Sunday, March 31, 2013

I know firsthand about the long-term effects of sexual abuse on children!

As Yeshiva Child Sex Abuse Scandal Grows, Why Are We Afraid To Speak Out?

Community Will Be Judged Harshly If We Stay Silent

We in the Orthodox Jewish community claim to value children deeply. We want to have children, and we pressure our own children to get married and have children, and yet, when it comes to really ensuring those children’s utmost protection from harm, somehow the silence is deafening.

As a Yeshiva University alumnus and a psychotherapist who works with abused children, I was horrified to learn that my alma mater was apparently involved in a 30-year cover-up of sexual abuse that affected hundreds of children and protected known abusers. Y.U. — an institution to which I am grateful for making me who I am today — also has refused to commit to releasing to the public details of its investigation into these abuses.

So I created a petition urging Y.U. to commit to sharing the report findings with the public. Nearly everyone I know — many alumni from Y.U. and its Stern College for Women, including rabbis, did not sign. Other than one or two brave figures, the people I worked with for years through Y.U., programs teaching Jewish children worldwide about Jewish values, wouldn’t sign, nor would they do anything else I am aware of to support victims.

I am deeply saddened by this blinding lack of empathy for our fellow suffering Jews.

 As a psychotherapist, I know firsthand about the long-term effects of sexual abuse on children: It impacts their self-esteem, their faith, their trust in others — especially in the community. Silence in the face of abuse conveys the message to victims that their suffering matters much less than protecting the abuser or the leaders who covered up the abuse. With each day of silence that passes, the victims feel more isolated and betrayed. What is this passivity in the face of such terrible injustice?

I have come to understand that most people in my community are blocked by fear. Most people want to do the right thing, but are afraid of being judged by others, or they don’t want to “break with Y.U.” While loyalty is an important value, it cannot take precedence over the safety of our children....

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/173955/as-yeshiva-child-sex-abuse-scandal-grows-why-are-w/?p=all#ixzz2P90AaNtV

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Orthodox Jewish community is going through its Catholic Church moment!

Sharing The Secret That’s Haunted My Soul

An abuse victim goes public, and suggests some communal reforms.

My name is David Cheifetz and I am a victim of childhood sex abuse in a Jewish institution.

There. I have said it. After more than 30 years I have shared the dark secret that has haunted my soul.

I was 13 years old, attending sleep-away camp at Camp Dora Golding, an all-boys Orthodox camp that some of you still send your sons to. I was befriended by a 28-year-old member of the rabbinic staff. Over the course of a week he sexually abused me repeatedly. When the activity was exposed, I was summoned to the camp director’s office and forced to confront the assailant. Then I was summarily sent home, as if it were I who had committed the crime. The camp never even told my parents why I was being sent home. They were just advised to pick me up at the Greyhound terminal at New York’s Port Authority.

I do not know if the perpetrator was ever fired; to the best of my knowledge he was never reported to legal authorities. I understand that he went on to a long career in Jewish education, and based on whispers on the Internet, probably continued targeting young Jewish boys within the walls of Jewish educational institutions. [Camp Dora Golding officials did not respond to repeated attempts for comment on the author’s allegations.]

When I arrived home, I was not given a hero’s welcome. I was also not given a victim’s welcome. I was never sent to a psychiatrist or a psychologist or even a pediatrician. The bitter secret was locked away, barely thought of or spoken of over the next 30-plus years. I did once share the incident with my yeshiva high school principal who insisted, “No, Duvid, he could not have been a rabbi. Rabbis never do such things.”

♦The Orthodox community is going through its Catholic Church moment: All elements of the community, from the chasidic to the Modern Orthodox, are being inundated by reported cases of sexual abuse of minors. Each of these incidents is characterized not just by accusations of sexual abuse, but by accompanying allegations of systematic cover-ups — incidents hidden or swept under the rug, in some cases (such as the Weberman case) with allegations of extreme financial and social pressures brought to bear on the victims and their families.

But, as my experience reflects, such behaviors of the abusers and of those that protect them are not new. It is not that Orthodox groups and institutions advocate pedophilia. It is that the Orthodox community is unwilling to address this “inconvenient truth.” Instead of confronting this scourge, many members the community have taken on a “circle the wagons” mentality, perhaps to protect their friends, perhaps to protect their institutions. But in all of this, what is forgotten is the victim.

I know. I was a forgotten victim. But I will no longer remain silent or silenced.

And what happens with these child sex abusers when they are ignored, or allowed to continue working within the community? Research shows that they are serial offenders, they tend to hunt out their prey and commit their despicable crimes again and again. Such is the nature of pedophiles. In the Catholic Church. In the Boy Scouts. And in the Orthodox community.

I look with sadness at my own story. I look at all the unanswered questions surrounding the Baruch Lanner case and the full investigative report conducted by the Orthodox Union that was never released, a study led by Richard Joel, now the president of Yeshiva University. Will there be a full release of the current investigation at YU’s boys’ high school involving its former principal, George Finkelstein. I listen to the voices in the ultra-Orthodox community citing mesirah — the notion that one Jew cannot hand over another Jew to the non-Jewish authorities — a remnant of medieval fear of hostile gentile governments. Thankfully that is an anachronism in our current society. These lingering questions and troubling observations take away any belief, any faith that the Orthodox community as a whole is able to reform itself.

I ask you: how many times in recent months has your congregational rabbi delivered a sermon on the travesty that is sexual abuse of minors in our community? It is headline news, but how many rabbis have raised their voices to increase awareness or called for fundamental change? I worry when rabbis are more prepared to discuss nuclear fusion and complex geopolitical machinations than they are to discuss the despicable sex crimes that are happening in our own Jewish educational institutions.

If change will not come from the inside, then it must come from the outside. And so I am speaking up and encouraging the thousands of other victims of childhood sexual abuse in our community to do the same.

I am also encouraging everyone to withhold financial support from every institution suspected of ignoring or covering up sexual abuse activities in their midst. There are plenty of other important causes and institutions that can benefit from your generosity.

But that is only a start. In order for the Jewish community to seriously address this scourge it must embrace real reforms. I believe necessary reforms include:

♦The establishment of an independent ombudsman sensitive to the needs of the Jewish community, with programs in every major educational institution. Too many rabbis have been hesitant to advise victims and their families to report abuses to the police, to social service agencies, or to the local district attorney. Or they have been outright complicit in cover-ups. So a central, independently funded ombudsman program (preferably funded by a foundation, and not reliant on the financial pressures of communal mood swings) must exist for victims and their families. The ombudsman will work with legal authorities and social service agencies and the schools to investigate all credible allegations and use its voice and power to pursue and bring pedophiles and their supporters to justice.

♦The institution of mandatory training programs for schools and summer camps — leaders, administrators, teachers and counselors — of what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. (Isolated programs already exist, but are only in place in limited instances.)

♦The institution of criminal background checks for all school leaders, teachers, administrators and camp staff.

♦The establishments of a “one strike you are out” policy, and the immediate suspension of anyone facing a credible accusation, pending a detailed investigation.

♦The establishment of protocols that penalize not only sex offenders, but those who knowingly ignore, protect and enable their behaviors. These people should be held liable on both criminal and civil levels. And they should certainly not be allowed to work in schools, camps, or other Jewish educational institutions. They too should be held accountable.

Speaking as a survivor, I bear scars that will be with me for life. I wish I did not have that unique set of perspectives. But sadly, the Orthodox community has progressed very little since 1979.

We face a demon in our midst, a cancer that will not go away without harsh measures. The Orthodox community can keep Shabbat and pray three times a day; its members can keep kosher and learn Torah day and night. But that means nothing if the community remains deaf to the cries of the past and future victims, and is ultimately complicit in the atrocities committed against our children and grandchildren.

David Cheifetz is a resident of Teaneck, N.J.


Leib Tropper - The Pig Who Wants Desperately To Become Kosher!

Rabbi Leib Tropper & Philosophy

by Leib Tropper  - (Who else?)

The Talmudic scholar, Rabbi Leib Tropper has recently written a "philosophical" essay regarding a most complex issue: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9nage_%C3%A0_trois.

 Rabbi Leib Tropper wrote this introductory article regarding Solipsism. Rabbi Leib Tropper remarked about this topic when asked 'Solipsm is rarely germane to the experience of those who support or disagree with the Solipsistic theory. All experience the same though there are absolute qualitative differences. Rabbi Leib Tropper wrote about this obscure topic to various professors of philosophy nationally and internationally.

Over the course of many years Rabbi Leib Tropper has developed a relationship with various leading whores and pimps across the globe. The esteem that these intellectuals hold for Rabbi Tropper is unusual considering that Rabbi Leib Tropper studied in a whore house and not in a  truly secular oriented environment like a college or university (GASP!)

