Category Archives: Sexual assault and trauma

“An explosive investigation into orphanage abuse in the US” – BuzzFeed News

orphanage

Nuns killed children, say former residents of St. Joseph’s Catholic Orphanage 

This BuzzFeed article is shocking and not easy to read.

Take a deep breath, because this is an explosive and difficult story. Millions of American children were placed in orphanages. Some didn’t make it out alive.

After hearing whispers that seemed almost too awful to believe, BuzzFeed News investigative reporter Christine Kenneally embarked on a four-year-long journey to find out what really went on in these institutions. BuzzFeed News publishes her special investigation, with a powerful video, revealing the systematic abuse and even the alleged murder of children by nuns.

Her searing report — part true crime drama, part ghost story — cracks open a secret history of American life, and adds a vast new dimension to the Catholic church’s mistreatment of children.

From a world shrouded in secrecy, she tells the story of Sally Dale, Joseph Barquin, Dale Greene, and other former residents of St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington, Vermont, who somehow found the courage to come forward and tell the world what they had witnessed, begging to be heard and believed. The local Catholic diocese put up the fight of a lifetime.

The legal battle upended every assumption that the people of Burlington had. Could memory be trusted? Could forgetting be forgotten? Could a thriving community turn a blind eye to evil? And could nuns, the very women charged with protecting the most vulnerable members of society, have tortured and even killed them?

The Catholic Church abuse scandals — including this month’s Pennsylvania grand jury report on how the church hid the crimes of hundreds of priests — shattered the silence that for so long had protected the church’s secrets. But the truth about what went on inside its American orphanages somehow remained unspoken.

Across thousands of miles, across decades, the abuse in orphanages took eerily similar forms. People who grew up in orphanages said they were made to kneel or stand for hours, sometimes with their arms straight out. Children were forced to eat their own vomit. Children were dangled upside-down out windows, over wells, or in laundry chutes. They were locked in cabinets, in closets, in attics, sometimes for days.

While other countries have opened national inquiries, in the US, there has been no national reckoning. The few times that people who went through the orphanages have sought justice, the courts have tended to be largely indifferent.

So the dark secrets, like the children who haunt survivors’ dreams, lay buried.

Read the article at BuzzFeed News.

“Child pornography may make a comeback after court ruling guts regulations protecting minors” – The Conversation

court ruling porn“The porn industry has long placed an emphasis on young girls. Reuters/Russell Boyce”

“A federal appeals court judge just made it a lot easier for the pornography industry to abuse and exploit children for profit.

“The Aug. 3 legal decision, which has received far less media attention that it deserves, represents the most significant blow to opponents of child porn in decades. We believe it could lead to a sharp increase in the number of underage performers being exploited due to the removal of legal oversight and penalties for uploading or distributing images that feature minors.

“We’ve been studying the business of porn for years, as scholars, advocates and experts in legal battles. In fact, we provided expert testimony in 2013 in a related court case and endured two hours of grilling from the judge and porn industry lawyers.

“The industry is now celebrating its landmark victory.”

Click here to read this article in its entirety at The Conversation.

FREE WEBINAR Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
2:00 – 3:15 PM ET

Register Today


Join this webinar to learn about sexual abuse in nursing homes.  Presenters will discuss a variety of topics to help you recognize the signs of sexual abuse and immediately respond to it.

We will examine the full scope of sexual abuse in nursing homes, including: (1) its prevalence, (2) the physical and social signs of sexual abuse, (3) who is most at risk, and (4) who the perpetrators are.  In addition, you will learn the protections the federal nursing home rule provides for nursing home residents against this abuse and how to respond to the needs of victims.  Finally, we will equip you with concrete knowledge on how ombudsmen can advocate for nursing home residents who are victims of this type of abuse, including hearing from a special presenter on the ombudsman role in the Washington Alliance to End Sexual Violence in Long-Term Care.

“In Their Own Words: People With Intellectual Disabilities Talk About Rape” – NPR

“Yes, it’s happened to me. It was a staff person. It started out where he was buying pop for me and candy for me at, it was called, the canteen. … Then one time he asked me to come down in the basement. He wanted to show me something. And I trusted him. That’s where that happened.” — Sam Maxwell, Meadville, Pa.

debbie-robinsonDebbie Robinson has been a leader and an advocate, in Pennsylvania and across the country, for people with disabilities. – Meg Anderson/NPR”

Editor’s note: This report includes descriptions of sexual assault.

“Somebody with an intellectual disability by definition has difficulty learning, reasoning or problem-solving.

“But many often think deeply about the things that affect them — and the things that isolate them, like sexual assault.

“As part of its investigation into the hidden epidemic of sexual violence faced by this group of Americans, NPR reached out to people with intellectual disabilities across the country to hear their voices, what they have to say about the sexual assaults they’ve survived, and how those experiences have affected their lives.”

Read this article in its entirety (and listen to their stories) at NPR here.

“‘Nothing could have prepared us for this event.’ | Heroes of Las Vegas: the hospital staff called to action after the mass shooting” – The Guardian

by Dan Hernandez in Las Vegas. Pictures by Hector Torres

vegas heroesHeather Brown with Thea Parish and Tatiana Banassevitch.” Photograph: Hector Torres for the Guardian

“Sunrise Hospital’s emergency room was already full at about 10pm on 1 October when a police officer dropping off an accident victim received a call on his radio announcing: ‘Shots fired.’

“Doctor Kevin Menes and nurse Rhonda Davis looked up from their charts. ‘Is this for real?’ Menes asked. A series of gunshots crackled through the officer’s radio in automatic bursts. It sounded like a combat zone. As he ran out, the officer said, ‘That’s the Route 91 concert.

“Immediately, Menes realized there would be hundreds if not thousands of victims, and Sunrise – Las Vegas’s largest trauma center and the hospital nearest to the site of the country music festival – would probably receive the most.

“He and Davis started to prepare.”

Continue reading this article at The Guardian.

More …

Key in responding or reacting to incidents for any agency, entity, organization is having understanding of the nation’s Incident Command System (ICS) – introduced following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Since then agencies, municipalities, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other organizations across the united States have continued to learn, train, develop plans and refine their ICS and emergency planning.

These resources can help your agency, entity or organization begin the planning process.

For more information or for assistance about planning for emergencies and critical incidents that “are never gonna’ happen here”, send an email to blllink@mail.com.

“Years After Silently Combating Sexual Trauma, Female Veterans Seek Help” – California Healthline

assault military“Sheila Procella of Plano, Texas, is a veteran of both the U.S. Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard. She was diagnosed with military sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 2014, nearly three decades after her service. (Laura Buckman for Kaiser Health News)”

“Sheila Procella joined the Air Force in 1974 to ‘see the Earth,’ she said. She enlisted at the tail end of the Vietnam War, shortly after graduating from high school. Although she never left her home state of Texas during eight years of service, her office job proved to be its own battlefield.

“‘Some of us actually went to war, some of us had war right here in the States, going to work every day knowing we are going to be harassed,’ said Procella, now 62 and living in Plano, Texas.

“At the time, fewer than 3 percent of service members were women. Procella recalled the daily barrage of sexual comments, gestures and men grabbing her inappropriately. And one of her superiors made it clear that her hopes of moving up the career ladder were dependent on having sex with him.”

Read this article at California Healthline in its entirety, click here.