43 Child Abuse News Articles
from 2nd Quarter of 2017
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source
6-29-17 Cardinal Pell: Vatican treasurer denies Australia sex offences
Cardinal Pell: Vatican treasurer denies Australia sex offences
The Vatican treasurer, Cardinal George Pell, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing after being charged with sex offences in his native Australia. He complained that he had been subjected to "relentless character assassination" during a two-year investigation into the "false" claims. He said the Pope had granted him a leave of absence to fight the charges. The charges relate to alleged "historical" incidents, police in the state of Victoria said. The allegations were made by a number of people, said Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton. Cardinal Pell, 76, who is based in the Vatican, is considered the third-ranking official in the Holy See. He told a news conference at the Holy See that he would travel to Australia if his doctors permitted it. "I'm looking forward finally to having my day in court," he said. "I am innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me." (Webmaster's comment: Even if found guilty the worst he'll probably get is church punishment. 100 Hail Mary's and he'll be back in business.)
6-29-17 Mum opened nappy to find son had been circumcised
Mum opened nappy to find son had been circumcised
A mother has described the distress of discovering her baby son had been circumcised without her consent. The woman, from Nottingham, said she opened her son's nappy to find him covered in blood - and was so distraught she had to leave the room. She has battled for four years for authorities to take action. Three people have now been arrested, including a 61-year-old man - thought to be a doctor - on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent. "I opened the nappy and I ended up having to leave the room because I felt hysterical," said the mother, who did not want to be identified. "It was just awful really, it wasn't very nice, there was all blood there and stuff." The boy was circumcised in July 2013 when he was three months old, and apparently staying with his paternal grandparents, who are Muslim. His mother originally contacted social services, then contacted Nottinghamshire Police on 24 November 2014. There was an investigation but the force deemed it not to be a criminal matter, and the case was referred to the General Medical Council. The mother later got help from the anti-circumcision group Men Do Complain and leading human rights lawyer Saimo Chahal QC, who wrote to Nottinghamshire Police. (Webmaster's comment: The assaults on children's genitals, both female and male, never stops.)
6-25-17 Texas mother held after two toddlers die in hot car
Texas mother held after two toddlers die in hot car
A Texas mother is facing charges over the deaths of her two children from heat exposure after they were found locked in a car last month, police say. They say Cynthia Marie Randolph has admitted she shut the door to teach her two-year-old daughter Juliet a "lesson" after she had refused to leave the car. Juliet and her 16-month-old brother Cavanaugh were pronounced dead at about 16:30 on 26 May. Temperatures outside at that time were about 96F (35.5C), police say. The incident happened at Ms Randolph's home near Lake Weatherford, the Parker County Sheriff's office says. It says that "throughout multiple interviews, Randolph created several variations of the events which led to the death of her children".Ms Randolph is now facing two felony charges of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.
6-21-17 Babies are dying during childbirth in the UK due to poor care
Babies are dying during childbirth in the UK due to poor care
Three-quarters of babies who die or are brain damaged during childbirth in the UK might have been saved with better medical care, an inquiry has concluded. Three-quarters of the babies who die or are brain damaged during childbirth in the UK might have been saved by better medical care, an inquiry has concluded. The report blames staff for failing to recognise when a baby is in danger, for instance, by not continuously monitoring the baby’s heart rate during labour. Other problems include staff being overworked. Called Each Baby Counts, the report is a result of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists investigating 1136 cases of babies born in the UK in 2015 who either suffered brain damage during birth, or died during delivery or in the next week. The report comes after a string of scandals over substandard care at UK hospitals. For instance, between 2003 and 2014, 11 babies and one mother died at a hospital run by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust as a result of poor care. Failure to monitor babies’ heart rates has also been blamed for baby deaths at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. (Webmaster's comment: It's even worse in the United States! Infant mortality in the UK is 4.2 per 1000 births. ln the United States it is 6.5 per 1000, the fifth highest of the 35 top economic countries in the world! Compared to those countries, of which almost all have subsidized health care, US health care is the most expensive and the worst. Even Cuba's healthcare is better! They live just as long as we do and have a lower infant mortality at 4.6 per 1000 births.)
6-20-17 Man jailed for dangling baby from window in Algeria
Man jailed for dangling baby from window in Algeria
A court in Algeria has sentenced a man to two years in prison for dangling his baby out of a window in order to attract "likes" on Facebook. The father posted a picture of himself holding the baby out of a window in a high-rise building with the caption: "1,000 likes or I will drop him." It prompted other social media users to demand his arrest for child abuse. He was charged with endangering the baby's safety following his arrest on Sunday, police said. The unnamed man dangled the child out of the 15th-floor window of an apartment block in the capital, Algiers, news site Al Arabiya reported.
