Archive for the ‘child abuse’ Category

The Witch-Hunt Narrative, LAUSD Admits To Destroying Over Two Decades Of Child Abuse Records, The findings indicate that DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g. iatrogenic) origin

- Book review: A scholarly, engaging look at ‘witch-hunt’ narratives
- LAUSD Admits To Destroying Over Two Decades Of Child Abuse Records
- Court dismisses case against former Miramonte teacher
- Dissociative Identity Disorder and Fantasy Proneness: A Positron Emission Tomography Study of Authentic and Enacted Dissociative Identity States (findings indicate that DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g. iatrogenic) origin)

Book review: A scholarly, engaging look at ‘witch-hunt’ narratives April 27, 2014 By Anne Grant Special to the Journal

“THE WITCH-HUNT NARRATIVE: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children,” by Ross E. Cheit. Oxford University Press. 508 pages. $49.95.

Ross E. Cheit’s book begins with the 1983 charges against staff at the McMartin Preschool. The case stretched over seven years, but produced no convictions — only a widespread consensus that it had been a “witch-hunt” and had unfairly targeted the accused. That narrative prevailed until now.

In 1992, Cheit recovered his own memory of sexual abuse in adolescence, more than two decades earlier, at a summer camp. By then, he held a law degree and a professor’s chair at Brown University. He eventually won civil suits against the individual and the institution that had betrayed him.

Cheit found that a single storyline clung tenaciously even when medical evidence showed children had been harmed. In academia, courts and the media, those who should have looked further failed to challenge the popular myth that considers children suggestible, unreliable witnesses to their own abuse.

Recognizing that his personal experience could bias him, Cheit closely examined the original evidence and court records in three large childcare sex-abuse cases and dozens of smaller ones — identifying some instances of people falsely accused and many where guilt went unpunished. He recounts evidence with scholarly precision that is emotionally engaging and eminently readable….
http://www.providencejournal.com/features/entertainment/books/20140427-book-review-a-scholarly-engaging-look-at-witch-hunt-narratives.ece

LAUSD Admits To Destroying Over Two Decades Of Child Abuse Records
The L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) has admitted that it destroyed decades of alleged child abuse records.

This is linked to the investigation into former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt’s sexual abuse of children. John Manly, one of the victims’ eight lawyers, accused the District of destroying documents earlier this month in court.

L.A. Unified spokesman Sean Rossall told KPCC that the District did indeed destroy the records of sexual abuse cases at L.A. public schools in 2008, with files going back to 1988. There may be no way of knowing whether other reports of allegations against Berndt exist.

The question that Manly, and frankly, everyone, is asking is why LAUSD would destroy these records. Rossall said it was because the District felt like they should not have the reports. In 2008, the school district lawyers determined, based on a section of the penal code, that they shouldn’t have the documents, resulting in the destruction of all reports. However, the section they referenced is saying that they merely shouldn’t disclose the reports, not that they shouldn’t keep the reports.

….Berndt pleaded no contest to his charges and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in November 2013….
http://laist.com/2014/05/01/lausd_admits_to_destroying_over_two.php

Court dismisses case against former Miramonte teacher
Rina Palta with KPCC staff February 5th, 2014
he criminal case against a former teacher at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles who was charged with inappropriately touching a female student has been dismissed by the court after the prosecution’s key witness said she would not testify.

The case against Martin Springer involved only one alleged victim, who was 9 or 10 at the time the abuse occurred. Prosecutors considered testimony from the girl, now 12, to be essential to the case, and without it they decided they could not proceed, said Alison Meyers, an L.A. County deputy district attorney in the sex crimes division.

“She felt very traumatized by the process and as the days approached to the trial she had expressed to us that she felt coming to court would cause her further trauma,” Meyers said….
http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/02/05/42014/court-dismisses-case-against-former-miramonte-teac/

Case Dropped Against Second Miramonte Teacher Accused Of Sexual Abuse
….The trial for former third-grad teacher Martin Springer, 51, began this week, but was dismissed today when prosecutors were told by the victim’s family that the 12-year-old girl was too traumatized to testify in court, according to the Los Angeles Times and KTTV.

