June 19, 2013 Comments Off on When Fathers Say ‘No More’ to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
When Fathers Say ‘No More’ to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Michael Bolton 6/14/2013
….Too often, we see the horrific results of the mistreatment of women and children on the evening news and in crime statistics. Every 15 seconds, a woman is abused by her partner. Nearly three out of every four Americans knows someone personally who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Sex trafficking — especially of young children — is increasing at alarming rates across our country. And while we stand tall and proud with those men and women who have served and continue to serve in our military, we have seen even those institutions shaken by the scourge of sexual assault — 26,000 members of the Armed Forces were sexually assaulted in just one year.
….It has been estimated that as many as 10 million children witness assaults by one parent against another each year. We recognize that domestic violence places children, as well as women, in harm’s way. Our determined efforts continue across the country, most notably in Connecticut and Nevada, where visionary leaders and everyday citizens are coming together to advance effective strategies, legislation and solutions that work, and that matter.
For all of these reasons, I support a new initiative called NO MORE. It aims to get men talking about these serious issues. New data from a NO MORE survey, sponsored by the Avon Foundation for Women, shows that on this subject, fathers have been virtually silent. Three out of four men nationwide say they have not talked about domestic violence or sexual assault with their children. And so, as fathers, we can wait no more. We must all begin the conversation, close to home, with each of our children. As fathers, we must continue the conversation with leaders in business and our government. And, as fathers, we must fully engage with our educational system so boys can be taught in the developmental stages that you can never be a real man and be violent with a woman…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-bolton/when-fathers-say-no-more-to-domestic-violence_b_3428547.html
The Cleveland Horror and a Week of Violence Against Women, Gina DeJesus: Girl allegedly kidnapped by Ariel Castro watched mother on TV once a year
May 21, 2013 Comments Off on The Cleveland Horror and a Week of Violence Against Women, Gina DeJesus: Girl allegedly kidnapped by Ariel Castro watched mother on TV once a year
– Emotional and physical abuse brought into the light in Cleveland
Gina DeJesus: Girl allegedly kidnapped by Ariel Castro watched mother on TV once a year 20 May 2013
She says that was the only glimpse of the outside world Gina, now 23, was allowed in her nine years of captivity
One of the girls allegedly kidnapped by Ariel Castro was allowed to watch TV once a year – to see her mother conduct a prayer service on the anniversary of her abduction, it is claimed.
Mum Nancy Ruiz says that was the only glimpse of the outside world Gina DeJesus, now 23, was allowed in her nine years of captivity.
She told a Spanish TV show: “She knew I hadn’t given up looking because she had seen me on television.
“It gave her more strength to carry on living.”…. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/gina-dejesus-girl-allegedly-kidnapped-1901787
The Cleveland Horror and a Week of Violence Against Women
Leslie Savan on May 9, 2013
In just the last few days, we’ve seen a series of news stories involving violence against women. The violence comes in different forms—physical, psychological, financial—and from different quarters—a former school-bus driver in Cleveland, the NRA convention in Houston, the military, Congress—and so it’s not surprising that the media, as usual, are delivering these stories as unrelated incidents. But arriving almost simultaneously, these tales of misogyny should jolt us all to connect the dots and to shine an unblinking light on the violence against women that’s always there, just below the surface….
When I first saw the photo of a freed Amanda Berry with her sister and daughter, and tried to imagine the women’s unimaginable captivity, I couldn’t get another set of images out of my mind—that of “The Ex,” a target mannequin that squirts blood when you shoot her. “The Ex” (variously called “The Ex-Girlfriend” and “Alexa”) is a large-breasted white woman, her clothes party ripped off, blood dripping from her mouth down her cleavage, and she was sold with other “bleeding zombie targets” at the NRA convention in Houston last weekend. A target mannequin that looks like Obama painted green (one happy customer calls him “Barry” in a video that has been removed) also made the news. Buzzfeed reported that the NRA asked the vendor, Zombie Industries, to remove it from display, but it continued to be sold, a reminder of the racism that fuels the pro-gun paranoia. But the NRA didn’t object to displaying “The Ex,” and she still appears on the company’s website….
Tim Murphy of Mother Jones cites other shelters and domestic violence programs that are being reduced or completely eliminated in Louisiana, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Oregon and other states. “The projections are bleak,” he writes.
Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) office estimates that 70,120 fewer domestic violence victims will have access to recovery programs and shelters; 35,900 fewer people will get help obtaining non-shelter services such as restraining orders and sexual assault treatment. Cuts to programs related to the Victims Against Crime Act will hurt another 310,574 people….
