Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Is the World a Better Place Because of You?

New Years is always a good time to reflect on the year that’s ending and anticipate the year ahead. Can I be so bold as to suggest that you reflect on this – Is the world better because you are in it? If so, why? What have you done to make it a better place?

I fully expect many of you can answer, ‘yes’, to that question and quickly list a reason or a number of reasons why. Some of you might have to think a little longer to come up with the answer. Some of you might not want to think about it at all.

Mankind is born with a natural tendency to be selfish. That aspect of our character is often either strengthened or weakened as we grow up from a variety of effects. Are you generous? Are you generous outside of your immediate family?

When you see a need do you respond, even when it costs you something in either time or money? Or do you ignore it?

500,000 Brazilian children are working in the sex trade. 100,000 in the Philippines, and another 100,000 in Indonesia. Most of them are forced into prostitution because of extreme poverty and very few opportunities to rise above it. (UNICEF puts the number in Brazil at 250,000, but the actual number of child sex workers in Brazil stood at around half a million in 2012, according to the National Forum for the Prevention of Child Labor, a network of non-profit groups.)

People from wealthier countries spend a lot of money in countries like Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines. Unfortunately, much of it is spent in the sex tourism industry rather than in educating children and creating small businesses where children wouldn't have to sell themselves just to be able to eat, or because they are hooked on heroin.

Please watch this 5 minute report from BBChttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRwPNrnfejY

These are not the only 3 countries where sex trafficking of children is rampant. Many millions of children are involved either willingly or otherwise in the sex and/or pornography industry. You can’t save them all, but you can save one or maybe several through financial support. There are countless NGO’s out there that help support 3rd world children get the basics of life and an education.

I beg you to consider sponsoring at least one child so that you know that in 2014, you made a difference in someone’s life, and made the world a little bit better.

I also beg you to join me in my 3:15 PM prayer initiative to pray to release God to interfere with the evil plans of pedophiles; to keep the children safe, or to rescue the children who are being abused, and to reveal the identities of pedophiles and pornographers. If enough of us pray….

Is There Never Justification for Abortion?

This story is dated 2010, but illustrates the difficulty of looking at everything in black and white. What would you have done if you were the doctor? Are the priorities of the Catholic church what they should be? Remember, Brazil is still primarily Catholic although the church is in decline there.

Brazil is being rocked by a controversy pitting "God's Law" against the state's and the opinion of much of the nation. It all started in the state of Pernambuco when a 9-year old girl was admitted to a hospital complaining of stomach pains.

Doctors quickly determined that the child, a victim of rape, was pregnant with twins and that her undeveloped uterus did not have the ability to contain one fetus, let alone two. They prescribed an abortion in order to save the little girl's life. That's when the Catholic Church stepped in... to try and prevent the abortion.

Brazil, abortion is legal only in cases where rape is involved but Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, told the country's Globo TV that God's Law was above all human law and that anyone involved in or aiding the abortion would be subject to excommunication from the Church.

On Wednesday, March 4th, the procedure was carried out in a hospital in Recife. Archbishop Sobrinho then excommunicated the doctor who performed the procedure, the medical team who assisted him and the girl's mother who gave permission for it. The little girl (whose name has been withheld for her own protection) was not excommunicated.

Recife, Brazil
"The church is benevolent when it comes to minors," Archbishop Sobrinho told Globo TV.

The child's stepfather, who allegedly has been raping the girl since she was 6 and is also suspected of abusing her physically handicapped 14-year old sister, was arrested as he attempted to flee for parts unknown. He has not, however, been excommunicated and Sobrinho told Globo TV that "A graver act than (rape) is abortion, to eliminate an innocent life."

The case has outraged the Brazilian public with even the nation's leaders weighing in.

"As a Christian and a Catholic, I find it deeply lamentable that a bishop of the Catholic Church has such a conservative attitude," President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Globo TV.

CNN reports that

Dr. Olimpio Moraes, one of the doctors involved in the procedure, said he thanked the archbishop for his excommunication because the controversy sheds light on Brazil's restrictive abortion laws. He said women in Brazil's countryside are victimized by Brazil's ban on abortion.

And in the same story,

A new report by Brazil's IPAS, a non-governmental organization that works with the health ministry, indicates that more than 1 million women undergo illegal abortions in Brazil each year. About 250,000 are treated by doctors for traumas due to botched abortions, said Beatriz Jalli, an IPAS official.

Studies at a Brazilian hospital dedicated to treating female victims of violence, the Perola Byington in Sao Paulo, indicated that more than 40 percent of the cases involved children.

"This is why the Recife case is so important for women in Brazil," Jalli said.

Murder, Mutilation, Cover-up, Rumors of Pedophile Rings

Suspicions of a cover-up of a link between the horrific murder of a boy and child sex abuse at a boy's home in Belfast, Northern Ireland, just don't seem to want to go away. The sudden resignation of three members of a board of inquiry, thereby ending the inquiry, just poured fuel onto the fire.

The scandal involving child abuse at the Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast in the 1970s is detailed in previously confidential files released in Belfast. The historian √Čamon Phoenix has been examining the files.

Possible links between the murder of a 10-year-old boy in Belfast in 1973 and Kincora were discussed during a meeting in 1982 between Northern Ireland Secretary of State Jim Prior and the Lord Chancellor and attorney general, the papers reveal.
The Kincora Boys' Home was at the centre of a child abuse scandal
Ten-year-old Brian McDermott was murdered in September 1973. (He was not a resident at the home.)

In December 1981, three former employees at the home on the Newtownards Road, run under the Stormont Department of Health and Social Services, were jailed for four to six years for abusing boys there.

Among them was William McGrath, a former house father at Kincora and a leading Orangeman who had earlier founded the Ireland's Heritage Loyal Orange Lodge.

Following these convictions, a meeting was held on 9 February 1982 between NIO Parliamentary Under-Secretary John Patten and RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary - the police) Deputy Chief Constable Michael McAtamney to discuss the forthcoming Committee of Inquiry.

The minister asked Mr McAtamney informally "whether any major revelations of a criminal nature might still emerge" that might warrant a judicial inquiry.

The senior RUC officer said he did not think so, although he feared that if McGrath was called to give evidence, "he might, for malicious or other reasons, make fresh allegations".

Norman Dugdale, Permanent Secretary at the NI Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) said he did not envisage the committee interviewing either Kincora residents or the convicted men but rather, "social workers and the like" in an effort to see how the problem had "gone undetected for so long".

Brian McDermott murder:

The 10-year-old schoolboy lived in Well Street in the lower Woodstock Road area of east Belfast

He was last seen playing alone in a playground in Ormeau Park and failed to return for Sunday dinner

Extensive searches and a missing person campaign followed but it was not until the River Lagan was lowered that a sack containing some of Brian's remains were discovered on the river bed

He had been mutilated and burned

Mr Patten raised recent allegations by DUP MP Peter Robinson that claims of sex abuse had been reported to the police before 1980.

Mr McAtamney blamed an oversight by the RUC "due to the security situation", and said there was no evidence of an RUC cover-up.

Two days later on 12 February 1982, the committee of inquiry into Kincora collapsed following the resignation of three key members.

