Bill Cosby seeks court sanctions, Child sex abuse inquiry: Leo Brittan Westminster, Jehovah’s Witnesses, UN Official who failed to act on child sex abuse allegations resigns
July 23, 2015 Comments Off on Bill Cosby seeks court sanctions, Child sex abuse inquiry: Leo Brittan Westminster, Jehovah’s Witnesses, UN Official who failed to act on child sex abuse allegations resigns
– Bill Cosby seeks court sanctions against accuser over deposition leak
– Child sex abuse inquiry: Leon Brittan among leading Westminster figures named in documents
– Is religion doing enough to root out abuse?
– UN official who failed to act on child sex abuse allegations resigns
Bill Cosby seeks court sanctions against accuser over deposition leak
Reuters By Steve Gorman July 21, 2015
Comedian Bill Cosby filed legal papers on Tuesday calling for court sanctions against a woman accusing him of sexual assault, saying she breached their confidentiality agreement in the leak of his full deposition from a 10-year-old civil case to the New York Times.
Cosby, 78, made the filing in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia in opposition to recent motions by Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who has alleged the comedian tricked her into taking drugs before he sexually assaulted her.
The lawsuit she brought against Cosby was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2006, and all documents from the litigation were sealed until a federal judge on July 6 released limited redacted excerpts from Cosby’s 2005 deposition testimony in the case.
Those excerpts included Cosby’s admission under oath that he had obtained Quaaludes, the brand name for a sedative widely abused as a recreational drug in the 1970s, with the intent of giving the pills to young women in order to have sex with them.
On July 8, Constand filed papers in court seeking to unseal the entire deposition and her settlement agreement with Cosby, as well as to free her from any confidentiality restrictions.
The New York Times has since obtained its own record of Cosby’s deposition and posted additional excerpts on its website, revealing testimony in which the entertainer described how he had pursued women and how he obtained Quaaludes.
Cosby’s own court filing on Tuesday stressed that the deposition excerpts so far unsealed by the judge contain no testimony that he engaged in any non-consensual sex or gave anyone Quaaludes without their knowledge or consent….
Child sex abuse inquiry: Leon Brittan among leading Westminster figures named in documents
22 July 2015 By Jack Blanchard
THE former Tory Home Secretary’s name is on government file along with other powerful Westminster officials from the 1970s and 80s including Sir Peter Morrison.
LEADING Westminster figures from the 1970s and 80s including the late Leon Brittan have been named in Government child abuse documents, it was reported last night.
Sky News said that after months of requests Whitehall has finally revealed that papers do exist relating to Margaret Thatcher’s former parliamentary secretary the late Sir Peter Morrison, former Home Secretary Sir Leon, former diplomat the late Sir Peter Hayman and former minister the late Sir William van Straubenzee.
It came after the Government released the details in January of a file prepared for Mrs Thatcher’s office on the ‘unnatural sexual’ behaviour of one of the men Sir Peter Hayman.
The new batch of file names reveal there were further Government papers relating to the former MI6 man and career diplomat.
The content of the papers have not been revealed, however.
Sky News said the documents have been shared with the police and will be passed to the Child Abuse Inquiry led by Justice Lowell Goddard….
Is religion doing enough to root out abuse?
Caroline Wyatt Religious affairs correspondent 22 July 2015
Karen Morgan said the church offered no help when she reported the abuse
From when Karen Morgan was 12, until she was well into her teens, she was sexually abused by her uncle – a ministerial servant with the Jehovah’s Witnesses….
But what is striking about the Jehovah’s Witnesses is their explicit policy of dealing with abuse in-house.
Because of their practice of following the Bible literally, they insist there must be two witnesses to a crime, often not the case in child abuse cases.
However, in Karen’s case a second witness did come forward: Wendy, a family friend and fellow member of the Barry congregation in south Wales. She had been raped by the same man.
When she reported the crime to elders, Wendy was made to describe it in minute detail to a group of older men.
Later, she had to give her account again in the same room as Sewell….
Afterwards, the elders told her that as it was only her account against that of Sewell, nothing more could be done.
This bringing together of the accused and the accuser in a “judicial committee” is a common feature of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ justice.
Karen, still a teenager at the time, was put through the process.
Reluctance to co-operate
The elders also ruled that their separate accusations didn’t constitute the required two witnesses.
Despite a pattern of predatory sexual behaviour, it took more than two decades to bring Wendy and Karen’s abuser to justice.
He is now serving a 14-year prison sentence.
His punishment from the Jehovah’s Witnesses? There wasn’t one.
Even when the case came to court, the organisation was reluctant to co-operate….
In a programme for Radio 4’s The Report, we have identified this lack of co-operation in several other similar cases.
