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Chiesa cattolica: 250 casi di abusi sessuali segnalati in sette anni

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 11:02 AM PST

BERN (SWITZERLAND) TIO January 7, 2018 [Google Translate: About 250 sexual abuses by the clergy have been reported to the Swiss Catholic Church since 2010. The accusations range from unsolicited contact to rape. The cases occurred between 1950 and today, as revealed by Le Matin Dimanche and SonntagsZeitung. More than 140 children and young people and 88 adults are involved.] La Conferenza dei vescovi svizzeri: «Il 10% dei casi si è verificato negli ultimi otto anni» BERNA - Circa 250 abusi sessuali da parte del clero sono stati segnalati alla Chiesa cattolica svizzera dal 2010. Le accuse vanno dal contatto non richiesto fino allo stupro. I casi si sono verificati tra il 1950 e oggi, come rivelano Le Matin Dimanche e SonntagsZeitung. Sono coinvolti più di 140 fra bambini e giovani e 88 adulti. «Il 10% dei casi si è verificato negli ultimi otto anni, le vittime sono tutte persone adulte», ha dichiarato la Conferenza dei vescovi svizzeri. Le aggressioni più gravi sono perseguite d'ufficio, dopo che le autorità religiose informano la giustizia, come è d'obbligo dal 2014. Alcune di queste indagini, però, sono svolte solo da persone della Chiesa, per il bene delle vittime che non vogliono sporgere denuncia. A questo proposito, i magistrati sono scettici e mettono in guardia dal rischio che tali indagini non siano condotte correttamente. Il procuratore di San Gallo, Elmar Tremp, ha affermato attraverso le colonne del domenicale tedesco che «i casi gravi devono essere affrontati seriamente», spiegando che il personale ecclesiastico non può agire attraverso atti coercitivi come le perquisizioni o i sequestri, a volte necessari per prevenire ulteriori abusi.

Pressuring harassers to quit can end up protecting them

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 10:59 AM PST

WASHINGTON (D.C.) The Washington Post January 5, 2018 By Katherine Ku Katherine Ku is a corporate and securities partner in the Los Angeles office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. She clerked for Kozinski from 2003 to 2004 and for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from 2004 to 2005. When I learned that Judge Alex Kozinski was retiring, after more than a dozen women accused him of inappropriate conduct and sexualized comments, part of me was relieved. I clerked for Kozinski in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit 14 years ago and found his chambers to be a hostile, demeaning and persistently sexualized environment. I had anticipated an arduous apprenticeship with this brilliant jurist and writer. I did not expect how controlling he would be: wanting to approve the location of my apartment, complaining when his clerks wanted salad for lunch instead of whatever he was having. On one occasion, he crumpled up a printout of an email draft and threw it at me. He regularly diminished women and their accomplishments; when discussing newly selected Supreme Court clerks, he surmised, using a vulgar term, that one was lesbian. On another day, he gestured for me to come over to the computer in his office and asked me to look at a photo — unrelated to any case we were working on — of a nude man. For the rest of my year-long clerkship, I closed the door to my office and communicated with the judge as little as possible. My experience was mild, though, compared with what other women have reported: how Kozinski showed them pornography on multiple occasions and wanted to know if it turned them on, asked them what people like them did for sex, encouraged them to exercise naked, propositioned them for sex and groped them even after they said no. In his resignation letter, Kozinski wrote that he has "always had a broad sense of humor" but apologized that he "may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace." (His lawyer declined to comment on the characterizations in this essay.) I'm glad to see him leave the bench. He should not be in a position to judge cases, including those involving sexual harassment.

