National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

child abuse trauma prevention, intervention & recovery

"News of the Week"
EDITOR'S NOTE: Every day we bring you news articles, opinion pieces, crime stories and official information from government web sites. These are highlights, and constitute the tip of the iceberg .. a small percentage of the daily information available to those who are interested in the issues of child abuse, trauma and recovery. Stay aware. Every extra set of "eyes and ears" and every voice makes a big difference.
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"News of the Week"  

August, 2018 - Week 3
MJ Goyings
Many thanks to our very own "MJ" Goyings, a resident of Ohio,
for her daily research that provides us with the news related material that appears on the LACP & NAASCA web sites.


The week's news is being collected now, and the "News of the Week" is pending. The full week's current articles will be available on Saturday or Sunday, in time for the "Stop Child Abuse Now" (SCAN) talk radio show we do each Monday evening that features OPEN MIKE discussion on the child abuse and trauma related "News of the Week."









Pope Francis breaks silence on Pennsylvania Catholic abuse scandal


A spokesperson for Pope Francis on Thursday broke the Vatican's silence on a grand jury report outlining sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests in Pennsylvania, calling the details in the report “criminal and morally reprehensible."

“The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible,” the spokesperson said, according to media reports. “Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.”

More from The Vatican: “The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible. Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.... there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted
abuse to occur”

— Nikki Battiste (@NikkiBattiste) August 16, 2018

The statement comes two days after the publication of a report identifying more than 300 priests in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania who are alleged to have committed sexual abuse that was then allegedly covered up by the church.

The report, compiled by a grand jury that met for two years, detailed more than 1,000 instances of sexual abuse committed by the priests.

The Vatican had previously not commented on the report.

The report noted that members of the grand jury didn't think they had identified every priest who may have committed sexual abuse.

“We feel certain that many victims never came forward, and that the dioceses did not create written records every single time they heard something about abuse," the report states.

The publication of the report followed the resignation of Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who's been accused of sexually abusing multiple men.

U.S. Catholic bishops on Thursday called for an investigation into the allegations against McCarrick.


Dept of Justice


Former ICE Special Agent Arrested on Federal Civil Rights Charges that Allege He Sexually Assaulted Two Women

RIVERSIDE, California – A former special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was arrested this morning on federal civil rights charges that allege he sexually assaulted one woman and twice raped another woman after abusing his official position to convince them not to report his violent conduct.

John Jacobs Olivas, 43, of Riverside, was arrested this morning without incident by special agents from FBI and ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility.

Olivas, who was arrested pursuant to a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on August 1, was arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court in Riverside. Olivas entered a not guilty plea, was ordered released on a $50,000 bond, and was ordered to stand trial on October 9.

Olivas – who began with his career with ICE in 2007 and resigned in September 2015 after working as an HSI special agent for just over six years – allegedly sexually assaulted the two victims in 2012.

The indictment alleges that Olivas attempted to rape one victim in January 2012 after making it clear to her “that the police would not be responsive to any report she may make about defendant Olivas because of defendant Olivas' position as a federal law enforcement officer.” Olivas allegedly violated the victim's constitutional right to be free from deprivations of liberty without due process, which includes the right to bodily integrity.

The indictment also alleges that Olivas raped another victim in September 2012 and then again in November 2012. Olivas allegedly also made clear to this woman that police would not respond to any report she might make about attacks by Olivas.

Olivas is charged with three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, each of which carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case against Olivas is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Professional Responsibility. Anyone who has information about Olivas' conduct, or who believes they may have been a victim, is encouraged to call the FBI at 855-324-7257.

This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph B. Widman, Chief of the Riverside Branch Office.


Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
(213) 894-6947



301 ‘Predator Priests' Named In Pa. Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report: ‘They Were Raping Little Boys & Girls'

by Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The long-awaited state grand jury report into sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Pittsburgh and Greensburg, has finally been released.

The 1,300-plus page document, two years in the making, shines a light into the dark corners of these dioceses going back seven decades, exposing the predators and the efforts of their bishops to protect them.

