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March 29, 2012

When the Law Fails Victims of Abuse

John A. Palumbo, Psy.D.

Michael was referred to me by the State Victims of Crime Compensation Board.  His case was not unlike many abuse victims.  He had been bounced from one foster home to the next.  His family of origin had outright turned him away at age 11, stating that he was "uncontrollable."  In his last stay in foster care, Michael was raped repeatedly by the father of the home.  By age 15, Michael had summoned up enough courage to go the police and file charges.  Two years later, and two months into our treatment, Michael and I were informed that the Prosecutor was dropping the case for lack of evidence.  The impact on Michael was overwhelming.  Although our work was focused on "walking" into the fearful images/memories, and subsequent acceptance and forgiveness, Michael was far from ready to accept this most recent abuse.  To him, the State was announcing that they didn't believe him or didn't care.  His response was anger, violence, indifference, and self-mutilation.  He informed me that there was no need for further treatment, as he had decided to become "a sniper for any government that will take me" because he "wanted to kill."

What We Know About the Link Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence

By Mary Lou Randour Ph.d

Reasons include:
  • Lack of family involvement as a child
  • Pets who are not part of the family and locked outside
  • Children who are exposed to spousal abuse – even spousal dating of many
  • Children who are unfamiliar with proper disciplinary actions

Violent Marriages May Make Violent Children: Violence at Home Linked to Fire Setting and Animal Cruelty by Kids

by Jennifer Warner

Originally published by WebMD, July 2, 2004

Children of violent marriages may be more than twice as likely to set fires intentionally or be cruel to animals than those from nonviolent homes, according to new research.

Violence Between Intimates: Domestic Violence

U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings

November 1994, NCJ 149259

This report summarizes the following Department of Justice statistics about violence between intimates:

Violent Behavior: Animal Abuse at Early Age Linked to Interpersonal Violence

By Kathleen M. Quinn
Jeffrey Dahmer. Son of Sam. Ted Bundy. The boys who gunned down their classmates at school. The shooter of U.S. Capitol security guards. These men and boys had something in common beyond their acts of terrifying violence: All had abused animals long before they went on to destroy the lives of other people.

Understanding The Link Between Animal Abuse and Family Violence

What Is The Link?

A correlation between animal abuse, family violence and other forms of community violence has been established. Child and animal protection professionals have recognized this link, noting that abuse of both children and animals is connected in a self-perpetuating cycle of violence. When animals in a home are abused or neglected, it is a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe. In addition, children who witness animal abuse are at a greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.

Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect

This report presents the results of the congressionally mandated Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-3). The NIS is the single most comprehensive source of information about the current incidence of child abuse and neglect in the United States. The NIS-3 findings are based on a nationally representative sample of over 5,600 professionals in 842 agencies serving 42 counties. The study used two sets of standardized definitions of abuse and neglect. Under the Harm Standard, children identified to the study were considered to be maltreated only if they had already experienced harm from abuse or neglect. Under the Endangerment Standard, children who experienced abuse or neglect that put them at risk of harm were included in the set of those considered to be maltreated, together with the already-harmed children.

Theories of Violence

A common understanding of the causes of domestic violence can help communities develop more effective responses to the violence; such an understanding helps avoid conflicting responses that could undermine efforts to protect victims and hold batterers accountable.

When the battered women’s movement in the United States began in the early 1970s, the prevailing theory of why men batter was based on psychopathology. According to this theory, men who abused their wives were mentally ill and could be cured through medication or psychiatric treatment. Researchers found, however, that the behavior of perpetrators of domestic violence did not correspond to profiles of individuals who were mentally ill. Batterers attack only their intimate partners. People who suffer from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia do not limit their violence to their intimate partners.

The Root of Child Abuse: Anger

While this paper focuses on child abuse by burning, it covers other areas of violence: children killing their parents, teachers, schoolmates. The danger signals that disturbed minds send and the anger signs may not be recognized or taken seriously by family members, friends, teachers, or neighbors, until tragedy strikes.

Child abuse by burning is one of the most difficult of injuries to identify properly and to investigate. The search for solutions has been varied, sometime haphazardly and based on innate guesswork, unfounded preconceptions and myths with little, if any, scientific input.

The Protection Battered Spouses Don't Need


Published: August 7, 2007

Cambridge, Mass.

TWO decades ago, in an effort to curb domestic violence, states began passing “mandatory arrest” laws. Police officers responding to a call for help would no longer need to determine whether one person was truly violent or out of control; every time someone reported abuse, the police would simply be required to make an arrest.

Marital Rape: New Research and Directions


Marital Rape: New Research and Directions by Raquel Kennedy Bergen with contributions from Elizabeth Barnhill (February 2006) provides an overview of the research on marital rape including a brief legal history of marital rape; a discussion of the occurrence of marital rape; a summary of the effects of marital rape; and an analysis of practitioners' intervention with marital rape survivors. The document also provides ideas for future directions to gain public and scholarly attention and a marital rape resource page.

Date Rape

When people think of rape, they might think of a stranger jumping out of a shadowy place and sexually attacking someone. But it's not only strangers who rape. In fact, about half of all people who are raped know the person who attacked them.

Most friendships, acquaintances, and dates never lead to violence, of course. But, sadly, sometimes it happens. When forced sex occurs between two people who already know each other, it is known as date rape or acquaintance rape.

March 16, 2012

Child killer study finds diverse motives for men and women

A new study of child murders, by Dr. Debbie Kirkwood, shows men and women are equally capable of killing children, but their motives for killing are very different.  Men are more likely to kill their children in order to take revenge on ex-partners and to make them suffer.  Women are more likely to kill because they intend to take their own lives and cannot imagine leaving their children without a mother.