Category: Child Abuse


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Darren Paden

A child sex abuse victim says she’s been denied housing after accusing a “good man” of molesting her for years — and Missouri prosecutors are mystified that so many community members are supporting the admitted sex offender.

Darren Paden was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty in August to two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy — but friends, family members, church elders and community leaders begged a judge to go easy on him.

Prosecutors said the 52-year-old Paden sexually abused the girl up to 300 times over a decade, beginning before she was 5 years old. His 28-year-old son, Anthony Paden, was also charged with sex abuse, although his case remains pending.

But community members have turned their backs on the girl, who is now 18 years old and testified against her abuser in court, and rallied around Paden.

“There are certainly a few good people in this community who have offered support to this young victim,” said Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd. “It is shocking, however, that many continue to support a defendant whose guilt was never in doubt. If it takes a village to raise a child, what is a child to do when the village turns its back and supports a confessed child molester?”

 

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 Iraqi refugees in Syria Wikipedia.org
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 POLITICO

October 07, 2015

Last week I arrived back home to Iraqi Kurdistan, exhausted but proud of a small but real triumph over the Islamic State. Three women and two toddlers came back with me—five human beings just rescued from enslavement by ISIL. For over a year, they were abused, raped and traded fighter to fighter because of one reason: our Yazid religion. I am determined to save every last one of the more than 2,000 Yazidi women and girls still waiting to be freed.

They thought they were abandoned. Their ISIL captors told them that no one wanted them, in their shame and defilement, and that no one was looking for them. But I insist on reaching out to them through pleas on Arabic radio and TV. I give them my phone number, and tell them that we love them and we want them back. Some brave women hear these messages and contact us, and a rescue mission commences. I answer the phone every time, determined to do all that I can, but it is little, and it is not enough. I know there will always be another call, another Yazidi who is terrified and broken and in need of hope, as the world looks the other way.

One of the women, clutching her 2-year-old child, was so distraught. The child kept asking for her 7-year-old sister, who had been taken away from her mother and enrolled in a religious institution where she would be forced to convert to Islam. Her mother had had no choice but to escape without her, and she told me she feared the girl would be raped at the hands of the militants. We have evidence of the militants raping our girls as young as age 8.

For that brief time in August 2014, the United States launched airstrikes to halt the advance of ISIL after its troops took over a third of Iraq, saving the Yazidi people from total massacre by ISIL troops. But since then, we’ve been abandoned and forgotten by Washington and the rest of the international community. For every story of a girl who has been rescued, there’s another one about a girl who is still in captivity, where she is starved, raped, beaten and sold—often to “fellow” Iraqis. And 500,000 Yazidis, a full 90 percent of the indigenous Yazidi population, are in displaced persons’ camps, living in abject misery and isolation with less than minimal sustenance. We languish in these camps, live without income, and without food, medicine or even shelter durable enough to keep the rain out. As long as ISIL remains intent on wiping my people off the map; and as long as the Iraqi and Kurdish Regional governments continue to see Yazidis as less than second-class citizens, unworthy of significant aid and attention, these horrors will continue.

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The Desert Sun

They stumbled upon a child porn ring, then did nothing

‘The most secretive system’

John David Yoder, a Desert Hot Springs child porn suspect,

John David Yoder, a Desert Hot Springs child porn suspect, looks at the camera during a court appearance on Feb. 19. Six weeks before Yoder was arrested, social workers found pictures of boys posing in their underwear while inspecting Yoder’s home.
(Photo: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun)

 

The tip came in six days before Christmas. Someone called a child abuse hotline, reporting that a parent in Desert Hot Springs was molesting two boys. The caller said the man also kept pictures of boys posing in their underwear on his computer.

And so, as it often does, Riverside County sent social workers to investigate the man, a licensed foster parent. He lived in a two-bedroom house with two adopted sons, a preteen boy for whom he was seeking guardianship, and a neighborhood teenager who had moved in after an argument with his parents.

When questioned, the children denied the abuse. But the tipster, it seemed, had been at least half right. Searching the man’s computer, social workers found two photos of children, unrelated to the parent, posing in their underwear. The pictures had been taken by one of the foster parent’s friends, one of the boys said. Sometimes they spent time with that friend, the boy said.

