Spate of child sex abuse laws, but PA taking its time; Lauren Luke’s DV makeup video; black women’s obesity linked to childhood abuse

David Swanson of the Philadelphia Inquirer took this photo of Jerry Sandusky, after the former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse.

Pennsylvania advocates aren’t rushing in to toughen laws on reporting child sex abuse as 10 other states have done, according to this detailed overview by Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jeremy Roebuck. A task force that was created in January wants to examine the issue carefully so that legislation won’t

“overwhelm cash-strapped social services agencies, or worse, cast undue suspicion on families and individuals tenuously accused of abuse”.

Comprising legislators, lawyers, judges, and victim advocates, the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection has met seven times and heard testimony from dozens of witnesses on the advantages and pitfalls of proposed measures. Those include extending civil and criminal statutes of limitations; appointing an ombudsman to handle abuse appeals; and requiring all adults, under threat of criminal penalties, to report suspected abuse.

The group is expected to issue by November a slate of recommendations to overhaul the state’s systems for reporting and investigating child abuse.

POPULAR MAKEUP ARTIST LAUREN LUKE did this video for Refuge, a British organization that operates refuge houses for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. The bruises aren’t real, but the emotions are, according to an interview she did with Adweek, because she was once in a verbally abusive relationship.
The video — “How to look your best the morning after” — is part of Refuge’s “Don’t Cover It Up” campaign. It’s one minute and 49 seconds of chilling advice on how to apply makeup to cover up bruises and a split lip. The video emphasizes the sentence on the screen at the end: “65% of women who suffer domestic violence keep it hidden.” For a good overview, check out Rebecca Adams’ post on Huffington Post.
RESEARCH FROM THE BLACK WOMEN’S HEALTH STUDY shows that black women who experienced severe physical and sexual abuse have a 30% increased risk of obesity, according to this post by Crystal Phend on MedPageToday. A group of researchers at Boston University published the findings in Pediatrics. Renée Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD, of Boston University, who was lead author on the study, found that the risk existed even after adjustments were made for physical activity, socioeconomics, depression and other factors.

“Our findings suggest that efforts to prevent child abuse have implications for current and future health,” they wrote. “Moreover, for survivors of abuse, behavioral patterns associated with cardiovascular risk may emerge in childhood and require tailored interventions that address trauma history in addition to modification of health behaviors.”

The researchers said that using food as a way to cope with stress may cause obesity. The CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study also found a link between childhood trauma and obesity.

The Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) recruited 59,000 women in 1995 to determine why black women have higher rates of chronic disease such as high blood pressure, breast cancer at young ages, diabetes, stroke, and lupus. According to its web site, the BWHS is run by epidemiologists Lynn Rosenberg and Julie Palmer, both at Boston University School of Medicine, and Lucile Adams-Campbell, a cancer and heart disease scientist at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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