Female genital cutting, Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns, Internet trolling: teenagers suffered online abuse, Catholic church alleged abuse at UK school, Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl

February 9, 2016 Comments Off on Female genital cutting, Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns, Internet trolling: teenagers suffered online abuse, Catholic church alleged abuse at UK school, Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl

– I’m a survivor of female genital cutting and I’m speaking out – as others must too
– Replace female genital mutilation with new rites of passage, says UN chief
– Expert Details Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns
– Internet trolling: quarter of teenagers suffered online abuse last year
– Catholic church pays compensation over alleged abuse at UK school
– Keighley abuse: Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl

I’m a survivor of female genital cutting and I’m speaking out – as others must too
Maryum Saifee
My aunt cut my genitals when I was seven years old. The culture of silence surrounding this FGM/C means laws alone won’t stop it
Monday 8 February 2016

Ifor a final, only half-listening to a fellow classmate describe her research project. “Female genital mutilation is the partial or total cutting of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons,” she mechanically described. “The procedure typically take places when the girl is seven years old. The process is usually carried out by an older female relative. And once the ritual takes place, it is almost never discussed.” As she spoke, goosebumps began to form and I sat paralysed in my seat. Memories I had suppressed since childhood came flooding to the foreground….

My aunt was a doctor. So when she led me downstairs to her clinic and instructed me to lie flat on my back on her operating table, I didn’t think to question her authority. With no anaesthetic and very little warning, she performed the ritualised cut. After it was over, we headed back to the party in silence….

When I confronted my parents, they were stunned. My aunt had carried out the ritual without their consent. My father felt a unique betrayal. This was the same little sister he encouraged to pursue medicine in the first place. He had no idea that female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) was even practised within the Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shia subsect from India’s coastal state of Gujarat….

Like other forms of gender-based violence, FGM/C is a manifestation of power and means of controlling the sexuality of women and girls. In recent years, many countries have passed laws to criminalise the practice of FGM/C. Yet, it is an extraordinarily difficult crime to prosecute. Laws alone are not enough. For there to be a sustainable end to this practice, there has to be a radical culture change from the ground up, that promotes zero tolerance to any and all forms of excision….
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/08/victim-fgm-speaking-out-cut-genitals-culture-of-silence


Replace female genital mutilation with new rites of passage, says UN chief

By Sebastien Malo  Mon Feb 8, 2016
NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – New, unharmful rites of passage should replace female genital mutilation, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday after new data showed there were more victims of the custom than previously estimated.

The call by the U.N. Secretary-General was heard by diplomats, campaigners and survivors gathered at the U.N. headquarters in New York to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, which fell on Saturday.

“I am especially inspired by communities that find better ways to mark the rite of passage into womanhood,” said Ban.

He gave the example of young girls in Kenya and Tanzania spending a week away from their families to learn life skills instead of being cut.

The U.N.’s children’s agency UNICEF said on Friday more than 200 million girls and women globally have suffered genital mutilation, far higher than previously estimated….
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-rights-women-fgm-idUSKCN0VH23R

Expert Details Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns
By JAMIE ROSS Friday, February 05, 2016 Courthouse News Service
PHOENIX (CN) – The Marshal’s Office in two towns on the Arizona-Utah border failed to investigate claims of child abuse or timely complete reports, an expert witness for the Justice Department testified Thursday during a religious discrimination trial.
Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah are largely made up of followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Department of Justice sued the towns in 2012, accusing them of denying non-church members access to police protection, water and electricity. The sect’s leader, Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison for sexually assaulting 12- and 15-year-old girls, whom he called his spiritual wives.
Joseph De Lopez, a former deputy superintendent for the Chicago Police Department hired to review policies of the Colorado City Marshal’s Office, told the jury the towns’ Marshal Office did not investigate reports that town members married underage girls.
“Not only should there be an Internal Affairs investigation if it involves an officer, but a criminal investigation,” De Lopez testified.
On Wednesday, the towns’ former Chief Marshal Helaman Barlow testified that the Marshal’s Office ignored claims of underage marriages.
“If it was a church marriage, I as a church member saw it as a valid marriage,” Barlow testified.
On Thursday, De Lopez said this was just one of the Marshal’s Office’s many “deficiencies” in investigating and documenting alleged crimes and failing to train its officers….
http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/02/05/expert-details-sloppy-police-work-of-mormon-towns.htm

Internet trolling: quarter of teenagers suffered online abuse last year
Survey of 13- to 18-year-olds reveals teenagers with disabilities and those from minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to encounter cyberbullying
Four in five adolescents surveyed said they had recently seen or heard online hate.
Aisha Gani Monday 8 February 2016
One in four teenagers suffered hate incidents online last year, a figure described by experts as a “wake-up call” on the impact of internet trolling.