In a letter to Mr Dugdale, they expressed "unease" about serving on an inquiry in face of persistent suggestions that major criminal aspects were still outstanding.

In a memo on the file, dated 14 February 1982, Mr Dugdale stressed the limited remit of the inquiry which was confined to administrative matters.

He added: "It is not an inquiry into allegations, which are rife, of a 'cover-up' involving Protestant politicians, businessmen, senior NIO officials or people associated with Protestant paramilitary organisations."

The establishment of the committee had been predicated "on the assumption that such allegations were without foundation" as no evidence to substantiate them had come to light during the RUC criminal inquiry.

While further revelations were unlikely, Mr Dugdale noted: "Statements from official sources, however, had failed to allay public concern around a cover-up.

"Rumour and speculation has continued to mount, leading to demands for the establishment of a sworn public judicial inquiry to establish the truth ... and bring 'the guilty men to justice'. The resignation of the three members of the committee had to be seen against this background."

Mr Dugdale said that while a public inquiry would quell the "clamour for justice", it would be difficult to justify.
This was the Belfast Telegraph front page on 5 February 1982.

The mounting crisis was discussed at a high-level meeting involving Secretary of State Jim Prior, Lord Hailsham, who was the Lord Chancellor, and Attorney General Sir Michael Havers at the Lord Chancellor's office in London on 16 February 1982.

Sir Michael revealed he had spoken to the NI Director of Public Prosecutions, who revealed that the RUC were actively investigating three aspects of the Kincora affair.

According to the minutes, the RUC were investigating allegations that a DHSS file on Kincora had been "mutilated" in 1977.

The attorney general also told his colleagues: "The RUC were looking again at the murder of Brian McDermott in the mid-1970s [whose] death was thought at the time to have been sectarian, but it was now believed possible that there were homosexual aspects."

This was a reference to the unsolved 1973 murder of 10-year old east Belfast schoolboy Brian McDermott, whose mutilated and burnt body had been found in a sack in the River Lagan at Ormeau Park.

At the time, the press reported fears that a "psychopathic killer" was at large.

The DPP believed that these enquiries were unlikely to lead to prosecutions but that this new information "conflicted with what the RUC had previously told ministers", and left the government in "an embarrassing and exposed position".

Lord Hailsham, Sir Michael and Mr Prior agreed that an inquiry into the whole affair, to be effective, would have to compel witnesses.
Jim Prior was NI secretary of state at the time
 In the Lord Chancellor's view, the circumstances of Kincora justified a sworn Tribunal of Inquiry that should be carried out by a Northern Ireland judge, preferably Judge McDermott.

The issue was raised at Westminster in February 1982 by Peter Robinson, the DUP MP who accused the government of having misled the House over Kincora.

Finally, on 18 February 1982, Secretary of State Prior announced he had appointed a committee under a High Court judge to investigate the Kincora affair.

In a note to Mr Prior on 18 February 1982, NIO official DJ Wyatt doubted if a full public tribunal would "draw a line over the whole sorry story".

The fact was that "gossip and rumour" over Kincora could not be "killed", he said.

As the crisis continued, on 23 March 1982, Sir Michael Havers wrote to Mr Prior describing Kincora as "a more complex affair" than he had first thought.

"Though some of the allegations may have been mischievous, it is essential that the police have a free hand to pursue every lead," he said.
William McGrath

William McGrath was one of three former Kincora employees who were jailed.

Political interest in the issue continued to grow, with DUP leader Ian Paisley demanding a meeting with Mr Prior on the abuse scandal in March 1983 following an Assembly debate on the Kincora affair.

This led to the appointment of Sir George Terry, the former chief constable of Sussex, into the RUC's handling of the inquiry into Kincora.

Sir George found "absolutely no evidence of a homosexual ring", or that such a "ring" involved figures such as police officers, civil servants and military personnel.

Secondly, he asserted that there was no "cover-up or concealment of evidence by the RUC".

The RUC, he said, found no evidence of any paramilitary involvement in abuse at any boys' home.

He did point out that William McGrath "had strong paramilitary links" that had prevented an official from passing relevant information to the police.

He also ruled out the involvement of "military figures", stating that they had "been very frank" with him.

Sir George recommended an inquiry to prevent any recurrence.

In December 1983, Mr Prior approved the appointment of a senior judge to head up a public inquiry into Kincora. The result was the appointment of Judge Hughes, a senior English judge.

It appears those documents won't be released for awhile yet. To be continued in a year or two.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Montana Teen Sentenced to 75 Years for Raping 11-year-old

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A teenager who pleaded guilty to raping an 11-year-old girl as she walked home from school last year was sentenced to 75 years in the Montana State Prison.

Ten years of Kaleb Kuebler's sentence was suspended, but the 16-year-old also must register as a sex offender and complete treatment before he is eligible for parole, Judge Greg Pinski of Cascade County District Court said Wednesday.

According to court documents, Kuebler approached the girl as she walked home from school in October 2012. He stole her hat, lured her into an alley, assaulted and raped her. The girl went to her grandparents' house and reported the assault, spurring a daylong police manhunt for a suspect. Kuebler was apprehended after officers matched him to the description the victim provided.
 Fifteen at the time of the crime, Kuebler would have been tried as an adult because of the serious nature of the charges against him if he had not pleaded guilty.

The victim, now 12 and in the seventh grade, testified briefly at Wednesday's sentencing.

"I felt like I was going to die," she said, as Kuebler stared down at the defendant's table. "We never thought this was going to happen to me. We thought I was safe.

"I want him to go away for a long time," she said.

Pinski stepped down from his bench to face the girl at the end of her testimony.

"You're very brave," he told her.

During the assault, Kuebler had demanded her address and threatened further harm if she reported the incident.

Earlier, her therapist recommended the girl have weekly therapy sessions until she reaches adulthood. She clung to a stuffed Bugs Bunny toy as she watched the proceedings.

The case took a bizarre turn shortly after Kuebler signed an agreement pleading guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent in September of this year.

While being taken to the hearing where his guilty plea was set to be formalized, he jumped over a railing on the third floor of the Cascade County Courthouse, falling 30 feet and landing on his head on the second-floor rotunda. He was hospitalized for some time before being returned to detention.

While awaiting trial, he also had assaulted a fellow inmate, Pinski said, beating that victim nearly to death.

Much of the hearing turned to an examination of Kuebler's own childhood, which was said to involve physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his now-deceased mother, who he lived with until age 10.

"She was just cruel," testified Sandra Kuebler-Riggs, Kaleb Kuebler's paternal grandmother. "I basically thought she was a sociopath."

Shanna Bulik-Chism, who administers the Cascade County Juvenile Detention Center, also testified on Kuebler's behalf. He was slapped, hit, kicked and locked in closets and often went to school unclean, she said.

Though he was 15 when she started working with him, she said she thinks his emotional maturity was two or three years younger.

"Kaleb is a broken boy," Betty Carlson, his public defender, said after the hearing. "He's a poster child for a kid who fell through the cracks in the system."

Kuebler, who sat silently throughout the proceedings, made only a brief statement at the hearing.

"I know what I did was wrong," he said. "In a weird way, my attempt at suicide was trying to make up for what I did."

