Consensual? Really, Mackenzie?

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 in Domestic Violence, Family, Relationships, Sex

I have worked with many women who have been abused sexually by family members: brothers, fathers, and uncles. For some of them, the abuse started when they were little, for some when they were older. For many of them, the abuse went on for years, and for some, well into their twenties. Sexual abuse by a person who inherently has emotional power over you is simply that: abuse. There is an emotional power differential inherent in the...

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Coerced Into Kidnapping?

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 in Domestic Violence, Relationships, Tragedies

It’s about as sordid as a story can get: Jaycee Lee Dugard, then 11 years old, kidnapped and kept as a sex slave in a backyard for 18 years, bears her captor’s two children. The alleged perpetrators of the crime are convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, both charged with 29 counts of kidnapping, rape, and lewd acts with a minor. When trying to process the story, it’s easy to want to believe that Nancy...

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The Reconnection of Jaycee and Her Mom

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 in Children, Domestic Violence, Family, Parenting, Relationships, Tragedies

Hope and courage! These are the two words that come to my mind while watching the statement made by Tina Dugard, Jaycee’s aunt, regarding the reunification and reconnection of Jaycee and her mom, Terry Probyn. I am extremely hopeful for Jaycee and her daughters. As a clinical psychologist, it was clear to me that the family is doing everything right in regards to beginning the healing process for Jaycee and her daughters. This is a time...

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Nancy Garrido Misses HER Girls? Outrageous!

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 in Domestic Violence, Family, Parenting, Relationships, Tragedies

Nancy Garrido‘s attorney says that she misses and loves her daughters. She is, of course, referring to kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard‘s biological daughters, fathered by her accused captor and rapist Phillip Garrido — Nancy’s husband. Make no mistake about it, prosecutors have given Nancy Garrido equal billing when it comes to the criminal counts, hitting her with the same 29 charges her husband is facing — which...

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Surviving Captivity: Stockholm Syndrome

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 in Domestic Violence, Family, Parenting, Relationships, Tragedies

Do you judge Jaycee Dugard for staying with her captors? You shouldn’t — and here’s why. As a psychologist and a mother, I have been getting a variety of responses regarding the Jaycee Dugard captivity situation. There have been more than a few mothers who said, “I wouldn’t have stayed. Why didn’t she leave?” It is important to understand the psychology of captivity. It is also imperative to understand...

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Follow Your Intuition — Save a Child

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 in Children, Domestic Violence, Tragedies

The reason Jaycee Dugard was discovered is because of the intuition of two female security officers at the University of California at Berkeley. They were suspicious of Phillip Garrido and felt his behavior with the two female children was odd. But what got him caught was that they, unlike many of us, decided to act on their instinct even if it meant “meddling” in someone else’s affairs. The officers took his name and reported...

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