National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

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NAASCA Highlights

EDITOR'S NOTE: Occasionally we bring you articles from local newspapers, web sites and other sources that constitute but a small percentage of the information available to those who are interested in the issues of child abuse and recovery from it.

We present articles such as this simply as a convenience to our readership ...
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Feature Story Archives - 2012
presentations from a variety of sources dealing with the issues of child abuse
 
Archives from other years:
- 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 -

Here are a few recent stories and feature articles from a variety of sources that are related to the kinds of issues we cover on our 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.

for Jessica's Corner --> CLICK HERE

by Jessica Stevens, co-host of NAASCA's
"Stop Child Abuse Now" (SCAN) talk radio show
 
on-demand --> CLICK HERE

"Stop Child Abuse Now" (SCAN) and
"Community Matters" talk radio shows
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Feature Stories - 2012

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Dept of Justice
------------------
The Defending Childhood Initiative
  DOJ Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence - 56 Recommendations
After working a year, was anything learned? .. will anything be done?

by Bill Murray - OPINION

Dec 12, 2012

It took more than a year to complete, involved four community meetings in Baltimore, Albuquerque, N.M., Miami and Detroit, and resulted in a 162 page report. But was anything learned? And will anything be done?

The DOJ task force report includes 56 recommendations that highlight the importance of identifying children who are victims or witnesses of violence and providing support and services to help them heal.

Woah !!! Really ?? How much time / money have we wasted to come up with THAT conclusion?

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  5th Annual Abused Boys and Men Awareness campaign
Begins Dec 1, 2012 with a Big Benefit Concert in Los Angeles - Join us !!

Los Angeles, CA – The P. Luna Foundation is hosting its annual Male Abuse Awareness Week (MAAW), December 1st through 8th. The holiday season should be a time for joy.

But in many families it is a particularly stressful time, when the abuse of children increases and the old hurts in grown children come to the surface-thanks to disconnections from their families, or family gatherings that are disappointing and full of secrets and conflicts.

This event raises awareness of all forms of child abuse. Inspired by the cause to fight breast cancer, the goal is to make Male Abuse Awareness Week a major cause campaign with help from the mainstream media and society.

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prison sexual assault
a big problem
  Prison Sexual Abuse Survivor Speaks Out
.
by Alan Prendergast

In January 2010, Scott Howard, a 39-year-old federal prisoner, made his way briskly into a hearing room in the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building in Washington, D.C. He was neatly dressed in blazer, slacks and tie, and quite nervous about what he was about to do. He was determined to not think about it too much, to just get it over with – like so much else that he'd been through over the past few years.

The room was teeming with Department of Justice attorneys, law enforcement agents and corrections officials. Not exactly Howard's kind of crowd; he'd tried to tell his story to such people before, only to be labeled a liar and a whiner. But the participants also included members of Congress, medical professionals, prison activists, counselors and sexual-assault survivors.

They'd all come to take part in a “listening session” on the wishfully titled Prison Rape Elimination Act. Passed in 2003, PREA created a national commission to study the causes and costs of sexual assault behind bars and to come up with federal policies to attack the problem.

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Prisoners - raped & assaulted
  State-by-State Prisoner Rape and Sexual Abuse Round-Up

by Matt Clarke and Alex Friedmann

In 2006, Prison Legal News published a cover story, Guards Rape of Prisoners Rampant, No Solution in Sight, that presented a compilation of news reports concerning the rape and sexual abuse of prisoners by prison and jail staff, police officers and other law enforcement officials. [See: PLN, Aug. 2006, p.1].

Three years later PLN ran another cover article, titled Sexual Abuse by Prison and Jail Staff Proves Persistent, Pandemic, which described dozens of reports involving prisoner rape and sexual assault in correctional facilities across the U.S. [See: PLN, May 2009, p.1].

Despite the enactment of the optimistically-named Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) by Congress, the criminalization of sex acts between prisoners and those who guard them, and the adoption of “zero tolerance” policies by many prison and jail systems, the situation has not greatly improved. This is partly because reducing prisoner rape and sexual abuse is simply not a priority for corrections officials.

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Seeking Justice
  Federal Sex Offender Civil Commitment Process Under Fire

by Derek Gilna

Among other provisions, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 allows the federal government to indefinitely detain “sexually dangerous” offenders through a civil commitment process, which requires mandatory court hearings after such offenders have been certified by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as eligible for commitment. The Adam Walsh Act was named for the kidnapped and murdered son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh. [See: PLN, June 1996, p.12].

Under 18 U.S.C. § 4248, the federal government must obtain a “Certification of a Sexually Dangerous Person” before it can proceed in a civil commitment action. Under § 4247(a)(5), a “sexually dangerous person” is defined as one who has engaged or attempted to engage in sexually violent conduct or child molestation, and who is “sexually dangerous to others” or suffers from a serious mental illness, abnormality or disorder, as a result of which he would have “serious difficulty in refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation if released.”

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Jerry Sandusky built a sophisticated grooming operation, outsourcing to child-care professionals the task of locating vulnerable children, all the while playing the role of lovable goofball.
  How child molesters get away with it.

by Malcolm Gladwell
- The New Yorker -

A CRITIC AT LARGE
IN PLAIN VIEW

September 24, 2012

In a 2001 book, “Identifying Child Molesters,” the psychologist Carla van Dam tells the story of a young Canadian elementary-school teacher she calls Jeffrey Clay. Clay taught physical education. He was well liked by his students, and often he asked boys in his class to stay after school, to do homework and help him with chores. One day, just before winter break, three of the boys made a confession to their parents. Mr. Clay had touched them under their pants.

