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LGBTQIA+ Issues: Domestic Violence in the LGBTQ+ Community: A Silent Pandemic
Date posted: 09/29/2022
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues

The history of violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community has been originally tied to the notion of disparate identities. Stereotypes permeate popular perception associating homosexuality with criminal activity, mental illness, and deviance.  These views, despite some progress in awareness about the LGBTQ+ community, have resulted in a continued cycle of ridicule, harassment, discrimination, trauma, and even death.1 Among all forms of violence faced by the LGBTQ+ community, domestic violence is often overlooked. 

Trauma and Diversity: Ableism in Psychological Trauma Clinical Research ‎
Date posted: 09/29/2022
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
Over 70% of the population will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime (e.g., Benjet et al. 2016). This includes people with disabilities, who are disproportionately excluded from clinical treatment research that may help alleviate psychological trauma sequelae. This group comprises individuals with a wide range of difficulties in various domains of functioning that affect one or more major life activities. Approximately one billion people worldwide live with some form of disability (WHO, 2021). According to a large population survey, an estimated 20,269,500 people have an ambulatory disability, 11,118,100 have a hearing disability, and 7,016,600 have a visual disability (Erickson & von Schrader, 2022). Despite these statistics, scant studies have examined the efficacy of trauma-focused treatment amongst disabled populations (Post & van Leeuwen, 2012; Rogers & Read, 2007). The majority of trauma-focused treatment studies to date have focused on veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD (e.g., see review, Monsour, Ebedes, & Borlongan, 2022). Yet, the rates of mental health disorders amongst people with physical disabilities are disparately high in contrast to physically healthy individuals (e.g., see review, Mintz et al., 2022). For example, one study found women who experienced sexual assault and were visually impaired had higher PTSD prevalence rates compared to the general population (Bonsaken, Brunes, & Heir, 2022). Overall, there also has been a larger focus on studies of people with acquired (TBI) versus congenital disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy).
 
Trauma and World Literature: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Date posted: 09/29/2022
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
Twenty-three years after publication of her classic novel, The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison wrote in an afterword that the primary mission of her book (if I understand her correctly) was to resolve a question. That question was: How could her African American schoolgirl friend not have experienced the beauty that she already possessed and have wished for blue eyes, with the implicit “racial self-loathing” of that wish? Morrison wonders, “Who made her feel that it was better to be a freak than what she was?” (Morrison, 1970, ‎p. 210). In her afterword, Morrison recounts that the book was initially not generally well-received. Thankfully, it has since been recognized for its superb literary and social value. This is not just in that it answers Morrison’s initial question, but also in that it provides the kind of insights into human experience as a whole—and in this case, especially social and racial relations—that are the special province of great literature.
 
LGBTQIA+ Issues: Using Expressive Writing to Mitigate the Negative Effects of Discrimination and ‎Stigma-Based Experiences among LGBTQ+ People
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/29/2022
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
Individuals with minoritized sexual orientations and/or gender identities (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer [LGBTQ+]) have greater prevalence of trauma exposure and are at increased risk for depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), disordered eating, hazardous substance use, and suicide compared with their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts (Shipherd et al., 2021; Livingston et al., 2016; Livingston et al., 2015; Hazenbuehler, 2009). It is well established that LGBTQ+ individuals’ increased risk for psychiatric disorders is due to exposure to both chronic and severe forms of discrimination and stigma-related stressors (e.g., Meyer, 2003). Therefore, targeting the deleterious impacts of discrimination and stigma-related experiences represents an important strategy to offset disparity and promote wellness among members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Trauma and World Literature: The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/29/2022
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
Richard Powers’ novels are known and respected for the way he incorporates lessons in history and science in the body of his work without intruding on character or plot development. In The Time of Our Singing, he structures his novel around the history of the modern civil rights movement in the U.S., beginning with Marion Anderson’s 1939 concert from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Within this structure, among other subjects, he includes a deep appreciation of classical music and the physics of time. His portrayal of racism in America received the following endorsement from Freeden Blume Oeur, a scholar of African American politics and intellectual history at Tufts University: “I saw in The Time of Our Singing how science and music can be allies in racial struggle. We should listen to the truths they reveal.”
Human Rights and Policy Recognizing Sexual Violence as a War Crime
StressPoints
Date posted: 05/24/2022
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
In April 2022, reports from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine documented evidence of war crimes that they deemed a human rights and humanitarian crisis after the Russian invasion (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2022). Among many horrific discoveries was the use of sexual violence. By early April, hundreds of cases of sexual violence by Russian forces against Ukrainians had been reported to the Ukraine ombudsman for Human Rights (Jakes, 2022). In one specific instance in Bucha, a group of Ukrainian women aged 14 to 24 were kept imprisoned in a basement and repeatedly raped by Russian soldiers (Limaye, 2022; Ferris-Rotman, 2022). While some assaults during war and conflict may be random attacks by individual soldiers, in other cases, sexual violence is used as an explicit military tactic (Hagen & Yohani, 2010).
 
Research Methods: Increasing Visibility of Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals in Trauma and PTSD Research
StressPoints
Date posted: 06/2/2022
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
It is estimated that approximately 1.4 million people in the United States identify as transgender, including approximately 140,000 veterans and service members (Gates & Herman, 2014; Herman et al., 2017). However, transgender and gender diverse (TGD) individuals are often not reflected in research studies, either as a function of researchers not gathering expansive gender identity demographic information or not reporting this information in their published reports. For example, the PTSD Trials Standardized Data Repository includes information on randomized clinical trials (RCTs) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including study information, outcomes, and sample characteristics. As of 2022, of 390 RCTs targeting PTSD, zero studies reported participants’ gender identities other than “male” or “female” and only one reported sexual orientation.
Research Methods: Elevating LGBTQ+ Individuals Voices Through a Mixed-Methods Approach
StressPoints
Date posted: 12/2/2021
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
Individuals with diverse and multiple marginalized identities are often underrepresented in psychological research, and it is crucial to fill this gap in the literature and provide insight into the different contextual factors affecting these populations (Roberts et al., 2020). 
Trauma and Diversity: A Case For Including Spirituality In Healing Trauma ‎
StressPoints
Date posted: 12/2/2021
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
The American Psychological Association (APA) recently adopted new multicultural guidelines for psychologists (Clauss-Ehlers et al., 2019). Within these guidelines, psychologists are charged with delivering culturally adaptive and strengths-based approaches to interventions. However, possibly a byproduct of the field’s reliance on Cartesianism, spirituality is often overlooked as an important area of cultural competence and ingredient in the therapeutic process.
Trauma and Diversity: Housing Insecurity and Trauma Exposure among Veterans: Understanding Health and ‎Functional Impact from an Intersectional Lens
StressPoints
Date posted: 09/30/2021
Topic: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
Addressing the psychosocial impact of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and housing insecurity remain top priorities within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Indeed, the VA has made substantial gains in addressing these factors. For example, from 2010 to 2016, rates of veteran homelessness reduced by 47% (Department of Housing and Urban Development & VA, 2021). Moreover, the VA has widely disseminated a number of effective, evidence-based treatments for PTSD, including cognitive processing and prolonged exposure therapies (Karlin et al., 2010).
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