||Here are a few recent stories related to the kinds of issues we cover on the web site. They'll represent a small percentage of the information available to us, the public, as we fight to provide meaningful recovery services and help for those who've suffered child abuse. We'll add to and update this page regularly.
We'll also present stories about the criminals and criminal acts that impact our communities all across the nation. The few we place on this page are the tip of the iceberg, and we ask you to check your local newspapers and law enforcement sites. Stay aware. Every extra set of "eyes and ears" makes a big difference.
September - Week 4
Many, many thanks to our very own "MJ" for
providing us the majority of
the daily research
that appears on the LACP and NAASCA web sites.
Ms. Goyings is a Registered Nurse and lives in Ohio.
Child abuse survivor wants kids' entertainers licensed
by Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun
September 23, 2011
TORONTO - Two Santas and a clown have now been arrested on child porn charges in Ontario in just over the last two years.
And an advocate for survivors of child abuse says it's time for province began regulating the children's entertainment industry.
“It's just shocking what's going on,” Linda Beaudoin, who runs survivorsspeakout.com, said Friday.
A survivor of child abuse herself, Beaudoin has been trying in vain since 1998 to get legislation passed that would require adults working as kids' entertainers to be licenced — a process that would include criminal background checks.
“It's frightening that these people aren't being screened,” she said, adding requiring a licence could weed out sex offenders and protect children from being molested.
She pointed out that pedophiles and collectors of child pornography often surround themselves with kids.
Shawn Chiasson, who was arrested on possession of child porn charges Wednesday, ran a daddy daycare in Brampton, Ajax and most recently out of his home in Oshawa.
The 37-year-old operator of Kids Matter Family Daycare has also worked as Santa Claus in malls all over the GTA.
Durham Regional Police alleged they found a large collection of child porn on the computers in his home and investigators are now reviewing the images to ensure none of the children in his care have ever been abused.
Boy Scout leader Randy Miller, 40, of Napanee, was busted in October 2010, for possession of child porn.
He was better known as Honker the Clown.
And Daniel Gyselinck, 58, who played Santa in Barrie's Christmas parade, was arrested in June, 2009, after he was caught with more than 90,000 images and over 1,200 movies of kids involved in sex acts.
But Dalton McGuinty, who has been so involved in micro managing the lives of Ontarians that he's been dubbed Premier Dad, still doesn't think it's necessary for the government to regulate the children's entertainment industry.
On a campaign stop in Hamilton Friday, the Liberal leader said he'd recommend businesses that employ children's entertainers do the appropriate police checks.
But McGuinty called these recent incidents “exceptional” and did not speak out in support of licensing.
“Principal responsibility rests with mums and dads to make sure that any circumstances into which they introduce their children are, in fact, safe for them,” McGuinty said.
However, the Conservative leader vows he'd take a much tougher stance on the issue if elected on Oct. 6.
“Unlike Dalton McGuinty who thinks a sexual predators' right to privacy trumps protecting our children and our communities, a Tim Hudak government will get tough on sexual predators by using GPS technology to monitor them and by making the sex offender registry accessible to the public,” the PC leader said in an e-mail.
Queen of All Saints hosts a weekly meeting for female survivors of sexual abuse. The meetings are 7-8:30 p.m. Mondays in the Benedict Center Chapel, 6275 N. Ionia.
To participate in the confidential, 12-step program, call Queen of All Saints Rectory, (773) 736-6060. Additional meetings are 7-8:30 p.m. Fridays at St. Juliana Parish Center, 7200 Osceola Ave.
Call Linda, (773) 271-2281
Sexual Abuse Prevention Training Sept. 26
Anthony Calcia, vice president for child protection and social responsibility at the Hockomock Area YMCA, invites parents, community leaders school personell and church officials to attend a child sexual abuse training session on Monday, Sept. 26. Two sessions, one at noon and one at 7 p.m., will be held at the Mansfield Town Hall from the organization Darkness to Light.
Calcia said that statisically, one in four girls and one in six boys are sexual abused before they become 18.
"Unfortunately, child sexual abuse in our country is what I would call an epidemic situation," he said.
Calcia said that 90 percent of the child that are abused are aware of the abuse, and do not speak out most times because the person committing the act is a family member, a trusted family friend or an official. He said the median age of a victim is 9-years-old.
"It's a real problem and as a community, we need to do something about it," he said. "That's what Darkness to Light advocates, a community approach. As adults, we have the power to affect and determine the environment our kids grow up in."
The Darkness to Light program focuses on prevention. One of the main methods of prevention stated on the organization's Web site is to minimize any one-on-one contact between a minor and an adult. Calcia said that people should act on their suspicians immediately.
"With this type of issue, there's a lot of fear in getting involved because you don't want to be wrong," he said. "It's better to be wrong than to be sorry."
Darkness to Light was started about a decade ago by Anne Lee, who is now the organization's president. The organization started in South Carolina, and now operates in 49 U.S. states and 27 other countries
LBPD Receives $486,664 Grant to Protect Children from Sexual Predators
The Long Beach Police Department has received a $486,664 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office to protect children from sexual predators.
“Securing this funding will help the Police Department add additional resources to better protect children in our city and aggressively pursue those who would prey on them,” Mayor Bob Foster said.
The Child Sexual Predator Program (CSPP) funding will help the Police Department establish and enhance strategies to locate, arrest, and prosecute child sexual predators and exploiters.
"The safety of the children in our community is a top priority for the Long Beach Police Department,” Chief Jim McDonnell said, “We are very fortunate to have received this grant, which will significantly impact the predators who victimize and exploit our children."
The grant will also help the Police Department to better track the population of registered sex offenders residing in the City of Long Beach to ensure compliance and enforce state sex offender registration laws. The grant funding will supplement the Computer Crimes and Sex Crimes Details as well as the Violent Sexual Predator Unit by adding additional investigative hours focused specifically on child sexual predators.
In addition, the Police Department will continue community outreach through faith-based organizations and schools as well as work with outside law enforcement agencies such as the United States Marshal's Service and the United States Attorneys Office and other surrounding local law enforcement agencies.
The Child Sexual Predator Grant was made possible through an invitation to apply by United States Marshal David M. Singer, Central District of California. The Long Beach Police Department thanks Marshal Singer for his nomination, which was required before the Department was eligible to apply for the grant.
The Child Sexual Predator Program aims to support community policing initiatives throughout the United States by promoting partnerships between law enforcement and other community partners to collectively reduce and prevent child endangerment by sexual predators.
Vikings' Adrian Peterson a star off the field, too
by SEAN JENSEN
ON THE NFL
September 24, 2011
Adrian Peterson didn't pay much attention when Chris Johnson signed a contract with the Tennessee Titans that guaranteed him a running-back record $30 million.
‘‘To be honest with you, it didn't go through my mind that I wouldn't get more,'' Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings' star running back, told the Sun-Times. ‘‘I wanted $50 million guaranteed.''
That's because he doesn't consider himself to be merely a running back.
‘‘In the offseason, I prepare with the mind-set to be the best player, not just running back,'' Peterson said. ‘‘I want to be the best player on the field, a game-changer who can carry a team.''
Peterson said he isn't bothered by anyone who would suggest that Johnson is the best running back in the NFL.
‘‘People are entitled to their opinion, but the eye in the sky don't lie,'' he said. ‘‘When you turn on the film, you can sit there and judge.''
On Sept. 10, the day before the regular-season opener, Peterson signed a seven-year, $100 million extension with the Vikings that included $36 million in guarantees.
Despite financial security, Peterson isn't showing any sign of complacency on or off the field. He's fourth in the NFL with 218 rushing yards, and he has partnered with Hollywood power couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore and committed some of his newfound riches.
Peterson's All Day Foundation and Kutcher and Moore's DNA Foundation are launching ‘‘Football For Good,'' a campaign to raise awareness and funds for at-risk youth and the battle against human trafficking of minors.
Peterson is pledging $5,000 for every touchdown he scores, and he has enlisted a handful of other NFL stars to make donations based on production. They are Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark, Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham, Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff (for every interception), Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson and Bears receiver Roy Williams.
‘‘It's sick, man, when you think about it,'' Peterson said. ‘‘I have brothers and sisters, and it's easier for people to really understand when they have kids and young brothers and sisters and cousins. There are millions of kids who are actually going through this.
‘‘It's so sad. That's one of the reasons I had to help out.''
During a goodwill trip to Uganda during the offseason, Peterson met an American who opened his eyes about human trafficking. Upon his return, Peterson filmed a video for DNA titled ‘‘Real Men Don't Buy Girls.'' He liked everything about Kutcher — except his NFL allegiance.
‘‘He's just a cool guy,'' Peterson said. ‘‘He obviously does great work. I'm a huge fan of his, even though he's a Chicago Bears fan. It was perfect for us to get together.''
Williams, who was also on the trip to Uganda, didn't know Kutcher was a Bears fan.
‘‘I just learned something new,'' he said. ‘‘Any time he wants to come to a game, let me know, and he's got a ticket under my name.''
Williams said he might make donations for touchdowns or first downs.
‘‘Either way, it's going to be a good thing,'' he said. ‘‘Anything to give back to kids is good.''
Peterson said he'll be giving away prizes, too, including signed jerseys and footballs. He rattled off ways fans can help.
‘‘Go to www.crowdrise.com/football or text ADRIAN to 20222 to make a $10 donation,'' he said.
Kutcher said he appreciates Peterson's passion.
‘‘Adrian has a huge heart, and we're grateful for his willingness to support programs for at-risk youth and also shine a light on child sex trafficking,'' Kutcher said in a statement.
Man, 19, gets 30 years in sexual assault on child
A 19-year-old Riverside man who sexually assaulted a 9-year-old boy at a Santa Ana home was sentenced Friday to 30 years to life in state prison, Orange County prosecutors said.
Javier Enrique Perez, who was 16 at the time of the incident, was tried as an adult and convicted of four sex crimes in Orange County Superior Court in May.
Perez was also convicted of forcing an 8-year-old boy who yelled at him to stop to take part in the attack, prosecutors said.
Oscar Antoniel Arreola, 22, of Santa Ana initially denied being present during the attack, but subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge of accessory after the fact and was sentenced to 180 days in County Jail.
Police search for 8 children taken from N.Y. foster-care center
September 22, 2011
Four days after eight children were taken from a foster-care center, New York police on Thursday were still searching for them and the mother and father suspected of abducting them during what was supposedly a supervised visit.
The case has focused attention on the social workers responsible Monday for keeping watch as Shanel Nadal spent time with her children, seven boys and one girl who range in age from 11 months to 11 years old.
Police suspect that the father, Nephra Payne, was waiting in a car outside the facility in the New York City borough of Queens, and that Nadal herded the children into the car after somehow getting them all together and away from the people who were monitoring the visit. According to an ABC News report, the facility is secure and requires a special access card to enter or leave.
The city's Administration for Children's Services, which oversees the foster-care system, said it was investigating how the mother might have left the facility with eight children without being stopped. "During supervised visits, an agency staff member should be present at all times while still affording the family personal time together," it said in a statement.
The department would not say why the children were in foster care, but several media reports have said there had been allegations of domestic abuse at home.
Arrest warrants in connection with the abduction were issued for both Nadal, 28, and Payne, 34.
The Administration for Children's Services came under scrutiny last year after the death of 4-year-old Marchella Pierce, who weighed 18 pounds and whose body showed signs of abuse. A department caseworker and his supervisor have been charged with criminally negligent homicide for allegedly failing to follow up on reports of abuse in the home. They also are accused of faking reports that indicated more visits to the home than actually occurred. The girl's mother and grandmother were charged in her death.
Fourth arrest made in Palestine sexual assault case
by Jena Johnson
ANDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A fourth person has been arrested in connection to a child sexual assault case involving an East Texas preacher.
Karen Sapp, 25, is charged with injury to a child.
Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor says Sapp knew the girl was being assaulted and did not report the abuse.
Authorities say they will not stop making arrests until they've exhausted every lead in this heartbreaking case.
A case that began with a young girl's preacher, 68-year-old, Larry Gene Martin, who's accused of molesting her at the family's home.
At the time, Martin, who pastored at Faith Bible Church in Palestine, was living at the child's home with her parents and two brothers.
As the investigation continued, Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor says her parents became suspects.
The victim's father worked as a jailer at the Anderson County Sheriff's Office for three years. Last week, he and his wife were arrested in connection to their daughter's case.
