POLITICS IN THE NEWS
Christine Blasey Ford Wants F.B.I. to Investigate Kavanaugh Before She Testifies
Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, has said he will testify at a Senate hearing scheduled for Monday.
by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Nicholas Fandos and Peter Baker
WASHINGTON — The woman who has accused President Trump's Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault threw into doubt plans for an extraordinary Senate hearing to air her accusations, charging on Tuesday that some senators have already made up their minds and insisting that the F.B.I. investigate first.
Speaking through her lawyers, Christine Blasey Ford did not explicitly rule out appearing next Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify along with Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. But echoing Senate Democrats, she said an investigation should be “the first step” before she is put “on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident.”
Republicans are unlikely to negotiate an alternative date and could go ahead with the hearing without her or cancel it altogether if Dr. Blasey refuses to appear and move quickly to a vote on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination. They have repeatedly stressed that Monday would be her opportunity to testify, either privately or publicly, and that they then planned to move forward with the confirmation process. They have also rejected the possibility of an F.B.I. investigation.
The apparent standoff was yet another turn in a high-stakes drama that has gripped the Capitol since Thursday, when the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee revealed that she had referred the sexual assault allegations to federal investigators. Dr. Blasey, a research psychologist in Northern California, has accused the judge of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago when both were teenagers, a charge that Judge Kavanaugh has categorically denied.
“If she does not come on Monday, we are going to move on and vote on Wednesday,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a member of the committee, told Fox News on Tuesday evening
RELIGION IN THE NEWS
Shapiro: ‘The Vatican had knowledge of the cover-up'
by Liz Navratil
HARRISBURG — Vatican officials knew of efforts to cover up sexual abuse by priests in Pennsylvania, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Tuesday morning during appearances on two national news shows.
"We have evidence that the Vatican had knowledge of the cover-up," Shapiro said on NBC's Today. He said later in the interview that he "can't speak specifically to Pope Francis" knowing.
Shapiro reiterated those comments during a later interview with the Inquirer and Daily News. Shapiro said he was referring to portions of the grand jury report where diocesan officials contacted the Vatican about troublesome priests, often in an effort to get them removed from ministry.
There are a couple of dozen references to the Vatican in the grand jury report, along with the attached responses from people criticized in the document.
Many of those mentions concerned requests from Pennsylvania church officials to the Vatican that an abusive priest be removed from the priesthood following an allegation of sexual abuse or rape. Procedurally, the pope has to decide to remove a priest.
The report notes that the grand jury reviewed copies of some of those requests in the course of its two-year investigation. "Often called 'The Acts' of the subject priest, the summaries were often the most detailed documents within diocesan records and contained decades of long-held secrets only disclosed in an effort finally to remove an offending priest from the priesthood," according to the report.
It was not clear how much detail those summaries included about the six dioceses' prior responses to the allegations.
Shapiro would not elaborate beyond the report, saying grand jury secrecy prevented him from providing more detail about the evidence his office has involving those communications between the dioceses and the Vatican.
Multiple church leaders in their own responses to the report denied a cover-up. Some noted that the process for defrocking a priest is lengthy and that in some instances, bishops suspended priests from active ministry while the requests were pending. Among those who have criticized the report's fairness is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, currently archbishop of Washington and previously bishop of Pittsburgh.
Shapiro, during a separate interview on CBS This Morning, said, "I believe that statements made by bishops in Pennsylvania, by Cardinal Wuerl specifically, to deny this does further the cover-up. It covers up the cover-up."
The remarks came days after a former Vatican ambassador to the United States asserted that Francis knew of abuse accusations against former Washington Archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick long before his resignation this summer.
A redacted version of the grand jury report was released to the public this month. The grand jury found that more than 1,000 children were raped or otherwise sexually abused by 301 "predator priests" over 70 years. The report covered six of the state's eight Roman Catholic dioceses and called for changes to state law.
POLITICS IN THE NEWS
House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on child custody
Pennsylvania House Democrats listened to family members and child advocates express concerns about how high-conflict custody decisions in an effort to preserve parental contact can end up harming children.
To advocates like Danielle Pollack, the Pennsylvania family court system often protects the rights of parents more than the children caught in the middle of acrimonious custody battles.
As an ambassador for CHILD USA, a Philadelphia-based child abuse prevention think tank, Pollack has heard hysterical children pleading not to be taken to a court-ordered visit with a parent who allegedly abused them. She has listened to desperate parents who believe family court judges do not take their claims of physical, mental or sexual abuse — or the potential for such abuse — against their children seriously.
"It's hard to relay this if you haven't experienced it," Pollack told nine members of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee at a hearing Monday on child custody issues in Middletown.
Pollack was one of eight people — including a parent and grandparent — who testified about experiences with the family court system in contentious child custody cases. At least two bills in the House Judiciary Committee propose changes to the state's child custody law, which underwent a major overhaul in 2010. One of the bill's authors, Rep. Tina Davis, D-141, of Bristol Township, organized the hearing to get expert input before updating her 2015 legislation, which she plans to re-introduce next year.
Multiple advocates testified to the "undue weight" family court judges, and even custody professionals, give to "highly biased" and unscientific theories of so-called "parental alienation syndrome." Parental alienation syndrome is a term coined to describe children who are psychologically manipulated by one parent into showing fear or hostility toward another parent.
It is frequently used as a successful defense in custody cases when one parent alleges abuse, child advocates testified.
Pollack and other advocates urged lawmakers to include mandatory training in family dynamics and recognizing "red flags" of child abuse for family court judges and other professionals.
Bucks County family law attorney Meg Groff, a legal advisor for A Woman's Place, the county's domestic violence program, noted that there is no current state requirement that custody evaluators — typically mental health professionals the court brings in to advise in contested custody cases — have education or training in recognizing domestic violence. She added that often judges and custody evaluators don't want to believe that a parent could pose a danger to their child.
During an 18-month custody battle, Kathryn Sherlock told lawmakers Monday that she repeatedly told Bucks County family court Judge Jeffrey Trauger that the father of her 7-year-old daughter, Kayden Mancuso, was a potential danger. Kayden's father, Jeffrey Mancuso, killed the child during a court-ordered overnight visit six weeks ago, before killing himself.
Sherlock added that court-ordered evaluations found Jeffrey Mancuso had a history of violent, harassing and erratic behavior against Sherlock and others.
"They were ignored," Sherlock said. "His rights as a parent superseded her right to live."
There were no allegations he abused Kayden, according to court documents.
A court evaluator recommended Mancuso be allowed unsupervised visitation with Kayden "contingent" on his getting mental health treatment. Court transcripts show during a hearing that Mancuso agreed to this, but the final custody order, issued in May, did not require the treatment.
Kayden was the 647th child involved in a custody dispute murdered in the U.S. since 2008, Sherlock said.
"One is too many," she added. "We have to do better. This was 100 percent preventable
SCIENCE IN THE NEWS
Is separating parents from children child abuse?
"We know that separating parents from children is not a great idea, But science tells us this is actually child abuse, because we're impacting the development of their brains," says Colleen Kraft,
President of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Kraft described the shelter as relatively "homey" compared to the cages in other detentions centers intended to house older children and adults, but also eerily silent. Whereas one might expect to see toddlers rambunctious and loud, these 15 children sat hushed, save for one girl who sobbed uncontrollably. Staff could try to console the children, Kraft said, but were not allowed to pick them up or hold them.
"You could see what none of us in that room could give them, their parents," said Kraft, one of four child health and human rights experts who gathered at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on Monday for a panel discussion titled, "Separated: Children at the Border, a Health and Human Rights Perspective."
The discussion—moderated by Josh Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at the Bloomberg School, sought to advance the discussion of the short- and long-term impacts of the current U.S. immigration policy and to look toward alternatives. The public health and legal impacts, the panelists said, are far from resolved and could have negative ramifications that last years.
In June, Bloomberg School Dean Ellen MacKenzie, Sharfstein, and other faculty members co-authored a public statement asserting that the harsh treatment of children at the border will affect their health and lives for many years to come. The trauma to parents, they wrote, is also devastating, and the lasting consequences to thousands of families will be profound. These family separations violate the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the authors stated that the Bloomberg School stood with organizations working to reverse the policy.
Kraft said the children she saw at the tender age shelter were clear victims of what is called toxic stress. When faced with periods of stress, humans respond with an increase in hormones such as cortisol, the so-called fight or flight chemicals in the brain, and reduced serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters in the brain. The presence of a parent and caregiver, Kraft said, helps modulate these stress hormones and increases the brain's resiliency. When these hormones are unbuffered, they can cause disruptions in brain synapses, which can keep the child from developing speech and language, fine motor function, and social and emotional bonds.
