Posts tagged child abuse

Child abuse and domestic violence by role models

adrian peterson More than 3 million children are reported as abused each year. Due to the under-reporting of child abuse the actual number of reports are three times greater.

Child abuse has always existed, yet few want to talk about it because the thought of a child being hurt is unbearable.  Yet when someone famous abuses a child, people are outraged.

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year. Adrian Peterson running back for the Minnesota Vikings was indicted by a grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child on Friday.

He disciplined his 4 year-old son with a switch. In certain cultures, using a switch to discipline a child has been used. In this case using a switch caused severe bruises on the body of Peterson’s child.

Today another story broke that reveals another incident in which Adrian Peterson is accused of injuring another son while disciplining the boy. The boy had a head wound from Peterson’s discipline but no charges were filed.

Disciplining a child is not bad. It’s a necessity. It teaches kids how to behave, respect the rights of others and to follow rules. It’s even used to keep kids out of danger.

Although some parents believe in spanking their children, most feel guilty afterwards. Spanking is not the best form of discipline … no matter how out of control a child is. Studies show that children who are spanked will grow up to be aggressive. And the potential for the cycle of abuse to repeat itself is increased. Spanking can also backfire. Kids imitate adults and look to their parents as role models. By hitting and spanking to discipline, parents risk having their child model their behavior; they learn to hit, just like mom and dad. Spanking is violent behavior which kids will learn.

Some may not consider spanking to be child abuse, but when spanking leaves children with bruises, that is child abuse.

Most parents get away with spanking and disciplining their children in violent ways because it is rarely reported. But when someone in the public eye, an athlete who is looked up to as role models, who harms their child in a violent way, it’s reported in the media and goes viral.

The NFL must not and cannot condone this behavior or the recent behavior of Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, who was caught on tape abusing his then fiancé and now wife. Abuse in any form is not something that should be condoned – especially from role models.

After watching the NFL’s issues with domestic violence spiral in the past week, Major League Baseball has scheduled a meeting with the players’ union to reach a policy regarding domestic abuse. The league determined it must establish a formal discipline for any future domestic abuse cases.

All sports leagues should have a domestic abuse policies in place. If they don’t enforce policies, then these role models are sending a message to abusers everywhere that it’s okay to abuse children and women.

Every one of us must say enough! We cannot tolerate the abuse of any child or any adult. If the NFL is smart, they will take this seriously and suspend their abusive members and ensure that they receive the appropriate anger management and other therapies to help them break the cycle of abuse.

Facts you should know about violence against children

Forms you should know about violence against children

What makes people harm and neglect children?

What you can do to help

Reporting child abuse

To learn more about child abuse visit

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Child Abuse: Who will help our children?

ImageWith child abuse prevention month around the corner these stories serve as a wake-up call to raise awareness for child abuse prevention.

Two women were arrested after police in Salinas, CA after police found three malnourished and abused children. According to authorities, one of the children was found chained to the floor. The children were so emaciated, one was compared to a person found in a concentration camp. The home was in great squalor as well …

A one year-old girl was found In apartment building lobby in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood …

A Silver Spring, MD man has been accused of abusing his infant son so badly that the boy will have to be placed on a respirator the rest of his life …

A Chelsea, OK couple were arrested on allegations that they locked a 4-year-old boy in a dog cage for several hours a day and abused and neglected two other children …

A Grand Forks, N.D. woman faces 13 counts of child abuse or neglect is accused of taping a 4-year-old boy’s eyes shut to force him to sleep and taping them open during the day so he would stay awake. Court documents show that she forced children ages 4 -9 to eat spoonfuls of hot sauce. She’s also accused of stitching up a cut on a 5-year-old’s head …

A Los Angeles Police Department officer has been charged with child abuse for allegedly repeatedly striking a young teen male relative, leaving welts and bruises, for poor grades …

An 8 month-old baby girl in Salt Lake City, UT remains in critical condition with head and brain trauma and extensive bruising. The baby’s mother left the baby in the care of a male friend who admitted to having “spanked” the infant hard, throwing her onto a mattress and repeatedly banging her head against his shoulder over several days …

These few stories are enough to make anyone sick and angry. And they should be enough to make you want to get involved and raise awareness so that all children are safe.

A recent study shows that child abuse may dramatically infect the mental health of a child’s future. And besides emotional and behavioral issues, it can also increase the risk of diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders in adulthood.

