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Since Last We Spoke, 9-30-19

I am at Ft Benning this week in Georgia, and is often the case, my time is not my own, so posting here likely will be light. I know I said we were going to start Journal Club this week, but I think it would be more fruitful to wait until I am back in the office next week to kick things off–that way I can get posts approved quickly and engage in real(ish) time. So all of you wanting to participate, you have one more week to obtain and read the article (get all of the details here, and please contact me if you can’t get a hold of the article since we now have a source for you). The first Journal Club will be held here, October 8th. Look for the first set of questions about the article then.

May I also add: shana tovah to all who are celebrating, however you are observing the holiday this year. May it be a sweet and gentle new year for us all.

And now, here’s what caught my eye since last we spoke:

This article on images of child abuse was startling, even doing the work that I do

Silencing women is bad for our health

Wow–Was It Worth It?

Making meaning out of a massacre

Sadly, this is not an isolated story

Finding and losing your brother on the streets

Canada’s domestic violence crisis

This was an incredibly compelling series in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: Case Closed

Finally, in case you need to remember our patients are not a crime scene, they are not that one terrible thing that has happened to them:

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

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Uncategorized

Want To Reduce Suicides? Follow The Data

Here’s something for our death investigator colleagues–an article from Kaiser Health News I found incredibly fascinating: Want To Reduce Suicides? Follow The Data — To Medical Offices, Motels And Even Animal Shelters. Among other interesting nuggets in it is the introduction (to me at least) of the suicide fatality review. Not surprising that systems-level examination of a problem like suicide would be beneficial.

Even if you’re not actively working in the field of death investigation, this piece is pretty thought-provoking. Especially if you’re a data nerd. Read the whole thing here.

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

Categories
Child Abuse DV/IPV Sexual Assault

What We Know About the Polyvictimization of Youth

The Center for Victim Research has a webinar coming up next week, What We Know About the Polyvictimization of Youth. The session will be held on September 30th at 2pm ET. From the site:

This webinar will focus on poly-victims, the subgroup of youth that endure the highest burden of victimization. We will cover how it has been studied, how often it occurs, what we know about its adverse effects and what we can do to respond to the needs of this highly victimized group of children. 

Register here.

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

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Since Last We Spoke, 9-23-19

I got home a little earlier than expected last week, so I had a more relaxing weekend than planned. The girlchild came home from college, which was divine, and while Sasha worked all weekend, it was from home, also not planned. So all in all, an improvement on what I thought the weekend would initially be. Plus I was very pleased at your feedback about virtual journal club, so we are going to give it a go–Option #1 (a weekly series of facilitated questions on the site with a wrap-up digest available at the end). Come back tomorrow for the announcement of the article and a few details on how we will proceed.

I am off to New Hampshire to talk about my favorite topic (testimony, of course) with what I have been told is a fantastic crew of nurses (looking forward to meeting everyone!). But before I leave, here’s what caught my eye since last we spoke:

I do believe I spy one of our own in this article on exonerations

Rape is not a punishment for getting drunk.

Is domestic violence in the military getting the attention it deserves?

Women describe how Jeffrey Epstein controlled them

An argument for nursing presence in the twittosphere

Somewhat related: nurses not “staying in our lane” (spoiler: it is our lane)

Keeping it professional when the wine is flowing

This lovely, but difficult essay about stillbirth

If you haven’t read this amazing profile on Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, please do

I do love a good booklist

And finally, standup that rings pretty true:

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

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DV/IPV Sexual Assault

Succession Planning within Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Organizations, Part 2

Futures Without Violence has a great management session coming up, a follow-on to its original session on this topic last year. Succession Planning within Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Organizations, Part 2 will be held October 3rd at 2pm ET. From the website:

Leadership transitions can be challenging.  For non-profit organizations to succeed, it is essential to think critically about the long-term leadership needs of the organization and to prepare for leadership transitions.  Presenters will discuss key elements of a departure defined (planned) succession plan, and describe a process to plan for leadership transition within a domestic violence/sexual assault organization.  The webinar will also showcase the experience of succession planning and on boarding process of an executive director in an organization that serves survivors of gender-based violence.  We will share planning tools and resources and provide a question-answer period.

As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Identify key elements of a departure defined (planned) leadership succession.
  • Apply lessons learned from a real life example of succession planning to your own organizational decision-making.
  • Utilize critical tools and resources for succession planning.