The survey of 13- to 18-year-olds found that 24% had been targeted due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability or transgender identity. One in 25 said they were singled out for abuse all or most of the time.

Will Gardner, chief executive of the charity Childnet and director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, which published the study, said: “It is a wake-up call for all of us to play our part in helping create a better internet for all, to ensure that everyone can benefit from the opportunities that technology provides for building mutual respect and dialogue, facilitating rights, and empowering everyone to be able to express themselves and be themselves online – whoever they are.”

The survey also found four in five adolescents had seen or heard online hate during the previous 12 months. Researchers defined such abuse as offensive, mean or threatening, and either targeted directly at a person or group or generally shared online.

Teenagers with disabilities and those from African, Caribbean, Asian, Middle Eastern and other minority ethnic groups were more likely to encounter cyberbullying, the report concluded…..
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/09/internet-trolling-teenagers-online-abuse-hate-cyberbullying

Keighley abuse: Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl
8 February 2016
Twelve men who sexually exploited a vulnerable teenage girl in West Yorkshire have received jail sentences of up to 20 years.

Eleven were jailed at Bradford Crown Court after being convicted of raping the girl in Keighley from the age of 13.

Another man was sentenced for sexual activity with the same girl.

The trial heard how the teenager was repeatedly attacked over a period of 13 months, between 2011 and 2012….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-35524340

Catholic church pays compensation over alleged abuse at UK school
Leslie Turner was paid £17,000 compensation after claiming two members of Christian Brothers abused him at school in Sunderland in 1960s
Jenny Kleeman and Helen Pidd
Leslie Turner: ‘The abuse was so common it became normal’
Wednesday 3 February 2016
The Catholic church continues to quietly pay out compensation to victims of alleged sex abuse at Catholic schools in Britain while refusing to accept liability.

Leslie Turner, a retired primary headteacher, was paid £17,000 in compensation by the Irish Christian Brothers in 2014, after claiming two members of the Catholic order sexually abused him at school in Sunderland in the 1960s.

Turner, now 66, has waived his anonymity in a film for the Guardian to allege he was molested from the age of 12 by two teachers at St Aidan’s Roman Catholic grammar school in Sunderland between 1961 and 1967. Both are long dead, but he sued after being diagnosed with delayed onset post-traumatic stress disorder in 2012 as a result of what he says he suffered as a child.

“After the abuse stopped was actually worse than when the abuse was taking place,” Turner told the Guardian. “I tried to become invisible. It never occurred to me to tell anybody. When the headteacher has been abusing you, who do you tell? I put it into a cupboard in my head and I shut the cupboard door.”

Turner is speaking out as the film Spotlight, is released in UK cinemas, which tells the story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Boston in 2002. The Globe’s investigation helped unveil a pattern of abuse by Catholic priests on a global scale…..
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/03/catholic-church-pays-compensation-over-alleged-abuse-at-uk-school

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Comeback by Cosby Unravels as Rape Claims Re-emerge, What will Bill Cosby’s legacy be?, The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it?, Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, Ritual Abuse, Female Gential Mutilation

November 20, 2014 Comments Off on Comeback by Cosby Unravels as Rape Claims Re-emerge, What will Bill Cosby’s legacy be?, The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it?, Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, Ritual Abuse, Female Gential Mutilation

– Comeback by Cosby Unravels as Rape Claims Re-emerge
– What will Bill Cosby’s legacy be?
– Councils leaving children at sex-abuse risk, says Ofsted
– The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it?
– Communities and Local Government Committee – Third Report
– Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham: some issues for local government
– Children first: the child protection system in England – Education RITUAL ABUSE, WITCHCRAFT AND FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
– Child abuse, adversity associated with poor health and employment outcomes later in life

Comeback by Cosby Unravels as Rape Claims Re-emerge
By BILL CARTER, GRAHAM BOWLEY and LORNE MANLY NOV. 19, 2014

….But in recent weeks, his triumphant return to the national stage has fallen apart in the face of a wave of accusations by women who say Mr. Cosby drugged and raped them decades ago. On Wednesday, NBC said it was canceling the pilot project, and the cable network TV Land quietly decided to stop showing repeats of “The Cosby Show.” Less than 24 hours earlier, Netflix said it was postponing the debut of the comedy special. Other scheduled appearances by Mr. Cosby — on David Letterman’s late-night show and Queen Latifah’s daytime talk show — have also been canceled.

