A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year, The Price of a Stolen Childhood, Bishop, McGeehan announce reintroduction of child sex abuse bills

January 25, 2013 Comments Off on A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year, The Price of a Stolen Childhood, Bishop, McGeehan announce reintroduction of child sex abuse bills

A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year 01/24/2013
Rebecca Solnit Author, ‘A Paradise Built in Hell’
Hate Crimes in America (and Elsewhere)

Here in the United States, where there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes, and one in five women will be raped in her lifetime, the rape and gruesome murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi on December 16th was treated as an exceptional incident. The story of the alleged rape of an unconscious teenager by members of the Steubenville High School football team was still unfolding, and gang rapes aren’t that unusual here either. Take your pick: some of the 20 men who gang-raped an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas, were sentenced in November, while the instigator of the gang rape of a 16-year-old in Richmond, California, was sentenced in October, and four men who gang-raped a 15-year-old near New Orleans were sentenced in April, though the six men who gang-raped a 14-year-old in Chicago last fall are still at large.  Not that I actually went out looking for incidents: they’re everywhere in the news, though no one adds them up and indicates that there might actually be a pattern….

A woman is beaten every nine seconds in this country. Just to be clear: not nine minutes, but nine seconds. It’s the number-one cause of injury to American women; of the two million injured annually, more than half a million of those injuries require medical attention while about 145,000 require overnight hospitalizations, according to the Center for Disease Control, and you don’t want to know about the dentistry needed afterwards. Spouses are also the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the U.S.

“Women worldwide ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war and traffic accidents combined,” writes Nicholas D. Kristof, one of the few prominent figures to address the issue regularly…..

Increasingly men are becoming good allies — and there always have been some.  Kindness and gentleness never had a gender, and neither did empathy. Domestic violence statistics are down significantly from earlier decades (even though they’re still shockingly high), and a lot of men are at work crafting new ideas and ideals about masculinity and power.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-solnit/violence-against-women_b_2541940.html

The Price of a Stolen Childhood
By EMILY BAZELON  January 24, 2013
The detective spread out the photographs on the kitchen table, in front of Nicole, on a December morning in 2006. She was 17, but in the pictures, she saw the face of her 10-year-old self, a half-grown girl wearing make-up. The bodies in the images were broken up by pixelation, but Nicole could see the outline of her father, forcing himself on her. Her mother, sitting next to her, burst into sobs.

The detective spoke gently, but he had brutal news: the pictures had been downloaded onto thousands of computers via file-sharing services around the world. They were among the most widely circulated child pornography on the Internet. Also online were video clips, similarly notorious, in which Nicole spoke words her father had scripted for her, sometimes at the behest of other men. For years, investigators in the United States, Canada and Europe had been trying to identify the girl in the images….

When she was 16, Nicole told her mother, in a burst of tears, what had been going on at her father’s house. Her father was arrested for child rape. The police asked Nicole whether he took pictures. She said yes, but that she didn’t think he showed them to anyone. A few months later, while her father was out on bail, Nicole was using a computer he gave her to work on a presentation for Spanish class when she came across a file with a vulgar name that she couldn’t open. She showed it to her mother and stepfather, and they brought the computer to the police.

A search detected five deleted video files of child pornography, two of them showing Nicole and her father. In the spring of 2006, he was charged with a new crime — producing the videos — and he fled the country. At this point, the police didn’t realize that Nicole’s father had also distributed the images.

Months later, the police said they had no leads on her father, so Nicole went on television to ask the public for any tips that might help them find him. A police officer in Toronto involved in tracking child pornography around the world saw the broadcast and recognized Nicole as an older version of the girl in the notorious videos. The Toronto officer set off an alert that reached the police in Nicole’s hometown, informing them that she was the victim in a major pornography-distribution case….

Precise numbers of child-pornography viewers are hard to come by. Unicef estimates that there are at least hundreds of thousands of Web sites with child pornography worldwide. Child-pornography consumers are even more likely to swap with one another via hidden networks. Using a tool developed at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2009, police have logged close to 22 million public I.P. addresses offering child-pornography pictures or videos via peer-to-peer file sharing, which allows users to download content from one computer to another; almost 10 million of the I.P. addresses were located in the United States. Many of the users shared only a single illegal image, perhaps downloaded inadvertently, but others offered collections of hundreds or thousands of pictures.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/magazine/how-much-can-restitution-help-victims-of-child-pornography.html

Bishop, McGeehan announce reintroduction of child sex abuse bills
Rep. Michael P. McGeehan
173rd Legislative District
Philadelphia County

HARRISBURG, Jan. 23 – Saying the move is long overdue andflanked by high-profile reform advocates, state Reps. Louise Williams Bishop and Michael P. McGeehan, both D-Phila.,today announced a renewed push to update archaic statute-of-limitations laws in child sexual abuse cases at a Capitol Rotunda news conference.

