Policy Brief

Mollie Pedigo, Erica Nieves, Mildred Pinales, Ana Alvarez

Trauma & Violence Initiative                                                                             

POLICY BRIEF 04/12/16      

According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, a lifetime history of sexual abuse among women in childhood or adulthood ranges 15% to 25% (“Trauma and violence”, 2015). Understanding how to better prevent, treat, and support victims of trauma and violence can drastically improve not only life conditions but life expectancy as well(“Adverse childhood…”, 2016).


Trauma and violence are widespread, harmful, and expensive public health issues. These issues affect all ages, genders, socioeconomic statuses, sexual orientations, races, and ethnicities. These acts are common among adults and children in American communities; especially common in the lives of people with mental and substance use disorders. As a result of this, there is a growing need to address trauma, in order to promote and provide helpful behavioral health care (“Trauma and violence”, 2015). There are studies that indicate that trauma is correlated with behavioral health and chronic physical health issues (“Trauma and violence”, 2015). Substance use such as alcoholism, drug use, and smoking, mental health issues such as depression, PTSD, & anxiety and other dangerous behaviors such as self-injury behaviors have been connected to trauma. Since these health issues can cause difficulties in forming relationships, jobs, and other parts of life, it is highly significant to acknowledge the effects of trauma and how to develop ways of coping and healing (“Trauma and violence”, 2015).


There are several organizations that are actively pursuing the reduction of trauma and violence in the communities of America. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is a government agency within the Health and Human Services department. This administration has produced six strategic initiatives that are meant to help victims;  The Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness initiative, The Health Care and Health Systems Integration Initiative, The Trauma and Justice Initiative, The Recovery and Support Initiative, The Health Information Technology Initiative, and the Workforce Development Initiative. Through these initiatives, SAMHSA is hoping to address prevention of substance abuse and mental illnesses. They also want to promote emotional health and wellness, allow for more access to recovery programs, and support the recovery process (“Trauma and Violence”, 2015).

The NCTSN (National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network) has initiated treatment approaches that can assist victims of early childhood trauma; The Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) approach, the Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) approach, the Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) approach, the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) approach, the Preschool PTSD Intervention approach, and the Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) approach. Outcomes for these approaches have been concluded through a variety of measures and assessments. Over all, it has been reported that the approaches have had progressive results (“Early Childhood Trauma”, 2016).

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) created the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) in order to prevent injuries and deaths correlated to violence. Included in the NCIPC is the Division of Violence Prevention (DVP), Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, Division of Acute Care, Rehabilitation Research, and Disability Prevention. Specifically, the DVP is focused on violence prevention. They are addressing this by monitoring violence-related injuries, conducting research, conducting and evaluating the effectiveness of violence prevention programs, assisting state and local agencies plan, implement, and evaluate violence prevention programs (“Injury, Prevention, and Control..”, 2015).


Trauma and violence is an issue that is very important, in terms of health, and should be acknowledged at all times. We know now, with studies such as the ACE study, that trauma and violence play a major role on the lives of any person, regardless of gender, age, sxual orientation, and ethnicity, and can affect them and their families generationally.(“Adverse Childhood Experiences”, 2016) Big agencies, such as the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration, the Center for Disease Control, and the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network recognize that trauma and violence plays a key factor in mental, emotional, physical, or social problems. They also recognize that prevention of trauma and violence will ultimately result in the decrease of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and lung disease (“Injury and prevention…”, 2015). This information emphasizes that mental health and the protection of its development is important. By providing training on trauma-informed medical care or by providing a drug overdose/recovery toolkit with information for families and individuals as well as the community, makes having good mental health a possibility (“Trauma and violence”, 2015).  


Implications: Through the research conducted there seemed to be many implications. Even though, SAMHSA “promotes and implements prevention and early intervention strategies to reduce the impact of mental and substance use disorders in America’s communities” (SAMHSA, 2015.) There is still much more work to do. They have to design strategies that increase the public knowledge and awareness of the health issues. Also, it helps communities raise awareness of the consequences of this problem it has on young people. We also looked through some websites that helped us to understand more about how these implications affect families and communities.