And you know that big-shock Pentagon report released Tuesday that estimates 26,000 sexual assaults took place in the armed forces in 2012, a 37 percent increase over 2010? The report that also said fewer than 10 percent of the sex-assault cases end with a conviction at court-martial, while 62 percent of victims who dare to report an assault are rewarded with retaliation?….
In the Pentagon report above, an estimated 13,900 of the 1.2 million active duty men said they had experienced some form of sexual assault in the past year (a far smaller portion than the active duty women). About a quarter of the victims of non-family child abductions are boys. And from 1994 to 2010, about four in five victims of intimate partner violence were female, according to the Bureau of Justice stats. But that leaves one in five victims to be men…. http://www.thenation.com/blog/174267/cleveland-horror-and-week-violence-against-women
Emotional and physical abuse brought into the light in Cleveland
BY MARILOU JOHANEK BLADE COLUMNIST 5/17/2013
….Ariel Castro terrorized his wife. He has a history of domestic violence and restraining orders.
What he’s accused of doing to three other women is not classified as domestic violence, said Linda Dooley, who is the CEO of the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center in Cleveland, but his alleged tactics of power and control are classic traits of a domestic violence offender.
“He clearly isolated the victims, manipulated them — that’s how he wound up getting them to his house — and abused them both physically and emotionally.”
Domestic violence offenders are masters at manipulation, Ms. Dooley added.
“I think the emotional mind-set is really a big part of this [Cleveland case], especially when you hear that he [Castro] intentionally left the door open and if they [victims] came out, he would beat them,” she said.
Emotional abuse takes a toll.
“When you’re in this day after day, year after year, and no one’s rescuing you, no one’s hearing you, many times victims give up.”
But contrary to common belief, Ms. Dolley added, victims of ritual abuse are anything but passive.
“Every day, they’re actively looking at how to survive,” Ms. Dooley said. “Escaping is secondary. They do a lot of things to stay alive like trying not to get their abuser angry or do something he doesn’t like so maybe he won’t beat them…. http://www.toledoblade.com/MarilouJohanek/2013/05/18/Emotional-and-physical-abuse-brought-into-the-light-in-Cleveland.html
Child Sacrifice and Trafficking in Holland, Cleveland Suspect Ariel Castro Domestic Abuse, Jimmy Savile
May 11, 2013 Comments Off on Child Sacrifice and Trafficking in Holland, Cleveland Suspect Ariel Castro Domestic Abuse, Jimmy Savile
– Child Sacrifice and Trafficking in Holland: An Eyewitness speaks out
– Chains, ropes found in Cleveland house where women were held
– Cleveland suspect Ariel Castro: A troubling portrait emerges
– Conference shines light on plight of battered mothers seeking custody
– Police force admits mistakes that let Jimmy Savile escape justice
Child Sacrifice and Trafficking in Holland: An Eyewitness speaks out (Introduction)
Published on May 8, 2013
During Kevin Annett’s visit with us here at Freedom Central, we have been contacted by several people with some very interesting stories.
Meet Toos of the Family Nijenhuis, a very brave woman who came to meet Kevin Annett at the event Freedom Central hosted for him. Following of from the disclosure of some very sad but important facts, we immediately arranged for an interview with Toos….
Chains, ropes found in Cleveland house where women were held
By Alana Semuels and Tina Susman
May 8, 2013
CLEVELAND — Chains and ropes have been removed from the home where three women were rescued on Monday after being held captive as long as 11 years….
Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, the police chief confirmed reports that the victims — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight — had been physically bound in the Castro home.
“They were released out in the backyard once in a while, I believe,” he told Savannah Guthrie.
That could bolster some neighbors’ claims Tuesday that they had seen at least one naked woman in Castro’s backyard a couple of years ago. Police have said they have no record of calls reporting such a sighting, but neighbors have said their attempts to alert police were dismissed.
Ariel Castro’s first cousin, 45-year-old Maria Castro Montes, a hospital administrator, expressed shock and disbelief at her cousin’s alleged actions as she stood Wednesday outside his small white house in a downtrodden area about two miles from downtown Cleveland.
“He was a normal man. He was a loving cousin, a loving father a loving grandfather,” she said. “Just like any other member of a family that you think you know.”….
Cleveland suspect Ariel Castro: A troubling portrait emerges
By Matt Pearce May 9, 2013
When three young women emerged from a Cleveland home Monday evening after being held captive for about a decade, neighbors were thunderstruck. Ariel Castro, 52, who owns the home and who faces kidnapping and rape charges, was known as a sunny face, someone who was good with children.