Bishop and McGeehan said their respective bills are patterned after ones they introduced in the last two-year legislative session but died after being inexplicably bottled up in the committee process.

Bishop has reintroduced her legislation, now known as H.B. 237, which would abolish the statute of limitations on criminal charges and civil lawsuits in cases of child sexual abuse.

“Child sexual abuse victims are slowly beginning to break the barriers of silence; however, they still face a daunting procedural obstacle — the statute of limitations,” said Bishop, who came out last year as a victim of child sexual abuse. “Instead of suppressing legislation that would lift the statute of limitations, we should be voting these game-changing bills out of committee and the House, so more victims can seek justice.”

McGeehan has introduced H.B. 238 that would suspend any expired statute of limitations for two years in child sex abuse cases, providing a window of opportunity for those victims to file a civil lawsuit. His bill also would seek to make child sexual abuse an exception to the sovereign immunity defense that shields public officials from being sued.

“The effects of child sex abuse are felt everywhere,” McGeehan said. “We are all victims. The scandals which have rocked school districts and dioceses across the country, Penn State, the Boy Scouts — the problem clearly is not going away.

http://www.pahouse.com/McGeehan/PAHouseNews.asp?doc=28629

Twitter shuts down string of accounts containing child abuse images after hackers expose indecent content, Piero Corsi, Italian Priest, Says ‘Provocative’ Women To Blame For Spate Of Domestic Violence (VIDEO), Belgium To Prosecute Scientology As Criminal Organization; Church Faces Charges Of Extortion, Fraud

December 30, 2012 Comments Off on Twitter shuts down string of accounts containing child abuse images after hackers expose indecent content, Piero Corsi, Italian Priest, Says ‘Provocative’ Women To Blame For Spate Of Domestic Violence (VIDEO), Belgium To Prosecute Scientology As Criminal Organization; Church Faces Charges Of Extortion, Fraud

Twitter shuts down string of accounts containing child abuse images after hackers expose indecent content

NSPCC says hacking groups exposed the files last night
The charity says it has received a ‘flurry’ of reports
Unclear whether images came from British users or those abroad
Cases will now be investigated in the US where the site is based
Another child protection group received 30 reports of such images

By James Black
24 December 2012

A string of Twitter accounts have been closed after they were revealed to contain disturbing images of child abuse.

The graphic pictures were apparently made public late last night after hacking groups claimed to have broken into the private accounts to expose their indecent content, the NSPCC said.

The charity said it received a ‘flurry’ of reports overnight relating to at least half a dozen Twitter accounts which were later disabled.

They will now be investigated in the US, where the micro-blogging site is based.

An NSPCC spokesman said: ‘Apparently these were pretty disturbing images of child abuse.

“We understand the authorities in the US are now looking at the accounts.’

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) said it had also received around 30 reports, relating to at least four accounts.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2252951/Twitter-shuts-string-accounts-containing-child-abuse-images-hackers-expose-indecent-content.html

Piero Corsi, Italian Priest, Says ‘Provocative’ Women To Blame For Spate Of Domestic Violence (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post  |  By Meredith Bennett-Smith 12/28/2012

An Italian priest found himself embroiled in a national controversy this week after a Christmas bulletin he posted in his church went viral.

Perio Corsi’s flier, entitled “Women and femicide – healthy self-criticism. How often do they provoke?” claimed that women in Italy may be to blame for a spate of domestic violence attacks, Raw Story notes. Members of the priest’s congregation then posted the text on the Internet:

How often do we see girls and mature women going around scantily dressed and in provocative clothes?

They provoke the worst instincts, which end in violence or sexual abuse. They should search their consciences and ask: did we bring this on ourselves?

The flier went on to decry “increasingly provocative,” “arrogant” and “self-sufficient” women who abandon their children, don’t clean their houses and serve cold meals.

