Detecting And Stopping Abuse Is Insanely Difficult
There is a hotline for people to call and report abuse at psychiatric hospitals, raising the obvious question: Why didn't Clyde drop enough dimes on his co-workers to give them all copper poisoning? He thought no one would believe him ...
"If I had called and spilled the beans, I would be considered a disgruntled employee and not believed. Staff might break up with a husband or boyfriend, who then decide to report what their ex told them about goings on at work. This has happened before, and they were all dismissed as retaliatory exes."
"Don't worry, though. Our new system has effectively reduced abuse complaints to zero!"
The abuse hotline is essentially meaningless because, well, so many people abused it. Wait, is that ironic? Or just deeply, deeply depressing? Hospitals are also reluctant to believe residents when they claim abuse, because there are assholes on both sides of the padded cell. Clyde explains: "Even if they were telling the truth, staff could often coach patients on what to say when the police did an investigation. A lot of these people were highly susceptible to suggestion. However, many high-functioning residents would make false accusations against staff to get them in trouble. Everyone knew who those residents were, so even if they told the truth about being abused, it was dismissed out of hand because of their history of lying and storytelling."
Still, though ...
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Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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