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

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Worst CSA Story This Year and Many More Stories on Today's Global PnP List

Eleven members of family are arrested in
child sex ring probe

The worst paedophile ring in the history of Ireland
Ken Foy and Tom Brady 

Eleven members of the same family were arrested last night as part of a major investigation into what gardai fear is the worst paedophile ring in the history of the State.

Six women and five men, ranging in age from their 20s to their 70s, were being questioned following raids in three counties across Munster.

It is understood that those arrested are from three generations of an extended family. All of them are Irish nationals. The Herald has learned that last night's arrests centre on the sexual abuse of three children.

However, it is understood that at least a dozen children, who range from babies up to the age of 12, have been subjected to rape and sexual abuse. More raids and arrests are expected in the coming months.

The family members involved are suspected of letting strangers rape and sexually abuse the children in exchange for cash. A source told the Herald last night that gardai are most likely dealing with the worst paedophile ring in the history of the State.

Gardai said details emerging about the suspected sex abuse and exploitation of the victims were "horrific". Sources described the investigation as "very sensitive".

They said the suspected abusers appeared to have been operating as part of an organised ring and seemed to be known to each other.

The arrests took place yesterday following raids on homes in Limerick, Tipperary and Kerry.

Specially trained gardai attached to the Limerick Divisional Protective Services Unit swooped on a number of properties and arrested the 11 suspects. They were being held last night at garda stations in Limerick, Cork and Clare under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. They can be held without charge for up to 24 hours, excluding rest periods.

Senior gardai said last night that the raids and arrests  were the culmination of an investigation that had been under way for at least nine months. The victims are understood to have been from west Limerick.

The massive garda operation included gardai from Newcastle West, Bruff, Henry Street, Mayorstone and Roxboro Road stations, all in Co Limerick, as well as the Limerick Divisional Protective Services Unit.

Gardai confirmed in a statement that they "arrested 11 adults (six females and five males ranging in ages from their 20s to 70s) as part of an investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of children who were resident in the New- castle West Garda District".

Childcare services have been alerted about the abuse and were informed last night about the arrests.

Tusla was notified about the suspected abuse more than a year ago, when some of the children were taken into care.  That information sparked the garda investigation that began in west Limerick and spread to other counties.

A reliable source confirmed that all of the 11 arrested people are part of the same extended family.

"All 11 were arrested in Limerick, Tipperary and Kerry and are detained at various garda stations in Limerick, Cork and Clare under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984," a garda statement went on to add.





LGBTQ advocate gets brief jail time for messing up
autistic teenage boy's life
Mark NIELSEN / Prince George Citizen

A Prince George, British Columbia man known for his advocacy for LGBTQ rights and successful career as a drag queen (drag queen is a career choice now?) was sentenced Friday to 14 months in jail for convincing a teenage boy with special needs to send him sexually explicit photos of himself.

Travis Shaw, 33, must also serve three years probation upon completion of the sentence and has been ordered to stay away from parks, playgrounds and schools for 10 years.

According to a sentencing decision from provincial court judge Michael Brecknell, Shaw first met the boy at a March 2014 celebration when the boy was 12 years old and in the time that followed, struck up a friendship with him through social media.

Diagnosed as autistic, the boy had few friends and his mother had initially thought Shaw would be a positive role model. A drag queen would be a good role model? Are you serious?

But over about a year, beginning in April 2015, Shaw sent the boy, by then 13-14 years old, hundreds of sexually charged messages, images and videos and, according to Brecknell, “badgered” the boy to reciprocate.

When the boy finally relented, Shaw did not stop and continued to urge him to send more images, Brecknell noted. Shaw also repeatedly asked the boy to meet up with him but without success.

When his mother uncovered copies of sexually explicit messages from Shaw in the boy’s backpack, she called the RCMP and handed over her son’s tablet and password for an investigation. Shaw was arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of telecommunicating to lure a child under 16 years old.

What followed was an extended sentencing process as Brecknell was asked to take into account Shaw’s health issues and circumstances as well as the impact his actions have had on the boy.

Recounting Shaw’s background, Brecknell said that while he grew up in a loving and supportive family, his sexual orientation made him a target of bullying and abuse at school.

As an adult, he became an outspoken advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ community. Achievements included drafting anti-harassment policies for a handful of school districts and helping to establish a pride centre at UNBC as well as gay-straight alliances at local high schools. Shaw also ran for city council in 2011 and 2014.

Known by his show name Foxy De-Rossi, Shaw made a living as a drag queen. He developed his act to the point where he was traveling internationally and putting on as many as 300 shows per year.

But in 2015, he was diagnosed with brain cancer and was forced to end his career. At the time of the offence, Shaw was also going through relationship difficulties and had been mixing alcohol with the medication he had been prescribed to deal with the tumour.