….Mr. Cosby’s lawyers have vigorously denied the accusations in recent days, and he has never faced criminal charges. But the troubles have put the star’s comeback in limbo and created awkward situations as he seeks to burnish his legacy. Mr. Cosby’s handlers, for instance, realizing that Mr. Letterman would have to ask Mr. Cosby about the rape claims, decided to scrap the appearance.

The accusations against Mr. Cosby have been all the more striking because his hit TV show, his commercials for Jell-O and his best-selling books about fatherhood helped him present an image of the ideal family man.

….A subsequent civil lawsuit brought by Ms. Constand promised to present testimony from 13 “Jane Does” with similar accounts of sexual assault. Mr. Cosby’s lawyer called the claims false and even preposterous; the suit was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2006.

One of the unnamed women in the suit, Barbara Bowman, a former actress, came forward publicly in The Washington Post last week to describe her experiences in detail…. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/20/business/media/bill-cosby-fallout-rape-accusations.html


What will Bill Cosby’s legacy be?
Andrea Mandell and Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY November 19, 2014

….On Sunday, the second woman in a 10-day span, publicist Joan Tarshis, came forward to tell a story of being sexually assaulted by Cosby. She posted a detailed account on Hollywood Elsewhere of being drugged and abused by Cosby, 77, who has been married to wife Camille since 1964.

It’s a scenario that has now been told by more than a dozen women, all recounting incidents that happened years ago.

….On Sunday, Cosby’s lawyer, John P. Schmitt, issued a statement saying the comedy legend would not “dignify” the “decade-old” claims. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2014/11/18/bill-cosby-legacy-forever-damaged-rape-allegations/19176659/ http://goo.gl/sCHGdg

Councils leaving children at sex-abuse risk, says Ofsted   19 November 2014
Vulnerable children in England are at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse because of council failures, the children’s services watchdog has said.

Child sexual exploitation has not been treated as the priority that events in Rotherham and elsewhere suggested it should have been, Ofsted said.

Councils had been too slow to face up to their responsibilities and plans were “under-developed”, Ofsted said.

The Local Government Association said the report was “uncomfortable reading”.

The report – called The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it? – was commissioned by Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw.

It comes against a backdrop of allegations, convictions and resignations over organised child abuse and exploitation over sustained periods in locations including Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and Telford.

A separate report published by MPs on Tuesday into the Rotherham cases concluded the local authority had “failed” victims targeted in the town.

The MPs also said Rotherham was not an isolated case, child sexual exploitation was “widespread” and “serious”, and questioned the performance of Ofsted itself…. http://www.bbc.com/news/education-30096187 

The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn’t happen here, could it?
19 Nov 2014 Ref: 140175
This thematic inspection was commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of local authorities’ current response to child sexual exploitation. The report draws on evidence from inspection and case examination in eight local authorities and from the views of children and young people, parents, carers, practitioners and managers. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/sexual-exploitation-of-children-it-couldnt-happen-here-could-it 

Communities and Local Government Committee – Third Report
Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham: some issues for local government

….Conclusions
37. The Jay Report sets out in chilling detail how the authorities responsible for protecting children in Rotherham against sexual exploitation failed at least 1,400 children. On the basis of this inquiry it is clear that, although there was convincing evidence of organised child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, none of the parts of the system designed to scrutinise or challenge had any perceptible effect in identifying or challenging the prevailing insensitivity to child sexual exploitation within the Council. It was the press which stimulated action. One of the lessons for local government from the Jay Report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham will be the need to improve scrutiny and challenge within council governance. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmcomloc/648/64802.htm


Children first: the child protection system in England – Education
Committee Contents
3  Older children
Vulnerability of older children
RITUAL ABUSE, WITCHCRAFT AND FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

125. Ritual abuse related to accusations of witchcraft and spirit possession occurs in England amongst some communities of African origin. Some child deaths have included elements of ritual abuse, including that of Victoria Climbié and of a headless torso discovered in the Thames.[190] The latest high profile case involving Kristy Bamu and the conviction of his relatives has reignited publicity around the issue. This type of abuse is often linked to a faith setting (church or mosque). Accusations of witchcraft may be made by the church (for example, the pastor) who also professes the solution, usually in the form of a deliverance or exorcism. Once a child has been identified as a witch, often by family members or by a faith leader, different forms of abuse may occur….