The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 10:56 AM PST

UNITED STATES National Public Radio January 8, 2018 By Joseph Shapiro Editor's note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of assault. SPECIAL SERIES: abused and betrayed: people with intellectual disabilities and an epidemic of sexual assault Pauline wants to tell her story — about that night in the basement, about the boys and about the abuse she wanted to stop. But she's nervous. "Take a deep breath," she says out loud to herself. She takes a deep and audible breath. And then she tells the story of what happened on the night that turned her life upside down. "The two boys took advantage of me," she begins. "I didn't like it at all." Pauline is a woman with an intellectual disability. At a time when more women are speaking up about sexual assault — and naming the men who assault or harass them — Pauline, too, wants her story told. Her story, NPR found in a yearlong investigation, is a common one for people with intellectual disabilities. NPR obtained unpublished Justice Department data on sex crimes. The results show that people with intellectual disabilities — women and men — are the victims of sexual assaults at rates more than seven times those for people without disabilities. It's one of the highest rates of sexual assault of any group in America, and it's hardly talked about at all. Pauline was part of that silent population. But she says she decided to speak publicly about what happened to her because she wants to "help other women." NPR's investigation found that people with intellectual disabilities are at heightened risk during all parts of their day. They are more likely than others to be assaulted by someone they know. The assaults, often repeat assaults, happen in places where they are supposed to be protected and safe, often by a person they have been taught to trust and rely upon. Pauline is 46, with a quick smile and an easy laugh. (NPR uses rape survivors' first name, unless they prefer their full name be used.) She has red hair and stylish, coppery-orange glasses.

Former Texas youth minister Andy Savage admits to sexual assault of teen girl

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:56 AM PST

HOUSTON (TX) Houston Chronicle January 7, 2018 By Heather Leighton A former youth minister at a church in The Woodlands is admitting to sexually assaulting a teen in his youth group in 1998. Andy Savage, currently a teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, has admitted to sexually assaulting Jules Woodson. The abuse occured when she was a 17-year-old youth member at Savage's former employer, The Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church, which is now known as Stonebridge Church. In an open letter published on the blog Watch Keep, Woodson shared her story. According to the woman's open letter, the incident occurred while Savage was giving her a ride back to her mom's house following a meeting at the church.

Memphis Megachurch Stands By Pastor Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teenager

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:53 AM PST

MEMPHIS (TN) The Huffington Post January 7, 2018 By Dominique Mosbergen Andy Savage acknowledged the 1998 encounter and said he remains "very remorseful" for "the pain I caused." Responding to a recent report that one of their pastors had allegedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl while serving as a youth minister at his previous church, leaders of a megachurch in Memphis, Tennessee, said they'd long known about the incident. "This information is not new to me or to our leadership," Chris Conlee, the lead pastor of Highpoint Church, said in a statement Friday. Earlier that day, The Wartburg Watch, a Christian blog, had published the account of a woman who'd accused Andy Savage, teaching pastor at Highpoint, of sexually abusing her in the late 1990s when she was a teenager. "On behalf of the elders, pastors, staff, and Trustees of Highpoint, I want to affirm that we are 100% committed to Andy [Savage] … and his continued ministry at Highpoint Church," Conlee said, stressing his "total confidence in the redemptive process Andy went through" after the sexual encounter. Savage, an author and podcast host, acknowledged the "sexual incident" in a statement of his own. "I was and remain very remorseful for the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused her and her family, as well as the pain I caused the church and God's Kingdom," he said.

Tennessee megachurch pastor accused of sexual assault

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:51 AM PST

MEMPHIS (TN) Fox13Memphis January 7, 2018 A pastor of a Memphis, Tennessee, megachurch has been accused of sexual assault. Andy Savage, of Highpoint Church, released a response to the accusations on social media platforms. Savage said he "had a sexual incident with a female high school senior" 20 years ago when he was a college student on staff at a Texas church. He said he apologized immediately and asked for forgiveness from the victim, who was 17 at the time. Savage is coming forward after the woman shared her story on a blog, which is graphically detailed. In the blog, the alleged victim detailed what happened and said she felt manipulated and used. She claimed she took her accusations to the church's leaders, but police were never called. The blog also states she has recently filed a report with law enforcement, saying what happened to her was sexual assault.

Retired Vic priest in court over sex abuse

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:47 AM PST

AUSTRALIA 9News January 8, 2018 Men and women who were allegedly abused as children more than 30 years ago have begun giving evidence against a former Catholic priest accused of multiple child sex offences. Retired priest Peter Maurice Waters, 72, appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday charged with 20 child sex offences between 1974 and 1987. He is accused of sexually abusing six children. Several complainants began giving evidence on Monday during a committal hearing that will determine whether Waters should stand trial.