The boy, in turn, had been reluctant to help pursue a case against Shaw, in part because he had been told Shaw was dying. Now nearly 16 years old, he has been subject to violent outbursts that have led to regular attendance by the RCMP at his home. And although he told Shaw he has a girlfriend, the incident has led the boy to question his sexuality and prompt homophobic attacks on students and teachers while at school.

“Significant and lasting trauma”

Crown counsel had argued for an 18-month sentence followed by two to three years probation while defence counsel sought 90 days intermittent, in part because of Shaw’s health troubles.

While Shaw posed a low risk to re-offend, (how did they determine that?) Brecknell noted pre-sentence assessments showed he displayed guarded acceptance into the damage he had done and is a candidate for sex offender treatment. The boy has suffered “significant and lasting trauma,” Brecknell said.





Clergy resign from Church of England rather than face criminal records checks, abuse inquiry told

Chichester Cathedral. The Inquiry will use the Diocese of Chichester as a case study
CREDIT: CHRISTOPHER PLEDGER 

Olivia Rudgard, religious affairs correspondent 

Clergy are resigning from the Church of England rather than face criminal record checks for child abuse, the inquiry into child sexual abuse has heard. 

Opening three weeks of hearings into abuse in the Church, lead counsel Fiona Scolding said that priests in some parishes resigned their roles rather than face "criminal records and vetting and barring checks".

"You will hear of parishes where individuals resign rather than face such checks, not because they have perpetrated any criminal offending, but because they consider that it is a slur on their character to even be asked such questions," she told the inquiry. 

With that kind of pride, it is probably just as well that they do quit!

The hearing also detailed a series of concerns about the Church's past handling of abuse claims, including naivety, amateurism and an "excessive emphasis" on forgiving predators. 

Ms Scolding said this focus on forgiveness "allowed individuals to go without justice and for individuals who complained of abuse feeling isolated if they did not 'forgive' their abuser". 

The hearings will focus on failings in the Diocese of Chichester, which has seen a series of sex abuse scandals, including the offending of former bishop Peter Ball, who was convicted of indecent assault after abusing 18 vulnerable men and boys over 20 years. His lawyer apologised on his behalf during the hearing. 

Richard Scorer, of law firm Slater & Gordon, representing 21 victims and survivors of sexual abuse in the church, said that churches cover abuse up to preserve its reputation and perpetrators invoked God to intimidate victims. 

"It must be clear now that if you want to abuse children, there is no more effective way of terrifying and silencing your victims than to claim to have God on your side," he told the inquiry.

David Greenwood, who is also representing victims, said: "We will hear of bishops granting 'Permission to Officiate' certificates to convicted paedophiles and to those facing criminal allegations."

He added that there was a "strong suspicion of an organised conspiracy between clergy and bishops in the Diocese of Chichester to enable children to be abused". 

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in a statement read to the inquiry by his counsel Nigel Giffin QC: "The failures that we have seen are deeply shaming and I personally find them a cause of horror and sadness. That children have been abused within the communities of the church is indeed shameful."





UK Government drops plans to compel reporting of suspected child sex abuse
Alan Travis Home affairs editor

Government paper last year proposed imposing legal duty on professionals to report suspicious signs.
Photograph: Alamy

Plans to introduce mandatory reporting by doctors, social workers and police officers of possible child sex abuse cases backed up by the threat of prosecution and imprisonment have been dropped, ministers have confirmed.

The decision followed a backlash from child protection workers over a new statutory requirement that they said would do little to protect children and risked diverting attention away from the most serious cases, hampering professional judgment and jeopardising vital relationships between social workers and vulnerable families.

The proposal for a legal duty on professionals in England to report signs of child abuse or child neglect were first proposed in July 2016 in a joint Home Office/Department of Health consultation paper in the wake of the Savile, Rotherham and Rochdale scandals.

The 2016 consultation paper suggested the new duty could be applied not only to professional practitioners such as social workers but also administrative and support staff such as school secretaries, caretakers and dinner ladies.

The consultation paper suggested that individuals could face professional or criminal sanctions for failing to take appropriate action where child abuse was known or suspected.

The paper drew more than 760 responses from social workers, police officers, local government, children’s charities, educators, health professionals, victim support groups and members of the public.

There was overwhelming opposition to introducing the mandatory requirement: “Nearly 70% felt mandatory reporting could have an adverse impact on the child protection system and 85% said it would not in itself lead to appropriate action being taken to protect children,” said the official response published on Monday.

“Only 25% were in favour of a duty to act, and less than half that number, 12%, supported introducing mandatory reporting.”

The majority of respondents were in favour of allowing the government’s existing child protection reforms time to embed before considering extra statutory measures. They include better joint working between different local agencies, further work to encourage new practices and better training.