Pinski's judgment was harsher than the terms of the nonbinding plea agreement Kuebler had signed, which recommended he receive a 60-year sentence in the state prison with 30 of those suspended as probation in the community.

Instead, he sentenced Kuebler to 75 years with 10 suspended. He also will be forced to pay $135,000 in restitution to cover the victim's therapy expenses and will be required to complete a sex-offender treatment program before being eligible for any sort of community release.

If released, he would be required to remain in a sex-offender treatment program for the remainder of his life. He also will be designated a Tier II sex offender, required to register as a sex offender in the state where he will live for 25 years after he is released from prison.

"It is very clear to this court that the public will not be protected unless Mr. Kuebler is incarcerated for a lengthy term," Pinski said, citing a "substantial lack of impulse control that reveals itself in horrific violence."

"It is terribly unfortunate that Mr. Kuebler's life went so wrong, so early," the judge said.

The victim's mother, not identified by the Tribune to protect the girl's identity, spoke briefly to Kuebler during the hearing:

"You won't take her spirit from her. She's a strong little girl," the woman said. "God forgive me, but you deserve everything and need a lot of help."

She was satisfied with the sentence.

"Now I know my daughter can go on living her life and not be afraid anymore," she said after the hearing's close.

'Sarah's Law' sees 700 Paedophiles Identified

The law is named after Sarah Payne who was murdered by a convicted paedophile. More than 700 paedophiles have been indentified since the introduction of "Sarah's Law" in 2011, Freedom of Information requests have revealed.

Unfortunately, these identifications did not lead to convictions but rather were meant to inform parents whose children might be in danger from a pedophile. In that respect it has probably prevented more than a few children from being molested.

Nearly 5,000 requests for information were made in England, Scotland and Wales; one in seven resulted in a paedophile being revealed.
The disclosure scheme was named after eight-year-old victim Sarah Payne.
It means a parent or guardian can ask police if a person who has contact with children is a child sex offender.

"There must be sufficient access to or connection with the child by the subject to pose a real risk of harm and therefore justify disclosure," say the rules governing the scheme.

Some 4,754 applications have been made since the system was introduced two-and-a-half years ago but the number is falling. There were 1,944 in 2011-12 and 1,106 so far in 2013-14, while disclosures were 281 in the first year and 122 in current year to April.

Child safety campaigners said they were concerned that the disclosure rate was too low, suggesting that many offenders were not on police records.

In England and Wales, Avon and Somerset Police revealed the highest number of paedophiles at 42. This was followed by followed by 39 in Devon and Cornwall, 36 in Thames Valley and 33 in Norfolk. The identities of 49 child sex offenders were released by police forces in Scotland.

Donald Findlater, director of research and development at child protection charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, said: "Given the apparent drop in applications since the start of the scheme, albeit small, we have some concern that people may not know the scheme is available to them.

"We would like to see continued public awareness and publicity, whether by local forces or nationally by the Home Office, so that people know that this means of checking someone out exists."

The scheme was introduced following the campaigning of Sara Payne, the mother of Sarah. Her daughter was was found in a field near Pulborough, West Sussex, after she was killed by Roy Whiting in July 2000.

Under Sarah's Law, police will reveal details confidentially if they think it is in the child's interests.

Christopher Stacey, director of services at offender reform charity Unlock, said: "It is important to strike the right balance between the need to protect the public and enabling people who have served their sentence and rehabilitated themselves to move on positively with their lives.

"There already exists a detailed framework in place which is designed to enable the police, probation services and other agencies to share information with members of the public where there is a safeguarding concern.

"As a result, it is unclear what value this scheme is adding, with serious questions about the statistics being used to defend the effectiveness of the scheme."

Jon Brown, NSPCC lead for tackling sexual abuse, said there was a delicate balancing act.

"Sarah's Law is not a silver bullet to end child abuse, and giving the public information about where sex offenders live is just one part of the jigsaw," he said.

"Informing the public of their whereabouts has to be done properly, professionally and judged on a case-by-case basis.

"Forcing a child abuser underground because of a fear of vigilante attacks won't make children safer as the authorities will lose track of them."

The figures were up to November this year. The disclosure scheme does not apply in Northern Ireland.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Pedophile Pair Buys Russian Baby for Sex Abuse

An Australian, who together with his domestic partner, bought a newborn boy in Russia and allowed men around the world to abuse him, has been sentenced in a US court to 30 years in jail.

Peter Truong, 36, born in Vietnam, and his partner Mark Newton, 42, born in the US, both Australian citizens, bought a newborn boy in Russia for US$8,000, according to prosecutors.

The boy’s birth papers were falsified to list Newton as his biological father. The fraud then allowed the boy to be adopted and taken to Queensland, Australia, where the pair lived.

Law enforcers assume the pair allowed at least eight men in different countries, including Australia, the US, Germany and France, to abuse the boy between the ages of two and six. The men recorded videos of their own sexual assaults on the baby and distributed them across a global pedophile web-source, known as the Boy Lovers Network.

In June, Mark Newton was sentenced for the maximum term of 40 years by a US judge in Indianapolis.
Truong and Newton with the child they bought
Truong faced a similar sentence. He however struck a plea deal with prosecutors. The deal could have allowed a minimum of 24 years. Both men were tried in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

While announcing the sentence in Indianapolis on Monday, District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker emphasized Truong’s cooperation with the authorities in helping them find other pedophiles. She also noted the fact the accused was himself a victim of childhood abuse.

The pedophile pair was arrested in Los Angeles in 2011. The boy has now reportedly been adopted by a US family.

The story caused a stir in the Russian media, with the country’s Ombudsman for Children’s Rights Pavel Astakhov promising to closely follow the boy’s life in the new family, as according to Russian law an adopted child remains a Russian citizen until adulthood.

“Russian orphans have always attracted foreign perverts because of accessibility. The foreigners were simply coming and taking children for money,” Astakhov told RT following Newton’s sentencing in June.

The story of the Australian pedophile pair once again added fuel to the debate over the issue of adoptions of Russian children by foreign citizens, which split the society, when the so-called ‘Dima Yakovlev Law’ was adopted in 2012.
Dima Yakolov
The law banning American citizens from adopting Russian children was named after a two-year old Russian boy, who died in 2008 from heatstroke after his adoptive US father left him locked in a car on a hot day. 

The supporters of the law have cited multiple cases of abuse from the US adoptive parents against Russian children. According to Pavel Astakhov, 19 Russian children have been killed in American families since 2001. 

The law’s opponents believe it’s a politically-motivated response to the US Magnitsky Act – the entry ban and asset freeze on Russian tax, law and court officials who, in view of the authors of the act, are guilty of violations of Human Rights.

In June 2013, Russia’s State Duma passed an amendment that bans the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples from abroad and in September the coal-mining territory of Kemerovo voted to completely outlaw adoptions of local children by foreigners, making it the first region of the Russian Federation to introduce such a radical measure. Kemerovo MPs recently suggested that the State Duma follow suit with a complete ban on foreign adoptions.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev praised the laws restricting foreign adoptions, saying they resulted in increased number of domestic adoptions, which grew by 5,000 compared to 2012.

Medvedev also stressed that most of the children who had their American adoptions suspended when the Dima Yakovlev Law came into force had found new families in Russia.