126. ECPAT reported in October 2011 that over the last four years, at least 400 African children have been abducted and trafficked into the UK, some for the purpose of ‘juju’ blood rituals. Testimonies from some of the children have described how witch-doctors extracted their blood by force for use in ritual healings.[191] Other estimates about the extent of ritual abuse in the UK are sketchy. Research for the then Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2006 reviewed 74 cases of child abuse which were suspected of connection to spirit possession and witchcraft between 2000 and 2005, and found clear-cut evidence of ritual abuse in 38 of those cases (concerning 47 children). Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB) gave evidence that when a victim of ritual abuse is identified, it is likely that other children exposed to the same informal faith setting may also be at risk.[192]

127. Another form of abuse to which some girls of African origin may be vulnerable is female genital mutilation (FGM, also called female circumcision and genital cutting). It is estimated that approximately 100-140 million African women have undergone FGM worldwide and each year, a further three million girls are estimated to be at risk of the practice in Africa alone.[193] National FGM campaigning organisation FORWARD UK estimate that 24,000 girls under 15 are at risk each year in England and Wales. The most common age at which it occurs is between four and ten, although it appears to be falling…. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmeduc/137/13706.htm


Child abuse, adversity associated with poor health and employment outcomes later in life

People who currently fall into low-income and educational brackets are up to five times as likely to have faced abuse and adversity during childhood as people who fall into higher socioeconomic groups, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis of Allegheny County residents.

The findings, which will be presented Tuesday at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual meeting in New Orleans, support the merit of “whole family” programs that seek to break the cycle of adversity and negative health, economic and social outcomes that persist over generations.

Eliminating childhood abuse and adversity significantly improves health – reducing heart disease by more than 26 percent and serious mental illness by more than 41 percent, the research team determined in a separate study presented Monday.

….People with a low socioeconomic status had 1.7 to 4.2 times higher prevalence for each of the six adverse childhood events compared with people of higher socioeconomic status.

People who reported they were unable to work also reported a prevalence of sexual abuse five times higher than those reporting employment.

The results are consistent with those of similar surveys conducted in other communities nationwide…. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-11-child-abuse-adversity-poor-health.html

Human trafficking epidemic 21st century slavery hits close to home, ‘A Culture of Silence’ speaks for Sierra Leone, Sexual Offences Bill to be published next week

November 14, 2014 Comments Off on Human trafficking epidemic 21st century slavery hits close to home, ‘A Culture of Silence’ speaks for Sierra Leone, Sexual Offences Bill to be published next week

Former journalist says human trafficking an epidemic
21st century slavery hits close to home
By Maddy Lauria  Nov 13, 2014

Rehoboth Beach — The Sussex County Republican Women’s Club received a harsh reality check when veteran journalist Christine Dolan described a human trafficking case that struck close to home.

“Listen up … you don’t have a clue,” Dolan said as she began to discuss her more than decade-long experiences with human trafficking. “Just like the Industrial Revolution, just like the Victorian era, just like the African slave trade, you are living in the digital age of slavery in the 21st century. It is not just on the street. It is over the internet.”

Dolan, who worked for ABC and CNN in the 1980s, was commissioned by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children to study child exploitation in 2000….

Dolan said Easton, Md., shows human trafficking occurs close to home. While many attendees raised their hands to say they were familiar with the town, most audience members voiced surprise that a brothel, operated a few doors down from a Mexican restaurant on Dover Street, was busted just a few years ago, leading to sex trafficking convictions in fall 2013….

Now Dolan is on a mission to spread the word that human trafficking crimes are proliferating throughout the world, which she outlined in her “Tots to Trafficking to Terrorism” presentation during the club’s dinner meeting Oct. 22. She said globalization and increased internet access provide ways for everything from child pornography to trafficking for torture to make a mark on international markets.

“Terrorism is a transnational, transcriminal network. Trafficking is transcriminal, transnational network,” she said. Dolan said groups like al-Qaida and the group known as the Islamic State are trafficking organizations with a hand in sex and labor trafficking as well as torture rituals.

