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In 1971 Erin Pizzey founded Chiswick Women's Aid, the first refuge for battered wives. Her 1974 book "Scream Quietly or the Neighbors Will Hear" brought the issue to the attention of the public.

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“How States Become Traits” - research by Dr. Bruce Perry

Written by Erin Pizzey Thursday, May 24, 2007 11:13 AM
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Almost a soon as I opened my refuge and mothers and children poured through the door I was aware that many of the pregnant mothers were concerned upon their arrival that their unborn child was not moving.

At first I used to panic and rush them to the local hospital but very soon I learned that within a few days when the mother had settled down in the community the babies became ‘unfrozen’ and begin to move again. I always sent the mother to be checked but I realized that her feelings of fear also were replicated in her baby.

So far there was no literature on the subject of babies in the womb experiencing incapacitating fear. I was very aware that we were seeing a high level of cot deaths, babies born deformed, miscarriages and women who produced highly agitated babies or babies that failed to thrive.

In the histories of these women I recorded violent physical attacks during pregnancy by their partners that often resulted in miscarriages and still born babies. I also recorded the violent and neglectful mothers who refused to cut down on their smoking or drinking or drug taking. These mothers also continued to rage and to fight with their partners and after many years I realized as Dr. Freud explained ‘all emotions can be found in the chemicals of the brain,’ violent dysfunctional women shared not only their alcohol and drugs with their babies but also the chemicals of fear, pain and rage.

Seven years ago I came across the work of Dr. Bruce Perry by accident when I was searching the net for some corroborative evidence of my findings. This was a defining moment in my life’s work. Here for the first time was a world class research establishment led by Dr. Perry who had also recognized the trauma of early abuse and fetal distress.

For anyone like me, who believes that domestic violence protection must be extended to the unborn child, Dr. Bruce Perry’s work is vital so I unhesitatingly recommend that everyone who reads my work and is interested in the subject of domestic violence reads his papers.

Copyright © 2007 Erin Pizzey, All Rights Reserved

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2 Responses to ““How States Become Traits” - research by Dr. Bruce Perry”

  1. Sandra Orozco-Stapleton Foundation » Erin Pizzey » Why Are We Not Asking The Right Questions? Says:

    […] A child like me who was hated by my mother and disliked by my father would naturally find solace in a gang of other children. To the outsider the gang related violence is abhorrent. To the teenagers in the gang it is normal. Why not? If all your life you have been beaten and have watched your parents beating each other, the violence has long become a way of life. ‘But surely,’ the well meaning say, ‘But surely if you’ve spent your childhood in a violent family the one thing you would not want to do is to repeat it.’ Violence is a learned pattern of behaviour in early childhood. These teenagers are ‘marinated in violence,’ a wonderful description I read in the work of Dr. Bruce Perry. Most will continue the violence they witnessed and suffered as children, a few will ‘transcend’ the violence and make good their lives. […]

  2. Sherlock Says:

    We share the same situation Sandra. BUt unlike you, I have used my situation to be inspired to strive harder in life. Right now Im on my last year in college and Im about to graduate this school end..

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Copyright © 2007 Erin Pizzey, All Rights Reserved