The neighborhood was shocked. But Fernando Colon wasn’t.
“The first thing I said was, ‘I knew it, I knew it,’ ” Colon told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, adding: “He’s a monster. He’s the opposite of what people thought he was.”
As the case gained worldwide attention, details were trickling out about the dungeon-like conditions in which Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, about 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, were purportedly imprisoned and abused.
A dark portrait of Castro also was emerging. Interviews and court documents detailed long-term, repeated allegations of manipulation and domestic abuse….
According to court records and interviews, allegations of abuse against Ariel Castro began in the early 1990s. Castro had three daughters and a son with Grimilda Figueroa between 1981 and 1990. The pair never married. In 1993, Figueroa would say later, Castro attacked her at their home on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland.
Figueroa, who died last year, suffered a broken nose, broken ribs, a blood clot in her brain and two dislocated shoulders, in addition to losing a tooth, according to a court petition she filed against him.
In 1994, a Cuyahoga County grand jury was to hear the abuse allegations, but Figueroa failed to testify. In a sworn statement she gave a decade later – in connection with the child abuse charges against Colon – Figueroa said Castro saw her on the day she was to testify and offered her money and a car if she didn’t tell the grand jury about his beatings.
“He also told me, ‘You know what will happen to you if you do testify,’ ” Figueroa said in the statement. “I knew that he would find me and assault me again. … I was unable to offer my testimony before the grand jury. I did not tell anyone about the threats.”
The case against Castro was dropped….
The Post’s View
Conference shines light on plight of battered mothers seeking custody
By Editorial Board, May 10, 2013
THE BATTLES over child custody that unfold in courtrooms across the United States don’t get much attention. If a celebrity is involved, there might be headlines, but publicity is generally shunned out of the not-unreasonable urge to protect the privacy of children. Unfortunately, though, that has tended to shroud problems in how these critical decisions are made. That’s why a conference focusing attention this week on systemic issues in family court is so important.
The Battered Mothers Custody Conference started Friday at George Washington University Law School and concludes Sunday with a vigil at the White House. It brings together victims of domestic abuse, advocates and experts in an effort to reform a system they say doesn’t do enough to protect children. Too often, said organizers of the event, which is now in its 10th year, custody or access in contested cases where domestic violence has been alleged is given to abusive fathers because of a misguided emphasis on parental rights that discounts or disbelieves the concerns of women who have been battered. Victimized parents, often suffering from trauma caused by the abuse, are bankrupted and punished for fighting for their children.
“Cascading disasters and shattered lives are predictable and inevitable,” said Eileen King, executive director of Child Justice in the District and a speaker at the conference. She pointed to the case of 15-month-old Prince McLeod Rams, allegedly drowned by his father after his mother unsuccessfully tried to block unsupervised visits, and the infamous deaths in 2008 of Amy Castillo’s young children by a father she warned was dangerous….
Police force admits mistakes that let Jimmy Savile escape justice
Kiran Randhawa 10 May 2013
A police force today denied a cover-up of Jimmy Savile’s five-decade reign of sex crimes but admitted to “mistakes” and missed opportunities which allowed the DJ to escape justice.
According to a new review, the disgraced entertainer was rumoured to be a “pervert” and officers were passed on information about his possible sex offending while he was alive.
One officer even commented on the late DJ getting “so many of these type of complaints”.
Despite this, he was left free to sexually assault 68 victims in his hometown of Leeds, including eight under the age of nine, and one as young as five.
The inquiry, dubbed Operation Newgreen, examined the history of the TV presenter’s relationship with West Yorkshire Police, including how officers attended his well-known Friday Morning Club at his Leeds flat.
But although the force admitted there was an “over-reliance on personal friendships” between the Jim’ll Fix It host and officers who socialised with him, it found he was not shielded or protected from arrest.
May 10, 2013 Comments Off on Ariel Castro, Cleveland Kidnappings – History of Abuse, Pentagon estimates 26,000 sexual assaults
– Hints of a dark side in Cleveland abduction suspect’s life
– In note, Ariel Castro claimed he was sexually abused as a child
– Cleveland kidnapping suspect had history of abuse, former lover said
– Cleveland kidnappings: Suspect Ariel Castro had ‘no flaw,’ neighbor says
– Pentagon estimates 26,000 sexual assaults
Hints of a dark side in Cleveland abduction suspect’s life
By Daniel Trotta CLEVELAND Wed May 8, 2013
(Reuters) – In hindsight, there were signs of a darker side to Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man suspected of abducting three girls and holding them captive for around a decade.
