Connecting the Dots on Trauma, Abuse, and Bullying

For several years I’ve been remarking that we are getting closer and closer to connecting the dots between different manifestations of trauma and abuse in our society.  It is my hope that workplace bullying will be a part of that map, and I am increasingly optimistic this will be so.

To get there, however, those of us involved in responding to workplace bullying must reach out to scholars and practitioners who are addressing other forms of trauma to share information and exchange insights. Toward that end, I want to highlight several initiatives that are serving that important integrative function:

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COALITION FOR THE PREVENTION OF BULLYING AND RELATED HEALTH RISKS, Montgomery County, Maryland

Two years ago, a group of mental health providers and educators in Montgomery County, Maryland, joined to create , an informal coalition to address bullying behaviors.  Co-founder Dr. Jorge Srabstein  of Children’s Medical Center in Washington D.C. has been promoting understanding of “bullying across the lifespan” as a way of grasping how abusive behaviors start at a young age and endure through our senior years, and the Coalition is a living manifestation of that commitment.

In the words of Dr. Srabstein, the Coalition “is an informal partnership of different community sectors of Montgomery County, Maryland, with the support of Children’s National Medical Center, to:

a)      Promote a whole community awareness about the nature of bullying, its toxicity and prevention;

b)      Advocate for the implementation of public policies for the prevention of bullying related morbidity and mortality, along the lifespan.”

Coalition members have been active in supporting legislation and public policy initiatives in Maryland that address bullying issues, especially within the schools.

The Coalition does not have a website, but readers who would like to contact Dr. Srabstein are invited to e-mail me at dyamada@suffolk.edu for contact information.

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM IN TRAUMA AND VIOLENCE TRANSDISCIPLINARY STUDIES, New York, NY

New York University has created a master’s degree program that allows students to study trauma and violence in a transdisciplinary context.  The program describes itself this way:

Trauma and Violence Transdisciplinary Studies creates a space for critical inquiry into all of the theoretical, critical, and clinical aspects of the analysis and treatment of trauma, violence, and their aftermath. This new field provides crucial opportunities for students, faculty, and professionals to engage in cross-cutting conversations and collaborative research, which will foster innovation in every field of the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as law, policy, and education.

The core faculty members — Drs. Avital Ronell, Judith Alpert, and Shireen Patell — bring expertise in multiple disciplines, ranging from psychology to literature.  This looks like a tremendously exciting initiative that can promote a broad and deep understanding of trauma and abuse.

NYU Program website: http://tvts.as.nyu.edu/page/home

HUMAN DIGNITY AND HUMILIATION STUDIES NETWORK, New York, NY

I have used this blog to sing the praises of HumanDHS, a network of scholars, practitioners, and world citizens brought together by a common commitment to human dignity.  This group understands how these behaviors relate and the importance of taking a stand against humiliation and abuse regardless of setting.

Founding President Evelin Linder and Director Linda Hartling are among a core group HumanDHS stalwarts who have created an inclusive community that manages to hold to its core values while continually reaching out to, and incorporating the perspectives of, new members.

HumanDHS website: http://www.humiliationstudies.org/

Recent post on HumanDHS workshop: https://newworkplace.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/the-ties-that-bind-14th-annual-workshop-on-humiliation-and-violent-conflict/

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