This essay on solipsism written by Rabbi Leib Tropper is the introduction of an all encompassing study of the topic of Solipsism.

Witgenstein, Russel ,Satre and Leibnitz are just some of the names that are found in Rabbi Leib Tropper's paper regarding this topic.


Surviving sexual abuse takes courage and hope

We were supposed to be knocked down, hung out to dry, and left behind. We were supposed to be the freaks in life, the nobodies, the angered, and the powerless. But we have strength and courage within us that no one possibly could realize they have, unless they have walked in our shoes.

HOUSTON, March 26, 2013 — Not too long ago, a few individuals shared their lives with me, stories of lost innocence. One man shared his story of being sexually molested as a child. Another was a woman who was raped. Still another woman was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. They all have inspired me by sharing their trauma, coming forward with the truth, and speaking so honestly. Their strength, endurance, perseverance, and courage are commendable.

I will not pretend to know what it’s like to be a woman who was raped, but I can relate to having innocence ripped away when as a child, my body invaded by a predator. Children who are molested will have different side effects and issues than a teenager who is raped or an adult who is raped and depending on the nature of the sexual abuse. However there are also similar effects that all sex abuse victims share and we all know the same courage.

I write this letter to my brothers and sisters who have been sexually abused.

My Fellow Survivors,

I’m truly sorry.

I’m sorry someone put his or her hands on you as a child. I’m sorry someone forced himself on you. I’m sorry that the people who were supposed to protect and love you tried to break you. I’m sorry if anyone could have helped by intervening, yet chose not to. I’m proud of your strength and endurance. You are strong and amazing and you are not in this alone.

Do not give up hope!

Six years ago I had a shotgun in my mouth, and now I’m the COO of Vera Wear, a columnist for this wonderful publication, an entertainer, manager of models, a coach, professional speaker, and the list goes on.

Do I share this information, bragging? Yes, I do!

I take pride in the fact that my blueprint in life, like you, was to fail, to become a monster, to be hurt and broken, and angry and bitter. But here I am, still standing. Happy, whole, healed, and complete. I am living proof that you can achieve anything, when you truly want to, regardless of the odds being stacked against you. I represent you.

Pathetically, in the U.S., one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they reach the age of eighteen. One in six women have been the victim of an attempted rape or completed rape.

Being a part of this statistic can feel humiliating and embarrassing, and make us feel weak and powerless. This is wrong. Being a part of that statistic is a badge of strength, determination, resiliency, and empowerment.

We were supposed to be knocked down, hung out to dry, and left behind. We were supposed to be the freaks in life, the nobodies, the angered, and the powerless. But we have strength and courage within us that no one possibly could realize they have, unless they have walked in our shoes.

We know what it’s like to have to dig deep within us and rise above the water trying to cover our heads. We know what it’s like to find the strength to heal the cracks in our armor, to put ourselves back together again. But we’re not the same: we are stronger, smarter, wiser, and more loving and accepting because of it.

We can heal and transcend through the past, transform to greatness. Yes, I’m sure you all relate to the residual effects from abuse that may never go away, and that’s ok. We will never know what normal is, besides a setting on a dryer. We’re a bit weird, and a little crazy, odd and eccentric.

But, we’re not broken, we’re not hiding from our past, and we can love who we are. I now embrace my crazy personality quirks with pride, rather than hiding from them in shame. Maybe we’re different, but different is beautiful.

We define our past. Our past does not define us.

To the raped, to the molested, and to the sixteen year old rape victim of Steubenville High School, to the strong young women and brave man who recently inspired me, to all the victims of abuse and rape, we will not be left behind, we will not be hung out to dry, we will heal, we will transcend, we will triumph, and we will achieve greatness. They will not break us. I believe in you!

Love, Carter

Carter Lee is the author of When Jonathan Cried For Me, a child sex abuse survivor and spokesman, host of Carter Lee Presents the Fever, Partner to verawear.com, a coach, and manager of models (Carter’s Bombshells). To learn more about Carter or to see all of his projects visit TheCarterLee.com.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Since allegations of sexual assault by Bratslav rabbi Eliezer Berland have come to light, some families have left the community!

A disciple of Rabbi Eliezer Berland, who recently ended contact with him, says: "There is the hard core, which does not believe that anything happened. Even if the rabbi were to confess to the actions he's accused of under interrogation, even if you were to show them video documentation of what [is alleged to have] occurred - they would not abandon him. They will say: There is a secret here, it is hard to 'attain' [i.e., understand] the rabbi. Or [members of his community] will say: He did these things intentionally, because harsh 'precepts' [divine punishment] are pending against the people of Israel, and if the rabbi acts contemptibly, he can prevent a future holocaust. There are also those who are convinced that they slipped Ecstasy into the rabbi's medications, without his knowledge. These are excuses that can serve forever."

Indeed, most members of the Shuvu Banim community, an insular group of newly religious believers belonging to the Bratslav Hasidim, have remained loyal to Berland. Among the hundreds of families in the community, the vast majority have remained with the rabbi and are loyal to the educational institutions of the community. Lately, however, with the growing evidence of sexual assaults - evidence that began to emerge with the filing of complaints by individual women that followed publication of an initial accusation by a disciple who claimed to have witnessed the rabbi having sex with a woman from the community - there has been a change. Some 20 families, hardly a negligible number, decided in recent months to leave the fold. Dozens more have begun to distance themselves from the rabbi, and are gradually moving closer to his son, Rabbi Nachman Berland, who heads a branch of the community in Betar Ilit, just outside of Jerusalem. Nachman has long been considered his father's successor, although rivalry and intrigue are palpable between the two men.

Shuvu Banim, founded in the late 1970s, has a yeshiva in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. Most of the group's members live on a single street on the outskirts of Mea She'arim, or in the branch in Betar Ilit. Rabbi Berland has boasted of his relations with crime families, but over the years police and army officers have also been regular visitors to his chambers.

The community operates on the fringes of Haredi society, and many ultra-Orthodox take exception to Berland's directives to his disciples to take risks (such as driving at excessive speeds to the graves of tzadikim - holy men - or, specifically, to infiltrate Nablus in order to visit Joseph's tomb ), and to undergo purification that involves personal humiliation.

Nonetheless, in recent years Berland has been granted increased legitimacy in certain rabbinic circles. The ultra-Orthodox world, which always treated him with suspicion, also began to embrace him. Berland had the privilege in recent months, for example, of sitting at one of the tables of honor at the main siyum hashas ceremony (marking completion of a full cycle of daily Talmud study ) held by the United Torah Judaism party ), and at the same party's most important election rally.

Nonetheless, the testimony against Berland that is now coming to light has the Haredi world, and in particular the Shuvu Banim community, in an uproar. No less shocking than the criminal aspect of the matter is the fact that sexual asceticism is one of the main spiritual foundations that Berland preaches - and in this case he was apparently caught red-handed.

This scandal comes on the heels of a stormy series of events that has been ongoing since late 2010; indeed, it turns out that allegations of sexual assault by him were already being made back then. Berland previously staged a sort of "coup" against his wife, son and members of his court, when he allowed publication of his claim that they were confining him against his will, seeking to have him committed, and denying him contact with his disciples.

The rabbi, as part of his revolt, managed to elude, with the aid of a handful of loyalists, the security guards keeping watch over his house, and announced that he had escaped from captivity. Meanwhile, video clips came to light in which his son and grandson are documented in conversations acknowledging that they were exploiting him. A while later, the rabbi reconciled with his family, but the community was left traumatized and divided. Many left, the rabbi fell into debt, and about a year ago several of his senior disciples, including businessman Eran Hochberg (a former youth chess champion ) and Binyamin Ze'evi (son of the late politician and government minister Rehavam Ze'evi ), also jumped ship.

The speculation within the community is that the allegations of sexual harassment reached his wife, Tehila Berland, and son Nachman even before they became public knowledge. For that reason, sources say, the pair sought to keep him out of the public eye, as Eliezer Berland himself has charged.

Haredi world divided over latest sexual harassment scandal - Week's End - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

What does it take for a woman to accuse her rabbi of sexual harassment?

It took some time for A. to realize she was being abused. Since then, her world collapsed.

It took A. some time to realize she had been sexually harassed by Rabbi Eliezer Berland - a holy and righteous man in her eyes - and for her to file a police complaint. She is 18, married, her pretty face wrapped tightly in a black kerchief in the so-called Jerusalem fashion. She is going through a crisis, not only as a woman who was sexually harassed, but also as someone who was raised with a unique system of beliefs, at the center of which is the rabbi, the righteous foundation of the world.

