One Woman Tells Us What It’s Like To Be Raped And Have Your Town Turn Against You, 21 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Sexual Assault, Five NOPD detectives mishandled rape, child abuse investigations

November 13, 2014 Comments Off on One Woman Tells Us What It’s Like To Be Raped And Have Your Town Turn Against You, 21 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Sexual Assault, Five NOPD detectives mishandled rape, child abuse investigations

 

One Woman Tells Us What It’s Like To Be Raped — And Have Your Town Turn Against You
‘There were flyers at school, kids wore T-shirts in his honor and even brought huge signs to his court appearances supporting him.’
by MTV News Staff  11/11/2014

Sixty percent of rapes go unreported to the police. But what’s it like to be part of that other 40% — and then have your community and friends turn against you? Emma Hanrahan knows only too well — and today she’s coming forward to share her story of pain and survival with MTV News, in the hopes that it will encourage that 60% to break the silence….

By Emma Hanrahan

….Almost immediately after entering the room I was pushed on the bed, and all of a sudden it went from being fun to being completely terrifying. I was dizzy and confused. Paris was on top of me. I said, “Slow down, I don’t want to do this. I want to go home.”

The moment they ignored me and kept going was the moment I knew exactly what was about to happen. One of the other guys was standing right by my head and I remember looking up and seeing the third guy standing at the door, almost like he was keeping watch.

Was this planned? How did everything fall into place so quickly? All of a sudden my pants were ripped right off me and Paris immediately started having sex with me. I was crying “No” over and over again.

….It was hard for me. I found peace many nights at the bottom of a cheap bottle of wine. My confusion and loss of self consumed me, while flashbacks and nightmares became a ritual in my already messed-up schedule. I had uncontrollable panic attacks that caused me to rarely leave the house. I spent many long days in my room not talking to many people at all.

The rape kit result came back and DNA was found, enough to at least make an arrest on Paris in the winter. Despite changing his statements drastically a few times, though, he gained the support from a majority of the school — and town for that matter. The school didn’t feel it was necessary to remove Paris or the other guys from their classes — even after the arrest. I couldn’t bear the thought of attending class every day sitting next to the guys that raped me, that broke me, that took everything from me, so I withdrew from school after only a couple of weeks.

….In the meantime, the town started taking sides — everyone did. These guys were star athletes — basketball players — and it seemed like everyone supported them. It didn’t take long for the blame to be put on me. The basketball coach even confronted me at a game once with his players in tow — including two of my attackers — and as a result I was thrown out of the game. And banned from campus.

People I thought were my friends dropped me in a second to jump on the “FREE PARIS” bandwagon — including some of my former roommates. There were flyers at school, kids wore T-shirts in his honor and even brought huge signs to his court appearances supporting him.

It drew attention from the local newspaper and radio stations, and people even wrote letters to the editor voicing their support for this man who took my entire life from me. Everywhere I turned “FREE PARIS” punched me right in the gut. I received threatening text messages from players and people I didn’t even know. I was harassed walking down the street; there are still blogs about me on the Internet created by students just to say awful and hateful things about me.

That’s the issue with how society as a whole thinks about sexual assault: They blame the victim. They blamed me. I was at a party. I was drinking. I was wearing a tank top. I was asking for it. Hearing those things over and over again –- you start to believe them. So many people told me that I was a slut. That I wanted it. It was really hard to not feel that way. I think that that just confirms that how people think of sexual assault and how they treat victims of a crime is backwards. We need to stop blaming the victims and start blaming their attackers.

….I got to the point where I was in such a dark place with my memories and my community’s nastiness that I had to try to put the whole thing behind me. I offered “Paris” a plea and he took it, and because he was arrested he lost his visa and was sent back home and not allowed to return. The other two guys were never arrested; “Paris” claimed they were never even with us.

….The harassment continued for years, despite letting Paris off easy. The next few years went by filled with unbearable pain and emptiness all at the same time. The only thing that helped me pull myself out of that place was talking to people in the same situation as me. I hooked up with the RAINN organization. I read other people’s stories — people who had gone through what I had and come out on the other side OK. People who told me that there was a life past everything I was enduring then.

….One of the reasons that I stopped feeling the way that I did was because I ran across another girl at college a few years later that was going through what I went through. I told her my story and about how I was better then than I had been before and that made her feel better. And it made me feel better that she felt better. Helping other people and guiding them –- that was the only way that I felt better.