….The L.A. Unified District fired Springer (who had taught at the school for 26 years) from his job and took away his state teaching credential, the Times reported. They had paid a $470,000 settlement to six other children who claimed they were molested by Springer.
http://laist.com/2014/02/05/case_against_miramonte_teacher_sexu.php

Dissociative Identity Disorder and Fantasy Proneness: A Positron Emission Tomography Study of Authentic and Enacted Dissociative Identity States
A. A. T. Simone Reinders PhD, Antoon T. M. Willemsen PhD
PET and SPECT in Psychiatry 2014, pp 411-431

Abstract
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a disputed psychiatric disorder. Research findings and clinical observations suggest that DID involves an authentic mental disorder related to factors such as traumatisation and disrupted attachment. A competing view indicates that DID is due to fantasy proneness, suggestibility, suggestion and role-playing. Here, we investigate whether dissociative identity state-dependent psychobiological features in DID can be induced in high- or low-fantasy-prone individuals by instructed and motivated role-playing and suggestion. Differences in neural activation patterns were found between the DID patients and both high- and low-fantasy-prone controls. That is, the identity states in DID were not convincingly enacted by DID simulating controls. The findings indicate that DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g. iatrogenic) origin.
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-40384-2_16

The staggering cost of silence: child abuse victims and stolen innocence, Child sex abuse is a taboo topic for some parents, New Laws in Turkey Against Child Abuse

The staggering cost of silence: child abuse victims and stolen innocence By Jerome Elam, Michael Reagan April 29, 2014

….The CDC estimates that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.

Worldwide 550 million children are survivors of child abuse according to the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that there are currently 617,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, and typically 100,000 of those are unaccounted for. Other pedophiles are not on records or in databases.

Pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky walk silently among us, and Sandusky showed us just how well they disguise themselves.

April is National Child Abuse Awareness month and it is an important time for everyone to reacquaint himself or herself with the information that is necessary to recognize the signs of child abuse and stop predators before another child suffers.

Research has shown that an average victim of child sex abuse has to tell at least seven adults before being believed.

According to the Journal for the American Medical Association only 1 in 20 cases of child abuse are reported.

It is critically important that every parent and adult responsible for the care of a child educate and empower themselves with the knowledge to stop predators.

If we work together we can stop the stolen innocence of our children and that of others by spending a few hours educating ourselves….
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/04/29/staggering-cost-silence-child-abuse-victims-and-stolen-innocence/

Child sex abuse is a taboo topic for some parents
By Kelly Wallace, CNN Wed April 30, 2014

….Jill Starishevsky, a New York City assistant district attorney in the child abuse and sex crimes bureau and author of the book “My Body Belongs to Me,” shared a story about an upper-middle-class New York family, a story that still gives me chills two years after I first heard it.

A mom goes shopping, leaving her 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son home. The daughter is miserable and moping around the house so much that her brother asks her, “What’s your problem? Why are you so sad all the time?” said Starishevsky. He then says something like, “It’s not like Grandpa … is boinking you.”

At that moment, the 11-year-old realizes that her grandfather, her mother’s father, is doing to her brother what he has been doing to her for the past three years. The children decide they need to tell their mother when she gets home.

….Many of us aren’t talking to our children about sexual abuse, even when the statistics make it crystal clear why we should be: As many as one in four girls and one in six boys is sexually abused before their 18th birthday, according to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

….So, in between prosecuting sex crimes and mothering her three children, Starishevsky wrote a straightforward book targeting 3- to 8-year-olds with rhymes and simple illustrations. Getting a publisher turned out to be easier than expected, but there was one problem.

In the book, Starishevsky doesn’t just allude to the abuse. She includes it.

“My uncle’s friend came over and sat down next to me, and touched me in that place that no one else can see,” she writes, with illustrations of a fully clothed child sitting near the uncle’s friend, who is also fully clothed. You don’t see the abuse but it’s clear it just happened.

The publisher wanted that line to come out, according to Starishevsky. “They said, ‘Well we don’t think parents would like the book with the line in. You have to take it out. Allude to it but you can’t actually say it.’ “

Starishevsky refused and the publisher backed out, so she self-published the book in 2009, and eventually got the attention of Oprah Winfrey’s television producers. She appeared in a segment on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2011….
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/29/living/sexual-abuse-talking-to-kids-parents/

NEW LAWS IN TURKEY AGAINST CHILD ABUSE
by AA 30.04.2014
ANKARA — A series of draft laws covering child and sexual abuse are set to be made public, Turkey’s family and social policies minister has said….