A Home Office minister, Victoria Atkins, endorsed this approach, saying: “Child sexual exploitation and abuse are sickening crimes. In the past we have seen vulnerable children let down by the very people who should have protected them from harm. We are clear that this must never be repeated.

“We have set a clear expectation on the police by giving child sexual abuse the status of a national threat, set up joint inspections of health, police, and children’s social care, and introduced a national whistleblowing helpline with the NSPCC for any employee who wants to raise a concern about how their organisation is dealing with a concern about a child.”

Isabelle Trowler, the chief social worker for children and families, said the government had listened to the views of social work leaders who knew the system best and understood the unintended consequences that introducing mandatory reporting could produce.

“Our focus should be to continue building public confidence in our first-class child protection system, which holds a door wide open for vulnerable children and also provides support for families,” she said.




Child sex abuse in Turkey sparks debate on best prevention
By ZEYNEP BILGINSOY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this file photo dated Feb. 11, 2018, angry people try to stone the house of a man suspected of raping a 4-year-old girl, in Adana, southern Turkey, narrowly escaping the neighbourhood lynching attempt. The incident sparked a public outcry and calls for the government to increase the punishment of child sexual abuse offenders to include life sentences and chemical castration.(DHA-Depo Photos via AP, File)

A man suspected of raping a sleeping 4-year-old girl during a wedding in southern Turkey narrowly escaped a neighborhood lynching attempt, sparking a public outcry and calls for the government to prevent and more severely punish child sexual abuse.

Among the heavier penalties the Turkish government is considering are life sentences, chemical castration and other "deterrents," according to high-ranking officials.

The attack reignited a national discourse about child abuse, with some public figures taking to social media to say "Children keep quiet, you shouldn't" and others petitioning parliament to install the death penalty. But Turkey's already hefty punishments have not put a dent in sex abuse and experts are urging more preventive measures.

Turkey also has one of the highest conviction rates in the world!

According to media reports, the suspect in the February incident in Adana entered the child's house while a wedding was in full swing outside. A guest saw the man and child naked in a room and took a swing at him with a brick. Others joined in and beat him as he fled unclothed. Relatives of the little girl tried to burn down his house with Molotov cocktails. Dozens of people were filmed in the outburst of anger and the suspect was arrested that day.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, the number of child sexual abuse cases reported to law enforcement has risen from over 11,000 in 2014 to nearly 17,000 in 2016, but experts say many more cases are not reported.

Bahar Gokler, a psychiatrist who leads an association to prevent child abuse, said sexual abuse in Turkey mostly occurs within families and remains hidden due to the country's traditional patriarchal society.

"Poverty and deprivation are breeding grounds for sexual abuse," Gokler said, describing poor, isolated families living in tight quarters where it's common for children and adults to sleep together.

But many sexual abuse cases in Turkey also occur in institutional settings. In 2016, 10 boys accused a teacher of sexually abusing them for years in a dormitory linked to a religious foundation in central Turkey. The perpetrator was sentenced to 508 years in prison. A janitor was also sentenced to 572 years in prison in January for sexually abusing 18 children in a southeastern religious school.

Children who do come forward have to relive the trauma repeatedly in police stations and courts when questioned by untrained, insensitive officials. Selmin Cansu Demir, a lawyer and children's rights advocate, says victims often feel "ostracized, labeled" and are exhausted by court cases that take years.

To address this problem, Turkey has developed child-monitoring centers where trained officers interview a victim only once. But there are only 27 centers to serve Turkey's 23 million children.

Sentencing

Demir argues that child sexual abuse is too often left open to the interpretation of judges and prosecutors.

The Turkish penal code's Article 103 calls "all sexual behavior" toward a child under 15 — the age of consent — sexual abuse, with higher sentences if the child is under 12. In practice, however, Demir said judges often look for physical contact as the basis of sexual abuse and suspects get lesser sentences if a judge considers acts like exposing one's self "harassment."

A case against a 25-year-old man in Istanbul accused of exposing himself to an 8-year-old girl was dropped in February after a disagreement between two courts on whether his behavior constituted sexual abuse or harassment.

Even when there is contact, sentencing is based on a scale that some rights workers consider arbitrary. Demir said if a sex act is "sudden and interrupted," the suspect may receive a lesser sentence. According to a report by IMDAT, an association working to prevent child abuse, a 32-year-old man accused of raping a 14-year-old boy with a mental disability was charged with a lower sentence in 2016 for having ejaculated prematurely.

The law is also problematic in its protection of children above 15.

"Early marriages, incest and child abuse are so widespread" in Turkey, said Yasemin Oz, a lawyer and human rights advocate.

Child brides

Judges in "extraordinary situations" can authorize marriages of children as young as 16, according to Turkey's civil code. Younger ones can be married in unofficial religious ceremonies in which families receive dowries.