What happened to me may have changed me, but who I am today is someone I am proud to be. I WAS a victim — now I’m a survivor, a mother, a fighter and an inspiration. I am strong.
http://www.mtv.com/news/1962056/rape-what-it-feels-like-no-one-believes/

21 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Sexual Assault

Join MTV and the White House in a new campaign to prevent sexual assault: ‘It’s On Us.’
by Brenna Ehrlich  9/19/2014

1. 1 out of every 6 American women has been either raped or almost raped in her lifetime.

2. 1 in 5 women in the U.S. is sexually assaulted in college — most during their freshman or sophomore year, according to It’s On Us.

3. In 2006, 300,000 college women were raped. That’s 5.2%.

4. 3% of U.S. men have either been raped or almost raped.

5. 80% of rape and sexual assault victims are under 30….

10. An American is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes….

17. Survivors can suffer from PTSD, substance abuse, sleep disorders, self-harm, eating disorders, depression and a host of other issues.

18. Survivors are 26 times more likely to take drugs….

20. 60% of sexual assaults go unreported and only 12 percent of college women report their attackers to the police.

21. Only 3% of rapists will ever go to prison.
http://www.mtv.com/news/1935098/its-on-us-sexual-assault-facts/

Police handling of child abuse intelligence to be investigated
12 November 2014
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will examine how Essex, North Wales and North Yorkshire handled information from Canadian police passed to the UK in 2012.

Around 2,000 names were sent by Toronto Police to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

The three forces referred themselves to the IPCC for investigation….

BBC News obtained figures in October suggesting many forces had at that time only arrested around a third of the names among the Canadian intelligence….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30027045

Five NOPD detectives mishandled rape, child abuse investigations, inspector general finds
By  Naomi Martin, NOLA.com  The Times-Picayune
November 12, 2014

Five NOPD detectives have been transferred to street patrol and are under internal investigation after the city’s inspector general found they systematically failed to investigate and document allegations of sexual assault and child abuse.

The detectives wrote no investigative reports for 86 percent of the 1,290 sexual-assault or child-abuse calls they were collectively assigned to investigate from 2011 through 2013, according to the report released Wednesday. Two of their supervisors also were transferred and remain under investigation.

….In 65 percent of the cases reviewed, detectives submitted no initial incident reports — a basic summary of allegations — because the detectives classified those calls as “miscellaneous” incidents that did not merit any documentation at all.

“For 65 percent of their work for three years, no one can evaluate that,” said the inspector general’s lead investigator Howard Schwartz. “There is no record. Other than making it a 21 (miscellaneous).”

In 60 percent of the 450 cases reviewed, there was no supplemental report, a key record used by the department and prosecutors documenting investigative findings. Only 105 complaints became cases that were presented to the district attorney’s office. Of those, 74 cases were prosecuted, but only after the district attorney’s office conducted its own investigations, seeking medical records and interviewing witnesses and victims.

“The district attorney’s office should be commended for this,” Schwartz said.

The five detectives — Akron Davis, Merrill Merricks, Derrick Williams, Damita Williams and Vernon Haynes — represented the majority of the Special Victims Section, which had between eight and nine detectives throughout the three-year period.

….The inspector general’s office notified the NOPD on Oct. 3 that 13 children could be in danger in their homes after finding reports of physical and sexual abuse that apparently failed to get proper investigation. The department said it has made sure all are now safe by removing them from their homes or contacting child protective services, or both.

As of Oct. 3, NOPD had 53 outstanding DNA matches — notified in letters from the State Police crime lab since July 2010 — that they had not followed up on to start the process of finding potential rapists, the report says.

….The report alleges a culture of indifference.

Damita Williams told at least three different people that she “did not believe simple rape should be a crime,” the report says. Simple rape, under state law, is sex without the victim’s consent when the victim is intoxicated or incapacitated, and the offender should have known.

She was assigned 11 simple rape cases over the course of three years; only one was presented to the district attorney’s office.

In one case, she wrote that no DNA evidence was recovered. But State Police lab records showed that DNA evidence had in fact been found in that case.

In a separate case in which a victim reported her attacker was sending her threatening texts, Williams never documented any attempt to obtain phone records or the text messages. She never sent the victim’s rape kit to the crime lab for testing and in a log book, wrote that she “would not submit the kit to the DNA lab because the sex was consensual.”

Derrick Williams, who was the lead investigator on the case involving former New Orleans Saints football player Darren Sharper, submitted no supplemental reports on two rape cases in which nurses collected evidence and documented the accusers’ injuries.