Sheriff Taylor believes they encouraged the relationship.
"That's what makes this case so tragic. This little girl was stuck in this lifestyle of being sexually abused and the adults in her life were not protecting her," says Taylor.
Authorities say the child was yet again failed by a close, family friend.
According to court documents, authorities collected photographs and computer chats that implies Sapp knew of the abuse, but did not report it.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of this case, says Taylor, are allegations of incest.
"There is some allegations that some sexual assault occurred between--or sexual contact between her and her next to the oldest brother, which is a little younger than her. Very sad situation and the parents knew about that as well and didn't report it, explained Taylor.
Officials say the children have been removed from their home.
Sheriff Taylor says there is no evidence to indicate there are any other victims in this case.
However, they are still investigating that possibility.
Church abuse study overdue - criminologist
September 23, 2011
A NEW study into child sexual abuse in the church will finally give victims a voice, a researcher says.
Queensland University of Technology criminologist Dr Jodi Death will survey 150 adults who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of anyone employed by a Christian organisation, be it a church, school, or home for children.
Participants will complete a confidential and detailed online questionnaire and, if they choose, take part in an interview.
Dr Death said the study was long overdue.
"The Senate inquiry into forgotten Australians and certainly the inquiry into child migration have both touched on the issues of abuses that happened within church organisations," she said today.
"But no one has been specifically targeting this particular issue in Australia.
"I believe this is the first such study in Australia, on an academic level, which is independent of the church."
Participants will be asked about the frequency of abuse they suffered as well as what happened when they complained.
"It's important to know how this is being dealt with here in Australia," Dr Death said.
"If results come back (as) 'I'm happy with the way my complaint was dealt with' then that is fine. But anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise."
The child abuse support group Survivors Australia asked Dr Death to undertake the research, which she says will help address the imbalance between abusers within the church and their victims.
"One of the things that we would really love to get out of this is a report, or a major publication of some sort, that actually represents the voices of survivors ... actually having a forum that is representative of their experience, a public forum."
An advisory panel of national and international scholars in law and justice will analyse the results of the survey, which closes in December.
The information gathered will also be used in reports to government on the needs and experiences of victims.
MTV's College Network Amplifies Student Efforts to End Modern-Day Slavery in the "mtvU Against Our Will Campaign"
--Campaign Partners Include Free the Slaves, GEMS and Polaris Project --mtvU Launches "Slavery Footprint Campus Challenge" with the U.S. State Department and Call and Response
NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Today at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, MTV's College Network mtvU and a student activist from Atlanta announced the launch of the "mtvU Against Our Will Campaign," in partnership with Free the Slaves, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) and Polaris Project. This new campaign taps into the growing student movement to end modern-day slavery and makes it easy for young people to take action to help stop one of the greatest human rights atrocities of our time. Today, it is estimated that there are as many as 27 million sex and labor slaves worldwide.
Through a series of on-air, online and real world initiatives that spotlight domestic sex and labor slavery, the "mtvU Against Our Will Campaign" will shed light on our nation's role in this global epidemic. According to The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline, incidences of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states in the past two years. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. Sex trafficking includes instances where a child is involved in the commercial sex trade, or when adults are coerced or forced into this trade under the control of a pimp. Labor trafficking occurs when workers are forced to work against their will without pay, and can take place in a variety of industries, from farms and factories to nail salons and restaurants.
Currently, there are more than 300 student organizations on campuses around the country taking action to stop human trafficking. The "mtvU Against Our Will Campaign" will serve as a platform to spotlight student actions, connect young people with ways to get involved, and galvanize the college audience's effort to stop human trafficking.
"Young people on campuses around the country are rising up and taking action to help end modern day slavery," said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. "As we've seen with the anti-apartheid movement and the genocide in Darfur, students are a powerful engine for social change, and mtvU is proud to give them a national megaphone to help abolish all forms of slavery in our country."
"GEMS is excited to partner with mtvU on this ground-breaking initiative," said Rachel Lloyd, Executive Director and Founder, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS). "As an agency that has effectively worked with media to deglamorize the commercial sex industry, foster awareness of the issue, and give voice to survivor's experiences, we're thrilled to extend this message to millions of college students across the country so they can raise awareness and take action against commercial sexual exploitation and domestic sex trafficking."
Elements of the "mtvU Against Our Will Campaign" include:
"mtvU's Against Our Will: Fighting Modern-Day Slavery in the United States": MTV's SuChin Pak and Sway Calloway are hosting a half-hour, commercial-free special this fall on mtvU (date to be announced). This programming block will feature poignant interviews with human trafficking survivors and students talking about what they can do to take action to end modern-day slavery, along with excerpts from roundtable conversations with college students candidly discussing the issue.
Programming: mtvU will premiere a series of in-depth interviews with human trafficking survivors and eye-opening discussions with college students. From exposing the role of pimps in trafficking to profiling students who are taking action to inspire change, this series of short-form features illuminates the connection between the commercial sex industry and slavery in order to lessen demand for slaves; shed light on the realities of modern-day slavery; and outline ways students can and are already taking action to put an end to human trafficking. All of this content will be available on demand at www.mtvU.AgainstOurWill.org . Additionally, throughout the year, the network will integrate this issue into some of its most popular franchises.
PSAs: mtvU will roll out a collection of PSAs online and on-air looking at different aspects of this issue, from sex to labor trafficking.
Human Property: symbolically explores how sex and labor trafficking victims are treated like property.
Hotel Room: inspired by true stories of survivors, this spot addresses the demand that fuels modern-day slavery, and looks at misperceptions associated with commercially sexually exploited women and children.
Boyfriends?: demonstrates the ways pimps use lies to coerce and manipulate children and young women into modern-day slavery.
Hair Salon: based on a true story where girls were brought to the U.S. and forced to work in a hair braiding salon for 14 hours a day without any pay, this spot illuminates the reality of modern day slavery, and shows how trafficking victims can be in plain sight without anyone noticing.
Slavery Footprint Campus Challenge: in partnership with Call + Response's Slavery Footprint, which is being supported by the U.S. State Department, the network is calling on students to help stop slavery in the "Slavery Footprint Campus Challenge." Students can download this new application to take actions such as checking-in at retail and restaurant locations to alert brands and business owners that they want slave-free products. The Challenge, which launched today and runs through December 31, 2011, will reward the top 10 students at the University taking the most action with a trip to attend mtvU's annual college music award show, the mtvU Woodie Awards. For full rules and regulations, please head to mtvU.AgainstOurWill.org.
mtvU.AgainstOurWill.org: as the central hub of the campaign, mtvU.AgainstOurWill.org will provide comprehensive information on the prevalence of modern day sex and labor slavery in the U.S. Additionally, the site will outline ways students can continue the fight to stop sex and labor slavery through: raising awareness; decreasing demand for goods and services provided by trafficking victims; joining or starting a student group; supporting organizations that are fighting modern-day slavery through donations, fundraising, by purchasing survivor-made products or by volunteering to help survivors or at-risk youth; joining the discussion surrounding human trafficking legislation; encouraging their schools to adopt human trafficking curricula; and by reporting situations where they suspect trafficking is happening.
Illuminating Student Action: mtvU will spotlight students across the country who are taking action to help stop modern-day slavery through programming and online at Act.MTV.com, MTV's blog dedicated to celebrating young people who are taking action. In the first programming spot, mtvU speaks with Chinny, a recent Kennesaw State graduate who along with her peers reported a case of suspected human trafficking at a restaurant near her school in Atlanta. As it turned out, the restaurant was part of a larger human trafficking ring, and the students' work helped to expose it.
Student Organizing: the campaign will help students on campuses across the country continue to organize efforts to end modern-day slavery. Found on mtvU.AgainstOurWill.org, mtvU will provide a digital toolkit with tips and guidelines to support campus organizing and a blog that will feature a monthly call-to-action. Additionally, Free the Slaves staff will be available for students to use as a resource on questions regarding how to best organize effective groups to help end human trafficking.
On-the-Ground Events: the "mtvU Against Our Will Campaign" will touch down at campuses around the country this fall and spring. Dates and additional information to be announced at a later time.
Campaign Partners: The network collaborated with leading organizations focused on stopping modern-day slavery to develop the "mtvU Against our Will Campaign." As partners in this initiative, Free the Slaves, GEMS, and Polaris Project are official advisors for the program, and worked closely with mtvU to develop the campaign.
"Polaris Project is proud to partner with mtvU to raise awareness on human trafficking, an issue that needs a major increase in attention and resources to combat it," said Bradley Myles, Executive Director and CEO of Polaris Project. "We look forward to connecting college students with the issue of modern-day slavery, and using mtvU as a platform to inspire action and affect real change."
"College students are the future of the abolitionist movement," said Free the Slaves College Chapter Coordinator Laura Murphy. "They will become the researchers, the legislators, the social workers, the lawyers, the teachers and nonprofit leaders who will ensure a future without slavery in the U.S. and abroad."
As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of "labor or services," such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will. Every year, human traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world, and here in the United States. Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. (source: www.polarisproject.org )
For more information on the "mtvU Against our Will Campaign" head to www.mtvU.AgainstOurWill.org or mtvU.com.
Broadcast to more than 750 college campuses and via top cable distributors in 700 college communities nationwide, mtvU reaches nearly 9 million U.S. college students - making it the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S., as well as on cable systems from Charter Communications, Verizon FiOS TV, Suddenlink Communications, AT&T u-Verse and nearly 70 others. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are: on-air, online and on the campus. mtvU programs music videos from emerging artists that can't be seen anywhere else, news, student life features and initiatives that give college students the tools to advance positive social change. mtvU is always on campus, with hundreds of events per year, including exclusive concerts, giveaways, shooting mtvU series and more. For more information about mtvU, and a complete programming schedule, visit www.mtvU.com .
About Free the Slaves
Free the Slaves is one of America's leading anti-slavery organizations. We liberate slaves in hot spots around the globe, help survivors rebuild their lives, and attack the systems that allow modern slavery to exist. Our research is widely quoted by universities, governments and journalists. Our documentary films and videos about slavery, and news coverage of our innovative efforts to end it, have reached hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Free the Slaves has student chapters at 16 college campuses across the U.S.
About Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services' (GEMS) mission is to empower girls and young women, ages 12-24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. GEMS is committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth. For more information, please visit www.gems-girls.org/ .
About Polaris Project
Polaris Project is a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of human trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children. We use a holistic strategy, taking what we learn from our work with survivors and using it to guide the creation of long-term solutions. We strive for systemic change by advocating for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1.888.3737.888), and providing services to help our clients and all victims of human trafficking. For more information, visit www.PolarisProject.org .
About Call + Response
Call + Response is a division of the Fair Trade Fund, Inc. We are a non-profit organization whose goal is to generate awareness and deploy action for the issues of forced labor, slavery, and human trafficking. We believe the end of modern day slavery will come from individuals who gather together to push on businesses, media, and governments to support their existing values for human rights. We believe that this is a bottom-up movement that needs dynamic information, sustained inspiration, and most importantly, tactile activation. For more information, please visit www.callandresponse.com
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 20-22 in New York City.
This year, CGI also convened CGI America, a meeting focused on developing ideas for driving economic growth in the United States. The CGI community also includes CGI U, which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org .
Jaycee Dugard sues U.S. for 'gross neglect' in supervising Garrido's parole
Kidnap and rape victim Jaycee Lee Dugard sued the U.S. government Thursday, alleging that slipshod federal supervision of convicted rapist Phillip Garrido allowed him to remain free, snatch Dugard while she walked to the school bus and hold her as a “sex slave” for 18 years.
So lacking was the government's oversight, according to the complaint, that its "gross neglect borders on virtual complicity" with Garrido, who pleaded guilty in April to charges that he raped and kidnapped Dugard. He was sentenced to 431 years to life in prison.
"Had federal parole authorities demonstrated a modicum of vigilance -– indeed, had they simply performed their duties and obligations as required by federal law and internal policies," the complaint said, "Jaycee and her daughters would not have been forced to endure a virtual lifetime of physical and mental abuse from a detonated ‘time bomb.' "
Dugard attorney Dale Kinsella said in a written statement that federal parole agents "failed on numerous occasions" from December 1988 to March 1999 to properly monitor Garrido, a convicted sex offender and that "the years of abuse experienced by Ms. Dugard are a direct result of the U.S. Parole Commission's colossal blunders."
