December 21, 2012 Comments Off on School abuse victim $23m damages, Savile 450 alleged victims, Epigenetics and Stress
School abuse victim wins $23 million in damages
By Melissa Pamer, NBCLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES — A former student in Los Angeles was awarded $23 million in damages Tuesday for sexual abuse he endured at the hands of his elementary school teacher.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for less than five hours before finding in favor of the teen.
The lawsuit, filed on his behalf in October 2009, concerned abuse by Forrest Stobbe, the boy’s fifth-grade teacher at Queen Anne Elementary School in the Mid-Wilshire area.
Stobbe was sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading no contest to criminal charges in the case in 2011. He had been arrested in 2010, when he was 39….
Stobbe abused the boy 10 to 15 times in the classroom during the 2008-9 school years, and another five times during the summer of 2009, according to Estey.
Jimmy Savile abuse: Number of alleged victims reaches 450 12 December 2012
Police have confirmed that the number of alleged sex abuse victims of the late Jimmy Savile has reached 450.
The Operation Yewtree team said 589 alleged victims have come forward during their investigation of offences committed by Savile and others.
Of the alleged victims, 82% were female and 80% were children or young people.
Meanwhile, police have set up Operation Fairbank to investigate allegations by Labour MP Tom Watson of a paedophile ring in high places.
Mr Watson said in October that police should investigate claims of a “powerful paedophile ring” linked to a previous prime minister’s “senior adviser” and Parliament.
‘Exploited his position’
Savile, who died last year aged 84, was a Radio 1 DJ and the presenter of the Jim’ll Fix It show on BBC One.
Operation Yewtree, which launched 10 weeks ago, has a team of 30 officers and has so far cost about £2m.
Police said on Wednesday they have recorded 199 alleged crimes in 17 police force areas against Savile.
They said they had recorded 31 allegations of rape against Savile in seven force areas.
Met Police Commander Peter Spindler, head of Operation Yewtree, said: “Savile’s offending peaked in the 70s and what we can show, or will be showing in the New Year, is how he used his position in society across the country – the crimes relate to 17 different police force areas – how he exploited this position to get his sexual gratification.”
BBC home affairs correspondent Matt Prodger says the level of allegations against Savile – 450 in total – is unprecedented – never before have police received that number of allegations against a single person.
Our correspondent says he believes the police have a total of 20 suspects whom they wish to interview. They have interviewed seven people in total – six of whom were arrested.
Police are looking at three strands within their inquiry – claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others only….
‘I’m staying put’: Esther Rantzen claims she will remain child abuse charity patron after claims she ignored warnings over Jimmy Savile
Rantzen is a patron of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood
Child abuse campaigner Shy Keenan says she warned Rantzen about paedophile rumours but Rantzen strenuously denies this
Television presenter faces accusations that she failed to act on information
ChildLine founder says she cannot remember the incident and denies that Jimmy Savile’s name was ever mentioned
Department of Health launches inquiry about why Savile was appointed to ‘taskforce’ overseeing management of Broadmoor hospital
Rantzen said today she would remain as patron of child abuse charity, despite founder claiming trustees would discuss if she was still appropriate
By Anna Edwards, Alex Ward and Larisa Brown
15 October 2012
Esther Rantzen has strenuously denied rumours she is facing the sack as patron of a child abuse charity after she failed to act on allegations that Jimmy Savile molested youngsters….
Jimmy Savile abuse allegations: Timeline
2 November 2012 Allegations of sexual abuse by Sir Jimmy Savile continue to emerge after ITV broadcasts an investigation on 3 October. This timeline charts the presenter’s rise to fame, the claims against him and subsequent action by police and broadcasters.
Genes and Immune System Shaped by Childhood Poverty, Stress
Oct. 18, 2012 — A University of British Columbia and Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) study has revealed that childhood poverty, stress as an adult, and demographics such as age, sex and ethnicity, all leave an imprint on a person’s genes. And, that this imprint could play a role in our immune response.
The study was published last week in a special volume of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that looks at how experiences beginning before birth and in the years after can affect the course of a person’s life.
Known as epigenetics, or the study of changes in gene expression, this research examined a process called DNA methylation where a chemical molecule is added to DNA and acts like a dimmer on a light bulb switch, turning genes on or off or setting them somewhere in between. Research has shown that a person’s life experiences play a role in shaping DNA methylation patterns.
The research team discovered that childhood poverty, but not socioeconomic status as an adult, was correlated with the marks or methylation patterns left on genes.
“We found biological residue of early life poverty,” said Michael Kobor, an associate professor of medical genetics at UBC, whose CMMT lab at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) led the research. “This was based on clear evidence that environmental influences correlate with epigenetic patterns.”….