To these social workers, these underwear pictures were concerning, but they were not concerning enough. Social workers classified the investigation as “inconclusive,” then closed their inquiry, according to Riverside County court documents.

The boys were left in the man’s home. His foster license was left intact.

Today, that same parent, John David Yoder, sits behind bars, a suspect in what officials have called one of the worst child pornography rings in Southern California in recent years. Yoder and three other suspects have been accused of victimizing as many as 15 children in Desert Hot Springs, including some of the boys that lived with him. Yoder was arrested in February as result of a separate investigation by law enforcement in Nevada. The charges he now faces are nearly identical to the allegations that were reported to the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services shortly before Christmas.

 

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The Desert Sun

John David Yoder: ‘I have been falsely accused’

Brett Kelman 3:42 p.m. PDT May 27, 2015

John David Yoder, a suspect in a high-profile Desert Hot Springs child pornography ring, says county prosecutors are targeting him without evidence because he is gay.

Yoder made this claim in a jailhouse letter sent to The Desert Sun this month. The letter, which spans five handwritten pages, is the first time that Yoder has spoken publicly since his arrest in February.

“It is my belief that I am being unjustly scrutinized beyond the scope of reason because I am a homosexual,” Yoder wrote to the newspaper.

“I have been falsely accused,” Yoder added.

Yoder also wrote that he could not have committed the crimes he is accused of because his home was “buzzing” with therapists, social workers and lawyers due to his status as a foster parent. Finally, Yoder chastises the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office for prosecuting him by convening a grand jury, a court proceeding that does not allow him to defend himself.

The DA’s office declined to comment on Yoder’s letter on Tuesday.

 

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Man arrested for allegedly kidnapping girl, holding her for 10 years

Santa Ana police arrested a Bell Gardens man on suspicion of kidnapping and rape after he allegedly abducted a 15-year-old girl a decade ago and held her hostage, forcing her to marry him and have his child.

Isidro Garcia was arrested Tuesday after his alleged victim reached out to her sister on Facebook and revealed how she been held hostage in a relationship with the 41-year-old man and had given birth to his child during the decade she vanished.

Santa Ana police say the girl’s mother reported her missing in August 2004. The mother told police her daughter went missing, along with her live-in boyfriend, Garcia, after a domestic violence incident.

Detectives say the mother suspected Garcia was sexually abusing her daughter.

The victim, now 25, revealed to authorities Tuesday how she was abducted in June 2004, when she was living with her mother and sisters in Santa Ana.

 

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The  Vatican  – View from Castel Sant’Angelo

By  :  Jorge Valenzuela A

wikimedia.org

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Vatican tries to draw line under clerical sex abuse scandals at UN hearing

The Vatican has been given another hostile interrogation by a United Nations committee over its record on clerical sex abuse.

One member after another of the committee against torture brushed aside the Holy See’s argument that its obligation to enforce the UN convention against torture stopped at the boundaries of the world’s smallest country, the Vatican City state. They demanded the pope’s representative give answers to a long list of questions about the treatment of sex abuse claims against clergy throughout the world.

The Holy See, which long predates the city state, is a sovereign entity without territory. It is as the Holy See that the Catholic leadership maintains diplomatic relations and signs treaties such as the convention against torture.

But Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s UN ambassador in Geneva, told the committee: “The Holy See intends to focus exclusively on Vatican City state.”

The American expert on the committee, Felice Gaer, made plain her disagreement. She said the Holy See had to “show us that, as a party to the convention, you have a system in place to prohibit torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment when it is acquiesced to by anyone under the effective control of the officials of the Holy See and the institutions that operate in the Vatican City state”.

 

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Vatican faces tough questions at UN torture committee

Vatican to answer questions on past, present and future handling of clerical sex abuse

 Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, (R), Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See  to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, and Vincenzo Buonomo, (L), of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See   prior to the UN torture committee hearing on the Vatican, at the headquarters of the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights  in the Palais Wilson, in Geneva, Switzerland. Photograph:  Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPAArchbishop Silvano Tomasi, (R), Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, and Vincenzo Buonomo, (L), of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See prior to the UN torture committee hearing on the Vatican, at the headquarters of the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Palais Wilson, in Geneva, Switzerland. Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA

Tue, May 6, 2014, 01:00

As expected, a Holy See delegation faced tough questioning at the UN’s Committee Against Torture in Geneva yesterday. For the second time in three months, the Vatican was appearing before a UN body to answer questions about its ratification of a UN treaty, especially with regard to is past, present and future handling of clerical sex abuse.

