Angelina Jolie is not only a famous actress, director, and humanitarian, but also a vocal advocate for the rights of domestic violence survivors. In a recent op-ed published in the American Journal of Nursing, she revealed how she is supporting a new technology that can help detect bruises on darker skin tones, which are often overlooked or ignored by the current medical system.
The Problem Of Racial Bias In Forensic Evidence
Jolie wrote that many domestic abuse survivors of color face health inequities and injustices due to the lack of proper forensic evidence collection and documentation. She explained that most medical research, imagery, and training are based on white skin, and do not account for how injuries present differently in patients with darker skin tones.
She shared her personal experience as the mother of children of multiple races, and how she witnessed her children of color being misdiagnosed or endangered by their healthcare providers. She also cited a visit to a nurse who showed her a handheld device that can highlight bruising on darker skin tones using alternate light, which is up to five times more effective than white light.
She said that this device could be a game-changer for abuse survivors of color, who often do not have visible injuries to promote their abuse or access legal protection and treatment. She said that bruising is a common injury of abuse, and it can take up to 48 hours to show on the skin or remain invisible to the naked eye on darker skin tones.
She also pointed out the disproportionate impact of domestic violence on communities of color in America, and how racial disparities in health care affect outcomes for millions of people. She called for more diversity and representation in medical research and training, and more solutions to address the systemic challenges and misconceptions faced by nonwhite patients.
The Solution Of Nonbiased Forensic Technology
Jolie said that she was compelled the advocate for a grant program for nonbiased forensic technology to be included in the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022, which has become law. She said this program would provide funding for healthcare professionals to acquire and use devices like the one she saw, which can detect bruising on darker skin tones.
She said that this technology is only one aspect of a larger issue, but it is an important step toward providing equitable health care and justice for abuse survivors of color. She said that she hopes that this technology will be widely adopted and used by doctors, nurses, first responders, and forensic examiners, who play a critical role in identifying and documenting injuries of abuse.
She also praised the work of forensic nurses like Katherine N. Scafide, who developed the device and invited her to see it in action. She said that these nurses are often the first point of contact for abuse survivors, and they provide compassionate and comprehensive care for them. She said that they deserve more recognition and support for their work.
The Impact Of Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed
Jolie's op-ed has received positive feedback from many readers and media outlets, who praised her for using her platform and influence to raise awareness and advocate for a cause that affects millions of people. Her op-ed was shared by Vanity Fair on Twitter, where it received over 2,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
Some commenters thanked her for speaking out about this issue and shared their own stories or experience as abuse survivors or healthcare workers. Some commenters expressed their admiration and respect for her work as a humanitarian and activist. Some commenters also expressed their interest in learning more about the device or supporting the grant program.
Jolie's op-ed has also sparked some discussion and debate about the broader issues of racial bias, health inequities, domestic violence, and forensic evidence. Some commenters raised questions or concerns about the validity, reliability, or accessibility of the device or the grant program. Some commenters also challenged or criticized some of Jolie's statements of arguments.
Jolie's op-ed has shown how she is using her voice and power to make a difference in the world, especially for those who are marginalized or oppressed. She has demonstrated her commitment and passion for fighting for equality and justice for domestic violence survivors, especially those of color. She has also inspired many people to learn more about this issue or join in her advocacy.