Charles Miller, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said that the government would not comment. "Once our attorneys have had a chance to review the complaint, we will make a determination at that time how we will respond in court," Miller said in a telephone interview.
Dugard was 11 when Garrido and his wife, Nancy, shocked her with a stun gun as she walked along her South Lake Tahoe street, dragged her into their car and drove her to Antioch. She was held in a ramshackle warren of tents and sheds, raped hundreds of times and gave birth to two daughters.
Garrido was the father; Nancy, who also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 36 years to life in prison, was the midwife.
According to the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Dugard and her teenage daughters Thursday morning in federal court in San Francisco, Garrido "should have been in federal prison in 1991," when he kidnapped Dugard, who is now 31.
Garrido had been convicted in 1977 on state and federal charges of kidnapping and raping another woman and was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison. He served less than 11. While on parole, the complaint contends, he repeatedly violated the conditions, testing positive multiple times for drug and alcohol use.
"One such test," the complaint said, "showed that Garrido's blood alcohol level was 0.45% -- a reading typically associated with unconsciousness and possible death….
"Despite the U.S. Parole Commission's ‘zero tolerance' policy regarding drug use for parolees and despite the violations of Garrido's special conditions of parole," the complaint said, "Garrido's parole officers did not report Garrido's illegal drug use or alcohol use to the Parole Commission as required by law."
In addition, federal authorities ignored repeated reports of sexual misconduct by Garrido, went months without seeing him at all and "failed to make a single visit to Garrido's home during at least three of the 10 years he was under federal parole supervision." They only visited his home a dozen times in a decade, the suit said. And they never found Jaycee, who was captive in the backyard.
The federal suit asks for unspecified damages.
In 1999, California authorities became responsible for supervising Garrido. A year ago, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a $20-million state settlement for Dugard and her daughters. The award was recommended by the state Department of Justice, which said in a report that state parole agents had spoken with Dugard and her elder daughter while they were in captivity.
In a written statement, family spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer said that U.S. officials had "summarily rejected" two requests by Dugard for private mediation and that "100% of whatever money she recovers" will be donated to her private foundation.
The JAYC Foundation provides support and services "for the timely treatment of families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences," the statement said. "The foundation uses amongst other resources, animal assisted therapy and has indeed already provided its first reunification therapeutic services for a mother and her daughter who was recently returned home after having been abducted."
Susan Powell's father-in-law arrested on child pornography and voyeurism charges
Police in Washington have arrested the father-in-law of Susan Powell, the Utah mother missing for nearly two years, after discovering he had thousands of sexually explicit pictures and videos of women and young girls.
Some of the videos found in Steven Powell's Puyallup, Wash., home were apparently shot through the window of two neighbor girls, ages 8 and 10 at the time, as they were taking a bath, using the toilet or dressing, prosecutors said.
The pictures also included images of his daughter-in-law, authorities said, with whom Powell, 61, has said he had a flirtatious relationship--a claim her family has vigorously denied. Police emphasized that Powell's arrest Thursday night was unrelated to Susan Powell's disappearance.
There were new developments there, too: Police in Utah who have been searching the desert about 30 miles from where Powell's husband allegedly went camping on the night of her disappearance have found some burned wood chips that may have been used to incinerate human remains, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
About 100 small pieces of wood were found in the same area where cadaver dogs had signaled the presence of human remains. They will be tested to see if they have any identifiable biological material, the newspaper said.
Though police said the two cases aren't connected, it was the investigation into Powell's disappearance in December 2009 that prompted police to execute a search warrant at the Washington home where Powell's husband, Josh Powell, had moved in with his father as the search for his wife went on.
Josh Powell and his wife had previously lived in Puyallup before moving to Utah.
Reportedly looking for Susan Powell's journals, police in August removed computers, digital media, recordings and photos from the house. Detectives in Utah examined them and notified authorities in Washington of what they contained.
Investigators "found thousands of images of females being videotaped without their knowledge, including Susan Powell. The photographer focuses on the women's buttocks, breasts and genital areas. Many images were of minor females," said a statement from Pierce County prosecuting attorney Mark Lindquist.
Some of the photos and videos, organized in folders with names such as "Taking bath-1" and "Open window in back house," contained images zooming in on the private parts of the 8- and 10-year-old girls who lived next door to Steven Powell in 2006 and 2007, the statement said.
"When contacted by law enforcement, the mother of the victims identified her daughters in the images. She explained that she sometimes left the blinds open in the upstairs due to the heat. Crying, she said that she never thought someone would be watching and photographing her daughters," it said.
Josh Powell, who has been described by police in Utah as a person of interest in his wife's disappearance, has not been charged in the new case and made no immediate comment about his father's arrest.
Steven Powell was taken into custody Thursday night and was scheduled to be arraigned in Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma today on 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
All are Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.
Roof-Sit takes stand against child abuse
There is no magic formula for preventing child abuse. It can occur in any family, and it is committed when economic times are good or bad.
There is fresh evidence to suggest children are victimized more, however, when families must cope with a failing economy.
Child abuse numbers grew during the last recession, according to the results of a study published online this week in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers found head trauma -- primarily in infants -- rose from about nine cases per 100,000 children in pre-recession years to almost 15 per 100,000 kids during the recession.
The study, led by Dr. Rachel Berger of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, was limited to 422 abused children in 74 counties of four states. But Berger said its results confirmed the anecdotal reports of pediatricians who have seen increasing numbers of shaken baby cases.
Although the study generally focused on low-income families, it would be a mistake to conclude poor people are more likely to abuse their children than other economic groups. The findings make a reasonable case, though, that increased stress -- especially financial concerns -- can lead some parents to take out their frustrations on their children.
St. Clair County is fortunate to have an organization that leads the campaign against child abuse. The St. Clair County Child Abuse- Neglect Council is making that case with its Community Roof-Sit 2011.
Q Country 107 broadcaster Chuck Santoni is spending this week atop the roof of Fort Gratiot's Birchwood Mall in the council's 17th annual fundraiser.
In fiscal year 2009, there were 479 child abuse cases in St. Clair County, according to a Michigan League for Human Services report. There were 377 in fiscal year 2000.
St. Clair ranked 29th among Michigan's 83 counties. Sanilac County -- with 134 abuse victims in 2009 compared to 118 in 2000 -- ranked 35th.
Supporting the council won't eliminate child abuse, but it can help the organization fight its occurrence. Money raised will aid the council's child abuse prevention programs and its Blue Water Area Child Advocacy Center, a facility that enables law enforcement officers and child welfare investigators to interview victims in a child-friendly setting.
The council is a vital resource in the campaign to keep our children safe. The fundraiser is an investment in their welfare.
New child advocacy center for child abuse victims open in Jackson
by Tarryl Jackson
A child advocacy center to reach out to child abuse victims and their families is now open in Jackson.
The center, located in the Center for Family Health building downtown, assists physical and sexual assault survivors in the community as opposed to referring them to other counties and having them go through continued interviews with several different people.
“To have the child retell their story multiple times is another form of victimization,” said Molly Kaser, president and CEO at the Center for Family Health. “I don't think we should put a child through that.”
The center is a collaborative effort between the Center for Family Health, the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office, the county Department of Human Services' Child Protective Services and other area organizations.
On Oct. 5, the public is invited to view and learn about the child advocacy center, located at 505 N. Jackson St. from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Today is RAINN Day
September 22, 2011
RAINN Day 2011 is today. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network's annual campaign is to raise awareness and educate students against sexual violence on college campuses.
According to the World Health Organization, victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression and four times more likely to contemplate suicide. These individuals are also 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
RAINN Day is designed to raise awareness of sexual violence and recovery resources for college students, however, it is important for parents to discuss this challenging subject with their younger students as well. Sadly 44 percent of victims of sexual assault are under age 18 and nearly 67 percent of all assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
Experts suggest that the easiest way for parents to keep their students safe is to be involved in your child's life. Parents should talk to children about the people they play with at school. Ask your child about their day and get to know their teacher or afterschool program staff. If your children participate in sports, visit the practices and go to the games. Establish a positive relationship with the coaches and other parents. Children sometimes feel they cannot talk to their parents so it is a good idea to know the other trusted adults in your child's life.
While it is not possible to completely protect your loved ones from sexual assault, there are things we can teach children to help reduce their risk of being assaulted. Teach all children and students to:
- Never allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don't trust or someone you don't know.
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid isolated areas. It is difficult to get help if no one is around.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
- When walking alone, avoid using earphones in both ears and try not to load yourself down with packages or bags. Both of these make you appear more vulnerable.
- Make sure your cell phone is with you, turned on and fully charged.
For more information and resources visit www.rainn.org
New Yorker expunges prostitution record under trafficking law
by Barbara Goldberg, Reuters
September 21, 2011
NEW YORK (Reuters) - She will not forget the "pimp stick" beatings and forced sex, but a 22-year-old New Yorker was allowed on Wednesday to erase her criminal prostitution record, the first U.S. citizen to do so under a new sex trafficking law.
Identified by authorities only as Ms. Johnson, a pseudonym used out of concern for her safety, the woman was a 13-year-old runaway when she was pushed into prostitution by a 21-year-old man she thought was her boyfriend, according to documents filed in state Supreme Court in the Bronx.
Over the next six years, the Bronx native was sold by pimps on the street and convicted three times for prostitution before a customer helped her to escape.
On Wednesday, her criminal record for prostitution was expunged by a judge who agreed with both prosecutors and defense attorneys that she was protected under a recent New York State law that equates pimps with sex traffickers.
Under the law, "pimp-controlled" prostitutes of any age are considered victims who should not bear the burden of convictions that can interfere with employment, housing, government benefits and other aspects of a law-abiding life.
"The law says any survivor of sex trafficking can try to have their record expunged if they prove the conviction obtained was the result of having been trafficked," said Legal Aid lawyer Kate Mogulescu, who defended the woman in court.
"This is the first case that involved pimp-controlled prostitution," Mogulescu said.
She said New York was the first state to pass a law to allow pimp-controlled prostitutes to expunge their records, and noted the woman is the first U.S. citizen helped by the law. Two other women aided by the law were not citizens.
Mogulescu is involved in an ongoing project aimed at rewriting the sex trafficking law so that such women are not convicted to begin with. "Now, unfortunately, the law only provides remedy for women already convicted," she said.
MOVING ON WITH LIFE
Until now, the woman, who has moved to Georgia and works in a Waffle House, has had to reveal her criminal convictions on job applications. The mother of two young children, she hopes to continue her education and pursue a career in health care.
The harsh rules of the pimp-controlled life she endured from the age of 13 were outlined in court documents.
"Through violence and manipulation, pimp-traffickers create a system in which their prostitutes are incapable of supporting themselves or escaping their reliance on the pimp," the court papers said.
Women under the control of a pimp must never use the pimp's true name and must make themselves physically lower than their pimp, standing on the street if the pimp claims the sidewalk.
They must earn a specific monetary quota through prostitution each might, must give it all to the pimp, and are forbidden from making eye contact with another pimp, the court papers said.
Any violation of these rules will result in "beatings with belts, baseball bats or 'pimp sticks', described as two coat hangers wrapped together.
The pimps also punish their prostitutes by kicking them, punching them, forcing them to lay naked on the floor and then have sex with another prostitute while others watched, or locking them in the trunk of a car to teach them a lesson."
The Bronx woman's courage in trying to clear her name and move on with her life was commended by both the defense and the prosecution.
"She was indeed the victim of human trafficking dating back to a young age," Steven Reed, spokesman for the Bronx district attorney's office, said in a statement.
"In spite of a very challenging set of circumstances and in some instances great danger, she has fought diligently and successfully to overcome these challenges, to educate herself, to be a strong and committed mother," he said.
Sex-trafficking numbers climb
by STAN FINGER, The Wichita Eagle
Sex-trafficking cases have more than tripled in Wichita over the past four years, police officials said Wednesday, and they are concerned about the spike.
Documented cases have jumped from nine in 2008 to 28 so far this year, Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said. There were 22 last year.
"We're not panicking about it, but we have seen a steady increase in numbers," Stolz said. "We've seen enough of an increase in these crimes, and we know that it's out there, that we want to take proactive measures."
Staffing for the Exploited and Missing Child Unit will be increased next year to focus on trafficking cases, Stolz said.
"These are critical investigations, involving pretty vulnerable people," he said.
Most of the cases involve runaways. "We're showing a direct connection between runaway girls and this industry," he said.