Dolan outlined the main branches of human trafficking to include sex and labor, sex tourism, child pornography, child soldiers, organ trafficking, skin trafficking and ritual abuse torture. Dolan cited an evidence comparison by Interpol that 89 percent of online incidents affect victims between the age of 6 and 12, while 10 percent include victims age 3 and younger. She said there have been great efforts made since 2000, but the demand for younger victims has increased, with a jump from 3 percent in 2005 to the recently reported 10 percent of young trafficking victims….
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/former-journalist-says-human-trafficking-an-epidemic/1261490

‘A Culture of Silence’ speaks for Sierra Leone
By Peter Keough  Globe Correspondent   November 13, 2014

For most people, the sufferings of African countries such as Sierra Leone, which has endured a hellish civil war only to be confronted with the Ebola epidemic, are regarded as passing news items.

For the documentary filmmaker Raouf J. Jacob, however, Sierra Leone is his beloved homeland. Forced to emigrate to America with his family in 1999 in the midst of the internecine conflict, he returns in “A Culture of Silence” to the place of his birth to see how it has rebounded from its bloody past. He and his partner and fellow filmmaker Lara M. Moreno tour the country with their camera to see how it has confronted its intransigent problems. These include poverty, the exploitation of resources by foreign corporations, cultural misogyny epitomized by the practice of female genital mutilation, and the legacy of war embodied by its most tragic victims — child soldiers kidnapped by warlords and forced to kill….
http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/movies/2014/11/13/movie-review-culture-silence-speaks-for-sierra-leone/ypwHqK9NW73pMBJsysudUK/story.html

Sexual Offences Bill to be published next week, says Minister for Justice
Legislation will strengthen laws on grooming, pornography and harassment
New legislation on sexual offences will strengthen laws on grooming, pornography and harassment, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said.

Fiona Gartland
Thu, Nov 13, 2014,

….“It will include strengthened provisions on age of consent, grooming and harassment,” Ms Fitzgerald said. “And it will strengthen offences of acquiring pornography online.”

The department received approval from the Cabinet to draft the legislation last December. It had been described as “long overdue” by organisations working in the field and by politicians including Senator Jillian van Turnhout.

The Minister also said yesterday that she would bring forward legislation on victims’ rights and on domestic violence in the new year….

Victims’ rights The new victims’ rights legislation will be introduced in 2015 so that Ireland can comply with its obligations under the EU victims’ directive, which was adopted at European level in 2012.

The directive includes obligations to protect victims from harm and intimidation and provide access to information, services and compensation.

Ms Fitzgerald said the new legislation would be “a very important mark of a change of approach to victims” and would reposition victims so their needs are central to the criminal justice system….
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/sexual-offences-bill-to-be-published-next-week-says-minister-for-justice-1.1998434

FGM affects 137,000 women in England and Wales, reveals shocking new study

July 31, 2014 Comments Off on FGM affects 137,000 women in England and Wales, reveals shocking new study

FGM affects 137,000 women in England and Wales, reveals shocking new study
A new study – published today, ahead of the UK’s first Girl Summit – shows a significant increase in the number of girls and women undergoing female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Radhika Sanghani reports   By Radhika Sanghani  22 Jul 2014

The number of women living in the UK who have experienced female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) has risen dramatically, a new report suggests. It shows that the practice has been carried out on 137,000 women and girls living in England and Wales.  The City University London and Equality Now study comes as the Prime Minister today hosts the UK’s first ever Girl Summit, which aims to end FGM/C and forced marriage.
It shows that there are around 103,00 FGM/C survivors aged 15-49 in the UK, 24,000 women aged 50 and over, and 10,000 young girls aged under 15. These women and girls are thought to have migrated from countries where the practice of cutting girls’ genitalia – illegal in the UK – is carried out in the name of culture, tradition and religion….  More than 700 million women alive today were married as children, according to UNICEF, and more than 250 million of these before the age of 15….
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/10980268/FGM-affects-137000-women-in-England-and-Wales-reveals-shocking-new-study.html

Britain has looked the other way for too long over FGM
The fear of offending culture and tradition is preventing us from treating FGM for what it is – appalling sexual abuse
By Emily Dyer  30 Jul 2014

The Prime Minister’s Girl Summit showed that the Government is slowly waking up to the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM). Yet this encouraging step forward stands in the shadow of a much larger question: how is it that our fear of offending “culture” has allowed 137,000 girls living in England and Wales to have their genitals cut off? These hundreds of thousands of girls living in Britain – whose quality of life has been sacrificed to an ancient ritual of sexual control – deserve a clear answer.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11000437/Britain-has-looked-the-other-way-for-too-long-over-FGM.html

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