June 15, 2013 Comments Off on What Do We Know about the Class of 2013? Pennsylvania: Priest and Ex-Teacher Get Prison for Abuse
What Do We Know about the High School Class of 2013?
By James R. Marsh on June 13, 2013
This just out from Child Trends; some fascinating and sobering statistics about the high school class of 2013.
BETHESDA, MD — June 11, 2013 — Imagine a senior class of 100. They’re the product of their genetic predispositions, their families, their communities, and all of the opportunities (or lack of opportunities) they’ve encountered since birth. They’ve made both good choices and not-so-good ones. They’re on the threshold of adulthood. But what do we really know about them and what does their future hold?
Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center on children and youth issues, examined a range of available statistics to provide this portrait of the high school class of 2013:
….71 have experienced physical assault; 28 have been victimized sexually; 32 have experienced some form of child maltreatment.
…. 39 have ever been bullied, physically or emotionally; 16 have been bullied in the past year.
….22 are living in poverty; 10 are living in deep poverty.
…. 10 report they were victims of dating violence in the past year.
10 report they have been raped
…..3 were victims of violent crime in the past year….
Pennsylvania: Priest and Ex-Teacher Get Prison for Abuse
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS June 13, 2013
Exceeding sentencing guidelines, a judge on Wednesday gave prison terms to a Roman Catholic priest and a former teacher in a sexual abuse case that brought down a Philadelphia church official. The priest, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt of Wynnewood, and the former teacher, Bernard Shero of Levittown, maintained their innocence, and the judge threw out the most serious conviction against Father Engelhardt for lack of evidence. Still, Father Engelhardt, 66, who had not previously been accused of abusing children, was sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison. Mr. Shero, convicted of rape, was sentenced to 8 to 16 years….
850 BBC staff complain of bullying and sexual harassment in wake of Savile scandal, Shame of ‘theft, fraud and under-age sex’ at the BBC: Dossier reveals crimes that have never been reported to police
April 2, 2013 Comments Off on 850 BBC staff complain of bullying and sexual harassment in wake of Savile scandal, Shame of ‘theft, fraud and under-age sex’ at the BBC: Dossier reveals crimes that have never been reported to police
850 BBC staff complain of bullying and sexual harassment in wake of Savile scandal
Hundreds of BBC employees contact consultants as part of internal inquiry
Accusations involve harassment, sexual harassment and bullying
One senior BBC executive believed to be subject of more than 20 complaints
By Simon Cable 1 April 2013
More than 850 BBC employees have come forward to raise concerns about bullying and sexual harassment at the corporation, it has emerged.
The staff members have contacted private consultants brought in by the BBC as part of an internal inquiry set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
The Rose Review, overseen by human rights lawyer Dinah Rose QC, was launched last October following a wave of damaging claims from female presenters including Liz Kershaw and Sandi Toksvig who said they were routinely groped while working for the BBC.
Staff were asked to detail their experiences under a guarantee of anonymity, while one-to-one sessions have also taken place between BBC staff members and an outside company, Change Associates.
It is believed that one senior BBC executive is the subject of more than 20 complaints of bullying….
Among the hundreds who came forward to the enquiry, up to 20 former employees initially thought they would not be give evidence because they been paid off and made to sign contracts to stop them turning whistleblower.
Gagging clauses are typically part of ‘compromise agreements’ signed when an employee agrees to drop an employment tribunal claim in return for a pay-off.
However, it is understood that, following negotiations, their evidence was eventually allowed to go forward.
The BBC insists no-one has been barred from giving evidence, despite any previous agreements which may have been signed….
Shame of ‘theft, fraud and under-age sex’ at the BBC: Dossier reveals crimes that have never been reported to police
Dossier spanning four years show many crimes never reported to the police
High number of suspects in the 500 crimes a year were BBC employees
By Paul Revoir and Christian Gysin
1 April 2013
BBC staff are suspected of a catalogue of crimes at work – many of which have never been reported to police.
A dossier spanning four years shows theft and fraud allegations running at more than 500 a year.
A significant number of the suspects were employees at the broadcaster.