In one case, State Police’s DNA lab found a possible match more than two years ago, but Williams had not submitted a sample to confirm it. In the other, State Police notified Williams that an incorrect kit had been sent in, and he had not responded.

Williams created two supplemental reports on the same day in 2013 after the inspector general’s office requested them — he dated one in 2011 and the other in 2010, the report says.

Vernon Haynes never documented any investigation into three cases in which the State Police crime lab found DNA evidence, the report says. He also had two cases that were lacking files in the office.

In one case, a victim reported she was raped and her iPhone was stolen; Haynes never documented any effort to track her phone or obtain phone records.

Merrill Merricks wrote in a report that he sent a rape kit to the State Police crime lab but they found no results. But the inspector general’s office reviewed State Police lab records and found the kit was never submitted. The kit had never actually moved from NOPD’s evidence room.

Merricks created four supplemental reports on the same day in 2013 after the inspector general’s office requested them — he dated three in 2011 and the other in 2010, the report says.

Akron Davis was assigned 13 cases of potential sexual/physical abuse involving children in which the juvenile victims potentially were still in the same home where the alleged abuse occurred. Of those 13, 11 lacked a supplemental report. Cases in which infants were hospitalized for skull fractures, a toddler tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease and a young child complained of sexual abuse at the hands of a registered sex offender were among those identified by the New Orleans Inspector General’s office as failing to get proper investigations….
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/11/nopd_sex_crimes_problems.html

Accused Craigslist killer Miranda Barbour sexually abused by uncle, Sexual Abuse Allegations for Private Boys’ Schools in Britain, Resources to end internet child abuse

March 19, 2014 Comments Off on Accused Craigslist killer Miranda Barbour sexually abused by uncle, Sexual Abuse Allegations for Private Boys’ Schools in Britain, Resources to end internet child abuse

– Accused Craigslist killer Miranda Barbour had traumatic start in life
– Childhood sexual abuse may have contributed to Miranda Barbour’s issues later in life
– Wave of Sexual Abuse Allegations for Private Boys’ Schools in Britain
– Resources to end internet child abuse ‘may be woefully insufficient’

Accused Craigslist killer Miranda Barbour had traumatic start in life Jill Burke March 16, 2014

The sensational headlines surrounding accused Craigslist killer Miranda Barbour portray a deeply troubled young woman. Her claims to be a practicing Satanist and that she killed not just once, but upwards of 22 times, gained immediate attention as people in four states where the supposed victims resided — including Alaska — began to question whether the newlywed teen mom’s story could be true.

Is Barbour seeking attention? Aiming for an insanity defense? Or is she earnestly using her confession and incarceration to protect the public from her self-declared murderous proclivities? Only time will tell.

Yet for all of Barbour’s grandiose claims, there is one aspect of her life story that is not in dispute — the sexual abuse she suffered as a toddler by an uncle….

Miranda often spent weekends at her aunt and uncle’s house. “Uncle Rick” encouraged the sleepovers. Only later would young Miranda’s frequent complaints that her anus hurt, and once that her “pee pee” hurt, come to be understood for what they were — the aftermath and evidence of multiple attacks in which she had been subject to anal and vaginal sexual penetration and fellatio. She had, in the words of the prosecutor, been “sodomized in every way imaginable.” It was one of the most physically extreme abuse cases the trial judge had ever seen, and it happened to a girl whom the judge described as “hardly more than” a baby….

In Richard Fernandez’s personal belongings, investigators found pornography and a sexual abuse “how-to” manual titled “Fun With My Sister’s Kids.” The book “encouraged uncles, fathers and grandfathers to engage in unclassified felony sex acts with their young nieces, daughters and granddaughters,” according to a prosecutor’s description of it contained in court records.

This book described and recommended the very abuse of which Fernandez was accused of and for which he later accepted punishment. He pleaded no contest, a plea that allowed him to avoid trial and do time but without admitting he’d actually done anything wrong….

Fernandez seemed destined for a revolving door experience between incarceration and free society. According to court records, he wasn’t adequately participating in a sex offender treatment program, had visited a “porn store,” viewed pornography on the internet and failed to find full-time employment. More than once, he’d found ways to get online. He’d used computers at his church and in his room at his halfway house to seek out prohibited material….

By May 2011 he was back in again with more time to serve, and two months later he faced a new case altogether, this time for possession of child pornography. Investigators had found hundreds of images of child pornography on his computer, after probation and parole officers seized and turned Fernandez’s computers over to Alaska State Troopers.