The bill will increase the punishment for sexual crimes committed against adults as well as children. Forced marriages penalized Under the proposed laws, those who commit abuse would undergo psychiatric or chemical treatment to “set the perpetrator to normal mode,” Minister Islam said.

The bills will also ensure that any perpetrator who has committed a sexual crime against children is forced to stay away from them for the rest of their lives. Another draft law will also penalize forced marriages. Islam said that children under the compulsory 4+4+4 education system (four years of primary education at a first level, four at second and four at secondary education) would not be allowed to enter a forced marriage. A 12-year-old child will be obliged to go to school until she is 18 and the education system will help prevent forced marriages, she added.
http://www.dailysabah.com/nation/2014/04/30/new-laws-in-turkey-against-child-abuse

U.S. Supreme Court decided Paroline v. US, concerning the limits of restitution victims of child p_rnography, Almost one-third of Canadian adults have experienced child abuse

Another 5-4 decision, but not another left-right split
By Jonathan H. Adler  April 23, 2014

Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided Paroline v. United States, concerning the limits of restitution victims of child pornography may seek under 18 U.S.C. section 2259.  Splitting 5-4, the Court held that restitution is proper (indeed, mandatory) to the extent that the defendant’s own conduct was responsible for  harms to the victim….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/04/23/another-5-4-decision-but-not-another-left-right-split/

The decision is available here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-8561_7758.pdf

The crime victim’s reaction to today’s Supreme Court decision
By Paul Cassell April 23, 2014
The Supreme Court has just released its decision in the Paroline case earlier this morning…..the Supreme Court’s split-the-difference ruling promises her that she will receive full restitution “someday.”  I just wonder how far in the future that someday will be.  The battle for full restitution will now shift to Congress, which will have the last word on how restitution in these cases should be awarded.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/04/23/the-crime-victims-reaction-to-todays-supreme-court-decision/

Almost one-third of Canadian adults have experienced child abuse              
Psychology & Psychiatry  April 22, 2014

Almost one-third of adults in Canada have experienced child abuse—physical abuse, sexual abuse or exposure to intimate partner (parents, step-parents or guardians) violence in their home. As well, child abuse is linked to mental disorders and suicidal ideation (thoughts) or suicide attempts, found an article published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Researchers looked at data from 23 395 people from across Canada who participated in the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health. The participants were 18 years or older and were representative of people living in the 10 provinces….

According to the study, 32% of adult Canadians experienced child abuse, with physical abuse the most common (26%), followed by sexual abuse (10%) and exposure to intimate partner violence (8%). Men were more likely to have been physically abused (31% v. 21% in women) and had a higher rate of any abuse (34% v. 30%). Sexual abuse was more common in women (14% v. 6% in men) as was exposure to intimate partner violence (9% v. 7%) as children. People between 35 and 64 years of age were more likely than those aged 18 to 34 years to report having been abused as a child.

“All 3 types of child abuse were associated with all types of interview-diagnosed mental disorders, self-reported mental conditions, suicide ideation [thoughts of suicide] and suicide attempts in models adjusting for sociodemographic variables,” write the authors.

Drug abuse or dependence, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts remained associated with all types of child abuse even in the most adjusted models. The least severe type of physical abuse (being slapped on the face, head or ears or hit or spanked with something hard) showed a strong association with all mental conditions in models adjusting for sociodemographic variables. Exposure to more than one type of abuse increased the odds of having a mental condition.
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-04-one-third-canadian-adults-experienced-child.html

Child abuse and mental disorders in Canada
CMAJ April 22, 2014 doi: 10.1503/cmaj.131792
Tracie O. Afifi, Harriet L. MacMillan, Michael Boyle, Tamara Taillieu, Kristene Cheung, Jitender Sareen

….Results: The prevalence of any child abuse was 32% (individual types ranged from 8% to 26%). All types of child abuse were associated with all mental conditions, including suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, after adjustment for sociodemographic variables (adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.4 to 7.9). We found a dose-response relation, with increasing number of abuse types experienced corresponding with greater odds of mental conditions. Associations between child abuse and attention deficit disorder, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts showed stronger effects for women than men.
http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2014/04/22/cmaj.131792

Over 100 ‘Human Trafficking’ Victims Rescued, National Statistics on Child Abuse

Over 100 ‘Human Trafficking’ Victims Rescued
Sky News – Thu, Mar 20, 2014
More than 100 people, suspected of being victims of a human trafficking gang, have been rescued from a house in Houston, Texas.

