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Report Says Family Violence Should be Considered A Disease

caroline_easton.jpg
A. Sue Weisler
/
RIT

A report from the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering says police made more than 20,000 arrests related to family violence in 2012.

Family violence can happen between two partners, a parent and child, or other people who live in the same home.

Caroline Easton is a psychologist and lead researcher on the report. She said children were witnesses in about 4,000 of those 20,000 cases of violence in the home, and she says that violence has lasting effects on a child.

“The home life is everything to the child. It’s their world. It’s their well-being, it’s their security,” she said “So, if that’s disrupted, you know, sort of their whole world becomes disrupted, and their sense of security.”

Easton said witnessing violence puts kids at risk of trauma, and can lead to mental health issues like depression and problems at school.

This week, she recommended to the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee that families involved in violent incidents should get individualized mental health therapy from state agencies.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.