6-20-17 The wounded victims of Sri Lanka's child marriage law
The wounded victims of Sri Lanka's child marriage law
In Sri Lanka the legal marriage age is 18, but under a decades-old community law, much younger Muslim girls can get married. As calls grow for this law to be amended, BBC Sinhala's Saroj Pathirana meets one young girl forced to marry against her will. When Shafa* was 15, she was forced to get married. "While studying for exams, I fell in love with a boy," Shafa said, tears running down her cheeks. "My parents did not like it. They sent me to my uncle's place. While I was studying there, a regular visitor told my aunt and uncle that he wanted to marry me." Shafa, who comes from a Muslim family and lives in a remote village in Sri Lanka, refused. She wanted to marry the boy she loved, after completing her secondary school education. But despite her objections, her uncle and aunt arranged for her to marry their friend. Whenever she objected to the marriage, she was beaten. Her uncle and aunt even threatened to kill themselves if she did not listen to them. "I cut my arms as there was no other option," said Shafa, pulling up her sleeves to show the scars. "I also took some pills from my uncle's place. "While I was being treated in hospital, they bribed the doctors and took me - together with my saline bottle - to a private hospital. A few days later they forced me to marry that man."
6-17-17 I Underwent Genital Mutilation as a Child—Right Here in the United States
I Underwent Genital Mutilation as a Child—Right Here in the United States
A doctor in Michigan was just arrested for cutting little girls. She’s not the only one. Last week, an Indian American doctor was arrested in Michigan, charged with performing female genital cutting on two seven-year-old girls. As the story hit the local press and then the New York Times, and as it was shared by George Takei and Nicholas Kristof, my phone kept blowing up with breathless messages and links from childhood friends across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that half a million girls in the United States were affected by or at risk for mutilation in 2012. I know of dozens of Bohra women whose parents had them cut in America over the last 30 years, from New York City to Houston to Chicago. Others were taken out of country to have the procedure done, a practice called “vacation cutting” that’s now also illegal in the United States. There’s also little consensus about how the actual procedure is supposed to work; it’s often up to the interpretation of whoever is wielding the blade. In some cases, like mine, a “pinch of skin” from the clitoral hood is cut away, leaving no lasting physical trauma. Sometimes the entire clitoris is removed, or surrounding tissue is also damaged. Last year, writer Mariya Karimjee went on This American Life to tell the story of her cutting, which was performed in Pakistan and left her unable to have sex without unendurable pain. Bohras even disagree on why khatna is performed. The prevailing view is that it keeps girls and women from becoming sexually promiscuous. Others say it has something to do with “removing bad germs” and liken it to male circumcision, which is widely (though not universally) believed to have hygienic benefits. The World Health Organization says female genital mutilation has no known health benefits and “violates the rights to health, security and physical integrity of the person, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.” (Webmaster's comment: Female Genital Mutilation is alive and well here in the United States. Sex is for men to enjoy, women are here solely for men's pleasure and to make babies. What an evil concept!)
6-16-17 Teenage girls and depression
Teenage girls and depression
It has long been known that teenage girls are more susceptible to depression than their male peers, but a new study suggests the problem may be worse than previously thought. Researchers from the RAND Corp. analyzed data from interviews with more than 100,000 children in the U.S. They found that 36.1 percent of teenage girls have experienced depression by the time they are 17—nearly triple the rate among boys. And girls as young as 11 struggle with bouts of sadness, irritability, insomnia, and feelings of guilt or worthlessness more than twice as often as boys their age. These findings suggest the gender disparity in depression emerges long before high school. “The idea was that it was something in particular, socially or biologically, that was happening about mid-adolescence in girls that led to this increase,” lead author Joshua Breslau tells The Washington Post. “What we found partially contradicts that.” It remains unclear why depression affects so many more girls than boys; factors may include differences in biology and the way boys and girls are socialized.
6-14-17 The child marriage tradition of an Indian tribe
The child marriage tradition of an Indian tribe
Defying a ban, a tribe in the western Indian state of Gujarat continues to marry off its children. The tradition of marrying off children continues among the Rabari tribespeople who live in Kutch region in the western state of Gujarat. The legal age for marriage in India is 18 years for women and 21 years for men. Although child marriage is on the decline, nearly a third of all wedded women were married before they had turned 18, according to census data. The practice is prevalent among all religious communities. "Evidence shows that early marriage makes girls more vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation," according to India's government. (Webmaster's comment: We are not talking teenage girls and boys here. These are true children 10-12 years-old!)
6-11-17 Texas toddlers die 'after left intentionally in car for 15 hours'
Texas toddlers die 'after left intentionally in car for 15 hours'
Two young sisters have died in Texas after their mother allegedly left them in a car for 15 hours in temperatures of up to 32C (90F). Amanda Hawkins, 19, left the girls, aged one and two, in the car at 21:00 on Tuesday (03:00 GMT Wednesday) to visit friends nearby, police said. Her daughters cried during the night but she ignored them, a sheriff said, and returned only at noon the next day. Ms Hawkins has been charged with two counts of child endangerment. Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said it was the worst such case he had seen in 37 years on the force.
