Traumatized Nation: how society is toxic to women and children
A growing body of scientific evidence is uncovering how toxic stress and early traumatic experiences have profound long lasting effects on our children’s developing brains and neuro-immune-endocrine systems and are linked to nine out of ten of the most common causes of death in Canada. Domestic violence is linked to many of these effects and although widespread throughout Canada, it receives little attention. In fact, the legal system, the family court system in particular, ignores this medical evidence thereby contributing to the trauma of children. In this thesis I identify and confront eight prevailing myths and biases that create an unfair playing field for women in family court and society and the crisis of justice in Canada. Domestic violence is about power and control over another and I use the lens of the power and control wheel which recognizes eight ways that men use to dominate over women, only one of which involves physical violence. As statistics, reports and medical evidence haven’t been enough to advance actions to address domestic violence on a meaningful level, I use my own story to highlight how this plays out in real life in the hopes of illustrating the urgency of addressing domestic violence in our neighbourhoods. Violence against women requires challenging some deeply held biases and I suggest a more Indigenous perspective on child rearing to help address and mitigate the concerns raised by the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.