Violence and Trauma

Chair: Sheela Raja, PhD

Description/Mission Statement

The purpose of the Violence and Trauma Special Interest Group (VT SIG) is to provide opportunities for networking, information sharing, and collaboration for those interested in interpersonal violence etiology and prevention. The SIG will also focus on psychological trauma etiology, treatment and prevention, which may be caused by interpersonal violence or other factors. Violent and aggressive behavior causes thousands of deaths and severe injuries in the U.S. every year, in addition to other mental and physical health sequelae. Finding out what kind of social and behavioral factors cause aggressive behavior, and what kind of prevention and intervention strategies can re-shape individuals’ propensity to behave violently, are priorities of the National Institutes of Health, CDC, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Education, and other entities.

“Aggression” can encompass several types of behaviors including physical violence, sexual violence, psychological abuse, stalking, workplace sabotage, and self-harm.  Knowledge about what causes individuals to behave aggressively is still nascent.  It has been demonstrated that adverse childhood experiences including parental abuse and neglect, parental substance use and parental suicidal behavior can increase the risk that children will develop aggressive behavioral tendencies and become either victims or perpetrators of bullying, peer aggression, community violence, dating violence, sexual violence, hate crime violence, and adult partner violence. Hospitals, schools, communities, workplaces and individuals can learn to become “trauma-informed,” which means that they respond to those who have experienced violence in a manner that will not re-traumatize the victim, and can improve outcomes of interest. Therefore, the goal of this SIG is to advance the field of violence prevention through high-quality research, communication with members of the public, and mentorship.

Opportunity to Engage with the VT SIG

Please join our session entitled When Trauma and Healthcare intersect: Exploring interpersonal violence, cancer, and trauma training as case examples at the 2016 SBM Annual Meeting. The session is on Friday, April 1, in Georgetown East from 1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST at the Washington Hilton hotel. Three VT SIG members will be presenting: Sheela Raja, PhD; Julie Schnur, PhD; and Rose Constantino, PhD, JD, RN, FAAN, FACFE. Dr. Raja will be presenting on educating providers about trauma informed care. Dr. Schnur will be describing the trauma-related needs of patients with cancer and how those might be addressed. Dr. Constantino will be describing the results of an evaluation of an intimate partner violence prevention intervention. Emily Rothman, ScD, will facilitate a conversation about trauma and healthcare patients and providers, including how trauma can effect health, and how treating traumatized patients can affect providers.