June 29, 2014 Comments Off on Recap: Jimmy Savile had sex with dead bodies in mortuary, shocking hospital report reveals
Recap: Jimmy Savile had sex with dead bodies in mortuary, shocking hospital report reveals
Jun 27, 2014 By Anthony Bond, Steve Robson
An investigation into Savile’s abuse at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) heard the now-dead entertainer claimed to have “interfered with the bodies of deceased patients”
Jimmy Savile boasted about having sex with corpses and had jewellery made from glass eyes he removed from their bodies, it was revealed today.
The sick paedophile also gloated to others that he enjoyed “posing” the corpses and that he would “wheel them around” at night at Leeds General Infirmary.
The twisted crimes were revealed in 28 NHS reports published today….
Sickening extent of Jimmy Savile’s full depravity laid bare in shocking NHS report
By Andrew Gregory, Tom Pettifor, David Collins Jun 26, 2014
The sex beast, free to roam hospitals abusing victims at will, boasted of having sex with corpses while he continued to abuse until he was 82
Police are probing claims sick Jimmy Savile was involved in the death of a young girl.
The former DJ was allegedly seen dragging away a child at a care home who was later said to have died.
The sickening extent of his depravity was laid bare today as damning NHS reports revealed the pervert was free to roam hospitals abusing victims at will – even targeting the dead.
The mass of NHS papers revealed vile Savile boasted about having sex with corpses in a mortuary, posed with bodies and wheeled them around at night, stole glass eyes from the dead and made them into rings and abused teenage patients in their beds as they recovered from surgery.
And it is said the paedophile targeted at least 103 men, women, boys and girls aged between five and 75 for his attacks in hospitals and state institutions, which included three rapes….
He bragged about having sex with corpses at Leeds General Infirmary. A former nurse at Broadmoor said Savile told her about his appalling activities at the Yorkshire hospital, where he was a charity fundraiser and volunteer porter.
He said he would “muck about” posing with dead bodies of men and women together before taking photographs.
The nurse added: “I was a little bit upset because I had no concept, in those days, of… while I’d heard of necrophilia… but I didn’t understand what it meant.”
It is claimed former Top of the Pops frontman Savile told her he sexually assaulted the bodies as well, something he sickeningly dubbed “garamoosh”.
A former patient at Barnet General Hospital in North London said nurses told her in 1983 that Savile “liked to have sex with dead bodies”….
West Yorkshire police The Cook Report and Savile’s ‘satanic rituals’, Cops probe claim that notorious sex abuse cases are linked
June 28, 2014 Comments Off on West Yorkshire police The Cook Report and Savile’s ‘satanic rituals’, Cops probe claim that notorious sex abuse cases are linked
Cops probe claim that notorious sex abuse cases are linked
Friday 27th June 2014 Crime Desk By Nicola Tallant
GARDAI have been asked to investigate links between two notorious child abuse cases amid claims that a network of paedophiles preyed on children in one of the country’s most affluent suburbs.
Rape victim Fiona Doyle has given a statement to cops investigating the Dalkey House of Horror file saying she believes there are sinister connections between the two cases.
And she has appealed to anyone who was abused in the area, or knew about abuse, to come forward.
The Sunday World understands that at least one other claim of historical sex abuse in the Killiney area has also been made.
Fiona, who won a People of the Year award for her bravery, says she believes that child abuse was rife in South County Dublin.
After a lengthy campaign for justice backed by the Sunday World, Gardai in Dun Laoghaire are currently reviewing allegations made by Cynthia Owen that she was raped by a group of men in Dalkey, and by members of her own family, and that she bore two children out of incest and rape when she was aged 11 and 14.
Among those who have given statements to the investigation is Fiona, whose father Patrick O’Brien was jailed for 12 years after an outcry when he was initially freed on bail pending sentence.
Fiona has told Gardai how her uncle Michael Cowap, recently deceased, and a friend of her father’s also raped her as a young child. But the 47-year-old mum says that she has now become aware of a number of different paedophile rings operating in the Dun Laoghaire area….
Three of my father’s friends that I know of were paedophiles. They were from the same area. There was an underlying acceptance of sexual abuse of children in the greater Dun Laoghaire area. A lot of people knew of my abuse and did nothing….
The Sunday World understands that a number of people have now come forward to Gardai in Dun Laoghaire. One has alleged she was sexually abused on Killiney Hill and another has told this newspaper she recalls being told ritual abuse took place on Dalkey Island.
