Archive for the ‘child abuse’ Category

When the Mind Splits – Dissociative identity disorder affects millions of people, most of whom are former child abuse victims

When the Mind Splits
Dissociative identity disorder affects millions of people, most of whom are former child abuse victims.
Why do some psychologists doubt that the condition even exists?
By Sam Levin

….I met Elyse a few weeks after she sent me an email, stating that she has was trying to find a journalist to help her raise awareness about dissociative identity disorder, or DID (pronounced D-I-D), a misunderstood and stigmatized condition that is far more common than most people realize. Elyse was officially diagnosed with DID two years ago at Stanford University Medical Center, but she said she has had the condition for much longer.

“The majority of the public knows little to no correct information about DID, and even those in the professional field of psychology debate whether or not this disorder is even real,” Elyse wrote to me over the summer. “But it is. It is very, very real, and so I am working hard to spread awareness.”

Research has increasingly demonstrated that DID is a trauma-based disorder that typically emerges among people who have experienced childhood sexual or physical abuse. Dissociation occurs when people mentally detach themselves from their surroundings, a common coping mechanism for a child victim of abuse. When the abuse continues over a period of time, that dissociation can become extreme and lead the victim to develop distinct, dissociated parts of himself or herself that exist to withstand the abuse.

Experts on DID say that roughly 1 percent of the population suffers from the condition, making it as common as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

….Every year, child protective service agencies in the United States receive more than 3 million reports of child abuse. In 2012, there were nearly 63,000 documented cases of child sexual abuse, according to US Department of Health and Human Services data. And experts believe that the number of cases reported and investigated represents just a small fraction of the abuse and trauma that children suffer across the country.

“When they are reported, they are not dealt with well,” said David Spiegel, associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and an expert on dissociative identity disorder. Some research has suggested that two-thirds of child trauma cases aren’t reported, he said. “These children have to live with it. How do you live with it? … You act as though it isn’t happening or it’s happening to somebody else that isn’t you.”

Cases involving the most severe and disturbing trauma — prolonged physical and sexual abuse by parents, other family members, or caregivers — are especially likely to go unreported. And so children in these cases develop their own ways to survive. “You can’t run away. You can’t fight it, so you go away in your head,” explained Bethany Brand, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Towson University in Maryland, who recently completed the world’s largest study on the treatment of dissociative disorders. “That makes it easier to disconnect from the body in pain.”

When a young mind repeatedly enters these dissociative states in response to ongoing abuse, the coping mechanism can evolve into DID. “It’s an interesting paradox of sort of breaking apart, so that you don’t break,” explained Janelle Salah, a Berkeley-based therapist who treats DID patients.

….A 2006 Journal of Psychiatric Research study concluded that 1.5 percent of the general population has DID. And a 2011 epidemiological overview of DID studies — which stated that “dissociative disorders constitute a hidden and neglected public health problem” — said the disorder exists in 0.4 to 3.1 percent of the general population, and in roughly 5 percent of psychiatric patients. That study also stated that dissociative patients are more likely to report childhood psychological trauma than people suffering from any other psychiatric disorder.
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/when-the-mind-splits/Content?oid=4109440&showFullText=true

When The Mind Splits: Processing Dissociative Identity Disorder Through Art
by Sam Levin

In this week’s cover story, I profiled Elyse Winter-Volkova, a 21-year-old San Leandro woman who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, the condition formerly known as multiple personality disorder. Experts believe the disorder, also known as DID, affects roughly 1 percent of the population and most often emerges in people who have experienced severe childhood trauma, typically prolonged physical or sexual abuse. One of the leading DID experts featured in my story is Bethany Brand, a professor of psychology at Towson University in Maryland, who conducted the world’s largest study on the treatment of dissociative disorders. In addition to discussing her extensive research with me, Brand helped connect me to two women in Maryland who also have DID…..