Documents also reveal allegations of sexual or indecent assault, as well as incidents of suspected drug use.
Thefts of TVs, radios, iPhones, Blackberry devices and computers from BBC staff were endemic.
In one instance, an employee was accused of having under-age sex while on assignment. Because the allegation could not be proved, the log showed the staffer was given only a warning.
This allegation, like many others, was not passed on to police for further investigation because the BBC’s internal investigations service – which employs former police officers – decided it could not be substantiated.
The disclosures follow the Jimmy Savile revelations which saw the corporation accused of turning a blind eye to decades of sex abuse by the presenter….
Cardinal Mahony and Pope Election, Long-Term Effects Of Bullying: Pain Lasts Into Adulthood, A Personal Nightmare of Assault in India, Are women safe in India?
February 23, 2013 Comments Off on Cardinal Mahony and Pope Election, Long-Term Effects Of Bullying: Pain Lasts Into Adulthood, A Personal Nightmare of Assault in India, Are women safe in India?
The Prelate as Scapegoat By FRANCIS X. CLINES February 21, 2013
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles wants to participate in the election of the next Pope, and it seems likely that he will get his wish — even though he covered up child abuse when he was archbishop of Los Angeles and was officially relieved of public church duties at the end of January. Judging from the cardinal’s personal blog, if he travels to Rome he will arrive prayerfully accepting his role in the scandal — the role of “scapegoat.”….
For some, the cardinal represents nothing so theologically subtle. He’s just a plain embarrassment. One cardinal said his presence at the coming conclave would be “disturbing.” But Cardinal Mahony has every right and duty to be there, according to other church officials, including the current archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, who had to rebuke his predecessor when records came to light detailing how the cardinal protected rogue priests….
Long-Term Effects Of Bullying: Pain Lasts Into Adulthood (STUDY)
By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Kids don’t easily outgrow the pain of bullying, according to a new study that finds that people bullied as kids are less mentally healthy as adults….
“To my surprise at least, there were some very strong long-term effects on their risk for depression, anxiety, suicidality, a whole host of outcomes that we know just wreak havoc on adult lives,” said study researcher William Copeland, a clinical psychologist at Duke University Medical Center.
How bullying hurts
Previous studies have found that both bullies and their victims are at higher risk for mental health problems and other struggles in childhood. One study, presented in 2010 at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, found that bullies were at higher risk of substance abuse, depression, anxiety and hostility than non-bullies.
For bully victims, being targeted can result in increased suicide risk, depression, poor school performance and low self-esteem. But most studies on the effects of bullying focus on the childhood period….
They found that any involvement in bullying boded poorly in adulthood. Pure bullies did not show problems with emotional functioning as adults, Copeland said, which is unsurprising given that they had all the power in their childhood relationships. But they did show increased risk of developing antisocial personality disorder. People with this disorder have little empathy and few scruples about manipulating others for their own gain. The disorder is linked with a greater risk of becoming a criminal. Most bullies did not go on to have the disorder, Copeland said, but they were more likely to develop it than other groups.
Pure victims, on the other hand, were at higher risk for depression, anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia than kids uninvolved in bullying, the researchers found. Worst off were the bully/victims, who were at higher risk of every depressive and anxiety disorder in the book. [5 Ways to Foster Self-Compassion in Your Child]
For example, pure victims were four times as likely to develop an anxiety disorder in adulthood compared with kids who were uninvolved in bullying. Bully/victims had a five-times greater risk of depression than uninvolved kids, as well as 10 times the likelihood of suicidal thoughts or actions and 15 times the likelihood of developing a panic disorder.
“By far, being a bully and a victim meant having the worst long-term outcomes,” Copeland said….
A Personal Nightmare of Assault in India By SHALINI KANTAYYA February 19, 2013
….I found myself awake in this nightmare, with a man violently gripping my mouth shut, attempting to rape me. I was biting and kicking, using every ounce of my energy to fight for my life. My mouth was badly bleeding and in the struggle we fell to the floor. He continued to violently grab my face, and said, “Shalini, don’t shout.” He knew my name. I recognized him as the hotel waiter who served my dinner that night.
