17,000 People Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War, George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims, Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel, Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
August 18, 2016 Comments Off on 17,000 People Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War, George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims, Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel, Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
– 17,000 People Have Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War: Report
– George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims
– Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel
– Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
– Association of Reports of Childhood Abuse and All-Cause Mortality Rates in Women
17,000 People Have Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War: Report
By Lucy Westcott 8/17/16
More than 300 people die in Syrian prisons every month, often after being subjected to brutal torture and abuse by security forces, according to a new report from Amnesty International.
The report says at least 17,723 people have died in custody in Syrian prisons since the start of the country’s conflict in 2011, and it documents crimes against humanity committed by government forces. While detainees dying in Syrian prison custody isn’t new—in the decade leading up to 2011, there were around 45 deaths in custody each year, according to Amnesty—it’s “never been to the scale that we’re currently seeing,” Claudia Scheufler, the report’s author, tells Newsweek.
“Anyone who could in any way be seen as opposing the government,” including journalists, human rights activists and medical workers, could end up in prison in Syria, says Scheufler. More recently, humanitarian workers who have been providing support to those displaced by the fighting have increasingly been jailed. One woman told researchers that someone she was giving food to didn’t like the way tomato paste was being distributed. That person complained to the security forces, and the woman ended up in prison.
Amnesty spoke with 65 survivors of prison torture and abuse in security facilities operated by Syrian intelligence agencies and the infamous Saydnaya Military Prison, located outside Damascus. A number of people told Amnesty that in addition to being tortured, they witnessed extrajudicial killings, saw fellow detainees being beaten to death and shared cells with dead bodies.
Those who spoke with Amnesty described a “welcome party” ritual when they arrived at a detention center, which involved beatings with metal bars or electrical cables. Women detainees suffered from sexual assault and rape by male guards. Forms of torture that survivors described to Amnesty, and that were used to extract “confessions” from detainees, include dulab, the process of forcibly contorting a body into a rubber tire, and falaqa, flogging the soles of the feet….
George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims
Victoria police will not confirm whether detectives intend to interview Pell in Rome over historical child sex abuse allegations, which he has denied
Melissa Davey Wednesday 17 August 2016
Victoria police are considering whether to charge Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, with historical child sexual abuse offences.
Last month the chief commissioner of Victoria police, Graham Ashton, confirmed allegations against Pell had been referred to the Office of Public Prosecutions for a recommendation as to whether police should drop the investigation, investigate further or lay charges.
George Pell exposed himself to young boys at surf club, says Victorian man
In a statement issued on Wednesday the Victoria police media office confirmed it had received the office’s recommendation but would not confirm what had been recommended or whether detectives would be sent to Rome to interview Pell, who is the Vatican’s chief financial advisor.
“We have received advice and will now take the time to consider it,” the statement said. “As with any investigation, it remains a decision for Victoria police as to whether charges will be laid.”
Police have been investigating allegations that Pell exposed himself to three young boys at Torquay life saving club in Victoria in the summer of 1986 or 87.
Another two allegations involve two former St Alipius students, who allege Pell repeatedly touched their genitals while swimming with them at the Eureka pool in Ballarat in 1978-79. At the time, Pell was episcopal vicar for education in the Ballarat diocese.
Pell has vehemently denied the allegations against him, describing them as “nothing more than a scandalous smear campaign”. He accused police of leaking to the media, and called for a Victorian government inquiry into the alleged leaks….
Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel
In the civil case, the plaintiffs claim that the mikvah, the synagogue, the religious court and the RCA ignored warning signs against Freundel, convicted of secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s ritual bath.
JTA Aug 17, 2016
The Beth Din of America has been added to the list of defendants in a $100 million class action suit against Rabbi Barry Freundel, the prominent Washington, D.C., spiritual leader who was convicted of secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s ritual bath.