“In all, we had 259 kids who were about to leave for America. All but 95 of them still have not received accommodation in a new family,” he reported. “We will definitely bring this process to its logical conclusion.”

Horrors from India that Didn't Make International News

Last year's brutal gang rape of a young woman in the Indian capital, Delhi, (http://northwoodsministries.blogspot.ca/2012/12/rape-and-murder-on-bus.html)
has caught public attention and caused worldwide outrage. But here, the BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi recalls other prominent cases which made the headlines, then faded from public memory.

On most days, Indian newspapers report shocking new atrocities - a 10-month-old raped by a neighbour in Delhi; an 18-month-old raped and abandoned on the streets in Calcutta; a 14-year-old raped and murdered in a police station in Uttar Pradesh; a husband facilitating his own wife's gang rape in Howrah; a 65-year-old grandmother raped in Kharagpur.

A graffiti on a Delhi wall on 4 January 2012
But in a country where a rape is reported every 21 minutes, even these most horrific of crimes soon get forgotten - except by the victims and their families.

Just drafting a better law will not be enough, it's the society which has to change”, Indira Jaisingh
Additional solicitor general

They are left to fight their long lonely battles for justice which, more often than not, is denied to them.

One of the most painful and lingering cases is that of the Mumbai nurse Aruna Shanbaug.

Aruna Shanbaug was left brain dead by the attack and remains in a vegetative state. 
Aruna Shanbaug
Sodomised by a cleaner in the hospital where she worked, the 25-year-old was strangled with metal chains and left to die by her attacker, Sohanlal Bharta Walmiki, on 27 November 1973.

She was saved and survives, but barely so. For the past 39 years she has been lying in a hospital bed in a vegetative state, brain dead, unable to recognise anyone, unable to speak, unable to perform even the most basic of tasks.

"He was not even charged for raping her," says journalist and author Pinki Virani, who wrote Aruna's Story, a book on the nurse's plight.

So Walmiki was given a light seven-year-sentence for robbery and attempted murder.

In what can be described as a real travesty of justice, while a brain dead Aruna remains confined to a hospital room, her attacker roams free - out of jail and able to rebuild his life.

Ms Virani told the BBC that she tried hard to track him down, but remained unsuccessful.

"I was told that he had changed his name and was working as a ward boy in a Delhi hospital. The hospital where he had sodomised Aruna and left her in this permanent vegetative condition had never kept a photo of him on file. Neither did the court papers," she said.

Aruna is not alone - her story is repeated with a frightening regularity across the length and breadth of the country.

Violence against women is deeply entrenched in the feudal, patriarchal Indian society, where for the rapist, every woman is fair game.

In 2003, the country was shamed when a 28-year-old Swiss diplomat was forced into her own car by two men in south Delhi's posh Siri Fort area and raped by one of them. The rapist, whom she described as being fluent in English, spoke to her about Switzerland and is believed to have even lectured her on Indian culture.

In 2004 in Manipur, 32-year-old Manorama was taken away from home by the soldiers of Assam Rifles who accused her of helping insurgents. A few hours later, her mutilated body was found by the roadside, her pelvis riddled with dozens of bullets.

Last year, 14-year-old Sonam was raped and killed inside a police station in Uttar Pradesh.

Sonam, 14, (in orange) was raped and murdered in a police station
During the 2002 riots in Gujarat, a number of Muslim women were gang-raped, and campaign groups routinely accuse the security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir and the troubled north-east of using rape as a weapon to punish the entire community.

In May 2009, Indian-administered Kashmir witnessed 47 days of violent protests and strikes after two young women were raped and murdered, allegedly by police, in Shopian town.

And in Chhattisgarh, Soni Sori has been in police custody since October 2011 when she was arrested on charges of being a courier for the Maoists. She has alleged in the Supreme Court that while in custody, she has been raped and stones have been shoved inside her vagina.

Most of these victims are still waiting for justice, sometimes years after the crimes have been committed.

The rapists sometimes escape with a light sentence because a judge accepts their argument that they committed the crime because they were drunk, or that they were living away from their family, or they had a family to look after, or that the accused was a high-caste man who could not rape a Dalit - low caste - woman.

She says many cases do not even get to court because there is a stigma attached to rape, and families would often discourage their daughters from complaining.

A rape is reported every 21 minutes in India. The Additional Solicitor General of India, Indira Jaisingh says that just drafting a better law will not be enough, it is society which has to change.

"There is no magic formula to deal with the problem of rape. There's a bias that operates in the mind of decision makers - stereotyping women, blaming the victim, trying to find out if she invited the rape."

But every once in a while, an incident happens which ignites a spark.

The first such incident in India occurred in 1972 when Mathura, a 16-year-old tribal girl, was raped by two policemen inside a police station.

The courts set free the accused - they said she did not raise an alarm, she was not injured, and since she was sexually active, she would have "voluntarily" consented to sex.

Howls of angry protests from activists led to the government amending the anti-rape law in 1983 to accommodate the provision that if a victim says that she did not consent to sex, the court will believe her.

The outpouring of anger and grief after the recent Delhi incident has also given rise to hopes that things are about to change in India.

The government has formed a committee under retired Supreme Court Justice JS Verma to take a fresh look at the anti-rape law.

Justice Verma has invited suggestion from the public and his inbox is reported to be full of demands for the death penalty and chemical castration for rapists. Many are also calling for longer jail sentences of up to 30 years or even life in jail.

But campaigners say laws alone may not be able to solve the problem in a society which treats its women as "second-class citizens" and regards them inferior to men.

They say until social attitudes change and women are respected and treated as equals, the gains from the protests will be short-lived.

Raped, then Gang-raped on the Same Night.

Just a year and 8 days after the brutal gang-rape and murder of the young woman on a Delhi bus, India celebrated by raping and then gang-raping a 21 year old woman on the same evening. See: http://northwoodsministries.blogspot.ca/2012/12/rape-and-murder-on-bus.html

Police in India say 10 men are in custody, after a 21-year-old woman was raped by two apparently unrelated groups of men on Christmas Eve.

She was visiting friends in Pondicherry when she was abducted by three men and raped by one of them, officials say.

She found her friends after that ordeal but they were all confronted by another group of men who singled her out and gang-raped her, according to police.

The last suspect was arrested on Friday and police say they have confessed.

The suspects have been remanded for 15 days, but they are yet to be formally charged in court. None of the suspects has publicly commented on the allegations made against them by the victim.

Pondicherry Senior Superintendent of Police Monika Bharadwaj told the BBC that this was a particularly bizarre and brutal sequence of events.

It comes just days before India marks the first anniversary of the death of the student whose gang-rape on a bus in Delhi sparked unprecedented public outrage, leading to changes in India's laws against sexual violence.

The incident took place in Pondicherry's port city of Karaikel (nearly 2000 km south of Delhi on the southeast coast).When the woman was briefly left alone after her friends went into a house, she was abducted by three men.

"One among that group of three people sexually assaulted her," SSP Bharadwaj told BBC Tamil citing the victim's account of the sequence of events.

She managed to make contact with her friends who came to help her after that ordeal.

"When they were going back they were waylaid by a second group, who again picked up the victim and she was taken to a secure place. There again she was sexually assaulted six times."