Corsi is the leader of a church in the small parish of San Terenzo in northwest Italy, according to The Journal.

The Daily Beast’s Barbie Latza Nadeau notes that this year 120 women have been killed in domestic disputes in the European nation, “a third more than last year.” In fact, the problem has even caught the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which urged the country to take action last June.

As calls for the priest to resign intensified, Euronews reported that Corsi issued an apology, only to quickly take it back. He also used an anti-gay slur when debating a reporter from Rai Radio, L’Huffington Post reports.

Meanwhile, local officials have been quick to distance themselves from the church leader’s comments….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/piero-corsi-italian-priest-provocative-women-to-blame-domestic-violence_n_2376702.html

Belgium To Prosecute Scientology As Criminal Organization; Church Faces Charges Of Extortion, Fraud

The Huffington Post  |  By Andres Jauregui 12/28/2012

Federal public prosecutors in Belgium will institute legal proceedings against the church of Scientology in that country and seek to recognize it as a criminal organization.

The church of Scientology — which is not recognized as a faith in Belgium — and several of its top-ranking members face charges including extortion, fraud, illegal practice of medicine and violation of privacy laws, according to Flanders News.

The complaint stems from an investigation of fraudulent labor contracts issued by the church of Scientology in an effort to recruit new volunteers and members. A judge ordered raids on Scientology offices in 2008 that allegedly uncovered a “wealth of evidence” that the organization had spied on and extorted money from its members, according to De Standaard.

An estimated 500 people belong to the church of Scientology in Belgium. The organization’s European headquarters are located in Brussels.

Belgium is not the only European country in which Scientology has faced criticism and legal action.

Scientology came under fire in France in 2009 when it was convicted of fraud for “[pressuring] members into paying large sums for questionable remedies,” according to the Associated Press. That conviction was upheld in a French appeals court in February 2012.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/belgium-prosecutes-scientology-extortion-fraud_n_2375823.html

Nearly 50 unidentified kids buried in reform school’s cemetery, No Way Out

October 17, 2012 Comments Off on Nearly 50 unidentified kids buried in reform school’s cemetery, No Way Out

Nearly 50 unidentified kids buried in Florida reform school’s century-old secret graveyard

Reform school cemetery that dates back to 1900s may hold unnamed victims of abusive school administrators, say family members. By Anthony Bartkewicz / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS   Sunday, October 14, 2012

A secret graveyard tucked behind a Florida reform school is home to 31 cross-shaped grave markers, but nearly 50 unidentified bodies.

The small cemetery dates back to the early 1900s. Some former students at the Florida Industrial School for Boys in Marianna now say victims of abusive school administrators are buried there, CNN reported.

When the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated in 2009, it found that 31 boys buried in the woods behind the school died either from the flu or in a fire.

But University of South Florida anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle found 18 more bodies buried without markers.

“We found burials within the current marked cemetery, and then we found burials that extend beyond that,” she said. “These are children who came here and died, for one reason or another, and have just been lost in the woods.”….

A group of men came forward in 2008 and said the “White House” — a small concrete building on school grounds — was the site of brutal beatings and whippings in the 1960s.

Former administrator Troy Tidwell downplayed their claims, saying only that “spankings” took place.

Another former student said a boy named Owen Smith was killed by rifle fire as they tried to run away from the school.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/50-unidentified-kids-buried-florida-reform-school-secret-graveyard-article-1.1183090

‘No Way Out’ October 15, 2012
By Cara Tabachnick

In 1996, Holly Collins and her children became the first Americans to be granted asylum by the government of the Netherlands due to domestic violence. She fled the United States after losing custody of her children in Family Court to her ex-husband, who abused Holly and their two young children. Her remarkable story was featured in the 87- minute documentary “No Way Out But One,” by the Boston- based journalist/filmmaking team of Garland Waller and Barry Nolan. The film will be shown on the Documentary Channel at the end of October, which is national Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Filmmaker Garland Waller spoke with The Crime Report’s Managing Editor Cara Tabachnick about Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), bringing attention to abuse in contested custody cases, and the “Alice in Wonderland” state of the U.S. Family Court System.

The Crime Report: Why did you decide to make this film?

Garland Waller: There is little justice in American family court. The issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse that take place inside the courtroom get little to no recognition. It is hard to get enough traction with these issues. (We hoped) to get some acknowledgement or recognition in a bigger way.

