It seems the Internet, like Orwell's police state, is slowly forcing everyone to stay on his or her best behaviour. In my mind, the Internet won when yet another elevator video surfaced of National Football League player Ray Rice punching his then fiancé, prompting his release by the Baltimore Ravens and an indefinite suspension by the NFL.
Every time someone clicks on that video we re-victimize Janay Palmer. Every time someone watches it, we are voyeuristic bystanders to her abuse. The real question is: why would we want to watch a woman be violated, humiliated, devalued, brutalized and abused?
The death of comedian Robin Williams last month sparked a worldwide discussion about suicide, its underlying causes and how it might be prevented. And, with World Suicide Prevention Day taking place Sept. 10, the subject is certain to generate more debate as people seek to understand this important health issue. Having spent 10 years researching the subject while working as a professor of psychiatry, I believe there are things we can do as a community to tackle this problem. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to reflect on what researchers have learned over the years about strategies for preventing suicide.
This week, I had a drink with a very good friend. He's currently in a relationship with a wonderful woman whose ex-husband, the father of her children also happens to be the man who raped and brutally sodomized her for the last four years of their nine-year marriage. No one believed the story of her ordeal. No one in her family. Not one of her friends. Disbelief is a cruel after-effect of rape. It's also the trump card of the rapist. The burden is all too often placed on the victim, not the perpetrator. And when it's a spouse, he knows how to make the victim feel so worthless, guilty and low, that she'll avoid doing what is necessary.
As a teen, Jaime was sucked into a world of gangs, drugs and violence that threatened to lure him away from school, which in El Salvador is only offered in half days. Jaime tells us he'd have wound up selling drugs, or possibly even dead, if an after-school program called Superate hadn't saved him.