By Rachel K. Myers

October 9, 2017

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In my work as a public health researcher, I am reminded every day that the

health risks of childhood aren't limited to communicable diseases,

playground falls, and sports-related bumps and bruises. Youths in America

far too often suffer intentional injuries inflicted by assaults from peers,

strangers, and even caregivers in the course of seemingly routine activities

of adolescence - going to school, shopping with friends, or playing outside

their homes.

 

While our medical system can usually fix the physical trauma, it is largely

unprepared to address the emotional trauma that follows being a victim of an

assault. Young patients are often discharged back into the same environment

in which the injury occurred, with an ongoing risk for retaliation,

re-injury, and sometimes even death.