DID most often develops as a highly complex coping mechanism in the face of intense abuse and trauma, meaning a child mentally detaches from his or her surroundings, and eventually develops distinct, dissociated parts (or personalities) that exist to withstand the abuse. The challenge for people living with DID is to develop a functional system of communication between different personalities or identities (sometimes called “alters”), with some sufferers working toward “integration” — that is, the fusion of different identities into one. While integration is not always the ultimate goal for people with DID, Elise told me that she is working toward integration — an incredibly difficult process of trying to merge different parts of herself that carry different memories and perspective on her past abuse. “I would like to come back together as much as possible,” she said….
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/CultureSpyBlog/archives/2014/10/29/when-the-mind-splits-processing-dissociative-identity-disorder-through-art

When the Mind Splits
from East Bay Express

Elyse Winter-Volkova has been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, but instead of hiding it, she openly talks about her condition online, with the people in her life, and as a guest lecturer in college psychology classes. She hopes to raise awareness and advocate for greater acceptance of people with mental illnesses.
http://vimeo.com/110367678

Dissociative identity disorder (formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder or MPD) is defined in the DSM-IV-TR as the presence of two or more personality states or distinct identities that repeatedly take control of one’s behavior. The patient has an inability to recall personal information. The extent of this lack of recall is too great to be explained by normal forgetfulness. The disorder cannot be due to the direct physical effects of a general medical condition or substance.
http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Dissociative_Identity_Disorder

Saalfelden murder ‘was Nazi ritual killing’, Priest indicted in Poland for child abuse

Saalfelden murder ‘was Nazi ritual killing’ 21 Oct 2014
The murder of a young woman in Saalfelden, Pinzgau, on October 9th was not a case of domestic violence but a ritual killing – according to a report from broadcaster ORF Salzburg.

The body of a 20-year-old woman was found in a pool of blood in a man’s bathroom and police initially believed that she had been murdered by her boyfriend. A suspect, also 20, was arrested at the scene.

However the report from ORF Salzburg quotes unnamed sources who said the man raped and stabbed the woman, who was an acquaintance of his, and cut Nazi symbols into her skin with a knife…. http://www.thelocal.at/20141021/saalfelden-murder-was-nazi-ritual-killing

Priest indicted in Poland for child abuse
22.10.2014  A Polish priest accused of child abuse in both the Dominican Republic and Poland has been formally indicted in his native country.

Father Wojciech G.’s case has been referred to a district court in Wolomin, 12 miles east of the capital, according to Przemyslaw Nowak, spokesman for a public prosecutor’s office in Warsaw.

Nowak has confirmed that the priest stands accused of 10 offences, 8 of which relate to the sexual abuse of boys below the age of 15.

“Two acts were committed in 2000-2001 in Poland, the others at various times over the years 2009-2013, in the Dominican Republic,” he outlined on Wednesday.

Nowak also revealed that the priest is accused of possession of pornographic material involving minors, as well as the possesion of a firearm and ammunition without the necessary permits.

“We have ample evidence in this case, including the testimonies of over 100 witnesses, and over a dozen reports by experts,” he noted.

Father Wojciech G. was arrested near Krakow in February 2014, and he has remained in police custody since then.

The clergyman has denied any wrongdoing since accusations first surfaced in 2013 in the Dominican Republic, where he had served as head of a parish in the highland town of Juncalito…. http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/185041,Priest-indicted-in-Poland-for-child-abuse-

Rise in ritual child abuse cases linked to WITCHCRAFT reported to police, Where Are the Victims of Human Trafficking Taken?, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Child Sex Abuse Cases Bring Religion’s Practices Into Question

- Shocking rise in ritual child abuse cases linked to WITCHCRAFT reported to police
– Rwanda: Where Are the Victims of Human Trafficking Taken?
– Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Child Sex Abuse Cases Bring Religion’s Practices Into Question

Shocking rise in ritual child abuse cases linked to WITCHCRAFT reported to police
MORE cases of ritual child abuse related to the belief in witchcraft are being reported to police.
By: Jane Mathews
Published: Wed, October 8, 2014

Scotland Yard has received 27 allegations in the past year, including two claims of rape, a report of a child being swung around and hit on the head “to drive out the devil”, and other youngsters being dunked in water.