Divorced years ago and never seen in the company of women, Castro suddenly started showing up in the largely Latino, working-class neighborhood with a 6-year-old girl. It was his girlfriend’s child, he told neighbors.
Castro, 52, was believed to have lived alone, yet on his lunch break would bring home enough bags of fast food and beverages for several people.
He was a school bus driver given mostly “excellent” marks on his performance appraisals, but was repeatedly disciplined, including for one incident when he was accused of calling a young student a “bitch” and leaving the child alone on a bus. These incidents eventually caught up with him, and he was fired last November….
“Ariel was in my garage probably five or six years ago. We were recording a song, an idea we had – a little hard rock with some Latin,” said Joe Popow, 45, a father of six who said he has known the Castro brothers since childhood.
“And – you’re going to laugh – he said he was in the CIA. And I don’t know if he was joking or not, but it’s the way he said it, how serious he said it. I didn’t know what he was capable of. That just put me on defense, and I just started stepping away,” Popow said….
In note, Ariel Castro claimed he was sexually abused as a child
CBS News May 9, 2013
A Cleveland man allegedly confessed years ago in writing to taking the three women he’s accused of raping and holding captive and said that he was abused as a child and raped by an uncle, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports.
According to a law enforcement source, Ariel Castro apparently contemplated committing suicide in the lengthy, handwritten note discovered in his house from which the women – Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32 – escaped Monday.
According to the source, Castro wrote about his whole life, saying that he was abused by his parents as a child and that he was raped by an uncle.
Castro also provided details about taking each of his alleged victims, who went missing in their teens and early 20s. The note was discovered by FBI agents searching his house this week.
CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports Castro called himself a “sexual predator” and blamed the women for their own kidnappings, but he asks for whatever money he has to be donated to his victims after his death.
Investigators inferred from the 2004-dated note that Castro was going to commit suicide. He asked in the note that all of his money be provided to each of his victims….
Cleveland kidnapping suspect had history of abuse, former lover said
By Alana Semuels and Ari Bloomekatz
May 8, 2013
CLEVELAND — One of the men suspected of imprisoning and abusing three recently freed young women was earlier accused of a series of violent acts against the mother of four of his children and was ordered to complete domestic violence and substance abuse counseling.
Grimilda Figueroa, who in various court documents filed in 2005 said she had four children with Ariel Castro, told authorities that Castro broke her nose twice, knocked out her tooth and threatened to kill her and her daughters several times.
“Ariel Castro and I were never married. During our relationship, he was very abusive,” Figueroa said, according to an affidavit filed in Cuyahoga County in 2005.
Cleveland kidnappings: Suspect Ariel Castro had ‘no flaw,’ neighbor says
By Michael Muskal and Alana Semuels
May 7, 2013
CLEVELAND – Ariel Castro, the former school bus driver who is a suspect in the kidnapping of three women who escaped years of incarceration, was a friendly man who befriended area children and gave no hint of what was happening behind the locked doors of his Seymour Avenue house, his neighbors say.
“If a kid didn’t have a father, they would look up to him. There was no flaw,” said Juan Perez, 27, who lives two doors down from the house from where the three abducted women escaped on Monday. “I guess he had a great mask to cover a monster.”
Castro was known for giving children rides in his four-wheeler. He attended neighborhood parties and would have a beer….
Hector Lugo, 31, who lives on the same street, said he still can’t believe the friendly guy who would give his nieces rides was allegedly the perpetrator behind kidnappings that have baffled this city for a decade.
“He used to drive my nieces on his four-wheeler. That’s what threw me off,” Lugo said. “They always thought of him as a cool person — a cool person to kick it with. He was an outgoing person, he never messed with anyone. He was always cool.”….
Pentagon estimates 26,000 sexual assaults; Obama vows crackdown
By DAVID S. CLOUD Tribune Washington Bureau Tuesday, May. 7, 2013
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon estimated that 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted in unreported incidents last year – 35 percent more than in 2010 – a severe trend that senior officials warned could threaten recruiting and retention of women in uniform….
police in Arlington, Va., arrested the chief of the Air Force sexual-assault prevention branch for allegedly groping a woman outside a bar near the Pentagon, the latest sexual scandal to hit the headlines. Officials said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was removed from his post after the arrest.
….An investigation that began in 2011 at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas has turned up 59 cases of sexual assault of military recruits by drill instructors….