Fernandez is now serving out a 40 year prison term in the pornography case — 20 years to serve with 20 suspended.  He’s scheduled for release in 2035. He must also remain registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life….
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140316/accused-craigslist-killer-miranda-barbour-had-traumatic-start-life

Childhood sexual abuse may have contributed to Miranda Barbour’s issues later in life Jill Burke March 17, 2014

Much about the life and recent arrest of former Alaskan Miranda Barbour is discomforting. The troubled young woman, a teen runaway who turned to Satanism, heroin, and has since given birth to a child, stands accused of murder for the stabbing death of a man police say she lured through an ad on the online  bulletin board Craigslist. But one unnerving detail of her bizarre and traumatic story may resonate more profoundly with Alaskans than others: the childhood sexual abuse she suffered as a toddler….

Barbour was preyed upon by a man her family should have been able to trust: her uncle.

That man, Richard Fernandez, has served time in jail, where he remains after unsuccessful releases on parole and getting slapped with a new criminal charge for possession of pornography.

How often child sexual abuse happens in Alaska is difficult to assess. The best estimates are flawed because not all agencies that respond to abuse share uniform data, and it’s widely held that many victims never report the abuse. Those that do come forward sometimes wait years before doing so.

Alaska’s rate of child sexual abuse is six times the national average, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence….

In 2013, a trio of university researchers from Canada published a summary of decades of study on the topic of child sexual abuse and its prevalence, outcomes and prevention strategies. They found that child sexual assault “… alters a child’s cognitive and emotional orientation to the world and causes trauma by distorting their self-concept and affective capacities.” Traumatic sexualization, betrayal, powerlessness, and stigmatization that occur during the abuse may have lasting impacts. Post traumatic stress, dissociation symptoms, mood disorders, depression, behavior problems, inappropriate sexualized behaviors, substance abuse, self harm and suicide are all possible effects on these young victims of abuse, researchers found.

Additionally, when very young children experience sexual abuse, it can be difficult for them to process the trauma. While turning into a killer isn’t a foretold consequence, aspects of Barbour’s personality and life story appear to parallel the known, lasting impacts on sexually abused children….
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140317/childhood-sexual-abuse-may-have-contributed-miranda-barbours-issues-later-life

Wave of Sexual Abuse Allegations for Private Boys’ Schools in Britain
By STEPHEN CASTLE MARCH 16, 2014

LONDON — Prompted by publicity surrounding recent child abuse scandals involving well-known figures, dozens of British men are breaking decades of silence about molestation they say they suffered as boys at expensive private schools, forcing the schools to confront allegations that in the past might have been hushed up, ignored or treated derisively.

In one instance involving Aldwickbury School, which educates boys ages 4 to 13, a former student, who requested anonymity because of the intimate details of the case, said he suffered profound feelings of confusion and guilt after being abused by a teacher in the 1970s. He said the teacher molested him regularly during English lessons over a period of two years.

With the teacher dead, and in the absence of an apology from the school, the former student brought a civil case against Aldwickbury, which was settled with a payment.

Getting the school to face up to what happened more than three decades ago was, the former student said, like “knocking my head against a brick wall.”

Vernon Hales, the current headmaster at Aldwickbury — in Harpenden, about 30 miles north of London — said in a statement that the school had reported the allegations, which do not relate to any current staff members or pupils, to the relevant authorities and been told that no further action would be taken….

Britain’s fee-paying schools have a track record of brutality. These days, most have shed the strictness and austerity of previous eras, but many upper-class Britons remember childhoods of cold showers, inedible food and relentless corporal punishment.

The very nature of boarding schools — closed environments in which teachers can wield enormous power — can make them attractive to child abusers. But in previous decades, parents were often reluctant to challenge teachers’ authority, said Alan Collins, principal lawyer at Slater & Gordon, which represented the former Aldwickbury student. He has 30 to 40 more cases pending against schools across the country.

“You had deference and the attitude that ‘this sort of thing happens,’ ” Mr. Collins said, adding that when teachers were discovered abusing pupils, they tended to be moved on quietly to avoid public embarrassment and damage to the school’s reputation.

“Sexual abuse is a taboo subject,” Mr. Collins said. “People do not want to talk about it for the obvious reason that it’s really gruesome, and in this country there has been a tendency or a temptation to sweep it under the carpet.”….

