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, 26 November 2017

7 Positive Stories in War on Child Sex Abuse 26 Nov 2017

Hacks That Help: Using Tech to Fight Child Exploitation

Ashton Kutcher at the Thorn hackathon in New York. Credit Danny Ghitis for The New York Times

Spending the weekend in front of a computer sounds like a nightmare, especially to people who already spend most of their week in front of a screen. Still, 100 engineers gathered in Manhattan for a weekend hackathon earlier this month.

They traveled from around the country to work with Thorn, a nonprofit that uses technology to fight adolescent and child sexual exploitation. Founded in 2009 by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher as the DNA Foundation, with a mission of combating trafficking, Thorn was renamed in 2012 after the couple split, and expanded its mission to better incorporate technology in the fight against trafficking.

“We get to use our skills for good,” said Federico Gomez Suarez, a program manager in operations at Microsoft. Mr. Gomez Suarez has been volunteering for Thorn, with support from Microsoft, for two years.

His group project focuses on how to help authorities identify missing or exploited children that appear in escort ads. Creating a program to quickly sort through the tens of thousands of images as quickly as possible requires answering many questions.

“We want to create a program that can quickly ask, ‘Is this child in several ads? Does the ad have text? Are there other ads with similar text? If so, is it possible they were made by the same person?’” Mr. Gomez Suarez said.

Thorn has software with the ability to search through text ads, but wants to be able to better search through images. Engineers and law enforcement agencies focus on information from the solicitation ads posted on sites like Night Shift, Erotic Monkey and Backpage.

About 100 engineers gathered to help Thorn hone its tools to fight adolescent and child sexual exploitation. Credit Danny Ghitis for The New York Times

Over the years, ads offering sex moved from Craigslist to Backpage and are now on to new frontiers. In 2008, Craigslist curbed its “erotic services” listings, and then, in 2010, closed them. Soon enough, Backpage became the primary focus of anti-trafficking activists and law enforcement. In January of this year, Backpage, and the sex-worker advocates who supported it, gave up the fight and Backpage closed its sex ads section.

Thorn’s team garnered insight, they said, from talking to child sex trafficking victims who had worked in prostitution, and from that, created their first tool, called Spotlight.

“Sometimes kids were forced to write their own escort ads to sell themselves,” said Julie Cordua, the C.E.O. of Thorn. “We wondered: Can you analyze the writing in an ad, and if you have a hundred ads and somewhere was one that was written by a child, could you raise that one to the surface by running algorithms on top of it to say, ‘Which of these ads was written by a child?’”

Spotlight, Thorn says, is now used by more than 1,200 law enforcement agencies across the country and Canada. Another of Thorn’s products, Solis, is used to identify children whose images are being distributed on the dark web.

Juan Reveles of the Anaheim Police Department has run the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force since 2014 and, in the last three years, the task force says that it has used Spotlight to solve more than 100 investigations of trafficking.

“Spotlight condenses a lot of the information out there on sites like Backpage into a format that we can more easily use to identify people faster,” Mr. Reveles said.

“This is the one I’m most proud of,” Mr. Kutcher said of his tech investments. Credit Danny Ghitis for The New York Times

The availability of this technology presents lots of questions. One obvious one: Can’t authorities abuse the technology and use it to trace people they believe are guilty of crimes unrelated to sexual exploitation?

Ms. Cordua said the technology the organization uses already exists in some capacity. However, no one has made the concentrated effort to use it to fight issues like human trafficking and child and adolescent sexual abuse, because there’s no money there.

“If your customer is a child in distress and trauma and you have the technology, you don’t really have the incentive to use it,” Ms. Cordua said. “What we wanted was to change the game.”

Thorn has repurposed and is working to improve the same natural-language processing tools companies use to advertise the shoes you were interested in a few days ago, and the restaurant whose menu you browsed the other night on Facebook. Additionally, Thorn uses network analysis, similar to tools used in terrorism or fraud cases.

