Sorenson, Susan B

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 31
  • Publication
    Non-Fatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review of the Literature
    (2016-09-01) Sorenson, Susan B; Schut, Rebecca A
    Guns figure prominently in the homicide of women by an intimate partner. Less is known, however, about their non-fatal use against an intimate partner. Following PRISMA guidelines, we searched eight electronic databases and identified 10 original research articles that reported the prevalence of the non-fatal use of firearms against an intimate partner. Results indicate that: 1) There is relatively little research on the subject of intimate partners’ non-fatal gun use against women. 2) The number of U.S. women alive today who have had an intimate partner use a gun against them is substantial: About 4.5 million have had an intimate partner threaten them with a gun and nearly one million have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner. Whether non-fatal gun use is limited to the extreme form of abuse (battering) or whether it occurs in the context of situational violence remains to be seen. Regardless, when it comes to the likely psychological impact, it may be a distinction without a difference; because guns can be lethal quickly and with relatively little effort, displaying or threatening with a gun can create a context known as coercive control, which facilitates chronic and escalating abuse. Implications for policy, practice, and research are discussed, all of which include expanding an implicit focus on homicide to include an intimate partner’s non-fatal use of a gun.
  • Publication
    Intervention on Behalf of Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: Assessment of Support in a Diverse Community-based Sample
    (2007-10-01) Sorenson, Susan B
    Although children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) are at an increased risk of psychological, behavioral, and physical health problems, whether to intervene on their behalf remains a controversial issue. Policymakers and community service professionals would benefit from understanding public support for such intervention as well as any contexts or demographics associated with variation in that support. Such professionals could use this information to: 1) predict better the public’s support for funding interventions and potential involvement in reporting cases or encouraging families to seek help, and 2) aid in the development of criteria for a differential intervention response for children exposed to IPV based on the severity of IPV cases.
  • Publication
    Preventing Traumatic Stress: Public Health Approaches
    (2002-02-01) Sorenson, Susan B
    Population-based approaches to the primary prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) focus on the prevention of the stressor itself. Policy decisions also consider ways to allocate resources to best reduce potential damage from traumatic stressors and to ameliorate any resulting harm. A balance between broad risk prevention approaches and narrower treatment and recovery strategies can redistribute the risk of exposure and lead to fewer cases. Understanding that PTSD and its costs affect not only individuals who seek care, but also many others whose lives overlap with these individuals as well as society as a whole, further informs and shapes prevention decisions.
  • Publication
    Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Abusers: Handgun Purchases and Restraining Orders
    (2008-05-01) Vittes, Katherine A.; Sorenson, Susan B
    Persons under certain domestic violence restraining orders are prohibited by federal law from purchasing and possessing a firearm. Little is known about their gun purchases. Using administrative data from one U.S. state, we linked 794,426 restraining orders with 1,388,724 handgun purchase applications. Findings suggest that restrained persons are not a less law abiding group in general, but they appear to be repeatedly or serially abusive to intimate partners. Their handgun purchase rates were highest after the order expired.
  • Publication
    Self-Presentation on the Web: Agencies Serving Abused and Assaulted Women
    (2014-04-01) Sorenson, Susan B; Shi, Rui; Zhang, Jingwen; Xue, Jia
    Objectives. We examined the content and usability of the Web sites of agencies serving women victims of violence. Methods. We entered the names of a systematic 10% sample of 3774 agencies listed in 2 national directories into a search engine. We took (in April 2012) and analyzed screenshots of the 261 resulting home pages and the readability of 193 home and first-level pages. Results. Victims (94%) and donors (68%) were the primary intended audiences. About one half used social media and one third provided cues to action. Almost all (96.4%) of the Web pages were rated “fairly difficult” to “very confusing” to read, and 81.4% required more than a ninth-grade education to understand. Conclusions. The service and marketing functions were met fairly well by the agency home pages, but usability (particularly readability and offer of a mobile version) and efforts to increase user safety could be improved. Internet technologies are an essential platform for public health. They are particularly useful for reaching people with stigmatized health conditions because of the anonymity allowed. The one third of agencies that lack a Web site will not reach the substantial portion of the population that uses the Internet to find health information and other resources.