Most local sex-trafficking cases involve local girls, though some girls are brought in from out of state and a few Wichita girls have been sent out of state.
Some cases have involved girls who were "snatched" after meeting someone online and then agreeing to see them, he said, but those numbers are small compared to the overall total.
"I don't want to create a hysteria in this city that our little girls are getting poached off of street corners," Stolz said. "That is not happening."
Though parents should be concerned, he said, "we're not seeing any data or numbers that this city is unsafe for children."
Stolz said he doesn't buy recent media reports that Wichita has among the nation's highest sex-trafficking rates.
"We can't prove that," he said. "There is no firm data to show that is true."
The data on the issue is poor, Stolz said.
On a per capita basis, "I don't think we're any better or any worse than Dallas or Los Angeles or St. Louis," he said. "I've seen no evidence of that, and I've looked hard for the last couple of months."
The increase in trafficking cases can be linked to a variety of factors, Stolz said, including the Internet.
"It's so easy for people to connect, even for illicit purposes," he said.
He also cited "an increased demand for this kind of service."
"I don't know why that adult males crave sex with 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-year-old girls," he said. "There seems to be almost unlimited demand out there, and where there is demand there is supply."
At least some of the increase is because of increased reporting, Stolz said. Adults and teens alike are more educated and more aware.
"I'd rather have an increase in reporting than somebody not reporting something that's insidious and going on behind the scenes," he said.
And what may have been classified as a prostitution or runaway case 15 years ago by law enforcement is being recognized as human trafficking.
The cases are difficult to investigate because of their clandestine nature and the girls' reluctance to talk to authorities.
"They fear us," Stolz said. "They fear the uniform."
There's a good reason for that, he said.
Twenty years ago, a 13-year-old girl found as a runaway or prostituting herself would have been handcuffed, arrested, then returned to her home —"a home that they may not want to go to because of abuse" or other issues, Stolz said.
Wichita police are trying to be proactive in response, Stolz said. They are attending conferences on the issue and conferring with other cities to see how they are addressing the problem.
"We are trying to educate ourselves as fast as we possibly can," he said.
Global Anti-Slavery Action Map Advances Fight Against Human Trafficking
Interactive Web Application Helps Funders, NGOs and Activists
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2011
End Slavery Now (ESN) today announced the successful launch of the new anti-slavery "Action on the Ground" project map, the first comprehensive and interactive web-based app to track the global fight against human trafficking. The new tool allows partner NGOs around the world to upload projects, photos and links; making it easy to see what organizations are doing to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate modern-day slaves, as well as stem demand.
Leading anti-slavery nonprofits including Free the Slaves, Polaris Project, Shared Hope International and International Justice Mission helped seed the map with their work. Icons distinguish the varied forms of modern slavery, such as forced labor, child soldiers or sex trafficking.
"The world map looks depressing when you flag it with the types of slavery that people endure in different countries," said Dr. Kevin Bales, co-founder and president of Free the Slaves. "But it can look quite hopeful when you also flag it with the frontline projects that are combating slavery around the globe."
Prior to the launch, participating NGOs posted over 80 projects in 30 countries. More actions are being uploaded daily.
Lauren Taylor, ESN's founder and president, said, "Our goal is to create the most comprehensive visualization of the movement's true scope, and by doing so foster greater coordination, cooperation and communication amongst all the members."
"Now that's a map with the kind of information I -- and others -- can use," said Jim Greenbaum, founder and managing director of The Greenbaum Foundation, and member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Mr. Greenbaum is attending CGI's annual meeting in New York City this week, where he is directing NGOs and other philanthropists to the website. "This is the tool we've all been waiting for."
As a free public resource, the project map can be viewed by anyone with access to the Internet.
"What's equally important about this initiative is that now we'll be able to see the gaps where the work isn't being done," said Amanda Kloer, a Director of Organizing for Change.org and Special Correspondent for CNN's Freedom Project. "As the anti-slavery movement gains momentum, this platform will help funders, activists, organizations and agencies use their resources wisely, instead of duplicating efforts. 27 million people are counting on it."
About End Slavery Now
End Slavery Now (ESN) is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit working to end modern slavery by developing a comprehensive Internet-based platform for growing and advancing the anti-trafficking movement that: integrates resources to allow members of the anti-trafficking movement to efficiently coordinate their respective efforts to combat slavery; allows information to be shared with, and resources directed toward, partners and other stakeholders; coordinates grassroots efforts through social networking and allows individuals to make meaningful contributions in the anti-trafficking movement. Since its founding in 2009, ESN has launched the ESN Take Action database and the New Underground Railroad, the world's largest database of volunteers, facilities and service providers working together to fight human trafficking. For more information, please visit www.endslaverynow.com.
Contact: Lauren Taylor, Founder & President End Slavery Now (540) 556-1400 email@example.com
Child Sexual Abuse: Start Tackling When They're Toddlers
by Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright -- Sexologist, sexuality educator, author
How young is too young with it comes to educating children about sexual abuse? Such is a hotly contested issue, with some saying the earlier the better when it comes to prevention, while others argue that youngsters shouldn't be exposed to such sex issues.
Now, recent research out of Australia can help to finally settle this debate, providing parents and educators with a solid answer on an appropriate age at which to start tackling the issue. An analysis of over 500 clients, conducted by Bravehearts, found that educating children about sexual assault is one of the most effective ways of identifying such harm.
The anti-child sexual abuse organization found a direct link between its school education program and a sharp increase in the number of reports it gets concerning children being sexually assaulted. The organization's conclusion: going into schools and educating youth about sexual assault can make a huge difference in minimizing the damage done. The age range Bravehearts's education program targets using live musical performances: children 3- to 8-years-old.
Outreach efforts involve repeating a simple, age-appropriate message about one's private parts: 'no-one else to touch, no-one else to see, they belong to me'. To date, thousands of primary school kids across Australia have been exposed to the program, with many of those who have been violated willing to disclose the abuse, even when the offender is well known, trusted, and loved.
Such educational efforts, along with prevention efforts targeting adults, are seen as vital in reducing the incidence of child sexual assault. Such work ultimately also impacts youth overall well being, reducing the incidence rates of a number of issues, like alcoholism, suicide, depression, and drug abuse.
Talking to children, in a language they can understand, about medically accurate information that is appropriate for their developmental level can only do more good than harm when it comes to dealing with sexual abuse. And this goes for practically any sexuality-related topic -- no matter what the age group.
Adults Can Help Stop Child Sexual Abuse
by Mai Fernandez
One of the most powerful moments at the recent conference of the National Center for Victims of Crime was a presentation by Al Chesley, former National Football League linebacker, about the sexual abuse he experienced as a youth and his decades-long struggle to recover from the crime. Now a passionate victim advocate, Al promotes policies to protect young sexual abuse victims. His message: we can and must do more to help the victims of this crime.
Child sexual abuse is rampant in our country. One in three girls and one in seven boys will experience sexual violence at some point during their childhood. Child sexual abuse undermines children's security—at school, home, and everywhere they go.
More than 78,000 cases of child sexual abuse were reported and substantiated in 2006,according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, but the real numbers of abused children may be anywhere between 260,000 and 650,000 ayear. And because the crime is so seldom reported to law enforcement agencies, predators remain free to destroy young lives.
There are many reasons why children do not report the crime.
The abuser may be a friend, neighbor, or even a relative—who is close to the child. Al Chesley's abuser, a neighbor who was a District of Columbia police officer, was a trusted, respected member of the community. Children may fear that no one will believe them or that they will be blamed for the abuse. They may be confused about the seriousness of the crime, and they are often overwhelmed with shame.
Abusers often threaten to kill or hurt their victims or their families if the children disclose the abuse. So the children often remain silent, suffering alone for years.
Most U.S. adults understand the seriousness of these offenses against children, but they don't necessarily act when they encounter them. They may not recognize the signs, or they may fear raising suspicions they can't prove or making things more difficult for the child.
Yet adults must find ways to protect young sexual abuse victims.
Parents, teachers, neighbors, coaches, and youth group leaders should learn the signs that a child may be a sexual abuse victim. Youths may seem distracted, angry, unhappy, withdrawn—to suffer from nightmares or other signs that something unusual is going on.
Young children may regress to earlier behaviors such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking. They may resist removing clothes at appropriate times, such as bedtime, or mimic adult sexual behavior when playing with toys.
Teens may engage in self-injury, such as cutting or burning; begin drug or alcohol abuse; become sexually promiscuous; run away from home; or become depressed or anxious. While these symptoms may reflect a variety of problems, they may also suggest sexual abuse and should not be ignored.
Adults can also look for signs that youth are trying to disclose the abuse.
Young people may disclose bits of information, not always in sequence, that suggest sexual abuse. They may say, for example, that a specific person makes them uncomfortable, without saying why. They may mention a “friend “who is being abused but fears telling anyone.
If the adult responds supportively, youths may start to share more about what is bothering them. Adults should listen attentively, affirm what the youth is saying, and involve a victim advocate to connect the youth with counseling and help with reporting the abuse. (Resources include Childhelp USA and RAINN.)
Preparing a young sexual assault victim for the reporting and investigation of these crimes is a process too complex to describe here. Disclosures to mandated reporters—such as teachers and health care workers who must report the crime to child protection authorities—will begin a personally and legally challenging process that requires emotional and physical safety planning for victims.
Children are likely to need professional victim advocacy and counseling throughout the legal process and recovery from sexual abuse.
All adults should learn to recognize and help these victims, be ready to listen, and be willing to help find the professional support they need. Caring, trustworthy adults who take the risk of helping these young victims can open the door to safety, recovery, and hope.
Mai Fernandez is a regular blogger for The Crime Report and executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. She welcomes comments from readers.
Florida case could result in new Michigan law
A bill based on a Florida mother's failure to report her child missing for 30 days would make it a felony in Michigan to fail to immediately report a child dead or
The legislation was introduced in late July following the acquittal of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony.
Casey Anthony waited 30 days before reporting her daughter missing.
Those found guilty of violating the proposed Caylee Anthony's Law would face penalties of up to four years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both, for failure to immediately report a child dead or missing to police in Michigan.
The proposal, House Bill 4872, was co-sponsored by state Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township.
Rogers said he isn't aware of cases of delayed reporting of a child missing or dead in Michigan, but that the proposal would put needed penalties on the books.
"It really bothers me some adult, some parent, would not make that phone call. That's one evil person," he said.
"I felt so strongly that this was so cut-and-dry, I didn't look at it is as, 'Oh, my goodness. We've already had numerous issues,' " Rogers explained. "I didn't even ask that question."
The bill states a person has reason to know a child is missing if the child's location is unknown and 24 hours passes without contact with the child.
An exception to the requirements would be made if a person responsible for the child is "unable" to immediately report the child dead or missing, but does "when able to do so."
The bill doesn't define what constitutes being "unable" to promptly report a child dead or missing.
The first 24 hours a child is missing are the most crucial, but children sometimes aren't reported missing until later out of fear of retribution by the perpetrator, said Bobette Schrandt, executive director of Howell-based LACASA.
LACASA is a nonprofit organization for survivors of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault.
Family and friends of deceased children may face the same fear, Schrandt said.
In cases of domestic violence, women are most often threatened by men for reporting their children missing, Schrandt said. She said the woman in the situation may wait until after she's found support and guidance to report a missing child to police.
"It's difficult to make up some sort of blanket statement in every situation because there could be some situations the woman is truly terrified," Schrandt said.
Several other states, including California and Ohio, are considering similar legislation, according to news reports. The proposed Caylee Anthony Caregiver Responsibility Act was introduced in Congress last month.
Caylee Anthony was the focus of a wide-ranging search after her disappearance in June 2008. Casey Anthony told police that a fictitious baby sitter had kidnapped the child.
The 25-year-old told the same story to her family until the child's skeletal remains were found in the woods in December 2008 not far from the Anthony family home.
Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her daughter, and not guilty of child abuse. She was convicted of four misdemeanors of lying to police as they investigated her daughter's disappearance, however. She was sentenced to four years in jail, one for each count of lying to police, but given credit for time already served.
Correlation found between economy, child abuse cases
by Sanne Specht -- Mail Tribune
Ongoing economic pressures, combined with cuts to social services, is proving to be a deadly combination for infants and toddlers, health officials say.