The report begins with the following statement:

“We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this. We know some of you have head some of it before. There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale. For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere.”  

The report cites 301 priests, clergy and lay teachers with credible allegations against them. There are close to 90 in the Diocese of Pittsburgh alone.

Because of an on-going legal battle, more than a dozen names and identifying information have been redacted. But the report shows a consistent pattern of bishops having prior knowledge of the actions of these predatory priests, reassigning them and not alerting law enforcement.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said his office is not satisfied with the release of the redacted report. Shapiro said each one of those redactions represents a story of abuse that deserves to be told. He went on to say that he will fight to reveal the names currently redacted in the report.


The report states:

“All victims were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all. The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid scandal.”

“Priests were raping little boys and girls and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing: they hid it all.”

“Diocesan administrators, including the Bishops, had knowledge of this conduct and yet priests were regularly placed in ministry after the Diocese was on notice that a complaint of child sexual abuse had been made. This conduct enabled offenders and endangered the welfare of children.”

In addition, the report says administrators and Bishops “often dissuaded victims from reporting abuse to police, pressured law enforcement to terminate or avoid an investigation, or conducted their own deficient, biased investigations without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities.”

The report includes some priests who stood trial and were convicted of sexual assault. In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, they include: Father Robert Wolk of St. Thomas More in Bethel Park; Father Richard Zula of Saints Mary and Ann in Marianna, Washington County, and Father Richard Dorsch, convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy in North Park.

Until now, the Pittsburgh Diocese had been considered a leader in those reforms since now Cardinal, then bishop, Donald Wuerl defied the Vatican back in 1993 by refusing to reassign pedophile priest Anthony Cipolla. Wuerl was a leader in formulating policies to protect children, but in the report, his record here also comes under fire.


Just last week, current Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik warned the faithful that the report would be graphic and disturbing.

“I'm concerned about our people that they may be scandalized and tempted to turn their backs on God,” Zubik told KDKA.

In a letter read at Sunday mass, Bishop Zubik also said 90 percent of the cases involved incidents that occurred before 1990 and that the church has instituted safeguards and reforms to identify and weed out the abusers. He said no priest or deacon with a credible allegation against them is in active ministry today.

“I really felt it was important, the letter, to get people ready for the report because it's going to be tough, and at the same time, to realize the decisions that the Diocese of Pittsburgh makes today are far different than what would have been made over the course of the last 10, 20 years,” Zubik said.

But while most of the cases are old and the clergy accused are retired or deceased, just two weeks ago Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that Father Tomas Sweeney of the Greensburg Diocese had pled guilty to indecent assault.

“There can be no doubt that Father Sweeney is a predator priest,” Shapiro said.


Parent to child

Quit Raising Your Kids to Act Tough. Teach Them to Be Mentally Strong Instead

There's a big difference between acting tough and being strong.

by Amy Morin -- Author, "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do"

A couple of years ago, a father came into my therapy office with his 9-year-old son and said, "I'm so proud of him for being so strong. He's only cried a few times since Grandma died." Sadly, comments like that from parents aren't that unusual.

Many of them mistakenly believe that a lack of emotion is a sign of strength. But kids who deny their feelings are simply acting tough --which is much different than being mentally strong.

In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I share how to give up the common parenting habits that are robbing kids of mental strength. When parents give up these habits, they can help kids develop the mental strength they need to reach their greatest potential.

Here are five signs you're teaching your kids to act tough, rather than be mentally strong:

1. You encourage them to suppress their emotions.

Every time you say, "Quit crying," or "Stop acting like a baby," you're implying your child's feelings are wrong. Similarly, if you say, "Wow, you didn't even cry when I dropped you off at daycare today! Good job," you send a message that feeling upset is bad.

Mental strength building tip: Label your child's feelings and validate his emotions. Say things like, "I see you're really nervous about your dance recital," or "I know you are sad we can't go to the movies today. I feel sad when I don't get to do things I really want to do too." This will teach your child to name his emotions.