The parents went to the principal. He confronted Clay, who denied everything. The principal knew Clay and was convinced by him. In his mind, what it boiled down to, van Dam writes, “is some wild imaginations and the three boys being really close.”

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Terry Williams
  Terry Williams will die on October 3
His attorneys contest he had a long history of sexual abuse as a child and killed two of his abusers, facts that weren't told to the jury in his trial

by Bill Murray -- Sept. 13, 2012
.
Here's a time sensitive issue that several people asked me to talk about. The bulk of this information, and the original petition itself (inside) are appearing on Change.org ..

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  Homeland Security and Child Pornography

HSI Boston special agents take down child predators

From the Director of ICE

A grim tale began to unfold in November 2010, when our Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and Massachusetts State Police detectives arrested Robert Diduca in Boston, Mass., on child pornography production charges.

He was sentenced to 18 years in prison earlier this summer.

A forensic analysis of his computer led us to a Dutch national who was arrested and charged with production, distribution and possession of child pornography, as well as the sexual assault of 87 minors. From there, further investigation revealed a network of sexual offenders that spanned the globe. To date, more than 140 children have been rescued and 42 perpetrators have been arrested — 12 in the United States and 30 in foreign countries.

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  Led by an innocent into a web of evil

by Jenifer B. McKim Boston Globe Staff
July 29, 2012

The investigators had seen so much, but the image of the toddler clutching a stuffed rabbit floored them. They had to find him, and they did, building a case that led from a Milford man, Robert Diduca . . .. . . to a serial abuser in the Netherlands, Robert Mikelsons, and to child pornography traffickers in 7 countries and counting. It was a vast global network and, unthinkably, just the tip of the iceberg.

As soon as they saw the terrified boy's photo three years ago, federal agents Peter Manning and Gregory Squire had the same thought: we have to save him. The blue-eyed child, about 18 months old, was naked from the waist down and clutching a stuffed rabbit for comfort. There was no doubt he had been sexually abused. But that doesn't begin to describe his suffering.

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Blackmail
art by Mia Meadow
  A Mother's Story

EDITOR'S NOTE: A few years back, one of our members, Kathleen Tell, discovered to her horror that her young daughter, Mia, was being sexually assaulted by the man of the house, Kathleen's own husband. She took steps to protect the child, and to deal with the shame and guilt she felt for having "allowed" such a situation to exist. This mother's journey involved trying to forgive herself for not being more aware and cautious as she raised her daughter, and with earning back her daughter's trust.

As a result of her research and hard work, Ms. Tell produced a number of short written pieces about her discoveries, originally as pamphlets, using art work done by her talented daughter, Mia Meadow, during her own journey of recovery.

We're grateful for the opportunity to re-present these works on our web site. We're sure there are many who will find resonance with "A Mother's Story" and we're grateful to have their experience to offer you.

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1in6.org
  1 in 6 - July / August Newsletter 2012

The mission of 1 in 6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.

by Steve LePore - Founder, Executive Director

Drar Friends:

As we begin the second half of the year, I am keenly aware of the need for, and importance, of our work. Last November as the Penn State story broke, our web traffic increased by over 300% and requests for support (both from individual men and agencies serving men) skyrocketed. Since that time, our web traffic has settled at what we call "a new normal" and we continue to see increased requests for support.

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Overcoming Sexual Victimization of
Boys and Men
  MaleSurvivor Issues Statement at Sandusky Trial
on Centre County, PA Courthouse Steps

June 19, 2012

Bellefonte, PA - My name is Christopher Anderson, I am the Executive Director of MaleSurvivor, and I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. MaleSurvivor is a national organization that provides support and healing resources for male survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones.

MaleSurvivor has been in Bellefonte since the trial began last week to express our support of the heroic victims who have bravely taken the stand in this trial. We hope to ensure that we keep them, and not the defendant, as the real heart of this story.

On behalf of the millions of survivors who cannot hold those who have harmed them legally accountable, I say thank you to each of these heroes.

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  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual being Updated
Still may not include trauma from child abuse


A Call to ACTION -- Developmental Trauma Disorder should be recognized

EDITOR'S NOTE: Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD), dramatically interferes with a child's development has serious ramifications that continue on into adulthood, where its symptoms are often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. DTD typically thwarts normal emotional and social development for decades and manifests in many ways. Millions of adult survivors can attest that DTD should be listed in the new DSM-5 as a disorder that deserves recognition and treatment.

This request for a "Call to Action" is time sensitive, and will be relevant for the next week (through June 15th). One of our NAASCA members, a senior-citizen survivor who's been on her healing journey for several decades, asked that I post the following article for her. She's long been convinced that her recovery has been frustrated by the lack of acknowledgement that many of her adult problems stem from the traumatic experiences she had as a child.