Mr. Collins added that the victims had suffered significantly. “Child abuse has the potential to affect a person’s functioning, the ability to form and sustain relationships; it can affect the ability to hold down a job,” he said, noting that some of his clients in their 40s had held 30 positions because “they just can’t settle in a job.”….
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/world/europe/wave-of-sexual-abuse-allegations-for-private-boys-schools-in-britain.html

Resources to end internet child abuse ‘may be woefully insufficient’
Internet Watch Foundation recruit seven extra staff, but MPs warn that more may be required to improve online safety
Press Association  theguardian.com, Tuesday 18 March 2014

Efforts by the internet industry to eradicate images of child sex abuse may prove “woefully insufficient”, MPs have warned as they called for action to improve online safety. Members of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) – including Google, which contributed £1m – have funded the recruitment of seven extra full-time staff to track down illegal images.

The move last year to more than double the existing staff came amid severe criticism of internet firms for inaction following a number of child murder cases with porn connections. David Cameron has led demands that they develop better protections to prevent such abuse and to prevent children accessing legal adult material….
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/19/child-sex-abuse-online-insufficient-efforts

Italy’s Highest Court Overturns Pedophile’s Conviction Because 11-Year-Old Was ‘In Love’, The behavior patterns of abused children as described in their testimonies

January 3, 2014 Comments Off on Italy’s Highest Court Overturns Pedophile’s Conviction Because 11-Year-Old Was ‘In Love’, The behavior patterns of abused children as described in their testimonies

Italy’s Highest Court Overturns Pedophile’s Conviction Because 11-Year-Old Was ‘In Love’ Agence France Presse  Dec. 31, 2013

Italy’s highest court has overturned the conviction of a 60-year-old man for having sex with an 11-year-old girl, because the verdict failed to take into account their “amorous relationship”.

Pietro Lamberti, a social services worker in Catanzaro in southern Italy, was convicted in February 2011 and sentenced to five years in prison for sexual acts with a minor.

The verdict was later upheld by an appeals court.

But Italy’s supreme court ruled that the verdict did not sufficiently consider “the ‘consensus’, the existence of an amorous relationship, the absence of physical force, the girl’s feelings of love”….

Lamberti was caught naked in bed with the girl after an investigation by police based largely on wire-tap evidence, it said.
http://www.businessinsider.com/italys-highest-court-overturns-pedophiles-conviction-because-11-year-old-was-in-love-2013-12

Making Sad Sense of Child Abuse

Dec. 23, 2013 — When a man in Israel was accused of sexually abusing his young daughter, it was hard for many people to believe — a neighbor reported seeing the girl sitting and drinking hot chocolate with her father every morning, laughing, smiling, and looking relaxed. Such cases are not exceptional, however. Children react to sexual and physical abuse in unpredictable ways, making it hard to discern the clues.

Now Dr. Carmit Katz of Tel Aviv University’s Bob Shapell School of Social Work has found that when parents are physically abusive, children tend to accommodate it. But when the abuse is sexual, they tend to fight or flee it unless it is severe. The findings, published in Child Abuse & Neglect, help explain children’s behavior in response to abuse and could aid in intervention and treatment.

“All the cases of alleged physical abuse in the study involved parents, while we had very few cases of alleged parental sexual abuse,” said Dr. Katz. “More than the type of abuse, it may be that children feel they have no choice but to endure abuse by their parents, who they depend on for love and support.”….

About 3.5 million cases of child abuse are reported in the United States every year. Similarly alarming situations exist in many other countries. Abused children often suffer from emotional and behavioral problems, which can later develop into sexual dysfunction, anxiety, promiscuity, vulnerability to repeated victimization, depression, and substance abuse…..

Dr. Katz says the study teaches an important lesson when it comes to parental physical abuse. Just because children do not fight or flee their parents does not mean they are not being abused. Children need their parents to survive, and in some cases, parents love, care for, and support their children when they are not abusing them. Under these impossible circumstances, children often feel their best option is accommodation. In one interview in the study, a child said, “Daddy was yelling on me because I didn’t do my homework, so I told him I am sorry you are right and brought him his belt.” There were many similar examples…..

