CAST Professor Creates Blog to Highlight Maltreatment Topics

CAST Professor Dr. Pearl Berman has created a blog to:

  • Humanize the face of an abusive parent;
  • Highlight the resources that are currently available and how they can help;
  • Emphasize resources that are still needed;
  • Build grassroots support for educational and social services that could be of benefit;
  • Address interpersonal violence.

This blog can serve as an excellent supplemental resource for CAST coursework. The blog can be found here:

The Structure of the Blog:

The blog will tell the story of Claire and her son Davy; it will give the reader a window into Claire’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. She isn’t perfect. She will make mistakes. There will be times when people try to help Claire and the reader will be introduced to some great strategies that have been found to work in preventing mistakes that lead to violence. As the reader, you will have an opportunity to share your thoughts about whether Claire can find a way out of the violence that has plagued her family for generations. You will have a chance to consider whether there are any steps you might want to take to help prevent interpersonal violence. The people in this blog were created by Dr. Pearl Berman based on her thirty years of experience in the field of child abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and exploitation. Any similarities between the people discussed in the blog and actual people who are living or deceased is coincidental.

Specific posts from the blog highlight different issues such as: impact of childhood trauma on adolescent and adult behavior; the intergenerational transmission of violence; the interrelationship between victimization and perpetration; factors that support resilient development and healing; trauma-informed care; personal, social, and political advocacy; and self-care.

The major characters in the blog are Claire (she enters the blog as a 15 year old giving birth alone at a community hospital);  Davy who grows from infancy through his early childhood years; Larry, the father of Davy and “long-time love” of Claire who started his relationship with her by rescuing her from sexual assault at school but who then uses coercive sexuality, emotional abuse, and physical abuse to control her; and Mr. and Mrs. Carson who become extended foster care parents for Claire and Davy.

The blog can be used to demonstrate the difference in outcomes for Claire–who receives extraordinary support for herself–and Davy versus Larry who gains no help and becomes quickly involved in the criminal justice system and drug gangs. Specific blog posts can be used for assignments on any of the above topics through using the search command on names of characters or type of issue.

About Dr. Berman

Dr. Pearl Berman is a Full Professor, the Chair of the Psychology Department at Indiana University of PA (IUP), and the President of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence (NPEIV). She has been a licensed, clinical psychologist since 1984 with a specialty in providing treatment to victims of child abuse, neglect, and family violence. She has integrated information and skill building relevant to interpersonal violence throughout her teaching at both the undergraduate and doctoral level. She worked closely with Victor Vieth and many other members of NPEIV to complete the National Plan to Prevent Interpersonal Violence (2017). This plan is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to ending interpersonal violence within three generations. She has been a member of the National Committee to Prevent Elder Abuse, the Academy on Violence and Abuse, and the American Psychological Association. She worked collaboratively with the National Child Protection Training Center to expand the Child Advocacy Studies Program (CAST) into a Child and Adult Advocacy Studies Program (CAAST) that covers violence across the lifespan. She is the Pennsylvania Coordinator for ChildFirst PA, a forensic training program in 2018. She has published 3 doctoral-level textbooks, one advanced undergraduate textbook, book chapters and newsletter articles focused on violence across the lifespan. She has presented her work nationally and internationally.