Agencies work together to open Lenawee County Child Advocacy Center

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:45 AM PST

ADRIAN (MI) The Daily Telegram January 7, 2018 By Lonnie Huhman ADRIAN — Lenawee County finally has a service that it's needed for a long time: a child advocacy center. The Lenawee County Child Advocacy Center, a program of Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties, announced Friday it will have a grand opening from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 26. The ribbon cutting is at 4:30 p.m. The center is at 122 S. Broad St. in downtown Adrian. "We're excited about this because the community needs this," said Sue Lewis, executive director for Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties. Lewis said the LCCAC is there to provide solutions to the increasing problem of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse in the Lenawee County community. "I think the community needs to be aware these issues exist and why this center is needed," Lewis said. The center is a collaboration of the Lenawee County Prosecutor's Office, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' Child Protective Services, Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority, all law enforcement agencies in Lenawee County, ProMedica, the University of Michigan Child Protection Team and Catholic Charities. Leaders from these organizations make up the LCCAC steering committee. "This truly is a community collaboration," Lewis said.

Nichols probe: Loophole doesn't require private schools to report sexual misconduct

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:43 AM PST

BUFFALO (NY) The Buffalo News January 7, 2018 By Dan Herbeck Three former administrators from Nichols School were criticized in an investigators' report for failing to take action against teachers involved in sexual misconduct or inappropriate relationships with their students. If the administrators worked in public school systems, New York state laws would have required them to report such allegations immediately to law enforcement. But because of a loophole in state law, there is no such requirement for administrators at private schools like Nichols. "For a public school administrator, it's a crime not to report it. For a private school administrator, there's no law against failing to report it," said Stephen P. Forrester, director of government relations for the not-for-profit New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. "There is a huge loophole in state law, and it's long overdue to fix it." Forrester and his organization are working with legislators on a proposed state law that would put the same requirements on private school administrators. One of the proposed law's big supporters is Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn. Thousands of children who attend private schools throughout the state deserve the same protections as children in public schools, Flynn said. "This is an issue that I have thought about since I first took office," Flynn said. "It's absolutely wrong, and I absolutely support changes in the law." Flynn's comments came one day after Nichols released a report detailing its investigation into 10 teachers who had improper relationships with students over more than four decades. Nichols hired a Washington law firm to investigate last May after receiving a letter from Elizabeth Russ Mohr, a 1994 Nichols graduate who reported having a romantic and sexual relationship with her physics teacher at the school. Mohr was 17 at the time of the affair, and the teacher, Arthur Budington, was 48.

George Pell accuser dies before cardinal faces child sexual abuse trial

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:40 AM PST

AUSTRALIA The Guardian January 7, 2018 By Melissa Davey Damian Dignan alleged Pell sexually assaulted him while he was a student in Ballarat East, which Pell denies A man who publicly accused Australia's most senior Catholic cardinal, George Pell, of child sexual abuse has died following a long illness. Damian Dignan, who lived in the Victorian town of Ballarat, made allegations which were strenuously denied by Pell. Dignan was one of a number of complainants who made allegations against Pell of historical sexual offences. Dignan's death was confirmed by his former partner, Sharon Rixon. "It is with great sadness that my best friend and the father of my children has passed away today," she wrote on Facebook. "I will continue to love and guide and support our children through this difficult time." QC and former chief Victorian magistrate and crown prosecutor, Nicholas Papas, told Guardian Australia that Dignan's death would affect the structure of Pell's upcoming court case in Melbourne. "The death of a witness if generally very serious and can affect whether the case proceeds or not," he said. "But it's not as simple as that, as there may be other evidence or witnesses. In a murder case, for example, the victim is obviously never there and yet a case can proceed. So it's not that it's unusual for witnesses to be dead, but in a case where an allegation involved historic sexual assault and there may be no other direct witnesses to that abuse, it can seriously affect the case."

