Yeshiva University High School students whose sexual abuse was covered up by administration want changes to statute of limitations law

March 31, 2016 Comments Off on Yeshiva University High School students whose sexual abuse was covered up by administration want changes to statute of limitations law

Yeshiva University High School students whose sexual abuse was covered up by administration want changes to statute of limitations law 
by Michael O’keeffe  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Wednesday, March 30, 2016

They got an apology, but they never got justice.

Thirty-four former students at the prestigious Yeshiva University High School claimed in a bombshell $680 million lawsuit that administrators had covered up abuse for decades…..

A federal judge tossed the lawsuit in 2014 — not because the plaintiffs’ claims against the school in Washington Heights were without merit, but because of a persistent obstacle to justice for child victims of sexual abuse in New York State. The statute of limitations had expired.

“We lost for one reason, and one reason only,” said Barry Singer, one of the plaintiffs in the case. “(The school) disputed none of our allegations and we still lost. The only thing to do now is to change the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations protects institutions; it does not protect children.”

New York’s statute of limitations bars child victims from pursuing criminal charges or civil litigation after their 23rd birthday.

Some of the accusers said administrator Rabbi George Finkelstein targeted them because they were children of Holocaust survivors. He begged the victims not to add to their parents’ suffering by reporting his abuse of students.

In a shocking December 2012 story by The Forward reporter Paul Berger, former Yeshiva University President Norman Lamm acknowledged he failed to notify authorities after students told him they had been sexually abused at the school. School officials quickly offered what they called a “profound apology.”…. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/abused-yeshiva-university-h-s-students-change-law-article-1.2583374

Boston Archdiocese settles with 7 alleged victims of clergy abuse, Globe’s Spotlight team on clergy sex abuse, “Kots Kaal Pato” ritual of animal murdering is banned

March 30, 2016 Comments Off on Boston Archdiocese settles with 7 alleged victims of clergy abuse, Globe’s Spotlight team on clergy sex abuse, “Kots Kaal Pato” ritual of animal murdering is banned

Boston Archdiocese settles with 7 alleged victims of clergy abuse
By Brian MacQuarrie Globe Staff  March 28, 2016

The Archdiocese of Boston has agreed to settlements involving cash and counseling with seven people who say they were sexually abused by priests, including one case that stretches back to the 1930s, according to the attorney for the alleged victims.

Two other settlements with religious orders have been reached in cases involving priests who allegedly abused victims while they worked in the archdiocese, according to the attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

Another, separate settlement with the Carmelite Order involved a brother who had been accused of abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles before being assigned to a chapel at the Northshore Mall in Peabody.

In all, the 10 settlements paid $778,500 and involved allegations of sexual abuse in every decade from the 1930s through the 1980s, Garabedian said. The attorney said he also reached agreements in six other cases across the country, including four in New Jersey.

The agreements carried no admission of liability.
Recent priest abuse settlements

The settlements are the latest reminders of the breadth of the crisis that rocked the archdiocese after the Globe reported in 2002 that abuse had occurred over decades, and that church officials transferred abusive priests to other parishes and routinely hid cases from the public and parishioners.

The Globe’s investigation into the abuse was chronicled in the movie “Spotlight” and earned the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize in 2003…..
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/03/28/boston-archdiocese-settles-with-victims-clergy-abuse-attorney-says/wlGixSXHESrNKuznIEwHkI/story.html


Key reports from Globe’s Spotlight team on clergy sex abuse

March 11, 2016

The Boston Globe’s 2001-2002 investigation into sexual abuses by clergy in the Catholic Church resulted in more than 600 stories, with eight Globe reporters playing key roles. The first history-changing report was the work of Spotlight editor Walter V. Robinson, and reporters Sacha Pfeiffer, Michael Rezendes, and Matt Carroll. As the scope of the story widened, four other reporters joined the effort: Stephen Kurkjian, Thomas Farragher, Michael Paulson, and Kevin Cullen.

Here is a sampling of their work:

1. This Globe column by Eileen McNamara got the investigation rolling when new Globe editor Martin Baron read it in July 2001 and asked the Spotlight Team to pursue a wider look at abusive priests and what the church leadership knew.