2. You correct their emotions, instead of their behavior.

Kids need consequences for their behavior, not for their emotions. So don't send your child to time-out for being upset. Send him to time-out for screaming loudly and disrupting everyone.

Mental strength building tip: Teach your child the difference between feelings and behavior. Say things like, "It's OK to feel angry but it's not OK to throw things," or "It's OK to feel sad but it's not OK to scream and throw yourself on the floor in the grocery store." Proactively teach your child socially appropriate ways to cope with uncomfortable emotions.

3. You deny their pain.

Saying things like, "That didn't hurt," or "Don't be so nervous. It's not a big deal," minimizes a child's feelings. But kids' pain is real--even if it seems disproportionate to the situation.

Mental strength building tip: Show empathy by saying, "I know you felt really scared today," or "I know this is hard for you to do." Teach your child that she can act contrary to her emotions--like stepping on stage for the spelling bee even when she's anxious. Provide praise for being brave when she chooses to face her fears.

4. You praise successful outcomes only.

While it can be tempting to praise your child for getting the most baskets in the game or getting an 'A' on a test, only praising his achievements will teach him that he must succeed to get approval. Over time, he'll put more energy into hiding his mistakes--rather than learning from them--or he'll refuse to engage in activities where he's likely to fail.  

Mental strength building tip: Praise the things that are within your child's control--like the effort he put into studying or the hustling he did on the field. Make it clear that you notice his hard work and that you're pleased with him when he puts in his best effort.

5. You prevent your kids from failing.

Correcting your child's homework to ensure she doesn't get any answers wrong or delivering her forgotten soccer cleats so she doesn't miss out on practice teaches her that failure must be prevented at all costs. So rather than learn how to bounce back from rejection or disappointment, she'll depend on you to guarantee her success.

Mental strength building tip: Let your kids make mistakes and fail sometimes. Teach them that they're strong enough to bounce back even better than before. Then, they'll have the confidence to take risks and step outside their comfort zones.

Become a Mental Strength Coach for Your Kids

Kids aren't born knowing how to be mentally strong. But, with your guidance and wisdom, you can teach them how to build the mental muscle they'll need to become their best.

If you see signs your kids are acting tough, take a step back and think about what steps you can take to help them become mentally strong. When you give up the bad habits that rob kids of mental strength, you'll give them the confidence and first-hand experiences they need to face life's toughest challenges head-on.


Father teaches som what in means to be 'a man'

10 Things to Teach your Son about True Manhood

In the book Season of Life, Joe Ehrmann says there are three false ideas of masculinity: athletic ability, sexual conquest, and wealth accumulation. Instead, true masculinity is defined by two principles. One is relationships…to love and be loved by your family. The other is to live for a purpose bigger than yourself. Great advice.

So, how are you doing on being a true man? And, are you teaching your son about being a real man? Here are the 10 things you must teach your son about true manhood.

1. Being a gentleman is still worth the effort.

Hold the door. Stand up when a woman leaves or joins the table. Walk on the “splash” side of the sidewalk. Attempt (gently) to pick up the tab. Go get the car when it's raining. Offer your hand. A strong man is a man who gives.

2. At the same time, be respectful.

All the above “gentlemanly” actions must be offered subtly, and – if necessary – set aside graciously when refused.

3. Take responsibility.

True manhood takes responsibility for its actions, choices, values, and beliefs. And – while taking responsibility, manhood is also willing to admit – with grace – when it is wrong.

4. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable.

Real strength allows other people in. Manhood is honest about feelings and not afraid to be known. True manhood never builds a wall where there should be a window or a fortress where there should be a sanctuary.

5. Actually “being” a man is more important than “talking” like one.

Real men don't just stand up and speak up – they “put up” too. Loud talk and tough posturing don't cut it. True manhood involves finding a need and doing something about it. Real men don't complain about social problems, they go out and do something about them. Real men don't point fingers – they work for solutions. Real men get calluses on their hands and not from flapping their lips.