Ariel Castro Allegedly Kept Sexually Abused Kidnap Victims In ‘Chains And Ropes’, Eric Toth, accused of child pornography, evaded authorities for 5 years
May 9, 2013 Comments Off on Ariel Castro Allegedly Kept Sexually Abused Kidnap Victims In ‘Chains And Ropes’, Eric Toth, accused of child pornography, evaded authorities for 5 years
Ariel Castro Allegedly Kept Sexually Abused Kidnap Victims In ‘Chains And Ropes’
The three kidnapped women who endured a decade inside a rundown Cleveland home were bound by ropes and chains and rarely let outside, according to Cleveland’s police chief.
“We have confirmation that they were bound and there was chains and ropes in the home,” Police Chief Michael McGrath said Wednesday morning on the “Today” show. He also said they were “very rarely” permitted in suspect Ariel Castro’s backyard.
Ohio man charged with kidnapping, rape By Meghan Barr and Thomas J. Sheeran Associated Press May 08, 2013
CLEVELAND (AP) — Kidnapping and rape charges were filed Wednesday against a man arrested after three women missing for about a decade were found alive at his home.
Homeowner Ariel Castro was charged while his brothers, Pedro and Onil Castro, were held but faced no immediate charges.
The men were in custody and couldn’t be reached for comment. Their brother-in-law has said the family is ‘‘shocked’’ after hearing about the women at the home.
The three women were subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and suffered miscarriages, a city councilman briefed on the case said Wednesday.
Councilman Brian Cummins said that many details remain unclear, including the number of pregnancies and the conditions under which the miscarriages occurred. He also said the women were kept in the basement for some time without having access to the rest of the house. Police said they were apparently bound with ropes and chains.
The horrific allegations came out as police built a case.
‘‘We know that the victims have confirmed miscarriages, but with who, how many and what conditions we don’t know,’’ Cummins said. He added: ‘‘It sounds pretty gruesome.’’….
A 2005 domestic-violence filing in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court accused Ariel Castro of twice breaking the nose of his children’s mother, knocking out a tooth, dislocating each shoulder and threatening to kill her and her daughters three or four times in a year.
The filing for a protective order by Grimilda Figueroa also said that Castro frequently abducted her daughters and kept them from her.
In 1993, Castro was arrested on a domestic-violence charge and spent three days in jail before he was released on bail. A grand jury did not return an indictment against him, according to court documents, which don’t detail the allegations….
Eric Toth, accused of child pornography, evaded authorities for 5 years
By Justin Jouvenal, Published: May 5
Eric Toth was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list and had been featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” but last fall, one of the most notorious fugitives in America may have been set to take a stage.
He appeared to be booked to speak at a Las Vegas tech conference.
Colleagues knew the speaker under a different name as an Austin-based tech writer and computer technician they described as brilliant and friendly. But they now suspect that he is the same man who is accused of filming a sex act with a child while he was a teacher at the District’s exclusive Beauvoir school in 2007 or 2008.
They realized the night before the October speech that the tech writer had vanished. Calls and e-mails went unreturned. His Facebook page went dormant. They never saw him again.
His whereabouts remained a mystery until Toth, 31, was arrested in Nicaragua in April. Three people who saw arrest photos of the lanky man with long brown hair said he was the same person they knew from Austin. FBI officials declined to confirm their account. Toth’s attorney did not return a call for comment.
“My reaction was shock,” said Joel Stewart, one of the man’s former bosses at a computer repair store. “This was not an unlikable person. I think a lot of us came to think of him as something of a friend.”
During Toth’s five years on the run, the pattern played out again and again as the man the FBI says is an expert in social engineering and computers was able to invent fresh personas, allegedly obtain fraudulent documents and win the trust of unsuspecting people. When it appeared that he might be discovered, he would simply melt away.
All the while, the man, who authorities warned would not stop molesting children until he was caught, had contact with kids. The Washington Post has been able to reconstruct his time in hiding from the District to the Southwest to Latin America.
“It’s a case study in you never know who you are standing next to,” said Chris Bangs, who worked with the tech writer….