Since A. became disillusioned, her world has collapsed. She stopped working, and her life now revolves around both the court case and the rift in her community, which has shunned her since she submitted her complaint to the police.

"I am the daughter of a veteran disciple of the rabbi," she says. "My father still believes in him. I think that if he were to cease believing, he would die from it. Today, now that I am outside, I understand that Shuvu Banim is a false Hasidic sect that is only after money. Everything the rabbi would do was very peculiar, not ordinary. He would yell, would travel around at night to tikkunim [sessions of 'spiritual repair'], and we'd follow after him.

"My husband is a righteous one. Our vart [a Yiddish term for an occasion that proceeds a betrothal] was at the rabbi's. We waited there all night. My husband cried to the guards to let us in to see the rabbi, and only at 5 A.M. did we break a plate. I was pleased. It was a matter of pride between me and my girlfriends that I had a groom who would chase after the rabbi. After the sheva berakhot [the week of nightly meals and blessings after a wedding], my husband continued his pursuit of the rabbi. He would go to Hebron, Amuka [in the Galilee] - wherever the rabbi was, my husband would chase after him. Later I joined in too.

"We thought we were demonstrating our devotion. For a year after our marriage, I did not have a single evening with my husband, because I was busy, in pursuit: We were the rabbi's minions. There was a group of women who pursued the rabbi. The rabbi would excite us, suddenly emerge from the car, do tikkun, and then get in and drive off. I worked from noon until 4 P.M., so that I would have time to sleep in a little in the morning, but many times I would telephone and say that I wasn't feeling well. So I also wasn't receiving a proper salary.

"My father instilled in us at that the rabbi is the essence of spirituality at home. I began going to the rabbi too, because we'd heard you could get a blessing. Once we used to see him from afar, but now we realized that you could get in to see him without paying millions of shekels. We got excited, we started going to him at night.

"The first time I went in to the rabbi, it was with another woman: He gave us a kiss on the forehead. Something gentle, a kiss from the righteous one. At the time I didn't think it was unusual, but from a kiss it developed into holding you, touching, licking. A lot of women don't believe the rabbi touched and kissed [others], because he didn't touch them. These are older Ashkenazi women.

"If he had touched them, they would have done him in. So he did it to us, the innocent disciples. Like that, so we wouldn't feel it, his hands were constantly fluttering about. He would come close and do it quickly without your realizing, with three or four women in the room - caress this one, embrace that one. One day he told my husband, 'Your wife will have the privilege of being in the world of nobility' [a higher realm the soul belongs to, according to kabbala]. It was only afterward that we understood he was preparing him.

"That time I had come with my husband to the rabbi as usual, and he said, 'You stay here and you come with me.' He locked me in his room and went out. When he entered he pointed to the bed. I don't remember what he said to me. He kissed me and stuck his tongue in my mouth. He held me real tight, my whole body, close to his, and he became dreadfully excited and panted. He told me, 'Now you are in the world of nobility,' and licked my face until it was really sticky. I was fighting with myself not to do anything. To this day I am traumatized by it.

"After that he put his hands under my blouse and felt me up brusquely. And then he opened the door and I ran to my husband and told him excitedly that the rabbi said I was in the world of nobility. We began to fight, because my husband understood."

'I miss kissing you'

A. says Berland frequently preached sexual abstinence. "For nine months he told me and my husband not to touch. From the time we married, we were prushim [abstaining from sexual relations]. It killed us. Sometimes we would touch and then we'd say, 'The rabbi will be mad at us.' My husband and I would go in and I would ask the rabbi, 'When will we be blessed with children?' He would say, 'You are not touching each other? You will be visited.' We were naive. I thought I would have children just because the rabbi promised me we would be visited. But he kept on saying, 'Now go immerse yourself' [in a ritual bath], as though he was ensuring that I would be pure for him. In front of other people he would ask: 'When did you go to immerse yourself?' I whispered in his ear, and he would say in front of the others that I had gone. I would feel embarrassed. The rabbi would call all the time: I love you, miss you, miss kissing you. But he would mix this sort of talk with holy talk. And then all of a sudden he stopped calling me."


Friday, March 22, 2013

How To Expose The Corrupt!

.......An analogy would be a person who was treated badly as a child and grew up to have little self-respect for themselves. Later in life, they began to eat unhealthy food, smoke cigarettes and drink too much. All around them, people would say, "Why don't you stop smoking? It is so bad for you!" But even though that person agreed...and had successfully quit smoking on previous occasions. The bad habit would later return.

The person has difficulty quitting because that is not the primary issue.

The primary issue is that they learned early on to treat themselves disrespectfully.

Knowing what happened in the past, and what was to blame...will not stop the problem. It is up to the person to observe the dysfunctional behavior and practice thinking in a different way.

And I can see it on a global scale. Where people with good intentions, rightly see a problem and try to fix it. However they cannot, because it is a problem that stems from something more fundamental. Something more primary. All our efforts, our time, our energy and our resources...are being wasted, because we are focused on the secondary issues, destroying stability in our global and local communities, in our families...and within ourselves.

Know thyself!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Students learn about child sex-abuse!

Beckley-Stratton Middle School’s after-school program invited Just For Kids executive director Scott Miller to teach them more about child abuse, a topic they have already been learning and creating a video about.

While there, the students donated fleece blankets they made to Miller for Just For Kids to help comfort kids interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center.

Miller, who is also on the advisory council for the after-school program, told the students only one in 10 children feels safe enough to tell his or her story and last year in Raleigh, Fayette and Wyoming counties, Just For Kids interviewed 300 kids.

“My message for you is that if you hear about it or it is an experience that happened to you, tell someone about it. The only way you can get help is if an adult who cares about you knows about it,” he said.

A family member or teacher is the person children who have been abused most often confide in. But as of July 2012, any adult in West Virginia who is told about child sexual abuse is, by law, considered a mandated reporter, he said.

The students asked how to tell if someone is being abused.

Miller said that it is adults’ responsibility to make the call if someone truly is abused and report it to the police, but students can also be aware of the signs, for example, if someone has an unexplained injury or has a sudden change in personality or appetite.

The students asked how Just For Kids helps child victims.

Miller explained that before Just For Kids came to the area a little more than a decade ago, victims had to tell their story and be interviewed 10 or 12 times by different people. Having to share those details only once makes it a lot easier for kids, he said.

He also said Just For Kids works to raise awareness and get people thinking about child abuse.

“Many adults don’t realize what a big issue it is and how many children are abused,” he said.

The students asked who is most likely an abuser and how the abuse starts.

Miller told them 80 percent to 90 percent of abusers are “people the children know, love and respect.”

He talked about the grooming process perpetrators go through to build trust in the victim and make it harder for the victim to come forward.

Ultimately, he tried to empower the students to speak up for themselves and others.

“People should not be touching your body in ways you know is not right. It is a challenge when it is someone you love and trust, but you need to be able to say no. You should not be asked to keep secrets about your body,” he said.

The Beckley-Stratton Middle School after-school program is a 21st Century Community Learning Center and is funded by the West Virginia Department of Education through RESA 1.

The program site coordinator is Beckley-Stratton teacher Vickie Webb.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Clergy abuse victims call on Pope Francis to open files on Argentina’s pedophile priests!

 A U.S. group that tracks clergy abuse is calling on Pope Francis to apologize for the Argentine church’s protection of two priests convicted of abusing children. The Bishop Accountability group cites the case of Father Julio Cesar Grassi, who ran the “Happy Children” foundation and was convicted of pedophilia in 2008. Now Grassi is free on appeal, thanks in part to the church’s report.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A Roman Catholic activist group said Tuesday that Pope Francis was slow as head of the Argentine church to act against sexual abuse by clergy and urged him to apologize for what it called church protection for two priests later convicted of sexually assaulting children.

A lawyer for some of the victims, meanwhile, said the future pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, had not met with or helped victims, and charged that mid-level church officials who covered up the problem haven’t lost their jobs.

The Buenos Aires archbishop’s office didn’t immediately comment on the complaints, which came as Francis was being installed as pope in a Vatican ceremony seen around the world.

The U.S.-based Bishop Accountability group cited the cases of two priests: Father Julio Cesar Grassi, who ran the “Happy Children” foundation and was convicted of pedophilia in 2008, and Father Napoleon Sasso, convicted in 2007 of abusing girls at a soup kitchen in suburban Buenos Aires, where he was assigned after being accused of pedophilia elsewhere.