"We saw firsthand that, without their parents, this toxic stress was impacting their brain and brain development," says Kraft, co-author of the book Managing Chronic Health Conditions in Child Care and Schools. "We know that separating parents from children is not a great idea, but science tells us this is actually child abuse, because we're impacting the development of their brains."
The younger the child and the longer the separation, Kraft said, the greater the trauma and long-term mental health effects, even after a child is reunited with their parents.
"This means kids coming back to their parents are actually different kids," she said. In essence, the clock is ticking on the welfare of these children.
Although President Donald Trump signed an executive order in June halting the separations, nearly 200 children still have not been reunited with their families. In some cases, U.S. border officials failed to reunite children with their families promptly after parents were released, and some adults were deported without their children. In addition to those children who haven't been reunited with their families, there are an estimated 12,800 migrant children—mostly teenagers who crossed the border alone—detained by the U.S. government in more than 100 shelters across the country.
The panelists emphasized that detention shelters are near capacity, and that any additional surge in migrant populations could overwhelm the system. Already, they said, there is not enough food and water at some facilities, or sanitary conditions.
George Escobar, chief of programs and services at CASA de Maryland, discussed how we got to this point and the role of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in implementing and creating the current immigration enforcement policy. The changes made to policies of the Department of Justice, Esocbar said, cannot be easily undone.
"These changes will have long-term effects, even post a Trump administration, and we have to be smart about reversing policy," he said.
He gave the example of arrests of immigrants, even those with no criminal backgrounds, who are then placed into an already backlogged court system. The present system, Escobar says, makes it increasingly difficult for immigrants to win their cases, as they don't have a right to public counsel and judges are being given quotas to close out a certain number of cases each year, often resulting in deportation.
Instead, state and local governments could help fund legal representation programs that give these asylum seekers a fighting chance of winning their cases, Escobar said.
"It's important for you to know that this family separation policy doesn't exist in isolation, but that it's part of a larger system that is being put in place that doesn't automatically go away when one person in the White House leaves office," he said. "They will live long after these individuals, and we must help create a fair system where we can all access justice in the same way."
Paul Spiegel, director of the Bloomberg School's Center for Humanitarian Health, said that more needs to be done to promote the positive impact of immigration and to counter the backlash of xenophobia that is on the rise in the U.S. and across Europe. He said the subject of immigration is inherently political, and that people in public health need to consider both sides of the coin.
"There are many people across the divide, Democrats and Republicans and Independents, who recognize these children's rights and want to do right by them," he said. "We need to hear from a broad division of people and sentiments, and understand their views, if we wish to counter these negative effects that could last for generations."
In her closing statement, Kraft shared a letter she received from a fifth-grader this summer: "Dear President of the American Academy of Pediatrics," it reads. "I think the world needs you now, especially the children. They have done nothing wrong. They are probably in jail because they are immigrants, but that doesn't mean they should be treated differently. Be the change you want to see in the world."
Kraft paused and smiled after she read the short note. "If that can come from a fifth-grader, that same sentiment should also come from our national leaders."
RELIGION IN THE NEWS
Nuns among 12 arrested over historical abuse at orphanage in Scotland
Eleven women and one man have been held as part of an investigation into the Lanark home, where 11,600 children were raised.
by Lucia Binding
Nuns are among 12 people who have been arrested over alleged historical abuse at an orphanage in Scotland, police have said.
Eleven women and one man - aged between 62 and 85 - have been held as part of an investigation into the Smyllum Park home in Lanark, Police Scotland said.
The orphanage was opened in 1864 and was run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, a society for women within the Catholic Church.
Over the years it housed 11,600 children aged between one and 14 years old, including those who were blind or deaf-mute. It closed in 1981.
The bodies of at least 400 children were discovered in a mass grave just a three-minute drive away from the care home in 2003.
Former residents spoke about their experiences of the orphanage at Scotland's child abuse inquiry earlier this year.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Twelve people, eleven women and one man, ages ranging from 62 to 85 years, have been arrested and charged in connection with the non-recent abuse of children.
"All are subject of reports to Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal. A further four individuals will be reported today.
"Enquiries are continuing, it would be inappropriate to comment further."
Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor added: "Investigating child abuse offences is highly complex and every care is taken to ensure that enquiries are proportionate, appropriate and that victims' needs are central to our investigations."
Former residents Frank Docherty and Jim Kane previously uncovered the burial plot in an unmarked section of St Mary's Cemetery as they campaigned to expose the alleged physical abuse at the orphanage.
A year later, they were told that children had been buried in 158 compartments in the graveyard by its founder, Daughters of Charity.
A third of the children who died were aged five or under - with records showing that most of the children had died of diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis and pleurisy.
Mr Docherty and Mr Kane later accused the nuns of "incomplete records
Detective Taylor urged anyone who has been a victim of the abuse to report it to Police Scotland.
"We will listen and we will take action regardless of when or where the abuse occurred," she added
EDUCATION IN THE NEWS
Teen Librarian Toolbox
#MeToo .. the movement
Over recent weeks, a wide variety of discussion has been happening about sexual violence, harassment, and assault. These are important conversations that have wide reaching implications. Make no mistake, these things are also happening in the lives of our teens. With the discussion there has been a lot of sharing online with the hashtag #MeToo. This hashtag was begun years ago and became very active again in the past couple of weeks.
Many librarians are bringing this topic into their libraries by sharing book displays of titles that deal with the topic of sexual violence with a simple sign that says “#MeToo”. I think this is a relevant and important display for our teens. This IS a topic that they deal with, it is also a conversation that is happening right now. Our teens are online, plugged in and connected; they are very aware of the conversations and engaging in their own ways. We need to be relevant to our teens, which means we need to make sure that we are responding and putting up these types of displays.
Some librarians have responded that they would not be allowed to put up a display of this nature because it is too political, but this is not about politics – this is about teens and their lives, the lives they live and the topics that they talk about. By the time they reach the age of 18, 1 in 4 or 5 will be the victims of sexual violence. And almost no female will graduate high school without experiencing some form of sexual harassment.
My teenage daughter has already dealt with this on multiple occasions and it is a topic that we talk about often as I try and help her navigate how to stand up for herself and demand safety and respect. By the time they graduate high school almost all of our teen girls will be able to share their own #MeToo stories, and this is unacceptable
RELIGION IN THE NEWS
Pope speaks of shame over 'appalling crimes' of child abuse in Catholic Church
Pope Francis has spoken during his visit to Ireland of his shame over the "appalling crimes" of historic child abuse in the Catholic Church and said outrage was justified.
However, he failed to specifically mention the current scandal raging over a US grand jury report documenting at least 1,000 cases of clerical pedophilia.
Speaking to a hall in Dublin Castle packed with hundreds of political and religious dignitaries and foreign diplomats, Pope Francis said on Saturday "the failure of ecclesiastical authorities -- bishops, religious superiors, priests and others -- adequately to address these appalling crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community. I myself share those sentiments."
Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who spoke before the Pope, did not skirt the current abuse revelations and called for "zero tolerance" of Church sexual abuse and asked the Pope "to adopt stringent norms meant to ensure that they do not happen again."
It is the first Papal visit to Ireland in 39 years, a country that has undergone seismic social changes in that time.
"Wounds are still open and there is much to be done to bring about justice and truth and healing for victims and survivors. Holy Father, I ask that you use your office and influence to ensure that this is done here in Ireland and across the world," Varadkar said standing next to the pontiff. "We must now ensure that from words flow actions," he said.
The Argentinian Pope remains highly popular in Ireland and tens of thousands of people are expected at Dublin's Croke Park stadium Saturday evening for a concert-style event.
Hundreds of thousands more will attend a Mass celebrated by the Pope at the city's Phoenix Park on Sunday afternoon, with all 500,000 tickets for the free event booked out.
However, Pope Francis is also expected to face unprecedented protests over the Catholic Church's handling of the clerical abuse scandal. One, dubbed "Stand for Truth," will take place at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin's Parnell Square at the same time as the Mass is celebrated.
Too Late Too Bad
Let adult survivors of child sexual abuse report crime': Woman takes fight to Maneka
Poornima Govindarajulu observes that the legal potential for an adult survivor to report child sexual abuse is marred by the attitude of “too late, too bad”.
Poornima with Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi.
I was sexually abused by my cousin's husband when I was a little girl.
I would wake up at night to find him sitting next to me in the dark. He would put his hands and mouth on my private parts. I would lie there, terrified and disgusted.
I was so ashamed and confused that I told no one about the abuse. It continued till I turned 13.
It was only as an adult that I realized what had happened to me. I also realized that I was not alone.