“If you’re looking at escort ads and someone is being sold, you want to know ‘Is that person alone or are they maybe part of a group of five being controlled by the same trafficker?” Ms. Cordua said.

Central to much of Thorn’s work is research done by medical professionals who have worked with victims as well as offenders. From that research, Thorn has experimented with warnings that appear in search engines when people search for child sex content.

The strategies can vary depending on the audience: There are differences between someone who abuses a child; someone who abuses a child, documents it and shares it online; and someone who is trading abuse content but has never abused a child.

“Those insights affect a lot of our messaging,” Ms. Cordua said. “If you’re a someone who is consuming abuse content but you haven’t abused a child yet, I want to get to you and get you to stop before it gets worse.”

It would be a misconception to think that law enforcement personnel can push a button and come up with people to arrest (yet).

“The last 100 yards are always human, but what we’re trying to do is make it faster to find these kids and really to find a needle in the haystack,” Ms. Cordua said.

Mr. Kutcher, who testified about trafficking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this year, has spent a lot of time thinking about how to best combat the abuse of technology by traffickers.

“There’s no silver bullet, one-size fits all solution,” Mr. Kutcher said. “You create a tool that helps law enforcement solve one issue, but then you have to build another tool to deal with another issue.”

Mr. Kutcher said Thorn is the most fulfilling of his more than 150 investments. “This is the one I’m most proud of,” he said.

The organization has also recently begun to address what is known as sextortion, creating materials to help young people who are threatened with revelation of private or intimate digital images.

French president to launch 'cultural war'
on sexual abuse

Unfortunately, it is focussed more on abuse of adult women rather than children where most sexual abuse occurs

A woman at a rally in Paris shows her hand bearing the #metoo and #balancetonporc (“expose your pig”) campaign slogans encouraging women to speak out against sexual abuse. Photograph: Chamussy/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock
Angelique Chrisafis in Paris

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is to launch a “cultural war” against sexism and sexual violence with a five-year emergency plan including educating secondary school children about pornography and simplifying the system for rape and assault victims to go to the police.

When Macron won the presidential election in May, his centrist movement promised not only to overhaul the existing political party system, but to rethink sexual politics and gender equality – a campaign issue that Elysée officials said “pre-dated” the scandal surrounding abuse allegations against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and others.

French feminist groups, however, have warned that Macron’s plans – to be set out in a speech on Saturday, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – must include a boost in state grants to charities working with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and better training for police on sexual harassment issues.

Feminists have called on the president to shut down a current Cinémathèque Française retrospective featuring the films of the director Roman Polanski who is facing new rape allegations.

Alongside the speech, the government will release a “hard-hitting” TV and social media campaign against sexism and sexual violence, aimed at changing attitudes and behaviour in the same way as previous campaigns against issues such as drink-driving. The campaign will stress that witnesses must step forward and speak out.

From next September, children beginning secondary school will be taught about the reality and dangers of pornography, teachers will be trained better to deal with issues raised by pornography, and parents will be advised how to tackle the problems it causes. The announcement comes in the same week as the citizens’ rights ombudsman attacked the government for failing to deliver adequate sex education in schools.

Planned changes to the police system include allowing victims of rape and sexual assault to make their initial complaints online, before going to a police station to bring criminal charges. Victims of sexual attacks will be able to go to hospital where medical staff can gather and store physical evidence before the victim has decided whether or not to inform police.

A bill on sexual harassment and violence will be debated in parliament next year to decide on the introduction of a new offence of street harassment. Child victims of rape and sexual abuse will gain a longer time period to bring criminal charges as adults; and a new legal age will be set below which a child cannot be considered to have consented to sex – likely to be somewhere between 13 and 15.

An Elysée official said: “This is about stronger punishment for offences, but it’s also about tackling the root causes of the problem in society, the domination of women by men. Stereotypes need to be deconstructed, there needs to be a cultural battle.”