Register here.

Succession planning is more important than we typically discuss in forensic healthcare. Many clinical programs tend to hinge on the energy and vision of a single person, and when that person leaves, there is significant peril that the program can fail or end up diminished in a variety of ways. Thinking about the transition of leadership, both as someone comes on board and as someone leaves, is critical. This is a great topic for anyone interested in management or sustainability of clinical programs.

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

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Uncategorized

Virtual Journal Club?

I have had many requests for a virtual journal club. I am happy to host one. We tried to do one via Twitter several years ago with *very* limited participation, so I am hesitant to jump back in again. That being said, if folks want to try it out, I would be game to give it a go. Only this time using a different medium.

FHO readers have historically been very shy about public engagement. You all are far more likely to contact me offline than comment On Here. So we can do this one of two ways, I think–either use the site to host a series of ongoing questions about a particular article (that I can then digest for everyone at the end of the series so it’s all in one place) OR if people are feeling more reserved about putting themselves out there, have folks submit written responses about a chosen article and compile the responses for readers afterward. I would prefer the 1st option since it feels more akin to actual journal club, but I am open to the 2nd (or another) option.

So what say you, dear FHO readers? Shall we try journal club again? And if so, how should we make it happen? Because I have the perfect article to start us off if we do…

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

Categories
Child Abuse

Children in Detention: Critical Clinical, Legal, Policy, and Human Rights Issues for Health Professionals

The National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse (NHCVA) is hosting a webinar, Children in Detention: Critical Clinical, Legal, Policy, and Human Rights Issues for Health Professionals. It will be held on September 25th at 2pm ET. From the website:

Thousands of children seeking refuge from life-threatening danger in their home countries have been detained by U.S. immigration authorities, and in some cases, separated from their parents and caregivers. This urgent webinar, sponsored by the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse (NHCVA) and presented by colleagues from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) addresses the clinical, mental health, policy, legal, and human rights issues faced by detained migrant children and their caregivers. Particular attention will be paid to how participants can harness their own professional training and standing to become more involved in both direct service and advocacy, in order to address what many consider to be an urgent humanitarian crisis and a deliberate assault on human rights.

Register for the session here.

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

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Uncategorized

Welcome New Subscribers!

Welcome to all of you (wow!) that have subscribed to FHO following the IAFN conference. Just a reminder that you need to verify your email via the Feedburner link that went to the email you used in order to activate the subscription. If you don’t see it, please check your spam filter–it often ends up there. I cannot activate your subscription manually.

Thanks for reading FHO!

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

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Since Last We Spoke, 9-16-19

It was so good to see so many of you in New Orleans last week. We had lively, packed sessions, which makes my heart happy. Lots of great discussions. I look forward to keeping that going here.

If you’re playing along at home, I’m at Ft. Bliss this week in El Paso, and as usual, my time is not my own. I will try to get a few posts up this week, but it may be pretty quiet. I had a very short turn around between trips, so I didn’t even get much chance to catch up on my feeds, but a few things caught my eye since last we spoke:

Rape as a woman’s first sexual experience

This beautiful piece about fear

After 9/11

Why don’t doctors trust women?

Related: reading this right now (it’s good)

Native women say police ignored rapes

Love this quote

Six men tell their stories of sexual assault in the military

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

Categories
Testimony

IAFN Handouts: Words Matter

Leslie and I tweaked our session, Words Matter: The Art and Science of Trial Testimony at the 11th hour, so the handout on the conference app is not as robust as the session ended up being. An improved handout can be found here for those who would like the additional FRE702 and research content. It still doesn’t have all the case law and testimony examples we use, but the remaining content is there. Thanks to everyone who came and participated. I love a standing-room-only crowd 🙂

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

Categories
Testimony

Working for the Defense

I’ll be talking quite a bit this week about expert consulting and testimony, so the topic of what it means to be an ethical defense expert is on my mind. But the truth is that lately, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to work for the defense, particularly when you may be interviewing and/or testifying opposite a treating medical-forensic examiner. The reality is that no one really teaches a clinician how to be good defense expert and the ways in which that role differs from being a good prosecution expert. However, there are differences, even as the goal (regardless of who has hired you) continues to be objectivity.

There seems to be a common misperception that in order to be helpful to the defense you must destroy the treating clinician, and this is an unfortunate approach. With very few exceptions, I take the good camper approach to all treating clinicians, even as the defense expert: leave people a little better than when you found them. People are naturally wary of talking with the defense team; it costs you nothing to be collegial even while identifying issues on the part of the exam, the clinician or the documentation. There are a million ways to determine what success looks like in this work, but one sure-fire way to know that you have failed is when the clinicians you come in contact with want to quit the profession after talking with you. And yet, that’s exactly what I have heard on more than one occasion after clinicians have finished interviewing with defense experts. Can you imagine being so caustic that you literally drive someone from the profession?

By the way, the flip side also holds true: in order to be helpful to the prosecution, it is not your job to save the treating clinician. Sometimes exams are done badly; sometimes the documentation is so poor as to be utterly unhelpful. Sometimes people embellish their credentials (true story) and they have to face the music on cross-exam. Experts don’t make these cases. Experts are simply one part of a larger strategy. We educate, we advise. We don’t win or lose trials.

Every interaction with other clinicians is an opportunity for mentoring, even in the courtroom. Anyone who has been doing this work for the years it takes to be a good expert at trial should commit to growing the profession, not tearing it down. It is the very least our patients deserve.

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

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Uncategorized

Since Last We Spoke, 9-9-19

I’m off to New Orleans for what is one of my favorite weeks of the year, the IAFN annual conference. I hope to see many FHO readers in person (please stop me and say hi!), plus I am looking forward to two sold-out sessions, and another 2 that should be pretty lively, even if we don’t reach bodies-on-every-surface type numbers for those (c’mon guys. 3-hours of ethics isn’t your jam?). With everything going on in my world right now, I am grateful for this week, which always recharges my batteries. Particularly because it gives me facetime with so many like-minded folks. Can’t wait to see y’all there.

After a really terrific course at Ft. Hood last week, I spent much of the weekend playing catch up. Still, there was time for some surfing–here’s what caught my eye since last we spoke:

Good news! Shaving/waxing your pubic hair doesn’t increase your risk of STIs. We can all breathe a bit easier (thanks, Kim Day for the link)

New ACOG Committee Opinion on Human Trafficking

Words. Mean. Things.

When death shuts down justice, it also shuts down the voices of victims.

The role of nurses when patients decide to end their lives

Don’t want to provide abortions? Don’t go into healthcare.

Related, from NEJM: The Dangerous Threat to Roe v. Wade

Great interview questions, in case that’s a thing you have to do soon

And because this week is the 9/11 anniversary, one of my favorite StoryCorps animations:

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

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Articles of Note Child Abuse DV/IPV Elder Abuse/Neglect Sexual Assault Testimony

Articles of Note: September 2019 Edition

It’s time once again for Articles of Note, our monthly romp through the peer-reviewed literature. Nothing free this month, but plenty worth tracking down, so I encourage you to spend some time with the list. It’s particularly fitting that I get a new edition up since I am sandwiching it between two weeks of teaching testimony, this week at Ft. Hood and next week at the annual IAFN conference, where we discuss at length the importance of fidelity to the science.

All links lead to PubMed abstracts. Happy reading!

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.

Categories
Child Abuse Sexual Assault

Human Trafficking: Shooting Our Wounded and How to Stop

IPSCAN has its lasted webinar posted for viewing, Human Trafficking: Shooting Our Wounded and How to Stop. From the website:

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and the human rights issue of our lifetime, affecting the vulnerable, poor, and oppressed around the world. In this FREE webinar, Dr. Celia Williamson, director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute at the University of Toledo, will give an overview of trafficking in the U.S. and around the world, including the process of trafficking, indicators to identify victims and traffickers, and how to report it. Rather than continuing to “shoot the wounded” with quick fixes or less-than-best practices, Dr. Williamson advocates for meaningful interventions at the individual and system levels. These can interrupt this practice, create collective change, and transform the way we think about trafficking, from a “Rescue and Restore” mission to a matter of Human Rights.

This is definitely a more introductory webinar, so if you have new members of your team (clinical or MDT) who haven’t had much continuing education on issues of trafficking, particularly trafficking of children and teens, this is a decent option. Nothing revolutionary, but solid info.

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Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find the newest research brief, Applying The Strangulation Research To Expert Testimony In Cases With Adult Victims. Or purchase the complete set of three (Strangulation, Aging Bruises, and Consensual Sex Injury) for a special price.