Angelina Jolie is no stranger to family trauma, and she sat down for a remote interview with a genuine medical expert in the field.
To anyone listening, she issues a plea: check in on your loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic. They may need it more than you know.
Angelina Jolie is nearly as famous for her work advocacy work with the United Nations as she is for her wildly successful acting career.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is the State Surgeon General of California.
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, these two extraordinary women sat down for a video interview.
During that interview, the two of them discussed an aspect of COVID-19 and sheltering in place that is not discussed enough.
Globally, domestic violence rates have gone up since shelter-in-plae orders were issued.
There is no real question of why — with adults home and children out of school, monsters are around their victims all day, every day.
Add to that the stress of this crisis making abusers eager to find an outlet for their anger, and our society’s failure to protect people who need help.
The result is real danger to a lot of people.
But as Angelina and Dr. Burke Harris discuss, there are ways for families, friends, and communities to help each other remotely.
“I think it is so important that people hear that,’ Angelina expressed during the lengthy interview.
“To love each other,” she affirmed, “check in with each other.”
Even while social distancing, people can do that with text messages or video chats.
“Be there, be a support group,” Angelina emphasized.
She continued her plea: “keep your eyes open whether you are a teacher or a friend.”
“I really do hope people hear this, and they do reach out, and they do pay more attention,” she expressed.
“And,” Angelina continued, “they are not sitting in a moment when they think, “Well maybe, but it’s not my business”
The two women acknowledged that “teachers can’t see the bruises and people aren’t identifying what is happening within some homes.”
Of course, as we all know, not all domestic abuse — including domestic violence — always leaves a mark.
Through video streaming, some teachers are seeing more of their students’ home lives than ever before.
Not all students have the internet connection to check in every day, however, which is another problem.
Angelina talks about how easy it is for so many people to, because of societal conditioning, pretend to not notice red flags.
Knowing that she can make a difference is part of what drives Angelina to “continue to stand as a witness and to not look away.”
In the mean time, Dr. Burke Harris is advocating for “broad scale training’ for primary care doctors to do ‘routine screening for trauma.”
She has looked into the lasting biological impact of trauma, including verbal and emotional abuse, and recognizes it as a real public health crisis.
“All of the research shows that the single most powerful antidote to the impacts of trauma and adversity,” Dr. Burke Harris says.
She continues: “is nurturing, caring relationships with others — safe, stable and nurturing relationships.”
“All you have to do is be there for a person,” the two advocates emphasize.
They continue: “All you have to do is believe them when a victim comes forward.”
Believing victims of domestic violence is so important, and this has to be stressed because so many people, so often, do not believe them.
“You don’t have to fix it, you don’t have to solve it,” Dr. Burke Harris explains to anyone listening.
“You don’t have to worry about not being enough,;’ she added.
‘You just have to be willing to be there and listen,” the doctor emphasized, “and to be that shoulder and those open arms.”
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