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  Innocence On Trial

OPINION

by Jerome Elam

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2012 — As the trial of Jerry Sandusky begins, I am filled with both hope and fear of what twelve jurors will decide the innocence of a child is worth. Whether justice can erase a lifetime of suffering and restore the invaluable nature of a childhood recklessly vandalized.
The implications of this case have echoed across the country as victims of childhood sexual abuse have broken the silence of a lifetime of suffering. I count myself among this number. As the news of the accusations against Sandusky broke in early November of last year, so did the remnants of a wall that had kept me imprisoned my entire life. A victim of child abuse, the inescapable grip of silence kept my life forever languishing in the hell most survivors endure.

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  Use Sandusky trial to focus on preventing child sexual abuse
urges national organization


June 5, 2012

Northampton, Mass. -- As the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse trial begins, Stop It Now!, a national organization with 20 years of experience talking to people about child sexual abuse, is prepared to talk with adults concerned about child sexual abuse and keeping children safe. Stop It Now! offers the only telephone and email Helpline dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse.

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  Alliance Seeks to Make Child Sexual Abuse Prevention a National Priority

June 4, 2012

PRESS RELEASE

Three national organizations combatting child sexual abuse (CSA) are working diligently in an alliance to support and enhance federal government policies and procedures that will make CSA prevention a national priority.

Darkness to Light, Stop It Now!, and Prevent Child Abuse America have created the CSA Prevention Alliance (Alliance) to introduce a new national standard for CSA prevention and intervention. The Alliance supports federal agencies in finding ways to integrate child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention policies and practices into schools, child/youth-serving organizations, law enforcement agencies and other federally funded programs.

"The Alliance members came together to collaboratively focus our organizational efforts toward a primary goal: children and youth grow up protected from sexual abuse," said Deborah Donovan Rice, Executive Director of Stop It Now! "Abuse is preventable when the best available tools are matched by a strong will to protect, whether at the community level or the federal government level. This is what Alliance members have learned over their 60 years of combined experience."

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"Bully" film poster
  “Bully”: Can Watching This Powerful Movie Make a Difference?

by Irene van der Zande
Executive Director/Founder - Kidpower.org

May 22, 2012

While watching the movie “Bully,” I was deeply saddened by the vivid stories about the suffering, despair, and everlasting grief caused by bullying.

The filmmakers have made an outstanding tool for building awareness and motivating people to feel that bullying is unacceptable.  

This intimate look into the lives of families devastated by the loss of kids who have taken their lives after being bullied, the struggles of kids dealing with bullying, and the frustration of their parents, is profoundly moving.

The lives of the people whose stories are shown will never be the same.

The important question now is: How can we use the greatly increased awareness and motivation that watching the film generates to make a lasting difference?

Because, watching alone is NOT enough.

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Phoebe Prince
Haylee Fentress
Paige Moravetz
  The tragedy of youth suicide: Children searching for hope

May 12, 2012

by Jerome Elam

DALLAS– The loss of a young life whether by accidental or natural circumstance is a tear in the fabric of humanity's immortal soul. In cases of young suicide it is the daily unrequited suffering that drives innocent victims to seek an untimely end.

These are the question millions of parents have asked themselves in the aftermath of their child's suicide and few have come up with the answers.

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  An end to silence: Child sex abuse victims speaking out

November 27, 2011

by Jerome Elam

WASHINGTON , November 26, 2011—The world of college sports had been thrown off balance by recent allegations of sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State University. Sandusky is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with young boys he met through the “Second Mile” charity he founded in 1977, and using the athletic facilities at Penn State as a haven for his abusive actions.

Since the release of the grand jury report on November 4 of this year, a growing list of victims have come forward to speak of their abuse by Sandusky. The most recent accusations have come from one of his own grandchildren.

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  Blackjack With Pedophiles:
Why Gambling on Our Ability to Stop Sex Offenders Isn't the Way to Go

by Dr. Paul Abramson and L.J. Williamson

LA Weekly

Apr. 19 2012

In 2008, a 35-year-old LAUSD teacher got one of his fifth-grade students alone in the classroom at lunchtime, and convinced the 10-year-old boy to masturbate him to orgasm. The teacher continued to molest the boy when other students left the room, including performing oral sex on him, into the following year.

The abuse finally ended during the summer, when the father sought to include the teacher in more family activities, at which point the horrified kid blurted out the truth.

For a pedophile, the first order of business is to gain access to children.

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  TraumaLine1

Matching trauma survivors with mental health professionals

by Bill Murray
May 1, 2012

We get a lot of inquiries about recovery from PTSD and other ongoing symptoms of childhood abuse at NAASCA, and are happy to be able to recommend a new service dedicated to putting trauma survivors and mental health professionals together in Canada and the United States.

For those seeking help, there's no cost to use the service ..

Dr. Anna B. Baranowsky, Ph.D., C.Psych. of the Traumatology Institute in Toronto, Ontario, says, "We recently launched www.traumaline1.com, our Professional Trauma Directory. It is a very exciting project and one that we hope will make a big contribution to both clinicians and those seeking care."

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Justin Berry - 2006
Once seduced in cyberspace,
now he fights against child porn
  Fighting Against Child Pornography on the Internet

Justin Berry - Seduced in Cyberspace

by Bill Murray

Our special guest on our "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk show on Wed, April 18, 2012, 26 year old Justin Berry, of California, was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show in February, 2006.