6-9-17 Sandusky scandal
Three former Penn State officials were sentenced to jail last week for failing to report former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to authorities when they heard about his sexual abuse of children. Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence for molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period. In 2001, then–-graduate coaching assistant Mike McQueary told administrators he saw Sandusky molesting a boy in a team shower. But the officials—former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz, and former Athletic Director Tim Curley—failed to report Sandusky to child welfare authorities or police. Sandusky wasn’t arrested until 2011, after a tip. “All three ignored the opportunity to put an end to [Sandusky’s] crimes when they had a chance to,” said Judge John Boccabella, who sentenced Spanier and Schultz to two months in jail, and Curley to three months.
6-9-17 Admissions rescinded for joking about pedophilia
Admissions rescinded for joking about pedophilia
At least 10 incoming Harvard freshmen had their admissions rescinded for joking about pedophilia, the Holocaust, and illegal immigrants on social media. Using a chat group dubbed “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens,” students dared one another to be “provocative.’’ Officials said the posts showed a lack of “moral character,” but one student said it was just “people doing stupid stuff.”
6-6-17 Harvard bars students for posting 'obscene memes'
Harvard bars students for posting 'obscene memes'
"Obscene" memes posted on a private Facebook page have cost 10 students their place at Harvard, reports the college's newspaper. The students posted messages joking about child abuse, sexual assault, paedophilia and the Holocaust. Members of the group also directed several racial slurs at minorities, said the report. Free speech advocates criticised Harvard's actions saying the punishment was "draconian". (Webmaster's comment: Better yet let's arrest, charge, try, convict and jail these creatures for encouraging violence. Any act that encourges violence against others should be a criminal offense!)
6-2-17 3 former Penn State officials sentenced to jail in Sandusky case
3 former Penn State officials sentenced to jail in Sandusky case
On Friday, former Penn State University President Graham Spanier was sentenced to at least two months in prison and several additional months under house arrest for failing to report allegations of sexual molestation involving the university's former assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky. Two other university administrators, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz, were also sentenced to jail time. All three men were convicted of the same misdemeanor charge of child endangerment for failing to promptly alert authorities about reports of Sandusky's behavior. Spanier reportedly plans to appeal his sentence, as Sandusky has continued to do. Sandusky, who was convicted in 2012 on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, is sentenced to up to 60 years in prison.
6-2-17 Pedophile travel ban
Pedophile travel ban
The Australian legislature is set to pass new laws that will ban convicted pedophiles from traveling overseas or holding an Australian passport—measures intended to stop offenders from visiting Thailand and other countries where child sex tourism is prevalent. Up to 20,000 registered sex offenders will have their passports canceled under a bill that was introduced this week and is supported by the governing majority. “Australia is leading the way when it comes to protecting vulnerable children overseas from the actions of pedophilia,” said Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. “We are ensuring that child sex offenders are not able to take part in the growing child sex tourism trade.” Some 800 registered child sex offenders traveled abroad last year.
6-2-17 Papal apology sought
Papal apology sought
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked Pope Francis to apologize to Canada’s indigenous people for the abuse of aboriginal children at schools run by the Catholic Church. From the 1880s to the 1990s, some 150,000 indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in so-called residential schools in an attempt to strip them of their native culture and languages. Many of those institutions were run by Catholic clergy, and many children were physically and sexually abused by staff. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission said in a 2015 report that the practice amounted to “cultural genocide.” Trudeau, a Catholic who met the pope at the Vatican this week, said Francis seemed open to the idea of an official apology.
6-2-17 Shakespeare martyr
Russians were left aghast this week by viral footage of a 10-year-old boy being violently arrested for reciting Shakespeare on the Arbat, a popular Moscow pedestrian boulevard. Cellphone video aired on Russian TV showed three officers shoving the child into a squad car as he shouted “Save me!” Police said the boy was panhandling, but his father, Ilya Skavronski, said he had been publicly reciting lines from Hamlet on the advice of a speech therapist. His stepmother, who was sitting nearby, tried to intervene with the police, only to have her clothes ripped and her tablet computer broken. The boy was eventually released to his father. Children’s rights commissioner Anna Kuznetsova said she would investigate the incident.
5-30-17 Australia plans to deny passports to convicted paedophiles
Australia plans to deny passports to convicted paedophiles
Convicted paedophiles would be denied passports in Australia under a "world-first" plan proposed by the government. The proposal, to be introduced to parliament, would prohibit registered sex offenders from travelling overseas. Justice Minister Michael Keenan said it would affect about 20,000 offenders who had completed punishments but remained under monitoring by authorities. Sex offenders would be able to apply for passports if they were no longer on the register, the government said. "No country has ever taken such decisive and strong action to stop its citizens from going overseas, often to vulnerable countries, to abuse kids," Mr Keenan said. About 800 registered sex offenders travelled overseas from Australia in 2016, according to the government.