When officers opened the door to the property they found “a large, large group of people, some sitting on top of one another, in very confined spaces”.

A spokesman for the Houston Police Department said dozens of the victims were dressed only in underwear and were sitting in filthy conditions surrounded by bin bags full of old clothes.

They had been kept in a number of small rooms with access to just one toilet and no hot water.

Police made the discovery during a search for a 24-year-old woman and her two children who had been reported missing by relatives….

Five men have been arrested in connection with the discovery.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/over-100-human-trafficking-victims-rescued-011448372.html

National Statistics on Child Abuse

In 2012, an estimated 1,640 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States.

In the same year, Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country served over 286,000 child victims of abuse, providing victim advocacy and support to these children and their families. In 2013, this number was over 294,000.

2012 NATIONAL ABUSE STATISTICS

An estimated 686,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect (unique instances).
51 states reported approximately 3.8 million children received preventative services from Child Protective Services agencies in the United States.
Children younger than one year had the highest rate of victimization of 21.9 per 1,000 children in the national population of the same age.
Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse, over 75% suffered neglect; more than 15% suffered physical abuse; and just under 10% suffered sexual abuse.
Approximately 80% of reported child fatalities as a result of abuse and neglect were caused by one or more of the child victim’s parents….
http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/NCANationalStatistics

Cyril Smith ‘protected by a high-level Westminster paedophile ring’ claims MP, Police told of ‘at least’ 11 more suspects, New Pa. laws redefine who must report child abuse

- Cyril Smith ‘protected by a high-level Westminster paedophile ring’ claims MP
- Children as young as EIGHT were abused at school linked to paedophile MP Cyril Smith
- Cyril Smith sex abuse scandal: Police told of ‘at least’ 11 more suspects
- New Pa. laws redefine who must report child abuse

Cyril Smith ‘protected by a high-level Westminster paedophile ring’ claims MP
Apr 16, 2014  By James Lyons

Labour’s Simon Danzcuk – who exposed Smith – claimed the Liberal grandee was part of an “informal” network of perverts who stalked the corridors of power

Child abuser Cyril Smith was protected by a high-level Westminster paedophile ring, the MP who exposed him claimed. Labour’s Simon Danzcuk said the Liberal grandee was part of an “informal” network of perverts who stalked the corridors of power. He said: “Had he been prosecuted, then the house of cards would have fallen, in terms of that paedophile network, and it could have brought the government down.

“Once he became a member of Parliament in 1972, I think he joined an, obviously informal, network of paedophiles that existed in and around Westminster.” The claims came as fresh doubt was cast in Nick Clegg’s instance that no Liberal Democrats knew about Smith’s activities.  Police have said Smith attended Elm Guest House in South West London, where underage rent boys and youngsters from a children’s home were reportedly brought to have sex with adult men.

Other high profile figures are said to have been visitors including senior MPs, a high-ranking policeman and an MI5 officer….
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cyril-smith-child-abuse-mp-3421467

Children as young as EIGHT were abused at school linked to paedophile MP Cyril Smith
Apr 14, 2014  By Paul Byrne, Luke Traynor

Martin Digan, ex-head of care at the residential school at the centre of the revelations, said it became ‘a sweet shop for abusers’

Children as young as eight were abused at a school linked to paedophile Lib Dem MP Cyril Smith, the Mirror can reveal today. Whistleblower Martin Digan, ex-head of care at the residential school at the centre of the revelations, told the Mirror it was a “sweet shop” for abusers. Secret files have been found that detail appalling depravity at the Knowl View unit for disturbed youngsters in Rochdale, where Smith was a governor. Police have identified 11 other suspects.

Mr Digan said: “It is about time his sordid past was fully exposed, together with the shocking events that happened at Knowl View. I’m glad it is out but I’m sickened it has taken so long.” The shocking details have come to light as the Liberal Democrats are threatened with legal action by Smith’s victims. They will seek damages if it can be proved senior party officials knew of his crimes – but failed to stop him….
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/children-young-eight-were-abused-3414779

Cyril Smith sex abuse scandal: Police told of ‘at least’ 11 more suspects
Apr 12, 2014     By Neal Keeling

Police investigating the sexual abuse of children by former MP Cyril Smith have been told of ‘at least’ 11 other suspects, the Manchester Evening News has revealed.