Holly Collins had tons of creditable medical evidence and legal documents to support what she said. And her children were old enough, and had faith enough, to testify or to speak to us on camera about their experience. This took it out of the space of ‘he said, she said’ that normally happens when people think of a custody or divorce case….

TCR: Explain the issues facing abused women and children in family court.

GW: We know from research and statistics that a batterer is more likely than a non- batterer to get custody in family court today. That should be most shocking to people. What most people don’t understand is that most divorces and custody cases never end up in a family court. Even if the couple hates each other, they figure out what to for the (kids’ best interests).  (But) when domestic violence is involved, everything changes. It’s Alice in Wonderland. Family courts are kingdoms; they are not like civil courts or criminal courts, and t judges could do anything they want.

When a battered person goes to court, usually she doesn’t look good. She’s nervous, she’s shaky, she’s scared, and maybe she’s been living in a shelter. She is certainly stressed when she goes to court and says ‘my husband beat me, my husband beats the children’ or ‘my husband is sexually abusing the children.’ One would think the court would help. But what usually happens is the woman is either not believed, or the court believes she is exaggerating.

The batterers are usually more charming. The whole family court system is really set up to challenge people who bring up sexual abuse and physical abuse of children. It is not a place where protected parents can go to court and expect support….

The film is going to be shown on the Documentary Channel October 29 at 8:00pm-11:00pm ET.
http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/inside-criminal-justice/2012-10-no-way-out

Obama Outlines Steps To Fight Human Trafficking, NO WAY OUT BUT ONE

September 26, 2012 Comments Off on Obama Outlines Steps To Fight Human Trafficking, NO WAY OUT BUT ONE

Clinton Global Initiative: Obama Outlines Steps To Fight Human Trafficking
AP/THE HUFFINGTON POST  By BEN FELLER 09/25/2012

NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama called human trafficking nothing more than “modern slavery,” outlining new steps on Tuesday to combat the exploitation of workers and children in the United States and abroad.

Obama said in an address to the Clinton Global Initiative that he was not using the term of “slavery” lightly, noting that it evoked a painful past for America. But he said the U.S. and international community need to step up efforts to help more than 20 million victims of human trafficking around the globe, calling it an “injustice” and an “outrage.”

Human trafficking, Obama said, “must be called by its true name: modern slavery.”

The president said the trafficking of people contributes to “the debasement of our common humanity,” ”tears at our social fabric,” endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. He listed victims ranging from workers who toil for little pay, are abused and barred from leaving their jobs, young boys who are turned into child soldiers and forced to kill, and impoverished girls who are sold into the sex trade….

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/25/obama-human-trafficking-cgi_n_1913051.html

NO WAY OUT BUT ONE
ONE-HOUR EDUCATIONAL VERSION

In 1994, Holly Collins felt she had run out of legal options and there was simply no other way to keep her children safe. So she kidnapped her own kids and went on the run. Hunted by the FBI, she and the children lived in the shadows with the help of a loosely organized “underground” that helped victims of domestic violence and abuse find safety. Holly ultimately found safety in the Netherlands. There she became the first American to be granted asylum by the Dutch government as a result of domestic violence.

“NO WAY OUT BUT ONE” examines how Holly’s efforts to protect her children from her abuser were by blocked by the very courts charged with keeping them safe. The film reveals a shocking national scandal: In the American family court system, loving parents can lose custody of their children simply because they seek to protect them from abuse….

http://store.documentarychannel.com/No-Way-Out-But-One-p/1286-e.htm

Emotional Freedom Techniques for MC and RA Recovery – Survivorship Webinar

September 17, 2012 Comments Off on Emotional Freedom Techniques for MC and RA Recovery – Survivorship Webinar

Upcoming Webinar:
Saturday, October 20
12:00 noon Pacific Time
Presenter: Melisa Noel (EFT Practitioner & Consultant)
“Emotional Freedom Techniques for MC and RA Recovery”

Melisa Noel has nineteen years in the trauma recovery field in a variety of roles. As a professional therapeutic foster parent, she specialized in severely traumatized children with dissociative “disorders,” autistic spectrum, borderline family systems, and much more. In addition to her Bachelors in Sociology, she has extensive training in attachment work, sexually and physically aggressive youth, sexual abuse and domestic violence, cult/mind control/torture/programming patterns, working with cultural and sexual minorities, mediation and conflict resolution. Melisa wrote and presented multiple research papers in Social Psychology at academic symposiums around the U.S., and was awarded Excellence in Undergraduate Research by the National Science Foundation in 2002. She also received two years of intensive training on EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) specifically for trauma recovery. In addition to her professional experiences, Melisa is an adult survivor of a pedophile porn ring. She began her personal recovery journey in 1993, at age nineteen, before organized commercialized crime against children was a recognized form of abuse. Melisa has used EFT as a primary tool in her own recovery process, and is now an EFT practitioner, as well as a consultant, presenter and workshop facilitator on the latest research and applications for trauma recovery.