5-29-17 The stolen childhoods of Kashmir in pencil and crayon
The stolen childhoods of Kashmir in pencil and crayon
These are pictures of loss of childhood and innocence. They speak about a violent world outside shuttered homes. They reveal the terrors of the present and the fears for the future. The colours are vivid. Red dominates, in blood and fire. Black is an ascendant colour, clouding the skies and scorching the earth. It's not dark yet, but it's getting there. The artwork is by schoolchildren in Indian-administered Kashmir, home to one of the world's most protracted conflicts. These days, they mostly depict childhoods ruined by the violence of adults. The meadows, streams, orchards and mountains that make their home "heaven on earth", as a Mughal emperor once exulted, is missing in much of their work. Stone-throwing protesters, gun-toting troops, burning schools, rubble-littered streets, gunfights and killings are some of the anxious, recurring themes on the canvas. Last summer was one of the bloodiest in the region for years. Following the killing of influential militant Burhan Wani by Indian forces in July, more than 100 civilians died in clashes with security forces during a four-month-long lockdown in the Muslim dominated-valley.
5-28-17 US woman 'locked children in car boot' to go shopping
US woman 'locked children in car boot' to go shopping
A woman has been arrested in the US after allegedly locking her children, aged two and five, in the boot of her car while she went shopping. US media report that Tori Castillo, 39, is facing child abuse charges and the children are now with their father. Onlookers in the car park instructed the five-year-old on how to open the boot from the inside, reports say. Passersby had noticed the car shaking and noise coming from inside where it was parked outside a Walmart. The incident happened on Thursday in Riverdale, Utah. It is not clear how long the children were in the boot.
5-26-17 Weiner pleads guilty
Weiner pleads guilty
In a tearful appearance, disgraced former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty last week to sexting a 15-year-old girl, saying he had destroyed his “life’s dream in public service.” Weiner, 52, was caught sending explicit messages and images to the North Carolina girl last year, while his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, was serving as a top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. FBI agents seized Weiner’s laptop, where they found emails that prompted then–FBI Director James Comey to announce he had reopened the investigation into Clinton’s private server—roiling the 2016 campaign in its final days. In a deal with prosecutors, Weiner pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to one count of transmitting obscene material to a minor—a felony that carries up to 10 years in prison and will require him to register as a sex offender. As Weiner entered his plea, Abedin filed for divorce.
5-26-17 Girl, 11, accuses school of war crime in feedback form
Girl, 11, accuses school of war crime in feedback form
An 11-year-old girl's assertion that her school was guilty of a war crime has gone viral. Her father, Gavin Bell (also known as author Mason Cross), revealed on Twitter that she had gone rogue on a pupil feedback form. She criticised the policy of punishing a whole class for one person's bad behaviour - by citing the Geneva Conventions. "Not sure if I should ground her or buy her ice cream," Mr Bell mused. Asked what her teacher could do better, Ava Bell wrote: "Not use collective punishment as it is not fair on the many people who did nothing and under the 1949 Genva [sic] Conventions it is a war crime." The picture showing the suggestion, handwritten in pencil, has been "liked" more than 400,000 times on Twitter. Mr Bell, who is based in Glasgow, said his eldest child is "11 going on 47". "I should clarify that she thinks her teacher is awesome," he added. "It's just this aspect of the educational justice system she has an issue with."
5-22-17 Female genital mutilation is illegal in the U.S. So why is it still happening?
Female genital mutilation is illegal in the U.S. So why is it still happening?
Adama tells me her story, the motivation for her fight, she pounds on her chest proudly. She has an enormous smile and a stylish shock of short hair. Adama is 23, originally from Gambia. When she was a little kid there, her mother told her: "You're going to go visit your aunt, and when you come back, we're going to take you to school." She was 7, and what happened was that her genitals were mutilated. Which is really common where Adama is from. In fact, when she went back to school, she found most of the girls in her school were also mutilated. Adama says she asked her mother, "Why did you take me to this woman ... to get mutilated?" And her mother said to her: "Well you know, when you are mutilated, you're able to control yourself, so that when you get married, your husband will find you a virgin." "It's ultimately about controlling female sexuality," says Dr. Deborah Ottenheimer, who works with FGM survivors. "There are a lot of medical side effects. Difficulty with menstrual periods afterwards, chronic vaginal infections. Also women tend to have difficulty with childbirth. They have a higher rate of complications with birth." About 200 million girls alive today have undergone genital mutilation. Half a million of them are in the U.S. New York has the highest number of cases among U.S. cities. A lot of those women came to the U.S. already mutilated, like Adama. In 1996 the U.S. passed a law criminalizing the practice, and also making it illegal to send a girl abroad to undergo the procedure. But recently, a doctor in Michigan became the first person in the country to be arrested on charges of performing mutilations.