Each year, an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 children are injured or killed by shaking in the United States. But according to a recent study that reviewed data from late 2007 to 2009, recession stressors are causing an increase in shaken-baby cases and other forms of brain-injuring abuse.
The study's author, Dr. Rachel Berger of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, said the uptick in abuse coincides with dramatic increases in unemployment rates in the 74 counties she reviewed.
The number of cases in the counties Berger studied increased from about 9 per 100,000 children in pre-recession years to almost 15 per 100,000 kids during the recession — a 65 percent increase.
In the Rogue Valley, five cases of abusive head trauma were reported in 2010. Four of the children were under the age of 1, said Dr. Kerri Hecox, medical director of the Children's Advocacy Center.
"That's a pretty dramatic increase," Hecox said. "And I definitely feel the recession has people more on the line."
Trying to soothe a steadily screaming baby under the best of circumstances can drive frustrated parents and caregivers to their breaking point. Add unemployment worries, the loss of one's home, and an inability to put food on the table, and you have a recipe for disaster, she said.
"It's a really big issue for people on the edge," Hecox said, adding that all but one of the Jackson County child-abuse cases "were precipitated by crying."
And as need is steadily increasing for support networks, social services agencies are being hard hit by state and federal budget cuts, she added.
"You can't just cut up to 40 percent in agencies (that support struggling parents and children) and expect people to be OK," Hecox said.
Hecox said the best vehicle for protecting children is public education. Parents and caretakers, especially less experienced ones, tend to think that caring for a child is supposed to be easy — and that they are not supposed to feel any negative emotions, she said.
When discussing the ups and downs of caring for a crying child with clients, Hecox opens the dialog by being open about the challenges she faces.
"I talk about my own frustrations," Hecox said. "That opens up the conversation. Parents need to know it's OK to be frustrated. They can put the baby down in a safe place for a few minutes and walk away. They can even go into the bathroom, put their headphones on and tune out the stress-inducing sounds of an unhappy, screaming child until they ratchet back the stress response," she said.
"We need to give people the space to say they're overwhelmed," Hecox said, adding the dialog is a tough one to get started.
People who are operating under a lot of stress need more support. Otherwise the culmination of stress and crying can "lead to that snap," she said.
"It's not about how you feel," Hecox said. "It's what you do that's important."
Approximately 25 percent of shaken babies will die as a result of their injuries. Of those who survive, 80 percent suffer permanent disability, such as severe brain damage, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, behavioral disorders and impaired motor and cognitive skills. Many survivors require constant medical or personal attention. Medical costs associated with initial and long-term care for these children can range from $300,000 to more than $1 million.
An educational collaboration at the birthing centers at Rogue Valley Medical Center, Providence Medford Medical Center, Ashland Community Hospital, Three Rivers Community Hospital in Grants Pass, the Jackson County Health Department and CAC offers a new educational effort called the Period of PURPLE Crying program.
One of the teaching elements used is a 10-minute DVD being given to every new mother at all four Rogue Valley hospitals. The DVD explains normal infant crying, offers ways to reduce stress related to the crying and informs them of the dangers of shaking an infant. Designed to stop child abuse triggered by the stress of inconsolable infant crying, the message is simple: Stop, breathe and reset your mind. People think they would never harm their child. But statistics show the No. 1 trigger for child abuse is crying, said Hecox.
Hecox said she would like to see more educational programs on this topic in area high schools. Babysitters and struggling young parents are at "high risk" for committing abuse, she said.
"We want them to get this information in their health classes before these kids become parents themselves," she said.
New Child Abuse Protocol Enacted In Dona Ana County
by Samantha Manning
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- The old protocol for dealing with child abuse cases in Dona Ana County was first developed in 1998, and it only addressed sexual abuse. Officials have now come up with a new plan to handle all types of child abuse cases, including physical abuse, neglect and truancy.
"There are families in Dona Ana County that will use their children as baby sitters or use their kids to take care of other problems at home instead of sending them to school," Dona Ana County District Attorney Amy Orlando said.
Orlando said the plan has been a work in progress over the past few years, but certain obstacles prevented officials from being able to set one in place permanently. She said they now have more forensic experts available and have Spanish-speaking ones who can properly investigate the children who don't speak English.
Orlando said the need to actively investigate problems other than sexual abuse has become more apparent in recent years, as there's been a growing trend of kids suffering from secondhand drug abuse.
"They are nearby or in a home where parents are home smoking cocaine or other drugs and it is getting into the children's body, so they're getting tested and they're testing positive for that," Orlando said.
The Las Cruces Police Department said while the number of child abuse cases in the city has declined, the number is still alarming.
"In the last year we investigated over 3,200, which was a 5 percent drop from the previous year, but that's still a huge problem," Las Cruces Police Department Deputy Chief Chris Miller said.
Police said that not all cases that are reported turn out to actually be child abuse incidents. They said about 66 percent turn out to be valid instances of abuse. Law enforcement officials have also included rehabilitation options in the new protocol and are working with experts on dealing with abuse victims.
"Children are resilient," said La Pinon Sexual Assault Recovery Services Executive Director Donna Richmond. "We try to help them advocate through the initial crisis and then move them on to counseling services so that they can heal and become a survivor from this."
Law enforcement officials said they will also work to protect child abuse victims who come forward and fear retaliation from their abusers.
End modern-day slavery
September 21, 2011
by Sister Dolores Barling, SNJM
On Sept. 9 the church celebrated the feast of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest who in the early 1600s spent his life serving the needs of African slaves. His example is a fitting reminder that we are called to be aware of the modern-day global slave trade with all its brutality and pervasiveness.
It is estimated that 27 million women, men and children have been bought and sold for labor or prostitution and are currently held in slavery-like conditions. This slave trade, known as human trafficking, is considered the third greatest criminal activity in the world, ranking behind narcotics and the weapons trade. It is so lucrative because the “product,” a human being, can be sold over and over again. How ugly and immoral.
Let us listen to the voices of those who have been trafficked.
— Theresa, a survivor of child sex trafficking in the U.S.: “I can't describe to you the feeling of terror. No child should ever have to know that kind of fear. I didn't know what I was going to have to endure that night, for how long, of if I was going to come back home.”
— “Miguel,” (his real name is withheld for safety concerns) a victim of agricultural trafficking on a Texas ranch: “You had to do what they said, or they said they would kill you. They treated us like animals.”
— Lulu, trafficked from Asia to Los Angeles: “I did the same thing every day. I was stuck. I did not feel hopeful of what my future was going to be because I could not see what was going to happen tomorrow. Now (that she has been rescued) I feel hopeful, I can dream. I can see myself doing something with my life in two weeks, in two months. I am free now.”
Sad to say there is a human trafficking epidemic in the Bay Area. The San Francisco Women's Political Committee, the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking and other justice groups constantly, passionately advocate on behalf of victims caught in modern-day slavery here in our beloved city. Many committed people reach out in a variety of ways to meet the needs of victims.
On the national level The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, S.1301, expires on Sept. 30, 2011, and Congress must act to reauthorize it. If the bill does not pass, U.S. pressure on countries across the globe to combat modern-day slavery will suffer. In this precarious economic environment, more vulnerable and marginalized people may fall victim to those who would exploit them.
“The reauthorization of this monumental legislation to combat trafficking in persons is one of the most important bills that will come before this Congress,” according to an Aug. 11 letter to the U.S. Senate from the U.S bishops' Committee on Migration and Catholic Relief Services. “Enactment of this bill would ensure that the United States will continue to lead the fight to prevent the poor and marginalized from falling prey to traffickers, prosecute those who profit off the suffering of others, and help to rehabilitate victims.”
The legislation would establish a fund for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to assist governments in responding to urgent needs; establish child protection compacts, which would help specific countries to develop and implement comprehensive anti-trafficking plans to protect children; and include technical assistance to help governments establish legal frameworks and regulate and oversee foreign labor recruitment practices.
If you want to take some action, a call or email to your senators is one possibility. For an online petition, see http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/take-action-now/capwiz/index.cfm.
I close with prayer to St. Josephine Bakhita who was trafficked in Sudan in 1883, lived for years before escaping slavery, and was declared “Patron for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking and Slavery,” by Pope John Paul II:
“Gracious and loving God, through the intercession of St. Josephine, we pray that all modern-day victims of trafficking will be freed and that this horrid practice will end soon. Amen.”
Major Mexican papers ban sex ads to combat trafficking
Some of Mexico's leading newspapers say they have stopped publishing most advertisements for sexual services.
El Universal said it had banned ads that could be used by people-traffickers to exploit men, women and children.
The Associated Press news agency reports that Reforma has also pulled sex ads from its papers.
Campaign groups say Mexico's criminal gangs force thousands of people into prostitution each year.
El Universal Executive President Juan Francisco Ealy said he had given the staff of his El Universal broadsheet and El Grafico tabloid paper clear instructions.
"We're totally cancelling our participation in this market, in El Universal and El Grafico and in our internet presence," he said.
He added there would be no more ads "of that nature".
Veronica Tapia of Grupo Reforma, which publishes the broadsheet Reforma and the tabloid Metro, told AP news agency they would also no longer accept ads promoting sexual services.
Neither Ms Tapia nor Mr Ealy specified what the exact guidelines for the ban were, and their tabloid editions continued to run advertisements for sex chat lines.
According to a report by the US State Department, Mexico is a large source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour.
The 2011 report says that "Mexican women, girls, and boys from poor rural areas are subjected to sexual servitude within the United States and Mexico, lured by fraudulent employment opportunities or deceptive offers of romantic relationships, including marriage."
In July, Mexican security forces arrested more than 1,000 people accused of links to human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Ciudad Juarez, on the US-Mexico border.
The Internet as Weapon Against Human Trafficking
We all know the dark side of the Internet, one of which is using it to facilitate human trafficking. It is good to know also that it can be harnessed to monitor and combat this same form of modern-day slavery.
The finding is result of a year-long investigation by the Center on Communication Leadersip & Policy (CCLP) at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. The report, Human Trafficking Online: The Role of Social Networking Sites and Online Classifieds, focuses on how technology and online tools can be used to prevent trafficking, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators.
Just as the Internet has given traffickers easier means of exploiting their victims, online technologies also offer new ways to combat human trafficking, according to the report. For example, online communications from or to traffickers leave behind traces in cyberspace. This information provides important glimpses into criminal behavior, techniques and patterns. And if anti-trafficking investigators can assemble enough of it, they can take specific actions to help victims and prosecute traffickers.
A common starting point for investigators is combing through photos and online advertisements searching for potential victims of sex trafficking, particularly girls who seem younger than their advertised ages, the report reveals.
CCLP research director Mark Latonero, PhD added what law enforcement can do:
“Data mining, mapping and advanced analytics can be developed to support law enforcement and other organizations in fighting human trafficking. The report also describes how mobile phone applications, crowdsourcing and other new technologies might be used to help victims.”
Human Trafficking Online is available at humantraffickingonline.org or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is high time that we fight the misconception that the Internet has nothing but its dark sides by using the technology itself to proactively fight human trafficking.
Vancouver taking comprehensive approach to sex trade issues
by Kerry Jang, Vancouver Sun
September 21, 2011
Vancouver has a long and painful history of sex workers, particularly women, being violently abused, exploited, and in the case of Pickton's victims, murdered. This Thursday, City Council will debate a report that charts a path forward that will help prevent youth from being recruited, better protect sex workers' health and safety, advocate for muchneeded support systems to assist individuals to exit the sex trade, and work with neighbourhoods to address the negative impacts of sex work.
This complex public issue affects urban centres across the globe. Poverty, racism, inequality, and a lack of access to safe, stable housing are common issues. In Canada, communities have called for governments at all levels to do something; in the past, action has been sporadic and uncoordinated. Often times, new policies did little but push a problem from one neighbourhood to another, or drive sex work underground, forcing women and others into more risky situations where abuses can occur with impunity.
The report coming to Vancouver City Council on Thursday focuses on what specifically the City can do within the current federal legal context to address the range of issues, and what other levels of government can do. The overriding message of the report is that a comprehensive and coordinated approach among all levels of government, law enforcement agencies, communities and stakeholders is required.
Cities can play a key role in prevention by directly supporting and advocating for child care and after-school programs for children that build their resilience, and "buddy programs" that teach kids to recognize luring and Internet safety. My own daughter participated in such a program a few years ago and can now recognize and avoid pimps, dealers and manipulation.