These are words that would resonate with more Indians than we'd like to admit. After all, one in every two children has been sexually abused as a child. Many are also able to process what happened with them years after the abuse.
Purnima Govindarajulu is one such survivor. The above lines are from her online petition which urges “the Government of India to allow adult survivors to file complaints about childhood abuse.” This she says would prevent repeat offenders from committing crimes against children in the future.
She and DMK's Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, a supporter of Purnima's petition, met Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi in Delhi on Monday regarding the issue.
“She (Maneka Gandhi) agreed that it was an important issue and needed to be worked on. She also said that while it would probably take some time to initiate legal change, but she would try her very best,” Purnima tells TNM.
Despite Section 19 of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act making the reporting of child sexual abuse (CSA) mandatory for anyone who has an apprehension of such an act being committed, Poornima observes that the legal potential for an adult survivor to report child sexual abuse is marred by the attitude of “too late, too bad”.
Purnima argues that as a child, even if you understand that you are being abused, you have very little power. And if the abuser is known to you, even less so. “It's unrealistic to expect young children to walk to a police station and file a complaint about abuse,” she says in her petition.
“But today, as an adult, the power is balanced. I am financially independent, and have people who support me, and resources to go after him legally. I had none of that as a child,” Purnima tells TNM. “I should have support and legal means to stop my molester from potentially continuing his offences on other children,” she adds in her petition.
Purnima is, therefore, petitioning to the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as well as WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi to either issue a clarification or amend relevant laws, including POCSO, to enable adult survivors of child sexual abuse to bring their abusers to book.
Originally from Chennai and now a working biologist based in Canada, Purnima wanted to do something in this regard after a visit back home in 2013. She saw children still going to her abuser's home, who is still based in Chennai.
While she didn't know whether he was inflicting the same scars on them as he did on her, she realised she could no longer let the man victimize other children – a cousin had already confirmed that she had been abused by the same man earlier.
“I had told my family about the abuse 25 years ago,” the 53-year-old says, “But I didn't see any change. My abuser went on with his life.”
Purnima began to look for a lawyer who could help her file a complaint against her abuser, which took a long time. In August 2016 finally, Purnima, along with a renowned lawyer in Chennai, approached the police. “The police commended me for coming forward to lodge a complaint. They told me that I was one of the very few who did. And of those who do file complaints against their abusers, many end up withdrawing them eventually because of administrative hurdles,” she says.
Even so, Purnima writes in her petition, the police “did not know of a law or legal route that they could use to allow an adult survivor to file a complaint about childhood abuse.”
A troubled Purnima consulted psychologists and realised that abusers like her relative often repeat their abusive behaviour towards new victims. Determined to not let other children go through what she did, Purnima started the petition.
She has received a mixed response from her family after taking this up. “Some of them are very supportive. Others would rather that I did not speak about this publicly, because they feel it would hurt my abuser's family.” After a pause, Purnima asserts, “But no. There's only one criminal here. It's not me.”
Taking this step after making a whole new life for herself was hard. Having moved to Canada in 1986, Purnima agrees that it would have been too easy to not revisit her old scars and keep moving forward. “But life has been good to me - I am able to take a stand publicly today. Many others don't have that. Sometimes fate gives you an opportunity to make a difference. And though it's hard, it's important. Because these child abusers won't stop. We have to ensure that no more children fall prey to them,” she says.
BOY SCOUTS IN THE NEWS
Jury trial has been scheduled for Boy Scout leaders
Five former Boy Scouts are suing the national Scouts organization, the local Northeast Georgia Council of Scouts, three Athens churches and the estate of a former Athens Scout leader for what they consider a "pervasive and systematic cover-up by Defendants to reveal the identities of Boy Scout leaders accused of sexually abusing Boy Scouts."
Defendants, including Beech Haven Baptist Church, Green Acres Baptist Church and First Baptist Church, knew of the activities of the late Ernest Boland, but never informed authorities and allowed Boland to continue as a Scout leader even after his sexual abuse of young boys was reported to the organizations, according to five separate lawsuits filed last week in Athens-Clarke County Superior Court.
The lawsuits are a renewal of legal actions brought last year by four men against the same defendants. The lawyer for the men, however, asked a judge to dismiss that lawsuit without prejudice in February, leaving open the option of renewing the lawsuit later, which Atlanta lawyer Darren Penn now has done.
Penn dismissed the earlier lawsuit partly in hopes that the Georgia Legislature would approve a bill that would extend the time limit in which victims of childhood sexual abuse can file lawsuits for damages against sexual predators. The bill easily passed in both houses, but effectively was killed by the state Senate Judiciary Committee, which didn't allow a vote until it was too late in the session to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions of the bill.
Under current state law, most of those victims can't sue due to the statute of limitations.
Boland was a Scout leader at the three churches between 1950 and 1977. He died in 2013, shortly after the Scouts released his name and thousands of others under court order.
Some of the defendants allegedly knew as early as 1955 of accusations against Boland, who at one time won the Scouts Silver Beaver award given to "Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council," according to the lawsuits.
Research shows that victims of childhood sexual abuse often experience what one of the Athens plaintiffs did, according to legal documents filed last week in Athens-Clarke County Superior Court. The abuse left the now-adult victim "mentally incapable of speaking about the abuse or processing his experience for decades."
The legal basis of the lawsuits filed this month is that a conspiracy of the Scouts and the churches continues to pose a public nuisance and continues to put youngsters involved in Scouting at risk.
Besides monetary damages, the former Boy Scouts are also asking that the court order the release of names of those "credibly accused" of molesting Scouts since 1991.
The national Boy Scouts organization has kept so-called "Red Flag files" of incidents or accusations of child molestation by volunteers since 1920. Many were destroyed in the 1970s, but in 2012, a judge ordered the release of some of the lists not destroyed in the 1970s.
But the Scouts have refused to allow the public to see records dated after 1991, according to the lawsuits
Childhood Trauma And Its Lifelong Health Effects More Prevalent Among Minorities
by TARA HAELLE
When researchers first discovered a link in the late 1990s between childhood adversity and chronic health problems later in life, the real revelation was how common those experiences were across all socioeconomic groups.
But the first major study to focus on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) was limited to a single healthcare system in San Diego. A study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics — the largest nationally representative study to date on ACEs — confirms that these experiences are universal, yet highlights some disparities among socioeconomic groups. People with low-income and educational attainment, people of color and people who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual had significantly higher chance of having experienced adversity in childhood.
To Head Off Trauma's Legacy, Start Young
The study finds three out of five adults across the U.S. had at least one adverse experience in their childhood, such as divorce, a parent's death, physical or emotional abuse, or a family member's incarceration or substance abuse problem. A quarter of adults have at least three such experiences in childhood, which – according to other research — increases their risk for most common chronic diseases, from heart disease and cancer to depression and substance abuse.
"This is the first study of this kind that allows us to talk about adverse childhood experience as a public health problem in the same way we talk about obesity or hypertension or any other highly prevalent population risk factor," says Adam Schickedanz, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, who was not involved in the research. "Up until now, we haven't really had a study that takes a national look."
The study researchers, led by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researcher Melissa T. Merrick, analyzed data from 214,157 adults in 23 states between 2011 and 2014. The participants answered 11 questions about whether they'd experienced what have now become well recognized as ACEs: parental separation or divorce, child abuse (physical, emotional and sexual), domestic violence and living with someone who has been incarcerated or has a mental illness or a substance use disorder.
Nearly 62 percent of respondents had at least one ACE and a quarter reported three or more. The remaining respondents had at least two ACEs, including 16 percent with four or more such experiences.
Those identifying as black or Latino and those with less than a high school education or an annual income below $15,000 were more likely to have more ACEs. But a relatively new finding was that multiracial and gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals carried the greatest burden.
Multiracial participants reported roughly 2.5 ACEs, and bisexual adults reported 3.1, both the highest scores reported. Women, younger adults, unemployed people and those unable to work also tended to have higher scores.
But Schickedanz cautions that, while the disparities are real, it's important to recognize how common these experiences are among all people, including white and middle class families.
"This [study] shows that ACEs affect people from all walks of life everywhere," he says.
The link between trauma and health
The original ACE study, published in 1998, analyzed data from more than 9,000 primarily middle class adults in the San Diego area, starting in 1995-1997. Its publication opened people's eyes to how common adverse experiences are even among children in seemingly more privileged homes. Nearly 40 percent of participants had at least a college degree, and 75 percent were white.
More than a quarter of those original participants reported physical abuse in childhood, and one in five reported sexual abuse. And the study identified the link between adverse childhood experiences and poor physical and mental health decades later.