What is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)? How and why does it work for trauma? And why are practitioners falling in love with it? In this webinar, EFT Practitioner, Melisa Noel, will introduce current research showing EFT to be as effective as EMDR, with some of the latest science supporting these findings. Participants will receive a brief introduction to a few of the EFT techniques designed for working with trauma. Additionally, we’ll talk about how EFT is particularly helpful when working gently and lovingly with protector parts that can often create flooding, overwhelm, self-harm and destructive relationship patterns. Lastly, we’ll touch on some pieces to notice when using EFT with dissociative genius (a.k.a. “disorders”), and/or with MC/RA survivors. Opportunities for Q & A with the presenter will be included. Whether you’re a survivor or a practitioner, if you want to know more about EFT from an integrated perspective with science, practical application, and compassion, this is a great introduction.

REGISTRATION
Registration closes Thursday evening October 18th , 2012

To reserve a space in the webinar, e-mail Shamai at shamai@survivorship.org and give her this information:

1. Your name
2. The webinar you wish to attend: “Emotional Freedom Techniques for MC and RA Recovery”
3. Amount and method of payment (check, PayPal, money order)
4. Your preferred e-mail address (so we can send you instructions)
5. The name you will be using for the webinar. (This does not have to be your real name or your message board screen name.)

You will receive a confirmation email immediately and an invitation link and instructions after the registration closes

COST
Webinars are on a sliding scale from $50.00 to full scholarship (while we offer full scholarships for webinars please consider paying whatever you are able to. Even $5 will help to cover the cost of the webinar provider). Please remember to factor in the cost of the telephone call if you don’t have a computer headset. The PayPal button is near the bottom of the page at http://www.survivorship.org/webinars.html

If you wish to pay by check please send it to: Survivorship, Family Justice Center, 470 27th Street, Oakland, CA 94612.

PAST WEBINARS
Survivorship members may listen to past webinars in the members’ section.
We strive to present all webinars in our archives, and sometimes, for technical reasons, we are unable to.

For information on joining Survivorship, go to http://www.survivorship.org/about/membership.html

Complete details on all our webinars are at http://www.survivorship.org/webinars.html

Prep-School Predators – The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse Allegations, ‘No Way Out But One’ Domestic Violence

June 10, 2012 Comments Off on Prep-School Predators – The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse Allegations, ‘No Way Out But One’ Domestic Violence

Prep-School Predators – The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse
By AMOS KAMIL June 6, 2012

….When the Penn State scandal came out last year, I kept getting tangled in the questions everyone else was getting tangled in: How does an institutional culture arise to condone, or at least ignore, something that, individually, every member knows is wrong? Andrew’s story came back to me in a rush. The questions of Penn State, I realized, are the questions of Horace Mann and perhaps every place that has been haunted by a similar history.

….I spoke with nearly 100 people for this article, including 60 former students and 15 former or current faculty members. Some of them implored me not to pursue the subject, insisting that no good could come of opening old wounds. Others said that Horace Mann today is a very different place than it was back then — eagerly responsive to the concerns of students and parents. Some said they were unaware of these rumors. Some said nothing had happened to them but that they had heard similar stories from classmates. Many said they were surprised it took this long for these stories to come out.

The former students who chose to share their stories with me are all men, but if their classmates are to be believed, the situation was far more complex. People who haven’t set foot in the school in 30 years still rattle off the names of male teachers who were said to be sleeping with their female students. A couple of female faculty members were said to be sleeping with male students. Once I started asking around, these stories continued to bubble up — from friends I thought I knew well and from other schools, public and private, each with their own elaborate histories of which teachers you ought to steer clear of, which students seemed too old for their years. In just the past couple of years, among just the tiny fraternity of elite New York City private schools, two allegations made the news. A male math teacher at Riverdale Country School pleaded not guilty to charges that he had oral sex with a 16-year-old female student. And Poly Prep was named as a defendant in a lawsuit in which 10 former students and two day-campers say the school covered up for a football coach who was molesting boys. In New York City public schools, during the first three months of 2012, reports of sexual misconduct involving school employees were up 35 percent compared with the same period last year.