Pope ‘must hand over sex abuse files’ , LA archdiocese to pay out $10 mln to settle abuse cases, False allegations of rape and domestic violence are few and far between
March 14, 2013 Comments Off on Pope ‘must hand over sex abuse files’ , LA archdiocese to pay out $10 mln to settle abuse cases, False allegations of rape and domestic violence are few and far between
– False allegations of rape and domestic violence are few and far between
– Pope ‘must hand over sex abuse files’
– LA archdiocese to pay out $10 mln to settle abuse cases
False allegations of rape and domestic violence are few and far between
Our new report shows that while false allegations must be taken seriously they are relatively rare and are often complex cases
Keir Starmer guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 13 March 2013
The Crown Prosecution Service has come a long way in dealing with cases involving violence against women and girls. In the last year (2011-12) we have seen the conviction rate rise to 73%, delivering the lowest attrition rates ever recorded. The CPS has now published a trailblazing report on so-called “false allegations” of rape or domestic violence….
This report outlines the key findings from the review of those cases and the steps that we plan to take. Importantly, what it shows is that charges brought for perverting the course of justice or wasting police time for such “false” allegations need to be considered in the context of the total number of prosecutions brought for those offences. In the period of the review, there were 5,651 prosecutions for rape and 111,891 for domestic violence. During the same period there were 35 prosecutions for making false allegations of rape, six for making false allegation of domestic violence and three for making false allegations of both rape and domestic violence.
Furthermore, the report shows that a significant number of these cases involved young, often vulnerable people. About half of the cases involved people aged 21 years old and under, and some involved people with mental health difficulties. In some cases, the person alleged to have made the false report had undoubtedly been the victim of some kind of offence, even if not the one that he or she had reported…. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/13/false-allegations-rape-domestic-violence-rare
Pope ‘must hand over sex abuse files’
From: AAP March 14, 2013
POPE Francis must commit to handing over secret Vatican files about child sex abuse in Australia, an advocacy group for people abused by priests says.
Nicky Davis, of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP), called on the new Pope on Thursday to show that the church is serious about tackling child sexual abuse.
She said the Catholic Church had never voluntarily handed over incriminating documents or cooperated with law enforcement or official inquiries into the issue.
“One of the first actions of the new Pope should be to open all the secret Vatican files relating to child sexual abuse in Australia and hand them to Australia’s royal commission.” http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/pope-must-hand-over-sex-abuse-files/story-e6frf7kf-1226596925070
LA archdiocese to pay out $10 mln to settle abuse cases
13/03/13 With all eyes on the Vatican’s new beginning – the past continues to dominate for the US archdiocese of Los Angeles and its former leader Cardinal Roger Mahony.
LA has agreed to pay out 10 million dollars (7.7 million euros) to settle four cases of sexual abuse by Father Michael Baker. Recently-released church files show Cardinal Roger Mahony knew that Baker, and others, had abused minors – but he allowed them to stay in the ministry. A Lawyer for the archdiocese, Michael Hennigan, denied a church cover-up, although he said Mahony admitted he made “serious mistakes” with Baker. Baker was convicted in 2007 and sent to prison on 12 criminal counts of felony oral copulation with a minor…. http://www.euronews.com/2013/03/13/la-archdiocese-to-pay-out-10-mln-to-settle-abuse-cases/
Pope should be tried over the church’s sex abuse scandals: Corrigan, Gang rape in Cambodia, George: Any ties to sexual abuse could disqualify papal candidate
March 8, 2013 Comments Off on Pope should be tried over the church’s sex abuse scandals: Corrigan, Gang rape in Cambodia, George: Any ties to sexual abuse could disqualify papal candidate
– Pope should be tried over the church’s sex abuse scandals: Corrigan
– Cardinals Start to Ponder Subtleties of a Big Task
– George: Any ties to sexual abuse could disqualify papal candidate
– Gang rape widespread in Cambodia
Pope should be tried over the church’s sex abuse scandals: Corrigan Thursday Mar 07, 2013
An international lawyer says that the Roman Catholic Church and Pope can be sued in the International Court of Justice over hundreds of filed sexual abuses cases.
The comments come as the leader of Catholic church Pope Benedict XVI has officially resigned, ending an eight-year pontificate shaped by struggles to move the church past sex abuse scandals. Meanwhile international lawyers are looking into former Pope Benedict XVI’s legal status to see whether the former pontiff is liable to a legal action over failing to stop child sex abuse by church priests….
Corrigan: Well, if it goes to the International Court of Justice I think certainly the Roman Catholic Church can be sued.
Priests, bishops, archbishops, all along the hierarchy have been sued successfully in the past and there are a number, maybe even hundreds of sexual abuse cases which have been filed against the church, many of which have been upheld and sometimes they are dealt with internally through Canon law and internal secrecy which is supposed to protect the victim but also certainly has the appearance of protecting the church and sort of hiding this problem which needs to be brought up in the open and there have been numerous priests and other religious figures who have been convicted of sexual abuse of children and women and others.