A once normal, self described "computer nerd" type youngster, Justin began what he thought at the time was a series of "innocent " relationships with online web cam viewers who paid him in money and gifts to expose himself at their request. Over the next few years, Justin built a significant business of these activities (eventually with the assistance of his own father). An investigative reporter found his web sites, and convinced him that he was being exploited.

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Balloons being released - Child abuse survivor R. Carl Hart of St. Louis talked about his own experiences and the
“Just Tell” program. Carl Hart is also,
of course, one of NAASCA's most committed and dedicated volunteers.
  Balloon Release Held in Breese to Remember the Victims of Child Abuse

by Kelly Jo Ross - Breese Journal Reporter

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The importance of community involvement to promote the awareness, education and prevention of child abuse was stressed Sunday as part of a balloon release at Northside Park in Breese.

The balloon release, which kicked off National Child Abuse Awareness Month, was also held to remember the abused children and to launch a community awareness program in Breese.

Hosting the event were child abuse survivor Tricia McKnight of Breese in conjunction with Dreamcatchers for Abused Children and the city of Breese. An estimated 212 children in southcentral Illinois are harmed every day by the cruelty of abuse.

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Monica Harmon
- community volunteer -
LAPD / community volunteer Monica Harmon's Anti-Bullying program for kids
EDITOR'S NOTE: The actions taken by community members can make a BIG difference. Here's an update on our good friend Monica Harmon's ongoing Anti-Bullying Campaign that she's been presenting across Los Angeles in partnership with LAPD.

Students Pledge To Stop
Monica Harmon, a long time LAPD volunteer and Public Safety Advocate has been making presentations on Anti-Bullying at public schools, parks and town hall meetings for about a year now.

These eye opening presentations on ‘Bullying” have caught the attention of the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Unified School District and many community members throughout the City of Los Angeles.

Last month she embarked to Murchison Elementary just outside of Ramona Gardens Housing Projects, where most of the kids who attend this school live. THE VOICE COMMUNITY NEWS attended the school assembly and witnessed eager students begin to file in the auditorium.

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Jerry Sandusky fondled, exposed himself or had sex with boys, eight alleged victims told a grand jury.
  Child abuse shames and silences victims

EDITOR'S NOTE: When I was interviewed for the story that appears below, I remarked to writer Cheryl Wetztein that among the silver linings in the Sandusky case is the simple fact that, because of his notoriety, it might keep the issue of child abuse in the public eye for a while. Similar attention to child sexual abuse had come and gone during previous eras, when allegations against the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts and other well known institutions briefly shocked the public into recognizing and admitting the very existence of childhood sexual abuse in America.

But .. Mr. Sandusky, in my mind, is little more than a run-of-the-mill pedophile ..

We who understand the many issues surrounding the epidemic of child abuse best, especially those of us now in adult recovery from its effects, must use these opportunities to point out that Mr. Sandusky represents the tip of the iceberg, only one of thousands of similar cases going on, all around us, all the time. Barring his celebrity, I said, he appears to me to be a run-of-the-mill pedophile, active for many years with his predilection for sex with youth, a master manipulator who groomed not only the boys he molested and raped but also the community around him.

Ms. Wetztein challenged me, saying my statement that there were 1,000s of similar cases was a bold one .. but I stand behind it.

Sandusky might have been stopped 15 years ago, were it not for the mysterious and as-yet-unresolved disappearance of the prosecutor in the earlier complaints. But the Commonwealth let him go, the local Penn State community supported him, and he was allowed an additional decade and a half of life-long damage to the boys under his tutelage.

This pattern is being repeated over and over and over again every day, 100s of time a day, in every community in our country. Pedophiles deliberately choose careers and volunteer positions that are guaranteed to put them in regular contact with the youth they crave. They come from every walk of life, look like you and me, and typically go to great lengths to ingratiate themselves as the nicest neighbor, the friendliest community member, the most reliable volunteer, the favorite relative or the most generous and unassuming people we know. << more>>

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Pedophiles groom kids AND parents
  Grooming: How Child Molesters Create Willing Victims

EDITOR'S NOTE: It is our experience that the "grooming" a child is only half the story. Many pedophiles are extremely clever, often charming, patient people, frequently thought of as among the most valued of community members. That's because they spend a lot of time grooming the parents, friends and neighbors of the children arond them, just as they groom the kids themselves. It's not unusual for pedophiles to pick careers and / or volunteer positions that will deliberately place them in close proximity to the youngsters they crave. They'll then proceed to impress (or "groom") the adults around them by becoming the most reliable on-call volunteer, the most generous friend, the most giving neighbor or the favorite relative. Their presentation makes them seem to be completely sincere, among the most trustworthy and valuable community members. Parents of molested kids will often be shocked at their own naivety, but pedophiles are as clever as can be in grooming the adults around them, too.

by Laurie A. Gray © 2010

There's an old urban legend that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, he'll naturally hop out; however, if you place a frog in a pot of cool water and gradually increase the heat, you'll end up with a cooked frog. I can't say whether this is true for frogs, but it certainly is true for many children who are sexually molested. The gradual cooking process is known as “grooming,” and the increased heat is the evaporation of physical and emotional boundaries. The Webster's Dictionary definition of “grooming” includes “training for a particular purpose.” For child molesters, that purpose is a sexual relationship.