In his opening address to the committee, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent representative at the UN in Geneva, argued that while the Holy See lent “its moral support and collaboration . . . to the elimination of torture”, it had signed the torture convention in 2002 “on behalf of the Vatican city state”.

No jurisdiction
Archbishop Tomasi said he intended to “focus exclusively on the Vatican city state”, the 100 -acre statelet that surrounds the Basilica of St Peter’s.

In that sense, he claimed, the Holy See had “no jurisdiction over every member of the Catholic Church”. Rather, he said, persons who “live in a particular country are under the jurisdiction of the legitimate authorities of that country and are thus subject to the domestic law [of that country]”.

Inevitably, that assertion prompted a critical reaction from the UN committee, with US human rights activist Felice Gaer accusing Archbishop Tomasi of making an “alleged distinction” between the Holy See and the Vatican city state.

She questioned the Holy See’s apparent assumption that the torture convention applied only to the “four corners of Vatican City”, saying that as far as she could see, Vatican City was simply a “sub-division” of the Holy See.

 

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MSN 

Kids forced into prostitution for Super Bowl: FBI

U.S. Army helicopters fly over Metlife Stadium ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos on February 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The FBI rescued sixteen juveniles ranging in age from 13 to 17 in a two-week operation leading up to the NFL’s Super Bowl championship.

NEW YORK — Forty-five people were arrested and 16 juveniles rescued in a two-week crackdown on prostitution in the New York-New Jersey area leading up to last Sunday’s Super Bowl, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said on Tuesday.

The bureau said some of those arrested claimed they traveled to the site because of the high-profile football game, which drew an estimated 400,000 visitors to the region. The minors rescued ranged in age from 13 to 17 and included high school students and children reported missing by their families, the FBI said.

Arrests were made and victims recovered in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, said FBI spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff.

The FBI, backed by state and local law enforcement agencies, had mounted a major crackdown on human trafficking and prostitution ahead of the February 2 championship game, with some 3,000 law enforcement agents and civilians trained to help spot people who might be the victims of human trafficking.

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45 arrested, 16 juveniles rescued in Super Bowl prostitution bust

NYC police bust major sex ring near Super Bowl Boulevard.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Forty-five people were arrested and 16 juveniles rescued in a two-week crackdown on prostitution in the New York-New Jersey area leading up to last Sunday’s Super Bowl, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said on Tuesday.

The bureau said some of those arrested claimed they traveled to the site because of the high-profile football game, which drew an estimated 400,000 visitors to the region. The minors rescued ranged in age from 13 to 17 and included high school students and children reported missing by their families, the FBI said.

Arrests were made and victims recovered in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, said FBI spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff.

The FBI, backed by state and local law enforcement agencies, had mounted a major crackdown on human trafficking and prostitution ahead of the February 2 championship game, with some 3,000 law enforcement agents and civilians trained to help spot people who might be the victims of human trafficking.

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yazakchattiest yazakchattiest

Published on Jan 28, 2014

Larry Brinkin, who worked at the Human Rights Commission for the City of San Francisco for 22 years and was a prominent homosexual rights activist for more than 40 years, pleaded guilty to felony child pornography possession last week.

Brinkin is expected to serve six months in jail, five years of probation, and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life when he is sentenced on Mar. 5. But he likely will get to keep his city pension because possessing and viewing child porn apparently is not considered a crime of “moral turpitude” under San Francisco’s retirement/pension rules.

According to police, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Weekly, Brinkin had photographic images of children between the ages of 1 and 3 who were being sodomized and forced to perform oral sex on adult men.

Also, in e-mails attributed to Brinkin using the account “Zack3737@aol.com,” he praised interracial adult-child sex saying, in one message, “I loved especially the [N-word] 2 year old getting nailed. Hope you’ll continue so I can see what the little blond bitch is going to get. White Power! White Supremacy! White D— Rules!”

Brinkin, who is “married” to partner Wood Massi and has a son with two mothers, retired from the city’s Human Rights Commission in 2010, when he was 64 years old. At the time and with the support of city official Bevan Dufty, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, in honor of Brinkin’s work over the years to combat discrimination, passed a resolution declaring the first seven days of February 2010 “Larry Brinkin Week.”