According to police, the attackers were not known to the victim and these appear to be unrelated attacks.

Two police officers have also been suspended for initially refusing to register the victim's complaint.

While the government has committed to fast-tracking the court system for sex abuse cases, it appears little has changed in the Indian men's misogynistic attitudes. The two police officers refusing to register the woman's complaint is most unfortunate, for the change in attitude has to start in the judicial and police systems. It appears the police are not getting the message.

Please pray for this young woman, for healing, and eventually to forgive her rapists. Pray that the courts will not go lenient on the rapists, and the suspended police will either be fired or severely reprimanded. It will not be easy changing attitudes that have existed for many centuries, but we should pray for it to happen anyway.

The woman was taken to hospital where she was treated for her injuries and is said to be in a stable condition.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Conviction of First US Church Official for Covering Up Sex Abuse Overturned

Roman Catholic Church official William Lynn has had his conviction for child endangerment reversed by a court in the US city of Philadelphia.

Monsignor Lynn was the first US Church official to be convicted in a criminal court for covering up sex abuse claims.

He was sentenced in 2012 to three to six years in prison but could now be released as early as Thursday.

The court said it had not been proven Mr Lynn had acted with the "intent of promoting or facilitating the crime".

Monsignor Lynn
Philadelphia's District Attorney Seth Williams said he was likely to appeal against the decision.

Prosecutors argued that Monsignor Lynn had endangered the welfare of a child by reassigning a priest with a history of sexual abuse to a parish in Philadelphia which was unaware of his past.

As secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, Monsignor Lynn was in charge of supervising about 800 priests, including investigating sex abuse claims.

Monsignor Lynn admitted during his trial that he was aware of a complaint dating back to the 1990s that the priest, Edward Avery, had sexually abused an altar boy.

Mr Lynn helped Avery get treatment. But years later, he reassigned the priest to the Philadelphia parish where Avery again sexually assaulted an altar boy.

Avery later pleaded guilty to assaulting the 10-year-old and is currently in jail.

On Thursday, the appeals court rejected the prosecutors' argument that Monsignor Lynn had supervised the welfare of any particular child.

Mr Lynn's lawyer successfully argued that under the laws in effect when the monsignor held his post, he could not have been held responsible for the welfare of Avery's victim as that role only fell to parents and caregivers, not to supervisors like Mr Lynn.

The law was amended in 2007 to include the people supervising the child. What about the people supervising the people supervising the children?

Mr Lynn's lawyer said the appeal court's ruling demonstrated he should never have been prosecuted.

"He's been in prison 18 months for a crime he didn't commit and couldn't commit under the law,'' the lawyer said.

Normally, I would jump all over a case like this, but if the report above is accurate and complete (a big if), then it would appear that Lynn thought Avery to be cured, or at least to be managing his pedophilia. That there was only child and that years had gone by are certainly mitigating factors for the Monsignor. He may genuinely have felt that Avery was safe, though he should have instituted measures to make sure that he was.

Philadelphia is the sixth largest US archdiocese, with 1.5 million members.

Child sex abuse cases across Roman Catholic churches in the US have cost billions in settlements, driving some US dioceses into bankruptcy.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Special Christmas Blessing for You

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ...
which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 

concerning His Son, 

who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 

who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake,

among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

Merry Christmas to all my readers. I pray a blessing on you especially if you are praying for abused children and about-to-be abused children. May God give you the Spirit of Truth and revelation that you may know Him more intimately and personally than ever before. I pray that you may know His heart and be motivated by it for there is nothing greater we can do.

Love God and love your neighbor!

And who is my neighbor?

Everyone who is in need!


Monday, 23 December 2013

More Charges of Child Sex Abuse Against Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris is facing three further prosecutions for sexual assault including one against a girl "aged seven or eight", prosecutors have said.

The three counts are in addition to 13 alleged sexual offences which the entertainer was charged with in August. See: http://northwoodssaveachild.blogspot.ca/2013/10/rolf-harris-charged-with-13-child-sex.html

The new counts are against females aged 19 in 1984, aged seven or eight in 1968 or 1969, and aged 14 in 1975.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the allegations related to one existing complainant and two new ones.

The count relating to the 19-year-old involves the same alleged victim as six of the earlier counts.

Mr Harris was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, which was set up in the wake of allegations against the former BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter Jimmy Savile.

A CPS spokesman said: "These three allegations were included in the file sent to the CPS by the Metropolitan Police in August of this year; however, as part of the ongoing review process for all cases, it has been decided that these allegations should be formally added to the indictment as further counts.

"Evidence relating to these further counts has already been served on the court and the defence, so it is not necessary for Mr. Harris to appear again at magistrates' court."

Mr Harris, 83, of Bray, Berkshire, will next appear at Southwark Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on 14 January.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in September where he was bailed and his case referred to Southwark Crown Court.

A preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey in October set his trial to start on 30 April.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Urgent Prayer Needed

I need your prayers people. I need them badly. Monday evening I am scheduled to lead an intercessory prayer group at a very large church. I have been a part of this group intermittently for many years but have never led it. 

I have a few problems though - I am getting physically sicker by the minute with a cold or flu or something, and if I am not better tomorrow I will have to bow out.

The purpose of my leading the group is to present them with the content of this blog, to teach them the 3:15 PM, to encourage them to pray daily for the children who are being sexually abused or are targeted to be sexually abused, and to help spread the word.

The other issue I have is anxiety. This is amazing because I have prayed and delivered people from anxiety attacks, but am unable to deliver myself. I have done between one and two thousand radio broadcasts, 10 to 12 TV interviews, and public speaking at least a couple dozen times. And yet, I have to deal with anxiety.

I don't let the anxiety stop me from doing anything, but it is just that much more difficult speaking, or playing guitar and singing.

An impressive young Christian from MB Missions recently told me that I was under tremendous spiritual attack by some very powerful forces. I had no trouble believing him.

So I'm asking you to spend a few minutes in prayer for me, and perhaps to put this request on any prayer chains you might belong to. I hate to give any ground to Satan for everyday about 50,000 children are sexually abused. See: http://northwoodssaveachild.blogspot.ca/2013/07/statistics-on-child-sexual-abuse.html

They desperately need our prayers and we need to get the message to as many Christians as possible.

Thank you so much for your prayers. May God bless you richly.

Bishop Failed to Report Child Sex Abuse to Vatican in Spite of Pope's Order

A Catholic Bishop in northern New South Wales has admitted to a child abuse inquiry he did not abide by an instruction from the Pope for five years.

The Bishop of the Diocese of Lismore, Geoffrey Jarrett, has been recalled to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

Bishop Jarrett
In 2001, the Pope ordered Bishops around the world to report any allegations of child sexual abuse to the Vatican if there was a "semblance of truth" in the case.

Reverend Jarrett became a Bishop in the same year.

A complaint was made against Lismore priest Father Paul Rex Brown in 2002, but it was not referred to the Vatican at the time.

Reverend Jarrett has conceded he was not aware of the Pope's requirement until 2006, saying some directives "may not be remembered or acted upon".

"I don't think there was a great consciousness of this directive to submit to the Congregation these matters," he said, referring to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

The Chair of the Commission, Justice Peter McClellan, has expressed his concern.
City of Lismore
"In the context of the size of the problem, the publicity being given to it, and the Pope saying 'these must be reported to Rome', it didn't get through?" he asked the Bishop.