Grassi is currently free pending appeal, thanks partly to a court filing on his behalf by the Argentine church, which was headed by Bergoglio as archbishop of Buenos Aires. Bergoglio oversaw Argentina’s bishops conference when Sasso was assigned to the soup kitchen at a chapel, said the victims attorney, Ernesto Moreau.

Bishop Accountability co-director Anne Doyle said those events show Bergoglio was behind the curve in the Catholic Church’s global struggle to deal with sex abuse by its priests, which erupted in 2002 after thousands of cases became public in the United States and around the world.

“We would be alarmed if the Archbishop Bergoglio had done this in the ‘60s or ‘70s. That would be sad and disturbing,” Doyle told The Associated Press. “But the fact that he did this just five years ago, when other bishops in other countries were meeting victims and implementing tough reporting laws, it puts him behind some of his American counterparts, that’s for sure.”

The group said that to send a message of zero tolerance in the church around the world, the new pope should tell the Buenos Aires archdiocese to release the complete files on the Grassi and Sasso cases, publicly identify any other priests who are “credibly accused” of sex abuse and endorse mandatory reporting by church officials to law enforcement of suspected abuse.

The pope himself should admit that he was wrong to defend abusive priests, apologize to the victims of Grassi and Sasso, and offer to meet with the victims, the group said.

Noting the pope’s coronation, Doyle said: “The victims of these two priests are the very children of God about whom he was speaking in his homily today. They are the most vulnerable of the poor. We hope that Francis will seize this as a priority and reach out to the victims and rectify his terrible insensitivity to them when he was archbishop.”...


Monday, March 18, 2013

UOJ Says Most Clergy Are Both A Sickness & A Crime!

 * South African Cardinal Says Child Sex Abuse is a Sickness, Not a Crime

* Archbishop Wilfrid Fox Napier, whose comments on paedophilia have caused outrage. A Roman Catholic Cardinal has claimed that paedophilia should be treated as a medical condition, not as a crime.

* Speaking to the BBC the Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, Wilfrid Fox Napier, said child sex abusers were suffering from: "a psychological condition, a disorder".

"What do you do with disorders? You've got to try and put them right," he said.

"If I - as a normal being - choose to break the law, knowing that I'm breaking the law, then I think I need to be punished."

He said that he had spoken to two priests who had abused children and were themselves abused.

"Now don't tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that. I don't think you can really take the position and say that person deserves to be punished. He was himself damaged."

Cardinal Napier was one of the 115 members of the papal conclave which elected Francis I as the new pope earlier this week.

His comments have sparked outrage from campaigners and abuse victims.

Barbara Dorries, who as a child was abused by a priest, works for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which is based in Chicago.

She told the BBC: "If it is a disease that's fine, but it's also a crime and crimes are punished, criminals are held accountable for what they did and what they do.

"The bishops and the cardinals have gone to great lengths to cover these crimes to enable the predators to move on, to not be arrested, to keep the secrets within the church."

In recent years, a string of child sex abuse scandals has rocked the Roman Catholic Church.

This week the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles awarded $10 million to victims abused by former priest Michael Baker.

Last year a Chilean bishop resigned after being accused of sexually abusing an altar boy.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

MOST people don't understand the impact of sexual abuse.

They rattle off words like ‘rape’ and ‘molestation’ but they don’t really understand it. If they did, they’d do something about it.

My husband, John, and I have four boys, Daniel, Luke, Dominic and Bernard. We raised them on a 25-acre property 40 minutes from Newcastle, NSW, and led a happy life with a strong Catholic faith.

The boys were 11, 10, seven and three when Father James Fletcher arrived in our parish.

He didn’t seem very smart and his homilies were shallow, but he took an interest in the children and we were pleased to have a priest who learnt their names and asked them about cricket and school.

Father Fletcher visited our family a lot and we were very active in his church. John did his accounts and I did everything from sewing the buttons onto his black shirts to taking communion to the elderly.

He took a particular interest in Daniel, recruiting him as an altar server. People were always drawn toDaniel. He had a sweet nature, an angelic face and shining eyes.

In fact, I worried about adults’ interest in him, but I took care to check that outings and parties were supervised.

Daniel was about 14 when his behaviour started to change. He’d disappear without explanation, have emotional outbursts and avoid playing cricket with his brothers as he usually did.

I worried about it to Father Fletcher, who insisted it was normal teenage mood swings, but my other sons didn’t behave like Daniel. He seemed depressed and confused. He was given detentions and his exam results fell.

When he left school, he started binge-drinking and was arrested for drink-driving, he had a series of broken relationships and kept moving job and home. At 19, he was going off the rails and didn’t seem to value his life at all.

One day I was sick of seeing him drunk again and we argued. He walked out, and when I followed, I found him on a trailer beside the tractor with a noose around his neck. As I screamed, he jumped.

I supported his weight until Bernard came to help me and then, not knowing what else to do, I called Father Fletcher.

He told me to send Daniel over to see him, saying he could spend the night there. He returned more distressed than ever.

One night in 2000, he called from Tasmania, where he was now living. He’d just been referred to a psychiatrist for stress.

Suddenly a question popped into my head. I still don’t know what triggered it – call it mother’s intuition.

“Have you been sexually abused?” I asked. He replied: “Yes.”

I was shocked but he wouldn’t say any more – I know now that not wanting to talk about it is a normal reaction from abused people – and I wondered who it was. One name was top of my list: Fletcher.

I was right. Daniel said it had happened the night he tried to hang himself. Fletcher had given him more alcohol and a tablet and he’d bombed out. The next morning, he realised he’d been assaulted.

We thought the priest was a dirty piece of work who’d taken advantage of Daniel.

We were disgusted, but Daniel was an adult so had to report it himself, and he wasn’t ready.

It wasn’t until some time later, when he said he might like to go to the police, that John asked: “We’re right beside you, mate, but why on earth would the priest do that to you when you were 19?”

Daniel looked at me. “Because it started when I was 12,” he replied.

The abuse he suffered was so traumatic, it took him 11 months to make his statement.

An employee at the Department of Public Prosecutions asked to be taken off the case because it was so distressing.

When I finally read it, I wept bitter tears to think all that was happening under my nose. Why didn’t I see it? I asked myself. But I hadn’t been looking for it.

Daniel recalled how he was told to stand on his “tippy toes” during one session of abuse. Once he had to ride his bicycle home standing on his pedals.

One part of his statement, describing a particularly awful incident, reads: “Tears were running down my face. The pain was unbelievable.

"My knuckles were white and I just focused on the St Christopher’s medal [Fletcher] had hanging near the steering wheel.

"If I focused on that, it was as if it would take the pain away and make me forget what was happening. But it didn’t. All the way home he kept emphasising this was a secret.”

I felt furious Fletcher had got away with it. I anguished that Daniel was made to feel it was his fault – he didn’t see himself as a victim.

The church community rallied around Fletcher and many ostracised me.

I received frightening anonymous calls and a man rammed his trolley into me in the supermarket, leaving my shins pouring blood. I’d go to talk to another member of the congregation and they’d move away.

I was taken aback, but understood that if they accepted he was a paedophile, they’d have to accept he fooled them, too.

Many of Fletcher’s supporters came to court for the trial in 2004. Another priest gave half his congregation’s Christmas collection towards his legal fees.

By then, two more victims had come forward – one after Fletcher asked his family for a character reference. The arrogance of it!

The police had accounts of more than 80 offences over five years, and the nine strongest were heard in court.

Fletcher denied eight charges of homosexual intercourse with a child and one of aggravated indecency with a child. He was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to 10 years.

We were asked if we’d celebrate, but there was nothing to celebrate.

Daniel wanted Fletcher to admit what he had done and say sorry, but that never happened: In 2006, Fletcher suffered a stroke and died. His funeral was attended by 34 priests.

After the trial I was so traumatised, I needed to get everything out of my head. I also wanted to write a record for the family to help us move on.

I only intended to keep it on my shelf, but as more information came out about abuse and cover-ups by the Catholic church, people said: “Why don’t you publish that book?” So I have.

Daniel, now 36, spoke at the launch. He has a strong woman, a good job and three beautiful children – he wanted everyone to know he was doing well. I’m very proud of him.

Several positive things happened after the court case. Our diocesan bishop, Michael Malone, set up Zimmerman Services, which refers sex-abuse victims to the police and provides support and counselling.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, who had taken Daniel’s very first statement, went on ABC’s Lateline and spoke graphically of the horror of child abuse and of high-level cover-ups in the church and the police force.

There was a public outcry, and the following Monday, Julia Gillard announced a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse.

I’m 63 now and live quietly in the Hunter Valley. John and I separated – the stress didn’t help – but we’re still a close family. I advocate for other victims and support other mothers going through a similar ordeal.