While on the Human Rights Commission, Brinkin had worked as a compliance officer, responsible for helping to ensure non-discrimination against employees. He had been instrumental, back in 1982, in implementing San Francisco’s Equal Benefits Ordinance, which required employers to provide equal coverage for “domestic partners.” Further, Brinkin has been a long-time advocate for gay “marriage.”

The archived pages of SF Pride say of Brinkin, “Larry Brinkin has been an activist in San Francisco for over 35 years, co-founding Bay Area Gay Liberation, the Lesbian/Gay Labor Alliance, and the Gay & Lesbian Alternative Dispute Resolution Service. He was a pioneer in the struggle for domestic partner benefits and currently is the manager of the LGBT&HIV Division of the SF Human Rights Commission. He played a major role in recent years in the struggle for transgender rights.”

Brinkin was first arrested in the child pornography investigation in June 2012. According to the news reports, in early 2012 America Online (AOL) had contacted authorities after discovering e-mails and child pornographic images in one of the company’s subscriber accounts.

The Los Angeles Police Department, then put in charge of the case, traced the IP address of the e-mail account Zack3737@aol.com to Larry Brinkin. Police then confirmed that Brinkin had paid for the e-mail service with his credit card.

Read more at:
CNS News: San Francisco’s Gay Icon Larry Brinkin Guilty of Felony Child Porn Possession
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/micha…
San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. gay rights advocate arrested over child porn
http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/S…
SF Weekly: Larry Brinkin, S.F. Gay Rights Icon, Arrested on Child Porn Charges
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2…

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Larry Brinkin, San Francisco gay rights icon, arrested on child porn charges: police

Gay rights icon Larry Brinkin, 66, has been arrested on charges of child pornography, according to San Francisco police, for allegedly exchanging emails that contained images of children as young as a year old.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 1:11 PM
Larry Brinkin, 66, a San Francisco gay rights icon, was charged on possession of child pornography Friday night.

YouTube

Larry Brinkin, 66, a San Francisco gay rights icon, was charged on possession of child pornography Friday night.

Gay rights icon Larry Brinkin has been arrested on charges of child pornography, according to San Francisco police.

Brinkin, 66, best known for fighting for equal rights on behalf of the LGBT community, was booked into San Francisco County Jail on Friday night. He posted bail and was released Saturday, SF Weekly reports.

The San Francisco Police Department seized computers, videos, VHS tapes and a floppy disc from Brinkin and his husband’s home, according to a search warrant obtained by SF Weekly.

Police say Brinkin had exchanged emails that contained pornographic photographs involving children as young as 1-year-old being sodomized or performing oral sex on adult men, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The emails also contain graphic sexual and racist commentary, including, “I loved especially the n—er 2 year old getting nailed,” as well as a rant about white supremacy.

The disturbing messages were traced to Brinkin’s IP address, and his name and credit card information are registered with the AOL account, identified as zack3737@aol.com, according to police.

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Former SF city employee pleads guilty to possession of child pornography

larry brinkin
KTVU.com Staff
larry brinkin

KTVU and Wires

SAN FRANCISCO —

A former San Francisco Human Rights Commission employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony possession of child pornography.

Larry Brinkin, 67, agreed this morning to a plea deal with San Francisco prosecutors, who dropped a second charge of distributing child pornography.

Under the terms of the agreement, Brinkin will serve six months in county jail, six months of home detention and four years’ probation.

He remains out of custody after posting $240,000 bail and will return to court for sentencing on March 5.

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Dr. Melvin Morse, 58, is seen in this booking photo released by the Delaware State Police August 9, 2012.

Melvin Morse, 60, faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and conspiracy.

GEORGETOWN, Del. — A Delaware pediatrician force-fed his 11-year-old stepdaughter, forbade her from using the bathroom and used “waterboarding” in attempts to discipline the child, a prosecutor said during opening statements on Tuesday.

Dr. Melvin Morse’s defense lawyer told jurors in the child endangerment trial that the girl has a long history of lying to adults, including to counselors who have documented the dishonesty.

Morse, 60, faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and conspiracy. He was arrested in 2012 after the girl, then 11, told authorities she had been waterboarded on four occasions.