Seven alleged victims have given officers the names of men they say were behind the abuse linked to Knowl View School in  Rochdale  where Smith was chairman of the governors in its final year.  Next month a report is due to be published by barrister, Andrew Warnock QC, who was instructed by Rochdale council in January to ‘independently review all council decision-making’ related to the former special school in Bamford from the late 80s to mid 90s.

At least a dozen boys are said to have been victims of sexual abuse during that time and police are now sifting through 33 boxes of previously undiscovered archive material relating to the school. Some of the suspects named by the victims may have died, but all had links to Knowl View. Det Insp Caroline Ward said: “Following the publicity surrounding Sir Cyril Smith last year, seven people came forward to report physical and sexual abuse which occurred at Knowl View from the 1970s onwards….

Knowl View was shut in 1994 after a dossier detailing abuse was handed to police. Whistleblower, and former head of care at the school, Martin Digan, said he feared Smith was among those abusing boys and he verbally reported his suspicions to police and the council.  Smith was investigated twice in the 70s and 90s but never prosecuted and it wasn’t until 2012 that police admitted he had abused children….
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cyril-smith-sex-abuse-scandal-3403214

New Pa. laws redefine who must report child abuse
By MOLLIE DURKIN 04/16/2014

Pennsylvania has clarified its definition of who is required to report suspected child abuse.

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday signed into law four pieces of legislation that, in short, expand the definition of mandatory reporters, streamline the reporting process, increase penalties for mandatory reporters who fail to do so and provide protections from employment discrimination for filing a report in good faith. The legislation happened to be signed in April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The new law: Effective Dec. 31, the new definition of a mandatory reporter includes anyone who comes in contact, or interacts, with a child or is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of a child.
http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25581205/new-pa-laws-redefine-who-must-report-child

Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests who sexually abused children, Pa. bill expands list of those required to report child abuse

Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests who sexually abused children
By Daniel Burke and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Fri April 11, 2014

(CNN) — Pope Francis made his strongest condemnation yet of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Friday, asking for forgiveness and pledging to impose penalties on “men of the church” who harm children.

“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests — quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests — to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” the Pope said in remarks quoted by Vatican Radio….

The U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said it may be the first time a pope has spoken of sanctioning “complicit bishops.”

“But that is all it is: talk,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director.

“We beg the world’s Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words. Until the Pope takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant.”

The Pope’s new comments, made Friday to members of a Catholic nongovernmental organization, the International Catholic Child Bureau, represent a shift from his previous statements on sexual abuse….
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/11/world/europe/vatican-pope-sex-abuse/

Pa. bill expands list of those required to report child abuse  By Oscar Gamble 04/11/14

NORRISTOWN — A bill sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens to expand the list of professionals required to report suspected child abuse and increase penalties for those who shirk the obligation has unanimously passed the Pennsylvania Legislature and is headed to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk.

House Bill 436, the Child Protection Act, is a companion to Senate Bill 21, sponsored by Sen. Kim Ward, R-39th Dist., which includes Stephens’ language expanding and clarifying the list of professionals required to report abuse….

The bill requires child care providers and school personnel at every educational level, religious leaders, doctors and health care professionals, social and emergency service workers, librarians, law enforcement and the lawyers and independent contractors representing all of these entities to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. It also imposes stiffer penalties for noncompliance.“I think the penalties will get people’s attention,” said Stephens. “In some cases, not reporting (child abuse) will be a felony … In every case, it’s in the best interest of organizations that care for children to report instances of child abuse”….
http://www.pottsmerc.com/government-and-politics/20140411/pa-bill-expands-list-of-those-required-to-report-child-abuse

Bills would change child abuse reporting requirements in Pa., defining who reports and how

Bills would change child abuse reporting requirements in Pa., defining who reports and how
By Charles Thompson April 04, 2014

….But lawyers and non-lawyers appear to have reached a compromise on what may be the biggest upgrade yet to Pennsylvania’s child protection laws coming out of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Final votes are expected at the Capitol next week on bills that redesign mandatory reporting requirements in cases of suspected child abuse.

Lawmakers have already modernized the definition of abuse, and approved measures that strengthen law enforcement and child welfare response.

But, as some child protection advocates note, the best system in the world doesn’t get activated without a report.

