim who watched my mother abused by my father, only to end up in his custody, it amplifies this understanding.  Until judges, co-parenting counselors, guardians ad litem, custody evaluators, and the other court personnel that continue to churn cases to make work for themselves ($$$) understand this, children’s lives will continue to be destroyed.

Those who wish to profit off of the misery these children endure continue to push for inclusion of so-called “parental alienation disorder” (PAD) into the DSM-V, the psychiatric and psychological diagnostic “bible” (also used for insurance codes), namely Dr. William Bernet of Vanderbilt University, don’t understand this and claim that if a child is afraid to be with an abuser, they could have PAD because they are an “independent thinker.”

It is claimed that Bernet has a large contingent who are supporting this “mental condition” going into the DSM-V.  Fathers & Families is saying now there are “70 professionals” behind the proposal, up from the recent “50″ supporting it.  F&F are pushing for their supporters to continue to hound the committee for it’s inclusion.  This is just delusional to suggest that this is a large group of supports.  I looked into just how many psychologists there are.  I found one number…63,000 clinical psychologists in the United States alone (Bernet’s group is world wide), and this number is from the early 1990s.  This doesn’t include other psychologists such as in the forensic field, and doesn’t include the number of psychiatrists there are.  What is known of the “70 professionals” that Bernet has supporting PAD is that they make significant income from selling their books or “expert” services blaming parents for protecting their children from abuse.

Yes, there are cases where parents behave badly and lie to children, but research has shown that children are far more likely to resist being with a parent because of the behavior of that parent.  The use of parental alienation “disorders and syndromes” have been the choice of abusers to get child custody successfully taken from their victims.    Bernet and his buddies need to spend more time understanding how children are being destroyed by their actions and the actions of family courts handing these children to abusers.  Here is a report from last year, completed for the U.S. Department of Justice, on this very topic.  Our meetings with DOJ personnel continue to expand their knowledge in this area which is encouraging, but much more needs to be done.

The following post appears courtesy of Jeff Slowikowski, the Acting Administrator for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Yesterday, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) released The National Survey on Children’s Exposure to Violence. The report is a precedent-setting survey because it gives us the first real estimates—as the most comprehensive survey to date– on the nature and extent of violence in children’s lives.

It is the first time data has been collected across all age ranges, and all types of violence, to define the full scope of violence-related experiences in a child’s life –whether it be as victims or witnesses, and whether it be in the home, the school or the community. This is also the first time data has been collected on the cumulative exposure to violence over a child’s lifetime.

With this comprehensive survey, we now have learned that more than 60 percent of the children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly. Nearly one-half of the children and adolescents surveyed were assaulted at least once in the past year, and more than 1 in 10 were injured as a result.

Respondents also reported they were the victim of a robbery, vandalism, or theft. Some said they were victims of child maltreatment, including physical and emotional abuse, neglect, or a family abduction. 1 in 16 were victimized sexually.

As Attorney General Holder said yesterday in Chicago, these figures are staggering.

The violence that millions of children and youth are exposed to in their homes, schools and communities, whether as direct victims or as a witness, can disrupt their development in many ways. This disruption in development comes from the impact of the stress or trauma on the child. It can be exhibited in how they think, interact, learn and develop relationships.

Each child responds to exposure to violence differently and many children are resilient. Others need support to address trauma reactions to prevent further adverse reactions. That’s why we in the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention support initiatives like Safe Start to prevent and reduce the impacts of children’s exposure to violence. It is our mission to protect our youth and reduce children’s exposure to violence.

At OJJDP we will continue to support the training necessary to reach across disciplines to identify children who are at risk of exposure to violence, such as witnessing domestic violence, and to coordinate the delivery of services to these children. Accurate information is a key ingredient to helping us accomplish our mission. Because the survey tracked children’s lifetime exposure to violence, researchers can develop more accurate estimates on the total number of children in a certain age group who have been exposed to a particular form of violence. It illustrates more clearly the full extent of exposure and the cumulative effects of multiple exposures to violence and how exposure to one form of violence may make a child more vulnerable to other forms of violence.

Armed with these facts we will also work with those who come into daily contact with youth and children to assess and identify those who are suffering emotionally, socially, physically and developmentally from exposure to violence. We can better coordinate our outreach to those children and families who need our help, and provide them with the support they need. This study gives us the tools to better protect juveniles and youth from the effects of violence and guide them into healthy and productive lives.

For more information visit the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The graph below illustrates the past year exposure for all survey respondents, and shows how common exposure to violence for children is.

To download the report “Children’s Exposure to Violence – A Comprehensive National Survey” by David Finkelhor, et al, please click here.


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