I continued to scream and fight incessantly, until finally he relented. He picked up his lungi and said, “I’ll leave. Don’t tell the manager.” Then he ran out and shut the door. Did he really think he could try and rape me in my sleep, without protest and that I wouldn’t tell? Yes. He did. He counted on the fact that he lived in a culture that blamed the victim — that the stigma associated with sexual assault would force a woman to keep quiet. And although I had escaped the worst-case scenario, and prevented a rape, the nightmare was far from over.
In the days that followed, bruised and battered, with excruciating body pain, I managed to shuttle to and from government hospitals to be examined and police stations to file reports. I was well acquainted with India’s bureaucratic process, and in spite of my injuries, I wanted to make sure I had filled out all the paperwork correctly to obtain “justice.”
For several weeks, I tried to get a response from several American and Indian bureaucracies, but they all responded the same way: by doing nothing. Despite my formal complaints, in which I detailed the attack in full, these institutions offered no assistance – not even a single follow up call. I was devastated. I traveled to India on part of an American organization, and received no mental, physical or emotional support. As someone who has committed my life to artistic expression and social justice, I have never felt so voiceless….
Are women safe in India? We ask if the country’s existing laws and the attitude of law enforcers are serving to compound or prevent sexual abuse. 24 Dec 2012
….There are reports that suggest that in India, a woman is raped every 20 minutes.
More than 24,000 rape cases in the country were reported last year alone, of which 570 were reported in the Indian capital, where already this year 635 rape cases have been registered.
The legal news service Trust Law says India is the worst country in the G20 to be a woman. It says women and girls continue to be sold, married off at a young age, exploited and abused as domestic slaves.
The number of crimes recorded against women, including kidnapping, abduction, and human trafficking exceeds 2.5 million.
Many activists say Indians are protesting against what they say is a culture of impunity.
There are 40,000 pending rape cases in the country and survivors have to wait years for their cases to be heard – even then the conviction rate is just 34.6 percent – according to the National Crimes Record Bureau.
The Indian Penal Code lists punishments of up to life behind bars, but those convicted are often let off after serving a short sentence….
Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood, Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal
December 20, 2012 Comments Off on Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood, Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal
Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood
Dec. 18, 2012 — A recent study by a researcher at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) at the Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine and professor at the Université de Montréal suggests that bullying by peers changes the structure surrounding a gene involved in regulating mood, making victims more vulnerable to mental health problems as they age.
The study published in the journal Psychological Medicine seeks to better understand the mechanisms that explain how difficult experiences disrupt our response to stressful situations. “Many people think that our genes are immutable; however this study suggests that environment, even the social environment, can affect their functioning. This is particularly the case for victimization experiences in childhood, which change not only our stress response but also the functioning of genes involved in mood regulation,” says Isabelle Ouellet-Morin, lead author of the study.
A previous study by Ouellet-Morin, conducted at the Institute of Psychiatry in London (UK), showed that bullied children secrete less cortisol — the stress hormone — but had more problems with social interaction and aggressive behaviour. The present study indicates that the reduction of cortisol, which occurs around the age of 12, is preceded two years earlier by a change in the structure surrounding a gene (SERT) that regulates serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation and depression….
Increased serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation is associated with bullying victimization and blunted cortisol response to stress in childhood: a longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins. Ouellet-Morin, C. C. Y. Wong, A. Danese, C. M. Pariante, A. S. Papadopoulos, J. Mill, L. Arseneault. Psychological Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1017/S0033291712002784
Increased serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation is associated with bullying victimization and blunted cortisol response to stress in childhood: a longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins
Childhood adverse experiences are known to induce persistent changes in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to stress. However, the mechanisms by which these experiences shape the neuroendocrine response to stress remain unclear.
We tested whether bullying victimization influenced serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation using a discordant monozygotic (MZ) twin design. A subsample of 28 MZ twin pairs discordant for bullying victimization, with data on cortisol and DNA methylation, were identified in the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative 1994–1995 cohort of families with twins….