Jimmy Savile: ‘It couldn’t happen again.’ Yes it could and it’s probably happening right now
Beginning his working life in the aviation industry and trained by the BBC, Tony Gosling is a British land rights activist, historian & investigative radio journalist. June 27, 2014
We heard this week yet more horrors about the BBC presenter, ‘volunteer hospital porter’ and prolific child abuser Jimmy Savile having molested living patients at 28 separate hospitals, as well as testimony that he gained access to at least one mortuary to sexually abuse corpses. But despite Savile having up to a thousand victims, it was only due to the immense courage and persistence of a handful of selfless journalists that the devastating story of Britain’s most prolific ever pedophile and child abuser saw the light of day.
Since the scandal broke in October 2012, the London media have criticized police, royalty, government officials, health service managers and BBC staff for covering up Savile’s crimes, but few if any of these media commentators has admitted to their own vital role in hushing up Britain’s ‘worst kept secret’ for decades….
Many have been shocked at Savile’s ability to keep his child sexual abuse secret for nearly fifty years, while mingling with royalty and others at the top of British society. Those he abused were told they better never breathe a word about it because he had ‘friends in high places,’ which he did.
Those who endorsed Britain’s most prolific ever child sex abuser were not just the obvious and unpunished BBC bosses, but included Prince Charles and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher….
Social Affairs Correspondent Liz Mackean, from the BBC’s nightly flagship Newsnight, was the only senior journalist in the country with the courage to bite the bullet on the ‘worst kept secret in journalism.’ She put her career on the line and pushed her editor to broadcast the Savile accusations. Despite Liz, a former BBC Radio colleague of mine, having obtained heart-wrenching interviews with Savile’s victims in December 2011, Newsnight editor Peter Rippon refused to even watch, let alone transmit them….
West Yorkshire police The Cook Report and Savile’s ‘satanic rituals’
Psychotherapist Valerie Sinason had been talking for years, to anyone who would listen, about Savile. She personally interviewed two of his victims in her London based ‘Clinic for Dissociative Studies’ who told her at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire that they had been repeatedly sexually abused in horrific rituals they described as ‘satanic.’
Wearing robes and masks in the hospital basement and to Latin chants of ‘Hail Satanus’, the idea, it seems, was two-fold: for Savile to ‘share’ his victims with other abusers and also to so deeply traumatize the children with supernatural threats of demons and devil masks that, through fear, they would never dare breathe a word to anyone. They were being groomed, as so many children are in government ‘care homes’ for serial abusers, and for pimps, heading down the lonely road to a life of abuse or prostitution.
Sinason has not been the only one to talk of satanic ritual abuse in connection with Savile. Britain’s most popular TV journalist ever, Roger Cook, also exposed what he believed was a satanic ritual abuse ring in Savile’s home town of Leeds, Yorkshire. During the airing of an edition called the ‘The Devil’s Work’ on 17 July, 1989 (under the umbrella of the ten-million-viewers-a-night ‘Cook Report’ series), witnesses told Cook that a certain ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice shop’, run by one Chris Bray, was connected to a ritual abuse ring in the city. Post-transmission threats by Bray to prosecute Central TV proved empty….
June 27, 2014 Comments Off on “Welcome to Hell:” The Border Patrol’s Repeated Abuse of Children
“Welcome to Hell:” The Border Patrol’s Repeated Abuse of Children
06/24/2014 James Lyall Staff Lawyer, ACLU Border Litigation Project
Detainees wrested from sleep every 30 minutes, the lights in their frigid cells never turned off. One detainee told by officials, don’t lie or you’ll be raped. Another detainee sexually abused by guards. Detainees forced to stand in stress positions. Others denied adequate food, water, and medical treatment and held in dehumanizing conditions. “Welcome to hell,” one guard told a detainee, a good metaphor for what occurs across these sites of torment.
These incidents don’t come from military prisons in Iraq or Afghanistan or CIA black sites. This has been happening for years along the Southwest border in U.S. government facilities run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its Border Patrol. The victims: children, some as young as infants, as documented in a recent complaint filed by a group of immigrant rights advocates who interviewed 116 unaccompanied children previously held in CBP custody.
Just as appalling, government agencies have known about these abuses for a long time, but failed to take action. Now, more children are vulnerable to harm in Border Patrol custody than ever before. Since October, 47,000 children have left their homes in Central America, mainly in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, for the United States. They flee destabilizing violence and crime fomented by criminal syndicates and gangs, more often than not without a loved one leading the way….