I don’t go to Mass any more. My faith hasn’t changed, but I don’t need a priest. I’m in charge of my own spirituality.

As told to Beverley Hadgraft

Holy Hell by Patricia Feenan (Fontaine Press, $24.95) is out now. Visit -- holyhell.com.au

If you or anyone you know has suffered abuse, call Lifeline on 131 114.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/the-case-of-daniel-feenan-triggered-the-royal-commission-into-child-sex-abuse/story-fncynjr2-1226593380989#ixzz2NBgTmgit

Friday, March 15, 2013

International Arrest Warrant issued against Pope Francis I, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, for Crimes against Humanity and Child Trafficking!

Italians and others are empowered to apprehend the new Pontiff


The same Common Law Court that tried and sentenced his predecessor and other church and state officials has today issued an Arrest Warrant against the first Jesuit Pope in history, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

A signed and sealed copy of the Warrant is attached, and the text follows. CLICK ON LINK BELOW

The Argentinian prelate assumed criminal liability and became subject to immediate arrest by occupying the Papal seat in the wake of the conviction of the Vatican as a criminal organization on February 25, 2013.

Bergoglio's role in the death of Argentinian citizens during that country's "Dirty War" and in the trafficking of the children of political prisoners also compelled the International Common Law Court of Justice to issue the Warrant today, which is one year in duration.

Italian and Argentinian citizens, and any man or woman, are authorized by the Warrant to be involved in Bergoglio's public detaining.

"The Pope is the head of a predatory power that is waging an undeclared, centuries-old war against the entire non-Catholic world" commented ITCCS Field Secretary Kevin Annett today in Vancouver, where he delivered a copy of the Arrest Warrant to the Catholic Archdiocese office.

"Since we and our children are being assaulted by a corporation that is a law unto itself, we have the right to defend ourselves and detain or stop altogether those responsible, as in any war".

A Public Proclamation is being read out in twenty eight countries this week by ITCCS members, publicly banning those church and state officials who cannot be immediately arrested under these Warrants.

Citizens are encouraged to download and use the attached Warrant.

Issued by ITCCS Central Office

15 March, 2013




The "Schvartzes" Could Be A Danger To Jewish Child Rapists!

* Yeshiva Rabbi Bluntly Warns Sex Abuse Reports Put Innocent Jews in Prison!

* Schachter Claims Student Rumors Lead to Jail With 'Schvartze'!

* Rabbi Diagnosed With A Serious Case Of "Foot In Mouth" Disease!

 Rabbi Hershel Schachter was recorded at a London conference railing against the dangers of reporting child abuse claims directly to police. He used a derogatory word to claim that false claims could lead to Jews being jailed with black inmates.

A top rabbinic dean of Yeshiva University has warned rabbis about the dangers of reporting child sex abuse allegations to the police because it could result in a Jew being jailed with a black inmate, or as he put it, “a schvartze,” who might want to kill him....



"Give me the boy at seven", and now we know what that has meant for so many boys!

The Jesuits say, "give me the boy at seven", and now we know what that has meant for so many boys. The Vatican newspaper, worried that indoctrination at seven is not producing sufficient life-time allegiance, has been arguing that the age of first communions and confession be reduced to five.

Ending clergy abuse

As the world absorbs the news of the appointment of the new pope, it is time to ask how the new Supreme Leader of the Catholic Church can meet its most urgent challenge, of stopping its priests from sexually molesting small boys.

There have been, on a realistic estimate, over 100,000 such victims since 1981, when Joseph Ratzinger became head of the Vatican office which declined to defrock paedophiles and instead approved their removal to other parishes and other countries.

These widespread and systematic sexual assaults can collectively be described as a crime against humanity. The church cannot atone just by paying compensation. Unless the new pope installs a policy that minimises danger to children, he, like pope Benedict, will become complicit in ongoing but avoidable abuse.

First, and most obviously, there must be zero tolerance for paedophile priests. They must be automatically defrocked as soon as their bishop learns of their crime. There must be no delay, and certainly no appeal to the Vatican _ it was there that Rev Ratzinger's preference for avoiding scandal permitted so many paedophiles to be forgiven, and then to re-offend. There is ample evidence now, from Ireland, America and Europe, that the Vatican has conspired to thwart prosecutors and protect clerical criminals.

The pope is the source of canon law, which directs that allegations of child molestation be investigated in utter secrecy, by a "trial" loaded in favour of clerics who if found guilty are "punished" for the most part by orders for prayer and penitence. This must be changed, by recognition that child molestation is a serious offence which cannot be dealt with in a secret ecclesiastical procedure.

Allegations must be reported to the police. The Vatican pretends that it made this change in 2011, when new "guidelines" were issued reminding bishops to co-operate with law enforcement authorities, but only when local law requires it (and many countries still do not have laws compelling the reporting of child abuse). These "guidelines" are not incorporated into canon law.

Bishops are not told to hand evidence over to the police, and priests are not required to inform on brothers whom they know (often through confession) to be molesting children.

There is no duty to suspend a suspected priest.

Even in countries where local bishops have bowed to political pressure and announced that public prosecutors will be told of sex abuse allegations, there is always a qualification: "Only if the victim consents." It is all too easy for young victims and trusting parents to be counselled that the victim's best interests lie in allowing the church to deal with the matter "in its own way"without involving the police.

So criminal priests escape prosecution because officials, in order to protect the reputation of their church, pressure and persuade families to have complaints dealt with in secret under canon law processes.

Abolishing the role of the Vatican and of canon law in covering up for paedophile priests will take some papal courage, but will be relatively easy beside the radical changes necessary to stop the abuse from happening in the first place.

The reform most often suggested is to abandon celibacy. This would not be doctrinally difficult _ Christ's disciples appear to have been married, and the rule was a dogma introduced in the 11th century and almost abolished by 16th century reformers.

But marriage does not "cure" paedophilia. Moreover, many abusive priests are not paedophiles. Their disordered personality can often be ascribed to conditions that would prevent them from forming satisfactory heterosexual relationships. Essentially, abuse happens because they are too weak or emotionally immature to resist the temptation.

That temptation arises because the church indoctrinates children at their earliest rational age _ usually at seven _ that the priest is the agent of God. Communion is an awesome miracle performed by the God-priest, and then the impressionable and nervous child is made to confess his sins and seek forgiveness from God, represented again by the priest.

Father Tom Doyle explains the phenomenon of children's unflinching obedience to priests' sexual requests as induced by "reverential fear" _ the victims have such emotional and psychological dependence on the abuser that they unquestioningly obey _ and do not tell for many years afterwards.

It follows that the only reform that would tackle the evil of clerical sexual abuse at its source would be to raise the age, from seven to, say, 13, at which children are first given communion and confession, which inculcates their reverence for the priesthood.

If the new pope cannot bring himself to deliver small children from the spiritual hold of the priest, then parliaments may have to step in to protect children of tender age from immersion in religious rituals.


Victims of clergy sexual abuse say millions of children remain at risk!

Millions of children still at risk while Church fails to deal with the problem, activists say

Victims of clergy sexual abuse urged newly-elected Pope Francis to reform the Catholic Church and declare "zero tolerance" for sex crimes as his first official act.

"St Francis was the greatest reformer in the history of the church, Pope Francis must do the same," the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or Snap, said in a statement.

US-based Snap warned that millions of children remained at risk from paedophile priests because the Church had not yet reversed long-standing policies of covering up reports of sexual abuse by transferring priests to unsuspecting parishes.

Insisting that the Jesuit order from which he hailed had a "troubled" track record on paedophilia, Snap said Francis "has both an enormous opportunity and duty to help prevent heinous assaults against kids by this crucial and relatively secretive segment of the Catholic clergy".

"Very little about this crisis has been exposed in South and Central America. We worry about the safety of children in the church there," the group added.

"For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope he starts by exposing the names of predator priests - current and former, living and deceased - in his home archdiocese."

The sex abuse scandal cast its shadow over the conclave of cardinals that elected Francis after two days of votes.

Snap had called for more than a dozen cardinals they said had covered up abuses or made tactless remarks about the scandals to be left out of the deliberations.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi defended the cardinals and accused Snap and other activists of showing "negative prejudices".

Catholics United spokesman Christopher Hale also acknowledged that when it came to sex abuse in the Church, "apologies are not enough".

"Priests who sexually abuse children have to end up in jail and not in our parishes," he said.

The election of Francis came in the same week that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, its former leader Cardinal Roger Mahony and an ex-priest agreed to pay a total of nearly US$10 million to settle four child sex abuse cases brought against them. It was the latest in a string of such settlements around the world.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Organizations join to stop child sexual abuse in sports!