2. The story that changed everything: The Spotlight Team’s first major report, published Jan. 6, 2002.

3. A few weeks later, the Spotlight Team widened the horrifying picture to include scores of priests.

2002: Church allowed abuse by priest for years
Why did it take a succession of three cardinals and many bishops 34 years to place children out of John J. Geoghan’s reach?
2002: Scores of priests involved in sex abuse cases
More on the story behind the ‘Spotlight’ movie
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/03/11/key-reports-from-globe-spotlight-team-clergy-sex-abuse/s7qc7M3W2nmLs5ULN8ILHJ/story.html

“Kots Kaal Pato” ritual of animal murdering is finally banned
By Yucatan Times
Wed, Mar 23rd, 2016

Almost one year after the online magazine Vice published an article about an unknown tradition practiced in a small town in Yucatan: “Kots Kaal Pato”, this barbaric practice has been finally prohibited by the local and state authorities.

This ritual that takes place in the town of Citilcum involved filling up piñatas with small animals, like iguanas, birds, kittens and possums, and beating them to dead….

Local animal shelters and pro animal defense groups took notice immediately and began to collect signatures through the Change.org website in order to ban this barbaric tradition. The online petition reached more than 750,000 signatures from around the world and even Mexican celebrities, like Eugenio Derbez and Sasha Sokol, helped gathered signatures through twitter. However, the government kept silent and it seemed there was no finding a solution.

Finally, with the help of the Humane Society International (HSI), local church members, pro animal defense groups, animal shelters, and the Municipality of Izamal, Kots Kaal Pato will be officially banned on April 23, almost a year after the article was published in Vice (May, 2015). As part of the agreement with HIS, authorities will only promote the organization of traditions in which no animals will be injured or killed….
http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2016/03/kots-kaal-pato-ritual-of-animal-murdering-is-finally-banned/

British girls as young as 10 face harm from breast ironing with stones heated on hot coals in ritual imported from west Africa

March 29, 2016 Comments Off on British girls as young as 10 face harm from breast ironing with stones heated on hot coals in ritual imported from west Africa

British girls as young as 10 face harm from breast ironing with stones heated on hot coals in ritual imported from west Africa

The process uses stones, a hammer or a spatula heated over hot coals to mutilate the breast tissue and make the adolescent look less ‘womanly’
Belief is it discourages unwanted male attention and premarital pregnancy
Breast ironing originated in Cameroon, where one in four are affected
Tory MP Jake Berry said he was shocked to learn girls in west African communities in Birmingham and London were victims as well

By Thomas Burrows for MailOnline

26 March 2016
Around 1,000 British girls face harm from the ‘abhorrent’ practice of breast ironing, ministers have warned.

In the brutal procedure, hot objects [stones, a hammer or a spatula] are used to pound and beat girls’ breasts to stop them growing in the belief it makes them less desirable and discourages premarital pregnancy.

Breast ironing originated in Cameroon, where it affects as many as one in four.

It also takes place in Nigeria, Benin and Chad. This week Jake Berry, the Conservative MP for Rossendale & Darwen, said he was shocked to learn girls in west African communities in Birmingham and London were victims too.

It is very difficult to spot as most of the perpetrators were the victims’ own mothers. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3510492/British-girls-young-10-face-harm-breast-ironing-stones-heated-hot-coals-ritual-imported-west-Africa.html

Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation, Operation Midland Inquiry Ends, Australia Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence Against Women with Disabilities

March 24, 2016 Comments Off on Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation, Operation Midland Inquiry Ends, Australia Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence Against Women with Disabilities

-Police chief to step down after force’s handling of child abuse cases criticised
“at least 1,400 children had been raped, trafficked and abused in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013”

– Operation Midland: Child abuse inquiry ends with no charges brought

– Australia’s most shocking statistic: Sexual abuse and domestic violence against women with disabilities
“90 per cent of intellectually disabled women in Australia have been sexually abused”
– Committee Inquiry into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings

Police chief to step down after force’s handling of child abuse cases criticised  24/03/2016

The chief constable of South Yorkshire has announced plans to step down just hours after another report criticised his force’s past failures to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham.

David Crompton, 52, will leave his post in November, according to a one-line statement on the force website and on Twitter.

Mr Crompton’s four year tenure as chief constable has been plagued by a series of high profile problems, many of which began well before he joined the force in 2012.

As well as the Rotherham scandal, he has also had to deal with renewed controversy over the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report in 2012, which led to new inquests.

And he has also faced a fresh campaign for an inquiry into police actions at the “Battle of Orgreave” during the 1984 Miner’s Strike.

But, as well as these historical matters, Mr Crompton also found himself in the headlines when Sir Cliff Richard’s home was searched in connection with an inquiry into alleged child abuse….

The inquiry led by Professor John Drew repeated many of the criticisms levelled at South Yorkshire Police in the 2014 report by Professor Alexis Jay, which sparked a national scandal when it said at least 1,400 children had been raped, trafficked and abused in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

The Jay Report outlined how police and social workers knew what was happening but failed to act.