"Here, 15-year-old children are married to 40 or 50-year-olds by force," said Oz, who argues that prosecutors should investigate all sexual behavior between children above 15 and non-peers.

In January, news reports showed that an Istanbul hospital admitted 115 pregnant girls under 18 without notifying authorities. The governor said institutions are only obligated to notify officials if there is documented force.

Demir thinks this creates "abuse through law, because a 16-year-old pregnant girl, no matter the cause of the pregnancy, needs state protection, not marriage."

The Turkish government's upcoming sentencing proposal would increase criminal penalties for child sex abusers but one child advocate, Adem Arkadas-Thibert, rejected its suggestion of chemical castration. "The solution to a child rights violation and abuse cannot be a human rights violation and abuse!" he said.

Child advocates have been calling for better sex abuse prevention for years, but an extensive 2016 parliamentary report on it was shelved until the recent outcry over the 4-year-old's suspected rape. The Turkish government says it will work on prevention but has not specified how. "The issue is not whether the offender should be castrated or executed after the abuse, but rather how to prevent this avalanching situation," Gokler said.

Prevention, according to the experts, involves banning early marriages, educating children on their bodies and sexuality in age-appropriate ways, teaching about sexual abuse through awareness campaigns, training public officials, building databases and increasing gender equality.

But under the ruling Justice and Development Party, Turkey has been moving closer to conservative Islamic values, with a stronger emphasis on religious education and traditional female roles, and it's still considered taboo to talk about sexual issues.

"Turkey can and must implement a zero-tolerance policy for violence against children," said Arkadas-Thibert. "It has the resources and the knowledge, the time is right."

Is the time right? When the government is becoming more and more fundamentalist Islamic every day? How then do you improve the lot of women and children who have no rights under Sharia?




Man appears in N.I. court to deny a string of
child sex abuse charges
By Laura Linham

A 28-year-old man has appeared in court to deny a series of sexual offences against a teenage girl.

David Paar, care-of a British Forces Post Office box number in Aldergrove, Northern Ireland, appeared in the dock before his honour Paul Cook at Taunton Crown Court on Monday morning.

He denied two charges of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, one of inciting a child to engage in a sexual activity, arranging or commissioning a child sexual offence, rape and sexual activity with a child.

He also denied two charges of possessing Category A images of child sexual abuse, two charges of possessing Category B images of child sexual abuse, and two charges of possessing Category C images of child sexual abuse.

The charges date between May 2012 and October 2015.

The case was adjourned for a three-day trial to take place on a date still to be decided. Until then, he was released on bail.





Top Vatican cardinal in court accused of child sex abuse
ITV
   
Pope Francis's ex-finance minister George Pell has been charged with historical sexual offences

Cardinal George Pell appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court. AP

A high-ranking Catholic Church member has appeared in court charged with multiple historical sexual offences relating to several complainants.

Cardinal George Pell, 76, Pope Francis's former finance minister, is the most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis.

Pell was charged with sexual assault in June 2017 following an investigation by Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Pope Francis promoted Cardinal George Pell to finance minister at The Vatican. AP

The complainants, who cannot be identified, appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court via video link. The number of alleged victims and their testimony cannot be made public.

The Cardinal, Australia's top Vatican clergyman, denies any wrongdoing though details of the allegations have remained unclear.

He has indicated he will plead not guilty if the committal hearing, which is expected to last a month, finds there is sufficient evidence to warrant a jury trial.

Though Pell's lawyer Robert Richter did not object to complainant's appearance via video link, he did question why one would be allowed to appear with a "support dog".

He said: "I always thought that dogs were for children and very old people."

Magistrate Belinda Wallington replied, "No, they're also there for vulnerable and traumatised people." - Great answer!

The Vatican, Cardinal Pell's place of work since 2014. AP

Pell was Archbishop of Sydney before he was promoted to the Vatican as a prefect of the church's economy ministry in 2014. He intends to return to that job once the criminal charges are resolved.

In 2016 Pell testified from Rome by video to Australia's longest-running royal commission, the country's highest form of inquiry, which is investigating claims of sexual abuse.

In 2017 Australian police charged him with historical sexual assault following several complaints. At the time he said he was "looking forward to having my day in court" so he can clear his name.

He added: "I'm innocent of these charges. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

Hmmmm. But was it always?





Displaced Colombian women fight sex abuse

Alicia was sexually abused at the age of 18. Ten years later, she was displaced after witnessing an assassination and began receiving death threats. Having found the Life Weavers Women’s Alliance she is now an activist, raising awareness of abuse. © UNHCR/Ruben Salgado Escudero

The Life Weavers Women’s Alliance helps displaced Colombian women and girls overcome rape and sex abuse, and seek justice through the courts.