5-16-17 India doctors allow 10-year-old rape victim to abort
India doctors allow 10-year-old rape victim to abort
A panel of doctors has accepted a 10-year-old rape victim's plea for an abortion in the northern Indian state of Haryana. Dr Ashok Chauhan told the BBC the termination would be carried out "anytime now". The girl became pregnant about five months ago. She alleges rape by her stepfather, who has been arrested. Indian law does not allow terminations after 20 weeks unless doctors confirm the woman's life is in danger. The decision to allow the child to abort was taken after a local court told doctors at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in the town of Rohtak that it would accept their recommendation. Sexual abuse against children is rampant in India, as it is in America!
5-15-17 India child rape victim in abortion plea
India child rape victim in abortion plea
A panel of doctors is meeting in India to decide if a 10-year-old rape victim can be allowed to undergo an abortion. The girl was repeatedly raped by her stepfather and is due to give birth in four months, police in the northern town of Rohtak told the BBC. He has been arrested and detained pending a full police investigation. Indian law does not allow terminations after 20 weeks unless doctors certify that the pregnant woman's life is in danger. The tough law was introduced to fight India's skewed gender ratio. A deep-seated cultural preference for sons has led to millions of female foetuses being aborted over the years by pregnant women after undergoing foetal gender testing. In recent months India's Supreme Court has received several petitions, some from women who were raped, wanting to terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks. The court has always referred the matter to medical experts. In the latest case in Rohtak town in Haryana state, doctors from the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences are meeting to decide on the family's request to allow the child to have an abortion. The pregnancy came to light last week when the 10-year-old girl's mother, who works as a domestic helper, suspected her child was pregnant and took her to see a doctor. Reports said the girl was often left at home when her mother went to work. She told her mother that she had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather, who had warned her not to say anything. (Webmaster's comment: A classic case of child sex abuse the same as we have here in America, but do not report in the news!)
5-10-17 Fury over 'paedophile advice' on US Arizona radio station
Fury over 'paedophile advice' on US Arizona radio station
An online petition has been launched by residents of the town of Benson in the US state of Arizona against a radio station which broadcast advice late at night on how to hide child pornography. Statements aired by the station over a two-year period gave tips on how to disguise viewing such images. The petition accuses the station of broadcasting "a sickening message". Cave 97.7 FM owner Paul Lotsof has publicly stated he disagrees with Arizona's laws on child pornography. He told News 4 Tucson that he had performed a public service by broadcasting the advice, which recently has been taken off air. Mr Lotsof argues that possession of child pornography should not be a crime. "The difference is [that in] one case, you're molesting children and abusing them, causing children to do things that are not natural for children to do, and [in] the other case, they're just possessing pictures," he told News 4 Tuscon. "There's no connection between those two." The petition on Change.org accuses Cave of broadcasting "a sickening message about a huge issue that plagues this country". "There is no excuse for this and [the station] needs to be shut down," it states. "We can keep this garbage out of our community." (Webmaster's comment: America is falling deeper into the cesspool created by the new political climate!)
5-8-17 Child abuse site creator jailed for 30 years
Child abuse site creator jailed for 30 years
The man who created what is believed to be the world's largest website dealing in images of child sexual abuse has been sentenced to 30 years in jail. Steven Chase set up the Playpen site on the Tor dark web network in early 2014. By the time it was shut down a year later it had more than 150,000 users and hosted more than 50,000 images and videos. The FBI said the removal of Playpen had led to almost 300 abused children being identified or rescued. Chase was tracked down after accidentally disclosing the IP address of the server hosting the Playpen site. The way Tor works meant routine ways of locating a computer did not work. Chase's mistake was spotted by a foreign police force and the information was passed to the FBI because the server was in the US. In February 2015, the FBI raided the North Carolina firm hosting the Playpen server and took control of the computer. The raid led the agency to track down Chase and Playpen staff. Two other men who helped Chase run Playpen have already been given jail terms. Each one received a 20-year sentence. The FBI kept the Playpen site running for two weeks after taking control of it and used malware to monitor and locate its users. As a result, it said, more than 800 people around the world have been arrested for their part in either abusing children or distributing sexual abuse material. "Members of his enterprise who were raping children, who were producing child pornography all around the world - those cases continue to be indicted and prosecuted," said special agent Dan Alfin from the FBI's Violent Crimes Against Children unit who helped co-ordinate the investigation.
5-5-17 Underage brides
Child marriage is still common in Mexico, even though the practice was outlawed in 2014, a new report has found. More than 10 percent of Mexican girls are married before age 15, mostly to men at least a decade older. Tens of thousands more are cohabiting with older men, intending to marry legally once they turn 18, according to the Mexico City–based Investigación en Salud y Demografía. These girls are more likely than their single peers to experience domestic violence and early pregnancy and to drop out of school. “Regionally, there is a strong perception that if you have a younger woman you are more masculine,” said Heather Hamilton of the charity Girls Not Brides. “But it’s also about control—the younger the girl, the more you can control her.”