The prosecutor, Melanie Withers, said he held the girl face-up under a running kitchen faucet until she was unable to breathe. Morse “called it waterboarding,” Withers said.

Defense lawyer Joe Hurley said his client was joking when he used the term “waterboarding” and that the incidents had been attempts to wash the girl’s hair – an activity she hated.

Waterboarding is a controversial technique typically associated with the interrogation of terrorism suspects and involves forcibly holding a cloth over a person’s face and flooding it with water to simulate drowning.

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Related: Jurors being chosen in doctor’s trial over waterboarding claims

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US paediatrician Melvin Morse ‘waterboarded’ stepdaughter

Booking photo of Melvin Morse August 2012
Melvin Morse is accused of holding the victim’s face under a tap multiple times

A former paediatrician has gone on trial accused of waterboarding an 11-year-old girl in the US state of Delaware.

Melvin Morse, 60, is said to have held the face of his female companion’s daughter under a tap several times.

Mr Morse has written several books on children’s near-death experiences and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

He has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment and assault charges against him.

The 12-person jury was chosen on Monday for the trial stemming from the alleged 2012 incidents.

‘Force-feeding’

The BBC’s Kate Dailey, who is attending the court hearing in the town of Georgetown, says a clean-shaven Mr Morse shook his head vigorously as the prosecution claimed he had controlled every aspect of the girl’s life.

It is alleged that the accused decided what the girl should wear, when she could use the bathroom and what she should eat, starving her sometimes and force-feeding her at other times.

Mr Morse was initially accused of grabbing the girl by the ankle and dragging her across a gravel driveway in July 2012.

When the victim was later interviewed, she reportedly told authorities Mr Morse had held her face under a tap at least four times since 2009.

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Alfred Lambremont Webre

Published on Jan 15, 2014

Kevin Annett: Former Argentine official to testify against Pope Bergoglio’s child trafficking under Junta in Argentina

http://exopolitics.blogs.com/breaking…

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Houston Chronicle

Vatican facing UN showdown on sex abuse record

By NICOLE WINFIELD and JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press | January 15, 2014 | Updated: January 15, 2014 3:21pm
Photo By Gregorio Borgia/AP
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FILE – In this Feb. 8, 2012 file photo Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Holy See’s chief sex crimes prosecutor, meets journalists in Rome. The Holy See on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which among other things calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else. The Vatican will be represented by its most authoritative official on the issue, Scicluna.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is gearing up for a bruising showdown over the global priest sex abuse scandal, forced for the first time to defend itself at length and in public against allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests and its own reputation at the expense of victims.

The Holy See on Thursday will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Among other things, the treaty calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else.

The Holy See ratified the convention in 1990 and submitted a first implementation report in 1994. But it didn’t provide progress reports for nearly a decade, and only submitted one in 2012 after coming under criticism following the 2010 explosion of child sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond.

Victims groups and human rights organizations teamed up to press the U.N. committee to challenge the Holy See on its abuse record, providing written testimony from victims and evidence outlining the global scale of the problem. Their reports cite case studies in Mexico and Britain, grand jury investigations in the U.S., and government fact-finding inquiries from Canada to Ireland to Australia that detail how the Vatican’s policies, its culture of secrecy and fear of scandal contributed to the problem.

Their submissions reference Vatican documents that show its officials knew about a notorious Mexican molester decades before taking action. They cite correspondence from a Vatican cardinal praising a French bishop’s decision to protect his abusive priest, and another Vatican directive to Irish bishops to strike any mandatory reporting of abusers to police from their policies. The submissions even quote the former Vatican No. 2 as saying bishops shouldn’t be expected to turn their priests in.

“For too many years, survivors were the only ones speaking out about this and bearing the brunt of a lot of criticism,” said Pam Spees, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which provided a key report to the committee. “And so this is a very important moment for many, many people who are here in Geneva and around the world who will be watching as the Holy See is called for the first time ever to actually answer questions.”

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Desert Rose Creations / Family Survival Protocol   2013

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 Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are serious problems in the United States with long-term adverse consequences for children and society as a whole, and federal agencies should work with state and local partners to raise awareness of these issues and train professionals who work with youths to recognize and assist those who are victimized or at risk, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.Minors who are prostituted or sexually exploited in other ways should be treated as victims rather than arrested and prosecuted as criminals, as they currently are in most states, the report says.


“Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are often-overlooked forms of child abuse,” said Richard Krugman, co-chair of the committee that wrote the report, and vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.”Our national, state, and local laws and policies should recognize that and provide these children and adolescents with the support they need. Right now, they are often invisible to us, and when we do recognize them, we fail to see them as victims and survivors of abuse and violence.We hope our report will help open our nation’s eyes to a serious domestic problem in need of solutions.”

Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors refer to a range of crimes, including recruiting or transporting minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation, exploiting them through prostitution, or exploiting them through survival sex (exchanging sexual acts for something of value, such as shelter or food), among other offenses. Young victims and survivors of these crimes face both immediate and long-term social, legal, and health consequences. As directed by its charge, the committee focused its report on exploitation and trafficking of minors who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and its territories, but urged readers and policymakers to consider the broader implications of its recommendations as they apply to all children and adolescents.

Despite the gravity of the problem, there is no reliable estimate of the scope or prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, the report says; estimates of the number of prostituted children and adolescents in the U.S., for example, have ranged from 1,400 to 2.4 million. These crimes are overlooked and almost surely underreported because they frequently happen at the margins of society and behind closed doors, and the young people involved often do not recognize themselves as victims of abuse. Those especially vulnerable to exploitation include youths who have been neglected or abused; those in foster care or juvenile detention; lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual youth; racial and ethnic minorities; and homeless, runaways, and “thrown-away” children who have been asked or told to leave home.

Efforts to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children in the U.S. are largely absent, the report says, and though efforts to respond to these problems are emerging, they are generally insufficient, uncoordinated, and unevaluated.Many professionals who interact with youth — such as teachers, health care providers, and child welfare and law enforcement professionals — are either unaware that trafficking and exploitation happen in their communities or lack the knowledge and tools to identify and respond to young people who are at risk.

Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors should be understood as acts of abuse and violence, the report says.All states have statutory rape laws specifying that a child under a certain age cannot legally consent to having sex and must be treated as a victim of a crime.And federal law on sex trafficking recognizes children as victims.However, in most states, commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors often are viewed through the lens of prostitution laws. As a result, laws allow prostituted minors to be arrested and charged with crimes instead of treating these sexually exploited minors as victims of crimes.These children and adolescents may be subject to arrest, detention, adjudication or conviction, and commitment or incarceration; they may have permanent records as offenders.

The report calls for all national, state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions to develop laws and policies that redirect young victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation under the age of 18 away from arrest and prosecution and toward systems, agencies, and services that are equipped to meet their needs.A small but growing number of states have enacted “safe harbor” laws designed to send young victims of exploitation to agencies that provide supportive services instead of sending them to the criminal or juvenile justice systems.

The U.S. departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education, working with other partners, should support national, regional, state, and local efforts to raise awareness of these crimes, the report says.These efforts should include training for professionals and others who routinely interact with minors. Health care and child welfare workers, the education sector, and the private sector have an important role to play in preventing, identifying, and responding to these problems.Efforts should also include campaigns to raise public awareness and specific strategies for raising awareness among children and adolescents. In addition, in the absence of an exhaustive list of resources for victim and support services, a digital information-sharing platform should be created to deliver reliable, real-time information on how to prevent, identify, and respond to the problem.

Despite the hard work of prosecutors and law enforcement in many jurisdictions, individuals who sexually exploit children and adolescents largely escape accountability, the report says. All jurisdictions should review and strengthen laws that hold exploiters, traffickers, and solicitors accountable for their role. These laws should include a particular emphasis on deterring demand, both through prevention efforts and penalties for those who solicit sex with minors.

In addition, the report recommends that the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education collaborate and partner with others to implement a national research agenda to advance understanding of this kind of exploitation and develop evidence-informed interventions to prevent youth from becoming victims and to assist those who have been exploited.

“It’s time to direct greater effort to preventing this kind of abuse, identifying young people who have become ensnared in it, and developing effective approaches that can enable them to reclaim their lives,” said committee co-chair Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of law at Vanderbilt University.

The study was sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the U.S. Department of Justice. Established under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council provide independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, the private sector, and the public. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.

Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18358

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The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

 

This  Article Courtesy of  Science Daily

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