The findings also suggest that stress experienced during childhood can lead to long-term hormone impairment.

Researchers recorded levels of the weight-regulating hormones leptin, irisin and adiponectin in the blood of adults who suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect during childhood.

As leptin has been linked to body-mass index and fat mass that helps to regulate appetite, adiponection helps to lower bodily inflammation. On the other hand, irisin gives our metabolism more energy.

The latest findings revealed that adults who endured childhood abuse showed dysregulation of these hormones.

“This study helps illuminate why people who have dealt with childhood adversity face a higher risk of developing excess belly fat and related health conditions,” said researchers Christos S. Mantzoros, MD, DSc, PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the VA Boston Healthcare System, via a press release. “The data suggest that childhood adversity places stress on the endocrine system, leading to impairment of important hormones that can contribute to abdominal obesity well into adulthood.”

As National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month begins on April 1st, think about America’s children and the impact that child abuse has on them mentally and physically.

ImageAs the “Blue Ribbon” is the symbol for child abuse prevention, Love Our Children USA urges every person across the country to GET BLUE. By wearing a Blue Ribbon pin or Love Our Children USA’s Break The Cycle Blue Silicone Bracelet during April and throughout the year, individuals can:

    • Help educate families, children, neighbors, organizations and communities on how to prevent child violence and neglect
    • Encourage community and individual involvement in recognizing and preventing child violence and neglect
    • Assist families in achieving healthy parenting practices through education and resources
    • Empower individuals to report child victimization and intervene in situations where violence and neglect harm children.

Please be sure to GO BLUE and raise awareness for child abuse prevention.

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The silence! The shame! NO MORE!!

Three dirty little words “child sexual abuse”.  They make everyone so uncomfortable. No one likes to talk about it.

But we must talk about. It wasn’t comfortable for any of children who have been sexually abused – so frankly I don’t care about anyone else’s discomfort!

The recently launched lawsuit of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seeking to have all of the NCAA penalties against Penn State’s football program thrown out is beyond shameful and it’s a contradiction to his public statement this past summer where he stated: “We must repair the damage to this university. Part of that corrective process is to accept the serious penalties imposed by the NCAA on Penn State University and its football program.”

These sanctions brought about by the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case include a $60 million fine which is to be used for funding child sexual abuse prevention and treatment programming.

Corbett’s about face should make everyone feel uncomfortable! Once again, it’s the silence and shame! It’s the putting the profits of college football ahead of children’s rights … rights to be safe and not violated.

Let’s all get uncomfortable with Governor Corbett’s lawsuit! Let us fight so that no child is ever violated – so that no child is ever uncomfortable – so that no child ever has to live with silence and shame ever again!!

It’s up to all of us to talk about it! It’s up to all of us to fight for our children

Together we can give children a world where they are safe, nurtured, and loved …a world where their voices are not small, ignored and unheard. And together
we can listen …as we raise the volume, so that everyone hears their message.

Help prevent violence and neglect against children today!

Ross Ellis
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Love Our Children USA

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Jerry Sandusky found guilty of child sex abuse: faces up to 442 years in prison


June 22, 2012: Tonight a jury found Jerry Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual molestation and faces up to 442 years in prison.

The jury deliberated for almost 20 hours after an eight day trial at the Center County Courthouse in Bellefonte, PA.

Sandusky was escorted out of the courthouse in handcuffs and will be sentenced at a later date by Judge John Cleland.

This child sexual molestation case shook the Penn State college town last November when Sandusky was indicted. The sex abuse scandal led to the firing of noted head football coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier. Also facing criminal chargers are athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz (both university officials) for failure to report a crime and perjury. Paterno died of lung cancer in January and had he been well, he should have been tried for failure to report a crime and perjury as well.

Eight victims testified in horrific detail how Sandusky molested them in Penn State locker rooms, Sandusky’s basement and hotel rooms.

The testimony from former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, who said he walked in on Sandusky and a boy in the locker room showers in 2001 was also used in court.

The jury did the right thing for these victims. Justice has been served!

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The Silent Story: Child Molesters And Predators In Our Schools

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported that teacher Mark Berndt of the Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles was arrested for the most despicable acts against children. Berndt is deservedly looking at multiple potential life sentences.

And it could have been prevented!

In 1994, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office decided not to press charges against veteran Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt for fondling a girl because prosecutors determined there was “insufficient evidence.”