5-4-17 The midwife who saved intersex babies
The midwife who saved intersex babies
Five years ago a midwife in Kenya delivered a child with male and female sexual organs. The father told her to kill it, but instead she hid it and raised it as her own. Two years later, the same thing happened again - and before long she was forced to flee to save the children's lives. Zainab was used to delivering babies. As a traditional birth attendant in rural western Kenya, she'd delivered dozens over the years. But none like the one in front of her now. It had been a tricky birth, but nothing Zainab couldn't handle. The umbilical cord had got twisted around the baby's head and she'd had to think quickly, using a wooden spoon to untangle it. After clearing the baby's airway, she washed the child and cut and tied the umbilical cord. It was then that Zainab saw something she'd never seen before. "When I looked to see if it was a boy or a girl, I saw two things protruding - this baby had male and female parts," she says. Instead of saying what she usually said at this point - "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" - Zainab handed the baby to its mother and simply told her, "Here is your baby." When the exhausted mother saw that her child's sex was unclear, she was stunned. But when her husband arrived, he was in no doubt about what should happen next.
5-2-17 Jordan Edwards shooting: Texas police change account of death
Jordan Edwards shooting: Texas police change account of death
A Texas police department has changed a key detail in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, amid mounting calls for the officer to be arrested. Jordan Edwards, 15, died after an officer fired a rifle into a car that was driving away from a house party in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs. Police initally said the car reversed "aggressively" towards the officer, but footage discredits that claim. Police Chief Jonathan Haber said he "misspoke". The officer, who has not been identified, has been with the Balch Spring Police Department for six years. He fired into a car full of teenagers as they left a party on Saturday night, Chief Haber said after reviewing the body-cam video. The car was actually driving forward - away from police - and not reversing toward them when the shots were fired, he explained. "I was unintentionally incorrect yesterday when I said that the victim's vehicle was backing down the road," Mr Haber said on Monday. "In fact, according to the video that I viewed, the vehicle was moving forward as the officers approached." The officer's behaviour "did not meet our core values", the police chief said, adding that he has been placed on administrative leave. Jordan, who was in the front passenger seat, died after being shot in the back of the head. Jordan's cause of death has been ruled a homicide, however, that does not necessarily mean charges be filed against the officer.
5-2-17 DaddyOFive parents lose custody 'over YouTube pranks'
DaddyOFive parents lose custody 'over YouTube pranks'
A father and stepmother have lost custody of two of their five children after playing pranks on them in a series of YouTube videos. The pranks included one in which their youngest son was told he had been adopted by another family. Mike and Heather Martin faced criticism for the videos, but denied they were abusive and claimed they were fake. Custody of two of the children has now been returned to their biological mother. "Emma and Cody are with me, I have emergency custody - they're doing good," said Rose Hall who revealed the news in a YouTube video with her lawyer Tim Conlon. "They're getting back to their playful selves." She added that it had been "very heartbreaking and disturbing to see my kids be abused". Tim Conlon told the BBC: "We're so excited that the children are now safe and with the mom."
5-2-17 Ex-Celtic Boys Club coach accused of abuse tracked to US
Ex-Celtic Boys Club coach accused of abuse tracked to US
One of the men accused of child sex abuse in football in a BBC documentary has been tracked down to the US. Celtic Boys Club founder and former coach Jim Torbett, who has previously been convicted of sexually assaulting boys, faces fresh allegations of abusing young players. He denies the allegations. Last month, BBC Scotland aired allegations by two men that they were sexually abused by Torbett when they played for Celtic Boys Club. One of them, Kenny Campbell, told the programme Football Abuse: The Ugly Side of The Beautiful Game he was molested dozens of times by Torbett over a period of up to four years.
4-28-17 Female Islamic clerics in Indonesia issue rare child marriage fatwa
Female Islamic clerics in Indonesia issue rare child marriage fatwa
Female Islamic clerics in Indonesia have issued an unprecedented fatwa against child marriage. The fatwa, which is not legally binding but will be influential, was issued after a three-day congress of female clerics in the country. The clerics urged the government to raise the minimum legal age for women to marry to 18 from the current 16. Indonesia is a majority Muslim country and has among the highest number of child brides in the world. According to the UN's children office Unicef, one in four women in Indonesia marries before the age of 18.
4-28-17 Child marriage soars
Child marriage soars
The war in Yemen has reduced families to such desperation that they are selling their daughters. UNICEF said more than two-thirds of girls in Yemen are now married before they reach 18, compared with half before the war began two years ago. Girls are wed as young as 8, and some of them die from rape injuries or childbirth complications. With Yemen at risk of famine, and more than 2 million Yemeni children already severely malnourished, some families are marrying off their daughters in the hope that the new husband’s family will be able to feed them. Backed by the U.S., Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations have been pounding Yemen in a brutal campaign aimed at ousting Iran-backed Houthi rebels from the capital, Sanaa, and other key cities.