One in four detained children reported physical abuse at the hands of CBP, including sexual assaults and beatings. More than half reported verbal abuse, including racist and sexist insults and even death threats, as well as the denial of urgent medical care…..
Seven out of ten interviewed reported detentions lasting longer than the 72-hour period mandated by law. Three out of ten children reported that their belongings were confiscated and never returned. Many others reported being shackled during transport, the metal restraints excruciatingly digging into their wrists and ankles. Eighty percent reported CBP personnel denied them adequate food and water.
Systemic Abuse of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by U.S. Customs and Border Protection
FBI: 168 kids rescued, 281 pimps nabbed in sex-trafficking crackdown, Deputies: Day care, mentoring program a front for Sanford child porn operation, Child abuse victims stung by Albany inaction (Child Victims Act)
June 26, 2014 Comments Off on FBI: 168 kids rescued, 281 pimps nabbed in sex-trafficking crackdown, Deputies: Day care, mentoring program a front for Sanford child porn operation, Child abuse victims stung by Albany inaction (Child Victims Act)
FBI: 168 kids rescued, 281 pimps nabbed in sex-trafficking crackdown
CBS/AP June 23, 2014
WASHINGTON — Nearly 170 victims of child sex trafficking, many of whom had never been reported missing, were rescued in the last week as part of an annual nationwide crackdown, the FBI said Monday.
Besides the 168 children rescued from the sex trade, 281 pimps were arrested during the same period on state and federal charges.
“These are not faraway kids in faraway lands,” FBI Director James Comey said in announcing the annual enforcement push known as Operation Cross Country. Instead, he added, “These are America’s children.”
This is the eighth such week long-operation, which this year unfolded in 106 cities. The FBI says nearly 3,600 children have so far been recovered from the streets….
He said one concerning trend is the increasing prevalence of children who are being prostituted online…. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-168-kids-rescued-281-pimps-nabbed-in-sex-trafficking-crackdown/
Deputies: Day care, mentoring program a front for Sanford child porn operation 6/25/14
Sanford, N.C. — A pseudo day care and mentoring program operating out of the Sanford home of a convicted sex offender was actually a front for a child porn production operation, Harnett County Sheriff’s Office detectives said.
Four people have been arrested in the case. Investigators are searching for Tommy Wall, a fifth person who may be in the Raleigh or Fayetteville areas….
Investigators say Bailey Joe Mills, 33, who was convicted three times on charges related to sexual contact with children, ran the operation out of his former Nicole Drive home. They believe Mills ran the day care and mentoring program to attract young girls to his residence and to create a relationship with their parents. Mills then offered the girls money to have sex with men he found through different social media sites, authorities said….
Mills has had multiple arrests and convictions over the years….
The operation, which involves about 10 male and female victims ranging from ages 1 to 14, dates back to 2013, but it wasn’t discovered until Mills’ arrest in January. Investigators said they realized they had a much bigger case after going through Mills’ computer and cell phones…. http://www.wral.com/deputies-day-care-and-mentoring-program-a-front-for-child-porn-operation/13758447/
Child abuse victims stung by Albany inaction
By Shant Shahrigian 6/25/14
Horace Mann School graduate Joseph Cumming says it took him 34 years to fully realize his treatment at the hands of his music teacher Johannes Somary was sexual abuse. But by then, even if he had wanted to, it was far too late for him to take legal action. New York’s criminal and civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse of minors is five years after the victim turns 18.
After revelations of decades of abuse involving more than 30 victims at Horace Mann emerged in June 2012, the Bronx District Attorney’s office said the limitations prevented it from prosecuting any of the perpetrators.
The state legislature’s recent failure to take up the Child Victims Act — which would eliminate the criminal and civil statues of limitations for child sexual abuse and create a one-year window for past victims to seek justice — infuriated Mr. Cumming and other survivors….
“The main reason [the Child Victims Act] has not passed is that there is a caucus of centrist Democrats in the senate who have blocked it again and again,”….
A man who says he suffered sexual abuse at the Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., which earlier this year acknowledged abuse of students in the 1960s, echoed Mr. Cumming’ point of view.
“These politicians end up protecting very bad people,” said the surivor, who did not want his name published.