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  Child abuse at the lake - part 11 in a series:

Introducing Kids' Harbor

by Cara Gerdiman
www.LakeNewsOnline.com

March 26, 2012

Osage Beach, Mo. — Ten years ago, Kids' Harbor, Inc. became a reality for Dr. Samuel "Buddy" Brayfield and a group of concerned citizens who together formed the initial board of directors for the agency.

We started small in a little office space in Camdenton. The services consisted of forensic interviews which are neutral fact finding interviews conducted by a specially trained interviewer, Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations (S.A.F.E.) and Child at Risk Evaluations (C.A.R.E.). We had two full time staff members and seven children were referred for services.

The concept for a Child Advocacy Center was a multi-discipline team approach to the investigation of child abuse.

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Download a free copy of the Kidpower 30-Skill Challenge -
use to teach vital safety skills to children and teens.
  Stop Worrying and Start Taking Action to Prevent Child Abuse

Kidpower 30-Skill Challenge™ E-Book
Available Free for Child Abuse Prevention Month


Kidpower, a nonprofit leader in child abuse and bullying prevention, honors Child Abuse Prevention Month by challenging adults to stop worrying and start taking action to prevent child abuse.

Santa Cruz, CA (PRWEB) March 22, 2012

Kidpower®, the nonprofit leader in "People Safety" education, challenges adults to stop worrying and start taking action to prevent child abuse by teaching simple skills that kids can use to have safe, positive experiences with people.

"Worry can't keep kids safe - but skills can," says Irene van der Zande, executive director and founder of Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International (known as Kidpower for short). "We created the Kidpower 30-Skill Challenge™ teaching tool and are offering it as a free e-book to adults who are willing to take our challenge - to share these powerful safety skills with young people and help them take charge of their safety, increase their confidence and develop healthy, positive relationships."

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Call (or email) the HOTLINE:

1.888.PREVENT
www.stopitnow.org/help-inquiry
  "Stop It Now!"

Together We Can Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Children

by Bill Murray

EDITOR'S NOTE: Deborah Rice, Exec Director of the "Stop It Now!" non profit, appeared as a special guest on our Internet-based "Stop Child Abuse Now" (SCAN) talk radio show on March 19, 2012. Listed as a "recommended show" it can be found in our Archives, available for "on demand" listening.

The programs of Massachusetts based "Stop It Now!" (www.StopItNow.org) work to move beyond just addressing the impact of child sexual abuse to seek out the root causes and identify ways to prevent abuse before a child is harmed. They also address situations where there is a risk for harm or where harm has likely occurred.

As they say:
 
Before a child is harmed…Stop It Now! -- When there's risk for harm…Stop It Now! -- When harm has likely occurred…Stop It Now!

Please also see a sample of a Stop It Now! "TIP SHEET" - Concerned about Sex Offenders in Your Neighborhood?

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Mandatory abuse-reporting laws
All Adults
Teachers, principals
Doctors, nurses
Law enforcement
Social workers
Clergy
Parents
Childcare workers
Recreational groups
Who MUST report ?
See THIS CHART to find out !
  Few penalties for keeping child abuse secret

by Brad Heath, USA TODAY

Dec, 16, 2011

Laws that could punish doctors, teachers and other adults for keeping silent when they suspect a child has been abused have gone largely unenforced over the past decade.

Every state has laws requiring some adults to alert authorities when they suspect a child has been abused or neglected. This chart shows which types of adults are specifically required to report, and whether failing to report abuse is a crime.

Those state laws require people who work closely with children to alert police or child-welfare investigators anytime they so much as suspect a child has been abused.

Yet a USA TODAY examination of police and court records from across the USA found that a combination of infrequent enforcement and small penalties means adults often have little to fear from concealing abuse.

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Thomas Lyon - leader in the field
of interviewing children for abuse
  USC professor at the intersection of children and justice

Thomas Lyon, who holds a rare dual professorship in law and psychology at USC, is a leader in the field of interviewing children for abuse and criminal cases.

by Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times - March 19, 2012

The interview begins on a cheerful note. USC law professor Thomas Lyon asks a 4-year-old to tell him about her last birthday. She says she took ice cream, chocolate and cake, "mixed it up and ate it." Then she shared some with her brothers.

Lyon gently turns to the tragic matter at hand. "Tell me why you came to talk to me; tell me what happened," he asks the child, the only eyewitness to a homicide. At first she mumbles "hmm" a few times and rocks in her chair as Lyon repeats the question.

And then she starts talking about seeing her mother stab the child's great-grandmother in their home. "She was killing her by the bike," the girl says. "I see," Lyon continues. "And how did she kill her?" "With a sharp knife," she says.

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Drew Carrillo
  Drew Carrillo: Arising like a phoenix from a childhood of sexual abuse

by SEAN SALA
SPECIAL TO San Diego Gay & Lesbian News

February 4, 2012

Child sexual abuse is sadly the norm on the evening news these days.

Almost nightly, we hear stories of rape, sexual abuse and even the murder of innocent children, specifically girls, but more and more we are hearing about male victims.

There seems to be an underlying belief system that has developed over time, almost like an epidemic, in the male community.

Those beliefs have been reinforced through the extremism of macho gender codes inflicted on our boys.

The misguided notion is that rape only happens to girls.