A number of horrific child killings have been linked to these beliefs, including the murder of Kristy Bamu, 15, who was tortured and drowned by his sister and her boyfriend in 2010, and the death of Victoria Climbie.

The number of cases ritualistic or faith-based abuse of children reported to Scotland Yard has increased year-on-year over the past decade.

A total of 24 were passed to the force in 2013, compared with 19 in 2012 and just nine in 2011.

Since 2004, 148 such cases have been referred to the Met….
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/519929/Child-abuse-witchcraft-rise-police-reported

Rwanda: Where Are the Victims of Human Trafficking Taken?
9 October 2014

By Athan Tashobya

Most victims of human trafficking in the country are taken into forced marriage, labour and prostitution, Police said yesterday.

Speaking at a news briefing, ACP Tony Kuramba, the deputy commissioner of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and director of Interpol-Rwanda, said the majority of the victims were taken to Uganda and Asia.

“In most cases, these victims of human trafficking are taken for forced marriage, prostitution and forced labour, we have heard cases in China, Malaysia, Thailand and Dubai, and we are following them closely,” Kuramba said during a media briefing on the forthcoming national dialogue on human trafficking at Parliament Buildings yesterday.

The dialogue, at which First Lady Jeannette Kagame is expected to officiate, is slated for tomorrow in Kigali.

Kuramba said 153 cases of human trafficking were registered since 2009, with some of them involving traffickers who use Rwanda as a transit route for victims heading to other countries….
http://allafrica.com/stories/201410090843.html

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Child Sex Abuse Cases Bring Religion’s Practices Into Question
By Sami K. Martin , Christian Post Reporter
October 8, 2014
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a silent epidemic of child abuse that was recently brought to public attention again after four alleged victims filed lawsuits against the organization.

There are over 7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses across the globe, according to the group’s website. However, there have been numerous accusations and cases brought against elders and leaders of the organization, alleging child abuse of both young men and women, dating back at least 30 years. Four reported victims brought a lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Organization in Connecticut….

One particular case in 2012 saw Candace Conti, a victim, receive awarded $28 million in damages after alleging that member Jonathan Kendrick molested her from 1995-1996. The case was filed in Oakley, California and the $28 million award was the largest paid to a single victim….

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have plenty of information on their website about how to keep children safe from predators, but take a unique approach to dealing with cases of accused abuse. When an allegation against a member or elder is made, the organization follows a “two-witness rule,” which requires that there be two victims made. They claim that they follow Biblical principles when it comes to the rule and cite Scripture such as 1 Timothy 5:19 and Deuteronomy 19:15, which speak of having two persons come forward when making an accusation….
http://www.christianpost.com/news/jehovahs-witnesses-child-sex-abuse-cases-bring-religions-practices-into-question-127738/

‘Warlock’ found guilty of sexual abuse, Child abuse search warrants ‘refused on age of information’

‘Warlock’ found guilty of sexual abuse
Monday, October 6, 2014

CNHI News Service

A West Virginia man who prosecutors say conducted ritualistic sex acts with young girls who believed him to be a “warlock” has been convicted on multiple counts of sexual abuse involving juveniles.

Jurors found James Rolan Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, guilty Monday of 30 counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse involving juveniles.

Irvin faces a minimum sentence of 220 years in prison, according to Mercer County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler.

The verdict came after three days of deliberations by the jury in the case, which gained notoriety as claims of Nolan’s use of magical powers surfaced during testimony.

Police say Irvin used those claims to get close to children and sexually abuse them. According to an arrest report in the case, a teenage girl told a Bluefield Police Department detective her mother was engaged in wiccan and pagan practices with Nolan and “believed him to be a magical warlock.”….

If Nolan’s sentences run consecutively — as the state will request at the Dec. 1 sentencing hearing — Irvin would not be eligible for parole consideration until after serving 225 years, Sitler said.