The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation is co-hosting a summit to discuss best practices

Following a string of recent cases in which coaches used their positions to sexually abuse children, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation says it is trying to help sports organizations better screen people who work with young athletes.

The foundation has created an online resource that offers training for employees and volunteers. The site also directs sports organization leaders to a legal research website where they can search potential staff members' criminal histories at a minimal cost.

"Most organizations serving kids do the bare minimum to protect them" because they feel overwhelmed just managing their day-to-day operations, and screening volunteers can be expensive, said Steve Salem, CEO of the foundation.

 The online resource is one step the foundation has taken to help end abuse amid growing concerns about sexual abuse in the sports realm. Next week, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation is partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to hold a summit about child sexual abuse in sports.

Event organizers saw a need for a conference after the sexual abuse scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky and the Pennsylvania State University football program.

"Although this was a wake-up call for many in America to learn about the scope and type of abuse children encounter in youth sports activities, it was an issue we were very familiar with and that our staff, frankly, deals with every day," said John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Maryland has also seen recent cases of alleged child sexual abuse in sports. In October 2011, a coach with Michael Phelps' former swim club, the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, resigned following allegations of inappropriate conduct with a female swimmer in 1975.

A year later, Rick Curl, who founded the Washington Curl-Burke Swim Club, turned himself in to Montgomery County police on a charge of abusing one of his students in the 1980s. Curl pleaded guilty in February to one count of child sexual abuse and faces up to 15 years in prison.

In September 2012, ice dancer and coach Genrikh Sretenski was arrested in Howard County on New York charges of sexual abuse and endangering a child. He was released from jail a few days later on the condition he turn himself in to New York police.

Ryan said there's no data tracking the scope of child sexual abuse as it relates to sports but said the center's tip line has received about 1.8 million reports of children being exploited since 1998.

Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL defensive lineman who is speaking at the summit, said sports has paved the way for social change before with issues such as segregation and women's rights and that it could do the same for child sexual abuse.

"I think this could be a pivotal moment in the history of youth sports," he said.


While clergy abuse of children has received worldwide attention from media and legal authorities, little has been written about the more widespread phenomenon of clergy abuse of adult women, said Batchelor. Think Tendler Trinity Of Human Garbage!

READ TENDLER POST: http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/2007/07/seeking-additional-victims-of-rabbi.html


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mahony is in Rome helping select the next pope!

LA archdiocese settles 4 clergy abuse cases for $10M; priest had admitted past abuse to Mahony

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will pay nearly $10 million to settle four clergy sex abuse cases.

Church attorney J. Michael Hennigan confirmed the $9.9 million settlement Tuesday for the cases, which alleged abuse by former priest Michael Baker.

Two cases were to go to trial soon and a judge had said attorneys for the alleged victims could also pursue punitive damages.

Recently released files show Baker met with Cardinal Roger Mahony in 1986 and confessed to molesting two brothers for nearly seven years.

Mahony sent Baker for psychological treatment but eventually put him back in ministry, where he molested again.

Baker was convicted of molesting one boy in 2007. Two of the latest plaintiffs are that boy's brothers.

Mahony is in Rome helping select the next pope.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/03/12/la-archdiocese-settles-4-clergy-abuse-cases-for-10m-priest-had-admitted-past/#ixzz2NOa0RUpE


Finaldi, however, disputed the notion that Mahony should be absolved of any obligation to alert authorities.

“You have a priest who is confessing that he sexually molested two kids, and you don’t pick up the phone and call police? There’s no reasonable excuse for not doing that,” he said.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Child sexual abuse happens because of the choices adults make!

Stewards of Children initiative fights child sexual abuse

Program trains workers to spot, report the signs

Parents in Hall County can rest just a little bit easier knowing that several community organizations are watching out for their children.

More than 25 organizations that work closely with children have joined the Hall County Prevention Initiative and are training their staffs to prevent and recognize the signs of child sexual abuse.

Steve Collins, president of Adults Protecting Children, said the goal of the initiative is to train 5 percent of the adults in Hall County.

Collins calls the 5 percent goal the “tipping point” to enacting a cultural change. Currently, the initiative has trained about 11 percent of its goal. He anticipates it taking another three to four years to reach about 9,000 people.

But the initiative is closer to reaching its goal because of organizations such as Gainesville Parks and Recreation, Quinlan Visual Arts Center, INK, Westminster Presbyterian Church and The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County. Each organization has trained its entire staff and earned a Partners in Prevention designation from Darkness to Light, the developers of the Stewards of Children training program.

Melvin Cooper, director of Gainesville Parks and Recreation, said the goal is to continue to train everyone who works with children through the organization’s programs, including full- and part-time staff and volunteer youth coaches.

“Our main focus is the safety and well-being of every child in our programs,” Cooper said in an email. “Parents trust us with their children and we want to make sure that we are doing everything possible to protect them while in our care.”

Andi Harmon, division manager at Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, is certified to train the city’s employees. She’s teaching all the new lifeguards to recognize signs of abuse as the center gears up for the busy summer months where the lifeguards are sure to interact with many children.

Harmon said she thinks the program will help adults know how to better address the topic of sexual abuse, not just with children but with other adults.

“I think it sheds a light on it,” Harmon said. “It’s unfortunate that we even have to do it. But we need to put a focus on it so it’s not a hidden topic. The first part of solving the problem is opening that dialogue.”

Ignoring or not reporting a suspicion of abuse isn’t an option.

 A Georgia law passed last year requires doctors, nurses, teachers, volunteers, clergy and others who work with children to report suspected child abuse to authorities within 24 hours, or face criminal charges.

Cooper said the program gives volunteers and staff the confidence to act responsibly.

“It’ll take an entire community of people to stop child abuse,” Cooper said. “The more people who are conscious of the issue and understand how to avoid a certain situation or react in a situation, the better.”

The training takes about two hours and costs $15 per person. Those who are interested in training can email adultsprotectingchildren@gmail.com or visit the initiative’s website at www.preventnow.org.

Other county initiatives like the ones in Lumpkin and Rabun, have already reached their tipping point.

“You can see how, in Lumpkin County, there is much more of a community impact because there are so many more of those in the areas where children are (who) have been trained,” Collins said.

Signs like the establishment of a new child advocacy center and more frequent calls to law enforcement indicate that a cultural change is taking place in the community.

Collins said he envisions a community in Hall County that can protect children from abuse by educating adults.

“Child sexual abuse happens because of the choices adults make,” Collins said.

Adults can ensure the organizations their children participate in have policies in place that will protect children.

Adults can do a lot by simply learning to listen to the kids.

“We’re reducing the opportunities for child abuse,” Collins said. “We’ll never eliminate it, but we can certainly change the structure of these organizations and make them safer so the numbers will eventually be down. And perpetrators will know that Hall County is not a safe place for them to engage in any kind of abusive activity because there are too many adults looking out for children.”

Contact: 770-789-3879, adultsprotectingchildren@gmail.com


Way To Go Michael Dowd!

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Meets With Leading Activist To Extend Clergy Abuse Statute Of Limitations

A leading advocate for a bill to expand the statute of limitations for clergy sex abuse cases got an unexpected meeting with Cuomo last week.

Michael Dowd, who was campaign manager for Cuomo’s father’s 1977 mayoral run, was meeting with Cuomo’s chief counsel to discuss the bill when the governor popped in with out warning, insiders said.

Dowd made his case, but received no promises from Cuomo on the controversial measure, which is vehemently opposed by the Catholic Church, a source said.

A Cuomo spokesman confirmed the meeting but said the governor has not taken a position on the bill.


Monday, March 11, 2013

My Brother Was A Victim Of Clergy Sexual Abuse!

It is time to ring down the curtain on the old men who cared more for the institution they ran and for the perks and privileges they enjoyed, than for the children under their care. Their tender mercies turned out to be a holocaust of abuse.

 In 1983, at the age of 38, my brother hanged himself with his belt in a hospital ward and his once promising life was over, stolen away by years of abuse at a Catholic school. Over the past two decades, the vast clergy sex abuse scandal has left the Catholic Church morally and economically devastated. It left my family devastated as well and caused more pain than I ever could have imagined.

In the 1960s, my brother went off to a high school run by the Christian Brothers. He emerged four years later terribly damaged and depressed. Along with dozens of other boys in the school, he was abused over the entire course of his time there by one of the priests, and he was warned not to tell anyone about it.

It is time to ring down the curtain on the old men who cared more for the institution they ran and for the perks and privileges they enjoyed, than for the children under their care. For years, he did not. Then, in his early 20s, he had a major mental breakdown from which he never recovered. A psychiatrist told my mother “I have never seen such ego destruction as what happened to your son in that school.”