"You can understand my puzzlement about how such an apparently important matter wasn't front of mind," Justice McClellan said.

Reverend Jarrett was recalled in relation to the case of Jennifer Ingham, who was sexually abused by Father Brown between 1978 and 1982.

It was not until 2012 that Mrs Ingham contacted the Church's Professional Standards Office about the abuse, but she says she referred the matter to three separate priests as early as 1990.

One of the priests denies being told, and she says another told her to "go away" in 2006.

Father Brown died in 2005.

Inquiry shifts focus to Marist Brothers

The inquiry has turned its attention to the case of a man known only as DK, who says he was sexually abused by three Marist Brothers at a college in Cairns between 1976 and 1981.

When DK began his journey with Towards Healing, he was told a lawyer named Michael Salmon would be the mediator in his case.

DK says Catholic Church authorities assured him Mr Salmon was "independent".

DK says at some point after his session on March 30, 2010 in Brisbane, he saw Michael Salmon on television defending the Catholic Church.

Mr Salmon is employed by the Church as the Director of its New South Wales Professional Standards Office.

Brother Alexis Turton was the Director of Professional Standards for the Marist Brothers at the time of the DK case - a different position to Mr Salmon.

He has conceded that in hindsight, he would have "recommended a facilitator totally unconnected with the Church".

DK has denied being told about Michael Salmon's employment with the Church in a phone call on February 22, 2010.

Brother Turton says he is aware that under the Towards Healing protocol the Director of Professional Standards should not even participate in a session.

DK was paid $88 000 in compensation, but says he was yelled at during the session at by a Marist Brother who taught him three decades earlier.

He says he was also told he was "wasting time". "I don't call it Towards Healing, I call it Towards Hurting," he said.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

For God's Sake, Remember to Pray for the Children over Christmas

This week I am trying to avoid sending grizzly stories as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah. 

But as we sing our Christmas carols and think of our children and grand-children and how excited they are about Christmas, and it’s all good, but let us remember the more than 17 million children who will not be looking at Christmas with wide-eyed innocence and joy. They may just be hoping that they will get through the day without being abused.

Please take time in your busyness to lift up a short prayer to God for the sake of sexually abused children. Your prayers are the ammunition He needs to fight the evil that targets innocence, hurting them and hurting the Lord at the same time.

Please pray my 3:15 PM prayer or something like it and please encourage others to do the same. We need so many more people praying.

Australia's Commission into Child Sex Abuse Hammers YMCA

YMCA 'not fit' to care for children - Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
By Catherine Armitage, Lakes Mail, Dec. 21, 2013, 3 a.m.

The NSW (New South Wales) branch of the YMCA, which claims 400,000 child attendances a year at its 74 before- and after-school care locations, is not a child-safe organisation and may not have the capacity to become one, the royal commission into child sex abuse has been told.

Further, its chief executive, Phillip Hare, and general manager of children's services, Liam Whitley, may not be fit and proper persons to hold management positions in an organisation responsible for the care and protection of children, the commission's counsel assisting Gail Furness, SC, has asserted.

But YMCA NSW asked Justice Peter McClellan, the chairman of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, to reject these proposed findings in its case study on the organisation's handling of child sex abuse allegations against Jonathan Lord.

Lord was in his early 20s and employed as a childcare worker at YMCA Caringbah when he abused boys aged between six and 16 for two years from 2009, including on YMCA premises. He was jailed for a minimum of six years in 2012 for 13 offences involving 12 children.

Ms Furness listed 14 counts on which the YMCA was not a child-safe organisation when it employed Lord. They included the way he was recruited, a lack of proper induction and training for staff, a failure to implement child safety policies, tolerance of inappropriate touching of children, allowing Lord to be alone with them in secluded places and the lack of a confidential reporting system for staff.

Jacqui Barnat, who was then children's services co-ordinator at YMCA Caringbah, failed to follow proper procedures in eight different ways when recruiting Lord, Ms Furness submitted. She recommended Ms Barnat be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for giving false and misleading evidence to the commission.
Child's drawing of Jonathan Lord

Staff saw Lord blatantly and frequently breach the organisation's child safety policies but did not report him, according to the evidence.

Maria Gerace, appearing for two parents, urged the commission to spurn the YMCA's "astonishing, disappointing and deeply disquieting" defence that the organisation and its staff failed to prevent Lord's crimes because he had duped, groomed, manipulated, coaxed and coerced them.

Ian Neil, SC, appearing for YMCA NSW, was scarcely on his feet at the submissions hearing when Justice McClellan stopped him to protest that the YMCA's written submission was "very critical" of its junior workers yet failed to acknowledge failure on the part of management.

If the staff failed to report Lord's behaviour, for example, "that is a failure that comes back to senior management and that is a failure that is not reflected in your submissions", Justice McClellan said.

Mr Neil said YMCA NSW accepted there had been organisational failures and was committed to addressing the serious issues raised. He said his client did not criticise the junior staff but only the evidence they gave.

But Ms Furness disputed this, pointing to where the YMCA NSW's submission said staff's evidence was "self-serving", that one of them had "no interest in complying with the expectations required of her from her employer", and another "could not keep abreast" of the training in policies.

The YMCA's management failures, its behaviour during the hearings and its written submission all showed it was not a child-safe institution and raised serious doubts about its capacity to carry out the reforms necessary to become one, Ms Furness submitted.

The hearing was adjourned until January 21.

A spokesman for Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward declined to comment. The Office of the Children's Guardian, which administers the screening of the Working With Children Check, could not be contacted.

Friday, 20 December 2013

'Shocking' Failures Protecting Children in Rochdale Grooming Case

There was a "shocking" inability to protect seven vulnerable girls from sexual exploitation, a report into the Rochdale grooming case has said.

A serious case review by the Rochdale Safeguarding Children Board highlighted failures by 17 agencies who were meant to protect the children.

Police and social workers failed the girls who were "passed around for sex" by a gang of men, it said.

The review recommended a "speedy resolution" to leadership failures.

"The report paints a shocking picture of the inability of these agencies to protect these young people successfully," said Jane Booth, chair of the safeguarding board.

The report came on the same day five men were jailed for grooming a teenage girl. The investigation into the sexual abuse of the girl had been reopened following the exposure of police failings.

The serious case review looked at six girls who suffered sexual exploitation in Heywood, Rochdale between 2007 and 2010.

A second serious case review looked at a separate case involving a seventh girl.

Nine men from Rochdale and Oldham were sentenced for up to 19 years in prison in May 2012 after being convicted of offences including rape.

Speaking to BBC Five Live, Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester, denied his officers had failed to investigate allegations of rape made by underage girls before a decision was taken not to prosecute in 2008.

"We have to remember that in most of those cases, the girls themselves did not regard themselves has victims and were not willing to make complaints and that is still the situation now," he said.

"We have got a number of girls in Rochdale that we believe are being abused and many of them will not talk to us and, even if they did, will not tell us about what is happening and certainly don't want to make a complaint because that means they go into the criminal justice system."

Five of the girls had "clearly" needed help and intervention by safeguarding agencies before the abuse began, the report said.