Since that study, an increasing number of states have begun collecting data on ACEs with the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the database used by the new study's researchers. All states use the system, and 32 states since 2009 have collected ACEs data.
The CDC tracks the many ACE-related studies published on a website section specifically about ACEs. Studies have linked a greater number of ACEs with greater risk of heart disease, cancer, bone fractures and chronic lung or liver diseases, diabetes and stroke. Those with the most ACEs, four to six or more, tend to have higher rates of mental illness.
Scientists have just begun understanding the social and biological mechanisms that might explain how highly stressful experiences in childhood could translate to greater risks for heart disease or diabetes. One way has to do with the stress response itself: the body produces and releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline while increasing blood sugar and blood pressure — all of which help with the body's need for fight or flight.
But chronic stress means chronically high levels of these substances, which isn't healthy in the long term. Consistently high blood sugar, for example, increases the risk of diabetes, and high blood pressure is linked to heart disease.
Opportunities for intervention
This new study suggests a need to target prevention resources where they can help most, says Jack Shonkoff, a professor of child health and development at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This also requires identifying what makes some people more susceptible than others to the effects of adversity.
"Nobody is immune to adverse experiences in childhood but for some population groups, they're a larger burden of childhood adversity than others," he says. "We need to focus on targeting limited resources to the people at greatest risk and making sure those resources go into programs that reduce or mitigate adversity."
Doing that will require developing tools to screen for people's sensitivity to adversity, he says. He also notes that ACEs alone don't account for health disparities. Genetics play a key role in health outcomes as well, he explains.
"Environmental risk factors are only part of the story. You can't separate genetics from environment," Shonkoff says.
To address the consequences of childhood adversity, it will be important to develop programs that help children learn healthy coping mechanisms and strengthen families and communities overall, says Andrew Garner, a clinical professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.
"Our objective is not to put kids in a bubble but teach kids how to deal with adversity in a healthy manner," Garner says. "If parents are in survival mode, their kids are in survival mode too, and they're not going to learn as well and learn coping mechanisms. Those poor coping mechanisms are what we think links adversity to poor health outcomes."
For example, youth who cope by using drugs, alcohol, sex or other risky behaviors are increasing their risk of substance abuse problems, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, all of which increase risk of other chronic diseases later on.
Garner and Schickedanz both pointed to increasing levels of social isolation documented by other researchers as a substantial likely contributor to the health outcomes linked to ACEs.
"If you look the very highest risk group, it's bisexuals, and we know they may feel isolated. The second highest is multiracial people who may not necessary feel they belong in any particular group," Garner says. "We know from biology that it's really bad to be socially isolated and we're seeing that disparities in adversity are mirrored in health outcomes later on."
But Garner emphasizes that an ACE score is "not destiny." In addition to social programs that address underlying income and racial disparities, it's vital to teach kids resilience.
"Resilience reflects using skills, and the beauty of that is that skills can be learned, taught, modeled, practiced and reinforced, and kids learn better when they're in relationships," he says. "We need to do better job of primary prevention by focusing on emotional learning and promoting safe, stable, nurturing relationships
What to know about complex PTSD
by Jayne Leonard Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder is closely related to post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a handbook often used by psychiatrists and psychologists, does not currently acknowledge "complex post-traumatic stress disorder" as a separate condition. Some doctors will, however, diagnose it.
A person diagnosed with the condition may experience additional symptoms to those that define post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person experiences a traumatic event.
A doctor may diagnose complex PTSD if a person has experienced prolonged or repeated trauma over a period of months or years.
In this article, we explore what complex PTSD is and describe associated symptoms and behaviors. We also look at treatment options and the recovery process.
Complex PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder.
PTSD is generally related to a single event, while complex PTSD is related to a series of events, or one prolonged event.
Symptoms of PTSD can arise after a traumatic episode, such as a car collision, an earthquake, or sexual assault.
PTSD affects 7–8 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. Symptoms may result from changes in some regions of the brain that deal with emotion, memory, and reasoning. Affected areas may include the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex.
The symptoms of complex PTSD can be more enduring and extreme than those of PTSD.
Some mental health professionals have started to distinguish between the two conditions, despite the lack of guidance from the DSM-5.
A doctor may diagnose complex PTSD when a person has experienced trauma on an ongoing basis.
Most frequently, this trauma involves long-term physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
The following are some examples of trauma that can cause complex PTSD:
experiencing childhood neglect
experiencing other types of abuse early in life
experiencing domestic abuse
experiencing human trafficking
being a prisoner of war
living in a region affected by war
Is complex PTSD a separate condition?
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) identifies complex PTSD as a separate condition, though the DSM-5 currently does not.
Complex PTSD is a relatively recent concept. Because of its variable nature, healthcare professionals may instead diagnose another condition. They may be especially likely to diagnose borderline personality disorder (BPD).
Some researchers have identified areas of substantial overlap between complex PTSD and BPD.
However, the conditions may also have differences. Authors of a study from 2014 reported that, for example, people with complex PTSD had consistently negative self-conceptions, while people with BPD had self-conceptions that were unstable and changing.
People with complex PTSD may experience difficulties with relationships. They tend to avoid others and may feel a lack of connection.
BPD can cause a person to swing between idealizing and undervaluing others, resulting in relationship difficulties.
It is possible for a person with BPD to also experience complex PTSD, and the combination may result in additional symptoms.
A person with complex PTSD may experience symptoms in addition to those that characterize PTSD.
Common symptoms of PTSD and complex PTSD include:
reliving the trauma through flashbacks and nightmares
avoiding situations that remind them of the trauma
dizziness or nausea when remembering the trauma
hyperarousal, which means being in a continual state of high alert
the belief that the world is a dangerous place
a loss of trust in the self or others
difficulty sleeping or concentrating
being startled by loud noises
People with PTSD or complex PTSD may also experience:
A negative self-view. Complex PTSD can cause a person to view themselves negatively and feel helpless, guilty, or ashamed. They often consider themselves to be different from other people.
Changes in beliefs and worldview. People with either condition may hold a negative view of the world and the people in it or lose faith in previously held beliefs.
Emotional regulation difficulties. These conditions can cause people to lose control over their emotions. They may experience intense anger or sadness or have thoughts of suicide.
Relationship issues. Relationships may suffer due to difficulties trusting and interacting, and because of a negative self-view. A person with either condition may develop unhealthy relationships because they are what the person has known in the past.
Detachment from the trauma. A person may dissociate, which means feeling detached from emotions or physical sensations. Some people completely forget the trauma.
Preoccupation with an abuser. It is not uncommon to fixate on the abuser, the relationship with the abuser, or getting revenge for the abuse.
Symptoms of complex PTSD can vary, and they may change over time.
People with the condition may also experience symptoms that are not listed above.
People with PTSD or complex PTSD may exhibit certain behaviors in an attempt to manage their symptoms. Examples of such behaviors include:
abusing alcohol or drugs
avoiding unpleasant situations by becoming "people-pleasers"
lashing out at minor criticisms
These behaviors can develop as a way to deal with or forget about trauma and emotional pain. Often, a person develops them during the period of trauma.
Once the trauma is no longer ongoing, a person may begin to heal and reduce their reliance on these behaviors. Or, the behaviors may persist and even worsen with the passage of time.
Friends and family of people with complex PTSD should be aware that these types of behaviors may represent coping mechanisms and attempts to gain some control over emotions.
To recover from PTSD or complex PTSD, a person can seek treatment and learn to replace these behaviors with ones that are more positive and constructive.
Treatment options for complex PTSD include psychotherapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and medication.
Group therapy counseling session.
Individual or group therapy may help treat complex PTSD.
Psychotherapy may take place on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting.
Initially, therapy will focus on stabilizing the person so that they can:
address their feelings, including distrust and negative worldviews
improve their connections with others
deal adaptively with flashbacks and anxiety
The therapist may use certain types of trauma-focused therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).
CBT focuses on replacing negative thought patterns with more positive ones.
DBT helps people to deal with stress, self-harm urges, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
EMDR is a technique that may help people with PTSD or complex PTSD.
After preparation and practice, the therapist will ask the person to recall the traumatic memory. The therapist will move a finger from side to side, and the person will follow the movement with their eyes.
When effective, this process helps to desensitize the person to the trauma so that they can eventually recall the memory without having a strong adverse reaction to it.
EMDR is controversial because the exact mechanism by which it works is unclear.
However, several guidelines, including those of the American Psychological Association, recommend EMDR as a treatment for PTSD under certain conditions.
They caution that confirming the effectiveness of EMDR for trauma will require more research.
Some medications for depression may reduce the symptoms of complex PTSD. These medicines may be especially effective in combination with psychotherapy.