The official said Macron’s interest in equality issues dated back to his time as an investment banker sitting around boardroom tables with hardly any women, and noticing that if a woman spoke, the men looked at their phones.

France has previously seen rises in public awareness and the reporting of sexual attacks following key events, such as the arrest of the would-be presidential candidate Dominique Strauss Kahn in 2011 on charges of attempted rape, but the momentum has typically dropped off.

Reports of rape, sexual assault and harassment have risen by almost a third in France since the Weinstein scandal.

“Erin’s Law” spreading across US to help protect children against abuse

With the scandal continuing with China’s RYB Education, we look at how the U.S. is trying to reduce rates of child abuse.

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.

How have other countries responded when faced with cases of abuse of children? The U.S. is implementing something called Erin’s Law, which seeks to help children spot and report sexual abuse.

The law is named after Erin Merryn, herself a victim of sexual abuse. She has become a public figure, touring the country pushing for individual states to pass the law.

Erin quotes D2L's figures of 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused. This number does not include peer on peer sexual abuse which is likely to increase the ratio by about one third. That would make it about 1 in 6, which might break down to roughly 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 8 boys. CDC uses the ratios 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys. 

This law mandates that schools must have programs that teach children how to recognize if they’re being sexually abused and also how to report such abuse.

Programs must also instruct teachers and parents how to talk to children about sexual abuse and how to spot the telltale signs.

Parents are taught that warning signs a child may be being abused include: mood swings, a child isolating him or herself, nightmares and depression.

The first version of the law was passed in Illinois in 2011. It’s since been enacted in 30 more states. Erin is committed to pushing the law be passed in all 50 states.

You can learn more at: http://www.erinslaw.org/

HRD to chalk out new strategy to address
child sex abuse in India's schools

Move after a 4-yr-old was allegedly molested by a classmate

NEW DELHI: The HRD Ministry is roping in various NGOs and civil society groups to chalk out a strategy for dealing with cases of child sexual abuse at school level, as the increasing number of such cases has set alarm bells ringing in the country.

The move comes following the alleged sexual assault of a four-year old girl in a prominent Delhi school by a classmate.

“There are several rules and guidelines in place but still several cases are reported where children are sexually abused. This issue needs to be tackled beyond the usual good touch-bad touch lessons,” a senior HRD Ministry official said.

“Discussions have been initiated with several NGOs and civil society groups,” the official added.

Last week a girl’s mother had approached the police and alleged that her daughter was “inappropriately touched” by a classmate.

WHO releases guidelines on responding to
child sex abuse
Jyoti Shelar

Doctors in the country feel there is more than just guidelines required to tackle the issue.
| Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

UN agency puts forward recommendations to be followed
by front-line health care providers
But much more needed to fight CSA in India

In a first, the World Health Organisation has formulated clinical guidelines on responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused. The guidelines put forward recommendations for the frontline health care providers — general practitioners, gynaecologists, paediatricians, nurses and others — who may directly receive a victim of sexual abuse or may identify sexual abuse during the course of diagnosis and treatment.

While Indian doctors have welcomed the new guidelines, they feel that there is more than just guidelines required in the country.

“We welcome the WHO guidelines. These should be followed with ground training of all first line respondents,” said Dr. Samir Dalwai, president of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Mumbai chapter.

However, Dr. Dalwai says guidelines and training is not the end of the issue. “The victims and their families face the worse in terms of investigation and its outcome. It is not adequate to pass on the burden on the healthcare sector. The government needs to adopt a policy that will streamline all the other aspects as well,” he said, adding that in 2010, the IAP released similar guidelines on ‘recommendations on recognition and response to child abuse and neglect in the Indian setting.

Disclosure by child

Like the IAP guidelines, the new WHO guidelines too focus on the recommendations and good practice suggestions in terms of disclosure made by the child, obtaining medical history, conducting physical examinations and forensic investigations, documenting findings, offering preventive treatment for HIV post exposure, pregnancy prevention, and other sexually transmitted diseases, psychological and mental health interventions among others.