On Tuesday, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in Superior Court in Washington, D.C., that included the rabbinical court, according to a news release on behalf of the Sanford Heisler and Chaikin Sherman Cammarata Siegel law firms.
The suit, which was filed originally in December 2014, also names as defendants Freundel’s former synagogue, Kesher Israel; the Rabbinical Council of America, the main professional association for modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States, and the National Capital Mikvah, the ritual bath Freundel used to spy on his victims.
In the civil case, the plaintiffs claim that the mikvah, the synagogue, the religious court and the RCA ignored warning signs of Freundel’s behavior.
Freundel is believed to have violated the privacy of at least 150 women he filmed while they undressed and showered at the mikvah, or ritual bath. They included members of Kesher Israel, candidates for conversion to Judaism and students at Towson University in Maryland, where Freundel taught classes on religion and ethics. The rabbi also secretly filmed a domestic violence abuse victim in a safe house he had set up for her.
He pleaded guilty last year to 52 counts of voyeurism and began serving a 6 1/2-year sentence in federal prison….
Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
Extreme stress may affect the way the body’s cells function
By Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Women who suffered physical or emotional abuse as children often die at a younger age than other women, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among nearly 6,300 middle-aged U.S. adults, female survivors of child abuse were more likely to die over the next 20 years, versus other women.
And the worse the abuse was, the greater the impact appeared to be on a woman’s life span. Those who said they’d suffered severe physical abuse were 58 percent more likely to die during the study period, compared with women with no history of child abuse.
Experts said the findings, published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Psychiatry, highlight the lasting and extensive effects of child abuse.
Previous research had already shown that survivors of abuse are at risk of poorer physical and mental health as adults….
Although the study found a link between abuse in childhood and a shorter female life span, it’s important to note that the study wasn’t designed to definitively prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Still, Shalev, who does research on the biological effects of stress during early life, had at least one theory as to how abuse may lay the groundwork for an earlier death.
Adversity in early childhood may leave a biological “fingerprint” that affects how body cells function over a lifetime, he suggested….
“We know that both men and women suffer long-term effects,” he said.
That’s not true of all child abuse survivors, of course, Shalev pointed out. And the point is not to “alarm” people with a history of abuse, he added.
Instead, Shalev said, they should be aware of the possible long-term risks, because they can do something about it — by eating well, exercising, and seeing their doctor for routine health screenings.
“A healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the effects,” Shalev said.
An estimated 702,000 U.S. children suffered some form of abuse or neglect in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention….
Association of Reports of Childhood Abuse and All-Cause Mortality Rates in Women
Edith Chen, PhD1,2; Nicholas A. Turiano, PhD; Daniel K. Mroczek, PhD; Gregory E. Miller, PhD JAMA Psychiatry. Published online August 17, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1786 August 17, 2016
….Results Of the 6285 participants included in the study sample, 2987 were men (48%) and 5581were white (91%), with a mean (SD) age of 46.9 (12.95) years. Women who reported childhood emotional abuse (hazard ratio [HR],?1.22; 95% CI, 1.01-1.49; P?=?.04), moderate physical abuse (HR,?1.30; 95% CI, 1.05-1.60; P?=?.02), or severe physical abuse (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.20-2.08; P?=?.001) were at increased risk for all-cause mortality during the follow-up period. Reports of more types of childhood abuse were also associated with a greater risk of all-cause mortality in women (all vs none HR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.24-2.30; P?=?.001; some vs none HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.01-1.52; P?=?.04). These effects could not be accounted for by childhood socioeconomic status, personality traits, or adult depression. No associations were observed in men.
Conclusions and Relevance These results suggest that in addition to the established psychiatric consequences of abuse, women who report childhood abuse also remain vulnerable to premature mortality into adulthood. Thus, reported childhood abuse may have long-term ramifications for health and longevity in women.