4-28-17 DR Congo: UN peacekeepers face fresh sexual abuse claims
DR Congo: UN peacekeepers face fresh sexual abuse claims
A UN peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been suspended over allegations that he fathered a child with an underage girl. Under Congolese law, anyone under 18 is considered a minor. The Romanian military observer is among five peacekeepers accused of acts of sexual abuse and exploitation in the first three months of 2017, a senior UN official told the BBC. UN peacekeeping missions have been hit by a raft of child sex abuse scandals. The underage girl involved in the first case has been put under the care of the UN children's agency Unicef, Adama Ndao, head of the conduct and discipline team for the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (Monusco) told the BBC. All the other cases involve adults.
4-27-17 Uganda's Punishment Island: 'I was left to die on an island for getting pregnant'
Uganda's Punishment Island: 'I was left to die on an island for getting pregnant'
Unmarried girls who got pregnant used to be seen as bringing shame to their families in parts of Uganda, so they were taken to a tiny island and left to die. The lucky ones were rescued, and one of them is still alive. The BBC's Patience Atuhaire tracked her down. "When my family discovered that I was pregnant, they put me in a canoe and took me to Akampene [Punishment Island]. I stayed there without food or water for four nights," says Mauda Kyitaragabirwe, who was aged just 12 at the time. "I remember being very hungry and cold. I was almost dying." On the fifth day a fisherman came along and said he would take her home with him. "I was a bit sceptical. I asked him whether he was tricking me and wanted to throw me into the water. "But he said: 'No. I am taking you to be my wife.' So he brought me here," she reflects fondly, seated on a simple chair on the veranda of the house she shared with her husband. She lives in the village of Kashungyera, just a 10-minute boat trip across Lake Bunyonyi from Punishment Island, which is actually just a patch of waterlogged grass.
4-27-17 Malaysian warden investigated for murder of schoolboy
Malaysian warden investigated for murder of schoolboy
Malaysian police are investigating a religious school's assistant warden for murder, after a schoolboy died in a case that has sparked outrage. The accused had allegedly beaten the boy, 11-year-old Mohamed Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi, with a water hose. The boy later contracted serious infections and doctors amputated his legs. He died on Wednesday from complications. The incident has prompted calls for greater scrutiny of religious schools. In late January the boy enrolled in a privately-run Islamic school in the town of Kota Tinggi, in Johor state. Police say that he was among a group of 15 boys beaten by the assistant warden on 24 March for making too much noise in the school's assembly building. His mother pulled him out of the school when she visited several days later and found him looking weak, according to reports. He was taken to the hospital three weeks later when his legs swelled up, apparently from blood clots. Doctors found he had contracted serious infections and had to amputate his legs. They were about to amputate his right arm as well on Wednesday when the boy died. Excerpts from the boy's diary, published in Malaysian media, appear to describe systematic abuse at the school, and that if one student made an error the whole group would be punished.
4-26-17 'Why I think maternity leave is too long'
'Why I think maternity leave is too long'
Former Hillary Clinton advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter clarifies why she thinks a year of maternity leave is too long for working mothers.
4-26-17 Malaysia schoolboy 'beaten by warden' dies in hospital
Malaysia schoolboy 'beaten by warden' dies in hospital
A Malaysian schoolboy whose legs were amputated after allegedly being beaten by a staff member has died in hospital, local media report. The 11-year-old boy was among children beaten with a water hose by the assistant warden at a private Islamic school in Johor state, police say. Excerpts from the boy's diary, published in Malaysian media, appear to describe systematic abuse. He had been in a coma, and his father confirmed his death on Wednesday. The family had been saying prayers for his recovery at the time, he told The Star newspaper. The boy had been due to have his right arm amputated. The boy and 14 of his classmates are believed to have been beaten with a water hose on 24 March for making too much noise in the school's assembly building, police say. His diary said that if one student made an error at the school in Kota Tinggi, in southern Malaysia, the whole group would be punished. It said they would often volunteer to be beaten first, so they could try to sleep before waking for prayers at three in the morning. "Dear Allah, please open my parents' heart to allow me to transfer to another school because I cannot stand it any more," one diary entry quoted by the Malay Mail online newspaper said.
4-25-17 California beauty queen, 27, jailed for child porn
California beauty queen, 27, jailed for child porn
A former US beauty queen has admitted possessing child pornography and lewd acts with a child. Meghan Alt, 27, was sentenced to 300 days in jail and three years of probation after entering the pleas. She was arrested in 2015 on charges of selling images she took of a four-year-old female relative to a Marine stationed in southern California. In 2014 the mother-of-three won California's Mrs Orange County beauty pageant. She was also a contestant in the Mrs California contest that same year. When she learned her fate last Friday, Alt was also ordered to carry out 15 days of community service and complete a treatment programme for child abusers, court records show.