Failures highlighted include:

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) - Failure to recognise child sexual exploitation in the early stages
Rochdale Social Services - Lack of organisational priority over child sexual exploitation, an unstable duty and assessment team and a "chaotic" duty system

Health services - GPs had explicit information that some of the girls were at risk "that could have helped them identify the possibility of sexual exploitation at earlier points"

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) - Recognition of child sexual exploitation in the early years "was very poor", resulting in missed prosecution opportunities in 2008

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk (Labour) said agencies had actively ignored the abuse and that "social services believed these girls were making lifestyle choices".

"The biggest issue to come out of this report is that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were effectively discriminating against poor, white, working-class girls, so that's not about a failure to spot abuse, that is about actively ignoring abuse that was going on when it was brought to their attention," he said.

However, Sir Peter said the report failed to confront a "fundamental" problem faced by police officers, who are repeatedly asked to track down and return young people missing from children's homes, only for them to run away again.

He said: "It creates a culture of hopelessness, where the police officers think 'what's the point?'

"We haven't sorted out a solution to these really complex issues about young people."

Sir Peter said Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has set up an independent commission to look into the handling of cases involving teenagers with chaotic lifestyles.

"Most people would say it is crazy that there are 17 or 18 different agencies in a place like Rochdale in charge of children," he said. "That can't make sense."

Nazir Afzal, chief prosecutor in the North West - who overturned the original CPS decision not to prosecute over allegations of abuse in 2009 - said: "I absolutely accept that things didn't go well for us and other agencies.

"But people can feel some sense of reassurance that we are now bringing more cases to court."

A June 2008 report to Rochdale safeguarding children board had identified 50 children at risk of sexual exploitation.

Social workers focused on young people's high-risk behaviour and "not their vulnerability", the latest review found.

Numerous opportunities to intervene were missed and only two girls received child protection planning, the report said.

Parents felt agencies "failed to work together", did not listen or keep them informed.

One father called Children's Social Care (CSC) up to 50 times, reporting his daughter's "uncontrollable drinking, running away and difficult behaviour".

Social workers told him she was "a child prostitute", and he accepted this "because he did not know that it was wrong", the review said.

It revealed that some CSC staff have been subjected to disciplinary action, although no-one is thought to have been sacked.

Charity Victim Support's chief executive Javed Khan said: "It is utterly unacceptable that, instead of protecting these vulnerable young victims from sexual exploitation, the authorities judged, blamed and disbelieved them and their families and, in doing so, exposed these victims to further abuse.

"Lessons must be learnt from this report and measures implemented to ensure no other vulnerable children are treated as at fault."

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Father Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing Daughters

A Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada father has admitted to repeatedly confining, raping and making pornography with his two young daughters -- one of whom is physically disabled -- for more than seven years.

The 48-year-old -- who can't be named to protect the identity of the children – pleaded guilty today to what police and justice officials say is one of the worst cases they've ever seen.

The Crown is planning a potential dangerous offender application against the man following completion of an extensive forensic report. They also plan to show videotapes which depict some of the horrific crimes.
Winnipeg Law Courts
If successful, he would be given an indefinite prison sentence with no guarantee of ever being released.

Police arrested the accused last fall. He has now admitted to charges of sexual assault causing bodily harm, making child pornography, forcible confinement, use of a firearm, invitation to sexual touching, possession of child porn and careless storage of weapons.

The investigation began when one of the victims walked into a police station seeking help. She then outlined a series of incidents that occurred between 2002 and 2009 involving her and her sister while living with the accused in St. James.

Both victims were under the age of 14 throughout the time period, court documents say.

Police executed a search warrant in late September and seized a number of items, including electronic equipment.

Please pray for these two girls. I can't even imagine how traumatized they must be. God bless Crown counsel for going after a dangerous offender designation. I pray he is successful.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Prayer Needed for Ian Watkins and His Victims

Often I am not very forgiving when it comes to sexual abuse of children, and, indeed, I am not actually forgiving Ian Watkins or the two mothers who sacrificed their children to a monster. Nevertheless, I think it appropriate to pray for all three of these horrible people and especially to pray for their victims.

Watkins, (see post immediately below) is on a suicide watch as he has come to himself and realized just how evil he is. How did he get that way? He started on drugs at 30, and, it would appear, gave himself over completely to them.

Drugs are a gateway for evil to enter in to your life in a very real sense. There comes a point where God will let evil have its way with you if you don't resist it. I believe Watkins was so demonically possessed that he had no control whatsoever. 

With the damage done and Watkins in jail, much of the evil abandoned him for more active hosts and he "came to himself" as the prodigal son came to himself in the pig-sty. The father, a type of God, forgave the prodigal his sins and welcomed him home. We should pray for Watkins to turn toward home where forgiveness awaits, as repugnant as that may seem.

I expect the story is similar for the two mothers who gave their children over to Watkins to abuse. I wonder what their story really is? What would make them so unfeeling for their own children to allow them to be sexually abused? Was it the drugs? Were they sexually abused as children themselves? Were they so narcissistic that they didn't have any real feelings for their own children?

Whatever the reason, they need prayer also.

Mostly the victims need much prayer for healing. Please pray that all of Watkins victims would come forward and deal with their abuse. Burying it is not the way to deal with it; it will eat you alive. Pray for each child to get the physical, emotional, and spiritual help they need to mitigate the horrible effects of sexual abuse.

And please keep praying our 3:15 PM prayer .

Lostprophets Singer Gets 35 Years for Sickening Child Sex Abuses

Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins has been sentenced to 35 years for a string of child sex offences including the attempted rape of a baby.

Watkins, 36, from Pontypridd, pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court last month to 13 child sex offences.

Ian Watkins
His two co-defendants, who are the mothers of children he abused, were jailed for 14 and 17 years.

Sentencing the three, Mr Justice Royce said the case broke "new ground" and "plunged into new depths of depravity".

Watkins was sentenced to 29 years in prison with a further six years on licence, but he will be eligible for parole after serving two thirds of the prison term.

He was sentenced alongside the two mothers known as Woman A and Woman B who also pleaded guilty to child abuse charges.

Woman A was jailed for 14 years and Woman B was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Watkins admitted the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13 but pleaded not guilty to rape.

He also admitted conspiring to rape a child, three counts of sexual assault involving children, seven involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal.

During sentencing, Mr Justice Royce said: "Those who have appeared in these courts over many years, see here, a large number of horrific cases," he said.

"This case breaks new ground. Any decent person... will experience shock, revulsion and incredulity."

He added it was a "classic case that the evidence was so overwhelming" there should not be credit given.

The judge said Watkins had a "corrupting influence", and had shown a "complete lack of remorse". He also said Watkins posed a significant risk to the public in particular to women with young children.

He told Woman A: "What you were both doing is both sickening and incomprehensible" and said to Woman B that she did not regard her child as a human being.

Earlier on Wednesday, defending barrister Sally O'Neill QC how Watkins "belatedly realised the gravity of what happened" and was "deeply, deeply sorry".

She told the court how he had developed an "obsession" with filming himself having sex and had become addicted to drugs at the age of 30.

She said Watkins had no memory of the crime involving Woman A and her son, where he admitted to the attempted rape of a baby.

