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Jacqui Smith pulls in another TV psych in violence probe

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Jacqui Smith has beefed up the government's roster of TV psychologists advising politicians on society (or Paps) with the recruitment of Dr Linda Papadopoulos, a longtime provider of academic heft to the likes of GMTV and BBC 3.

Papadopoulos has been drafted into a Home Office Consultation entitled "Together We Can End Violence Against Women And Girls".

The consultation, which is being carried out largely online, aims to develop "a model for addressing the issue across government, focusing attention on prevention, provision and protection" and "the key themes for government action, which we will use to drive public debate and discussion on what more we could do".

As part of this, the Home Office will tackle "attitudes that may uphold it (violence against women) in order to help women and girls feel safe, and includes a review into police powers for dealing with serial perpetrators of domestic violence and a review of the sexualisation of teenage girls."

To that end, Jacqui braved the chilly wastes of Birmingham on Thursday to get on the consultation's roadshow bus as it hits the West Midlands.

Papadopoulos also dropped in, declaring "We need to understand what impact the prevalence of sexualised images has on young people, especially what impact it has on their self-esteem and their behaviour." She'll be talking to "young people, parents and the media" as part of this.

"We also need to understand whether there is a link between exposure to these images and boys’ expectations about acceptable sexual behaviour, and to violence."

Without prejudging too much, the internet is likely to catch some flak somewhere along the way.

Still, it's all good stuff. Papadopoulos' CV shows she knows what she's talking about.

The self-described Dr Linda's website CV mentions her role as resident psychologist at Cosmopolitan, and stints on GMTV, The Wright Stuff, Newsround and LK Today.

She was also a contributor to the BBC's My Big Breasts and Me, a documentary "which unearths the traumatic, poignant and true stories about what it's really like to be a young woman with enormous breasts in Britain today".

Papadopoulos joins that other cross-over psych, Dr Tanya Byron, who advised the government how to counter internet threats to the nation's youth. Byron's recommendations - including not to wrap children in cotton wool - resulted in the Council for Child Internet Safety, membership of which includes Google and Yahoo!. ®

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