C. Katz, Z. Barnetz. The behavior patterns of abused children as described in their testimonies. Child Abuse & Neglect, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.08.006
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223181821.htm

The behavior patterns of abused children as described in their testimonies     C. Katza, Z. Barnetz

….The results show that abuse type has a strong effect on children’s behavior, with children in the sexual abuse group reporting more fight and flight behavior and children in the physical abuse group reporting more self-change behavior. This finding was interacted with the severity of abuse variable, with children in the sexual abuse group reporting less flight behavior and an increase in the self-change behavior with the highest level of severity of abuse….
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014521341300224X

The Lasting Damage of Child Abuse

January 2, 2014 Comments Off on The Lasting Damage of Child Abuse

The Lasting Damage of Child Abuse
Scott Mendelson, M.D. 12/31/2013

The effects of childhood sexual and physical abuse last a lifetime. Abused children may grow up to be adults prone to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other psychiatric disorders. They are more prone to suicide. However, in recent years we have learned that abuse does more than wound self-esteem and break the spirit. It can damage the very substance of the brain and how it functions.

A major way by which childhood abuse can disrupt normal brain activity is by diminishing its capacity to handle stress. Stress is more than the worry and distress we experience when the circumstances of life push us beyond our limits. The body’s response to stress is a complex biological mechanism…..

A study published in 2009 in the prestigious journal Nature Neuroscience revealed part of the reason why adults who were abused as children have abnormal stress responses. The grim details of the study included comparisons of the brains of individuals who had committed suicide vs. those who had died natural deaths. Among those who had committed suicide were some who had suffered severe childhood abuse and others who had not. It was found that among those who had suffered abuse, there were fewer of the special cortisol receptors in the brain that allow cortisol to turn off the stress response. It was further found that the section of DNA responsible for maintaining adequate numbers of these receptors had been methylated. They were no longer in full operation….

The emotional upheavals suffered by adults who were abused as children can continue to wreak havoc on jobs and schooling. They can lead to substance abuse. They can devastate marriages. Thus, the innocent victims of child abuse continue to suffer as adults….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-mendelson-md/the-lasting-damage-of-chi_b_4515918.html

Ariel Castro, Cleveland Kidnappings – History of Abuse, Pentagon estimates 26,000 sexual assaults

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….
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/08/us-usa-missing-ohio-suspect-idUSBRE94704Z20130508

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….
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57583660/in-note-ariel-castro-claimed-he-was-sexually-abused-as-a-child/

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.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-ohio-women-cleveland-suspect-abuse-20130508,0,5534556.story

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.”….
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-cleveland-kidnappings-ariel-castro-20130507,0,325028.story

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….
http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/07/5402972/pentagon-estimates-26000-sexual.html

Chronic Child Abuse Strong Indicator of Negative Adult Experiences

May 20, 2012 Comments Off on Chronic Child Abuse Strong Indicator of Negative Adult Experiences

Chronic Child Abuse Strong Indicator of Negative Adult Experiences

ScienceDaily (May 15, 2012) — Child abuse or neglect are strong predictors of major health and emotional problems, but little is known about how the chronicity of the maltreatment may increase future harm apart from other risk factors in a child’s life.

In a new study published in the current issue of the journal Pediatrics, Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, child welfare expert and a professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, looked at how chronic maltreatment impacted the future health and behavior of children and adults.

The study tracked children by number of child maltreatment reports (zero to four or more) and followed the children into early adulthood, by which time some of the children had become parents.

The study sought to determine how well the number of child maltreatment reports predicted poor outcomes in adolescence, such as delinquency, substance abuse in the teen years or getting a sexually transmitted disease.

“For every measure studied, a more chronic history of child maltreatment reports was powerfully predictive of worse outcomes,” Jonson-Reid says.

“For most outcomes, having a single maltreatment report put children at a 20 percent to 50 percent higher risk than non-maltreated comparison children….

In models of adult outcomes, children with four or more reports were about least twice as likely to later abuse their own children and have contact with the mental health system, even when controlling for the negative outcomes during adolescence.” Jonson-Reid says that there appears to be good reason to put resources into preventing ongoing maltreatment.

“Successfully interrupting chronic child maltreatment may well reduce risk of a wide range of other costly child and adolescent health and behavioral problems,” she says.

Jonson-Reid cites a recently published Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimating lifetime costs for a single year’s worth of children reported for maltreatment at $242 billion….