The New York State Catholic Conference is strongly opposed to the act, saying it would unfairly subject the church — which has seen widespread allegations of child abuse by priests in recent years — to costly litigation. http://riverdalepress.com/stories/Child-abuse-victims-stung-by-Albany-inaction,54539
June 25, 2014 Comments Off on Politics had no role in Sandusky probe, Friedman Sex Abuse Conviction
Report: Politics had no role in Sandusky probe
By MARK SCOLFORO Associated Press June 23, 2014
HARRISBURG — A report released Monday detailing the handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case faults police and prosecutors for long delays in bringing charges but found no evidence that politics affected the investigation.
The report, commissioned by Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane and written by former federal prosecutor Geoff Moulton, blamed a three-year time lapse in filing charges on communication problems, an expungement of a 1998 complaint about the former Penn State coach and a failure to take certain investigative steps early on.
“The facts show an inexcusable lack of urgency in charging and stopping a serial sexual predator,” said Kane, who had vowed to conduct a review of the investigation while running for office. “The report documents that more investigative work took place in just one month in 2011 than in all of either 2009 or 2010.”
Moulton said his review, including internal emails by state prosecutors, “revealed no direct evidence that electoral politics influenced any important decision made in the Sandusky investigation.”….
Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving a long prison sentence….
Jesse Friedman, Who Pleaded Guilty To Child Abuse In 1988, Fights For Exoneration June 24, 2014
MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A man portrayed in an Oscar-nominated documentary about a notorious 1988 sex abuse case has launched another attempt to clear his name.
Jesse Friedman and his attorney filed a motion Tuesday in Nassau County Court. They want a judge to hold a hearing to review evidence in the case.
Friedman and his father, Arnold Friedman, pleaded guilty in 1988 to abusing 13 children during a computer class that the elder Friedman taught at their Great Neck home. But Jesse Friedman has maintained that he was coerced into confessing….
Last year, Rice determined that Friedman was properly convicted.
“By any impartial analysis, the re-investigation process prompted by Jesse Friedman, his advocates and the 2nd Circuit, has only increased confidence in the integrity of Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea and adjudication as a sex offender,” Rice’s report stated.
About a half-dozen prosecutors, supplemented by an independent review team that included noted defense attorney Barry Scheck, investigated claims that police used flawed interview techniques, employed hypnotism to elicit victims’ memories and took advantage of a moral panic that was sweeping the country in the late 1980s.
It also examined whether Friedman had caved to pressure from a county court judge and prosecutors to plead guilty, and methodically addressed that and all the other criticisms.
The report said during the first two weeks of the investigation, at least 35 children were interviewed by a team of 12 detectives working in two-person teams. No single detective dominated the investigation and different teams obtained incriminating statements from different victims, the report said.
The review team also said it found no credible evidence that hypnosis was used by investigators on any child….
Rice: No Reason To Overturn Friedman Sex Abuse Conviction
Friedman Claims There’s ‘Nothing But Lies In The Report’ June 24, 2013
MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – There is no reason to overturn the conviction of a man in a notorious 1980s sex abuse scandal, New York prosecutors announced Monday after a three-year review….
But Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice released a 168-page report Monday that concluded there was strong reason to investigate and prosecute both Friedman and his father, Arnold, when the scandal erupted in 1987. The new inquiry also concluded that the two abused young boys taking computer classes in the basement of their Great Neck home….
Friedman, speaking at a news conference on Monday, said he’s disappointed in the DA’s report but added he’ll continue his battle to clear his name….
“By any impartial analysis, the re-investigation process prompted by Jesse Friedman, his advocates and the 2nd Circuit, has only increased confidence in the integrity of Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea and adjudication as a sex offender,” the report stated….
The panel also noted that after his guilty plea, Friedman went on “The Geraldo Rivera Show” against his attorney’s advice and re-affirmed his guilt and discussed the abuse he and his father inflicted on the children.
The panel also re-interviewed parents of some of the victims and found none “have any reason today to disbelieve that their sons were victims of the Friedmans.”
The parents described their children having emotional problems, including bed wetting, defecating in their clothing, sleeplessness, nightmares, stuttering, a decline in school performance, separation anxiety and an overwhelming sense of fear….