Now 18 years later, Berndt the teacher everyone loved has finally been arrested after a one-year investigation for the photographing children in class while he sexually relieved himself under his desk, spoon-fed his own semen to blindfolded elementary school children and photographed them with a giant live cockroach on their faces.  Berndt’s 23 counts of lewd acts against children took place between 2005 and 2010. The victims were both girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 10.

Hundreds of photos were recovered from Berndt’s home, showing Berndt with his arms around children or with his hands over their lips. Some allegedly show children with tape over their mouths. Several girls were photographed with a blue plastic spoon filled with an unknown clear white liquid held up to their mouths as if they were going to ingest the substance. The substance tested positive for Berndt’s semen according to law enforcement, who also found adult pornography in Berndt’s apartment that “mirrored” the bondage-type photos of the children. More than 26 children were identified in the 390 total photos. Ten of the children have not yet been formally identified.

Back in 1994, a girl, who was 10 or 11 years old at the time, reported Berndt fondling her over her clothing near her genital area. If prosecutors had probed deeper or another one of Berndt’ s victims had come forward, Berndt would not have been teaching and the children at Miramonte Elementary and they would not have endured such disgusting and despicable acts.

Today another teacher at Miramonte Elementary was arrested and charged with acts of lewd conduct involving 23 students earlier this week – unrelated to Berndt.

These two teachers are not the first to be arrested for lewd sexual acts against children.

Many teachers across the country have been involved in child molestation. Some have been arrested and some have gotten away with their crimes against children because of insufficient evidence, because of cover ups, because no one was courageous enough to step forward and report their own abuse.

Take beloved teacher Steven Noyes of the Village School in Naples, Fl., a private school affiliated with the North Naples United Methodist Church, who has been accused of sexual abuse against one of his 9 year old female students at the school. The police investigated the case, but when the teacher in question didn’t cooperate, they dropped the ball.  The teacher was not willing to talk to police or take a polygraph test, returned to school, the head of the school Ginger Sauter was heard saying “This is all my fault, I shouldn’t have let him hug the children” and now the little girl, the innocent victim has been expelled from school.

So because the police dropped the ball, and no one has been brave enough to come forward to report other abuse by Noyes, could we be looking at Noyes  and other teachers who harm children becoming another Berndt in 18 years?

We must stop teachers from hurting our children NOW! We cannot wait 18 years to have them arrested.

Schools across the country must be more diligent in background checks. Perhaps teachers need to go through annual background checks. It would be unfair to the good teachers, but it would certainly take care of the bad ones.

We can no longer protect our teachers who commit these horrible acts against children. We should be protecting our most innocent – our children.

If you know of a teacher who is harming you, has harmed you in the past or who is harming other children it is your duty to report it. It is law enforcement’s duty to not let these cases get buried as a result of insufficient evidence or teachers not willing to cooperate. It is the school’s duty to ensure that their students are taught by teachers whose only agenda is to educate – not violate!

You can report child abuse here


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Parents Selling Their Children – Sexual Exploitation of Minors

By Guest Blogger Christopher Burgess

There are days when you read a piece in the news and shake your head in disbelief. That was the case yesterday when I read of a couple (Anthony Wayne Hart, 47 and his wife Kathy Lee Hart, 43) indicted in Madison County, Virginia on charges of “human trafficking” of their daughters. The grand jury indictment read, “arranging for their 13 and 14-year-old daughters to provide companionship and affection to male individuals in exchange for money and goods …” The incidents took place between 10 October 2009 and 24 February 2011.

While the fact that any parent would do this to their minor children is and of itself disgusting, the true disappointment was in the realization that this was totally avoidable and the children could have been protected from their parents who had demonstrated their lack of ability to parent some nine years prior. You see, in 2002, that same couple had been arrested and indicted for attempting to sell a three-month old daughter for adoption. Anthony Wayne Hart entered into a plea agreement and was sentenced to two-years in prison. The charges against Kathy Lee Hart were dismissed, she had been found incompetent to stand trial.

This begs the question. How is it possible that these two individuals still had custody of their children, some nine years following their arrest and conviction for attempting to sell one of their children?

The charges facing the Hart’s carry up to 20 years in prison. The children are in foster care and will not be returned to their parents.

Visit to read more by Christopher Burgess

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Abusive teachers: Are our children safe at school?

