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Therapist discusses culture of hazing in sports amid NMSU allegations


EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) - An El Paso therapist says many incidents in team sports involving bullying, hazing or harassment stem from a need to control and be in power.

Lizet Lizardo is the lead therapist at Moody Family Resource Center. She told ABC-7 that upon hearing of the sexual assault and harassment allegations leveled against members of the NMSU Men's basketball team, she thought that when someone is seeking power, either because of their own self-esteem issues or their own internal issues, then they're trying to seek power from somebody else or something else.

She explained that they use other types of violence, which can be physical, verbal, psychological, or sexual.

When asked why team sports seem to feed this behavior, Lizardo explained, "It's that brotherhood. It's that this experience makes us stronger. Right, we are living this together, and that's why sometimes people don't say anything, it's because if you do say something, you're betraying the brotherhood, the sisterhood. You're betraying us. And you're now gonna become an other. 

Lizardo explained that many times people who witness others being abused are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation.

She said if parents suspect their children are being abused, they should try giving them space, and allowing them to speak when they feel ready. And if parents don't feel like they can handle tough conversations about abuse, they can contact a licensed professional to help intervene.

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful

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Leloba Seitshiro

Leloba Seitshiro reports on ABC-7 at 5 and 6 p.m. weekdays.


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