I have several friends who confided in me, back in high school, about their own sexual encounters with teachers, but who are now unwilling to talk about it. I can’t say I blame them. Victims rarely speak out, said Paul Mones, a lawyer who represents people who have been sexually abused by authority figures. “The whole goal of the grooming process is to wrap the child close,” he told me. “The affection and trust is to make the kid complicit in the act. Make them feel like it was their fault, so it won’t even occur to them to talk.” Even if they do, New York State’s statute of limitations, which says people who were victimized as minors cannot take civil action against an abuser after they turn 23, makes it unlikely that they would find justice.

….Stories like theirs point to why sexual abuse by teachers — or religious leaders or relatives, for that matter — is so especially damaging. As Mones said: “It’s counterintuitive, but sexual abuse emotionally binds the child closer to the person who has harmed him, setting him up for a life plagued by suspicion and confusion, because he will never be sure who he can really trust. And in my experience, this is by far the worst consequence of sexual abuse.” That’s one reason, he said, why those few victims who ever speak out at all tend to do so only after the abuser is dead or dying: telling the truth while the other person is still strong enough to deny it, or to blame the accuser, is just too terrifying.

….I have similarly conflicted feelings about Horace Mann. It was in many ways an amazing place filled with inspiring teachers and smart, funny students, with a sense of enthusiasm and possibility. Despite all I’ve since learned about it, I still look back on my years there with affection and gratitude, as do so many former students, even some who shared their harrowing stories with me. But that gratitude is part of what makes these stories so painful. We were at such a vulnerable moment in our lives — just beginning to make the transition from childhood into early adulthood, struggling to come to terms with the responsibilities of sexuality and trying to decide what we were willing to stand up for. We needed strong and consistent role models. In many cases we got them. But in too many other cases, we got models of how to abuse authority, how to manipulate trust, how to keep silent, how to fix your eyes forward.

Amos Kamil is a screenwriter, playwright and brand strategist. He graduated from Horace Mann in 1982.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/the-horace-mann-schools-secret-history-of-sexual-abuse.html

Prep-School Predators: Report Alleges Sex Abuse at Elite New York City School
A scathing exposé alleges that decades of sexual abuse by teachers at the elite Horace Mann school went unreported and unpunished.
By Catherine Traywick June 9, 2012

The world of elite New York City private schools was rocked this week by allegations in a special New York Times Magazine report alleging decades of sexual abuse at one of the most well-respected institutions in the country.

For decades, a handful of teachers at the Horace Mann school, an elite prep school in the Bronx, sexually abused both their male and female students with various levels of impunity, according to the exposé by screenwriter Amos Kamil. In the article, Kamil, a Horace Mann alumnus, recalls his friends and classmates privately confiding in him the abuse that they endured at the hands of their teachers….http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/06/09/prep-school-predators-report-alleges-sex-abuse-at-elite-new-york-city-school

‘No Way Out But One’ Wednesday, June 6, 2012

California Judge Michael Nash this year ruled to open child welfare hearings in Los Angeles County unless there’s proof that doing so will harm the child.

Advocates in favor of more transparency in family courts applauded the decision, because they believe the secrecy can lead to decisions that hurt children.

Gail Helms was behind the push for more transparency in California. In 1995, her 2-year-old grandson was beaten to death by his father, who had been awarded custody despite a history of drug abuse.

Around that same time, Holly Collins of Minnesota was on her way to the Netherlands with her children, 11-year-old Zachary and 9-year-old Jennifer. They had been placed in their father’s custody, and she says she fled to protect them from abuse and a court system that ignored her pleas for help. http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/06/06/domestic-violence-out

Severe abuse in childhood may treble risk of schizophrenia, 30-60% overlap of child maltreatment and domestic violence

April 24, 2012 Comments Off on Severe abuse in childhood may treble risk of schizophrenia, 30-60% overlap of child maltreatment and domestic violence

Severe abuse in childhood may treble risk of schizophrenia – Research links sexual, physical and emotional abuse, school bullying and parental neglect to schizophrenia in adulthood – Alok Jha, science correspondent  guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 18 April 2012

Children who experience severe forms of abuse are around three times as likely to develop schizophrenia and related psychoses in later life compared with children who do not experience such abuse, according to a study that has brought together psychiatric data from almost 80,000 people.

