May 31, 2009 § Leave a comment
Paedophile ring ‘abused children in State homes’ Members of gardai, clergy and civil service infiltrated childcare system By JIM CUSACK 5/31/09 A well-organised paedophile ring involving civil servants, ex-clergy, members of political parties and even gardai infiltrated the child-care system in Ireland. Now campaigners believe that there were links between the Dublin-based ring and members of a well-organised paedophile ring which infiltrated the child-care system in north Wales, and which was finally exposed and broken up in the mid-1990s….The Government has been taking a more severe legal attitude to victims of abuse in State-run schools and other institutions than the Catholic Church has to victims of clerical abuse, they say. The Department of Education has “taken on” one such victim, Louise O’Keeffe, who was raped by the headmaster of her school in west Cork when she was eight years old in 1973. Although former primary school headmaster Leo Hickey was convicted of multiple rape and abuse of children, Ms O’Keeffe was left with a legal bill of 500,000 after the State successfully fought her claim for compensation. Hundreds of victims of rape and abuse by non-clerical teachers or care workers in the State’s employ have received letters from the Dept of Education threatening that their cases will be fought. Ms O’Keeffe, the High Court heard, suffered “catastrophic injuries” at the hands of the paedophile rapist Hickey – who nevertheless continues to be paid his State pension of 26,000 a year. Among the figures identified but never exposed because of insufficient evidence is a retired senior civil servant who would have the power to suppress indictments and reports on sex offenders….Many boys who passed through the state-run homes later became teenage prostitutes. Several have made allegations about a ring of apparently rich and well-connected paedophiles with access to the homes in the 1980s. In an ironic twist, an Irish woman who has been raising the issue of abuse of children in State-run institutions in Dublin, Loretta Byrne, was effectively forced from her job in the Department of Education in 1988 after she persisted in seeking action about allegations of abuse of boys in care….Paedophile David Murray was forced to leave the Sisters of Charity in Kilkenny in the mid-1970s after a boy said Murray had raped him. Rather than report this to the gardai, the Sisters helped Murray find a new job at Scoil Ard Mhuire at Oberstown, Co Dublin, where he worked for several years. Murray is believed to have had links with Welsh paedophiles who travelled between here and north Wales and even found jobs for some in State care homes here. He was eventually convicted of buggery and gross indecency and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in 1997. By the time he was arrested and questioned in the mid-1990s, Murray had raped and abused boys in a succession of homes here and, it is believed, Wales and possibly Northern Ireland. Details of all this were excluded from the report which concentrated almost exclusively on the abuses in Church-run institutions. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/paedophile-ring-abused-children-in–state-homes-1756642.html
May 29, 2009 § Leave a comment
“True” and “False” Child Sexual Abuse Memories and Casey’s Phenomenological View of Remembering – Joanne M. Hall, Lori L. Kondora – American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 48, No. 10, 1339-1359 (2005) DOI: 10.1177/0002764205277012
This analysis provides a historical context for the debate about”true” and “false” childhood sexual abuse memories; discusses selected literature about conventional understandings of memory and their relevance to this debate; presents an integrative, phenomenological approach to memory in the recovery and rehabilitation of women child sexual abuse survivors; and uses the insights gained to draw conclusions about the authenticity of delayed childhood sexual abuse memories. Edward Casey’s phenomenological concepts of reminding, reminiscing, recognition, body memory, place memory, and commemoration are used to illuminate the complexity of traumatic memories and recovery and rehabilitation needs of the survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Article excerpts: The notion of false accusation is often raised in cases where physical evidence is not available and a period of time has passed or when there has been a delay in recall of the events by a survivor of child sexual abuse. This is not to imply that false memories are not possible. This article outlines how rare they must be, however, based on historical factors and a phenomenological analysis of memory itself.…During periods of increased visibility of sexual abuse of children, society tends to deny it because its existence fractures cultural values about family (Summit, 1988). From a historical perspective, the current controversy about the truth or falsehood of childhood sexual abuse memories is one in a series of societal repudiations of the existence and extent of childhood sexual abuse, especially incest (Herman, 1992; Olafson, Corwin, & Summit, 1993; van der Kolk et al., 1996).
In the majority of publicized discussions of false memory syndrome, it is the delayed memories of women that are being challenged, suggesting that at the heart of this controversy, there are also gender conflicts. Specifically, this controversy reinforces an image of women as not to be trusted or believed….Most scientists investigating traumatic memory doubt that memories of abuse could be planted. In fact, childhood sexual abuse survivors would rather not believe that they had been so betrayed and violated by a trusted adult. Recent research shows many false negatives and few false positives in terms of memories of abuse (Hardt & Rutter, 2004). Furthermore, caregivers who work closely with traumatized individuals battle the temptation to suppress survivors’ stories of abuse because such material tends to exhaust their own sense of efficacy, creativity, and hope (Herman, 1992).