4-21-17 Canada police arrest 104 men in child prostitution dragnet
Canada police arrest 104 men in child prostitution dragnet
Canadian police have arrested 104 men in connection with a child prostitution ring in and around the Toronto area. York Regional Police say the men attempted to purchase sex with an undercover officer, who posed as a girl between the ages of 13 and 16 online. Police targeted men who searched for prostitutes online, but did not arrest men who were seeking sex with an adult. In Canada, adults are allowed to sell sexual services, but it is illegal to buy sex. "We stopped 104 men from purchasing 104 children," Det Sgt Thai Truong said during a press conference on Friday. The investigation, dubbed Project Raphael, lasted four years.
4-21-17 US fugitive teacher found with student after month on run
US fugitive teacher found with student after month on run
A Tennessee teacher accused of abducting his 15-year-old student has been captured thousands of miles away. Tad Cummins was arrested in northern California, more than a month after disappearing with his science student. The pair, missing for a month, were found in a cabin near the remote Shasta-Trinity National Forest, the Siskiyou County sheriff announced. Mr Cummins told arresting officers, "I'm glad it's over", Sgt Mike Gilley told reporters after the arrest. He was arrested after the cabin caretaker owner worked with authorities to lay a trap for him, Mr Gilley said.
4-18-17 'WhatsApp child sex images' led to arrests
'WhatsApp child sex images' led to arrests
A network apparently using WhatsApp to distribute images of child sexual exploitation has been disrupted by dozens of arrests, according to police. A total of 39 suspects were apprehended in Europe and South America, following action by the Spanish National Police, Europol and Interpol. Spanish investigators discovered dark web sites directing users to private WhatsApp groups last year. Researchers then verified these groups were used to share illegal images. House searches conducted during the arrests had led to the seizure of "hundreds of devices containing several terabytes of child sexual exploitation material", according to Europol. Spanish police have added that this included more than 360,000 files.
4-5-17 Malaysia MP: 'Ok for rape victims to marry their rapists'
Malaysia MP: 'Ok for rape victims to marry their rapists'
A Malaysian MP has drawn outrage for saying it can be OK for rapists to marry their victims and that some 12-year-old girls were "physically and spiritually" ready to get married. Shabudin Yahaya from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition said marriage could help victims "lead a better life". Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, has just passed a new law on sexual offences against children. Despite opposition efforts, the law does not ban child marriages. It remains legal for Muslims under 16 to get married in Malaysia under certain circumstances. Speaking during a parliamentary debate on the bill on Tuesday, Mr Shabudin said that although rape was considered a criminal offence, the rapist and the victim should both be "given a second chance to turn a new leaf". "Perhaps through marriage they [the rape victim and rapist] can lead a healthier, better life. And the person who was raped will not necessarily have a bleak future. "She will have a husband at least, and this could serve as a remedy to growing social problems," he said. He also said some children were "physically and spiritually" ready for marriage. "Some girls who are aged between 12 and 15 years have bodies like 18-year-old women," he said, citing his experience as a former Sharia court judge. He later said his comments had been taken out of context, but that he opposed criminalising child marriages as they are a part of Islamic law, Reuters reports. (Webmaster's comment: Rewarding child rapists by encouging their victims to marry them so they can spend the rest of their life being raped!)
4-5-17 Child sex abuser Henry Clarke tracked down to Canada
Child sex abuser Henry Clarke tracked down to Canada
BBC News NI has tracked down a serial child sex abuser who admitted his crimes to police but has never been brought to justice. Henry Clarke, 75, confessed to abusing three different boys at care homes in Northern Ireland. A retired church pastor, he has been living in Canada since he made the admissions in 1985. NI's Director of Public Prosecutions directed no prosecution and the RUC failed to act on a further confession. Today, he lives in a small town hundreds of miles from the nearest city in northern Canada. One of his victims, Billy Brown, 61, who was abused when he was a 12 year-old boy, described Henry Clarke as "a monster". Mr Brown, who has waived his right to anonymity, said: "You just had to stay away from him. You went to bed at night, you pulled your blankets around you as tightly as you could."
4-3-17 Europe becomes 'hub' for child sexual abuse content
Europe becomes 'hub' for child sexual abuse content
Europe is becoming the global hub for the hosting of child sexual abuse images and videos, suggests a report. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) found that 60% of worldwide abuse material was now in Europe - an increase of 19%. The Netherlands topped the list of European nations hosting the illegal content, said the IWF. Improved reporting and policing by net firms in North America are believed to have driven the shift. "The situation is reversed from previous years," said Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the IWF. "Europe is now the biggest host of child sexual abuse imagery, rather than North America." The IWF is the UK body that acts to find and remove abuse content from UK networks. In 2015, about 57% of the web pages containing abuse content could be found in North America, according to the IWF figures. In 2016, this had dropped to 37% with the majority now in Europe. The IWF report said about 34,212 web pages were found to be displaying abuse content in Europe - which also includes Russia and Turkey.
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