6. Listen respectfully, disagree politely and never exclude women from the conversation.

True manhood is inclusive. It may be strong, but it's unfailingly polite. Men who equate bluster or machismo with strength are typically covering something up.

7. Love is stronger than muscles.

True manhood understands that brute force is less compelling than self-giving love. The best solutions to difficulties involved applied love.

8. The first shall be last.

True manhood puts others first. Jesus is quoted more than once as saying something like this: If you want to be a leader, then the place to be is on your knees, with a towel in your hand, washing someone's feet.

9. Manhood is, sometimes, more about what you could do but didn't than what you could have avoided but did anyway.

There's a lot of restraint – a great deal of “Quiet Strength” in true manhood. Real men tend to always have something in reserve.

10. True manhood is more about giving than about getting.

Our culture often touts a “men see what they want, then they go out and get it” view of manhood. But true manhood is more along the lines of “see what the world needs, then go out and do it.” Strength leveraged for the benefit of others.


Mom raising a daughter

7 Behaviors Someone That Was Unloved As A Child Displays In Their Adult Lives

Early childhood is a period of rapid change in the human brain. The brain builds complex network connections at a very fast rate during early or middle childhood.

A process called myelination, which's the brain neuron formation, is eighty percent complete by age 4.

The brain plays a role in literally everything we do, think, or say. In case a kid is not properly nurtured, it affects their brain development, preventing their emotional networks from being developed.

The connection between the childhood brain's personality characteristics and developmental traits is both universal and indisputable.

A psychologist, Peg Streep, discusses the link between adult and early childhood life. Namely, Streep notes that although everybody's childhood experience is different, there're reliable and broad statements that may be made about the impact of these experiences. Childhood experiences can shape a person's behavior and personality.

Here Are the Signs and Behaviors Someone That Was Neglected and Unloved During Childhood Displays:

1. Oversensitivity

Everyone has probably heard the phrase “Do not take this personally.” In fact, it's solid advice. Those who deal with their own problems usually project them onto other people.

But, for somebody who had the misfortune of growing up in an unloving environment, to not take things personally does go against the grain of their psyche.

2. Insecurity

If the child is misfortunate enough to grow up in a loving home, it's pretty natural to take things personally later in life. People who deal with problems and issues with themselves often project their issues onto others and can't understand that people are sharing their opinions and thoughts about a certain thing and it doesn't mean that they want to hurt them. The person also fears of rejection because as a child, the child felt unloved and insignificant in their parent's lives and in the family.

3. Fear of Failure

Unfortunately, kids that grow up in a neglectful environment may not develop a sense of self-worth. However, a loving and stimulating environment can instill fortitude and confidence.

A kid that's unloved may feel an absence of self-esteem that usually manifests as an unjustifiable sense of failure.

4. Poor Emotional Intelligence

A child learns what she's feeling through dyadic interaction; a mother's gestures and words teach the baby to self-soothe when she's stressed or uncomfortable. Later, the mother will play a key role in helping her daughter articulate her feelings, name them, and learn to manage her fears and negative emotions.

The insecurely attached daughter doesn't learn to regulate her emotions; she's either engulfed by them or walled off from them. Both insecure styles of attachments get in the way of naming emotions and using them to inform thought—key aspects of emotional intelligence.

5. Trust Issues

It's essential that the people that are surrounding the child are stable and show and live loyalty and trust. In the mind of the baby, everything programs itself what it sees and feels, the mind remembers through pictures and symbols. Without a stabilized surrounding, the child will have difficulties with trusting other, and more importantly, trusting itself.

6. Anxiety and Depression

Unloved kids usually develop mental health problems.

Anxiety and depression that stem from having experienced neglect or the inevitable complications that surface when the kid ages are common mental health problems.

7. Toxic Relationships

We all seek out the familiar (see the shared root with the word family?) which is just dandy if you have a secure base, and definitely less than optimal if you're an unloved daughter. The chances are good that, initially at least, you'll be attracted to those who treat you as your mother did—a familiar comfort zone that offers no comfort. Until you begin to recognize the ways in which you were wounded in childhood, the chances are good that you'll continue to recreate the emotional atmosphere you grew up with in your adult relationships.