The study also found that maltreatment predicts a range of negative adolescent outcomes, and those adolescent outcomes then predict poor adult outcomes.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515131321.htm

Child and Adult Outcomes of Chronic Child Maltreatment
Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, Patricia L. Kohl, PhD, and Brett Drake, PhD
Abstract

….RESULTS: Child maltreatment chronicity predicted negative childhood outcomes in a linear fashion (eg, percentage with at least 1 negative outcome: no maltreatment = 29.7%, 1 report = 39.5%, 4 reports = 67.1%). Suicide attempts before age 18 showed the largest proportionate increase with repeated maltreatment (no report versus 4+ reports = +625%, P < .0001). The dose-response relationship was reduced once controls for other adverse child outcomes were added in multivariate models of child maltreatment perpetration and mental health issues. The relationship between adult substance abuse and maltreatment report history disappeared after controlling for adverse child outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Child maltreatment chronicity as measured by official reports is a robust indicator of future negative outcomes across a range of systems, but this relationship may desist for certain adult outcomes once childhood adverse events are controlled. Although primary and secondary prevention remain important approaches, this study suggests that enhanced tertiary prevention may pay high dividends across a range of medical and behavioral domains.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/5/839.abstract

72 charged in online child pornography ring, Violence Against Women and effects

August 4, 2011 Comments Off on 72 charged in online child pornography ring, Violence Against Women and effects

“the bulletin board distributed the equivalent of 16,000 DVDs of child pornography, adding that the department had recovered more than 1 million images in the U.S. alone.”

“In the United States, more than 20 percent of women have experienced intimate-partner violence, stalking or both. A full 17 percent have reported rape or attempted rape, according to background information in the study.”

72 charged in online child pornography ring

Fifty-two have been arrested in the U.S. and abroad and 13 have pleaded guilty in the case, the result of a crackdown by the Justice and Homeland Security departments. Twenty remain at large.
By Andrew Seidman, Washington Bureau
August 3, 2011

Reporting from Washington—
The Justice Department has charged 72 suspected members of an online child pornography ring that encouraged its members to engage in sexual acts with children 12 and under and submit gruesome, violent material to build a massive private database of images and videos on the Internet.

The crackdown is the result of a joint effort by the departments of Justice and Homeland Security launched in December 2009 to target about 500 people in 13 countries on five continents for their suspected participation in “Dreamboard,” a members-only online bulletin board that was created to encourage the sharing of graphic images and videos.

“The members of this criminal network shared a demented dream to create the preeminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation,” Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement, “but for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare.”

According to court documents filed in Louisiana, where the ring originated, administrators for Dreamboard set up strict barriers to entry and created a sophisticated membership system that offered incentives for further contributions to the website. Individuals had to post child pornography in order to join the site. To maintain membership, individuals were required to continue to upload images of sexual abuse….

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the bulletin board distributed the equivalent of 16,000 DVDs of child pornography, adding that the department had recovered more than 1 million images in the U.S. alone.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/la-na-child-porn-20110804,0,5337258.story

Violence Against Women Can Take Lifelong Toll: Study
Research shows how rates of mental and physical illness rise, quality of life falls

By Serena Gordon HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News)

Women who’ve suffered from gender-based violence are more likely to develop anxiety disorders or other mental woes, experience physical and mental disabilities, and have worse quality of life than other women, new research shows.

Gender-based violence includes rape and other forms of sexual assault, intimate-partner violence (such as spouse abuse) and stalking.

Risks for these long-term problems rose with the intensity of abuse. For example, women who’d experienced three or four types of gender-based violence had 10 times the odds of developing an anxiety disorder than women who haven’t experienced such violence, the study found. The odds of a woman who’d been subjected to such violence developing a substance abuse problem were almost six times higher than for a woman who hasn’t experienced gender-based violence….

Results of the study are published in the Aug. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association….

In the United States, more than 20 percent of women have experienced intimate-partner violence, stalking or both. A full 17 percent have reported rape or attempted rape, according to background information in the study.

The data for Rees’ study came from a national survey done in Australia on mental health and well-being. The survey included over 4,400 women between the ages of 16 and 85 years old.

In that group, 1,218 women (27 percent) reported experiencing at least one form of gender-based violence, while 139 had been exposed to three or more forms of gender-based violence.

The average age that women were first raped was 13 years old and 12 years old for sexual assault. The average age that women were beaten by a partner or stalked was 22 years old.