On the other hand, it really important to talk with your child about trauma and  violence issues. It could be critical in recognizing and preventing act of violence. The best way to help children is to guide parents through discussions not just school violence, but community violence as well. Workshops can help parents to encourage children to talk about their problems and express their feelings. For example, some children may not understand the term of violence. They don’t know how school and community violence can affect each individual life. For this reason, it is important let children know that they are not dealing with their fear alone because we are here for them.   

Recommendations: We recommend different strategies that help prevent trauma and violence on children. For example, America’s communities have to be more aware about the health issues because everyone can be affected. Environment intervention strategies can also help to prevent the abuse substance because some of these strategies are designed to help families and communities to develop a healthy environment for children. We also recommend building resilience and competence in children and parents because these strategies help them to control the mental health issue. As well, children and families have to live in safe and supportive environment because it contributes to building a safe  community.

Schools can make a huge different in a child’s life by raising awareness and educating other such families about this important issue. One way may be, start educating children young by informing them about the possible dangers around their communities and inside them. Another way may be, to encourage children to participate in anti-violence programs and actions. These programs can help them to develop problem solving and conflict resolution skills. If we implement these strategies into our curriculum, children would be talking about their behavior or emotions. They will have health professional at school or at their community.



Adverse childhood experiences. (2016, April 01). Retrieved April 07, 2016,

from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/

Child Maltreatment 2012. (2013, December 17). Retrieved April 6, 2016, from


Injury prevention and control: Division of violence prevention. (2015,

December 7). Retrieved April 07, 2016, from


National center for trauma-informed care and alternatives to seclusion and

restraint (NCTIC). (2016, January 7). Retrieved April 6, 2016, from


National child traumatic stress network. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2016, from


Opioid overdose prevention toolkit. (2016, January 25). Retrieved April 07,

2016, from


Prevention approaches. (2016, January 11). Retrieved April 9, 2016, from



Safe schools/healthy students. (2016, January 7). Retrieved April 06, 2016,

from http://www.samhsa.gov/safe-schools-healthy-students

Sleet, D., Bonzo, S., & Branche, C. (1998). An overview of the national center

for injury prevention and control at the centers for disease control and

prevention. Injury Prevention, 4(4), 308-312. Retrieved April 9, 2016,

from http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/4/4/308.full

Trauma and violence. (2015, September 15). Retrieved April 6, 2016, from



Advocacy Reflection

For our Advocacy Project we focused on joining the CFA and the CSU staff in their fight for five. We wanted to see the CSU staff/ Faculty see a 5% increase in pay and a 2.65% service salary increase. As a group we looked at news articles and information that was on the fight for five, so were educated on the matter and knew what steps we needed to take in order to be successful in getting the word out to students, friends, family, etc…

During the process I focused on the Letter to the Chancellor and President, which was not an easy task, because I wanted to sound knowledgeable on the mater as well as use professional language. I felt professional language was the best way to go, because an angry voice could turn people away and not want to listen to what you have to say.

It was exciting to share things through the media, because I was able to share it with my family in the UK and they were able to spread the word about what the staff and faculty were facing in the CSU system.

Through the efforts of CSU staff, faculty, the CFA and students who stood by their professors they have gotten the increase they deserve and hopefully, they saw the injustice and will continually increase the salaries of the faculty and staff, especially with the cost of living rising.

Policy Post #2

Lawmakers in Iowa passed a bill allowing children under the age of 14 to posses handguns. I understand that teaching gun safety might be beneficial and help the child have a better understanding and knowledge of a powerful weapon. But I think the passing of the bill could take a turn for the worst. Kids these days are so aware at whats happening in the world with the advancements in technology. Im sure they would try and emulate what they see on the internet which I don’t think is a good idea by passing this bill.




Policy Post #2

Policy post # 2

For my policy post I decided to look at the new bill that’s being proposed in South Carolina which states that transgender people would be required to use the bathroom that complies with the gender on their birth certificate. The bill would apply to all bathrooms which multiple people use at once, in schools, government-run parks, and museums. The main argument the author of the bill is states is that transexuals will be using their new found freedom to prey on others which has been proven to be a myth for quite some time. I feel this bill will create a potentially hostile environment for many children, teens and adults who are forced to use a bathroom that doesn’t match their true identity. I also saw on the daily show that some schools are paying students to out other transexual students who don’t use the “correct” bathroom. They are paying these students around $2,500 which is an insane price to put on a child’s head not to mention how discriminated and excluded the child will feel.