In addition, rape is also affiliated with a very male-induced shame; a shame that is clearly associated with being weak, or even gay. For years afterward, the boys (victims) are silent and hide in a shallow dark pool of shame and guilt.

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The ACE Study
  Bomb in the Brain - Death of Reason - Effects of Childhood Abuse

The ACE Study - (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

from KM (sent to NAASCA.org by email)

Here are some helpful sources of insight: www.fdrurl.com/bib where Stefan Molyneux has this YOU TUBE presentation: BOMB IN THE BRAIN - DEATH OF REASON - EFFECTS OF CHILDHOOD ABUSE. He describes the kinds of damage that happen INSIDE the brain when young people are traumatized: amygdala, hippocampus, corpus callosum, and prefrontal cortex.

The "Death of Reason" comes from amygdala damage caused by hormones produced by fear. That fear-hormone-damage blocks energy from reaching the prefrontal cortex, where a calm person is able to reason their way out of a situation. There is also information here about how infants IMPRINT the hormonal conditions of their caretakers, and the baby-brain gets stuck there.

This is similar to what my tai chi teacher told me once: slapping a child's face causes continuous damage in the delicate nervous system of the neck.

Some of this info is mindblowing: for instance, abused boys can lose as much as 25 percent of their corpus callosum , so that they grow up with less attachment abilities. Chronic stress causes permanent damage to the hippocampus, which means less ability to use memory.

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  A Shamanic Perspective Of Abuse, And Its Treatment

March 10, 2012

by Jade Wahoo Grigori

It is well recognized that a person who has suffered abuse will tend in life to either become a perpetrator of further abuse or become self-destructive.

Why? Why would a person who has suffered the emotional horrors of abuse ever afflict another human with such degradation, shock and horror?

The diagnosis provided by psychological examination leaves the question unanswered, admitting that there is no hope of understanding, let alone of cure.

The mental health paradigm holds that the best that can be done for the victims, and perpetrators, of abuse is to help them to contain and maintain their trauma.

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rape - suicide
  What is the relationship between rape and suicide?

Sexual Assault as an Antecedent to Suicide Attempts: A Synopsis From Academic Research

(This article appeared in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS Missouri Chapter Newsletter)

by Lynn C. Tolson, BSW

This article is adapted from research and a presentation conducted by the author at the annual Social Work Institute at Missouri Western State University, Saint Joseph, MO.

The purpose of this article is to discuss the relationship between sexual assault and suicide attempts. Research has focused on sexual assault or suicide attempts but few study sexual assault as a precursor to suicide attempts. Although sexual assault occurs across all classes, races, and ethnic groups, rape is the only crime where women are the majority victims. Furthermore, statistics show that females attempt suicide more often than males. Thus, the trauma of a sexual assault may be a precursor to a suicide attempt.

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a global nonprofit leader in personal safety education
  Kidpower

a global nonprofit leader in personal safety education

by Bill Murray

EDITOR'S NOTE: Kidpower founder, Irene van der Zande, was our special guest on our Internet-based "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio show on March 9, 2012. To listen to the show
CLICK HERE

We feel privileged at NAASCA to be able to recommend non profit efforts like Kidpower, that take a positive, skills-based approach to violence and abuse prevention.

Kidpower describes itself as a non-profit leader in bullying prevention, child abuse prevention, stranger awareness, and personal safety for children, teens, and adults, including those with special needs.

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  The Voice Movement - breaking the silence

March 4, 2012 - by Bill Murray

The VOICE MOVEMENT
Angela K Williams

Atlanta-based "VOICE Today" is breaking the silence and cycle of child sexual abuse worldwide through Awareness , Prevention, and Healing. Child Sexual Abuse is a silent epidemic. As we know, 1 in 4 Girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday, only 1 in 10 will ever tell and 90% of abuse is by someone they know love and trust! There are an estimated 39,000,000 survivors in the US that need a VOICE!
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  He Reports Every Scraped Knee, So Why Not Mention Sexual Abuse by Teacher

February 29, 2012

by Jill Starishevsky

A Mom went to the park this weekend with her six year old twins. She sat on the bench, pulled out her newspaper and within minutes, her little boy came running over to tell her he fell down. With tears in his eyes, the child showed his mom the scrapes on his knee from where he had fallen off the slide. The woman seemed well-prepared to handle the incident. She cleaned it up, kissed the boo boo and within seconds the little boy was off to play again.

I wondered whether it was the reassurance of hearing his mother say "All better," that enabled him to resume his activities. It reminded me that typically, children tell us when they are hurt. My thoughts quickly turned to the situation at the Miramonte School district, the many recent incidents in New York City schools and the factors surrounding the Penn State case. If children are so quick to tell a parent of their minor scrapes, why is it that they often keep silent when they are touched inappropriately?


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CDC Report
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Child Abuse
  CDC Report

New Report Shows the Crippling Cost of Child Abuse

by Karen Worthington

February 27, 2012

This month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report quantifying the costs of child maltreatment in the United States. The report underscores that child maltreatment is a serious public health issue with financial impacts comparable to a stroke and Type 2 diabetes.

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  The Lamplighters - Flashbacks

by Marjorie McKinnon

We plug a movie into our DVD player. Within minutes there's an unexpected, brutal rape scene. Our throat goes dry, our heart starts beating rapidly. We shut it off. For the remainder of our day we struggle to make our minds go blank, to think of something positive, to forget about the movie lingering in our DVD player and most of all to forget the horrors we suffered as a child.