The more violence a woman was exposed to, the greater her risk of developing mental illnesses, according to the study.

http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=655484

 

Sirhan Sirhan ‘hypno-programmed’, Human rights law in clergy sex abuse suit

March 2, 2011 Comments Off on Sirhan Sirhan ‘hypno-programmed’, Human rights law in clergy sex abuse suit


articles
1) ‘He does not remember it’: RFK killer seeks parole – Sirhan Sirhan’s attorney suggests assassin was ‘hypno-programmed’
2) Human rights law can be used in clergy sex abuse suit, judge rules – St. Paul lawyer’s attacks on church show increasingly international reach
3) Strong Link Found Between Victimization, Substance Abuse
4) Missing Link, Newsletter of The Linkup (The Newsletter of the Survivors of Clergy Abuse)

‘He does not remember it’: RFK killer seeks parole – Sirhan Sirhan’s attorney suggests assassin was
‘hypno-programmed’ 2/28/2011 LOS ANGELES AP

More than four decades after Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, his convicted murderer wants to go free for a crime he says he can’t remember.

It is not old age or some memory-snatching disease that has erased an act Sirhan Bishara Sirhan once said he committed “with 20 years of malice aforethought.” It’s been this way almost from the beginning. Hypnotists and psychologists, lawyers and investigators have tried to jog his memory with no useful result.

Now a new lawyer is on the case and he says his efforts have also failed. “There is no doubt he does not remember the critical events,” said William F. Pepper, the attorney who will argue for Sirhan’s parole Wednesday. “He is not feigning it. It’s not an act. He does not remember it.”….

Pepper also suggests Sirhan was “hypno-programmed,” turning him into a virtual “Manchurian Candidate,” acting robot-like at the behest of evil forces who then wiped his memory clean. It’s the stuff of science fiction and Hollywood movies, but some believe it is the key…..

Pepper said in an interview with The Associated Press that he has had Sirhan examined several times by psychologist Daniel Brown of Harvard University, an expert in hypnosis of trauma victims. He will not disclose exactly what was accomplished in the sessions but said, “There have been substantial breakthroughs.” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41822218/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/
also http://nhjournal.com/2011/02/28/assassin-maintains-he-can%E2%80%99t-remember-shooting-rfk/

Human rights law can be used in clergy sex abuse suit, judge rules – St. Paul lawyer’s attacks on church show increasingly international reach By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel  Feb. 28, 2011

A federal law that allows U.S. courts to hear lawsuits involving human rights violations in other nations can be used in a case involving Catholic clergy sex abuse, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled on Monday.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Josephine S. Tucker appears to be the first time the 200-year-old Alien Tort Statute has been used to pursue a sex abuse claim against the Catholic Church. And it illustrates the increasing international reach of victims attorney Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul, Minn., who is suing the Vatican and has opened a practice in London to pursue cases in the United Kingdom. Anderson represents a number of victims in civil fraud cases against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

“This is huge, very significant,” said Anderson, who filed the case on behalf of a Mexican boy after seeing the law used to bring cases involving Japanese women conscripted as sex slaves in World War II. http://www.jsonline.com/features/religion/117108133.html

Strong Link Found Between Victimization, Substance Abuse
ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2011) — A strong link between victimization experiences and substance abuse has been discovered by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago….Researchers compared victimization experiences of unwanted sexual activity, neglect, physical violence, and assault with a weapon, across four sexual-identity subgroups — heterosexual, gay or lesbian, bisexual, or “not sure.” The study used data collected nationally from 34,635 adults from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

Hughes and her research team wondered if sexual-minority women and men are at a heightened risk for victimization. The results, Hughes said, showed that they are.

Lesbian and bisexual women were more than twice as likely as heterosexual women to report any victimization over their lifetime. Lesbians, gay men and bisexual women also reported a greater number of victimization experiences than did heterosexuals. Three times as many lesbians as heterosexual women reported childhood sexual abuse….
Gay men also had high rates of victimization, with about half of them reporting any lifetime victimization. They reported significantly higher rates of childhood sexual abuse, childhood neglect, partner violence and assault with a weapon than heterosexual men.

Not only are there higher rates of violence and victimization among sexual minorities, but there is also a higher rate of substance abuse, Hughes said.

Regardless of sexual identity, women who reported two or more victimization experiences had two to four times the prevalence of alcohol dependence, drug abuse or drug dependence as women who reported no victimization, she said.

The research also concluded that gay, lesbian and bisexual youth may use substances to cope with adverse psychological and interpersonal effects of victimization, increasing the risk for further victimization from others, she said.

The study was funded through grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, two of the National Institutes of Health. http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2011/02/110224161516.htm

Missing Link, Newsletter of The Linkup (The Newsletter of the Survivors of Clergy Abuse) The collection of 22 newsletters is at http://cityofangels8.blogspot.com

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