Three: The percentage increase in "the rate of child abuse requiring hospital admission" for every 1% increase in the 90-day mortgage delinquency rate. In other words, the threat of foreclosure translates, via the sort of sustained stress that subverts patience and impulse control, people are more likely to abuse their kids and/or more likely to abuse them more seriously.
Researchers collected data from from about 40 U.S. hospitals and connected the information to unemployment, foreclosure, and mortgage delinquency figures in each hospital's geographic region.Trickle-down economics has always been bullshit. But trickle-down abuse is not. Left unchecked, it carries through families generation after generation like a fondness for granny's biscuits. And it is a cycle exponentially more difficult to break when there is not a meaningful social safety net that provides education, healthcare, means to recovery, and stability.
The study's lead researcher, Dr. Joanne Wood, said she started the study because her colleagues were seeing an increase in cases of child abuse requiring hospitalization. Wood discovered that children whose families had a more insecure housing situation were far more likely to be abused.
Wood's findings come at a time when many states are attempting to pass foreclosure reforms and homeowner protection measures, but are being met with fierce opposition from banks.
Abusers are individually responsible for the harm they do, but we are all accountable for the culture we build and its capacity to facilitate or subvert abuse.
It's simply not possible to have a stable home under the constant threat of loss. That isn't to suggest every person in an unstable home is going to harm others or themselves. It is simply to acknowledge this truth: Instability abets or intensifies abuse, where it has already cast its shadow.
This is just one of many reasons to support policies that privilege people over profits.