Of course I didn’t think the fight would be over for the LGBT community after gay marriage was legalized but I thought cruelty like this was in the past. Unfortunately, the fight continues. However, it’s worth mentioning that the LGBT community has a lot of powerful people and corporations supporting their cause such as PayPal, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Walt Disney and several more. They are even going as far as to cancel business trips, canceling concerts and any travel into the area whatsoever. I am really stoked to find that although there are clearly obstacles to true equality, at least there are many that are willing to advocate for the LGBT community.


Shain, A. (2016) SC Bill: Ban transgender people from choosing their bathroom.Retreived April 11, 2016 from: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article70451552.html


Assembly Bill number 30


This bill is prohibiting schools from using any mascots that are inappropriate to different cultures. It is about time our government is making a stance and realizing  what is appropriate and inappropriate when it comes to a persons cultural background. This bill is to go in affect January 1, 2017. This bill helps families who have a cultural background that has been made fun of or said to not exist, it is showing families of these cultures we do care about them and do not plan on making fun or belittling them.

New Car seat Law in effect 2017


Jerry Brown has passed a new car seat law that will require children to sit in a rear faced carseat until the age of two. If the child reaches 40 inches before their second birthday the child will be able to sit in a forward facing carseat. Many families are concerned that their child will be uncomfortable and they feel it’ll be more difficult to watch their child’s needs. It has been proven that children sitting in a rear faced carseat upon impact are safer and receive fewer injuries.

Heritage Foundation

Elizabeth Martin, Cara Cannon, Sarah Pena, Eli Boggs, Jackie Maxwell

Heritage foundation:


Washington, D.C.; headquarters in Nebraska


Current Leadership:

The president, Jim DeMint is often considered the godfather of the tea party movement.  Was a republican senator of SC.  He founded the PAC, Senate Conservatives Fund.  Left Senate to run Heritage Foundation.


Founders of the Heritage Foundation

  • Paul Weyrich
  • Edwin Feulner
  • Joseph Coors



The Heritage Foundation describes itself as a “political think tank”.  Their branch Heritage Action (created in 2010) is their political and lobbying arm.  “The Heritage Foundation make politicians see the light.  Heritage Action makes them feel the heat.”  Ed Feulner, former Heritage Foundation President



Spent $78 million in 2014 advancing conservative principles

  • Research………………………………………29%
  • Education……………………………………..35%
  • Media and government relations..10%
  • Fundraising…………………………………..22%
  • Management and general……………. .3%


  • Individuals………………………………………..75%
  • Foundations……………………………………..12%
  • Corporations………………………………………3%
  • Program revenue and other income…10%



BASIC ………………………………………………$25

PATRIOTS CLUB …………………………….. $100


PRESIDENT’S CLUB…………………….. $1,000



ASSOCIATE ………………………………$10,000



FOUNDER …………………………….. $100,000

TRUSTEES’ CIRCLE…………………. $500,000

CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE……………$1,000,000



TOTAL ASSETS AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2014: $261,045,873


Corporate Sponsors who fund Heritage


Foundations who fund Heritage

  • According to Media Transparency, the Heritage Foundation received $61,944,537 in foundation grants from organizations such as: the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Scaife Foundations, the John M. Olin Foundation, Inc., Castle Rock Foundation, JM Foundation, Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. – See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/heritage-foundation#sthash.OCGtpH5k.dpuf
  • Heritage has received donations from the East Asian nations of South Korea and Taiwan; SourceWatch reports that in 1988 Korean intelligence discovered that Heritage received $2.2 million from the South Korean National Assembly during the 1980’s. Although Heritage denies this claim, they do admit to receiving a $400,000 grant from the Korean conglomerate Samsung.
  • The Korea Foundation, a conduit of the Korean government, has also donated almost $1 million to Heritage in the past three years.
  • above info gained from Right Wing Watch


PAC status: (it seems like they are one secretly for tax reasons)