So certainly the church can be sued….
Cardinals Start to Ponder Subtleties of a Big Task
By DANIEL J. WAKIN March 4, 2013 VATICAN CITY….
On Monday, a senior American cardinal made a rare mention of the clerical sexual abuse scandal in that discourse. Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, said the new pope “obviously has to accept the universal code of the church now, which is zero tolerance for anyone who has abused a child.” Speaking in answer to a question at a news conference, Cardinal George said, “There’s a deep-seated conviction, certainly on the part of anyone who has been a pastor, that this has to be continually addressed.”….
George: Any ties to sexual abuse could disqualify papal candidate
By Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune reporter March 7, 2013
ROME — Days before Pope Benedict XVI resigned and Roman Catholic cardinals descended on Rome to select his successor, Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien was, for all intents and purposes, fired.
As one of the cardinal electors for the next pope, O’Brien, who later apologized for sexual misconduct with other clergy, could have had a say in the next pope. Technically, he could have become the next pontiff.
But in an exclusive interview with the Tribune before the American cardinals’ moratorium, Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George said there are attempts to vet candidates to avoid surprises. He also said ties to anyone guilty of sexual misconduct — whether intended or unintended — could put a man’s candidacy in question if it could distract from his spiritual mission.
David Clohessy, executive director of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP, said that kind of vetting should have been taking place for decades. On Wednesday, Clohessy’s group issued a list of a dozen cardinals whose selection as pope would cause further offense to victims of sex abuse by priests….
Gang rape widespread in Cambodia
Published on Mar 7, 2013
In a recent survey, five percent of men reported they participated in gang rape in Cambodia, one of the highest rates in the Asia-Pacific region. Still, fewer than 20 gang-rape cases were prosecuted in Cambodia last year. A law against domestic violence, passed in Cambodia in 2005, has led to a 15 percent reduction in violence in the home. There is increasing recognition that sexual violence needs to be tackled in the Southeast Asian nation. Al Jazeera’s Aela Callan reports from Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyxhEfBubGI
Unspeakable: Father-Daughter Incest in American History, Most Mass Shootings Target Women and Families
February 27, 2013 Comments Off on Unspeakable: Father-Daughter Incest in American History, Most Mass Shootings Target Women and Families
– Child Pornography: A Modern Day Childhood Gonorrhea Epidemic
– Most Mass Shootings Target Women and Families; Study Finds Men With Legal Guns Are to Blame
Child Pornography: A Modern Day Childhood Gonorrhea Epidemic
By James R. Marsh on February 26, 2013
I am reading a fascinating book by Lynn Sacco, an assistant professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, entitled Unspeakable: Father-Daughter Incest in American History.
Unspeakable is an excellent book which explains how cultural mores and political needs distorted attitudes toward and medical knowledge of patriarchal sexual abuse at a time when the nation was committed to the familial power of white fathers and the idealized white family.
For much of the nineteenth century, father-daughter incest was understood to take place among all classes and legal and extra-legal attempts to deal with it tended to be swift and severe. But public understanding changed markedly during the Progressive Era, when accusations of incest began to be directed exclusively toward immigrants, blacks, and the lower socioeconomic classes. Focusing on early twentieth-century reform movements, Sacco argues that middle- and upper-class white males, too, molested female children in their households, even as official records of their acts declined dramatically.
One of the most interesting chapters in Unspeakable discusses the revolution in medicine in the early 20th century when doctors were first able to diagnose gonorrhea vulvovaginitis. Guess what they discovered?
When physicians began to use the new technology, however, they were shocked to discover that gonorrhea vulvovaginitis was widespread among American girls.…But though condemning child prostitution among the working class was one thing, explaining how girls from good families had become infected with a sexually transmitted disease was another. On the cusp of moving from the margins to the center of American health care, doctors used their professional authority, if not their medical skills, to twist the etiology of girls’ infections into existing narratives that fit more seamlessly with what doctors believed than with what they had discovered. In the process, doctors attributed fewer infections in girls to sexual assault.
Over the next ten years, doctors diagnosed gonorrhea vulvovaginitis so often that by 1904 an epidemiologist writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases declared it an “epidemic” among girls. In 1909, Dr. Flora Pollack, who treated girls at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dispensary, estimated that at least a thousand girls in Baltimore became newly infected each year, and she visited police stations and met with community groups to press for more aggressive prosecution of their assailants….
