Rebecca Vargas-Jackson, MD
Dr. Vargas-Jackson is a bi-lingual, bi-cultural physician and International and Health division lead at WRMA with nearly 30-years of working experience in the U.S. and overseas.
She is also one of the lead designers and organizers in the proposed Center for Human Rights in Health at Howard University. She is currently affiliated with George Mason University, and has been affiliated with George Washington University at their Global Health division. Dr. Vargas–Jackson is an expert lecturer on Cultural Competence in Health Care, CLAS–Standards, health literacy and similar topics.
International Perspectives on Child Abuse and Neglect
Child Maltreatment 2013
Child Maltreatment 2013 was released on January 15, 2015, by the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This publication, on the critical issue of the extent and characteristics of child abuse and neglect, is the 24th annual report completed by WRMA, Inc. for the U.S. Government. Child Maltreatment 2013 presents statistics and analyses related to:
- investigations conducted by child protective services agencies
- children who are found to be victims of maltreatment
- services provided to children receiving an investigation
- perpetrators of maltreatment
- children who die of child abuse or neglect
The report is a unique resource containing more than 50 tables of data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). NCANDS collects data from 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
World Perspectives on Child Abuse
Few other countries have national child abuse and neglect data collection systems. An International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect report, World Perspectives on Child Abuse, Eighth Edition, discusses data from administrative data systems from the United States, Australia, Canada, and England. The authors compare trends of four types of maltreatment across these countries, though variations among the countries (i.e., terms, definitions, and practices) are recognized. Some findings include the following:
- The United States has an investigation rate (rate per 1,000 children in the population) of more than three times that of Australia. In 2005, the rate of investigation per 1,000 children was 48.3 in the United States compared to 14.4 in Australia.
- The rate of officially recognized physical abuse per 1,000 children was 2.0 for the United States, 1.6 for Australia, and 0.5 for England in 2005.
- The rates of neglect varied greatly for the United States compared to Australia and England. In 2005, the officially recognized neglect rate per 1,000 children was 7.6 in the United States compared to 2.0 in Australia and 1.2 in England.
Hidden in Plain Sight
That many countries are not yet able to monitor annual statistics on child maltreatment violence in children’s lives is a far reaching concern. A recent UNICEF report, Hidden in Plain Sight, presents statistics on violence in 190 countries. UNICEF discusses the strengths and weaknesses of administrative sources, surveys, and qualitative studies, and raises many topics for additional research. Their key findings include:
- Violence is “ever present” in the lives of all children.
- Interpersonal violence, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional maltreatment takes place in the home, the school, the community, and over the Internet.
- In 2012, 95,000 children were the victims of homicide.
- Almost one billion children, between the ages of 2 and 14 suffered from corporal punishment on a regular basis, often including psychological maltreatment.
- An estimated 120 million girls have experienced forced sexual acts during their lives, including children who are abused at young ages.
- Most victims do not report their abuse and do not seek assistance.
The UNICEF report calls for an improved collection of reliable data on violence against children.
International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN). World perspectives on child abuse, eighth edition. Retrieved from http://www.ispcan.org/?page=WP_08
United Nations Children’s Fund. (2014). Hidden in plain sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/publications/index_74865.html
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2015). Child maltreatment 2013. Retrieved from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research/child-maltreatment
World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
We view health as much more than just a state of physical health. Health also encompasses emotional stability, clear thinking, the ability to embrace cultural values, to love, create, adapt, change, exercise intuition and experience a continuing sense of wellbeing.
Health is the perfect harmony between your internal and external world.
- The WHO Constitution enshrines the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right for every human being.
- The right to health includes access to timely, acceptable, and affordable health care of appropriate quality.
Cultural Competency in Health Care
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that culture is often described as the combination of a body of knowledge, a body of belief and a body of behavior. It involves a number of elements, including personal identification, language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions that are often specific to age, generation, ethnic, racial, religious, geographic, or social groups. For the provider of health information or health care, these elements influence beliefs and belief systems surrounding health, healing, wellness, illness, disease, and delivery of health services. The concept of cultural competency has a positive effect on patient care delivery by enabling providers to deliver services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices and cultural and linguistic needs of diverse patients.
Refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultural backgrounds, particularly in the context of human resources, private or public organizations, and government agencies whose professionals and employees work with persons from different age, faith, education, socioeconomic, ethnic, linguistic and other cultural backgrounds.
We place the highest value on cultural competence in all of our consulting services both domestically and internationally.