A person may take the medication for the short or long term, depending on the severity of their symptoms and the effectiveness of therapy.
A doctor may prescribe one of the following antidepressants for complex PTSD:
Living with complex PTSD
Having complex PTSD can be frightening. It can cause feelings of alienation and isolation.
People living with complex PTSD can seek support from organizations that understand the condition.
The National Center for PTSD
Out of the Storm
PTSD Foundation of America
It may also help to attend a support group, either in person or online, to connect with others who are going through similar experiences.
Complex PTSD can cause people to lose trust in others, and it is essential that people try to engage in everyday activities. This can be a key step for people working toward leading healthy, balanced lives.
These activities may include:
finding a job
making new friends
socializing with old friends, if these relationships were healthy
taking up a hobby
One goal of treatment is to attempt to develop or recapture feelings of trust in others and the world.
This can take time, but participating in healthy relationships with family and friends is a positive step.
Recovery and outlook
Recovering from complex PTSD takes time.
For some people, the condition poses lifelong challenges. However, with therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes, people can manage their symptoms and enjoy a good quality of life.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Childhood trauma brings its own health problems for foster families
by Jenny Rough
“Raise your hand if you think every child deserves a loving home,” the social worker said.
She held up a photo of five brothers and sisters, all teenagers.
I glanced around the room and tried to read the eyes of other potential foster-care parents at the information session. A dozen couples and a handful of singles ranging in age from late 20s to mid-50s sat in the conference room of a private nonprofit agency in Maryland that handles foster placements. Did they feel as uncertain as I did?
People often say they can't be a foster parent because it would be too painful to grow close to a child only to say goodbye. But with more than 430,000 kids in foster care in the United States and a decline in the number of available beds in licensed foster homes, according to the Chronicle of Social Change, I wondered whether the real reason for the shortage of foster parents stems from the unspoken fear I harbored: concern about the health and behavioral challenges of kids who had experienced trauma.
Not only do kids suffer trauma from the circumstances that led to foster care in the first place, but they also experience the grief of being separated from their primary attachment, says Chrissy Levine, a social worker with the Department of Community and Human Services in Alexandria, Va.
“Even when the abuse and neglect is bad, that's what their normal looks like, so when you take them away from their primary attachment, that to them is the most traumatic thing,” she says.
The back-and-forth system of reuniting families, separating them again or moving among foster homes further traumatizes the children, adds Anne Moody. In her book “The Children Money Can Buy,” she chronicles her observations of the foster and adoption system based on her career as a social worker and adoption counselor.
Neither the abuse nor the number of different placements is the child's fault. Kids often flourish when placed “in a committed, nurturing home that keeps them connected to their birth families,” Levine says. But it doesn't change the fact that caring for a child who has been through severe trauma can be intimidating.
Foster kids are six times as likely as other children to have behavioral problems, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.
The types of issues will “range all over the place, depending on the kid and what happened to them previously,” says Nathan Fox, director of the Child Development Laboratory at the University of Maryland. Some kids show anxiety and depression. Others might be openly uncooperative or physically aggressive. Many struggle with impulse control.
“Kids who experience abuse or neglect have behavioral problems which are ultimately associated with the development of psychiatric problems,” Fox says.
“They will be continually worried not only about themselves but about their parents and siblings. And they will be exhausted from all this emotion,” Moody adds.
Research conducted by Harvard Medical School, the University of Michigan and Casey Family Programs found that former foster kids developed post-traumatic stress disorder at almost twice the rate of combat veterans. And research by Bruce Perry, a senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, has shown that a chaotic childhood or abusive caregiving can disrupt brain development in multiple and complex ways.
“These abnormalities in brain development may result in a persisting or abnormally over-reactive flight-or-flight response that can include attention problems, and oppositional and defiant behaviors,” he says. Or the child may develop a dissociative response that can contribute to detachment and withdrawal.
Physical health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, have also been linked to children who experience early abuse, says Fox, “but it takes longer for the physical health consequences to emerge.”
The information meeting I attended in Maryland occurred nine years ago. I was 35 and had assumed I'd be a mom. But I developed endometriosis. Treatment didn't help, so when my husband and I saw an announcement about foster care on a fertility association's website, we decided to check it out. If motherhood wasn't in my future, I wanted to at least explore mothering-type roles.
“Teens and sibling groups,” the social worker holding the photo of five said. “That's our biggest need.”
I gave my husband big eyes to see if he thought this whole idea was crazy. He didn't. Nothing scared him — not even unruly teenagers.
“Fostering teenagers can be challenging,” the social worker continued. “They'll test boundaries. For example, they might steal your car in the middle of the night.”
I felt uneasy — until I remembered I'd done the same thing to my parents as a teenager.
“Younger kids will act out, too,” she said. “Recently, a couple took in a 7-year-old. She set the bathroom rug on fire.”
Fire? As in combustion, smoke and flames? That sounded bad. Then again, my brother set the backyard trees on fire when he was 8.
“It's not unheard of for a foster child to falsely accuse a foster parent of sexual abuse,” the social worker continued. “Child Protective Services may be required by law to open a case against you if that happens. Try not to let it rattle you.”
By the end of the meeting, I sprinted to the parking lot.
The social worker hadn't minced words. She wanted prospective foster parents to understand the challenges of living with a traumatized child. “The last thing [child welfare] workers want is to place children with families who didn't understand what they were taking on,” Moody says. Many people will self-select out of the process.
On the one hand, misbehavior by a foster child might simply be a kid being a kid, or normal teenage rebellion. When biological children act out, it's handled within the family. But when it happens with foster kids, it's a different story.
“Because of the stigma, these kids make a bad decision and the foster parent says, ‘I can't handle this; they need to leave my home,'” Levine says.
On the other hand, behavioral problems with foster kids often aren't the same as with those who were raised in nurturing environments. “It's not behavior that happens once or twice. It's chronic behavior that puts themselves and other people in danger,” Fox says.
One key in addressing the health and behavioral issues, in addition to providing a stable, nurturing environment for as long as possible, is to understand the root cause of the behavior, Levine says.
“Sensory issues can look like defiance, but it's not. A kid might act out because they're missing their mom or dad. A phone call with Mom or Dad can help a kid cope with regulating their big feelings,” Levine says. “Foster parents can educate themselves on positive discipline techniques that address the behavior and the root cause.”
The social worker assured us we would develop a real relationship with a child and that the size of a problem on paper can look more challenging than it actually is. Still, I was wary about taking on foster kids and didn't feel equipped to handle it.
Over time, my life didn't feel empty from a lack of children or child-care responsibilities. It felt full with meaningful relationships and work I loved. Yet my thoughts occasionally returned to foster parenting, especially when I heard news stories about babies being born hooked on heroin or of children who were taken from parents who abandoned or neglected them. The reports kept bringing my attention to the crisis in our country.
A lawyer friend of mine once said that when he learned of the plight of incarcerated youth, he thought: “Somebody needs to do something about this problem. It's not going to be me.” Until one day he realized, yes, it was. Today, his work focuses on improving the criminal justice system for young people.
Serita Cox, founder of iFoster, a nationwide online community of 45,000 members that provides resources to children in foster care, dedicates her life to helping foster families. Cox says she has witnessed tremendous improvements in the behavior of foster kids when they receive opportunities that other kids normally have, such as the chance to take guitar lessons or attend summer camp. iFoster partners with Microsoft to provide foster kids with laptops, works with a nonprofit group called Smiles Change Lives so kids can get braces for their teeth, and arranges scholarships for after-school activities such as gymnastics and equine therapy.
“Kids need to feel loved, they need to feel safe and supported, and they need the stuff that other kids get the opportunity to do, like get glasses or go to the movies,” Cox says.
There is a big debate about how to best handle kids who have been cared for inappropriately. Ideally, “we would pour resources into helping families who are in danger of separation due to factors such as homelessness, substance abuse, mental-health concerns or poverty before the children are removed from the home instead of after,” Moody says. Yet ultimately, as she concludes in her book, “the real world is full of children who need to be safe and loved right now, and they should not be asked to put their lives on hold while we wait for a perfect world.”
Moody's book turned out to be the game-changer for me. It opened my eyes to the hard truths of foster care without making me despair. After I read it, I walked away with an important understanding: Being a foster parent is hard, but being a foster child is much harder.
This past spring, my husband and I signed up for foster-care training. In class, we learned about all sorts of difficult situations we might face: how to handle a repeat runaway; what to do if an 11-year-old girl acts out by having sex with boys from school; what to do if a child, removed from a home because of a hoarding situation, brings in bed bugs.