We can support community safety by having front-line City staff disseminate information, as well as provide referrals to resources and supports. City community service grants can be targeted to the programs and outreach services, including exiting supports, run by non-profits.
The real power a municipal government has is land use and regulation. The council report highlights a need to review licensing and enforcement practices to enhance neighbourhood safety, the safety of sex workers, and to better target premises where there is a risk for trafficking and exploitation. We also need to improve information sharing between City inspectors, the Vancouver Polic Department, senior governments and NGOs to improve information and referrals to available services, and allow for more immediate action on problem premises.
Some may argue that impacts from the sex trade and the prevention of sexual exploitation are not issues that a municipal government should be addressing. Not true. A city has the responsibility to do what it can to create safe and inclusive communities for all of our citizens.
Long-term success in addressing the negative impacts of the sex trade will require senior government action on poverty reduction, housing, and immigration. When partnerships between municipalities and senior levels of government are established, we can achieve real results. An example of this is on homelessness, where the City of Vancouver and the provincial government have partnered on new shelters and housing, resulting in a decrease of more than 600 homeless people on the streets of Vancouver since 2008.
There is no shortage of opinions on how, as a society, we should deal with these issues. That is why the council report represents a balanced approach. It focuses on what the City can do, advocates to senior governments to play their part, and does so in a way that helps our most vulnerable citizens through an emphasis on prevention, improved personal health and safety, support for exiting, and better enforcement where exploitation and trafficking exist.
It is our hope that other municipalities and senior government partners will join us in our efforts.
Kerry Jang is a Vision Vancouver city councillor.
The Many Forms of Sex Trafficking in Central America
by Geoffrey Ramsey
Sex trafficking is a common criminal activity in Central America and Mexico, but the business has different manifestations across the region depending on local dynamics.
Mexico's El Universal has highlighted the work of anti-human trafficking activist Marisa Ugarte , who in 2008 began an investigation into sex trafficking along border cities in Baja California. According to her research, there are more than 5,000 human trafficking cells in the cities of Mexicali, Tecate and Tijuana in which women and children are sold for the purpose of sexual exploitation. For those skeptical of this figure, Ugarte shared an experience she had nearly four years ago, when a cab driver in Tijuana offered to sell her a 5-year-old boy. “He said I could do whatever I wanted with him,” Ugarte told El Universal.
Human trafficking, and especially sex trafficking, in Mexico has attracted a significant amount of attention in recent years, as the security crackdown there has forced drug trafficking organizations to broaden their criminal portfolios. As a result, the country's cartels are becoming increasingly involved in human trafficking and sexual exploitation, which is made easier by a lack of strong penalties for these crimes. As congresswoman Rosi Orozco told the Washington Post recently, “If narcotics traffickers are caught they go to high-security prisons, but with the trafficking of women, they have found absolute impunity.”
But sex trafficking is not simply a problem in Mexico. As the U.S. State Department's 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report notes, the majority of human trafficking victims worldwide become products of commercial sexual exploitation, and the phenomenon is widespread throughout the western hemisphere. In fact, a 2010 report by Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls found that Mexico ranked fifth in terms of the estimated number of trafficking victims in Latin America, putting the country below the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Brazil and Argentina.
In Mexico, as in much of Central America, sex trafficking is closely linked not only with organized crime but also with the migrant smuggling trade. Because of the region's close proximity to the United States, the flow of migrants ensures a ready supply of new recruits. The economic and legal vulnerability of their situations makes them even easier targets.
Sex trafficking is not just a purely economic phenomenon, however. Some victims are drawn into the trade due to more complex reasons, and then are psychologically conditioned into staying. As InSight Crime has documented, such is the case in Honduras, where young women are increasingly falling prey to false "modeling agencies" which serve as fronts for sex trafficking rings. Seeing an opportunity to fulfill aspirations of fame, young women contact the organizations, when they are often told to arrange an in-person “audition,” alone. From there, a cycle of psychological and physical abuse begins, and these women are often kidnapped or tricked into working in brothels in other Central American countries.
Elsewhere in Central America, human trafficking is more closely associated with tourism, especially "sex tourism," whereby individuals (generally wealthy North American or European men) travel to a country with the explicit purpose of purchasing sex, frequently with minors. This trend is particularly visible in Costa Rica, which is a major tourist destination. Although efforts have been made to clamp down on this sex trade, and break its ties with the conventional tourist industry, they have generally been unsuccessful. In 2004 the country made headlines for mandating that employees in the tourist industry be made to accept a new "code of conduct" which discourages them from assisting foreigners in finding sex. However, the strong economic incentives offered by the business made this relatively unsuccessful.
A safe haven for sex abuse survivors
Healing Center provides services
by Gary Porter
September 19, 2011
It was Victoria Olszewski's pursuit of higher education later in life that led her to unlock the secrets of an extremely painful past - more than four decades later.
During one of her classes, the mother of three and grandmother of five, who is working toward a degree in social work, learned about the different forms of child sexual abuse, including pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities.
That's when the horrifying memories of being sexually assaulted as a child came flooding back. "I thought I had put it behind me. I had pretended it never happened," said Olszewski, who then became trapped in vivid flashbacks and couldn't break free.
"I was not able to concentrate," said the 52-year-old, who said she was abused by her stepfather from the ages of 10 through 17. "I was having signs of depression, thoughts of hurting myself and enormous amounts of stress and anxiety. I wasn't myself."
Her cries for help led her to The Healing Center, a nonprofit organization that offers a safe and comforting environment to sexual abuse survivors, while giving them tailor-made supportive services to help them heal from their traumatic experiences.
One of its support groups, Adults Molested as Children, or A-MAC, is the most in demand, said Maryann K. Clesceri, the executive director of the center, which is under the auspices of Aurora Sinai Medical Center.
"So often, when you have something horrible happen, the tendency is to try to put it behind you," Clesceri said. But, she said, that's often a difficult task, particularly for those who were assaulted as children.
"Childhood trauma is more pervasive and has much more lasting effects," said Clesceri, who is a trained psychotherapist. "It has a greater impact on adult survivors."
The A-MAC support group meets weekly, as does the center's six other support groups, which include: Survivors Toward Recovery, Adult Sexual Assault, Creative Healing, Sexual Wholeness, Spanish-Speaking Survivors and an open group for newcomers.
Last year, the organization, which also offers one-on-one counseling, advocacy, ongoing educational programming and an array of natural therapies in collaboration with Core el Centro, served 844 people.
It is one of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee's newest agency partners, receiving $50,000 in funding support.
"The center provides incredible support for survivors of sexual abuse, including those who are underserved in our community," said Nicole Angresano of the United Way. "These are people who would otherwise have nowhere to turn for counseling."
The Healing Center's newest support group is for male sexual abuse survivors, a service that had been a void in the community.
"Without The Healing Center, men wouldn't have a group to go to. There are probably individual therapists, but not for free," said Cathy Arney, vice president of clinical services at Pathfinders, an agency that offered those services for men before changing its focus to youth. "They provide the perfect environment for people to feel safe and comfortable."
There are currently 30 men who participate in center's programming, including Roy Czarnecki, 22, who is a member of the male support group.
There are many negative side effects of the actual abuse. One is being able to trust people again."
After unsuccessfully trying a variety of methods to heal from his past, including years of therapy, he said, The Healing Center has been the most effective.
"It is geared toward survivors of sexual abuse. They understand and know where you are coming from," he said.
"You are allowed to build healthy bonds with people, express your feelings and receive reassurance from others who share your experience," Czarnecki said. "I am now living my life because of The Healing Center."
Through one-on-one counseling and support group sessions, Olszewski, a center participant for 15 months now, has also moved a lot further in the healing process.
"They helped me to learn that I can't change what happened and how I can move forward in a positive way," said Olszewski, who will earn a bachelor's degree in December and plans to go on to graduate school so that she can counsel other survivors of sexual abuse.
THE HEALING CENTER
Mission: To offer sexual abuse survivors and their loved ones opportunities for healing by providing support, advocacy and community education.
Address: 611 W. National Ave., 4th Floor, Milwaukee, 53204
Phone: (414) 671-4325
Senate Appropriations Committee Approves PFSA-Backed Training Bill to Help Spot Child Abuse
HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Legislation to require mandated reporters employed in Pennsylvania schools to receive training on recognizing and reporting child abuse has been unanimously voted out of the state Senate Appropriations Committee.
"The approval of Senate Bill 449 by the Appropriations Committee increases the likelihood that this important measure will be considered by the entire Senate sometime later this fall," said Angela Liddle, executive director of the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA). "We consider this an encouraging step toward ultimate passage. We applaud the members of the committee for their action."
PFSA has endorsed Senate Bill 449, which was introduced earlier this year by state Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland and York counties.
Teachers and other school employees are considered mandated reporters and as such have a legal duty to report suspected abuse and neglect. "They need to be trained in order to be able to carry out and fulfill that duty," Liddle said. "This legislation will guarantee they have the knowledge and skills to fulfill their responsibility under the law."
The bill directs the state Department of Public Welfare, in consultation with the state Department of Education, to set up a child abuse recognition and reporting program.
Teachers and other mandated reporters employed by or under contract to schools would be required to undergo a minimum of three hours of training every five years. In addition to teachers, school-employed social workers, guidance counselors, school nurses, and administrators would be covered.
The proposed law would apply to public school districts, intermediate units, vocational-technical schools, charter schools, and private schools.
Pennsylvania officials received more than 24,600 reports of suspected child and student abuse in 2010. According to the state Department of Public Welfare, mandated reporters, the majority of whom are school employees, account for 77 percent of all substantiated reports of abuse in Pennsylvania.
PFSA, a nonprofit organization, provides training on recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect through schools, early childhood education centers, religious institutions, and social service agencies. It trained 8,100 mandated reporters during the past year.
For more information, visit the PFSA Web site at www.pa-fsa.org.
Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance -- Protecting children from abuse, Training for professionals, Support for families, Education for communities
Visit the PFSA website at www.pa-fsa.org
SOURCE PA Family Support Alliance
Book on child abuse to be given away free
FARGO – Throughout today, authors of a new book about child abuse and its prevention will be signing free books.
The 70-page book titled “Authentic Voices” is being released by Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota today in Fargo. It features poetry, rants, lyrics and short stories by North Dakota authors who have survived childhood sexual assault or abuse or have loved ones facing these struggles.
The authors are women and men spanning many generations from across the state.
Authors will be available to sign free books while supplies last at three locations and times:
Noon to 1 p.m.
at the NDSU Bookstore.
4 to 6 p.m.
at Barnes and Noble Booksellers
1201 42 St. SW, Fargo.
at the “Take Back the Night” march
For more information, call (701) 223-9052 or (701) 258-6667. Online, “Authentic Voices” can be found on Facebook.
Fighting child abuse on the front lines
by DeWayne Patterson
September 19, 2011
In 1981, a retired social worker and a licensed physcologist came together for a discussion.
Betty Campbell, the social worker, wanted to start a program to prevent child abuse. She pitched the idea to psychologist Dr. Barbara Jacobs Heath.
That discussion led to the formation of Friends of the Family of Jackson County.
Heath said Campbell, who passed away four years ago, was the founding mother of the foundation, now 30 years old.
"She gets credit for the idea," says Heath. "Betty was the kind of person you couldn't say 'no' to."
The mission of Friends of the Family of Jackson County is the prevention of child abuse and neglect through education.
"Our primary objectives are to define child abuse and to encourage students who may be affected by this to talk to a trusted adult who can help them," said Jeanette Nixon, the school programs coordinator.
Since the beginning, volunteers for Friends of the Family have been presenting child abuse prevention programs annually to 2,700 students in 22 schools in the Scottsboro City and Jackson County School systems.
Programs consist of a puppet show for the second-graders and the showing of DVDs and discussion for third, fifth and eighth-graders.
"Our volunteers can put in as little time or as much as they want," said Nixon.
Nixon said the program is scripted with the main point encouraging students to talk to a trusted adult.
"We believe education is the key to so much," said Heath. "Children grow up to be more sensible adults."
Heath, along with Arlene Grede and Lynn Norwood are original members of Friends of the Family.
"We are the only agency entirely devoted to child abuse prevention," said Heath.
The Board of Directors include chairman Kathy Cook, treasurer Mary Nixon, secretary Ellie Smith, Miriam Roney, Gay Massey, Connie Cotten, Lynn Norwood, Elizabeth Mountain and Arlene Grede.