Prof Drew found that, by today’s standards, the scale of response to child sexual exploitation 15 years ago was inadequate across the whole of South Yorkshire, with mistakes and missed opportunities until 2011 due to the low priority given to the crime.

But t he professor said the force had made “determined progress” since 2013 and that the police response to safeguarding children and young people from CSE was now adequate and, in some cases, of high quality.

Last month, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced it was now looking at more than 194 allegations about the conduct of police relating to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham….
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/police-chief-to-step-down-after-forces-handling-of-child-abuse-cases-criticised-34568628.html

Operation Midland: Child abuse inquiry ends with no charges brought
21 March 2016  UK
A Met Police inquiry into claims a VIP Westminster paedophile ring abused children in the 1970s and 1980s has closed without charges being brought, Scotland Yard has announced.

The controversial Operation Midland ended as ex-MP Harvey Proctor was told he faces no further action over claims against him of child abuse and murder.

He called on four Met chiefs to resign, but the force said it had been right to look into the single source claims….

The investigation, which began in November 2014, was triggered by allegations made by a man in his 40s known as “Nick”, who claimed he was abused for nine years from 1975, when he was seven, to 1984.

More people came forward to provide information but there was not enough evidence to charge anyone – although there was nothing to prove police had been knowingly misled by a complainant, the Met said in a detailed statement….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35863580

Australia’s most shocking statistic: Sexual abuse and domestic violence against women with disabilities
March 20, 2016
Jane Rosengrave, 53, is a proud indigenous women who grew up in institutional care and suffered years of sexual abuse and domestic violence.  Ginger Gorman

Jane has an intellectual disability, and over her lifetime she’s suffered unrelenting sexual and physical abuse by six different male perpetrators.

She is far from alone. On the contrary, 90 per cent of intellectually disabled women in Australia have been sexually abused….

It’s a shocking statistic made worse by the fact that most of the abuse happens when the victims are children.

For Jane, the sexual abuse started when she was just six years old. At the time, Jane was a ward of the state living at Pleasant Creek Training Centre in the Victorian town of Stawell. The facility operated from 1937 until 1999 and housed children and young adults with intellectual disabilities….
http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/australias-most-shocking-statistic-sexual-abuse-and-domestic-violence-against-women-with-disabilities/news-story/21246ae889850b1d958088fd80b880ae

AUSTRALIAN CROSS DISABILITY ALLIANCE
Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings  August 2015
http://wwda.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ACDA_Sub_Sen_Inquiry_Violence_Institutions.pdf

Newsweek Article on Alleged Hasidic Child Abuse Sparks Brooklyn Yeshiva Protest

March 23, 2016 Comments Off on Newsweek Article on Alleged Hasidic Child Abuse Sparks Brooklyn Yeshiva Protest

Newsweek Article on Alleged Hasidic Child Abuse Sparks Brooklyn Yeshiva Protest By Lucy Westcott  3/18/16

About 40 protesters holding signs and chanting gathered outside the Ohlei Torah yeshiva in Brooklyn on a snowy Sunday evening in response to a Newsweek exposé on the alleged sexual and physical abuse of students by rabbis at the school.

Chaim Levin, the protest organizer whose story of abuse at Oholei Torah was chronicled in the Newsweek article, on Sunday spoke about the physical and sexual abuse he says he and other students at Ohlei were forced to suffer, saying: “It’s unfathomable to me that the people who did this kind of violence are teaching.”….

A statement on the Facebook page for the protest read: “For too long, teachers and principals in this school have ignored children being abused physically and sexually. There is evidence to suggest that in most of these cases the school knew about these crimes and chose not to act.”

“Furthermore, three of the people mentioned in the Newsweek article, people who either abused children themselves or oversaw it, are still employed by the school,” the statement said.

The protesters were demaing an end to child abuse, the replacement of abusive staff and apologies to victims of childhood sexual abuse. Organizers also want victims to be paid compensation “for the damage caused by abuse,” they said in a press release….
http://www.newsweek.com/yeshiva-child-abuse-newsweek-protest-438482

Commission: US Lacks Strategies to Lower Child Abuse Deaths

March 18, 2016 Comments Off on Commission: US Lacks Strategies to Lower Child Abuse Deaths

Commission: US Lacks Strategies to Lower Child Abuse Deaths  By David Crary, AP National Writer  NEW YORK  Mar 17, 2016

The United States lacks coherent, effective strategies for reducing the stubbornly high number of children who die each year from abuse and neglect, a commission created by Congress reported Thursday after two years of sometimes divisive deliberations.

