The Academy On Violence & Abuse was founded by medical professionals recognizing that abuse is a public health issue of great consequence.

Academy Co Founder Dr David McCollum’s perception about the impact of child abuse came by discovering that emergency room patients were mostly people suffering from abuse and living their lives in dangerous and damaging ways because of it.

As a volunteer guardian ad Litem watching five, seven, and nine year old state wards stab teachers with pencils, cut themselves with razors, and having dangerous sex with multiple partners at inconceivably young ages has always unhinged me. One of my first guardian ad-Litem visits was to a four year old in a suicide ward.

Dr McCollum points out that abused children’s destructive dangerous behavior doesn’t end – it lasts a lifetime. Abused children suffer from more chronic and serious illnesses and die young.

The Academy has studied and identified the relationship between interpersonal violence and health and could make a profound difference in the lives of abused people if the research, tools, and information they have compiled were to become part of the mainstream medical world. Doctors can make a difference. They need to know about

People can be mended and lead better lives if their past abuse is dealt with in a meaningful way and these folks know how to make it happen.

Three million children a year are reported to child protection services in the U.S. & the majority of them have suffered extended exposure to violence and deprivation that will impact them forever if not treated. Extended exposure to violence and deprivation is the World Health Organizations definition of torture.

The Academy’s powerful studies prove the enormous costs, health complications, suicide, and early death that abuse causes.

This information needs to see the light of day. Our schools would graduate smarter and healthier students, our streets would be safer, and our communities happier places to live if we could identify and deal with our nations biggest problems.

Please consider making your doctor and other professional caregivers (including dentists, social workers, therapists etc) aware of the work being done by the Academy On Violence & Abuse to develop a comprehensive system of public health surveillance.

What we do to our children, they will do to society” Pliny2000 years ago.

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Videos & radio shows from the Academy;

The president of AVA speaking at NHCVA

MN Public Radio Laura Yuen speaking on AVA conference

Accident or Injury online course for medical professionals taking care of children

AVA research news
AVA Resource Library
AVA Publications

The Academy On Violence & Abuse


  1. Thank you for continuing to advocate and educate on the issue of child abuse and neglect. It’s not only the doctors who need to understand the urgency of the effects of abuse and neglect. I have worked with child care and other early education and care providers helping them provide education and care for young children birth through age six years. I have had providers comment to me that they think a child might be being abused or neglected. When I ask if they have reported the abuse/neglect they start to back down. They have every excuse imaginable as to why they haven’t/won’t report. I try to give them every reason possible as to why it is imperative that they report. The one time a provider did report was when I had also had evidence of abuse and I was going to report it, as it was my obligation (and hers). We ended up making the call together.

    I have come to understand that the main reason providers don’t report is that they are afraid of how it will affect their relationship with the family. They don’t want to lose the family/child as a client. They often feel that it is better that the child have those hours in their care where s/he can be safe then have the family remove the child from their program. They don’t have faith in the system for taking care of the child if they were to report.

    What they don’t seem to understand is that even though the child has so many hours away from their primary abuser(s) it is not necessarily mentally/emotionally safe. It can lend to the confusion the child already has about adults and safety. It can create other issues for the child.

    I urge everyone that if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected to report it, regardless of your prejudices about the system. If you believe that the system is “broken” then be more proactive to help fix it.

  2. This is an issue that really needs to be addressed and agencies like Children and Youth need to follow up more than once when a report is given. I know that my grandson is being neglected, but I live in fear that I will never see him again if I report this. I also know that I have reported several times to agencies and they did not properly assess the child or the living environment. I am majoring in child advocacy, and social work. I will fight until the day I die to speak for children who do not have a voice. Biological mothers are not always the best option for the child.

  3. I live in PA. My grandson was violently physically,sexually & emotionally abused while visiting his father in NY. He was just a toddler. He told me what happened when he got home and after being igorned by his mother, I made the report to Children’ Services in both areas. His mother – who just got out of jail – and his father – who had recently ran away from rehab – lied and they were believed. I spent 12K getting grandparent’s rights just to get visitation with him! He’s 10 now and his problems have escalated year after year and currently involve guns and porn: he’s also being drugged so he can sleep! I haven’t been able to get any tread for this child. I’m considered the enemy by the family. The system turns it’s back on those who report on a child’s behalf and has no follow up for the child. It’s disgusting!

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