Priest abused every young boy at regional Victorian school, inquiry hears, – Rabbi sentenced to six and a half years prison term for voyeurism, Reduced Child Abuse Sentence Causes Uproar in Argentina
May 19, 2015 Comments Off on Priest abused every young boy at regional Victorian school, inquiry hears, – Rabbi sentenced to six and a half years prison term for voyeurism, Reduced Child Abuse Sentence Causes Uproar in Argentina
Child abuse royal commission: Priest abused every young boy at regional Victorian school, inquiry hears
By court reporter Peta Carlyon 5/12/15
A notorious paedophile priest abused every boy at a regional Victorian school between the age of 10 and 16, the child sex abuse inquiry has heard.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is holding long-awaited public hearings in Ballarat to examine historical abuse suffered by children at a number of schools in the regional centre, at the hands of Catholic clergy and other members of the Church.
Some of Australia’s most notorious abusers were part of a paedophile ring operating in and around Ballarat for years, including Gerald Ridsdale, Robert Best and Edward Dowlan.
In her opening address, Senior Counsel Assisting the Commission, Gail Furness SC, outlined the extent of Ridsdale’s offending.
She said the inquiry would hear evidence of Ridsdale’s time at the Mortlake parish during the early 1980s, including comments from the priest who took over from Ridsdale.
“Father Dennehy told the Catholic church’s insurance investigator that he thought every male child between the ages of 10 years and 16 years, who were at the school, had been molested by Ridsdale,” she said.
Ms Furness said Ridsdale was a “prolific offender” during his time at Mortlake….
Ridsdale is serving an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to 30 child sex offences in 2014.
It is the fourth time he has been jailed after three previous stints in prison for more than 100 other offences….
Rabbi sentenced to six and a half years prison term for voyeurism
May 18, 2015 By Mike McDaniel, News Reporter
This is a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bernard “Barry” Freundel, 63, of Washington D.C., a rabbi who had worked for a Jewish congregation in Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a prison term of six years and six months on 52 counts of voyeurism stemming from a series of incidents between 2009 and 2014 in which he secretly took video recordings of women preparing for a Jewish ritual bath….
The National Capital Mikvah has two changing/showering rooms connected to the room with the ritual bath. On numerous occasions between early 2009 and October 2014, the defendant installed and maintained electronic recording devices in the larger of the two changing/showering rooms. Freundel did so for the sole purpose of secretly and surreptitiously recording women who were using the bathroom and shower; these women were totally and partially undressed before and/or after showering. The women recorded did not know they were being recorded and did not consent to being recorded…..
In addition to the 52 recordings that were the subject of the plea, computer forensic examinations revealed that Freundel secretly and surreptitiously recorded approximately 100 additional women totally or partially undressed before and/or after showering in the large bathroom at the National Capital Mikvah between 2009 and September 2014. These women did not know that they were being recorded and did not consent to being recorded….
Reduced Child Abuse Sentence Causes Uproar in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — May 18, 2015
Two Argentine judges are under fire for reducing the sentence of a convicted child abuser on the grounds that his 6-year-old victim had suffered earlier abuse and therefore had already been traumatized.
In the newly publicized 2014 ruling, the judges cut the sentence of Mario Tolosa, a sports club vice president, from six years to 38 months. They ruled that his acts should not be considered “gravely outrageous” in legal terms because the boy already “was making a precocious choice” of his sexuality, apparently a reference to homosexuality.
Other attorneys criticized the decision and the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans has demanded the judges be removed from the bench for a ruling it said placed a 6-year-old victim “in the position of a suspect.”
One of the two judges, Horacio Piombo, defended the ruling Monday in interviews with Radio La Red and the television station Todo Noticias, saying that before Tolosa molested him, the child already had suffered “the initiation by his father into the worst of worlds, leading him to depravation.”
He said that “as a result of that experience with the father, the child had showed “signs of a transvestite conduct, of conduct we had to take into account.”….
Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo, who is running for the presidency, said via Twitter that the ruling was “an embarrassment.”
