Roundup: Reporting child's perspective in kidnapping; lotta turmoil in Congress over Violence Against Women Act; asking about trauma may reduce HIV; we need more science in criminal justice

KUDOS TO the Associated Press reporter and the Newsone.com headline writer for providing the child's perspective in this story: "Kidnapped Boy to Experience Confusion, Trauma".  The boy was kidnapped when he was 8 months old. CPS took him from the woman he's known as his mother for the last eight years. She's now in jail on kidnapping charges. He's been placed with strangers in foster care. And when/if he's reunited with his birth mother in Houston, he'll be placed with another stranger. What's this child's ACE score so far? The story quoted a CPS spokeswoman:

“We’re going to have to go with what the therapist recommends. Of course it’s heartbreaking. I’m sure the parents want to see him. But for him, his family is back in St. Augustine.”

A LOT OF BROUHAHA in Congress over reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. It's just adding more fuel to the fire that Republicans are anti-women. Good coverage on ABCnews.comMcClatchy news wire and CNN.com, which had this quote from Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska:

"I think my party is in an unfortunate place right now, as viewed by many, many women in this country who are feeling anxious about what they believe to be attacks on women's health."

SOME ENCOURAGING NEWS from the medical world: News-Medical.net reports on two new studies in AIDs and Behavior from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Harvard Medical School recognize that trauma plays a huge role in women's battle with HIV/AIDS. Women who experience childhood and recent trauma don't recover as well from HIV/AIDS as women who don't report trauma. Traumatized women are likely to put themselves into situations that spread the virus. The story quoted Dr. Edward Machtinger, director of the Women's HIV Program at UCSF and study co-author:

"We have to learn to ask about trauma and to develop creative approaches to trauma-prevention and trauma-recovery. This is actually an amazing opportunity to have a significant impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially among minority women."

AND HERE'S A very interesting and readable essay from Cornell University junior Sebastian Deri on Huffington Post about the case for situationalism. Deri quotes Harvard law professor Jon Hanson's definition of situationalism, which "is premised on the social scientific insight that the naïve psychology... on which our laws and institutions are based is largely wrong. Situationists... seek first to establish a view of the human animal that is as realistic as possible before turning to legal theory or policy. To do so, situationists rely on the insights of scientific disciplines." Deri says: "The scientific study of human behavior is shedding new light on our actions and inner life. To ignore these insights is not just a mistake. It is criminal."

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Society and our legal system are great creators of trauma. The kidnapping story and Deri's essay compelled me to share this 2 min video from one of the great minds of our time, lawyer William Kunstler: "And that is the terrible myth of organized society, that everything that's done through the established system is legal  — and that word has a powerful psychological impact. It makes people believe that there is an order to life, and an order to a system, and that a person that goes through this order and is convicted, has gotten all that is due him. And therefore society can turn its conscience off, and look to other things and other times." http://www.pbs.org/pov/disturbingtheuniverse/terrible_myth.php

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