  • The Heritage Foundation describes itself as a “political think tank”.  Their branch Heritage Action (created in 2010) is their political and lobbying arm.  “The Heritage Foundation make politicians see the light.  Heritage Action makes them feel the heat.”  Ed Feulner, former Heritage Foundation President.
  • The Koch Brothers privately contribute a lot of $$$ to Heritage; taking into account the fact that Koch Industries is itself a PAC
  • The Heritage Foundation has a very conservative agenda: donated to the Bush Campaign, tries to de fund planned parenthood, and ban abortion
  • Heritage’s description of Heritage Action’s political activities
    • “For many in Washington, August is a time to relax. That’s not the case at Heritage Action. Throughout the five-week congressional recess, Heritage Action Sentinels, with the help of Heritage Action Regional Coordinators, hosted a series of events we called, “Coffee with Your Member.” These intimate gatherings gave our Sentinels an opportunity to break from the seemingly endless legislative battles on Capitol Hill and develop a personal relationship with their Representatives. Relationship-building is a key component of our overall strategy for helping Sentinels know the issues, grow their networks, and go out and lead in their communities. The events also gave lawmakers the opportunity to experience the vast reach, knowledge, and professionalism of Heritage Action. Heritage Action Sentinels worked seamlessly with our Regional Coordinators and members of our Washington-based government relations team to organize coffees with more than a dozen lawmakers. House Members attending the informal affairs included Reps. Mo Brooks (Ala.), Michael Burgess (Texas), Curt Clawson (Fla.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), John Fleming (La.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Doug Lamborn (Colo.), Luke Messer (Ind.), Scott Perry (Pa.), Reid Ribble (Wis.), Matt Salmon (Ariz.), David Schweikert (Ariz.), and Ted Yoho (Fla.).”


Primary Focus:

  • Working on getting rid of Obamacare although they were the first Foundation to promote universal health care, until it passed under liberal leadership
  • Federal Spending
  • Immigration
  • Welfare Reform
  • National Security and Defense


Partisan Orientation

The Heritage Foundation describes its mission as being “to formulate and promote Conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”


Given the organization’s conservative-reflecting agenda, policies, sponsors and values, the Heritage foundation appears to adhere to an exclusively Republican partisan orientation.


Tax Exemption Status: The Heritage Foundation is a charitable organization which can take contributions from tax deductible income, gift, and estate taxes. Tax exemption status falls under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


From the IRS Website:

“To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”


Recent publications and activities:


  • The Heritage Foundation hosts a variety of presentations at the Heritage Foundation Auditorium. Recently the foundation’s president Jim DeMint hosted an event promoting Steve Forbes’ book “Reviving America,” on the benefits to repealing Obamacare and replacing the tax code.
  • They also provide links to online videos and presentations on a variety of topics of interest- most recently have been about Iran, ISIS and the American Identity.
  • Host a blog called “the foundry” that covers republican legislative efforts.
  • Coffee event (discussed above)
  • Blueprint for Balance: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2016/02/a-blueprint-for-balance-a-federal-budget-for-2017





talks about how the heritage foundation has switched to a new president and it has changed drastically since the new president has come into power. Also talk about how they were all about free healthcare until Obama was ready to pass obamacare.


Talks about how they are trying to get rid of Obamacare and why you should support their campaign. There are several different articles on how they want to cut many things including food stamps.


Huffpost article talking about how republican senator and conservative PAC founder Jim DeMint, resigned as senator and became president of Heritage.


the Right Wing Watch’s breakdown of Heritage



Policy Article


Group: Olivia Vega, Elleota Wicks, Kaitlin Brice, Isaac Coppock, and Cody Ayon.

Article Summary (written by Olivia Vega):

This article announced the new California Legislature that was passed by Governor Jerry Brown who signed the California Senate Bill 277 into law.  This law does not go into effect until July 1st, 2016 and states that the personal belief vaccine exemption will be removed for children that are attending a daycare, public or private school. This article lists the NVIC and many non-profit organizations that opposed the bill and also the organizations that supported the bill. In addition, it describes the law in greater detail and states what SB 277 does and doesn’t do.  This report also gives recommendations and options for California families who want to be able to restore their personal and religious belief vaccination exemptions.

Discussion Questions (written by Olivia Vega):

Should the government have the right to compel vaccination?

Do you think parents have the right to refuse vaccinating their children?