By Michelle Begue in Putumayo, Colombia

Leonor Galeano and her adolescent daughter were driven from their home by fighting between the Colombian government and left-wing rebels. While safe from gunfire, they had entered a whole new world of peril.

Finally settling in a new home in the south of the country, Leonor’s 12-year-old daughter befriended the child of a local official. Behind her mother’s back, he raped the youngster multiple times over the next three years, finally leaving her pregnant.

“Because we are displaced, people believe that we are worthless, that we don’t have the same rights” as everybody else, says Leonor.

More than five decades of armed conflict in Colombia have uprooted some 7.4 million people within the country’s borders. Women and girls like Leonor and her daughter – who make up more than half of the total – are particularly vulnerable.

Preoccupied by immediate concerns such as finding food and shelter, and removed from their family support networks, aid workers say they are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation as they seek shelter on the margins.

“There is a deep relation between sexual violence and displacement,” says Adri Villa, a community-based protection assistant at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

“But sexual violence isn’t just a cause for displacement. It sometimes occurs during and after displacement, once they have settled in their new home,” she adds.

There is no official register that collates specific data on the number of women and children who have been victims of sexual violence in the context of Colombia’s conflict.

Like many who find themselves out of their homes and struggling, Leonor did not have the resources, the knowledge or the tools to exercise her basic rights. However, help was at hand in southern Putumayo province.

Since 2005, a collective of 66 groups has been advocating for women’s rights. It focuses on the difficulties faced by tens of thousands of displaced women among nearly 146,000 victims of the armed conflict in the region bordering Ecuador.

“The problem of sexual violence … is most prevalent among families who have been forcibly displaced, because they are in a state of greater vulnerability,” says Muriel Fatima, president of the Life Weavers Women’s Alliance.

A UNHCR partner, the Alliance provides counselling and empowerment workshops to survivors of sexual abuse across the region, and – crucially – the chance to pursue justice through the courts.

Financial support for the Alliance is one of the ways UNHCR it is honouring its commitments to refugee and displaced women, which include preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence.

Through the Alliance’s legal aid and council the Galeano family was able to report the local official to police. “I felt so much anger and pain,” says Leonor, “but thanks to UNHCR and the alliance, this man was finally taken into custody in May.”

While a date for his trial has not yet been set, she is trying to lead her family forward – and there seems to be a positive change.

Today, through the Alliance, she participates as a women’s rights activist in public events that bring awareness to issues of abuse. At home she says she has formed a closer bond with her daughter and grandchild and has even started a small business to support them.

With the Alliance, Leonor, her daughter, and other women in the network can access workshops that help them gain economic independence – another important tool to empower displaced women.

A peace agreement in 2016 between the government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, ended hostilities.

When Leonor speaks about her new-found strength, it is as if she is moving towards much-needed peace and closure of her own. “I am thankful because with the help of the alliance and UNHCR I have survived,” she says. “I consider myself a survivor, because I have moved forward.”

Putumayo, Colombia



Drinking, truancy, STIs ‘normal’ for
remote Aboriginal children

Federal Social Services Minister Dan Tehan. Picture: Gary Ramage

The Australian
AMOS AIKMAN
NORTHERN CORRESPONDENT Darwin

An internal investigation warned child protection authorities more than four years ago that some cases of severe, sexually transmitted infections were not being investigated because staff deemed heavy drinking, risky behaviour and wagging school “normal” among kids.

The review identified significant problems with the department’s handling of complaints about child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory, including child protection workers failing to obtain information regarding known sex offenders living with vulnerable children.

Suspected victims were often interviewed only once and only in the presence of the alleged offender. The review also found most risk assessments were “not robust” and lacked clarity.

The child protection agency has since been substantially reformed and renamed Territory Families. However, the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT uncovered soaring rates of sexually transmitted infections among children and called for another, similar investigation into the department’s handling of warnings about sex abuse and exploitation.

Territory Families received more than 22,300 warnings about child maltreatment last financial year but substantiated only 23 cases of sex-related harm. An analysis by the NT Children’s Commissioner found that in the two preceding fiscal years, more than 20 per cent of the children who suffered sexual, physical or emotional abuse or neglect were harmed again within a year.


Federal Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said every ­Australian would be “incredibly disturbed” by findings published in The Australian on Monday that authorities were overwhelmed by neglect and under-­reported sexual activity involving children.

Underage Aboriginal girls are now almost 60 times more likely to contract syphilis than their non-Aboriginal counterparts and 30 time more likely to contract gonorrhoea or trichomoniasis, according to official figures.

“Any abuse of children is abhorrent,” Mr Tehan said. “Clearly the system isn’t working, and it needs to be fixed.”

He dismissed “pointless” blame games and identified the core issues as a lack of co-ordination and understanding of how money is spent.

