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Domestic Abuse: Topic "A" from Talk Shows to Universities

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March 13, 2009

New York, NY — While millions of Americans learn about pop star Rihanna returning to her alleged abuser Chris Brown, New York experts are reminding us domestic abuse isn’t a problem only for the famous. It was the prime topic in the media this week including television talk shows hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil and Tyra Banks.

But, Lorraine Cashin, director of the Sexual Assault Program at Nassau University Medical Center, says there should be even more awareness of domestic abuse. She says Rihanna’s high profile case points out that victims are often in denial. If you suspect a friend or relative is being abused, she suggests you confront them directly.

"But for somebody who is being abused — sometimes when they are faced right with somebody who they trust, asking them straight forward, they find it very difficult to lie. "

Leaving an abuser is a process that can take time, says Cashin, as the victim often has to deal with finances and other issues. She says there are many agencies in New York that can help.

Whether it’s a music star like Rihanna growing more famous than her mate, or a New Yorker who starts earning a lot more money than her spouse, an abuser will react the same way, adds Cashin.

"Sexual abuse, domestic violence; it’s all about the person feeling a very low self-esteem and feeling that he needs to be in control and he needs to be in a power position and he will do whatever he has to; whether it is economic abuse, psychological abuse, or physical abuse."

New Yorkers can get specific information on how to identify and deal with an abuser at a conference being held Saturday at Nassau University Medical Center on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, Long Island. It starts at 9:00 a.m.

Help is available at the Sexual Assault Center at Nassau University Medical Center.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY