N.S. reaches $29m settlement in Home for Colored Children abuse claim

June 4, 2014 Comments Off on N.S. reaches $29m settlement in Home for Colored Children abuse claim

N.S. reaches $29m settlement in Home for Colored Children abuse claim 
EVA HOARE Staff Reporter Published June 3, 2014

The Liberal government announced a $29-million tentative settlement for the abuse victims of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children on Tuesday.

It’s a first step in a proposed two-prong process the McNeil government had promised some 130 to 150 former residents of the Dartmouth home who had endured decades of severe physical, sexual and psychological abuse while there.

Most of the victims were black, orphaned, or from homes where families could no longer look after them. Their cries for the abuse to be acknowledged had largely gone unanswered, until the former residents launched a class action lawsuit against the province and the home itself for failing to protect them.

The home has already settled with the residents for $5 million, but the province, under Darrell Dexter’s government, continued to wage the battle against the action being certified. The total settlement, from the province and the home, amounts to $34 million and is to cover residents who suffered abuse at the facility from late 1951 to 1989. Residents’ lawyer Ray Wagner of Wagners law firm in Halifax Lawyer said the distribution plan will go back to 1921….

Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children
For the people who were raped, abused, humiliated and terrorized when they lived as children at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, it has indeed been a “life journey,” as Premier Stephen McNeil aptly put it, to the tentative $29-million settlement of their class-action lawsuit announced Tuesday….

EDITORIAL: The road to healing
THE CHRONICLE HERALD Published June 3, 2014

Priest cases show abuse issues persist, Files detail decades of abuse in Joliet Diocese, Memorial to victims of child abuse expected to be approved by planners – Irish Times

April 12, 2013 Comments Off on Priest cases show abuse issues persist, Files detail decades of abuse in Joliet Diocese, Memorial to victims of child abuse expected to be approved by planners – Irish Times

“The files, which Rudofski’s attorney shared with the Tribune after redacting the names of other victims, contain more than 7,000 records detailing how the diocese purposefully shielded priests, misled parishioners and left children unprotected for more than a half-century.”

Priest cases show abuse issues persist
Joliet Diocese has struggled to fulfill its public promise to better protect children, records show
April 07, 2013 By Stacy St. Clair, David Heinzmann and Christy Gutowski, Chicago Tribune reporters

When Will County sheriff’s deputies found the Rev. William Virtue sneaking into a private quarry in 1986, police records state that the Roman Catholic priest had blankets, two six packs of beer and a 10-year-old boy with him. He fled on foot when officers arrived, leaving the child behind.

Authorities took Virtue into custody after he returned to his car but later released him without charges because the boy’s mother said she had given her son permission to go swimming with the priest. Still, a deputy forwarded the report to Joliet Diocese officials who put it into Virtue’s personnel file — which already contained several accusations involving inappropriate behavior with underage boys.

The arrest report would remain tucked away for 20 years as Virtue continued to have contact with youths, and even after a seemingly repentant Joliet Diocese pledged in 2002 to improve its handling of sex abuse cases and held up guidelines approved by American bishops as proof of its commitment to transparency and victims’ needs.

Virtue’s personnel file, which contains 500 pages of letters, memos and reports, reflects the struggles the church faced since its public vow to better protect children after a bruising, national sex abuse scandal. Records obtained by the Tribune reveal several instances in which the diocese’s handling of abuse allegations contradicted those promises, adding to concerns about the overall efficacy of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that U.S. bishops signed amid fanfare in June 2002.

For four years after that charter’s passage, Virtue continued to minister in the central Illinois Peoria Diocese, where he officially transferred at his own request in 1988. A Tribune review found no indication that Joliet Diocese officials re-examined his personnel records after the adoption of the guidelines, which call for a review of all priests….

Virtue was removed from ministry in 2006 by the Peoria Diocese shortly after a former parishioner at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena alleged the priest raped him in the 1980s when he was an altar boy, according to church records.

A review board deemed the allegation credible, a decision Virtue is appealing. He has denied any inappropriate behavior.

The diocese reached an out-of-court settlement with the alleged victim from Mokena, church records show.

A Tribune investigation, which included reviewing more than 7,000 pages turned over in a settlement in an unrelated case, uncovered cases in which the Joliet Diocese failed to recognize the severity of allegations, made little effort to find victims and misled the public, raising concerns about the church’s adherence to the charter’s spirit….

Files detail decades of abuse in Joliet Diocese  

By Christy Gutowski, Stacy St. Clair and David Heinzmann Tribune reporters
March 21, 2013

The Joliet Diocese readily admitted that David Rudofski was sexually abused during his first confession at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. It offered him an in-person apology from the bishop and more than six times his annual salary in the hope of putting a quick, quiet end to yet another ugly incident involving a priest.

But Rudofski wanted more than money.

The south suburban electrician wanted the diocese to truly pay for its repeated and, oftentimes, willful mishandling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy — and he insisted on a currency far more precious to the church than money. He demanded that the diocese settle its debt by turning over the secret archives it maintained on abusive priests and making them available for public consumption.

“What was I supposed to do? Take the money and run?” Rudofski said. “How would that help anybody else? If people don’t know how this was allowed to happen for decades, they can’t prevent it from happening again.”

The diocese, however, fought Rudofski’s efforts for more than a year before agreeing to turn over the personnel files of 16 of the 34 priests with substantiated allegations against them. It also issued a news release adding his alleged abuser, the Rev. James Burnett, to its still-growing list of accused clergy.

The files, which Rudofski’s attorney shared with the Tribune after redacting the names of other victims, contain more than 7,000 records detailing how the diocese purposefully shielded priests, misled parishioners and left children unprotected for more than a half-century. They also raise new questions about whether the church has been forthcoming about the number of local priests involved in the scandal and the percentage of clergy confronted with credible claims.

Though the Joliet Diocese’s botched handling of pedophile priests has been well-documented in recent years, the records offer the most complete portrait of the ineptitude and indifference that greeted the allegations almost since the religious district’s inception in 1948. The errors span more than six decades and involved three bishops, 91 places of worship and more than 100 victims.

Researchers and Roman Catholic Church officials have previously said that about 4 percent of priests nationally committed an act of sexual abuse against a minor between 1950 and 2002, with church officials claiming the rate of abusers within the priesthood is no different from that among other professions.

However, the files show that the Joliet Diocese — which includes parishes in DuPage, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, Kendall and Will counties — had double or triple that percentage in the 1980s. In 1983, for example, more than 13 percent of priests serving in the diocese would later have credible abuse allegations leveled against them….

Rudofski was 8 years old when the Rev. James Burnett fondled him while the boy was making his first confession, documents indicate. Court records show he immediately told his mother that the priest had forced him to pull down his pants in the confessional, but she chastised him for making up an outlandish story on such an important day.

After his mother’s reprimand, Rudofski said he buried the memory and went on to have a normal childhood. He says it wasn’t until adulthood, when he struggled with nightmares about a caped man chasing him, that he confronted the past.  He sued the diocese in 2007.

In an October 2006 affidavit for her son’s lawsuit, Patricia Rudofski said she scolded him for lying because she trusted her pastor. She said she forgot about her son’s allegation until years later, when another alleged victim accused Burnett of abuse.

“I was feeling horrible thinking about my son, thinking that I’m the one who told him to do whatever the priest said,” she said in the affidavit. “I mean, I’m feeling horrible, and I just — it was like a flashback. … Oh my God, he told me.”

David Rudofski, who received a personal apology from former Bishop Peter Sartain in 2010, said he hopes the newly released files will help his mother heal, as well….

Rudofski eventually settled for $600,000 and access to 16 priests’ personnel files.

Memorial to victims of child abuse expected to be approved by planners
Six entries for scheme at Garden of Remembrance have been shortlisted
The Irish Times  Frank McDonald  Thu, Apr 11, 2013

Dublin City Council’s planners are expected to approve the winning scheme for a memorial to victims of institutional abuse at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square after they receive further information on the €500,000 project….

The winners say their project “creates a fluid progression between the Garden of Remembrance, which commemorates those who died for the cause of Irish freedom, with a memorial dedicated to the young victims of abuse” in Irish institutions….

The proposal for a memorial was made in the Ryan Report, which said it should “spotlight an episode of significance in the history of the State [and] provide a point of reference with sensory significance that keeps alive the memory of those who suffered loss and pain”….

The site adjacent to the Garden of Remembrance was made available by the OPW for the project, which the memorial committee — appointed by Mr Quinn — said should be “an enduring symbol of lost innocence that inspires others to ensure the protection of all children”.

Mr Quinn said he believed the winning scheme would be “a testimony to one of the darkest chapters in our State’s history and … serve as a constant reminder that we must never let such horrendous crimes against children happen again”….

New BBC boss apologises for Jimmy Savile on his first day in the job, Royal Commission begins – Australia

April 3, 2013 Comments Off on New BBC boss apologises for Jimmy Savile on his first day in the job, Royal Commission begins – Australia

New BBC boss apologises for Jimmy Savile on his first day in the job

By COLIN ROBERTSON, TV Editor 4/2/13
NEW BBC director general Tony Hall yesterday admitted the BBC dropped the ball over the Jimmy Savile scandal….

Speaking on his first day in the job, Lord Hall, 62, said: “I feel very sorry for the organisation but also for those who were victims of Jimmy Savile.

“Today is about creating a sense of what the BBC wants to be going forward, absolutely learning those lessons, not forgetting that history.”….

He replaces George Entwistle, who quit after 54 days when he failed to get a grip on the Savile row.


Royal Commission begins 3 April, 2013

For victims of institutional abuse it was a long time coming, but the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse has finally arrived, with the first hearing to be held this morning.

The first public sitting of the Commission can be seen via webstream at the Royal Commission’s website from 10am.

Today’s sitting won’t hear any evidence but is expected to explain the work of the Royal Commission so far, and provide more details of future hearings with all six commissioners present.

The Catholic Church will be among the groups investigated by the Royal Commission….

$123M settlement Delaware abuse case, Institutional Abuse North Ireland, Rochdale, Gangs

November 21, 2012 Comments Off on $123M settlement Delaware abuse case, Institutional Abuse North Ireland, Rochdale, Gangs

– $123M settlement approved in Del. child abuse case
– Historic child abuse investigation will now cost £19m, Assembly told
– Rochdale child abuse case: exploited girls faced ‘absolute disrespect’
– 45 children a day at risk from sexual exploitation by gangs, warns inquiry
– Groomed, raped, frightened: the victims of child sexual exploitation

$123M settlement approved in Del. child abuse case
Esteban Parra, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal Share

The former pediatrician last year was found guilty of raping or assaulting more than 100 girls he treated. His own videos helped to convict him.

November 20. 2012 –

GEORGETOWN, Del. — A Superior Court judge approved a $123 million class-action settlement related to the child sexual abuse committed by former Lewes, Del., pediatrician Earl Bradley.

Under the Monday settlement’s terms, the money would be put into a pool for victims, similar to the system used for victims in priest sex-abuse cases.

A mediator will evaluate each claim and separate them into different categories based on the severity of abuse. A settlement amount then will be assigned to each category and all approved for that category will be paid.

“The approval of this class-action settlement marks the end of litigation arising from Dr. Bradley’s 15-year reign of terror and abuse in Sussex County,” Superior Court Judge Joseph R. Slights III wrote in his 56-page decision….


Historic child abuse investigation will now cost £19m, Assembly told

By Lesley-Anne McKeown
Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Costs for an inquiry into historical institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland could reach £19m, the Assembly has been told.

Ulster Unionist MLA Mike Nesbitt, who chairs Stormont’s OFMDFM committee, said MLAs had been informed in September that predicted costs had doubled from initial estimates.

The Strangford MLA added: “On the estimated costs of the inquiry the committee sought clarification from the department whether the figures in the financial and explanatory memorandum of between £7.5m and £9m remained accurate.

“Officials advised the committee that the estimated costs had been revised upwards — doubled in fact to £15-19m to take into account the complexities of the inquiry and the associated legal costs.”….

Initially, the inquiry was to look at cases between 1945 and 1995, but MLAs have since agreed to extend it back to 1922.