Bill Shorten, said yesterday he was “appalled” by the revelations. “Every child, no matter who they are or where they live, should be able to grow up healthy, happy and safe,” the Opposition Leader said. “This isn’t the responsibility of one government or one political party — this is on all of us.”

He has promised a First Nations Children summit if Labor wins office. “More than anything, we’ve got to pay attention,” he said. “This is a problem that is too often considered out of sight and out of mind.”

Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner, who has done limited appearances in the two weeks since a toddler was raped in Tennant Creek, did not respond to questions yesterday.

Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield said the royal commission’s evidence, which The Australian relied upon for its Monday report, was of “major” concern. “This government inherited a system that has not taken this very long-standing problem seriously,” she said.

She said the safety of the child was paramount in child-protection responses, including removing a child where necessary to ensure their safety.

The 2014 review found STI cases were not being investigated “where no concerns about parental/caregiver care had been reported or identified … (or) where young people refuse to disclose their sexual partner’s name or where a young person’s chaotic lifestyle (e.g. alcohol misuse, risk-taking behaviour, non-school attendance) was assessed to be ‘normal’”.

“A key practice trend … was children/young people subject to allegations of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation were often only seen and spoken with (meaningful face-to-face-contact) once and/or spoken with in the presence of parent(s) or the alleged offender,” it said.

“This is concerning because victims of sexual abuse or exploitation should be given the opportunity to safely tell someone about their abuse to make it stop”.

Of 627 warnings about child sexual abuse or exploitation examined by the 2014 review, only 210 proceeded to investigation and only 26 were substantiated.

The NT Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles, said all children “deserve to be safe and to live in safe communities” but did not reveal what particular action if any she was taking on STIs.





Cases of sex abuse by women rocket as boys begin to come forward and report them

Record numbers of women are being convicted of sexual abuse crimes, according to new figures. In just two years the number of females brought before the courts and found guilty has almost doubled, from 74 in 2014 to 142 in 2016.

The number of women convicted of sex crimes has tripled since the beginning of the decade. And the charge of sex with a minor, brought against women over the age of consent, has rocketed, the most recent figures from the Ministry of Justice show.

Cases include that of ex-private schoolgirl, Gayle Newland, 25, who was jailed for eight years in November 2015 after she fooled her friend into having sex by pretending to be a man. Many cases include sex with minors, especially by women in positions of trust.

Experts said the film industry has documented sexual affairs between women and students as something other than grooming and criminal. Steve Lowe, director of Phoenix Forensic Consultants, which treats and assesses child sex abusers, said: “The rise has occurred because we are more prepared as a society to accept that women can be sexual predators and we are beginning to change our perception of the idea that a young male having sex with an adult woman is a rite of passage."

“Now we would question a 13-year-old boy having sex with a 28-year-old woman. In the past that was more likely to have been accepted. But if you reverse that, it is obvious that a 28-year-old man having sex with a 13-year-old girl is abusive. Historically, sex with an older woman was routinely seen as a positive thing for young males. It’s possible that films such as The Graduate reinforce this view. But I would never accept that. These are distorted relationships and connections.”

Of the 142 female sex offenders, 16 women were convicted of sexually assaulting males and 21 guilty of the same offence against women and girls. Six were convicted of rape, 37 of sexual activity with or involving a child, one of sexual grooming, 35 for internet child pornography offences and four for exposure and voyeurism.

In the same year, 10,911 sex offences involving children were perpetrated by men. “It is also likely that greater education of young males allows them to talk about having been sexually abused,” Dr Kieran McCartan, associate professor of criminology at the University of the West of England in Bristol, said.

“We are seeing an increase in the reporting, recording and sentencing of female perpetrators of sexual harm, nationally and internationally. This is down to a number of factors, including increased numbers of victims coming forward, more attuned police investigations, more cases being referred to the courts and more cases being successful.”




Police officer who tried to ‘abuse’ teenage boy
guilty of gross misconduct

© Leon Neal / Getty Images

A police officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct after attempting to meet what he thought was a teenage boy. Jonathan Davies-Brewin, 50, was unaware that he was actually speaking to a pedophile vigilante on a dating app.

Davies-Brewin was arrested in Braintree, where he had arranged to meet an individual who he believed to be a 15-year-old boy, after talking to him on the dating app Grindr. He was handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, on January 31.

On December 12, 2017, Davies-Brewin admitted a charge of attempting to meet a child under the age of 16 for the purpose of sexual grooming. Davies-Brewin was also given a Sexual Prevention Order for 10 years, and was put on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

A special misconduct hearing found the officer would have been sacked had he not resigned beforehand. “I demand the highest level of conduct from my officers and Jonathan Davies-Brewin’s actions have fallen well below what I expect," Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said, the East Anglian Daily Times reports.