The guidelines highlight that child sexual abuse has a short-term as well as long-term mental health impact like lifetime diagnosis of post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, externalising symptoms, eating disorders, problems with relationships, sleep disorders and suicidal and self-harm ideation and behaviours. Health consequences of the abuse include the risk of pregnancy, gynaecological disorders such as chronic non-cyclical pelvic pain, menstrual irregularities, painful periods, genital infections and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.


Forensic expert Dr. Shailesh Mohite, who heads the Multi-disciplinary Child Protection Centre (MCPC) in Nair Hospital, Mumbai Central, says the presence of guidelines and following them is extremely essential.

“One of the most commonly seen mistakes in handling child sexual abuse cases is re-traumatising the child as well as his parents with questions. Such mistakes can be avoided if those dealing with such cases are well trained,” Dr. Mohite said, adding that the staff at his centre undergoes regular trainings.

Jamaican Hotel Association Donates $1 million to fight child sex abuse


Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) officials hand over a symbolic cheque for $1 million to the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse and the Ministry of Justice to enhance their fight against child sex abuse. 

Here, JHTA President Omar Robinson (left) and Executive Director Camille Needham (centre) make the presentation to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer (second left); head of CISOCA, Superintendent Charmaine Shand (second right); and Superintendent Anthony Laughlin at the association's Ardenne Road offices last Tuesday. 

Petition To Free Child Sex Slave Cyntoia Brown Reaches Over 335,000 Signatures
Chris Ogden  

Last week we reported (3rd story on link) the plight of Cyntoia Brown, a woman who has spent 13 years in prison after killing a man to whom she was prostituted when she was just 16 years old.

Brown was tried as an adult for murder in Tennessee and sentenced to life in prison without parole for at least 51 years.

Now a petition on the website MoveOn has been started in an attempt to secure Brown's release from prison, with the petition so far receiving over 337,000 signatures.

The petition is looking to gain as many signatures as possible so that it can be presented to the Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam for consideration for clemency.

"Since 2004, Cyntoia has been working diligently to make amends for her crime. Today, Cyntoia is an incredibly intelligent, compassionate, and resilient young woman," reads the petition page.

"As she has progressed in her rehabilitation, Cyntoia has served as a beacon of light in the prison environment," it adds. "She has helped other inmates earn their GEDs, worked in various meaningful jobs, and encouraged those around her to be their best selves."

By the age of 16, Brown had already been repeatedly sex trafficked by a pimp. facing sustained physical, verbal and sexual abuse.

She was eventually solicited by the 43-year-old Nashville realtor Johnny Allen before being convicted of Allen's murder in 2004.

Brown's life was made the subject of a documentary, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story, by the filmmaker Daniel Birman in 2011.

Brown's plight has now attracted plenty of attention from celebrities such as Rihanna, Cara Delevingne and Kim Kardashian West, all of whom have demanded justice for the now 29-year-old.

Kim Kardashian West
The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this. #FreeCyntoiaBrown
7:57 AM - Nov 21, 2017
 4,683 4,683 Replies   223,418 223,418 Retweets   536,953 536,953 likes
Brown recently graduated with a Associates of Arts degree with a GPA of 4.0 from Lipscomb University in Tennessee and it is reported that she will soon earn her Bachelor's degree from the university.

"She has used her experience to be able to make things better, juvenile justice, human trafficking and safety and security for youth and so I think what she has to offer is invaluable," said Kathryn Sinback, Davidson Co. Juvenile Court Administrator.

While this petition appears to gaining traction, many people are looking for even further justice, asking for Brown to be given an official pardon by the U.S. President Donald Trump.

Whether or not the White House will realistically consider this we will just have to wait and see, but Brown's story shows no signs of slowing down.

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