Friends of the Family will be conducting a back to school training session on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 10 a.m. at the Department of Human Resources, located at 205 Liberty Lane in Scottsboro.
The training will last until 11:30 a.m., when a complimentary lunch will be provided.
"Training objectives will include recruiting new volunteers and updating experienced volunteers with an overview of the school programs for the different grade levels," said Nixon. "Additionally, there will speakers from the Department of Human Resources."
Volunteers can choose the age group they prefer to work with.
For more information or to make reservations for lunch, contact Jeanette Nixon at 256-228-6215.
There is no obligation to participate by attending the meeting, and there is no charge for lunch.
Illinois / Iowa
Child abuse cases are increasing
by Chris Gilson
The QC's Child Abuse Council said cases of child abuse have increased by 5 to 10%. And most involve kids being neglected.
"They live so much in poverty that it's really difficult for them to be able to pay attention to what the children are doing and be able to provide for them," Pam Hauman said.
Pam Hauman of the Child Abuse Council said more kids are witnessing domestic violence, and these days, many rely on a single parent for care.
"We're seeing more and more cases where children are being left home alone because a single parent is trying to work or go to school and there isn't enough money to provide for a day care or a babysitter," she said.
Hauman said it's been tough finding kids a safe place to stay.
"There are more children in care than there are foster parents so there's been a real big movement to identify other family members who are appropriate to care of that child," she said.
But she said this all can be avoided if families just seek help.
"Child abuse and neglect can be prevented and families think that there are doing just fine and they don't need extra help," she said.
Hauman encourages struggling families to contact the Child Abuse Council so parents can take classes to help keep their family strong.
Hauman said if you think a kid is being neglected or physically abused to call the Iowa or Illinois Department of Children and Family services.
Calif. Community Takes Action Against Sex Trafficking
by Denise Tejada
September 19, 2011
In the San Antonio neighborhood in Oakland, Calif., sex trafficking has been a problem since several motels moved into the community decades ago attracting pimps. Last year, All Things Considered and Youth Radio collaborated on an investigative series from young people's point of view that revealed what it's like being sex trafficked and also how police efforts to combat the problem often criminalize young women. Since then, the community has stepped up its response.
Over the past year, parents and advocates in the San Antonio neighborhood became active when they realized pimps were targeting their middle school girls.
" It happens at the bus stops, it happens in front of homes, and it happens in front of schools," says Nhuanh Ly, program coordinator for Banteay Srei, a group that works with neighborhood girls to build self-esteem and teach them how to avoid being recruited by pimps.
School district officials say it's hard to prevent because the pimps just look like regular guys.
"Not too long ago, one of the girls who attends our after-school program called me and she was really, really distraught. She was like, 'Nhuanh! Nhuanh! I can't believe this just happened! A pimp just tried to recruit me and he actually picked me up in his car,' " Ly says.
Every time I see a young girl out there, I see my daughter.
- Andy Nelson, deputy director for organizing and public policy at East Bay Youth Center, who has a 4-year-old daughter
Ly says the average age at which girls get recruited into trafficking in the U.S. is 12. People often think girls end up being trafficked because they were kidnapped. But many times, it can start with a seduction or even a relationship. So Ly encourages families to have frank conversations early about dating and sex.
"Yeah, it's awkward talking to your parents about sex, right? A common response for parents is to try to shut their children away from seeing this. But the reality is that it's so visible and it's so prevalent that we can't do that," she says.
It's so prevalent that families can look outside their windows and see pimps.
Reynaldo and Jody Terrazas raised two girls in this neighborhood. They live a block from the National Lodge motel that the community has been fighting for years, saying pimps run their business from it. From their living room, the Terrazases also have a view of International Boulevard where girls, some barely teenagers, stand on the corners.
"Little girls, you bet," Jody says. "Very skinny. They probably weigh 100 pounds, maybe 115 pounds. Some of them look very confident and bold about what they are doing. And then there are times they look like they are trying to get away, to hide. They don't want to be here."
At the National Lodge motel, you have to be buzzed in. A small women sits behind a thick glass window like a bank teller. She wouldn't answer any questions. Later, Rita Patel answers the phone in the office. She's part of the family that owns the motel.
Jody and Reynaldo Terrazas stand in front of a painting of their oldest daughter. The Terrazases have lived in Oakland's San Antonio neighborhood for more than 40 years and raised two girls there.
"No, we don't accept prostitutes here," she says when asked about neighbors' fears of sexual exploitation of minors. "No we don't."
Andy Nelson, deputy director for organizing and public policy at East Bay Youth Center, says he's pleased that the City of Oakland has officially joined the fight and is suing to shut down the National Lodge motel for allowing prostitution and sexual exploitation of minors.
"Since we started pushing, there were a couple more officers who were assigned here and there is been a lot more willingness to talk to us and to try to work collaboratively ... the concern is, you know, what would happen if we stopped pushing," Nelson says.
That pushing includes marches, rallies, and meetings with the mayor, the City Council and the police. So what's Nelson's motivation to keep pushing? His 4-year-old daughter.
"As she gets older, it's going to be challenging. But every time I see a young girl out there, you know," Nelson says, choking up. "Every time I see a young girl out there, I see my daughter."
Until recently, Nelson says a lot of neighborhood parents felt there was nothing that could be done to stop sex trafficking. He says getting rid of the National Lodge motel is not going to solve the problem, but it would be a big accomplishment.
Nelson and others won't give up the idea that Oakland's San Antonio neighborhood can be a good place to raise kids.
September: DC Human Trafficking Awareness Month
by Cassandra Clifford
No city, state or country is immune to the plague of modern slavery, not even our nation's capital
DC Trafficking Facts:
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) considers Washington, DC one of the top 14 sites in the country for sex trafficking of American children. (FBI, 2005)
- The Department of Justice (DOJ) Task Force members maintain that hundreds of sex and labor trafficking cases in the Washington, DC area remain undiscovered each year.
September is Washington D.C.'s Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the event that was established thanks to the efforts of the D.C. Task Force on Human Trafficking. The Task Force was established in 2004 with the D.C. police department and the U.S. Attorney's office, membership is now open to open to any D.C. metropolitan area law enforcement agency or non-governmental organization involved in anti-trafficking activities.
This month, as the city's activists and abolitionists unite to bring the face of modern slavery and human trafficking to the forefront, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has taken top priority. The hotline was established by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a service funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to provide information and resources to victims of human trafficking, other individuals or organizations seeking information about this phenomenon, and accept tips from individuals wishing to provide information about possible victims. The hotline is administered and run by DC-based Polaris Project.
If you are a victim of trafficking, know a victim of trafficking, or suspect a case of trafficking please contact the Resource Center, call 1-888-373-7888 , or email email@example.com. The toll-free hotline operates year round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Sex offenders banned from parks and playgrounds in La Habra
September 19, 2011 | 8:59 pm
La Habra enacted a law Monday night to ban registered sex offenders from city parks and playgrounds, joining several other jurisdictions in Orange County that have passed or are considering similar ordinances.
The ordinance resulted from a vote last month by the La Habra City Council to create "child safety zones," which are off limits to sex offenders unless they obtain written permission to enter from the city Police Department. Under the new ordinance, sex offenders caught in the zones would face misdemeanor prosecution.
"The city of La Habra took a big step today in protecting children from dangerous, sexually deviant predators," Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said in a statement Monday night.
Similar laws have been enacted by Westminster and Irvine.
The ordinances are modeled after one approved for unincorporated county areas in April by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Hockey mom accused of having sex with son's underage teammates
An Orange County mother of three is accused of having sex with teenage members of her son's youth hockey team.
Kathia Maria Davis, 44, was arrested Wednesday from her Laguna Niguel home on suspicion of unlawful sex with a minor, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said. She was released the same day on $25,000 bail.
Since then, Amormino said, investigators have found evidence of at least one and possibly two more victims. The first victim was under 16 years old when the sexual conduct began, and it allegedly continued for several years. The second victim may have been under 14 years old, and the charge in that case will be lewd acts with a minor, Amormino said. The acts allegedly took place at Davis' home.
Investigators were initially looking into allegations that Davis hosted parties and provided alcohol to the boys, but as the investigation progressed the allegations of sexual conduct surfaced. Amormino said the first victim told his mother, who contacted Davis' ex-husband.
Davis is divorced and has three children. Amormino said he did not believe that her son was aware of what was going on.
Davis has not yet been charged. A phone number listed for her had been disconnected.
SAI -- Female survivors of childhood sexual abuse
Monday - 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
A&M United Methodist Church
Bryan-College Station, Texas
Child Abuse Head Injuries Increased During Recession, Study Finds
Despite earlier reports that child abuse did not increase during the economic recession of 2007 to 2009, a new study finds that at least one measure of abusiveness went up in several areas of the U.S. during that time.
Abusive head trauma (AHT), or head injuries from abuse in children, became more common in three geographic areas in the U.S. during the hard times of the recession compared with the years prior, according to a study published today (Sept. 19) in the journal Pediatrics. The study can't prove that the hard times caused the increased injury rate, but the study researchers found the data troubling.
"The presence of an association between the economy and the AHT rate should be sufficient to spur a discussion of specific stressors," they wrote in their report. Physicians might want to think of recessions as times when abuse is more likely, they wrote, much like doctors would keep a close eye out for red-flag symptoms during a disease outbreak.
Abuse in hard times
Led by Rachel Berger, a professor of pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, the study researchers gathered data on abusive head trauma in children under the age of 5 in three geographic regions: six counties near Seattle, Wash., 23 counties in western Pennsylvania, and 45 counties in Ohio and northern Kentucky.
The counties were chosen because each was served by only one trauma center and each had a trained child abuse protection team made up of the same staff members over the five-and-a-half year study period. Those safeguards ensured that no children in the counties fell through the cracks because they had visited other trauma centers, and also that staff changes in the child abuse team didn't change the way abuse was measured.
Between Jan. 1, 2004, and June 30, 2009, 422 kids in all three regions were diagnosed with abusive head trauma. About three-quarters were under the age of 1. (Abusive head trauma can occur when someone shakes a young baby, rattling the child's brain against his or her skull. AHT can also occur after a child is dropped or hit.)
Alarmingly, the rates of abuse went up when the United States entered an economic recession between Dec. 1, 2007, and June 30, 2009, despite the fact that the demographics of the treated kids didn't change. [Read: The History of Human Aggression]
Before the recession, the researchers found, 8.9 in every 100,000 kids received head trauma from abuse. During the recession, that number rose to 14.7 in every 100,000 kids. Head injuries not caused by abuse remained stable throughout the whole study.
Watching out for child abuse
Although this study can't definitively prove that the recession caused the additional trauma, there is precedent to the theory that economic stress makes child abuse worse. A 1981 study published in the journal Child Development found that abuse went up when unemployment did. Five years later, a study in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect found the same phenomenon.
The current study found no link between local unemployment rates and abusive head trauma, but economic data on unemployment doesn't take into account underemployment or people who have given up on finding work, the researchers wrote. Job loss can mean spending more time with children, raising the risk of abuse, they wrote, and inexperienced caregivers may suddenly find themselves taking care of children full-time.
The results are in contrast to two reports, in 2008 and 2009, by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, which did not detect an increase in child abuse during the recession. Those reports were based on substantiated abuse cases from Child Protective Services (CPS), which may not capture the same level of maltreatment as doctors reporting medical diagnoses in the hospital, Berger and her colleagues wrote. It's also possible that overall abuse fell, but abusive head trauma went up, for unknown reasons.
The researchers argue that their results should be taken as a wake-up call for doctors treating potential child abuse cases in hard times.
"If other regions of the country have seen similar increases," they wrote, "this result would correspond to hundreds, if not thousands, of excess AHT cases."
The research was funded by the Matty Eappen Foundation, a foundation dedicated to preventing abusive head trauma.
125 priests, lay clergy involved in sex abuse case
by Sabir Shah
September 19, 2011
LAHORE: In July 2011, Pope Benedict XVI had publicly expressed his “shame” over the “evils” of clerical child abuse during a visit to Australia, saying he was “deeply sorry” for the abuse of children by predatory priests, and now in September 2011, just two months after the Pontiff's eyebrow-raising statement, a former Aussie priest has been charged with 60 fresh offences relating to sex assaults on boys while he was working at a Sydney boarding school during the 1970s and 80s.