The results add to a growing body of evidence that childhood maltreatment or abuse can raise the risk of developing mental illnesses in adulthood, including depression, personality disorders and anxiety.

Prof Richard Bentall of the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, who led the study, showed that the risk of developing psychosis increased in line with the amount of abuse or trauma a child had gone through, with the most severely affected children having a 50-fold increased risk compared with children who had suffered no abuse. He also showed that the type of trauma experienced in childhood affected the subsequent psychiatric symptoms later in life….

Bentall’s team analysed 36 published studies that contained data on childhood maltreatment (including sexual, physical and emotional abuse, death of a parent, school bullying and neglect) and psychiatric symptoms in almost 80,000 people, collected over the course of 30 years. People who experienced these types of trauma in childhood were between 2.7 and 3 times as likely to develop schizophrenia as adults, the team found. The research is published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin….

The latest results add to recent evidence that childhood abuse can lead to serious problems in later life. In 2011, scientists at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s College London found that people with a history of abuse or maltreatment during childhood were more than twice as likely to have recurrent episodes of depression in adulthood and also 43% more likely to experience a poor outcome when it came to psychological or drug-based treatment. They examined data from 16 epidemiological studies involving more than 23,000 people in total and 10 clinical trials involving more than 3,000 people

The mechanisms behind the link between childhood maltreatment and schizophrenia are not yet understood. Earlier this year, psychiatrists at Harvard University found that being sexually or emotionally abused as a child correlated with reduced volumes of three important areas of the hippocampus, which is involved in the control of memory and regulation of emotions. Volumes were reduced by up to 6.5%. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/apr/18/severe-abuse-childhood-risk-schizophrenia

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/21/severe-abuse-in-childhood-may-triple-risk-of-schizophrenia/

Childhood Adversities Increase the Risk of Psychosis: A Meta-analysis of Patient-Control, Prospective- and Cross-sectional Cohort Studies

Filippo Varese,  Feikje Smeets, Marjan Drukker, Ritsaert Lieverse, Tineke Lataster, Wolfgang Viechtbauer, John Read, Jim van Os and Richard P. Bentall

Abstract

Evidence suggests that adverse experiences in childhood are associated with psychosis. To examine the association between childhood adversity and trauma (sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect, parental death, and bullying) and psychosis outcome, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, and Web of Science were searched from January 1980 through November 2011. We included prospective cohort studies, large-scale cross-sectional studies investigating the association between childhood adversity and psychotic symptoms or illness, case-control studies comparing the prevalence of adverse events between psychotic patients and controls using dichotomous or continuous measures, and case-control studies comparing the prevalence of psychotic symptoms between exposed and nonexposed subjects using dichotomous or continuous measures of adversity and psychosis. The analysis included 18 case-control studies (n = 2048 psychotic patients and 1856 nonpsychiatric controls), 10 prospective and quasi-prospective studies (n = 41?803) and 8 population-based cross-sectional studies (n = 35?546). There were significant associations between adversity and psychosis across all research designs, with an overall effect of OR = 2.78 (95% CI = 2.34–3.31). The integration of the case-control studies indicated that patients with psychosis were 2.72 times more likely to have been exposed to childhood adversity than controls (95% CI = 1.90–3.88). The association between childhood adversity and psychosis was also significant in population-based cross-sectional studies (OR = 2.99 [95% CI = 2.12–4.20]) as well as in prospective and quasi-prospective studies (OR = 2.75 [95% CI = 2.17–3.47]). The estimated population attributable risk was 33% (16%–47%). These findings indicate that childhood adversity is strongly associated with increased risk for psychosis.http://schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/03/28/schbul.sbs050

full article  http://schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/03/28/schbul.sbs050.full

The 30-60% overlap of child maltreatment and domestic violence in families indicates a need for child protection policy and practice that reflects this co-occurrence. In 2009, the NRCCPS collaborated with the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) to publish Child and Family Service Review Outcomes: Strategies to Improve Domestic Violence Responses in CFSR Program Improvement Plans to help child protection agencies develop and implement policy and best practice respond to the need for improving and deepening the child pro identified in the CFSR process.  http://nrccps.org/special-initiatives/domestic-violence/

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE, and CHILD CUSTODY: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues

April 17, 2012 Comments Off on DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE, and CHILD CUSTODY: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE, and CHILD CUSTODY: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues
Co-edited by Mo Therese Hannah and Barry Goldstein 2010

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE and CHILD CUSTODY brings together experts from the US and Canada for a multi-disciplinary review of the most up-to-date research and recommendations for handling, domestic violence custody cases. The book’s 25 chapters are written by those in the know:  judges, lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, journalists, domestic violence advocates, and others intimately familiar with the details of these cases.