“I have no doubt in my mind he went to Braintree with the premeditated intention to abuse a young person. The role police officers play in society to protect the most vulnerable is a responsibility which must be taken with the utmost seriousness and is a fundamental pillar in public confidence in policing.” The Chief Constable added that the officer’s conduct risked “undermining the faith” of youth in the police, saying that he therefore had “no hesitation in handing down this sanction.”

“I believe I have some of the best officers in the country here in Essex, and Davies-Brewin’s behavior is not, and should not be, a reflection on them. He may have already resigned but it was important this misconduct process took place.

“The outcome and sanction we have agreed on means he will be placed on the barred list and won’t be able to work for another force anywhere in the country.” Davies-Brewin was also ordered to pay £1,200 ($1,660) in costs and to do 200 hours of unpaid community work, as well as 25 rehabilitation days.





More boys suffer online sex abuse than thought – study

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Boys account for nearly a third of online child sex abuse images and often suffer the worst horrors, a new study revealed Tuesday, suggesting a greater problem than first thought.

Interpol and Ecpat, a Bangkok-based international organization fighting child sexual abuse, produced the findings after reviewing more than one million online images and videos.

"There is sort of a higher number than we would have maybe thought of males portrayed on the images," ECPAT's Marie-Laure Lemineur told a press conference in Brussels.


The younger the child, whether a boy or a girl, the
"abuse was more likely to be severe."

The report said 64.8 percent of the unidentified victims were girls and 31.1 percent were boys while both sexes were depicted together in 4.1 percent of images and videos.

"When boys were depicted in the abuse, it was more likely to be severe," the report said.

The report added that the younger the child, whether a boy or a girl, the "abuse was more likely to be severe."

Sin is progressive!

The findings are important and require further study because it is often assumed that girls and older children are far more likely to be abused than boys and young children, ECPAT and Europol officials said.

Some of the victims were infants and toddlers.

The study rated levels of victimization from cases of nudity, erotic posing, explicit sexual activity, assault, gross assault as well as sadism and bestiality.

Bjorn Sellstrom, Europol's coordinator for crimes against children, urged the public to be careful about the terms used to describe the abuses.

"This is not child pornography. This is evidence of crimes," the Swedish police officer told the press conference.

The images were contained in the International Child Sexual Exploitation database that Interpol set up nearly a decade ago, leading to the identification of 12,000 victims.

But Sellstrom said many more could be identified as less than half of the world's countries are connected to the data base, with none in Africa and only a few in Asia.

The system's sophisticated software compares photos and videos, allowing investigators to also identify abusers and locations across the participating member states. Nearly 47 percent of the files in the database portray child victims that have been identified by the authorities while the remainder depict unidentified children.

Europol and Ecpat called for a coordinated global response involving civil society, media, academia and various layers of government.

"This is not a law enforcement problem. This is a societal problem," Sellstrom said.

— Agence France-Presse





Senior from Burnham-on-Sea denies
historic sex abuse charges

The offences are said to date back to 1992 


The trial of a 75-year-old from Burnham-on-Sea accused of six counts of historic sex abuse got under way at Taunton Crown Court today.

Peter Sheppard, of Love Lane, denies four charges of indecent assault on a young girl, said to have taken place between 13 September 1992 and 19 September 1994.

He also denies a charge of indecency with a child, aged between the ages of seven and eight, said to have taken place during the same dates.

He also denied a charge of indecently assaulting a different girl aged between 12 and 16 years of age, between March 31, 1991, and March 31, 1996.

Prosecuting, Christopher Smyth told the jury of six women and six men that Sheppard had abused and groped his first victim when she was aged around seven or eight years old.

"She tried to pull away, but he was quite forceful," he said. "He pulled her back. She was only a very young girl - she didn't understand what was going on, but she knew on some level that it was wrong."

He said the abuse had carried on for a number of years and over a number of occasions he had tried to force her to touch him and tried to kiss her.

Mr Symth said she had come forward in 2014 after seeing him again years later. "He was behind a gate at a house, looking out without a care in the world," he said. "And that's when she knew she had to say something."

Sheppard also denied having abused a second victim, where he is said to have grabbed her hand and forced him to touch her. "She pulled her hand away and told him to get out," he said. "But when the police spoke to him about this, he claimed he had no recollection of ever going to her home."

Mr Smyth told the jury that when arrested by police, Sheppard - who suffers from extreme hearing difficulties - denied the allegations against him, saying he was 'flabbergasted' by them and had no idea where they had come from.

The trial continues.





France to present first statutory rape law

Age of consent to be set at 15 because of deep traces caused by sexual trauma on the structure and functioning of the brain of younger girls

The proposed law comes after two cases of adult men who had sex with 11-year-old girls shocked France. Currently, sex acts with someone under 15 years of age are illegal but it must be proved that they were forced.