Nolan was found not guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual assault involving a third juvenile in the case.
http://www.pressrepublican.com/cnhi_network/article_a0e9e002-60fd-5aca-874b-bc129b5fc328.html

Child abuse search warrants ‘refused on age of information’
By Sally Chidzoy & David Keller BBC News  5 October 2014

Delays in a police force receiving details on child abuse suspects from the UK agency tackling such abuse online, has led to search warrants being refused, it has emerged.

Bedfordshire Police said it tried to search homes as part of the global child exploitation sting Project Spade.

But magistrates refused permission, saying the 17-month delay meant the information was too old, police said….

Toronto Police in Canada gave the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) details about 2,345 UK suspects in July 2012 after they were caught buying suspect videos online….

But the images were graded as the lowest risk and were not passed from CEOP onto local police forces for more than a year.

That decision is currently the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Since then high profile abusers have emerged from these suspects, including a Cambridge doctor who preyed on terminally ill children and a Southend teacher who filmed his pupils undressing.

The BBC has learned 153 suspects from Project Spade come from the East of England, according to figures from seven out of eight of the region’s police forces.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-29448505

High court to hear religious man’s child abuse case, Jehovah’s Witness congregation sued for alleged child abuse

High court to hear religious man’s child abuse case
Stephen Herzog, News-Leader September 28, 2014

Missouri’s Supreme Court will hear arguments this week regarding whether a Springfield man who practiced a certain type of Christianity is guilty of abusing his children.

Peter D. Hansen, 50, was convicted by a jury in 2011 of abusing one of his children by locking him in a bathroom “for days at a time” and restricting what the child could eat. Judge Dan Conklin suspended a three-year prison sentence and placed Hansen on five years probation with 100 days in the Greene County Jail.

Hansen, who is a Seventh Day Adventist, argues that his religion encourages vegetarianism and that the punishment of his children does not constitute child abuse….

Prosecutors say there is sufficient evidence to prove Hansen “inflicted cruel and inhuman punishment by locking the minors in a small, dark and cold bathroom for days at a time.” Prosecutors also say Hansen’s withholding of food was a cruel and inhuman punishment.

Hansen says the state’s evidence failed to prove either of those convictions….

Hansen said the children were bad and had bad attitudes and were being punished.

At that time, the children were taken into protective custody and the parents were arrested, according to court records.

The children were taken to the hospital where a doctor determined the children were “receiving inadequate calories for appropriate weight gain and growth.”

A nurse noted the boy’s ribs and shoulder blades were “visibly prominent,” according to court records….
http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2014/09/28/high-court-hear-religious-mans-child-abuse-case/16410841/

Jehovah’s Witness congregation sued for alleged child abuse      Two Vt. sisters claim repeated molestation in the 1990s By Stewart Ledbetter Sep 30, 2014

BURLINGTON, Vt. —Two women filed lawsuits Tuesday in state and federal courts alleging they were sexually abused as youngsters by an authority figure at their Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Bellows Falls in the mid-1990s, and claiming church elders did nothing to stop it.

The litigation, announced in Burlington, involves sisters Miranda and Annessa Lewis….

Lewis said she was 4 years old when she was first molested and fondled by…a “ministerial servant” in the congregation. Zalkin said that position is one approved by church elders.

She said her sister, Annessa, who now lives in Texas, was similarly assaulted….

“The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a policy – a policy that is grounded in a code of silence,” Zalkin said, describing a secretive organization that regards protecting its own image as paramount even to protecting its children.

When the girls’ mother says she confronted church leaders with abuse allegations, in 1995 or 1996, they were called liars.  Mauvoleon-Folsom said the family immediately left the congregation.

Miranda Lewis said the abuse has caused ongoing anxiety, depression, and a range of other psychological issues. She now lives in Chester with her mother.

The Lewis sisters are seeking compensatory and punitive damages from…, the Bellows Falls congregation and from the national parent organization called the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, based in Brooklyn, N.Y….