A bright, caring, handsome young man, my brother struggled mightily to overcome his abuse, but he did not succeed. Although he married and had a child, his demons ultimately got the best of him. In 1983, at the age of 38, he hanged himself with his belt in a hospital ward and his once promising life was over, stolen away by years of abuse at a Catholic school.

As a journalist and as the family member of a victim, I have been astonished by the sheer scope of this scandal. I have interviewed countless clergy abuse victims, many of whom suffer from depression, alcoholism and other addictions. Many are not able to maintain close relationships or marriages. And some, like my brother, took their own lives.

As Joanna Moorhead wrote recently in The Guardian, “How could an organization that professes a direct link to Christ … have gone so far off the rails that it now seems a power-crazed, untrustworthy and corrupt institution, out to save its own skin at almost any cost?”

During the 60s and 70s, Rev. James P. Porter, a priest in Fall River, molested scores of children.

In spite of this, Catholic Church officials continued to move Porter from parish to parish before he left the priesthood in 1974. In 1993, he pleaded guilty to molesting 28 children, but he had previously admitted to abusing at least 100 boys and girls.

Porter is merely one example. But he represents many other abusive priests who were handled in the same way.

Cardinal Bernard Law, who was archbishop of Boston when the allegations against Porter began to gain momentum in the early 90s, was not only aware of rampant sexual misconduct in the priesthood but also apparently attempted to sweep the abuse under the rug.

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick wrote in 2002:

“Law was apparently engaged in elaborate efforts to cover up incident after incident of child rape. Worse yet, he breezily reassigned clergy known for sexually abusing children to work with more children — conduct not all that distinguishable from leaving a loaded gun in a playground.”

When the Boston media began to write stories about Porter, Law thundered, “By all means we call down God’s power on the media, particularly the [Boston] Globe.”

The wrath of God, I suspect, was moving in another direction entirely, but Law was hardly reprimanded by Rome. In fact, he was given a cushy job in the Vatican, where he remains to this day.

Of course I got to thinking about all this — my brother, the clergy sexual abuse scandal, and Bernard Law — because soon the leaders of the Catholic Church will gather together to elect a new pope.

During the last conclave, protesters objected to Cardinal Law’s participation. He took his place anyway. Though at age 81, he is too old to vote in the coming conclave, he is eligible to participate in the general congregation meetings that precede it.

Vote or no vote, it is a travesty that Law should have any involvement in any of the ceremonies associated with selecting a new pope.

It is time to ring down the curtain on the old men who cared more for the institution they ran and for the perks and privileges they enjoyed, than for the children under their care. Their tender mercies turned out to be a holocaust of abuse.

It is not a time for old crimes to be forgotten. Let them be remembered, always...


Sunday, March 10, 2013

New York May Ease Statute of Limitations for Decades-Old Child Sex Abuse Claims!

All agreed that New York State’s current statute of limitations allowed individual abusers and institutions to run out the clock, and avoid taking responsibility. “People who abuse children do not retire from molesting,” said Christopher Anderson, Executive Director of MaleSurvivor, who was abused by a neighbor as a child. Richard Gartner, a psychologist and psychoanalyst who specializes in male sexual abuse, explained that often, the trauma is too great for a child to face. “I have seen over a thousand patients since the 1980s,” he said. “ I can only think of two who came [to me] before the New York statute of limitations was reach by age 23. I have known men to come forward in their 60s and beyond who had never told a single person.” When the state denies abuse survivors justice because of a time limit, Gartner added, “the state is re-victimizing these people yet again.”

Testify at N.Y. Hearing on Lifting Statute of Limitations

The hearing was presided over by two Democrats, Assembly members Joseph Lentol and Margaret Markey, the bill’s sponsor, and a Republican, Assemblyman Alfred Graf.

Two Yeshiva University staffers Friday urged passage of a bill that could potentially harm their own school, which is currently under scrutiny because of allegations it failed to address child sexual abuse over several decades at its high school affiliate.

Professor Marci Hamilton and Rabbi Yosef Blau testified at a New York Assembly hearing in support of the Child Victims Act, which would make it easier for adults who were abused as children to file suits against institutions that they believe were negligent in protecting them.

Currently, any victim of child sexual abuse who fails to file such a suit by his or her 23rd birthday is barred from doing so by New York State’s statute of limitations on such crimes. The Child Victims Act would abolish those limits for cases going forward and open up a limited, one-year window during which those abused in the past could file civil law suits against their abusers, and against institutions that knew or should have known about such abuse committed by members of their staffs.

The bill, versions of which have been offered four times in previous years, is expected to pass the state assembly easily but faces a tough test in the state senate.

Both the Catholic Church and the ultra-Orthodox umbrella group, Agudath Israel of America, have publicly opposed the bill in the past. Many experts on child sexual abuse say it can take far longer than the current statute allows for victims of abuse to understand and confront what was done to them as children, and then go to court for redress, which can exacerbate already existing trauma.

In a series of stories starting last December, the Forward found more than 20 former students at Yeshiva University High School for Boys’ Manhattan campus who said they had been abused by two senior staff members over a period ranging from the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s. Several of the former students say they or their families alerted Y.U. officials to what was going on at the time but got no response. One of the senior staff members, high school principal George Finkelstein, left Y.U. for a school in Miami, Fla., where a student has told the Forward he, too, was abused by this administrator.

At the Friday hearing, held in Manhattan, Blau told members of the Assembly’s Codes Committee, “I know that there are members in my own community…fighting this bill. I think that’s a mistake.”....

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/172593/yeshiva-staffers-back-easing-restrictions-on-child/?p=all#ixzz2N3tlRu8z

Friday, March 08, 2013

I am only one of many!

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are no different from anyone who has survived sexual violence, in terms of what we do to rebuild ourselves. But we are experts in two areas: We’ve taken a master class in the toxicity of silence and secret-keeping, and we have doctorates in our understanding of the importance of consent. It can take abuse survivors, like rape survivors of either gender, years to reclaim a sense of ownership over their bodies. The body is the site of so many violations, starting with the chief one: Our abusers did not ask us for permission to use our bodies as they pleased.

The man who was my abuser was a fine host, a good husband, a caring father, a respected elder whose generosity and kindness were as genuine as the fact of the abuse. These qualities were important, because they helped him conceal the abuse he carried out over a period of four years.

As a much-loved older relative, a close friend of my parents, he had unrestricted access to our house, and we visited him often. It was only at 12 that I began to feel uncomfortable. Not about the abuse — I didn’t know the term “child sexual abuse” at 9 or at 12, and had no words with which to describe my discomfort with the “games” he played — but about the silence that he demanded. When I was 13, I left Delhi for Calcutta, to study in that city, and left my abuser behind. But he didn’t forget, and when I came back to Delhi as a 17-year-old, he was there.

At 17, I knew that he had no right to do this to me. When he sent poems, said that despite the four decades that separated us, we were supposed to “be together,” I finally broke my own silence — but only partly. I told my mother and my sister, and they formed a fierce, protective barrier between me and my abuser.

But the man who had started his abuse when I was a 9-year-old was still invited to my wedding, because we were keeping secrets, trying to protect one family member or another.

Years later, when my abuser was dying of old age and diabetes, I visited him. There was no space for a long conversation, but I did tell him that I could not forget what he had done, even if forgiveness was possible. The silence around the abuse, as much as the abuse itself, festered and caused damage for years, until finally, in my thirties, the difficult but ultimately liberating process of healing began.

In December 2012, a violent gang rape in Delhi took the life of a young woman and set off a raging debate over women’s freedoms and rape laws. In all the complex arguments we’ve heard in the past few months in India on rape, violence against women and the even less often discussed experiences of men who have gone through either sexual violence or childhood sexual abuse, we have not discussed consent as much as we need to. In the area of rape, women’s bodies in particular are often discussed as though they were property: How much freedom should the Indian family allow its daughters, wives, sisters, mothers?

This way of thinking almost always reinforces curbs on women’s freedoms, by heightening the idea that a woman’s honor — rather than her well-being — must be safeguarded, because she is someone else’s possession. This used to be, until very recently, underlined by most Indian government and legal documents, in which we were asked for the name of the father (not the mother), the husband (not the wife), as though the terms “parent” and “partner” were alien to the notion of the Indian family.

If my story saddens you, please think about this: It is neither new nor rare, nor was the man who abused me a monster, or in any way out of the ordinary. According to a 2007 survey (the largest of its kind in India) conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, over 53 percent of Indian children have experienced some form of sexual abuse — including a slightly higher percentage of boys than girls.