Capturing the Friedmans
Deconstructing the Myths Advanced by the Film “CApturing the Friedmans”
In Their Own Words: Jesse’s Victims Speak Out
Myths About the Country Walk Case, Ugandans drum alarms to rescue abducted children (ritual killings), India’s ‘Temple Slaves’ Struggle to Break Free
June 24, 2014 Comments Off on Myths About the Country Walk Case, Ugandans drum alarms to rescue abducted children (ritual killings), India’s ‘Temple Slaves’ Struggle to Break Free
Myths About the Country Walk Case
Ross E. Cheit David Mervis
The Country Walk case in Dade County, Florida was long considered a model for how to prosecute a multi-victim child sexual abuse case involving young children. In the past 10 years, however, a contrary view has emerged that the case was tainted by improper interviewing and was likely a false conviction. This is the first scholarly effort to assess the competing views of this case. Critics of this case advance three primary claims: (1) the positive STD test result from Frank Fuster’s son was unreliable; (2) highly suggestive interviewing produced the children’s claims; and (3) Frank Fuster’s wife, Ileana, was coerced into testifying against her husband. On close examination, all three claims prove to be false. This article documents the reasons why these claims constitute myths and why those findings are significant in the larger debate on children as witnesses.
Three major claims that have been advanced to challenge the conviction of Frank Fuster do not stand up to close factual scrutiny; they stand only as myths. As such, they inform us about our cultural fears and they alert us to our cultural blind spots. This is not an explication of all the evidence in the case. A longer version of this analysis, covering virtually every claim advanced at the trial and since, will be published as a chapter in a forthcoming book. This analysis covers enough of the evidence to generate a hypothesis about the previously unrecognized problem of disconfirmation bias. Ceci and Bruck (1995) “believe that the evolution of many of the mass-allegation day-care cases” are caused by the phenomenon of “interviewer’s bias,” also known as “confirmation bias” (p. 93). A close examination of the Country Walk case, however, reveals that a reverse kind of bias is apparently at work. Disconfirmation bias involves a selective examination of evidence with a predisposition toward the child-suggestibility defense.
The persistence of all three myths analyzed in this article seems to exemplify disconfirmation bias. These myths can be believed only by ignoring available evidence to the contrary. The exaggerated claim on error rates and STD testing can be uncovered by reading the sources cited in Whittington’s affidavit. So, too, the child-suggestibility defense can be debunked by reading the trial transcripts….
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Vol. 16(3) 2007
Ugandans drum alarms to rescue abducted children
Mon Jun 23, 2014
By Rodney Muhumuza AP Writer
BUIKWE, Uganda — When a child goes missing in this central Ugandan district, villagers beat drums into a pulsing rhythm that sends rescuers scampering through bushes. Others, riding motorcycles, try to block exit routes.
In response to the kidnappings and ritual killings of children here, the traumatized community has created a rudimentary but effective abduction alert system that has saved at least two children so far this year.
Although the problem of children being killed as human sacrifices is reported in several parts of Uganda, Buikwe has gained notoriety recently as the country’s witchcraft capital. One in three households here keeps a shrine — a thatched hut in which so-called witchdoctors can be consulted — a frightening statistic that explains the prevalence of superstitious practices that threaten the lives of many children and even adults….
Eight children have been abducted and ritualistically killed in Buikwe this year, their mutilated bodies dumped in bushes and sugarcane plantations, according to local officials.
Across Uganda, at least 729 children were abducted in 2013, according to a Ugandan police report that also cited a 39 percent increase in crimes against children over the previous year….. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/ugandans-drum-alarms-to-rescue-abducted-children/article_ddac5238-2ba8-512e-a0f8-9056ba3925c1.html
India’s ‘Temple Slaves’ Struggle to Break Free
By Stella Paul Tuesday, June 24, 2014
NIZAMABAD, India, Jun 22 2014 (IPS) – At 32, Nalluri Poshani looks like an old woman. Squatting on the floor amidst piles of tobacco and tree leaves that she expertly transforms into ‘beedis’, a local cigarette, she tells IPS, “I feel dizzy. The tobacco gives me headaches and nausea.”
At the rate of two dollars for 1,000 cigarettes, she earns about 36 dollars a month. “I wish I could do some other job,” the young woman says longingly.
But no other jobs are open to her in the village of Vellpoor, located in the Nizamabad region of the southern Indian state of Telangana, because Poshani is no ordinary woman.
She is a former jogini, which translates loosely as a ‘temple slave’, one of thousands of young Dalit girls who are dedicated at a very young age to the village deity named Yellamma, based on the belief that their presence in the local temple will ward off evil spirits and usher in prosperity for all.
Poshani says she was just five years old when she went through the dedication ritual.