“Without a report (of suspected child abuse)… the cavalry doesn’t come running to ask that child if they’re OK,” explained Rep. Todd Stephens, a Montgomery County Republican who played a key role in late-stage negotiations on the bills.

The new requirements delineate 14 categories of mandated reporters, including all school employees, all staff at child care and medical facilities, librarians and even – in a Pennsylvania first – volunteers who work regularly in youth sports or other activities like church groups, Boy Scouts or dance companies….
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/04/bills_beefing_up_child_abuse_r.html

Child Abuse: The Deadly Cost of Inattention and Inaction

Child Abuse: The Deadly Cost of Inattention and Inaction
Bruce Lesley 03/26/2014

The Miami Herald series entitled “Innocents Lost” deserves a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation into 477 deaths of children that were a part of the child welfare system in the State of Florida over the past six years. More than 70 percent of the children who died were two years old or younger and completely defenseless.

The series reinforces two critical but basic responsibilities that we, as a society, owe children facing abuse and neglect:

First, we must strengthen families by preventing abuse and neglect whenever possible.
Second, we must take swift but thoughtful action that gives children the best possible chance to grow up in a safe, stable, loving and supportive permanent home.

The series also highlights another critical fact: money matters and the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable children cannot be protected on the cheap….

However, as the Miami Herald documents, Florida embraced “family preservation” on the cheap. While the number of children in foster care dropped from 30,200 to 18,185 during a period that featured the Great Recession and increased family stress and difficulties, the state simultaneously and tragically slashed family monitoring and support services, resulting in more children left with substance abusing, neglectful, and violent parents. Tough times are the most important times to protect children, but Florida (and as noted later, the federal government) took the opposite approach during the last few years.

According to Audra D.S. Burch and Carol Marbin Miller of the Miami Herald, while Florida’s overall state spending increased by $10 billion from 2005 to 2013, child welfare funding was cut by the Legislature by $80 million and grew to $100 million after Governor Rick Scott’s vetoes last year. And, while “either drugs or alcohol came up in 323 of the child deaths,” the state also “reduced funding for drug treatment.”

For children, the consequences were tragic. As the Daytona Beach News-Journal concluded, “…the state tried to do it on the cheap… Hundreds of children paid with their lives.”….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-lesley/child-abuse-the-deadly-cost_b_5029768.html

Clergy Abuse Victims Criticize Cardinal Dolan’s Lobbying Efforts In Albany, Archdiocese must make priest abuse files public, judge rules, Clergy Abuse Documentary ‘BASTA’ to Premier at Boston International Film Festival on Easter Sunday

“This is a global epidemic which needs, and deserves, global awareness. There are 60 million adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse living in the United States alone. Survivors need to know that they are not alone and above all, there is always hope.”

Clergy Abuse Victims Criticize Cardinal Dolan’s Lobbying Efforts In Albany  BY Glenn Blain  March 19, 2014

Victims of clergy sex abuse are criticizing  Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s efforts to boost charitable donations to schools.

Mary Caplan, co-director of the New York City chapter of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, issued a statement Wednesday blasting Dolan for lobbying Albany lawmakers this week to approve tax credits for those who donate to schools or other education-related groups.

“When they want money for their institutions, Catholic officials lobby hard and say they care deeply about kids,” Caplan said. “But when kids who were abused want a chance for justice, Catholic officials lobby hard to deny those kids their day in court. All across the US, Dolan and his brother bishops use all their political will and power and resources to block moves to reform archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations laws that endanger kids and protect those who commit and conceal heinous child sex crimes.”
http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2014/03/clergy-abuse-victims-criticize-cardinal-dolans-lobbying-efforts-in-albany

Archdiocese must make priest abuse files public, judge rules
JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune March 19, 2014

Judge tells the Twin Cities archdiocese to release all info about those credibly accused of sex abuse from 1970 to 1985.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis must reveal hundreds of pages of information on priests accused of sexually abusing children, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Ramsey County District Judge John Van de North rejected church efforts to keep most of the documents under court seal, ordering that all information on priests who were “credibly accused” of abuse between 1970 and 1985 be filed with the court by March 31.

Information on priests whom the church determined were not “credibly” accused will remain sealed, Van de North ruled….
http://www.startribune.com/local/east/250859931.html

Clergy Abuse Documentary ‘BASTA’ to Premier at Boston International Film Festival on Easter Sunday
Merrimack Valley Production has announced that BASTA – No pity – No shame – No silence- has been selected to premiere at the Boston International Film Festival on Easter Sunday April 20th at Loews Theatre/AMC Boston Common on Tremont Street.