  • Publication
    As We Age: Current Considerations About the Elderly and Firearms
    (2012-03-01) Mertens, Brian; Sorenson, Susan B
    In the United States, more than 17 million people over the age of 65 own a firearm. They have the highest rate of suicide by a firearm, and recent data suggest that a disproportionate number apply to carry a concealed weapon. At least one new handgun has been designed and marketed with older people in mind. Memory, thinking, and judgment as well as physical and behavioral competence issues related to an elder's safe operation of a motor vehicle apply to firearms, too. Gun availability can pose a particular risk to those with dementia as well as to their caretakers. The elderly constitute a substantial and rapidly growing population/market segment for whom the public health implications of firearm production, promotion, access, ownership, and use merit consideration.
  • Publication
    Gender Disparities in Injury Mortality: Consistent, Persistent, and Larger Than You’d Think
    (2011-12-01) Sorenson, Susan B
    Objective. Given the recent increase in injury mortality, particularly among women, it is important to update knowledge about gender disparities in injury mortality. Methods. Data were drawn from the Web-based Injury Query System, which contains U.S. injury mortality data from 1981 through 2007. Male-to-female rate ratios in injury mortality were calculated for key variables, and age and ethnic group comparisons were made. Results. Boys and men are more likely than girls and women to die of injury. From 1981 to 2007, the male-to-female age-adjusted rate ratio decreased by 20% to 2.15 for unintentional injury and increased by 11% to 3.91 for violence-related injury. Excess male mortality exists in manner of death, cause of death, and within ethnic and age groups. In addition, with rare exception, the gender disparity is greater than ethnicity and age disparities in unintentional and violence-related injury mortality. Conclusions. Gender disparities in injury mortality are consistent and persistent. Gender patterns in injury mortality do not follow typical social justice analyses of health in that the structurally advantaged group, men, is at greater risk. Lifestyle and behavioral risks as well as masculine socialization are considered.
  • Publication
    Adolescents and Firearms: A California Statewide Survey
    (2004-05-01) Sorenson, Susan B; Vittes, Katherine A
    Objectives. We assessed the prevalence and correlates of adolescents reports regarding firearms in their homes, of their own, of close friends, and of same-aged peers. Methods. Random-digit-dialed interviews were conducted with 5801 adolescents as part of the California Health Interview Survey. Results. One fifth (19.6%) of California adolescents reported having a firearm in their homes; few (3.0%) reported having their own gun. Characteristics associated with having one's own gun and with perceptions regarding others' guns generally were consistent with characteristics associated with having a firearm in the home. The 2 exceptions were related to socioeconomic status and to ethnicity. Conclusions. The source from which adolescents obtain guns, especially adolescents from less wealthy households, merits further investigation. Further research is needed to ascertain the accuracy of Black and Latino adolescents' perceptions regarding handguns among their peers.
  • Publication
    “I Didn't Know I Could Turn Colors”: Health Problems and Health Care Experiences of Women Strangled by an Intimate Partner
    (2012-10-18) Joshi, Manisha; Thomas, Kristie A; Sorenson, Susan B
    Strangulation is a unique and particularly pernicious form of intimate partner violence. To increase the relatively little that is known about strangulation survivors, focus groups and interviews were conducted as part of a practice–research engagement with a domestic violence shelter. All of the participants had been strangled and, among them, almost all were strangled multiple times. The loss of consciousness was common. Participants associated “choking” with use of body parts and “strangling” with use of objects. Although some minimized the assault, most considered strangulation to be serious and reported a variety of medical conditions following the assault. Few sought medical care. Of those who did, few disclosed the assault, or were asked about strangulation, which commonly resulted in misdirected treatment. Implications for improving detection and treatment are discussed.
  • Publication
    Safe Access to Safe Water in Low Income Countries: Water Fetching in Current Times
    (2011-05-01) Sorenson, Susan B; Morssink, Christiaan; Abril Campos, Paola
    A substantial portion of the world’s population does not have ready access to safe water. Moreover, obtaining water may involve great expense of time and energy for those who have no water sources in or near home. From an historical perspective, with the invention of piped water, fetching water has only recently become largely irrelevant in many locales. In addition, in most instances, wells and clean surface water were so close by that fetching was not considered a problem. However, population growth, weather fluctuations and social upheavals have made the daily chore of carrying water highly problematic and a public health problem of great magnitude for many, especially women, in the poor regions and classes of the world. In this paper, we consider gender differences in water carrying and summarize data about water access and carrying from 44 countries that participated in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) program. Women and children are the most common water carriers, and they spend considerable time (many trips take more than an hour) supplying water to their households. Time is but one measure of the cost of fetching water; caloric expenditures, particularly during droughts, and other measures that affect health and quality of life must be considered. The full costs of fetching water must be considered when measuring progress toward two Millennium Development Goals – increasing access to safe drinking water and seeking an end to poverty.