In terms of child pornography, it is not possible to provide an exact number of people trading child pornography across the world. UNICEF and the United Nations have provided some estimates. UNICEF estimates that there are more than four million websites featuring sexually exploited minors. Further, the number of child pornography websites is growing: 480,000 sites were identified in 2004 compared to 261,653 in 2001. More than 200 new images are circulated daily, and UNICEF estimates that the production and distribution of child pornographic images generates in between 3 and 20 billion dollars a year.
The United Nations released a report in July 2009 asserting that there are approximately 750,000 sexual predators using the Internet to try to make contact with children for the purpose of sexually exploiting them….
Most Mass Shootings Target Women and Families; Study Finds Men With Legal Guns Are to Blame
Data suggests that a gun present in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent. AlterNet By Steven Rosenfeld February 24, 2013
A new analysis of 56 mass shootings across America since 2009 finds women and family members are the most frequent victims, and that the shooter almost always acquired his guns legally, in cases where the gun source is known.
“In at least 32 of the cases (57 percent), the shooter killed a current or former spouse or intimate partner or other family member, and at least eight of those shooters had a prior domestic violence charge,” the Mayors Against Illegal Guns report on mass shootings said, suggesting that the problem of gun violence is far more related to violence against women in homes than rampages in public settings such as schools and theaters.
The study also found that in the cases where the source of the guns was known, almost all were acquired legally: only two examples were given of mass killings with a stolen or illegal gun. That finding runs counter to the gun lobby’s oft-cited rhetoric that only criminals abuse guns.
“We had sufficient evidence to judge whether the shooter was a prohibited gun possessor in 42 of the 56 incidents,” the report said, referring to laws barring ex-felons, mentally ill people, drug addicts and other categories of people from owning guns. “Of those 42 incidents, 15 (36 percent) involved a prohibited possessor and 27 (64 percent) did not.”
MAIG’s analysis should help focus the national debate about curbing gun violence, whether the most horrific mass shootings or ongoing violence where 33 Americans are killed daily from guns (not counting suicides). The report strongly suggests that better background checks before buying guns are needed, as well as far more discussion of domestic violence and violence against women….
“Assault weapons or high-capacity magazines were used in at least 13 of the incidents (32 percent),” the report said. “These incidents resulted in an average of 14.8 total people shot—135 percent more people shot than in other incidents (6.8)—and 8.0 deaths.”
February 9, 2013 Comments Off on Saudi Arabia’s Child-Rape Case: Female Activists Fight to Prevent Abuse, Child Abuse in America
Saudi Arabia’s Child-Rape Case: Female Activists Fight to Prevent Abuse
Feb 8, 2013 Christopher Dickey
A monstrous case of abuse in Saudi Arabia shakes the kingdom and strengthens the cause of Saudi women activists.
The torture and murder of 5-year-old Lama Al Ghamdi could hardly have been more horrific—and news of it, repeated in countless Twitter feeds, has enflamed opinion around the world. But the fact that this story of one little girl’s death and one father’s monstrosity went public is also a sign of just how hard women in Saudi Arabia are working to fight the cruel misogyny embedded in the kingdom’s version of Islamic law. And among those women is a daughter of the king….
Fayhan Al Ghamdi, a self-styled Islamic preacher who appears occasionally on local TV shows pontificating about morality, was arrested last year and charged with murder. He told authorities that he had suspected his 5-year old daughter was not a virgin. He had even taken her to a doctor to check. But apparently that had not satisfied him….
Saudi law claims to follow a clear path (sharia) laid out in the Quran, but in practice it’s based on a maze of sayings and traditions (hadith) with as many baffling contradictions as the codes used by lawyers anywhere. According to one reading, a father cannot be held fully accountable for the death of his children; their loss is a punishment for him. So the question arose in the proceedings whether Al Ghamdi could simply pay the mother “blood money” for the loss of her daughter and walk free….
The mother has said she will not accept payment. She has asked that the stepmother be investigated as well, and she has told her advocates that she wants to see her ex-husband executed, which in Saudi Arabia means beheading.
Before the middle of the last decade, domestic violence and child abuse in Saudi Arabia were treated mainly as family affairs. Nobody wanted to talk about them, and if police did bother to investigate suspected crimes, which was rare, they found proof very hard to come by.
But it’s important to remember Saudi Arabia is not the only country where domestic abuse is a hidden crime. Indeed, the United States has the worst record in the industrialized world. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost five children a day die from neglect or abuse, but according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, those numbers almost certainly are understated….
Child Abuse in America
Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving nearly 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation – losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths….Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.