See also:

If You Are A Daughter Of An Unloving Mother, Mourn The Mother You Deserved

Recovering from a childhood without love and support is not easy. One way to recover is to mourn the mother you needed and deserved but never had. It is very important to understand that everyone deserves a good mother and love.

Sadly, some people think that they did not deserve that kind of love, they believe they are worthless and unlovable. A period of mourning the mother you deserved to have is very important.

Some may say that the woman who did not give you love and support deserves your love, and when she is close to death, you should go and have that famous “closure.” But, at that moment, you ask why didn't she love you.

When your mother passes away, you mourn not over her, but over the mother, you wanted and needed to have.

Mourning is Hard

When you finally realize what kind of a woman she is, you realize that she will never be the mom you deserve to have. If you decide to stand on your own feet, she may become even worse, and you may lose contact.

Grieving a mother is hindered by feeling unworthy, unloved, and the core conflict. The conflict is between relationship a daughter had with her mom and her need for maternal support and love in adulthood.

This internal battle may continue for a very long time, and may even cause pain and the daughter may keep finding excuses of the behavior of her mother while she is waiting to gain her love and affection.

Some daughters feel afraid to cut off their mothers because they may feel more pain if the mother passes away. They believe that maybe their mothers may change.

The Stages of Loss

D. Kessler and E. Kübler-Ross are authors of the book “On Grief and Grieving.” In this book, they explain the five stages of loss. However, it does not mean that everyone would experience the same stages. So, what happens after a loss?

1. Denial

“I couldn't believe that a mother would choose to do this to her own child. How could she not love me?”

After a great loss, denial helps us pace the absorption of reality. This is the reason why a daughter may need a lot of time to accept that her mother will never change.

2. Anger

“I was angry for a very long time. Angry for her attitude, what we could have had. But most of all angry at her for her choice that she would rather feel RIGHT than have a relationship with me. She would choose to give it up for the sake of her screwed-up narcissistic self. This is what pissed me off the most.”

Anger is the second stage. After a death of a beloved, we tend to be angry at people, supernatural forces, the healthcare system, and so on. So, daughters in grief may be angry at their mothers even at family members.

Why family members? They may be angry at them because they did not protect them and did not see the toxic treatment earlier.

3. Bargaining

“I don't think I had this stage. There were ‘if only' feelings, but you can't bargain with a person like her. It just won't work.”

During this stage, a person feels that if they had done something, the situation would not be as it is. Daughters tend to change their behavior and please their mothers in order to change them.

And, while daughters are in grief, they may stop bargaining because they begin accepting that they cannot make their mothers love them.

4. Depression

“This stage has lasted decades. When the person is still alive, I think you always have this deep-down hope of reconciliation. Maybe she'll come around. Maybe on her deathbed, she will have an epiphany of some kind and realize what she's done. A last moment of clarity and confession. Don't hold your breath. It's been hard on me to see my friends and their moms who have great relationships. You think, ‘Why didn't I get that? I deserve that too, dammit!'”

It is normal to feel extreme sadness after a loss. And, the authors of the book say that depression is a way to keep us safe from shutting down the nervous system.

Also, it is normal to feel sad and sometimes depressed if you have had an unloving mother. The feeling of “the only one in the world who wasn't loved” is a feeling of isolation. This is a result of the well-known myth “every mother is loving.”

5. Acceptance

“I don't know whether I will ever have this stage fully until she's gone. One of the ways I have dealt with it is to be the very best mom I can be to my own children. They know all the family history. They get it and understand why I did what I did.”

This is the final stage which does not mean that everything is okay. It is about accepting that you have lost someone and learning to live with it. During this stage, we learn how to get back our lives.

The mourner begins forming new relationships and connections. So, that is why it is important for daughters to mourn the mothers they deserved.

To mourn the mother you deserved means to grieve that you did not have the mother that loved you, supported you, was proud of you for all your success, and everything that loving mothers do.