A flashback, an incident that recurs vividly in the mind, inserting itself into our everyday life, is the cross that most victims of child sexual abuse carry throughout their life. Even if we have completed recovery and pronounce ourselves healed, we are still vulnerable to searing memories from our past that slip into our conscious lives unbidden. This is a normal occurrence of anyone who has suffered from a past trauma.

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Queen Underwood
  Seattle boxer Queen Underwood's journey from abused child to Olympic Trials
Reveals a dark family secret and is determined to fight for other child rape victims

New York Times - February 13, 2012

The two sisters shared a bed, and each night, with their hearts hammering, they would listen for the turn of the knob and the push of the door.

Quanitta Underwood was 10, her sister Hazzauna, 12. The walls of the house were thin, and the girls could hear every move their father made. Hear him sit up, hear him get out of bed, hear him walking their way.

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  Child Abuse and Neglect Cost the United States $124 Billion

Rivals cost of other high profile public health problems

from CDC -- February 1, 2012
 
ATLANTA -- The total lifetime estimated financial costs associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect) is approximately $124 billion, according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in Child Abuse and Neglect, The International Journal.

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  A Neglected House

OPINION

by Marjorie McKinnon -- The Lamplighter Movement

A child sexual abuse victim is much like a house that desperately needs repairs. Its foundation, like the soul of a child who has been abused, is cracking and crumbling. It is living on borrowed time. The House has no idea how badly it needs restoration, how it cries out to be REPAIRed. The same is true of someone who has been molested as a child.

The house needs a new roof. A roof protects it from rain and wind and storms, from all of the elements that come in an unexpected manner. In a similar fashion a child who was sexually abused, who has become an adult, cannot trust themselves to meet any emergency, to stay strong when unexpected and bad news enters their life. They do not have the inner fortitude, the confidence, the breadth of foresight and mostly the wisdom to deal with life's travails and adversities.

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  Countering the Criticism of Paterno

EDITOR'S NOTE: by Bill Murray -- By describing the taboo and fears that were shared by Penn State coaches 15 years ago (and by the public ever since), Dr. Ulrich correctly points out what has been one of the major problems in coming to terms with child sexual abuse, the revulsion that makes an individual turn away from such ugliness.

At NAASCA we'd rather spend our time on seeking solutions and answers in the area of prevention, intervention and recovery to this epidemic.

Principal among them is the willingness to talk about these this plainly .. and to not turn away.

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Kathleen Moore
"Army of Angels"
  National Child Abuse Awareness Month (April) 2012
"Army of Angels" sponsors kick-off events and 2 week long cross country motorcycle journey promoting 2012 National Child Abuse Awareness Month (April) 2012

by Bill Murray

Here at NAASCA we're delighted to have the opportunity to cooperate with Kathleen Moore, founder of "Army of Angels" in Sacramento, CA, and to help promote the special events planned to celebrate this years's National Child Abuse Awareness Month (April 2012).

Now in it's 29th year, the month was originally set aside by proclamation in 1983 during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan as a way of raising awareness for the issues of child abuse in America.

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  Mary, A Mother's Story

from The Alicia Project

November 30, 2009

by Mary Kozakiewicz

On New Year's Day in 2002 we had a family dinner. As I was clearing the table before I put the apple pies out for dessert, Alicia said she wasn't feeling well and asked to go upstairs. I said: “Sure, go ahead.” Later, when she didn't respond to my call, I sent her brother up. He said: “She's not in her bedroom.” She was gone just like that.


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Coaches and kids
  Sexual abuse in youth sports: 10 Tips to keep children safe

January 26, 2012

by Jill Starishevsky

Gone are the days when the coach could smack a child's bottom for a job well done...or are they? There is a certain familiarity in youth sports that is inherent and sometimes welcomed. However, with the recent widespread news of sexual abuse occurring on sports teams, how is a parent whose child participates in a sport to keep him or her safe from sexual abuse?

We used to teach children about "stranger danger", but studies have shown that most sexual abuse occurs at the hands of someone known to the child. 93% of all child sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows and the parents trust.

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CA, TX and FL have the most offenders   There are nearly 3/4 of a million registered sex offenders in the US now, a 23% increase in 5 years
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has just released new survey results

by Bill Murray -- January 25, 2012

We're frequently asked about the statistics of child abuse .. how many are abused, how many killed, how many missing, etc .. and we're also asked about perpetrators.

While we'll stress that in most of these categories the numbers used are almost universally considered under-estimates (largely because child abuse is such an under-reported crime) the NCMEC figures are among the most trustworthy.


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  Time for Politicians to Speak Out

by Bill Murray

Fellow child abuse survivor (and crusader for change), Michael Skinner, wrote he'd like to see a politician state how we need to address the health epidemic that ravages our country and the whole world - child abuse in all of its forms - and how it affects both genders. "Silence is the abuser's friend," notes Michael.

Well .. I've found ONE (hey, it's a start!) .. a member of the PA State Legislature, Thomas Murt.