“This is a global epidemic which needs, and deserves, global awareness. There are 60 million adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse living in the United States alone. Survivors need to know that they are not alone and above all, there is always hope.”

Boston Massachusetts (PRWEB) March 18, 2014

BASTA, a film documenting the emotional journey taken by simple men detailing their attempts to reach into the Vatican walls in search of help, hope and aid in healing a nation reeling from the effects of the clergy abuse crisis, will premiere at the Boston International Film Festival on Sunday, April 20th.

Attempting to battle the cover-up, shame and silence of clergy sexual abuse, three survivors from Boston Massachusetts, travel to Rome reaching behind the secret walls of The Vatican. Their weeklong effort becomes a decade long mission that exposes mind blowing statistics and unexpected worldwide results.
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11674500.htm

Basta is a film documenting the story of the emotional journey taken by simple men detailing their attempts to reach behind and beyond the Vatican walls in search of help, hope and aid in healing a nation reeling from the effects of the clergy abuse scandal.
A decade after starting on a personal journey for justice, one man finds that success isn’t always defined by achieving his goal, sometimes, it’s defined by the attempt itself. And sometimes, in that attempt, you also find out who you are.
http://www.bastathemovie.com/About_The_Film.html

Los Angeles bishop kept altar boy list from police probing clergy abuse, Inmates at Parramatta Girls Home subjected to ‘state-sanctioned rape’

Los Angeles bishop kept altar boy list from police probing clergy abuse
February 19, 2014  Associated Press

LOS ANGELES –  When Los Angeles police were investigating allegations of child abuse by a Roman Catholic priest in 1988, they asked for a list of altar boys at the last parish where the priest worked.

Archbishop Roger Mahony told a subordinate not to give the list, saying he didn’t want the boys to be scarred by the investigation and that he felt the altar boys were too old to be potential victims, according to a deposition made public Wednesday.

The detectives investigating allegations against Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, a visiting Mexican priest, ultimately got the names of the boys from parish families. They determined the priest molested at least 26 boys during his 10 months in Los Angeles, according to the priest’s confidential archdiocese file and police records made public by attorneys for the victims.

Twenty-five of the alleged victims were altar boys and the 26th was training with the priest to be one, said Anthony DeMarco, a plaintiff attorney. It’s not clear what impact Mahony’s action had on the investigation, though at the time police complained that the archdiocese wasn’t fully cooperating.

Mahony’s deposition was obtained by The Associated Press and is part of the evidence included in a settlement of abuse claims against Aguilar Rivera and four other priests. The archdiocese, the nation’s largest, agreed to pay $13 million to 17 victims.

Since 2006, the archdiocese has paid more than $700 million to settle clergy abuse lawsuits by hundreds of victims. Internal church files kept on priests accused of abuse were released last year under court order. They showed that Mahony, who was elevated to cardinal and retired in 2011, maneuvered behind the scenes with his top aide Monsignor Thomas Curry to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark….
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/02/19/los-angeles-bishop-kept-altar-boy-list-from-police-probing-clergy-abuse/

Inmates at Parramatta Girls Home subjected to ‘state-sanctioned rape’
February 26, 2014 Catherine Armitage

Girls as young as 18 months who came into contact with the NSW child welfare authorities from the 1930s onwards were routinely tested for venereal disease and evidence of sexual activity.

If they were found, on the basis of a spurious vaginal examination, to have been sexually active, from the age of 10 upwards they could be sent to the Parramatta Girls Home where they were exposed to ”state-sanctioned rape” perpetrated by doctors, supervising staff and other inmates.

The notorious detention centre for girls, which shut down after public outcry in 1974, is the focus of hearings for the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse starting on Wednesday.
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Harrowing testimony is expected as 10 women, who were among the thousands detained in the home or at the associated Institution for Girls at Hay during the period of 1950-1974, take the stand to tell their stories.

In the 2005 book Orphans of the Living by Joanna Penglase, a NSW departmental field officer told Dr Penglase how girls picked up on vague grounds of being ”exposed to moral danger” were subjected to vaginal examinations….
http://www.smh.com.au/national/inmates-at-parramatta-girls-home-subjected-to-statesanctioned-rape-20140225-33fou.html

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