Research shows that 64% of adult women childhood sexual abuse survivors had some degree of amnesia regarding the trauma; but in the majority of cases, corroboration was available to verify that abuse had occurred (Herman & Schatzow, 1987). Of 129 women with recorded histories of childhood sexual abuse, 38% did not recall the abuse that had been clearly verified and documented decades earlier. This lack of recall was especially likely among those abused at younger ages and among those whose perpetrators were known by them at the time of the abuse (L.Williams, 1994). In fact, a body of empirical evidence indicates that it is common for abused children to reach adulthood without conscious awareness of the trauma (Briere, 1992; Herman, 1992; Schetky, 1990; van der Kolk et al., 1996). http://abs.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/48/10/1339?ijkey=ciZjJlFifgYIY&keytype=ref&siteid=spabs
Childhood Abuse, Avatar Choices, and Other Risk Factors Associated With Internet Initiated Victimization of Adolescent Girls
May 28, 2009 § Leave a comment
Childhood Abuse, Avatar Choices, and Other Risk Factors Associated With Internet-Initiated Victimization of Adolescent Girls – Jennie G. Noll, PhD, Chad E. Shenk, PhD, Jaclyn E. Barnes, MA and Frank W. Putnam, MD RESULTS. Forty percent of the sample reported experiencing online sexual advances, and 26% reported meeting someone offline who they first met online. Abused girls were significantly more likely to have experienced online sexual advances and to have met someone offline. Having been abused and choosing a provocative avatar were significantly and independently associated with online sexual advances, which were, in turn, associated with offline encounters. CONCLUSIONS.A history of childhood abuse may increase Internet-initiated victimization vulnerability. Parents should be aware of the ways in which their adolescents are presenting themselves online. Making adolescent girls and their parents aware that provocative online self-presentations may have implications for sexual solicitation might help to ward off sexual advances and might help prevent Internet-initiated victimizations. Practitioners should consider standard inquiry into Internet and media usage an aspect of comprehensive care. PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 6 June 2009, pp. e1078-e1083 (doi:10.1542/peds.2008-2983)
May 27, 2009 § Leave a comment
Psychological Impact Of Child Abuse ScienceDaily 5/24/09 – According to a new Mayo Clinic study, a history of child abuse significantly impacts the wide range of challenges facing depressed inpatients. Included are an increase in suicide attempts, prevalence of substance use disorder, and a higher incidence rate of personality disorder. Additionally, these victims also had an earlier onset of mental illness and an increase in psychiatric hospitalizations for psychiatric issues. The study was presented at the American Psychiatric Association 2009 Annual Meeting in San Francisco….Although the findings of the Mayo study do not confirm causality, the information stresses the importance of more aggressive approaches from the public health perspective to prevent child abuse. “A history of child abuse makes most psychiatric illnesses worse,” according to Magdalena Romanowicz, M.D., lead author of the study. “We found that it significantly impacts the wide range of characteristics of depressed inpatients including increased risk of suicide attempt, substance abuse, as well as earlier onset of mental illness and more psychiatric hospitalizations. This new information serves as a reminder of the importance of child abuse prevention from a public health perspective.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090521112831.htm
May 26, 2009 § Leave a comment
Mount Cashel abuse victim calls for public inquiry – Richard Foot, Canwest News Service 5/24/09 A survivor of Canada’s worst child abuse scandal is calling for a public inquiry into the horrors inflicted on boys at the Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland, as well as other Christian Brothers institutions across the country….The St. John’s survivor, who lived at the now-defunct Mount Cashel orphanage during the 1950s, is a well-known Newfoundland professional and community volunteer who managed against all odds to build a life for himself, despite being savagely beaten and sexually abused as a boy. He is now one of 50 Mount Cashel survivors with civil suits still before the courts….Doe says the conditions and suffering described by the report out of Ireland read like a “mirror image” of his time in Mount Cashel….From 1989-1990, a Newfoundland royal commission, led by retired Ontario judge Samuel Hughes, did investigate the Mount Cashel scandal; however, its work was focused only on a police coverup of the abuses and on a select group of victims housed in the orphanage in the 1970s and 80s….Between 1996 and 2004, $27 million was paid by the Newfoundland government and the Christian Brothers in compensation to roughly 100 Mount Cashel victims. Another $8.5 million was paid over the same period, by the Catholic order and the government of Ontario, to survivors of Christian Brothers schools in Ontario.