I am only one of many. And I was luckier than most; my abuser was not excessively violent. As I learned to acknowledge the abuse and to cope with the fallout, I made some unexpected connections, found good friends, found strong mentors, found help, found my voice again and built a happier, more free life. I’m breaking my silence today to make a point, not about abuse, but about the importance of consent in the present debate over women’s rights and gender equality in India.

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are no different from anyone who has survived sexual violence, in terms of what we do to rebuild ourselves. But we are experts in two areas: We’ve taken a master class in the toxicity of silence and secret-keeping, and we have doctorates in our understanding of the importance of consent. It can take abuse survivors, like rape survivors of either gender, years to reclaim a sense of ownership over their bodies. The body is the site of so many violations, starting with the chief one: Our abusers did not ask us for permission to use our bodies as they pleased.


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I Would Have Sworn She Was Raised An Ultra-Orthodox Jew! Go Figger!

Brainwashed. Manipulated. Controlled.

Those are the words former Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) member Lauren Drain used to describe her time as part of the controversial organization during an interview Monday on "Piers Morgan Tonight."

Drain, now 27, was thrown out of the WBC at the age of 22. She has recently written a memoir about her experiences.

On Monday, Drain told Morgan about the control WBC members wield, especially over children in the group.

"They control what you believe, what you say, what you do, what friends you have," Drain said. "They say everyone on the outside's evil. And they don't allow any outside influence at all."

WBC members claim to speak for God, Drain said, which is how they dismiss outsiders who criticize the group for its virulently hateful rhetoric.

"It's unfortunate and it's atrocity, the things that they do and say -- horrible things they do and say," Drain told Morgan. "But yeah, they claim that they're speaking for God."

In her book, Drain writes that she ultimately began to question some of the group's core teachings, which she believed contradicted God's message. That's when the group, as well as her entire family, cast her out forever.

But Drain still has three siblings "still stuck" inside the church, and that's what still scares and saddens her.

"They have no opportunity to see any type of outside influence, any type of other perspective on God, any other type of knowledge of a good life or good people," Drain told Morgan. "They have no idea there is happiness, and life and forgiveness on the outside."

Since leaving the WBC, Drain has worked to distance herself from the group's stigma. She's appeared in a NOH8 campaign ad and participated in candid Reddit Ask Me Anything.

Perhaps spurred on by Drain's example, two other former members, Megan Phelps-Roper and her younger sister, Grace, publicly announced in February that they had fled the church. They also apologized for their actions.


Sex, lies & abuse: Suppressing sex scandal only further taints the innocent

A Catholic today (and their cousins) cannot avoid paying some attention to the priest sexual abuse scandal. Who were the priest abusers? How did they come to commit such acts? Why did it take so long for their behaviors to be revealed and then confronted? Have the scandals been stopped? Are things finally different now in the church and if so, how are they different?

Instead of facing the scandals and trying to understand the scandalous acts, some Catholics just left the church. They already had complaints and discomforts. The priest scandal was a final straw. Others took the priest scandals as another challenge to their faith, managed by blocking it out. They refused to read about it or think about it. The errant reactions of both groups will cause more pain and further loss. Child sexual abuse is certainly repulsive and nauseating. Most people prefer not to think about it or talk about it. Sadly, escape seems easier than confrontation.

Child sexual abuse has gone on forever and it is extensive in some cultures. After long periods of inattention even in professional literature, there is now literature on the topic; in psychology/psychiatry, sociology, and childhood education. Even in the academic literature, however, the topic is often treated superficially.

News about child sexual abuse is now everywhere in the press and serious attention must be paid both to the offenders and to the contexts which contribute to their offenses. One essential aspect of all offenders is their sexual and psychological immaturity. No matter their age or their accomplishments, sexually and psychologically the abusers are adolescents. Sex with a woman is not an option. For this reason, sexual acts, when they occur, take place with children.

Looking at priest pedophiles, one has to consider the context of their priestly formation — the seminary context. Sexuality was not a subject addressed in seminaries in the 20th century. Not even in moral theology classes was sexual abuse or sexual maturity addressed. If sexuality was mentioned it had to do with the structure of sex organs and why contraception was a violation of their purpose and design.

Touching was not mentioned. There was no mention of child sexual abuse or the development of sexual maturity. Violation of priestly celibacy meant having sex with a woman. This inadequate and distorted moral education certainly was a contributing factor in the child sexual abuse of some priests.

The extensive work of Sigmund Freud had no place in seminary education. It was as if Freud’s works and the work of many others on sexuality simply did not exist. Existential philosophers and their works on the human person, and the maturity of an inner person, also were ignored.

The focus on sexuality in the seminary was on homosexuality. Any expression of homosexuality resulted in immediate expulsion from the seminary. Priests from the outside, brought in to hear confessions, were instructed to respond to any homosexual sins by requiring that the sinner leave the seminary immediately, that very evening.

Notice how quickly the Vatican responded to accusations of homosexual expressions by Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland. The accusations were made by several priests. They had not yet been subject to any legal examination and will be contested by the cardinal. The cardinal, however, resigned his post and his resignation was immediately accepted. How different this was from the endless delays in dealing with pedophile priests. Continued...

In the 1970s, a study of sexual and psychological maturity in the clergy showed the need for better sexual and psychological education. Even the Vatican insisted that more attention be given to these issues. But not much changed. The same old professors taught their same old material. This inadequate education contributed to the continuing priest sexual scandals. Finally, however, changes are taking place but all too late for many victims and the many scandalized Catholics who simply left the church.

I talked to a friend recently who is a retired chief of police. He mentioned police officers who took advantage of their respected public image in order to commit sexual violations of young people. As with priest offenders, a public image of power and respect was taken advantage of by psychologically and sexually immature persons. In both cases, the sexual behaviors, once revealed, caused scandal and smeared the public image of formerly respected persons in a community.

In both police departments and diocesan offices, the first reaction was to keep the scandalous acts secret. But this didn’t work. Now that certain background contexts and influences have been identified, education and cultural changes are being made. Not only are dangerous priests and policemen being removed, but efforts are being made to return respect to the decent priests and policemen who have been smeared by the personal failures of a few.


James F. Drane Bioethics Institute

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Edinboro, PA

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

A new shocking investigation revealed that more than 400 children are sexually abused every week in Britain, one every 20 minutes

Britain has more than 18,000 profiled paedophiles/child abusers, a majority of whom are being leniently released into the society to repeat their crimes, according to latest statistics compiled by local media.

A new shocking investigation revealed that more than 400 children are sexually abused every week in Britain, one every 20 minutes.

According to data collected for 2011 as part of the probe, the 43 police forces in England and Wales recorded 23,097 child sex offences in 2011, including rape, incest, child prostitution and pornography.

The annual figure is equivalent to 444 attacks a week - or one kiddie abused every 20 minutes, the probe found.

This is while that of all these recorded crimes only 2,135 of those reported - ten percent - led to someone actually being convicted and sentenced. It means that thousands of child abusers escape scot-free.

Thames Valley Police, covering Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, had the second highest child abuse figures, with 1,264 offences, according to the nationwide study.

Last month, the police force smashed an alleged child sex ring in the university city of Oxford. It is claimed 24 victims - some as young as 11 - were groomed, drugged and raped over a period of six years.

More than 1,470 of the national total were aged five and under, 4,973 were ten to five and 14,819 were between 11 and 17. Six times as many girls (19,790) were abused as boys (3,218), authorities said.

They also revealed that one percent of children aged under 16 experienced sexual abuse by a parent or carer, and a further 3 percent by another relative during childhood.

Based on the unveiled statistics, 11 percent of children aged under 16 experienced sexual abuse during childhood by people known but unrelated to them, while, 5 percent aged under 16 experienced sexual abuse during childhood by an adult stranger or someone they had just met.

The majority of children who experienced sexual abuse had more than one sexually abusive experience; only indecent exposure was likely to be a single incident. More than one third (36 percent) of all rapes recorded by the police are committed against children under 16 years of age.

A separate study which examined police data on rapes committed against children found that children under the age of 12 were the most likely of all those aged 16 and under to have reported being raped by someone they knew well.

Children under the age of 12 were least likely to have been raped by a stranger. Children between 13 and 15 years of age were the most likely to have reported being raped by an ‘acquaintance.

This comes as almost half of all sex offenders were spared jail in 2011. And lenient judges let 2,497 - or 43 percent - of the 5,784 convicted walk free from court.

Recent figures show the number of sex criminals allowed straight back into the community has increased by 20 percent over the past five years. Separate figures showed sex assaults on boys and girls under 13 have more than doubled since 2004.