The French government on Tuesday announced plans for a new law that would prevent someone under the age of 15 consenting to sex.

It would be the first law of its kind in France, where there is currently no law that states a child below a certain age is considered incapable of consenting to sex.

The measure is part of a proposed bill against sexual and gender-based violence, which will be presented to parliament on March 21. The current age of consent in France is 15.

Sexual acts with a child under the age of 15 are illegal under French law but to charge an offender with rape it must be proved that sex was forced.

Officials had previously mulled setting the age at 13, but some, including President Emmanuel Macron, had argued for it to be older.

Two landmark cases 

The proposed law has been suggested following two cases involving adult men who are accused of having sex with 11-year-old girls.

In one case a man was charged with sexual assault and not rape because the victim was considered to have consented and in another case a man accused of raping an 11-year-old was acquitted.

France's Minister for Gender Equality Marlene Schiappa said the government had decided to keep the age of consent at 15 following a citizens' consultation and the findings of an expert report.

Change to rape and sexual offense laws

Seven experts assigned by the government in February recommended the threshold and advocated for two new rape and sexual consent offenses whereby cases involving sexual relations with a person below 15 years of age would be considered an offense.

In a report delivered to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, the group of lawyers, legal practitioners, doctors and childcare professionals stated this age "does not seem excessive in view of the double imperative to strengthen the protection of minors from sexual offenses and to clearly prohibit sexual abuse."

The experts said that based on neuroscientific research: "the teenager deserves, until the age of 15, 16, enhanced protection because of the deep traces caused by sexual trauma on the structure and functioning of the brain."

That's an argument I have never heard before. Brings another level of horror into the mix.





Aberdeen man jailed for four years for child rape

A man found guilty of raping a young girl and assaulting another more than 30 years ago has been jailed.

John Barbour, 52, of Aberdeen, had denied five charges of indecency and rape in the 1970s and 1980s during a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He was found guilty of one rape and two offences of indecency.

Father-of-four Barbour began abusing his first victim as a schoolboy. He was jailed for four years.

The first victim told the court that she was targeted when she ran errands as a little girl.

Judge Lord Ericht told Barbour at the High Court in Edinburgh that it was clear from victim impact statements that his behaviour had "a severe and detrimental effect" on their lives.

The judge said he had been convicted of a number of serious offences but he took into account that the first occurred when he was a child aged 13 to 14.

'Escaped justice'

Defence counsel Mark Stewart QC said Barbour, from Bridge of Don, continued to maintain that he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Barbour was also placed on the sex offenders register.

Kenny Donnelly, procurator fiscal for sexual offences, said: "He may well have thought that he had escaped justice but he was wrong, and thanks to the courage of his victims in coming forward to report what happened to them he is now paying the consequences for his actions."

"Whilst we recognise that reporting cases of sexual abuse can be an extremely daunting prospect, we would encourage all victims of such crimes, wherever and whenever they were committed, to come forward and report them."

A spokesman for NSPCC Scotland said: "This case clearly shows the devastating impact child abuse has on its victims which can last throughout their lives. It also shows, once again, that it's never too late for survivors of past abuse to come forward to seek justice and access support."





Telford man on trial over historic child sex offences

A 64-year-old Telford man has gone on trial accused of abusing three young boys four decades ago.

Leslie Bryan, of Burton Close, Dawley, denies 14 charges of historic sexual abuse in Essex involving the three boys who were then aged between nine and 16.

Prosecutor David Wilson claimed at Chelmsford Crown Court: “They were vulnerable boys in no position to object to the behaviour and the defendant knew and preyed upon them. We say the abuse was systematic and persistent.”

The jury of eight women and four men heard that Bryan, who was 21 at the time, abused the boys over a number of years.

The prosecutor said that one alleged victim ‘plucked up the courage’ to speak to someone at the time. But he continued: “He was not believed when he spoke to social workers and the police and in fact was given quite a hard time by police about it and told it was not something which would be taken forward.”

Bryan was arrested and interviewed but no further action was taken at that stage, he added. However allegations were reported to Essex Police again in November 2016.

“Our case is that the defendant took advantage of vulnerable boys, to sexually abuse them,” Mr Wilson told the jurors.

Bryan denies offences relating to each of the three alleged victims. He is charged with four offences of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child concerning the youngest complainant between 1976 and 1982; and five of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child concerning the oldest, between 1975 and 1980.

He also denies two offences of indecently assaulting the third boy over a four-month period in 1981. He claims in his defence the abuse allegations are fabricated and that there might be collusion between the complainants.

Bryan also claims he was physically incapable of some of the acts described.

When interviewed by police in December 2016, Bryan denied all the allegations and said he could not understand why they had been made. He told officers that at the time of the allegations he was on anti-depressive medication which affected his libido.

The trial continues.