In the midst of National Child Abuse Prevention month teachers are in the news. Not for stellar teaching but for abusing children.

  • Waterville, NY: David Lemery, a physical education teacher has been accused of sexually abusing a young girl while in school
  • New York City: Sabrina Milo, a 34 year-old teacher was arrested for telling co-workers she planned to bring a shotgun to school and “settle some scores” in what was described as a “Columbine style” plot.
  • Bronx, NY: An 11-year-old Bronx girl has sued New York City, claiming that police officers overreacted last spring, handcuffing her after a fight with a third-grade classmate and denying her mother’s request to be present when they interviewed her.
  • Moutainview, CO: Courtney Bowles, a former teacher at Mountain View High School, got national exposure for having sex with a student in a car
  • Huntsville, AL: A Huntsville elementary school teacher arrested on several counts of sexual abuse against students
  • Mirimar, FL: teacher tapes 13 year-old student’s mouth shut for talking in class
  • Brevard County, FL: Group Leader at South Lake Elementary School taped a 5-year-old student to a chair with packing tape. 

Child abuse has reached epidemic proportions in schools throughout our nation and has become an alarmingly frequent occurrence. The cases that are surfacing almost daily serve as a wake-up call to everyone in America to protect our children!

Whether it’s sexual abuse or corporal punishment, child abuse in our schools is happening all over the country. Although the vast majority of educators and other school employees are not child abusers, the stories continue to unfold throughout our nation.

A former teacher was sitting in the audience of the popular TV talk show “The Talk” and when asked her views on corporal punishment she said she believed in hitting a student to keep them disciplined.

Corporal punishment must not be allowed. 

Any sexual contact between teacher and student is a crime. Sexual abuse is a child becoming a sexual partner for an adult. Anyone under the age of 18 who is used by an adult for sexual gratification is being Sexually Abused whether or not the child consents.

Children are taught to respect and honor parental authority figures such as teachers, guidance counselors, and principals and not to question their actions. We trust our schools to protect our most vulnerable … yet children are being sexually molested by the very people who are supposed to protect them. Most abusers remain undetected and free to continue their abuse of power and violation of professional ethics.

To believe it can’t happen to us and our children – that no one we know would ever abuse our kids, and certainly not someone entrusted with their care or well-being — is to live in denial. Sexual abusers tend to choose occupations that put them in close contact with children. They can be found in every profession. They are heterosexual and homosexual — they don’t discriminate.

What can we do?

Covering up abuse in schools sends a message to the abuser that it is acceptable behavior. We must report the abuser and get help for the children. School boards must send a message that they care and accept zero tolerance.

We must insist for and demand:

• Laws that mandate fingerprinting teachers and other school employees and conduct FBI checks on their criminal history

• Educate about child abuse prevention education beginning at the school board level … establishing strong, clear policies that warn teachers of inappropriate conduct, such as putting themselves in vulnerable positions where they are alone with students.

• Hold mandatory child abuse prevention training and educational seminars for all staff including teachers, bus drivers, cooks, etc. on a monthly basis. Training sessions can help educators understand their district’s policy, the warning signs of possible sexual abuse, and the procedures for reporting abuse when they see it.

• School leaders must make it clear to all staff that the district is serious about investigating any hint of child sexual abuse.

• District policies must stress all employees are mandated to report any suspicion of sexual misconduct and make clear that they will be disciplined if they fail to do so

• Stricter reference and background checks. Meticulously screening of new hires. School administrators must do criminal background checks on applicants and call their former employers and associates, including some who may not be listed on their resumes. Be leery of gaps and frequent changes in an applicant’s job history.

• Remove the accused teacher from contact with children, usually with a suspension, during the investigation

• Immediately notify police or community social service authorities.

• Train students about inappropriate behavior by adults and where to report it if they ever see it occur

• Organize a team of supervised peer counselors where students have a place to go

We must write to our legislators and demand Zero Tolerance.

Contact your politicians and ask for stronger laws that protect our children and for a stronger statute on mandated reporting of child abuse. All responsible citizens with knowledge of child abuse, which is a crime, should be required to report it, even if it’s only suspected. Write letters, e-mail, make phone calls … take action.

It’s time for America to wake-up! Knowledge is power. Learn all you can about child abuse. Educate yourself, your children, your family, your friends, neighbors — everyone you know. We must keep our children safe!

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month.

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