This project began as a letter to PBS which objected to false statements made by Ms. Ofra Bikel, producer of the program “Divided Memories.” That letter described how an undergraduate Research Assistant at Brown University found half a dozen corroborated cases of recovered memory in just a few hours of electronic database searching, disproving Ms. Bikel’s claim to the contrary (Cheit, 1995). PBS did not defend Ms. Bikel’s claim that “she could not find any” corroborated cases of recovered memory in her allegedly extensive search. http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Recovmem/purpose.html
May 21, 2009 § Leave a comment
‘Endemic’ rape and abuse of Irish children in Catholic care, inquiry finds – Beatings and humiliation by nuns and priests were common at institutions that held up to 30,000 children, Ryan report states – Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent – guardian.co.uk, 5/20/09 Rape and sexual molestation were “endemic” in Irish Catholic church-run industrial schools and orphanages, a report revealed today. The nine-year investigation found that Catholic priests and nuns for decades terrorised thousands of boys and girls in the Irish Republic, while government inspectors failed to stop the chronic beatings, rape and humiliation. The high court judge Sean Ryan today unveiled the 2,600-page final report of Ireland’s commission into child abuse, which drew on testimony from thousands of former inmates and officials from more than 250 church-run institutions. Police were called to the news conference amid angry scenes as victims were prevented from attending. More than 30,000 children deemed to be petty thieves, truants or from dysfunctional families – a category that often included unmarried mothers – were sent to Ireland’s austere network of industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels from the 1930s until the last facilities shut in the 1990s….The report found that molestation and rape were “endemic” in boys’ facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but instead endured frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless….The report concluded that when confronted with evidence of sex abuse, religious authorities responded by transferring offenders to another location, where in many instances they were free to abuse again. “There was evidence that such men took up teaching positions sometimes within days of receiving dispensations because of serious allegations or admissions of sexual abuse,” the report said. “The safety of children in general was not a consideration.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/20/irish-catholic-schools-child-abuse-claims
The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse http://www.childabusecommission.ie/index.html
Executive Summary – Conclusions – 1. Physical and emotional abuse and neglect were features of the institutions. Sexual abuse occurred in many of them, particularly boys’ institutions. Schools were run in a severe, regimented manner that imposed unreasonable and oppressive discipline on children and even on staff. http://www.childabusecommission.com/rpt/ExecSummary.php
Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse – Volume I – Volume V http://www.childabusecommission.com/rpt/
Abuse Tracker – http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AbuseTracker/
Junk Skepticism and Recovered Memory: A Reply to Piper – Ross E. Cheit – Ethics and Behavior,9(4) 295-318 (1999) “Piper purports to challenges the facts in seven cases. As detailed later in virtually every instance his argument is undocumented and inaccurate.” http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Recovmem/pdf/piper.pdf
Ross Cheit Response to Critics (Replies to Piper and McNally) http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Recovmem/critics.html
May 18, 2009 § Leave a comment
The Legend of Robert Halsey – Cheit, Ross E.- Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, v9 n3-4 p37-52 2001 Abstract: A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. Examines the criminal conviction of Robert Halsey for sexually abusing two young boys on his school-van route near Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Based on a comprehensive examination of the trial transcript, suggests that the credulous acceptance of the “false conviction” legend about Robert Halsey provides a case study in the techniques and tactics used to minimize and deny sexual abuse. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ672707&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ672707
False-conviction chic in the Berkshires – Robert Halsey was convicted in 1993 of sexually abusing two boys on his school van route in Lanesboro, Mass. There was a mountain of evidence against him, and he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms. Now a growing movement is trying to suggest that Halsey was unjustly convicted. A country that cherishes the presumption of innocence still needs to learn something about the presumption of guilt. There is a dark side to the growing movement on behalf of persons falsely convicted by the criminal justice system: phony false-conviction claims. There is just such a phony claim currently brewing in the Berkshires….As long-time residents of the Berkshires will remember, Robert Halsey was convicted in 1993 of sexually abusing two boys on his school van route in Lanesboro, Mass. There was a mountain of evidence against him. The two boys… had clear medical signs of the abuse. Their disclosures were extremely detailed and they were written up well before the boys were involved in any repeat interviews, therapy sessions or other measures which are commonly cited as sources of “child suggestibility.”….Various parts of the boys’ testimony were corroborated by three other children, two of whom had moved to Florida nine months before Halsey was arrested.
The Legend of Robert Halsey: A cautionary tale about the dangers of “false-conviction chic”
Baran received a fair trial By William W. Simons – Pittsfield 9/13/03 “I have spent my professional life (going on 50 years) as a prosecutor, defense lawyer and Superior Court judge….I was the presiding judge in the Superior Court trial of Bernard Baran that took place in Pittsfield, extending for 10 days in January 1985. Baran was charged with rape and indecent assault and battery on six children while he was a child-care worker in a Pittsfield day care center. He was originally represented by the Public Defender’s Office but chose to obtain private counsel, Leonard Conway of Westfield. After his conviction on these cases involving five of the children, an appeal was taken on Baran’s behalf by Attorney David O. Burbank of Pittsfield, also an experienced and able trial and appellate counsel. The appeal was decided on March 27, 1986, affirming the convictions. Mr. Burbank sought further appellate review and that application was denied by the Supreme Judicial Court on May 30, 1986….The concern that young victims are prone to suggestibility pales in comparison to the suggestibility of grown and experienced newspapermen. A more serious injury is that distorted claims of injustice that seek freedom for Baran are not without consequences for society and this community, should they succeed.” http://www.berkshireeagle.com/