The probe comes after the Ryan Report uncovered decades of endemic abuse in some religious institutions in the Republic of Ireland.


Rochdale child abuse case: exploited girls faced ‘absolute disrespect’

MPs question why the NHS crisis team that was praised for raising the alarm about sexual abuse in Rochdale has suffered job cuts

Rachel Williams The Guardian, Tuesday 20 November 2012

It was a simple yet powerful piece of evidence. Asked what lay behind the failures in Rochdale over sexual exploitation of teenage girls, Sara Rowbotham, co-ordinator of the local NHS crisis intervention team, paused before answering. “It was about attitudes towards teenagers,” she told the home affairs select committee earlier this month. “It was absolute disrespect that vulnerable young people did not have a voice. They were overlooked. They were discriminated against. They were treated appallingly by protective services.”

Since nine men were jailed in May for “sharing” five girls, plying them with fast food, drink and drugs so they could use them for sex, a picture has emerged of missed opportunities to help young girls being exploited – based on a mistaken belief they were simply “making their own choices”. The NHS team has emerged as one of the few services that got it right. But staff numbers on the team, which offers one-to-one sexual health advice to vulnerable teenagers, have been cut from 10 to seven over the past three years.

A Guardian investigation this year found the crisis intervention team made more than 100 referrals about girls it thought were either being sexually exploited, or at risk of it, to Rochdale borough council social services and Greater Manchester police between 2004 and the end of 2010. A report published in September by the local safeguarding children board (SCB) was damning of the “poor response” of Rochdale’s children’s social care department. It also praised the crisis intervention team’s ability to understand that girls were victims of abuse, rather than consenting young adults. Its work, Rowbotham told the select committee, had helped secure the recent convictions, because the victims’ evidence was corroborated by the service’s case notes….

45 children a day at risk from sexual exploitation by gangs, warns inquiry

Local authorities, police and healthcare professionals ignoring warning signs displayed by those at risk, says interim report
Alexandra Topping
The Guardian, Tuesday 20 November 2012

As many as 45 children a day are at risk of rape, violence and sexual exploitation at the hands of gangs who prey on their vulnerability, according to the biggest study of its kind carried out in England….

The inquiry’s interim report found that 2,409 children had been sexually exploited in a 14-month period form August 2010 to October 2011, but the real figure was likely to be “far greater” because of lack of data and confusion in reporting sexual exploitation. As many as 16,500 children were identified as being at “high risk” of sexual exploitation – displaying three or more warning signs including running away from home, drug or alcohol misuse and criminality.


describes crimes

Groomed, raped, frightened: the victims of child sexual exploitation

Children living in residential care are particularly at risk of sexual exploitation, according to report

Alexandra Topping The Guardian, Tuesday 20 November 2012

Teegan, a white British girl, told report authors she had been sexually exploited from the age of 12. After being groomed she was taken to “parties” across England in nice houses, sometimes mansions, where men could choose which girls they wanted to have sex with from a book with photographs and ages of all of the girls available. Teegan thought she cost around £500 a hour, and said in some cases one girl could be hired for a group of men over an evening. If Teegan refused, she would be beaten and her family threatened. After the abuse, she took several overdoses, was placed in secure accommodation, and self-harmed – sometimes on a daily basis. She said she was too scared to make a formal complaint.

Marina, 16, and her 14-year-old sister were sexually exploited after being groomed by white British shop owners in return for alcohol and cigarettes. Marina also had a “boyfriend” in his late 30s, of North African origin, who would pass her around his friends for sex. She told the report that she was driven to “parties” where she would be raped by multiple men before being dropped off at home.

In another case, when Sahida, a 17-year-old British Pakistani girl, said a family member had sexually abused her she was threatened with a forced marriage. After the threats she began spending time with older Asian males, and was moved to multiple locations by them. She is now pregnant and has been physically assaulted by her family as a punishment.

Children living in residential care are particularly at risk of sexual exploitation, according to the report. A specialist sexual exploitation service told the report that a particular home was repeatedly targeted by groomers, and that new girls coming into the home were likely to be sexually exploited….

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