I don't yet have all the answers, but I do have some: If you can't talk the child out of leaving, let the runaway go, then call 911; address the safety and self-esteem issues of early sex with the child's social worker and therapist; bug control is a phone call away. I'm gaining confidence I'll learn what I need to learn. Receiving proper training helps, foster parent support groups exist, and iFoster has a hotline. Still, there are times in class when I hear about behavioral issues and the fear creeps back.
“Lock up your prized possessions,” the social worker once warned.
Those are the moments I glance at the door. My running shoes are on my feet. And I wonder whether the most difficult decision isn't going to be anything like how to handle a teenager who wets the bed or a 9-year-old who slashes furniture with a knife. The most difficult decision is the one I face right then: the decision to stay.
SPANKING IN THE NEWS
Spanking sounds benign but it is harmful to children
by ROBERT MAUNDER OPINION JONATHAN HUNTER
Shockingly, in Canada, the kids are not all right. A study this month shows Canada's children have high rates of suicide, child abuse and infant mortality.
One out of every three or four children experience physical or sexual abuse, which leads to mental illness, addiction and suicide for too many.
“Hitting sounds benign when we call it spanking, but it is harmful. Harsh physical punishment of a child without any other maltreatment increases his or her risk of mental illness and addiction throughout life,” write Robert Maunder and Jonathan Hunter.
Worse than that, harmful experiences go far beyond obvious types of abuse. Witnessing family violence, parents who are too depressed or intoxicated to provide the best care, hunger, being insulted or threatened by adults — each of these adds to the health risks that children face.
These types of harm and others are called adverse childhood experiences or ACEs. They are a critical public health problem because the risk grows: the more ACEs, the more likely a child will have health problems. And because the risk persists: ACEs cause illness throughout life.
Forty per cent of adult mental illness can be attributed to ACEs. The effect of ACEs on heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases and cancer is large and largely unrecognized. ACEs shorten life.
Right now, Canada has an opportunity to reduce these harms. We can start to change how we think about hitting children.
Bill S-206, which would repeal the exception in our assault laws for teachers and parents who use force as a means of correction, has passed second reading. It has been endorsed by the Canadian Medical Association and would allow Canada to fulfil its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Spanking is just one part of a very large problem with ACEs. When we consider the size of the public health challenge caused by childhood adversity, enacting Bill S-206 is a small step.
However, as the University of Manitoba's Dr. Tracie Afifi and her colleagues have shown, even experiencing “just” the mildest category of physical abuse increases the risk of mental illness.
Hitting sounds benign when we call it spanking, but it is harmful. Harsh physical punishment of a child without any other maltreatment increases his or her risk of mental illness and addiction throughout life. It also contributes to aggression and problems with cognitive and social development. The benefits of spanking are also clear; there aren't any.
Quite simply, hitting a child is never justified.
Of course, courts won't be clogged with parents charged with spanking offences if S-206 passes. It would be a mostly symbolic statement that assault laws exist because hitting people is usually dangerous and wrong, and that it does not become less dangerous or wrong when it is a parent or a teacher who is hitting a child.
We should be appalled at Canada's rates of childhood adversity and its consequences. Bill S-206 is an opportunity to take meaningful action.
Drs. Maunder and Hunter are psychiatrists at Sinai Health System and the University of Toronto and authors of “Love, Fear and Health: How Our Attachments to Others Shape Health and Health Care
Childhood abuse may increase chances of cardiovascular disease in adulthood
Lack of a loving, supportive environment during childhood causes chronic stress which leads to disturbance of the child's hormonal balance.
New Delhi -- People who have been emotionally and/or physically abused during childhood are known to have a higher risk of developing psychological problems, addictions, and poor interpersonal skills.
As a result, these people struggle both professionally in their careers and personally in their relationships. Adverse childhood experiences include neglect, abuse (emotional, physical, and sexual), familial violence, parental separation or divorce.
A lack of a loving, supportive environment during childhood causes chronic stress which also leads to a disturbance of the normal hormonal balance of the child. This may lead to changes in the body over many years, and manifest later during adulthood as a physical illness.
"Traditionally, the health care system has blamed factors such as a poor diet, drug use, or a sedentary lifestyle as the root cause of conditions such as a raised blood pressure, blood sugar or heart disease. However, studies have shown that the likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, is nearly doubled in people who have faced adverse conditions during childhood," said Dr (Maj) Manish Mannan Head of Department, Pediatrics & Neonatology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.
Anxiety and Stress Could Lead to a Weak Heart
"Due to the unparalleled competition we have put our children into; it is not surprising to find them in perpetual state of stress or anxiety. Isn't it the responsibility of the parents to look out for the warning signs? But it is missed due to lack of knowledge," he said.
Adverse circumstances can be defined as a moment in a child's life which can be too taxing for him/her to handle. This includes peer pressure, pressure to perform well, bully by classmates or seniors. Children supposedly keep quiet about these things.
This can cause a reactionary stress or overeating which can lead to clogged arteries in adulthood. The signs to watch out for reflect in depression, anxiety and stress which can turn chronic if care is not administration.
The exact pathways through which chronic stress affects the blood pressure and the heart are not yet known but the current evidence suggests that a major role is played by both the psychological and biological reactions to adverse conditions.
Research studies indicate that long-term stress disturbs the normal functioning of the body by causing changes in the immune, metabolic, nervous and endocrine systems. Studies have shown that the stiffness of the central arteries is increased in individuals under chronic stress, and this is thought to accelerate the development of heart diseases.
It is also common knowledge that depression, anxiety and mood disorders due to chronic stress often leads to an unhealthy lifestyles, which is another contributory factor to the genesis of cardiovascular and metabolic illnesses. As is self evident from the above discussion, chronic childhood stress reduces both the quality of life and the lifespan
"We want to shield our children from all the ordeals in life. But this isn't possible. What is really under our control is the ability to establish a healthy communication between you and your child," Manish added.
"At first, the child might not be willing to talk about the trauma he/she faced. Parents have to ease into the conversation. Childhood trauma stays and even though it might be miniscule for you, it might not be the case for your child. This is especially true for children who have suffered violence of any kind.
Parents should encourage their children to attend remedial psychotherapy sessions because mental trauma is deep seated and can cause various health ailments."
Children need to be tended with utmost care. Parents and care givers need to understand that anything they say or do to them has a long-term influence on their lives. General education about better parenting behavior should be increased through awareness programs, escially for single parents.
This will lead to a happier family environment for children.
Efforts should be made to build positive social relationships to minimize stress reactions, thus lowering the risks of disease. Good parenting, a healthy diet and lifestyle, provisioning of a safe environment for children by the society, and a positive learning environment are essential for healthy mental and physical development of all children.
HOLLYWOOD IN THE NEWS
5 things to know about Sally Field
by Jocelyn McClurg
At age 71, Sally Field has written a brutally honest account of her life that takes on difficult topics including the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather as a child.
“In Pieces” (Grand Central, 416 pp., ??? out of four stars, on sale Sept. 18) was written by Field herself, a rarity in the world of celebrity memoirs.
It's a complex cri de coeur, alternately shockingly frank and maddeningly cryptic. The two-time Oscar winner devotes more than three-quarters of the book to her childhood and her life through the 1970s, when she became involved with Burt Reynolds on the set of “Smokey and the Bandit.”
She writes of an abortion she had when she was 17, right before her first starring TV role, in the 1960s sitcom “Gidget”; a #MeToo moment when she woke up, drugged, with songwriter Jimmy Webb “grinding away” on top of her; the eating disorder she struggled with as a young TV star; the day Davy Jones of The Monkees made a sexual innuendo about her; and how hard she fought to play Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's 2012 film “Lincoln” opposite Daniel Day-Lewis.
But mostly, Field tries to unravel her hurtful relationship with her mother (how much did she know about the sexual abuse?) and understand the anger she's felt much of her life.
And she writes of how, as a young mother frustrated by the silly TV parts she was being offered, she desperately wanted to be a serious actor. The encouragement and tough love she got from legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg paved the way.
“With both hands on the wheel, I headed directly toward what I wanted, and what I wanted was as clear as the full moon peeking over the dark horizon: to be an actor, to have the chance to explore where that took me, the places it would push me, lead me, teach me,” she writes.
But even after she won her second Oscar, for 1984's “Places in the Heart,” she says, “I never saw myself as being an important, highly sought-after talent at the top of my game.”
Things we learn in “In Pieces”:
HER STEPFATHER SEXUALLY ABUSED HER
Sally's mother, Margaret Field, briefly an actress in Hollywood, married the stuntman/B actor Jock (“Jocko”) Mahoney when Sally was 4. He could be both a charmer and a bully. When she was about 7, her mother, on her way to make breakfast, would tell Sally that Jocko wanted her to go into their bedroom to walk on his back.