Trust in clergy in US declines to historic low, Gallup poll finds

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:27 AM PST

UNITED STATES The Christian Times January 8, 2018 By Jardine Malado A recent Gallup poll has found that less than half of Americans believe that clergy members are honest and have high ethical standards. The poll, titled "Americans' Ratings of Honesty and Ethical Standards in Professions," has revealed that trust in the clergy has declined from a high of 67 percent in 1985 to its lowest rating of 42 percent in 2017. The number of people who have said that clergy has "very high" or "high" honesty standards have dropped precipitously in 2002 amid the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The clergy's ratings recovered slightly in the next few years, but it fell to 50 percent in 2009, and it has declined steadily since that time. Clergy have been ranked behind judges (43 percent), day care providers (46 percent), police officers (56 percent), pharmacists (62 percent), medical doctors (65 percent), grade school teachers (66 percent), military officers (71 percent), and nurses (82 percent) as the most honest and ethical profession. Religious breakdowns of the data provided to Christianity Today indicated that self-identified Christians are almost twice as likely to still have faith in religious leaders. Almost half of 776 Christian respondents said pastors had high ethical standards, but only a quarter of 236 non-Christian respondents agreed. Non-Christians are more likely to trust grade school teachers, judges and newspaper reporters, while Christians are more likely to trust police officers, auto mechanics and business executives.

National childcare register: Dodgy operators named and shamed online

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:25 AM PST

QUEENSLAND (AUSTRALIA) The Courier-Mail January 5, 2018 By Matthew Killoran A CHILDCARE centre operated by a Pentecostal church and linked to a child sex abuse case is one of the Queensland centres that will today be named and shamed by the Federal Government for dodgy practices. For the first time, childcare providers barred or suspended from receiving government rebates after breaking the rules or ripping off taxpayers and parents will be named in an online register to be published today. There have been 21 sanctions and payment cancellations slapped on Queensland childcare centres since July 2016, including penalties for fraudulent claims, not passing on subsidies or falsifying records.

‘Their time is up’: Oprah’s inspiring Golden Globes speech

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:24 AM PST

UNITED STATES The Irish Times January 8, 2018 'A new day is on the horizon': Oprah Winfrey thanks those who shared abuse stories Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to be awarded a Golden Globe for lifetime achievement on Sunday, delivering an impassioned speech in support of those who have exposed sexual misconduct in Hollywood and beyond. Actor, movie and television producer, and chief executive of cable channel OWN, Winfrey (63) was celebrated as a role model for women and a person who has promoted strong female characters. Her honour came in a year when the awards show, Hollywood's first leading up to the Oscars, was dominated by a scandal that has seen the downfall of dozens of powerful men as women break years of silence. Winfrey, who along with most of the show's other attendees donned a black gown to show support for victims of sexual misconduct, was the first black woman to receive the annual Cecil B De Mille award, joining the likes of Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and Sophia Loren. Winfrey used her speech to praise women who have shared their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, and to declare that "a new day is on the horizon" for girls and women.

Lawsuits: Brouillard abused boys in plain view of other victims

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:20 AM PST

GUAM Pacific Daily News January 8, 2018 By Haidee V. Eugenio Three more men have come forward to accuse former Guam priest Louis Brouillard of sexually abusing them when they were children, according to lawsuits filed Friday afternoon in the Superior Court of Guam. One man said he was abused weekly for a year. A fourth accuser, who had sued Brouillard and the church in September, filed an amended lawsuit Friday in Superior Court, providing more details about the alleged sexual assault. The three new lawsuits accuse Brouillard, who also was a scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America, of abusing the plaintiffs during Boy Scouts swimming trips. The plaintiffs also state they saw Brouillard abuse other boys during those trips and on church grounds.

Opinion: It’s Time To Stop Singing Shlomo Carlebach’s Songs

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

NEW YORK (NY) Forward Originally Published on December 7, 2017 By Sharon Rose Goldtzvik I can't walk into any synagogue in America – and barely any synagogue in the world – without hearing songs written by the man who sexually assaulted my mother. That's because my mom is one of the many of girls and young women whom Shlomo Carlebach sexually harassed, assaulted or abused while he traveled the country performing his music. In 1998, Lilith Magazine published a longform article about Carlebach's history of sexual abuse, documenting testimonies from women he abused. I first read the article when I was around 16. That's when I finally understood that my mom's story was just one of many, and the problem was much bigger than I could have imagined.