Domestic abuse may affect children in womb

Domestic violence can affect children even before they’re born, indicates new research by Michigan State University scientists.

The study is the first to link abuse of pregnant women with emotional and behavioral trauma symptoms in their children within the first year of life. Symptoms include nightmares, startling easily, being bothered by loud noises and bright lights, avoiding physical contact and having trouble experiencing enjoyment.

“For clinicians and mothers, knowing that the prenatal experience of their domestic violence can directly harm their babies may be a powerful motivator to help moms get out of these abusive situations,” said Alytia Levendosky, psychology professor and study co-author.

Full story of domestic abuse while children in the womb at Science Daily

Making Sad Sense of Child Abuse

When a man in Israel was accused of sexually abusing his young daughter, it was hard for many people to believe — a neighbor reported seeing the girl sitting and drinking hot chocolate with her father every morning, laughing, smiling, and looking relaxed. Such cases are not exceptional, however. Children react to sexual and physical abuse in unpredictable ways, making it hard to discern the clues.

Now Dr. Carmit Katz of Tel Aviv University’s Bob Shapell School of Social Work has found that when parents are physically abusive, children tend to accommodate it. But when the abuse is sexual, they tend to fight or flee it unless it is severe. The findings, published in Child Abuse & Neglect, help explain children’s behavior in response to abuse and could aid in intervention and treatment.

“All the cases of alleged physical abuse in the study involved parents, while we had very few cases of alleged parental sexual abuse,” said Dr. Katz. “More than the type of abuse, it may be that children feel they have no choice but to endure abuse by their parents, who they depend on for love and support.”

Disturbing data

About 3.5 million cases of child abuse are reported in the United States every year. Similarly alarming situations exist in many other countries. Abused children often suffer from emotional and behavioral problems, which can later develop into sexual dysfunction, anxiety, promiscuity, vulnerability to repeated victimization, depression, and substance abuse.

Full story of sense of child abuse at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Child Sexual Abuse Via the Internet On the Rise

Sexual abuse of children and adolescents can have serious health consequences for victims. Early studies have revealed that child sexual abuse is associated with an increased risk of later mental and physical health problems and risk-taking behavior. The Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich, the Psychosomatics and Psychiatry Department at Zurich’s University Children’s Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at University Hospital Zurich discovered that sexual abuse is alarmingly widespread in a representative sample of more than 6,000 9th grade students in Switzerland.

Sexual harassment via the Internet is mentioned most frequently

Among the study participants, mainly between 15 and 17 years old, roughly 40 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys reported they had experienced at least one type of child sexual abuse. Relative to boys, sexual abuse without physical contact was reported twice as often in girls and sexual abuse with physical contact without penetration three times more often. Both genders reported “sexual harassment via the Internet” as the most frequent form of abuse. This form of sexual abuse was experienced by roughly 28 percent of girls over the course of their lifetimes and by almost 10 percent of boys. At just under 15 percent for girls versus 5 percent for boys, “molested verbally or by e-mail/text message” was the second most common form of abuse. Just under 12 percent of the surveyed girls and 4 percent of the surveyed boys reported having been kissed or touched against their will. Approximately 2.5 percent of the girls had already experienced sexual abuse with penetration (vaginal, oral, anal or other); among boys, this figure was 0.6 percent.

Full story of internet child abuse at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Childhood Abuse Linked With Food Addiction in Adult Women

Women who experienced severe physical or sexual abuse during childhood are much more likely to have a food addiction as adults than women who did not experience such abuse, according to a new study published in the journal Obesity. The study’s findings provide valuable new information regarding potential causes and treatments for food addiction and obesity.

National surveys indicate that more than a third of American women experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse before they reached 18 years of age. Also, research shows that such childhood abuse has consequences not only for women’s mental health, but also for their physical health. In particular, many studies have documented a link between childhood abuse and later obesity, possibly because stress may cause one to overeat high-sugar and high-fat “comfort” foods in an uncontrolled manner.

Because of these findings, Susan Mason, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and her colleagues looked for a link between childhood abuse and addiction-like eating behaviors in women. The researchers studied 57,321 adult participants in the Nurses’ Health Study II, which ascertained physical and sexual child abuse histories in 2001 and current food addiction in 2009. (Food addiction was defined as three or more addiction-like eating behaviors severe enough to cause significant distress or loss of function.)

Full story of childhood abuse and food addictions at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Quantum Units Education: Six New Online CEU Courses!

Quantum LogoChild Abuse Reporting Law California
CEU Hours:
CEU Course Total: $18.00

This course is intended to help mental health professionals and other mandated reporters who come into contact with children understand the Child Abuse Reporting Law and be aware of their reporting responsibilities regarding child abuse.

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CEU Hours:
CEU Course Total: $12.00

This course is intended to help health care clinics implement a Chronic Care Model to improve support for patients with chronic illnesses. Evidence shows using this model as the basis for patient care can greatly improve the care provided. The course provides a step by step, practical approach to guide teams through quality improvement.

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CEU Hours:
CEU Course Total: $15.00

This course provides an overview of current health issues among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations. It is intended to create awareness among prevention specialists and healthcare providers of the needs, experiences, and health status of LGBT Americans. The course is appropriate for organizations and individuals that serve LGBT populations across the country.

Full list of new courses at Quantum Units Education