"Because he had no memory he could not believe he had done that," she said, adding he had now "confronted reality" over what he had done.

Watkins was on 15-minute suicide watch while on remand, the court heard.

Jonathan Fuller QC, defending for Woman A, said she felt genuine remorse and was devastated by what she had done.

Christine Laing QC, defending Woman B, said she was clearly remorseful for her behaviour and the loss of her child was her punishment.
Joanne Mjedzelics says she repeatedly reported Watkins to police
Meanwhile, South Wales Police are investigating whether Watkins also committed offences in Germany and America and the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) has confirmed it was investigating three police forces over the case.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle, senior investigating officer, said the sentences reflected the gravity of the crimes and the investigation uncovered "the most disturbing child abuse evidence" he had seen in his 28 years as an officer.

"Today's sentence does not mark the end of our investigations and we will work tirelessly to identify any other victims or witnesses and seek the justice they deserve.

"In the last few weeks we have received further information that will now be looked at by the investigation team."

Earlier he said the investigation was large scale because the amount of data involved - 27 terabytes - was "four or five times" the size of the databases held by South Wales Police.

And he said how he was sure there were other child victims.

Suzanne Thomas, Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS Wales, said Watkins was the ringleader and the defendants conspired to commit "appalling crimes of abuse against young and defenceless victims".

She added: "He is a highly dangerous and manipulative individual who preyed on his victims in a calculated manner.

"The other two defendants were active participants in the most shocking abuse of their own children. They too have received sentences that reflect their admissions of guilt for these offences.

"It is incomprehensible that adults would commit such appalling acts against children and young people and our thoughts remain with the victims and those close to them."

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Now for an Interesting Twist

Maldives court sentences opposition activist to 10 years for child abuse
COLOMBO, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Former Under-Secretary of the President's Office and opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activist Ibrahim Rasheed "Hoara Ibbe" has been sentenced to 10 years in jail after the Criminal Court found him guilty of the charge of sexually abusing a 17-year old girl.

The police arrested Rasheed a year ago in December after being discovered at a house in the Galolhu Ward of Male with the minor.

The local media at the time quoted police as saying that when officers entered the room containing Rasheed, he was naked with the girl. However, the police refused to officially confirm the claim.

Rasheed at the time claimed that the 17-year old was his girlfriend and later, got married to her when she had attained the age of 18.

The Prosecutor General however pressed charges against Rasheed under section 3(c) of the Special Measure for Perpetrators of Child Sex Abuse Act 2009, which carries a sentence of imprisonment up to 14 years.

Criminal Court officials confirmed to local media at the time that Rasheed, during the closed-door trial, had refuted the charges.

Local media outlet Minivan news noted that the same court only sentenced renowned Quran reciter and teacher Hussain 'Qaari' Thaufeeq to a six months banishment and 15 lashes in a similar case last week.

MDP presidential candidate Mohammad Nasheed lost a closely contested election in November where the party strongly criticized the judiciary for abuse of power. 

There's enough real child sex abuse going on. It's criminal and disgusting that courts would use this as an excuse to dispose of an opposition activist.

Another British Media Personality Charged with Child Sex Assaults

TV weather presenter Fred Talbot, who was arrested in connection with historical sex abuse against school children, has been bailed.

What is going on in England? Is it a requirement that you be a pedophile to get on TV there?

Officers are examining claims of abuse at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in the 1970s and 80s, where Mr Talbot was a teacher.
Weatherman Fred Talbot

The 64-year-old was arrested on suspicion of indecent assaults on five former pupils.

He was also arrested on suspicion of indecent assault in north east England.

Mr Talbot was bailed until 27 January. He remains on bail over a previous count of indecent assault.

Police said no further action had been taken in relation to previous allegations of two counts of indecent assault and four counts of inciting a child to commit acts of gross indecency.

He is best known for his work on the ITV programme This Morning in the late 80s and 90s when it was hosted by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.

He was also the weatherman on ITV's Granada Reports but has not appeared on the show since the claims emerged.

An ITV spokesman said: "Given that there is a police investigation, it would not be appropriate for us to comment."

Monday, 16 December 2013

Woman Empowered after Confronting Her Child Sex Abuser

A Nova Scotia, Canada woman who Monday confronted the man who sexually abused her when she was a child said she was empowered by the meeting.

Karyn Tannahill-Blackburn, 44, was a child when Edwin Gerard Achorn, 71, abused her decades ago. Achorn lived on the same Cole Harbour street as her and assaulted her and another girl.

Achorn was in court Monday for sentencing on two counts of sexual assault.

Tannahill-Blackburn's name was under a publication ban because of the sexual assault, but she applied to have the ban lifted. The ban is still in place for the second victim.

“I feel empowered inside of my heart,” she said. “I feel absolutely free that the world can see me. That I don’t have to hide anymore.”

Karyn Tannahill-Blackburn
Tannahill-Blackburn delivered her victim impact statement on the trauma Achorn had caused her. She told the court his home was often a gathering place for neighbourhood kids.

She said she still suffers from panic attacks and mood swings because of Achorn's crimes. She can't enjoy being tickled by her own children because it stirs up memories of what Achorn did to her, she said.

“All of my life I have wanted to face him and tell him he hurt me. My entire life. And today that came true. It was my day,” she told the CBC.

She wants to share her story to encourage others, she said. “Hiding and keeping secrets to me equals shame and I have nothing to feel shame about," she said.

Achorn listened to her statement in court with his head lowered. "He had shame," she said. "And I felt proud. A sense of victory for me."

This story is very reminiscent of another post on my other blog which has become very popular. It's about restorative justice and the powerful effect it had on both the victim and the rapist. It can be found at: http://northwoodsministries.blogspot.ca/2013/11/restorative-justice-power-of-forgiveness.html

Achorn abused the girls in the 1970s and 1980s. He traumatized both victims so badly that they still suffer today, the court heard.

Tannahill-Blackburn went to police in the 1980s and 1990s, but the case didn't move forward. She finally had success in the early 2000s, when a Canada-wide warrant was issued for Achorn's arrest.

Achorn is originally from Cole Harbour and moved his family to Australia two decades ago when police began investigating the initial complaints involving the two girls. He was arrested in late 2010 in Los Angeles en route to Nova Scotia to visit his sick mother.

Earlier this year, Achorn was scheduled to stand trial in Dartmouth on 11 charges, but instead entered guilty pleas on two counts of sexual assault. He's been free on $10,000 cash bail.

The second woman also gave a victim impact statement Monday in Dartmouth provincial court.

"She told the court, 'He took everything from me and left me broken,'" said the CBC's Jack Julian.

The woman has attempted suicide multiple times and been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment, she said, as a result of the sexual abuse.

The judge heard the victim impact statements and submissions from the Crown and defence lawyers. They are jointly recommending a 30-month sentence. 30 months? That means he will be out of prison in a year - for 11 original counts of child sex abuse leading one victim to attempt suicide several times. That's a pretty darn good deal for Achorn. I'm disgusted that the Crown counsel would agree to that.

Thank God Karyn was able to put some of the trauma behind her. Please pray for the other victim to be able to come to a place of forgiveness so she can also move on.

The judge will decide on the sentence and deliver it Tuesday.