“It’s repugnant to say that the presumed sexual orientation of an abused six-year-old boy is a reason to reduce the sentence of the abuser.”
Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism, Lost church rescued from Satanists, Gender Based Violence, Britian’s Child Sex Abuse
October 22, 2014 Comments Off on Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism, Lost church rescued from Satanists, Gender Based Violence, Britian’s Child Sex Abuse
– Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism is focus of other allegations
– Praise be! 85-year-old defies death threats from Satanists to spend 22 years returning 1,000-year-old derelict church to its former glory
– Lost church is rescued from the Satanists by saviour Bob Davey
– About Gender Based Violence, practice of muti-killing/ ritual murders
– In Britain, Child Sex Abuse Defies Easy Stereotypes
Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism is focus of other allegations
By Michelle Boorstein and Pamela Constable October 20
The case of a Georgetown rabbi accused of secretly videotaping women in the ritual bath expanded significantly Monday when a national rabbinical board said it had known since at least 2012 of complaints by women converts of inappropriate behavior.
The news triggered an outpouring by converts and advocates for women in Modern Orthodoxy who said the case reflected deeply embedded problems with sexism….
But on Monday, the Rabbinical Council of America — the country’s main group for Modern Orthodox rabbis — said it had received reports going back at least two years that women working with Freundel toward becoming Jewish felt coerced into performing clerical work for him and donating money to a tribunal he led. There was also an allegation that he inappropriately acted as a co-signer on a checking account with one woman….
More female converts began speaking out Monday, including those who converted with Freundel and said he abused the power he had over them as the sole arbiter of their conversions….
Sugarman said Freundel made “constant” comments praising her appearance, asked about her dating life and encouraged her “not to dress so modestly,” she said.
She said other younger female converts had the same complaints and that Kesher’s leadership was informed. “They spoke with him and he promised he’d stop, but it literally never stopped, not even for one day.”….
Praise be! 85-year-old defies death threats from Satanists to spend 22 years returning 1,000-year-old derelict church to its former glory
Bob Davey began work on the Norfolk tower when he retired 22 years ago
1000-year-old church last used in 1930s before it was hit by a German bomb
When he first entered he was horrified to find satanic and pagan altar
The Christian guarded church from cult members who once drove car at him
During restoration he discovered dazzling religious murals hidden by plaster
By Mario Ledwith for Daily Mail 20 October 2014
It has been struck by a German bomb, torn apart by American GIs and left in squalor by a pagan cult.
So when the ruins of an ancient church were discovered in thick woodland by Bob Davey, he could have been forgiven for thinking its fate had already been sealed. Instead, the determined church warden used his retirement to embark on a 22-year crusade to return the dilapidated building to its former glory – despite receiving a death threat from the cult….
He initially had to guard the property at night to deter the cult members, who once drove a car at him and sent him a death threat. He even enlisted the Territorial Army to guard it for a time after the pagans smeared the walls with blood. In spite of some local opposition, he built a road to the church under an old law stating that any consecrated site should have an access route…..
Lost church is rescued from the Satanists by saviour Bob Davey
TWO decades ago, this 1,000-year-old building was a roofless, overgrown ruin whose existence was almost forgotten.
By: John Geoghegan
Published: Mon, October 20, 2014
Now, it’s a flourishing church thanks to one remarkable man. Bob Davey, 85, has forked out thousands of pounds of his own cash and even fought off Satanic worshippers in his bid to restore the ninth century Anglo-Saxon church in Swaffham, Norfolk.
In doing so, he uncovered rare and valuable historical wall paintings that he says have international status. Bob is now a warden at St Mary’s Church, which welcomes visitors from across the world and has even received Prince Charles and Princess Margaret.
The building was discovered by Bob’s late wife Gloria one morning in June 1992 while she was on a ramble with friends. Hidden in woodland at the top of a small hill, stood a tower shrouded in dark ivy.