Zalkin said his investigators have uncovered indications that the Lewis girls were not….first victims.
http://www.wptz.com/news/vermont-new-york/burlington/jehovahs-witness-congregation-sued-for-alleged-child-abuse/28338048

Miramonte: LA school district’s claim it shredded child abuse reports now in question

Miramonte: LA school district’s claim it shredded child abuse reports now in question

Karen Foshay   September 25

Questions are being raised about the Los Angeles Unified School District’s claim earlier this year that it shredded 20 years’ worth of suspected child abuse reports in connection with the Miramonte abuse scandal.

In response to a judge’s questions, about 100 current and former members of L.A. Unified’s general counsel’s office said they had no knowledge of the records being destroyed, and district officials have not answered similar questions posed by KPCC.

In April, KPCC was the first to report that LAUSD officials said the suspected child abuse reports, or SCARs, were ordered destroyed in 2008 after the district’s general counsel concluded it was not legally allowed to hold on to them. The records dated back to 1988, according to a district spokesman.

L.A. Unified made its comments about the documents after attorneys representing dozens of children suing the district over the actions of former Miramonte teacher Mark Berndt requested that the school district produce all of its suspected child abuse reports.

In November 2013, Berndt pleaded no contest to 23 counts of lewd acts upon a child and was sentenced to 25 years in state prison….
http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/09/25/46970/lausd-s-claim-it-shredded-child-abuse-reports-now/

Vatican Arrests Former Archbishop On Child Abuse Charges, Don’t turn a blind eye to child abuse or neglect

Vatican Arrests Former Archbishop On Child Abuse Charges
September 24, 2014

Jozef Wesolowski is the first high-ranking Vatican official to face criminal charges for sexually abusing children. Steve Inskeep talks to Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter.

….Vatican City, the home of the Catholic Church, is also a tiny, independent nation with its own laws. And today, one of its citizens is under house arrest. The Vatican took former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski into custody. He had already been defrocked in June. All of this follows allegations that he sexually abused young boys while he was the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He’s going to stand trial on a Vatican criminal court. Joshua McElwee, who is Vatican bureau chief for The National Catholic Reporter, is covering this story.

….Well, the Vatican had acted a couple months ago. What they’d done is they laicized Wesolowski, who was an archbishop, which basically made him a normal Catholic. He’s no longer a priest. He’s no longer an archbishop. And now they’re saying that they’re prosecuting him according to the laws of the Vatican City State for, apparently, accusations of abuse in the Dominican Republic.
http://www.npr.org/2014/09/24/351074916/vatican-arrests-former-archbishop-on-child-abuse-charges

Don’t turn a blind eye to child abuse or neglect
By Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist   September 21, 2014

How is it possible that Erika Murray’s oldest children went to school, had friends, and saw relatives, yet nobody raised the alarm about the horrors filling their Blackstone home?….

It all went to hell the summer before Spadaro turned 11, when she found her mother on the floor, in seizures. Doctors removed a brain tumor, leaving her mother with impaired judgment and impulse control, and dependent on sedatives.Her father, who had broken his hip and quit work years earlier, was also heavily medicated. Depressed, and with strained finances, her parents mixed alcohol with the drugs, descending into addiction.

“That combination of the unwashed people and the unwashed pets and the food that may be halfway round the bend,” recalled Spadaro, now 48. “You learn to function with the smell, but I don’t think you ever stop noticing it.”

She did what many kids do in these situations: She became the parent, at 11. She remembers trying to clear some of the mess away, hauling trash to the garage, and cleaning up after the beagle. For meals, she warmed frozen pizza in a toaster oven. She did laundry so that she and her sister — several years younger — would look presentable.

“I tried to keep things as best I could, but I could not be in charge of two parents, a younger sibling, and the pet,” she said.

For three years, none of the many adults in their lives came to their rescue….

Three years after the spiral began, her mother’s family took the girls in. Spadaro does not know why they decided to intervene then, and not sooner….

Several times, though, neighbors complained about pets being mistreated at the home. There was only one call about the children, found to be unsubstantiated. How those kids must have envied the dogs…..
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/09/20/don-turn-blind-eye-child-abuse-neglect/d1OaB8XQbdqPXdaoERXf8J/story.html

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