According to federal data, the number of such deaths has hovered at around 1,500 to 1,600 annually in recent years. But citing gaps in how this data is compiled, the report suggests the actual number may be as high as 3,000 a year.

Commission chairman David Sanders said a goal of zero maltreatment deaths was realistic.

“We looked at the airline industry — no one accepts a plane crash anymore. We can get that way with child fatalities,” said Sanders, executive vice president of Casey Family Programs.

The report made dozens of recommendations, including expanding safe-haven programs for abandoned infants and enlisting a broader range of community organizations to help often-overburdened child protection service workers.

“We need a system that does not rely on CPS agencies alone to keep all children safe,” the report said. “Other systems become key partners, including the courts, law enforcement, the medical community, mental health, public health, and education. Even neighbors who come into regular contact with young children and families are part of a public health approach.”….

At the state level, the report decried high caseloads and stressful working conditions for child protection workers.

“Shortages of workers, funds and training may mean that inexperienced workers are tasked with making life-or-death decisions with insufficient preparation or support,” said the report….
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/commission-us-lacks-strategies-lower-child-abuse-deaths-37714322

Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic, French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

March 17, 2016 Comments Off on Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic, French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic
2016-03-16
Allegations of a cover-up in the highest reaches of French Catholicism have revived the spectre of clerical child sex abuse and cast a pall over France’s most prominent cardinal

….the allegations have the potential to profoundly rattle the Church in a country where half the population continues to consider itself Catholic. In particular, they threaten to derail the career of France’s most prominent clergyman, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, a man long touted as a possible candidate for the papacy.

The 65-year-old prelate has fiercely denied charges that he covered up paedophilia crimes by failing to remove a priest in his diocese known to have abused boy scouts decades before he took up his post in 2002. Barbarin is also accused of failing to act against another Lyon priest when it emerged in 2009 he had abused a boy in the past.

“I have never, never, never covered up acts of paedophilia,” Barbarin said at a press conference on Tuesday, noting that the cases had passed the legal statute of limitations when they were reported. He added an unfortunate “thank God” – and later apologised for his choice of words.

The cardinal spoke just hours after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged him to “take his responsibility and act” upon the allegations of cover-up – a rare step for France, which has a strict separation of church and state.

Pandora’s box

Barbarin is among six church officials targeted in a preliminary judicial investigation that grew out of allegations that a priest had molested boy scouts in the 1980s. Barbarin wasn’t a cardinal at the time and says he was convinced the priest had been reformed by the time he found out about the abuse in 2007.

The priest, Bernard Preynat, was charged on January 27 of this year with sexual aggression and rape of a minor by a person in authority. The charges are based on complaints filed by members of an association of alleged victims of the priest, known as Parole libérée (Freed word).

Several of the alleged victims have spoken to Euronews journalist Valérie Gauriat about the abuse….

The association says it has received dozens of testimonies from alleged victims, who had previously kept quiet about their story, or were simply not listened to. “Since our establishment, barely two months ago, we have been submerged by messages from victims seeking psychological support or advice,” says Dominique Murillot, the wife of a former child abuse victim and a psychologist at Parole libérée….

Adding to Barbarin’s woes, Le Parisien reported that the Lyon cardinal had in 2013 promoted a convicted sex offender, whose suspended jail term in 2007 was well known to the archdiocese….

France was shocked last year by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils.

On Wednesday, the Education Ministry said it had struck off twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools in 2015 because of paedophilia-related offenses, adding that it would tighten cooperation with the justice ministry to scrutinize the criminal records of all teachers it employs….
http://www.france24.com/en/20160316-child-abuse-spotlight-france-catholic-cardinal-barbarin-paedophilia


French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

016-03-16
Twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools were struck off in 2015 because of pedophilia-related offenses, Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said Wednesday.

Vallaud-Belkacem said most of those fired where male staffers. She did not say whether they were teachers or administrative personnel, nor when the offenses happened.

France was shocked last year by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils. Earlier this year, a high school teacher who had been convicted in Britain 10 years ago was given preliminary charges of sexual assault after police found pornographic images and video in his mobile phone.

According to a report aiming at improving communication between the ministries of education and justice published Wednesday, 19 members of staff in schools and high schools were fired in 2014 in cases related to child pornography or pedophilia. There were 26 staff at French schools laid off in 2013 for the same reason, and 15 in 2012.

“We believe that a teacher, or an adult, or an administrative agent in contact with children can’t work with children as soon as he has been sentenced for offenses as serious as pedophilia or child pornography,” Vallaud-Belkacem told RTL radio….
http://www.france24.com/en/20160316-france-27-school-staff-fired-child-sex-abuse-paedophilia

 

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