First she was bathed, dressed like a bride, and taken to the temple where a priest tied a ‘thali’ (a sacred thread symbolising marriage) around her neck. She was then brought outside where crowds of villagers were gathered, held up to their scrutiny and proclaimed the new jogini.
For several years she simply lived and worked in the temple, but when she reached puberty men from the village – usually from higher castes who otherwise consider her ‘untouchable’ – would visit her in the night and have sex with her.
Poshani says she was never a sex worker in the typical sense of the word, because she was never properly paid for her ‘services’. Rather, she was bound, by the dedication ritual and the villagers’ firm belief in her supernatural powers, to the temple….
According to official records, there are an estimated 30,000 joginis – also known as devdasis or matammas – in Telangana today. An additional 20,000 live in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh….. http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/06/indias-temple-slaves-struggle-to-break-free/
Child abuse ‘has serious consequences for brain development’, Family violence leaves genetic imprint on children
June 22, 2014 Comments Off on Child abuse ‘has serious consequences for brain development’, Family violence leaves genetic imprint on children
Child abuse ‘has serious consequences for brain development’
Sunday 22 June 2014
A new study recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry has found an association between child abuse and the reduction of gray matter in the brain that is responsible for information processing.
Child abuse, also referred to as child maltreatment, describes all forms of physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, negligence and any other exploitation that harms the health, development, dignity or survival of a child under the age of 18 years.
The World Health Organization (WHO) state that worldwide, around 20% of women and 5-10% of men report being sexually abused as children, while 23% of individuals report being physically abused during childhood….
The studies included 56 children or adolescents and 275 adults with a history of childhood abuse, as well as 56 children and 306 adults who had not been exposed to childhood maltreatment.
Using a 3D meta-analytical neuroimaging technique created by Radua – called “signed differential mapping” – the team was able to determine the volumes of gray matter in each individual.
They found that the individuals who had been exposed to childhood maltreatment had much smaller volumes of gray matter in certain brain areas, compared with those who had no history of child abuse….
Family violence leaves genetic imprint on children
June 17, 2014 Tulane University
Children in homes affected by violence, suicide, or the incarceration of a family member have significantly shorter telomeres -— a cellular marker of aging — than those in stable households. The study suggests that the home environment is an important intervention target to reduce the biological impacts of adversity in the lives of young children.
Researchers discovered that children in homes affected by domestic violence, suicide or the incarceration of a family member have significantly shorter telomeres, which is a cellular marker of aging, than those in stable households. The findings are published online in the latest issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Telomeres are the caps at the end of chromosomes that keep them from shrinking when cells replicate. Shorter telomeres are linked to higher risks for heart disease, obesity, cognitive decline, diabetes, mental illness and poor health outcomes in adulthood. Researchers took genetic samples from 80 children ages 5 to 15 in New Orleans and interviewed parents about their home environments and exposures to adverse life events.
“Family-level stressors, such as witnessing a family member get hurt, created an environment that affected the DNA within the cells of the children,” said lead author Dr. Stacy Drury, director of the Behavioral and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Laboratory at Tulane. “The greater the number of exposures these kids had in life, the shorter their telomeres were — and this was after controlling for many other factors, including socioeconomic status, maternal education, parental age and the child’s age.”
S. S. Drury, E. Mabile, Z. H. Brett, K. Esteves, E. Jones, E. A. Shirtcliff, K. P. Theall. The Association of Telomere Length With Family Violence and Disruption. PEDIATRICS, 2014; 134 (1): e128 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-3415
The Association of Telomere Length With Family Violence and Disruption
Stacy S. Drury, MD, PhDa,
Emily Mabile, BAb,
Zoë H. Brett, PhDa,
Kyle Esteves, BAa,
Edward Jones, BAa,
Elizabeth A. Shirtcliff, PhDc, and
Katherine P. Theall, PhDb
….RESULTS: Cumulative exposure to interpersonal violence and family disruption was correlated with bTL. Controlling for other sociodemographic factors, bTL was significantly shorter in children with higher exposure to family violence and disruption. Witnessing family violence exerted a particularly potent impact. A significant gender interaction was found (ß = -0.0086, SE = 0.0031, z test= -2.79, P = .0053) and analysis revealed the effect only in girls.
CONCLUSIONS: bTL is a molecular biomarker of adversity and allostatic load that is detectable in childhood. The present results extend previous studies by demonstrating that telomeres are sensitive to adversity within the overarching family domain. These findings suggest that the family ecology may be an important target for interventions to reduce the biological impact of adversity in the lives of children.