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  ICE HSI Tip Line generates investigative leads on Human Trafficking

from ICE - 24/ 7 you can give a TIP by dialing 866-347-2423 or by simply filling out the new ONLINE FORM

A human smuggling ring was underway in Austin, Texas. The victims were illegal aliens, taken from their home country without their consent. Human smugglers were holding them ransom until family members paid exorbitant smuggling fees. Across the country, a violent MS-13 gang member, who was in the country illegally, was living and working near Silver Spring, Md.

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  Adult Manifestations of Childhood Sexual Abuse
from American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Childhood sexual abuse can be defined as any exposure to sexual acts imposed on children who inherently lack the emotional, maturational, and cognitive development to understand or to consent to such acts. The prevalence of childhood sexual abuse in the United States is unknown. Because of the shame and stigma associated with abuse, many victims never disclose such experiences.

Although there is no single syndrome that is universally present in adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, there is an extensive body of research that documents adverse short and long-term effects of such abuse. To appropriately treat and manage survivors of CSA, it is useful to understand that survivors' symptoms or behavioral sequelae often represent coping strategies employed in response to abnormal, traumatic events.

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  Cultural barriers mire child abuse case
by Michael Kiefer -- Jan. 15, 2012, Arizona Republic News

They were charged with child abuse in fall 2009, months after their 8-year-old daughter was the victim of a gang rape that caused scandal in both Arizona and Africa.

But these Liberian immigrants have been lost in translation ever since, unable to go to trial or enter into a plea agreement because their tribal African language does not have words to describe the American justice system.

It is a requirement of due process that defendants understand the charges against them and be able to assist their attorneys with their defense.


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Penn State announced in
December that it would open a
Center for the Protection of
Children at the university's
Hershey Children's Hospital
  Penn State president faces more irate alumni over abuse scandal

by Jonathan Allen

January 13, 2012

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Penn State President Rodney Erickson faced heated questions for the third time this week on Friday from irate alumni claiming the university was not doing enough to restore its reputation amid a child sex abuse scandal that rocked collegiate sports.

Erickson told about 300 alumni who had gathered at a town hall-style meeting in a Manhattan hotel that he would not allow the university "to be defined by this horrible tragedy."

"We have to take responsibility for this, but we are Penn State and there are lots of Penn Staters who are not responsible in an any way for what happened," he said, responding to a questioner who asked when the university would "stop apologizing" for what happened and move on.

"We need to tell the story about all the wonderful things that happen at Penn State."

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  Child abuse survivor sends large message in Oklahoma

by MICHAEL MCNUTT - January 14, 2012

A child abuse survivor who experienced how silence perpetuated the crime and the pain is using the biggest message board he has to raise awareness and to encourage victims to seek help.

Rodney Timms, president of Western Flyer Xpress, had the illustration of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy's “Protect Kids” child abuse poster wrapped on one of his tractor-trailers. He's parked it in western Oklahoma City alongside Interstate 40, one of the busiest highways in the country.

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It happens. Every day.
In every community.
  Domestic Violence: It's Closer Than You Think
January 12, 2012 - by April Sweazy

Somewhere right this minute a 5 year old is hiding under their bed with their ears covered, humming quietly to drown out the sound of their parents screaming at each other down the hall.

Somewhere right this minute a 10 year old is sitting alone in a dark treehouse, hoping to hide from the anger of a drunken parent who always turns their anger on the only person in the house small enough to not be able to fight back.

It happens. Every day.

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Preview book here
at AMAZON
  Is Our Society Prejudiced Against Children?

EDITOR'S NOTE: This book reflects my position that today's struggle against child abuse is an uphill battle partly because we're pre-disposed socially to think of children as inconsequential, second class citizens. To me it's THE civil rights or human rights issue of our time, protecting the rights of our kids who must come FIRST. They are, after all, America's TRUE treasure.

January 1, 2012

by Claudia M Gold

Tears ran down Elena's cheeks as she described being so overwhelmed and full of rage that she forcefully held her fully clothed 4-year-old son, James, under the shower when he wouldn't go to bed. Later in the same 50-minute visit she revealed that she had suffered years of physical and emotional abuse as a child. As is typical of visits to my behavioral pediatrics practice, she had brought James because he was “defiant.”

“Something must be wrong with him,” was followed by, “Tell me what to do to make him listen.”

James' preschool teachers, who were having trouble managing his behavior, had suggested that he might have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.) They recommended to Elena that medication be considered. They knew nothing of this history. My wish in listening to this story is not to judge, but rather to understand the experience of both mother and child.

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FACSA
Justice. Truth. Accountability.
  Pennsylvania
OPINION


US must deal with child sex-abuse epidemic
January 1, 2012 - by Tammy Lerner
Vice president of the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse Inc.

With the frenzied media coverage surrounding the Penn State and Syracuse University child sex-abuse scandals, one would be hard-pressed to find a soul who doesn't have an opinion on these cases.

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Working Together to Stop Abuse
  The Stop Abuse Campaign
An Introduction - November 2011

by Andrew Willis
Stop Abuse Campaign co-founder and CEO

Welcome to the Stop Abuse Campaign. We’re all affected by abuse and that’s why we all need to be a part of the movement to stop it.

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  An end to silence: Child sex abuse victims speaking out

by Jerome Elam

The Washington Times - Communities

WASHINGTON , November 26, 2011—The world of college sports had been thrown off balance by recent allegations of sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State University.

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