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Lovegrams Event 2/10/16
Understanding Female Genital Cutting in the United Kingdom within Immigrant Communities
by

Christelle N. Onwu


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The age-old tradition of Female Genital Cutting (FGC), most commonly known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), is a coming-of-age ritual practiced in some countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. It is also practiced in the immigrant communities that migrate from these regions to Western countries. There are a multitude of physical and mental health issues associated with FGC, including chronic infections, infertility, anxiety and depression, complications during childbirth, and death. In 1985, the United Kingdom criminalized the practice of FGC in order to eliminate it. However, evidence suggests that criminalization has been ineffective and that immigrant communities continue to practice FGC without proper medical training and equipment. This paper proposes that replacing criminalization with harm reduction programs will allow policy makers to obtain accurate data on FGC in the UK in order to inform the development of future programs that will ultimately eradicate the practice.


Reaching the Unreachable: The Promise of Telepsychiatry in India
by

Amrita Parekh


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A 2005 study by the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health indicated that at least 71 million people in India have a serious mental disorder. Despite this alarming statistic, infrastructure as well as manpower for mental health in the country is severely inadequate. Furthermore, 70% of the population lives in rural areas, far removed from the majority of mental health facilities. In light of the enormous treatment gap, wherein about 76–85% of serious cases of mental illness in less-developed countries are left untreated, telepsychiatry, defined as “the use of information and communication technology to provide or support psychiatric services across distances,” is a promising delivery method to reach millions of individuals in rural India who are unable to access mental health services and whom the mental health system is currently underequipped to serve (Malhotra, Chakrabarty & Shah, 2013). Through an exploration of the history, applications, effectiveness, and challenges of telepsychiatry, this paper makes a case for the potential of telepsychiatry to narrow the treatment gap in India.


Raise the Age: Legislation Reform for the Juvenile Justice System
by

Laura Pearl Spivack


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Juvenile justice policies in New York State put adolescents at risk for experiencing trauma in the criminal justice system. As a result of their precarious stage of development and limitations in brain functioning, adolescents face grave consequences when prosecuted and sentenced as adults. Adolescents need to be given sustainable solutions through rehabilitation in order to discourage recidivism upon release. Juvenile justice is not accomplishing its goals of lowering crime rates, nor is it working to reduce recidivism. These realities, in addition to theory, help to prove that reform is necessary.


With Shoes Tied Around My Neck: Trans-Identified Exceptionalism and (Un)intentional Realities for LGB in Iran
by

Sepideah Mohsenian-Rahman


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This paper explores the history and modern-day social relevance of state-sanctioned acceptance and support of trans-identified individuals in Iran. As a result of a declaration made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1987, Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS) has become a state-subsidized option for trans-identified persons looking to transition. Iran now completes more GCS annually than almost any other nation. Additionally, Iran furnishes its newly transitioned citizens with new identification, corresponding rights, and other tools to proceed in a gender-segregated society. Although these statistics may seem progressive, other alternative expressions of sexual identity are illegal and even punishable by death. Research indicates that trans-exceptionalism in Iran creates pressure for non-trans-identified men who have sex with men (MSM) and women who have sex with women (WSW) to undergo GCS in order to gain legality, safety, and acceptance in Iran. Furthermore, the social experience of the LGBT community as a whole has not caught up to the progressive policies that some in this community enjoy.


Employment First* (not only)
by

Brittany Taylor


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Do you know your preferred employment outcome? Many of you reading this editorial may not have a disability, but if you do and you qualify to receive employment services, your options are being limited as you read this because of a policy known as Employment First. This approach sets “community-based, integrated employment – which pays at least the minimum wage – [as] the first option for employment services for youth and adults with significant disabilities” (Scaglione, 2015). Employment First is a federal policy that has been adopted in many states, and is currently being set in New York State after Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order establishing an Employment First policy commission in September 2014 (Executive Order No. 136, 2014). To understand how this policy has come about, it is crucial that we understand its origins in the evolving definition of inclusion.


Intimate Partner Violence: Restorative Justice and Trauma-informed Care
by

Malwina Andruczyk


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The social work profession is positioned to play a critical role in redefining services for responsible parties in intimate partner violence. The traditional approaches to intimate partner violence services, which focus on confrontational rehabilitation rather than therapy, are due to undergo a shift. Models of trauma-informed care and restorative justice are promising alternatives for responsible parties and harmed parties alike. By building on the transformative work advocates have already done around intimate partner violence for harmed parties and focusing on the inclusion of the diverse identities of those we serve, we can begin to form a nuanced response to a nuanced social issue. From trauma-informed care, we can learn to make space for the personal trauma histories of survivors as well as those who have harmed them. From restorative justice, we can learn about techniques that have helped bring a sense of justice and healing to individuals, families, and communities affected by intimate partner violence, including those who have perpetrated that violence.


Women in Conflict
by

Robin Arnett


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This article focuses on female combatants serving in armed conflicts in Africa, South America, and Asia, profiling their time engaged with these forcesas well as the realities they face upon their return to civilian life. Women play a significant role in these conflicts, sometimes constituting up to 30% of the armed forces, although they are often overlooked. When they are acknowledged, women are frequently regarded as helpless victims rather than active participants. Through statistics and country profiles, the groundwork is laid to develop a fuller picture of female participation in conflict in terms of their numbers, the ways in which they become involved, and the various roles that they play. Conditions women commonly face upon returning from war are explored, including stigma, psychological and physical health issues, and a lack of options to provide for their own livelihoods. The article specifically notes the deficiencies of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) programs in serving female populations. The article concludes with analysis and recommendations for improvements to DDR programming, specifically as it relates to serving women and girls, and noting the precedent set by international human rights law for gender mainstreaming in DDR.


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