Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cutting and SIV

This morning's Today Show featured a segment on cutting, a topic familiar to Witness Justice, having explored it through the GlassBook Project.

The GlassBook Project promotes trauma-informed care through discussion and expression of various topics related to trauma and healing. The first project was started at Rutgers University and focused on self-inflicted violence, or SIV (i.e. cutting, embedding, burning, and other techniques used to inflict pain on oneself).

Students taking a Book Arts course learned how to manipulate glass to create these 'books' that reflected their outlook on the topic.

In the Today Show segment, Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Seventeen Magazine Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket discuss the motives behind cutting. Their studies show that 51% of Seventeen readers have intentionally hurt themselves. Their demographic is roughly from age 13-18, which shows that this is a problem starting very early on.

Dr. Snyderman believes cutting stems from deep depression. We at Witness Justice know that this depression can often be triggered from early childhoold trauma and is not simply a form of 'acting out,' but a way to connect with oneself - to cause pain only if to feel something.

Celebrities who have dealt with SIV include Princess Diana, Rosie O'Donnell, and Johnny Depp.

While the upcoming piece in Seventeen is sure to tie in cutting with a girl's perceived inability to achieve phsyical perfection, there a many other reasons that women and men hurt themselves. If you can, take a moment to read about the GlassBook Project to find out about the stigmas surrounding cutting and what the project is doing to break the mold.

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