L. L. Lam, E. Emberly, H. B. Fraser, S. M. Neumann, E. Chen, G. E. Miller, M. S. Kobor. Factors underlying variable DNA methylation in a human community cohort. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; 109 (Supplement_2): 17253 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1121249109
May 12, 2009 § Leave a comment
describes abuse ‘Forgotten children’ share secret shame By Tracy Vedder 5/11/09 They were the forgotten children. Five- and six-year old girls and boys – sent to a remote boarding school and left to the terrible mercy of their caretakers. For the first time publicly, some of those children – now adults – are telling their stories of sexual abuse at the hands of their Jesuit teachers. They’re telling those stories because they believe dozens of other victims out there still need help. St. Mary’s Mission School sits empty and abandoned now. Today St. Mary’s Mission School, in the hills above Omak, sits desolate, abandoned, in a poor corner of the Colville Indian Reservation. The classrooms – long empty. The boys’ and girls’ dormitories – locked up tight. There’s little evidence today of the torturous childhoods many spent here. Patti Webb was just 6 years old in 1962 when she was taken to St. Mary’s. Alone and scared, the daughter of an alcoholic – absent mother, Webb says the sexual molestation started right away…. Sixteen Colville tribal members – 15 women and one man – who were at St. Mary’s in the early ’60s to early ’70s have come forward telling similar stories….Webb and the other 15 tribal members settled with the Oregon Province of the Jesuits for $4.8 million. The province covers all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. But Webb and Allison believe there are dozens of other victims from St. Mary’s Mission – now scattered across the Northwest – who have never come forward. And since the Jesuits have declared bankruptcy, those victims will only have a limited time to file a claim….Settling sexual abuse claims has already cost the Jesuits of the five Northwest states a bundle, over $55 million for more than 200 victims – most from Alaska. The Jesuits believe there could be another 200 victims with claims out there – so they’ve decided bankruptcy is the only way to make sure all the victims get a fair shot at what money they have left. http://www.komonews.com/news/local/44680982.html
describes abuse Multiple personality disorder: `Creating personas was my way of coping with abuse’ After years of abuse by her father, Alice Jamieson developed multiple personality disorder. She tells how trauma has shaped her life – 5/11/09 When Alice Jamieson was 24 she was told that she had multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder (DID), a condition that is associated with abuse in childhood. At one point she had about 15 alternative personalities, many of them children with specific memories of the abuse that she suffered, largely at the hands of her father, although at times he sanctioned the involvement of other adults, too. DID is an elaborate defence mechanism that enables victims of abuse to cope with what has happened to them. If a bad experience is dealt with by a separate person, then good experiences – perhaps with the same adult to whom attachment is imperative – can be preserved. Alice’s book, Today I’m Alice, is a compelling account of the strategies she has used to survive more than two decades of grotesque sexual, physical and emotional harm….It is estimated that nine out of ten abused children remain silent about their damaged past, even as adults….Throughout her childhood, adolescence and young adulthood he raped her hundreds of times. “There was no perversion my father didn’t inflict on me,” she writes….In 1999 she did eventually report the abuse to the police, who investigated – but her father, who denies the allegations, was not prosecuted, largely because Alice’s mental health was poor at the time. The abuse has, however, been validated by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which carried out a two-and-a-half-year investigation and awarded her more than £400,000. She also has a letter from her local police force confirming its belief that she has told the truth….”Today I’m Alice,” by Alice Jamieson, is published by Sidgwick & Jackson http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article6250768.ece
Child abuse marks genes, affects ability to cope: Study – Margaret Munro , Canwest News Service 2/22/09 Child abuse can indelibly mark and alter genes in its young victims leaving them less able to cope with stress later in life, according to new Canadian research. A Montreal team has discovered large numbers of “chemical marks,” which inhibit a key mechanism for dealing with stress, in the brains of young men who were physically or sexually abused as children and later committed suicide. “It’s almost as if there is an imprint left,” says Michael Meaney at McGill University, who heads the team that has already toppled many long-held views of how early experience impacts behaviour and genes. Their new study, published Sunday in Nature Neuroscience, is seen as the most convincing evidence yet that childhood abuse permanently modifies genes….Abuse is believed to be prevalent with as many as 10 to 15 per cent of children physically or sexually abused, says Meaney. “It’s tragic,” he says….Working with brain tissues from the Quebec Suicide Brain Bank, the researchers looked at the DNA of the 12 men who committed suicide and had been abused in childhood, 12 men who died of suicide and were not abused, and 12 men who died accidentally. The looked for differences in chemical marks on a gene involved in stress response. Such marks are laid down early in life and are thought to be a sensitive to one’s environment. They punctuate DNA and program it to express genes at the appropriate time and place. The researchers found that the men who had been abused as children had substantially more chemical marks, or flags, along the glucocorticoid receptor gene involved in the brain’s stress response. The marks, which are “methyl groups” containing carbon and hydrogen, were three to four times more common on the genes of the abused men. “It’s quite significant,” says Meaney. They have also shown excess marks impact the functioning of the gene, reducing the amount of protein produced in the brain’s stress response pathway. This would have hampered the men’s ability to cope with stress, and could have contributed to their suicides, says Meaney. http://www2.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=1317549