He would be lying face down, naked and tangled in the sheets, she writes. She walked on his back until he rolled over. “One foot in front of the other, up his chest I tiptoed, my nightgown hanging loose as his hands slid over my legs, then moved up. I'd turn my feet around, walking toward his stomach to be out of reach, and he'd whisper instructions, ‘Lower, lower'... I walked on this much-loved non-father of mine, carefully trying to avoid where he was aiming my feet…”
Sally Field starred on the TV sitcom "The Flying Nun."
Field writes that these incidents were frequent and escalated until she stopped them when she was 14. “I couldn't expect protection to come from my mother” who drank, she writes.
She also explains where her stepfather drew the line on abuse:
“He loved me enough not to invade me. He never invaded me. In all the many times. Not really. It would have been one thing if he had held me down and raped me. Made me bleed. But he didn't. Was that love? Was that because he loved me?”
She also is troubled by questions of her own culpability, if any.
HER CONNECTION WITH BURT REYNOLDS WAS INSTANT, BUT HE WAS INSECURE AND CONTROLLING
Field writes that as soon as she arrived in Atlanta to shoot “Smokey and the Bandit,” she got a call. “Hello, Burt Reynolds movie star here. What are you doing for dinner tonight?''
He was incredibly charming, she writes, but also “both empowered and terrified” by being such a big star and a sex symbol.
He had frequent panic attacks, and she recounts feeding him Valium and Percodan to calm him down while he was driving on set.
His macho insecurity manifested in trying to control Field (“Burt began to housebreak me,” she writes), dismissing what she had to say and becoming jealous when she scored a People magazine cover.
Eventually, after he criticized her for taking the role as a union organizer in 1979's “Norma Rae,” she'd had enough. She writes of the part, which won her an Academy Award for best actress: “As she (Norma Rae) unleashed her rage, I felt freed. When she found her voice, I heard mine. … If I could play her, I could be me.”
Reynolds, who died Sept. 6 at age 82, once called Field the love of his life. She concludes of their relationship:
“Still, woven through everything were so many good moments, real and lasting things.”
SURVIVING DIFFICULT TIMES IN THE 1960S AS A TV STAR
In the summer of 1964, Field discovered she was pregnant. (She implies the father was an unnamed boy she met after graduation.) Her stepfather Jocko stepped in (“I couldn't stand his imperceptible note of triumph”) and arranged a Tijuana abortion; she was driven there with her mother by a family friend named Dr. Duke, who soon reappears in her story. She writes that she awoke to the anesthesiologist groping her breast. “Gathering as much force as I could, I batted his hand off…”
In her first year on “The Flying Nun,” Field and her boyfriend, Steve Craig (who would go on to become her first husband), broke up. For solace, she writes, she began binge-eating and purging. Then, she writes, she'd go on a “starvation diet of grapefruit and eggs or would eat nothing but cucumbers for a week.” She went to Dr. Duke, who prescribed diet pills, “straight Dexedrine.”
She writes that the pills made her jumpy and fuzzy. “One day, when I was doing a scene with all the other nuns, my hands were shaking so badly that I could barely think.” She says she knew she had to stop taking them.
When she was 21, she met young songwriter Jimmy Webb (“By the Time I Get to Phoenix”). They had had a previous date when she went to his home in Hollywood where they smoked hash, which she'd never done before. She was so affected by the drug she passed out (she says it's possible he was in the same “half-conscious dreamlike state”) but at some point, “barely conscious,” she woke up with Webb on top of her. “Maybe I had asked for this by lying on his bed, maybe I hadn't pulled my pants up all the way up so what was he to think, maybe he liked me. Then I couldn't think anymore.”
DETERMINED TO BE MRS. LINCOLN
At a social gathering in 2005, director Steven Spielberg told Field he'd bought the rights to Doris Kearns Goodwin's “Team of Rivals” and wanted her to play Mary Todd Lincoln.
“To portray the much-maligned, mentally challenged Mrs. Lincoln in a film directed by one of the most creative filmmakers who has ever lived was an opportunity I felt with every cell in my body,” she writes.
But then the “droning voice” inside her head warned, “Don't start wanting that. It will never happen!”
And it almost didn't after Liam Neeson dropped out and Daniel Day-Lewis was cast as Lincoln. Spielberg apologized, but told Field he no longer saw her as Mary and couldn't imagine her opposite Day-Lewis.
She fought for a screen test but Spielberg wasn't sold. (“As hard as I tried, I never lifted off the ground…”) Then Day-Lewis saw the tape and found it “quite moving.” Two weeks later they did an improvised test together and connected. “We instantly became something,” she writes.
An hour later, she walked into her Malibu home and the phone rang, with director and leading man on the line: “Will you be our Mary
HOLLYWOOD IN THE NEWS
Prove Hollywood Has Failed #metoo
This week, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Bryan Singer, director of several X-Men movies, was in talks to helm a live-action adaptation of Red Sonja. Millennium, an independent film production company, was reported to be viewing the hire as an opportunity to rehabilitate Singer's image less than a year after he was fired from the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody following repeated instances of him not turning up to set and causing drama.
Of course, that wasn't the issue most people were talking about at the time.
Bryan Singer's reputation is one of the most sordid open secrets in an industry saturated by them. Shortly after his firing, news broke that Singer was facing a lawsuit from a man alleging he had been raped by the director in 2003 when he was only 17 years old. The lawyer representing this man, Jeff Herman, also represented Michael Egan, the man who accused Singer, among other Hollywood figures, of sexual assault in 2014. That case was eventually withdrawn and Herman issued an apology to the accused, but it's clear the case was not finished. Indeed, the history of Singer and such allegations is as long as his career in Hollywood. In 1997, the parents of young actor Devin St. Albin, then 14, sued the producers of Singer's film Apt Pupil for allegedly filming their son and other minors naked for a shower scene without permission. That suit was dismissed due to insufficient evidence. In a lawsuit filed by an anonymous plaintiff from the U.K. in 2014, a John Doe accused Singer and producer Gary Goddard of sexually assaulting him when he was a minor. Singer was eventually dropped from that case, while Goddard was further accused of molesting and raping actor Anthony Edwards for many years, starting when he was only 12. Goddard has denied the allegations.
Amy Berg's documentary An Open Secret, which delves into the culture of child abuse in Hollywood, references Singer multiple times. Actor Noah Galvin famously called out Singer for his parties in an interview with Vulture, claiming he liked "to invite little boys over to his pool and diddle them in the f*cking dark of night." While he was not repeating anything new, Galvin quickly apologized to Singer for any offense caused. It is not difficult to find talk of Singer's alleged indiscretions. They are as widely dispersed as comments on Harvey Weinstein by people both inside and apart from the entertainment industry.
All of this, like Weinstein, is an open secret. It was an open secret when Singer was brought back into Fox to direct more X-Men movies. It was an open secret when the University of Southern California renamed a wing of its film studies department after Singer. It was an open secret long before the lawsuits. It was an open secret when he was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody. It is an open secret now as Millennium views a major directorial opportunity as career salvation for a man who has shown no contrition or understanding of our current social and political climate.
Hollywood has known Bryan Singer for a long time. They know him now. If he is welcomed back into the fold less than a year after the #MeToo movement became impossible to ignore, then they will have failed that movement. There are no two ways about it. It is disheartening that we have to keep reminding doubters that the #MeToo movement is rooted not in the calling out of individual abusers but in the desperate need for a radical change in industry norms. Men like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Les Moonves were allowed to thrive for decades because it was completely acceptable for others to look away and pretend the elephant in the room did not exist. Clear abuses of power and exploitation of the powerless were written off as mundane realities of working in Hollywood, with victims smeared as mere visitors to the so-called casting couch.
The #MeToo movement, which emerged into the forefront following both the New York Times and New Yorker's reporting on allegations against Weinstein, signaled something many in the industry thought would never happen: a mental shift that saw believing victims, for once, become the societal default mode. Victims, primarily women, were listened to and not immediately assumed to be vindictive liars hoping to get rich and famously be falsely accusing innocent men of assault. Talk of real change spread far and wide, the #TimesUp initiative promised financial backing for those looking to go through the legal system to deal with workplace harassment, and studios began to make changes regarding diversity within their confines. Men like Weinstein were denounced, shamed and forced to deal with real repercussions. It seemed that Hollywood was ready to admit that it was wrong and could no longer go back to the way things were.
