The rise in domestic violence cases is no surprise. The acts are deeply rooted in our history as the United States turns a blind eye to families in need of rescue. Women in particular are the most targeted for abuse as the people primarily responsible for violence. Domestic violence, physical, emotional and sexual, takes on many forms and can only be destroyed at the community, family, and individual levels. In the 60’s, violence was seen as a private matter and it wasn’t resolved properly. Because of violence against women’s long history, it will be difficult to end it. Violence and post pregnancy can result in trauma such as PTSD, depression, can be triggered with the act of giving birth and the gynecological procedures. According to Dr. Sperlich, educating women about these procedures will help deal with it. Psychological illnesses are not takin as seriously as mental illness in the US and Haiti.Countries like Haiti, aren’t really equipped with all medical procedures and interventions when it comes to alleviating trauma getting proper medical care.
Since the 2010 earth quake violence against women in Haiti, patricianly rape, has increased dramatically. The risk increased since women were living in tent camps where men come in groups to find victims. Many women were afraid to come forward (Miller, 2011). The 2005 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) in Haiti found that 27% of women experienced physical violence and 22% experienced sexual violence sometime in their lifetime, with 19.3% reporting lifetime partner physical or sexual assault (Gabriel, 2016). Survivors are brave, determined and ambitious individuals, however, all of those qualities would be for naught if they are stuck in a system where upward mobility is nearly impossible. Poverty, unemployment, and substance abuse are very common in these homes. All of these factors have an influence on children in the home. If a child experiences high levels of neglect and abuse due to IPV, they are more likely to experience stressful life in adulthood (Bombay, Matheson, Anisman, 2009) . Exposure can be hearing, seeing or experiencing the abuse andInsecure attachment styles are a direct result of abuse in some cases. Children’s exposure can lead to short and longer term outcomes of behavioral problems during adolescence, including delinquency, status offenses, and perpetration of violence (Herrenkohl, Sousa, Tajima, Herrenkohl, & Moylan, 2008). This intergenerational trauma challenges the typical biomedical models of health by criminalizing these children with mental health problems because of the psychological trauma they don’t understand or believe to be true.
There are health practices that perpetuates violence as well. When it comes to challenging healthcare I believe interventions about helping trauma patients is lacking, in agreement with Dr. Sperlich. From previous classes I’ve learned that doctors and nurses fail to ask questions about DV (domestic violence) when obvious signs are seen. Even therapeutic practices like family and couples therapy suggest working things out and staying with the abuser when thats the worst idea. Its a common thing for doctors not to spend enough time with patients and lack proper listening skills. Just like in “The Vanishing Oath”, the doctor-patient relationship is suffering due to lack in communication, respect and autonomy (Flesher, 2011).
Doctors are humans, so considering the fact that they make mistakes on physical ailments probably alludes to why they struggle with trauma patients. Theres alot we still dont know when it comes to mental issues so diagnoses can lead to the prescription of many pharmaceutical drugs and unnecessary side effects to trauma victims. Reframing violence against women and trauma as health issues challenge our understanding of health, illness and medicine because of the lack of understanding patients culturally, and the lack of laws enforcing treatment and intervention for victims.
Bombay, A., Matheson, K., & Anisman, H. (2009). Intergenerational trauma. Journal de la santé autochtone, 5, 6-47.
Flesher, R. (Director). (2011). The Vanishing Oath [Video file]. Aquarius Health Care Media. Retrieved from Academic Video Online: Premium database.
Gabriel, N. C., Sloand, E., Gary, F., Hassan, M., Bertrand, D. R., & Campbell, J. (2016). “The women, they maltreat them… therefore, we cannot assure that the future society will be good”: Male perspectives on gender-based violence: A focus group study with young men in Haiti. Health Care For Women International, 37(7), 773-789. doi:10.1080/07399332.2015.1089875
Herrenkohl, T. I., Sousa, C., Tajima, E. A., Herrenkohl, R. C., & Moylan, C. A. (2008). Intersection of child abuse and children’s exposure to domestic violence. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 9(2), 84-99.
Miller, T. (2011, January 18). Violence Against Women Among Challenges in Haiti. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/health-jan-june11-women_01-07