Confidential documents from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Britain – the official name for the Jehovah’s Witnesses – that we have seen are explicit about the best way to deal with such matters being within the congregation….
UN official who failed to act on child sex abuse allegations resigns
July 22, 2015 Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. rights official who admitted not following up for months on allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic has resigned.
The U.N. confirmed Wednesday that Flavia Pansieri has left the post of deputy high commissioner for human rights “for health reasons.” No more details were given.
The allegations by several children as young as 9 of trading oral sex and sodomy for food with French soldiers tasked with protecting civilians in the violence-torn country didn’t become public until late April, almost a year after U.N. staffers first heard the children’s stories. Pansieri’s comments and other leaked documents led the U.N. secretary-general this summer to order an investigation into how the U.N. handled the case.
In a confidential statement for a separate internal investigation, obtained by The Associated Press, Pansieri said she had been distracted from the case by other issues, including budget cuts for several months. “I regret to say that in the context of those very hectic days, I failed to follow up on the CAR situation,” Pansieri said in the statement dated March 26.
She said she and her boss, high commissioner Zeid Raad al-Hussein, had assumed French authorities were handling the allegations, even as France pressed the U.N. for months for more information….
November 22, 2012 Comments Off on Embattled Childhoods May Be the Real Trauma for Soldiers With PTSD
Embattled Childhoods May Be the Real Trauma for Soldiers With PTSD
ScienceDaily (Nov. 19, 2012) — New research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers challenges popular assumptions about the origins and trajectory of PTSD, providing evidence that traumatic experiences in childhood — not combat — may predict which soldiers develop the disorder….
“Most studies on PTSD in soldiers following service in war zones do not include measures of PTSD symptoms prior to deployment and thus suffer from a baseline problem. Only a few studies have examined pre- to post-deployment changes in PTSD symptoms, and most only use a single before-and-after measure,” says Berntsen….
Rather than following some sort of “typical” pattern in which symptoms emerge soon after a particularly traumatic event and persist over time, Berntsen and colleagues found wide variation in the development of PTSD among the soldiers.
The vast majority of the soldiers (84%) were resilient, showing no PTSD symptoms at all or recovering quickly from mild symptoms.
The rest of the soldiers showed distinct and unexpected patterns of symptoms. About 4% showed evidence of “new-onset” trajectory, with symptoms starting low and showing a marked increase across the five timepoints. Their symptoms did not appear to follow any specific traumatic event.
Most notably, about 13% of the soldiers in the study actually showed temporary improvement in symptoms during deployment. These soldiers reported significant symptoms of stress prior to leaving for Afghanistan that seemed to ease in the first months of deployment only to increase again upon their return home.
What could account for this unexpected pattern of symptoms?
Compared to the resilient soldiers, the soldiers who developed PTSD were much more likely to have suffered emotional problems and traumatic events prior to deployment. Childhood experiences of violence, especially punishment severe enough to cause bruises, cuts, burns, and broken bones actually predicted the onset of PTSD in these soldiers. Those who showed symptoms of PTSD were more likely to have witnessed family violence, and to have experienced physical attacks, stalking or death threats by a spouse. They were also more likely to have past experiences that they could not, or would not, talk about. And they were less educated than the resilient soldiers….
The findings challenge the notion that exposure to combat and other war atrocities is the main cause of PTSD.
“We were surprised that stressful experiences during childhood seemed to play such a central role in discriminating the resilient versus non-resilient groups,” says Berntsen. “These results should make psychologists question prevailing assumptions about PTSD and its development.”
Peace and War Trajectories of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Before, During, and After Military Deployment in Afghanistan
Dorthe Berntsen, Kim B. Johannessen, Yvonne D. Thomsen, Mette Bertelsen, Rick H. Hoyle and David C. Rubin
In the study reported here, we examined posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in 746 Danish soldiers measured on five occasions before, during, and after deployment to Afghanistan. Using latent class growth analysis, we identified six trajectories of change in PTSD symptoms. Two resilient trajectories had low levels across all five times, and a new-onset trajectory started low and showed a marked increase of PTSD symptoms. Three temporary-benefit trajectories, not previously described in the literature, showed decreases in PTSD symptoms during (or immediately after) deployment, followed by increases after return from deployment. Predeployment emotional problems and predeployment traumas, especially childhood adversities, were predictors for inclusion in the nonresilient trajectories, whereas deployment-related stress was not.
These findings challenge standard views of PTSD in two ways. First, they show that factors other than immediately preceding stressors are critical for PTSD development, with childhood adversities being central. Second, they demonstrate that the development of PTSD symptoms shows heterogeneity, which indicates the need for multiple measurements to understand PTSD and identify people in need of treatment.