Interestingly, as an in-depth research conducted by The News International on this subject shows, this particular incident has surfaced hardly four months after the Vatican had issued guidelines for bishops worldwide on May 16, 2011, whereby they were directed to develop “clear and coordinated” procedures for dealing with the sexual abuse allegations by May 2012 and cooperate with the police in investigating allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy, though they were asked not make such reporting mandatory. (Reference: The New York Times edition of May 16, 2011).
This is what the Agence France-Presse (AFP) had reported on the latest Sydney incident: “Police would not confirm the identity of the man, saying only that they had arrested a 65-year-old on Tuesday (September 13) in southwestern Sydney and that he has since been released on bail.”
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said the suspect was a former Catholic priest who taught at the prestigious St Stanislaus' College in Bathurst, west of Sydney, in the 1970s and 80s.
The college, according to the Paris-based AFP, had made headlines last month after former students came forward alleging they were molested during late-night prayer sessions.
The AFP had further stated in its afore-cited report: “The former priest has already appeared in Bathurst Local Court in August on 33 other charges relating to sexual assault and gross acts of indecency on juveniles aged between 10 and 18. Reports said his court appearance prompted eight more alleged victims to make further allegations against the former cleric.
A latest September 15, 2011 report carried by the website of Swissinfo, a nine-language news and information platform produced by Switzerland's Public Broadcasting Corporation, the Catholic Church in this touristy Alpine nation has released new details of sexual abuse committed by priests and pastoral workers over the past 60 years.
Swissinfo states: “Overall, 146 victims came forward to report abuse to Swiss dioceses in 2010 - the first year in which detailed statistics have been presented by the church. The abuse was carried out by 125 priests and lay clergy, an expert commission of the Swiss Bishops Conference said on Thursday (September 15). The statistics broke down in more detail who the victims and perpetrators were and when the incidents had taken place since 1950. Abuse ranged from sexual harassment to rape. Most of the victims were teenage boys (25 per cent) and adult men (23 per cent). Another 20 per cent were children aged below 12 years. Half of the incidents were carried out by parish priests and 26 per cent by ordained men.”
The official Swiss website had maintained, “Most of the abuse happened between 1950 and 1980. Ten per cent of cases took place during the past decade. Confirmation of the abuse first came to light more than 16 months ago when the church announced cases reported from January-May 2010.”
Although the Catholic sex abuse cases in nations like Canada, Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Belgium, France, and Germany etc have received significant media attention since the 1980s, after Father Donald Roemer of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles had pleaded guilty to felonious sexual abuse of a minor, most television channels and newspapers on the planet are now using the harshest possible language against the church and the clergy while reporting these incidents.
Had all been well at the Vatican and had the followers of Christianity been happy with their religious leaders, the CNN would not have aired these words in its September 16, 2010 report when the Pope was about to start his visit to Britain: “There has already been widespread outcry over the estimated 12 million pounds ($18.7 million) British taxpayers are having to pay for the visit, though Christopher Patten, the Prime Minister's representative for the papal visit, has pointed out that one day of last year's G-20 summit in London cost 20 million pounds. Criticism has also focused on the armed police squads needed to protect a religious figurehead previously targeted by attackers. Along with anger about the Vatican's response to child and sexual abuse, there is criticism over the pope being granted a state visit, given the Catholic Church's attitudes towards gender equality and homosexuality.”
The CNN had further reported on September 16, 2010: “British people feel overwhelmingly that the Pope has not done enough to punish priests who abuse children. Three out of four British people — and two out of three Catholics in the country — say he should do more to punish the abusive clergy.”
Till date dozens (if not hundreds) of the accused priests have been forced to resign in every nook and cranny of the globe. Many of these priests, whose crimes fell within statutes of limitation, are languishing in jail. Some have been defrocked. (Reference: The New York Times of August 31, 2006).
For example, Bernard Francis Law (born 1931), Cardinal and Archbishop of Boston had resigned after Church documents were revealed which suggested he had covered up sexual abuse committed by priests in his archdiocese. On December 13, 2002, Pope John Paul II had accepted Law's resignation as Archbishop and had posted him to the American Catholic church in Rome. (Reference: The New York Times of May 28, 2004).
Similarly, James Porter (1935-2005) was a Roman Catholic priest who was convicted of molesting 28 children. He had admitted sexually abusing at least 100 children of both sexes over a period of 30 years, starting in the 1960s. (References: The Boston Globe of April 13, 2004 and NBC News Channel report of February 11, 2005).
In 1995 Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer had to resign from his post as Archbishop of Vienna, Austria, over allegations of sexual abuse, although he remained a Cardinal. (Reference: The BBC report of April 14, 1998)
On April 7, 2010, it was revealed that a former bishop of the Norwegian Catholic Church, Georg Muller, had confessed to the police in early January 2010 that he had sexually abused an under-age boy 20 years earlier. Muller was made to step down as a bishop in July 2009. (Reference: Reuters report of April 7, 2010).
Various lawsuits against the custodians of the church have been filed in the United States and Ireland etc till date, whereby plaintiffs have alleged that some priests had sexually abused minors and that their superiors had conspired to conceal and otherwise abet their criminal misconduct.
Some had even accused the incumbent Pope for covering up complaints against his subordinate colleagues.
On 22 April 2010, a lawsuit was filed in the Milwaukee Federal Court by an anonymous plaintiff against the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI for having covered up abuse cases to avoid scandal to the detriment of the concerned children.
In February 2011, two German lawyers initiated charges against Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court.
In 2004, the John Jay Report, commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, had tabulated a total of 4,392 American priests against whom allegations of sexual abuse had been made. (References: The National Catholic Weekly edition of March 22, 2004 and the 2004 Catholic News Service Report titled “John Jay Study Reveals Extent of Abuse Problem”)
The Catholic News Service (CNS) is an American news agency covering the Roman Catholic Church since 1920 and is a leading source of news for Catholic print and broadcast media throughout the world.
A glance through the above-quoted references, particularly the 2004 Catholic News Service Report, shows that the 2004 John Jay Report was based on surveys completed by the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States. It was based on a study of 10,667 allegations against 4,392 priests accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002.
The John Jay report, whose printed version had caught the light of the day in June 2004, had stated that there were approximately 10,667 reported victims (younger than 18 years) of clergy sexual abuse during this period: Around 81 percent of these victims were male. While 22.6 per cent were age 10 or younger, 51 per cent were between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27 per cent were between the ages to 15 to 17 years.
Of these 4,392, approximately 56 per cent had one reported allegation against them; 27 per cent had two or three allegations against them; nearly 14 per cent had four to nine allegations against them; three percent (149 priests) had 10 or more allegations against them. These 149 priests were responsible for almost 3,000 victims, or 27 percent of the allegations. Almost 70 per cent of these priests were ordained before 1970.
In 2009, the former Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Edward Egan, had ignited heated discussions amongst his followers and Catholic Scholars when he said the church should consider ending celibacy rules and allow priests to marry.
The 76-year-old cardinal, who had presided over 2.5 million New York Catholics for at least eight years, had made these comments at the end of his stipulated tenure on March 10, 2009, but it was enough to get tongues wagging about the centuries-old church requirement.
According to the New York Times, the Vatican had signalled in the past that it was a closed issue, despite some indications of a discussion in the 1960s.
However, the last three popes, including Pope Benedict, have killed any discussion of lifting the celibacy rules, the newspaper had reported.
NBC television reported on March 23, 2009: “Cardinal Egan's remarks come at the end of his tenure as New York Archbishop, raising questions about the motivation behind them. Was the conservative Cardinal giving a matter of fact response to a question of church law or was he really a reformer at heart? Regardless of his intent, the timing of these remarks has raised eyebrows. In 2003, 163 priests in the Milwaukee Archdiocese had petitioned the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to consider the idea of lifting the celibacy rules because of the shortage of priests. Their petition was adamantly denied.”
A thorough study of books like “The struggle for Celibacy: the culture of Catholic seminary Life” by Paul Stanosz and “The Power of Abstinence” by Kristine Napier would reveal that Celibacy (state of being unmarried) is viewed differently by the Catholic Church and the various Protestant communities
In the Latin Catholic Church, clerical celibacy is mandated for bishops and, as a general rule, for priests and for deacons who intend to become priests.
In Eastern Christianity, which comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East, celibacy is mandatory for all bishops and for any priest who has been ordained while unmarried or who has lost his wife.
On the other hand, most Protestant churches are known to reject clerical celibacy.
It is common knowledge that in recent past, both Protestants and Catholics have agreed on numerous issues, yet clerical celibacy remains a dividing point between the followers of the two faiths in Christianity.
The Vatican, over the years, has allowed married priests to function by accepting them into the ranks of the Roman Catholic priesthood.
A sharp decline in the number of Catholic priests, the exodus of thousands of pastors who marry and leave the priesthood, coupled with sexual scandals of clerics and the lawsuits being filed against many of them for sexually abusing children in their care, has sparked international debates to eliminate the celibacy requirement for the priesthood and institute the ordination of married priests.
Sacramento march protests sex trafficking
Sep. 19, 2011
Of course, sex slavery is big business in Cambodia, and it's been well documented that desperate foreigners sometimes are forced to sell their flesh for somebody else's profit in the United States.
Add Sacramento's local juvenile justice system, its high schools and its foster care system as repositories for the sex-slavery supply chain, advocates said Sunday at the second Sacramento March Against Slavery that snaked out of Cesar E. Chavez Plaza downtown.
"It appears that the local girls are exploited because of the social and economic issues they have," said Tim Ruiz, a deputy probation officer on the multijurisdictional Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement team who worked as an event organizer Sunday. "They're told they'll have much more prosperous things like modeling jobs or entertainment situations, and then these people remove them from their families and loved ones."
Instead, "they're brought into this sex-trafficking type situation," Ruiz said.
Mary Cavazos, 24, a volunteer who staffed the Courage To Be You information booth, said her group works with girls "coming out of the foster care system," and that "a lot of the girls we get were out of the juvenile hall system."
Joan Jarman is the program director for Chab Dai USA, the anti-trafficking organization that sponsored Sunday's march. She used to be a Folsom Cordova school administrator. She said she saw enough there to shiver her consciousness.
"We were just seeing, especially with the younger, 12- to 16-year-olds, more at risk," she said. "They're leaving home and being in the streets, not being in families with strong parenting skills. They're at higher risk and more potential to fall into the hands of human traffickers."
Mostly girls, a lot of the young people described by Ruiz, Cavazos and Jarman would appear to fall into the category of routine street prostitutes. But the advocates said many of the girls are coerced into the sex business, often-times physically.
"They're victimized," Jarman said. "They're stripped of their own identity. They're tricked. In many cases, you have the pimp who leads the girl on. She falls in love with him; then he's saying, 'Well, I need a little bit of money, do you mind sleeping with him?' Before you know it, they're just like into something they can't get out of."
The gathering attracted about 100 people who marched from Cesar E. Chavez Plaza to the Capitol. A group of girls from Cordova High School's Youth Leadership Council helped lead the way.
"It's pretty serious, being forced to do something like that," said Briana Kelly, 14. "That is very horrible. I wouldn't want anybody to go through that."
Terry Douglas, a 42-year-old minister from the Abundant Life Fellowship, addressed the international component of sex slavery. He said he recently went to Cambodia and focused on reforming young pimps. He considered it a major victory when one told him he'd stop shopping girls under age 18.
"To say 'You have my word,' that was a big start for him," Douglas said.
A muscular 6-foot-3, 295- pounder, Douglas said he persuaded some men taking sex vacations in Cambodia to go home "or something was going to happen to them."
Helping care for imported sex slaves stranded in Sacramento is the focus of Opening Doors Inc., which houses 25 "survivors," said anti-trafficking director Tanya Shannon. She said most live in fear. One, she said, is a 12-year-old boy.
"He felt something would happen to his parents if he didn't do this," Shannon said.
In Sacramento, Ruiz, the probation officer, said men sometimes raise sons to work in the sex slavery business.
"Dad was a pimp, so the son is a pimp," Ruiz said. "They're brought up into this environment to exploit women."
There weren't any women who considered themselves sex slaves available for interviews at Sunday's march. But in a phone interview, one 53-year-old woman who works for one the organizations at the event said her own relatives first turned her out when she was 13.
She worked the streets for 30 years, and definitely considered herself more slave than prostitute.
"I always had somebody with leverage over me," said the woman, who spoke on condition she not be identified. "I was always being controlled."