Our study extends findings drawn from animal models, supports the hypothesis that early-life stress modifies DNA methylation at a specific cytosine–phosphate–guanine (CpG) site in the SERT promoter and HPA functioning and suggests that these two systems may be functionally associated.
Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal
By LOLITA C. BALDOR | Associated Press 12/19/12
WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 31 people were fired from two Army day care centers at Fort Myer, Va., last week after officials scrutinized their backgrounds and found criminal convictions ranging from fourth-degree sexual assault and drug use to other assaults, a defense official said Wednesday….
According to officials, one person was charged with four counts of assault on children and the other was charged with five counts of assault. The alleged actions included hitting, grabbing or pushing the children. In the days after the arrests, the two administrators were dismissed, others were brought in and town hall meetings took place with parents.
April 26, 2012 Comments Off on Violence ages children’s DNA, shortens their chromosomes
Violence ages children’s DNA, shortens their chromosomes
By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
….Study finds that exposure to violence can cause changes in DNA leading to seven to 10 years of premature aging.
In fact, a new study suggests that violence leaves long-term scars on children’s bodies – not just in bruises on the skin, but also altering their DNA, causing changes that are equivalent to seven to 10 years of premature aging.
Scientists measured this cellular aging by studying the ends of children’s chromosomes, called telomeres, according to Idan Shalev, lead author of a study in today’s Molecular Psychiatry.
Telomeres are special DNA sequences that act like the plastic tips on shoelaces, which prevent the DNA in chromosomes from unraveling. They get shorter each time a cell divides, until a cell can’t divide anymore and it dies….
In this study, researchers examined whether exposure to violence could make children’s telomeres shorten faster than normal. They interviewed the mothers of 236 children at ages 5, 7 and 10, asking whether the youngsters had been exposed to domestic violence between the mother and her partner; physical maltreatment by an adult; or bullying. Researchers measured the children’s telomeres — in cells obtained by swabbing the insides of their cheeks — at ages 5 and 10.
Telomeres shortened faster in kids exposed to two or more types of violence, says Shalev, a post-doctoral researcher at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy in Durham, N.C. Unless that pattern changes, the study suggests, these kids could be expected to develop diseases of aging, such as heart attacks or memory loss, seven to 10 years earlier than their peers….
The study confirms a small-but-growing number of studies suggesting that early childhood adversity imprints itself in our chromosomes, says Charles Nelson, a professor of pediatrics and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School.
In a 2011 study, Nelson and colleagues found shorter telomeres in Romanian children who had spent more time in institutions, compared with children sent to foster care.http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-04-24/violence-cellular-mark/54493338/1?csp=34news
Molecular Psychiatry , (24 April 2012) | doi:10.1038/mp.2012.32
Exposure to violence during childhood is associated with telomere erosion from 5 to 10 years of age: a longitudinal study
I Shalev, T E Moffitt, K Sugden, B Williams, R M Houts, A Danese, J Mill, L Arseneault and A Caspi
There is increasing interest in discovering mechanisms that mediate the effects of childhood stress on late-life disease morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have suggested one potential mechanism linking stress to cellular aging, disease and mortality in humans: telomere erosion. We examined telomere erosion in relation to children’s exposure to violence, a salient early-life stressor, which has known long-term consequences for well-being and is a major public-health and social-welfare problem. In the first prospective-longitudinal study with repeated telomere measurements in children while they experienced stress, we tested the hypothesis that childhood violence exposure would accelerate telomere erosion from age 5 to age 10 years. Violence was assessed as exposure to maternal domestic violence, frequent bullying victimization and physical maltreatment by an adult. Participants were 236 children (49% females; 42% with one or more violence exposures) recruited from the Environmental-Risk Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative 1994–1995 birth cohort. ….Compared with their counterparts, the children who experienced two or more kinds of violence exposure showed significantly more telomere erosion between age-5 baseline and age-10 follow-up measurements, even after adjusting for sex, socioeconomic status and body mass index (B=-0.052, s.e.=0.021, P=0.015). This finding provides support for a mechanism linking cumulative childhood stress to telomere maintenance, observed already at a young age, with potential impact for life-long health. http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp201232a.html