These diverse experts approach the issue through the lens of different disciplines and professional experiences.  Although they may not agree on every point, they do agree on at least one thing: that the family court system in this country is broken.

For more than two decades, protective mothers from every state in the country (as well as overseas) have been ordered to turn their children over into the care, and even the custody, of the children’s abusive fathers.  This occurs even when there is adequate evidence of child abuse, domestic violence, and other harmful behaviors on the part of the father.
http://www.domesticviolenceabuseandchildcustody.com/

Study of the Day: 1 in 4 Adults With HIV Were Sexually Abused as Kids

March 24, 2012 Comments Off on Study of the Day: 1 in 4 Adults With HIV Were Sexually Abused as Kids

Study of the Day: 1 in 4 Adults With HIV Were Sexually Abused as Kids
By Hans Villarica Mar 23 2012

New research from Duke University shows that psychological trauma predicts increased vulnerability for HIV/AIDS and faster health decline.

METHODOLOGY: Duke University researchers led by Brian Pence monitored more than 600 HIV-positive patients, aged 20 to 71, in the “Coping with HIV/AIDS in the Southeast” study. They investigated possible links to traumatic experiences, HIV-related behaviors, and health outcomes.

RESULTS: A quarter of the respondents were sexually abused as children. Moreover, half of the patients had faced three or more traumatic experiences in their lifetime, including enduring physical abuse and witnessing domestic violence as a child, living through a parent’s suicide attempt or completion, or losing a child.

These painful experiences predicted worse health-related behaviors, such as instances of unprotected sex, missed antiretroviral medications, recent emergency room visits, and hospitalizations. Those who lived through such ordeals were also more likely to die or see their health decline during the two-year study period.

CONCLUSION: Psychological trauma heightens the risk for HIV infection, medication lapses, and disease progression.  http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/study-of-the-day-1-in-4-adults-with-hiv-were-sexually-abused-as-kids/254666/

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012 Apr 1;59(4):409-416.
Childhood Trauma and Health Outcomes in HIV-Infected Patients: An Exploration of Causal Pathways.
Pence BW, Mugavero MJ, Carter TJ, Leserman J, Thielman NM, Raper JL, Proeschold-Bell RJ, Reif S, Whetten K.

METHODS:
In 611 outpatient people living with HIV/AIDS, we tested whether trauma’s influence on later health and behaviors was mediated by coping styles, self-efficacy, social support, trust in the medical system, recent stressful life events, mental health, and substance abuse.

RESULTS:
In models adjusting only for sociodemographic and transmission category confounders (estimating total effects), pasttrauma exposure was associated with 7 behavioral and health outcomes….

CONCLUSIONS:
These data suggest that past trauma influences adult health and behaviors through pathways other than the psychosocial mediators considered in this model. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22107822

Relationships 101 – Brutalized by a Spouse, Surviving Ritual Child Sex Abuse

March 17, 2012 Comments Off on Relationships 101 – Brutalized by a Spouse, Surviving Ritual Child Sex Abuse

Relationships 101 – Brutalized by a Spouse, Surviving Ritual Child Sex Abuse

Dr. Beth’s (www.drbetherickson.com) first guest is Dr. Connie Hebert (www.conniehebert.com) whose husband verbally, physically, and emotionally abused her until she took her daughter and left. But it took her 20 years to fully recover from the degradation she felt. Cheryl Rainfield (www.cherylrainfield.com) then speaks with Dr. Beth about the ritual sexual abuse she experienced from infancy on and the children she saw murdered until she escaped to a shelter when she was 16. She is the author of the fictionalized account of her life in Scars.
http://webtalkradio.net/2012/03/05/relationships-101-%E2%80%93-brutalized-by-a-spouse-surviving-ritual-child-sex-abuse/

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