Gloria managed to force her way in, through piles of rubbish, and found a disturbing scene. Soon realising it was an old church, Gloria found it laid out as a Satanic with a pagan alter and anti-Christian symbols.
“This annoyed me intensely,” Bob recalled. “I’ve been a Christian all my life and wasn’t putting up with this on my patch. “That very afternoon, I cleared all their rubbish out and burnt what I could.”….
But he was forced to guard the building at night from black-clad Satan-worshippers who were still trying to use it. Bob claims the devil-worshippers tried to run him down with a car and on another occasion came to his house and threatened him with his life if he carried on his work.
Help came from the Territorial Army who sent soldiers to stand guard with Bob.
Girls leading the way
21/10/2014 By Colani Hlatshwayo
….About Gender Based Violence
Gender based Violence remains one of the biggest barriers of gender equality in Swaziland ranking as the major human rights violation amongst women. There are escalating incidences of gender based violence in the country in general as per the Surveillance on Violence report of 2011 which revealed that 77% of females were victims of abuse and perpetrators were males, were known to the survivors (CSO, 2011). Serial rapists’ occurrences which abduct and later kill women and girls are also seen from time to time.
The practice of muti-killing/ ritual murders is also from time to time surfacing especially soon before the year of national elections. During this period, women and children disappear and are later own found dead or never recovered.
Testimonials of young women alleging that they were married under Swazi Customary Law without being told about the intended marriage and without their consent being elicited first are common. The marriageable age for girls under Swazi Law and Custom is not defined and it is believed that puberty is used to determine that a girl can be a wife.
The prevalence of this violation of rights is stemmed from a turbulent socio-economic status of women and girls in Swaziland. In the past decade of Swaziland’s political and socio-economic history a lot of disparities have made women and girls much more vulnerable to gender based violence resulting in its upsurge. Socio-economic indicators such as education (formal and informal), role or status in society and levels of income have been the key drivers of Gender Based Violence in the home space as such peace is not being ensured in the home never mind the public space…..
In Britain, Child Sex Abuse Defies Easy Stereotypes
By KATRIN BENNHOLD OCT. 21, 2014
LONDON — First there was abuse at the hands of a popular BBC host. There were scandals at private schools and in the church and talk of a pedophile ring in Parliament. Then there was Rotherham: over a thousand teenagers sexually exploited as the authorities looked away.
Over the past two years, high-profile revelations of sexual abuse of children have painted a picture of Britain as a place where such abuse is not just endemic but systematically covered up — either because the perpetrators are of the very highest status or because the victims are of the very lowest.
There are two lessons here, scholars and officials say. The first is that sexual abuse is far more common than previously believed: Currently, 2,500 children in England have child protection plans because they are deemed to be at risk of sexual abuse. But the police now speak publicly of “tens of thousands” of victims a year.
The second lesson is that the main driver of abuse is impunity: “Abuse happens in a context of permissibility,” said Helen Beckett, an expert on the subject at the University of Bedfordshire.
Whether Britain’s lingering class system has made abuse more permissible is an open question, she said. But fixating on a particular stereotype — the white celebrity or the pedophile priest or the Pakistani taxi driver — may allow other perpetrators to go undetected.
In 2012, it emerged that Jimmy Savile, a former children’s television host and BBC staple who died in 2011, had raped scores of children as colleagues and the police turned a blind eye. Mr. Savile, who was a friend of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, used his charity work to gain access to his victims in schools and hospitals. Since then, Rolf Harris, 84, once a popular television entertainer; Max Clifford, 71, a well-known publicist; and Stuart Hall, 84, another former BBC broadcaster, have been among those convicted for offenses involving children.
Meanwhile, in July, Britons learned of allegations that Cyril Smith, a former member of Parliament who died in 2010, abused boys in a care home in his constituency. The allegations against him and others were detailed in a file prepared three decades ago by a crusading lawmaker who described a pedophile ring of “big, big names.” But the file mysteriously disappeared….