The quiet welcome back for Bryan Singer is not the first sign that the entertainment industry, and indeed the world at large, is trying to bypass the changes made in a post-#MeToo world. Either they have assumed that audiences will ignore their culpability – in the case of Singer, the response has been near-universally negative – or they simply do not care. Hiring Singer is seen as worth the bad PR, probably because his films have made so much money in the past. Profit, once again, comes before people.
Singer's alleged scandals aren't the only thing clouding his attachment to Red Sonja. Remember, this is a man who was fired from his last film because he kept going missing from set. This is nothing new either. Superman Returns famously went over schedule and over budget (allegedly over $90m in basic production costs). Shooting of X-Men 2 was delayed because Singer got into a "personal argument" with executive producer Tom DeSanto, which caused a rift with his cast. This is a man with a history of causing on-set drama and costing his bosses money. Depressingly, that's usually more of a reason for bad men to get fired from high-profile jobs than harassment, yet it's now being positioned as another oopsie for Singer to recover from. It seems that some are determined to prove true the age-old adage that white men can get away with absolutely everything, certainly far more than any woman or person of color.
Red Sonja is a highly popular character, one who was given a critically acclaimed revival by celebrated comic book writer Gail Simone. At a time when female-led superhero films are getting more attention and industry clout than ever – from Wonder Woman to Captain Marvel to Black Widow – there's certainly a place in the market for Red Sonja. So, why is a project of such potential being seen as a stepping stone for an unprofessional man with multiple sexual assault and harassment allegations to his name? Does the project mean so little to Millennium? Is a woman's story so worthless? Is all that talk of elevating the stories of the marginalized and amplifying their voices just shop talk until business as usual returns?
Hollywood is failing #MeToo. We've seen that in the way CBS dragged their feet over dealing with Les Moonves and in the endless voices insisting the movement has “gone too far” or isn't fair to men. There is no room for the status quo, not anymore, if there ever was. Bryan Singer doesn't get to waltz back into Hollywood with a multi-million dollar opportunity and pretend everything is okay. He and those around him don't live in a world where silence prevails anymore
RELIGION IN THE NEWS
New Mexico fugitive priest arrested, pleads not guilty to child abuse charges
by Joy Wang and Ryan Laughlin
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A priest who allegedly has more than 35 sexual abuse victims has been arrested and indicted on federal charges.
Arthur Perrault, 80, was arrested Thursday after two FBI special agents flew to Morocco, where the priest was in custody for about a year.
"Bringing Arthur Perrault back to New Mexico took a lot of patience and perseverance, but the FBI and our partners will determine to make sure he faces justice," said FBI Special Agent Jim Langenberg.
New Mexico fugitive priest arrested, pleads not guilty to child abuse charges
On Friday Perrault pleaded not guilty to the seven federal charges brought against him, charges that include sexually abusing a child under the age of 12 at Kirtland Air Force base, where he was a military chaplain, and Santa Fe National Cemetery in the early 1990s.
Perrault, who also served at the Shrine of St. Bernadette in Albuquerque, had been on the run for nearly 30 years. Authorities say he was in New Mexico from 1973-1992, before fleeing to Canada.
The FBI located him in Morocco last year. He was working at an English-language school for children and subsequently fired, according to authorities.
The FBI said they worked with Moroccan authorities to have Perrault extradited to the U.S.
If found guilty, Perrault could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Following the arrest, the law office representing survivors of Perrault's abuse in civil court said their clients are thrilled about the developments.
"The feedback I've received from survivors, whether they are former clients or current clients...they've been uniformly ecstatic," civic attorney Brad Hall said. "The least that can happen, the least that should happen, is the perpetrator, a guy like Father Arthur Perrault, can go do whatever time he has left on this planet in a federal penitentiary."
Unsealed court documents, previously obtained by KOB, detail how Perrault ingratiated himself with faithful New Mexican families for the purpose of molesting and raping young boys in the family. The files say he preyed on altar servers and traded boys with other priests, causing some victims to be raped by multiple members of the clergy.
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, which Perrault was a part of, provided KOB with the following statement on Friday:
"The Archdiocese of Santa Fe was informed this morning, September 21, 2018, that a news conference would be held today at 11:00 A.M. at the U. S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque to announce the arrest of Fr. Arthur J. Perrault and the unsealing of a federal indictment of Perrault on seven counts of aggravated criminal sexual contact with a minor.
Over the past year, the archdiocese has fully cooperated with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI during the federal grand jury investigation which ultimately led to these criminal indictments against Perrault. The archdiocese was informed after Perrault's arrest was initiated.
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe began its own canonical process of investigating these allegations in 1992. The accusations against Perrault were reported immediately to the Albuquerque civil authorities.
The archdiocese has cooperated fully with all law enforcement agencies investigating the allegations and will continue to support the judicial process as it runs its course. We ask all to cooperate and respect the legal proceedings and for prayers for all victims and those affected by these very serious charges.
We encourage anyone who has been the victim of childhood sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe to immediately call the police and/or the New Mexico Youth & Families Department (CYFD) as well as Ms. Annette Klimka, ASF Victim Assistance and Safe Environment Coordinator at 505.831.8144 | firstname.lastname@example.org."
The 4 Investigates team examined cases of three former Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, including Perrault, whose alleged widespread abuse of children decades ago not only went undealt with, but contributed to what many mental health professionals call a mental health crisis for New Mexico.
Want to help survivors of child sex trafficking? Stop using these terms
by Leif Coorlim, CNN
(CNN) When it comes to modern slavery, nearly everyone agrees it's important to treat those exploited or preyed on, with care and respect.
In recent years, that's meant a shift in how those in the media, law enforcement and advocacy fields refer to people impacted by slavery -- referring to them as survivors, instead of victims or slaves. The reason being that the term more adequately reflects the temporal nature of the crime and the feeling that those exploited should not be labeled or boxed-in by their horrific experience.
Many child protection advocates are rethinking the words they use when lobbying lawmakers to strengthen or adopt new laws related to protection of child victims of sexual assault.
In 2016, an inter-agency working group of 18 international organizations, including ECPAT, UNICEF, Interpol and Save the Children released a report known as the Luxembourg Guidelines.
Their aim? To find alternative terms that could be considered less harmful or stigmatizing to child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Recently, CNN spoke with one of the lead writers of those guidelines, Dr. Susanna Greijer, who mentioned three terms she would like to see everyone stop using immediately, and the reasoning behind it.
(The conversation has been edited slightly for clarity and conciseness)
CNN: How did the terminology guidelines come about?
Dr. Greijer: It's a project that was developed by ECPAT International, but it really came from a concern within the international child protection community that the terms we were using actually sometimes harmed the children we're aiming to protect.
We found legal instruments used to protect children were having a harmful effect on the victims, who felt stigmatized and ashamed by the way they were depicted in media, but also in our own reports as child protection professionals.
CNN: What are, say, three terms you would consider harmful to these survivors of child sexual abuse?
Dr. Greijer: So one, child pornography. There is no such thing as "child pornography." We realized that when we add the term "child" with the term "pornography," we come up with something that would somehow insinuate consent on behalf of the child to be part of a pornographic spectacle or performance. This turned out problematic from the point of view of the child victims, who did not at all see themselves as pornographic actors or prostitutes.
So when we address what used to be called "child pornography," we're really talking about images that fit your registrations of crime scenes and of children being sexually abused. That's what it is. So let's call it for what it is. It's images, or material, of sexual abuse of children. So I would say use the term, "child sexual abuse material."
Number two: Child Prostitution. There is no such thing as "child prostitution" either. Children cannot consent to their own sexual exploitation. So they are not child prostitutes. They are victims of sexual exploitation. So we should call it the "exploitation of children for prostitution." Sexual exploitation can often take place in the framework of prostitution circles, but we should also always underline the fact that we are talking about exploitation, which is a crime.
And number three: Child Sex Tourism. It's not just another form of tourism, it's sexual exploitation of children taking place in the context of tourism and travel. So that's what we should be talking about. I know it's a long and sometimes cumbersome term, especially for media to use. But we now use an abbreviation, SECTT, which stands for the "sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism."
CNN: Have you seen any changes in the field, since releasing the report?
Dr. Greijer: We're promoting this now and the terminology guidelines were published in June 2016. So it's still a relatively new document. But things are changing and we're seeing it have some impact.
Interpol has indicated "child pornography" is a completely outdated term and shouldn't be used anymore, because it's harmful. And we're getting other law enforcement and also legal actors on this.
Another recent example is earlier this year the mandate of what used to be the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography was renamed. It's now the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children. And on a national level, we see laws are being adopted now that refrain from using, or actually remove from earlier laws, references to child prostitution and child pornography replacing them by sexual exploitation of children. So there is a shift