Child Abuse

The ghost in the nursery: how adversity can harm children

No Child 2020: Adverse childhood experiences are linked to physical and mental health problems Peter McGuire The Irish Times “My father kept breaking the barring orders,” says Karen. “He’d show up at the house, the Garda would be called and he would be arrested. Mam was always extremely distressed so, instead of us feeling protected, we tried to protect her.” Karen’s mother, Mary, had a hellish upbringing. Her paternal grandparents were unemployed alcoholics who physically abused their children and each ... Read More »

The Essence of Evil: Sex with Children Has Become Big Business in America

“Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children John W. Whitehead American Herald Tribune Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old. This is America’s dirty little secret. Sex trafficking—especially when it comes to the buying and selling of young girls—has become big ... Read More »

‘I did as I was told’: $1 million lawsuit against Knox for child sex abuse

Greg Dubler was just 10 years old when he was sent to board at Knox, the prestigious private school on Sydney’s upper north shore. Peter FitzSimons and Rick Feneley The Sydney Morning Herald His parents were having marriage troubles and wanted to travel to Europe together to try to work things out. Their three sons, Martin, Robert and Greg, who had been Knox day boys, were sent to board at the school for three months in 1975. Greg was the ... Read More »

A public register of child sex offenders will do more harm than good

If politicians are looking for a sure fire vote winner then anything that punishes people convicted of sex offences does the trick. Greg Barns The Canberra Times So there is likely to be little resistance to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s budget announcement of $7.8 million to establish a National Public Register of Child Sex Offenders. Dutton is proposing that this register would allow all Australians to see names, aliases and photographs of sex offenders, as well as their date ... Read More »

The Catholic Church is not exempt from the laws of Australia

How much will it take for the Catholic Church to accept, openly, that it is, and always will be, subject to the laws of Australia? The Canberra Times ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsey was right to excoriate Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse, after the latter, currently head of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, confirmed his priests would not break the seal of confession to report child abuse. Archbishop Prowse told parishioners the priest hearing the confession would instead encourage the person to report the ... Read More »

‘Nothing changed at all’ for ISIL sexual violence victims: Nobel laureate Nadia Murad

Despite finding widespread support globally, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad has said she feels disappointed that none of the ISIL militants who raped and tortured Yazidiwomen have been… İpek İzci – ISTANBUL Hurriyet “I got e-mails from all over the world. Some people encourage me, some say that they embrace me and my people, some others offer help. I have been exhausted in the last two years. I work hard in the advocacy of vulnerable people, but nothing has changed at all. That makes me very upset,” she told daily ... Read More »

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican’s most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW’s Christoph Strack. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope’s finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell’s lawyers ... Read More »

Pell verdict: Judge Kidd got it absolutely right with the sentence

After the deafening storm of publicity surrounding the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, finally there was silence. Duncan Fine The Age For one hour Chief Judge Peter Kidd delivered his sentencing and the reasons behind it. Courtroom 3.3 of the Victorian County Court went quiet. Pell stood calmly, with his arms behind his back. The sentence was six years with a non-parole period of three years and eight months. Immediately, the storm started up again. Some groups representing abuse survivors ... Read More »

Andrew Bolt, please stop implying that you know all the facts about George Pell

Clare Linane, whose husband Peter Blenkiron is a survivor of clerical child abuse, writes in response to Andrew Bolt’s defence of George Pell Clare Linane The Guardian I am a Ballarat local who has been living with the aftermath of child sexual abuse for many years. My husband, Peter Blenkiron, is a survivor of clergy abuse at 11-years-old. You met him whilst in Rome three years ago. I am compelled to write to you after you expressed your opinion that ... Read More »

My anger with George Pell has been replaced by immense sadness

I don’t see a monster. I see all the women and children and men and nuns and priests destroyed by shame, fear and lies Christos Tsiolkas The Guardian I  have been angry with Cardinal George Pell for a long time. That anger was first stirred by his absolute disdain for extending compassion to people living with Aids, and also by his refusal to accept queer people into Catholic fellowship. I was also made furious by his perverting of the teachings ... Read More »

Society is still failing in its duty of care to children in detention

The findings of the inquiry into child sexual abuse in custodial institutions make distressing but necessary reading Editorial Independent ” The report of the inquiry into the sexual abuse of children in custody is yet another cause of frustration that so much of our political and media attention is focused solely on Brexit. There are so many things wrong with Britain today that are barely affected by whether we are in or out of the European Union. Some of the hardest problems ... Read More »

Royal Commissions tell us a great deal about Corruption. But will Justice be an inevitable final chapter?

The string of Royal Commissions have provided us with stinging visual images of corruption, notably among bankers and clergymen. Josephine Zananiri Tasmanian Times Aside from some gratifyingly blunt cross-examination, causing a degree of humiliation, the legal outcomes are far from clear. At this point we might hazard a guess that corruption and justice are a sleight of hand depending on the cards dealt. Now if you happened by chance to find yourself in the top say five per cent of ... Read More »

Pope Francis Ends Landmark Sex Abuse Meeting With Strong Words, but Few Actions

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis ended a landmark Vatican meeting on clerical sexual abuse by calling “for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors” and insisting that the church needed to protect… By Jason Horowitz and Elizabeth Dias The New York Times But for all the vivid language and the vow “to combat this evil that strikes at the very heart of our mission,” the pope’s speech was short on the sort of detailed battle plan demanded by many ... Read More »

Catholic archbishop in Brazil bans priests from being alone with children

Decree follows court order forcing archdiocese to pay almost £2.5m in compensation over sexual exploitation of minors Tom Embury-Dennis Independent A Brazilian Catholic archbishop has banned priests in his district from being alone with children. Manoel Delson, archbishop of the northeastern state of Paraiba, signed the decree on Wednesday following a court order forcing the archdiocese to pay almost £2.5m in compensation over the sexual exploitation of minors. Mr Delson’s decree prohibits priests from being in the company of children and vulnerable adults unaccompanied by their ... Read More »

Why Australia should not have a public register of child sex offenders

To many, “sex offender” conjures a specific image: stranger abduction, child victim, sexual assault, murder. Danielle Harris Brisbane Times Such horrible things do happen but’s it extraordinarily rare. It’s so horrible that it makes the news. And it happens so rarely that it makes the news every time it happens, and when it happens it shakes us to our core. As a child, I was keenly aware of the fates of Sian Kingi and then of Ebony Simpson, and of ... Read More »

NSW institutions can now be sued for abuse

The NSW government has eliminated a legal defence used by churches to avoid being sued by victims of child sex abuse. SBS AAP Victims of child sex abuse in NSW can now sue the church after the state government removed a legal roadblock used by institutions to avoid compensating survivors. From January 1 churches will no longer be able to use the “Ellis defence” as a way of avoiding paying compensation. In 2007 former altar boy John Ellis lost a ... Read More »