In The News


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GOP Senate Must Stop Blocking Legal Recourse For New Yorkers Abused As Kids

A Journal News Editorial | December 13, 2017

The #MeToo movement has awakened many to the wide range of sexual misconduct. We've heard of powerful men repeatedly, with apparent impunity, accosting and assaulting women. The contentious Alabama Senate election shone a spotlight on accusations that GOP candidate Roy Moore had targeted young adolescent girls. With so much news about and, finally, serious consequences for sexual harassment, assault and abuse, many New Yorkers might assume that those who were victims of abuse as children are given fair and ample opportunity to seek some measure of justice. But they would be wrong . . . . 


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Corey Feldman Partners with Child USA to Fight Sexual Abuse

By Ryan Scott | December 13, 2017

2017 has been a major year for change. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, many in Hollywood came forward to expose sexual abusers in the business. Corey Feldman, star of The Goonies and current musician, has been leading the charge against Hollywood pedophiles. Now, he's made another major step to make change, as he's partnered with Child USA to fight sexual abuse in this country. Here's what he had to say about the partnership in a statement. "I am beyond honored to lend my voice to an organization that is so closely aligned with my cause . . . "


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Michael Brown: There Are “Pragmatic and Moral Reasons” to Vote for Roy Moore

By Hemant Mehta | December 12, 2017

Dr. Michael Brown, a conservative Christian commentator, enjoys painting himself as a reasonable man who weighs all sides of an issue before making up his mind . . .  even though he always seems to land exactly where you’d expect him to.  So when it comes to Alabama’s Roy Moore, who has numerous allegations of inappropriate conduct on top of child molestation, what should a devout Christian do? Brown says they must take the “pragmatic and moral” road . . . which is to vote for Moore no matter what . . . . Let’s just put that fantasy to rest right away. Even if a judge said Moore was guilty of everything, does anybody really think Christians would believe it? No. They would claim it’s persecution.  And beyond that, no court will ever hear these issues. The Washington Post explained why in their initial explosive article about the allegation . . . .


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Dr. Oz calls for bill to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults

By Kenneth Lovett | December 11, 2017

ALBANY - Advocates for a bill to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults got help Monday from television personality Dr. Oz.  Oz on his show spoke to actor Corey Feldman, who says he was abused as a child, before launching into a plea for New York to pass the Child Victims Act, which has stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate . . . The campaign includes a new coalition called New Yorkers Against Predators made up of advocates and led by CHILD USA "designed to create accountability for the (legislative) members who have not supported the Child Victims Act," said CHILD USA CEO and long-time activist Marci Hamilton.


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Here's A Simple Way to Bring an End to Sexual Abuse
By Marci A. Hamilton | November 25, 2017

The list keeps growing of powerful men accused of sexual abuse, assault, or harassment.  In historical order, just to name the headliners, Bill ClintonFr. Paul ShanleyJerry SanduskyBill CosbyDonald TrumpHarvey WeinsteinRoy MooreAl FrankenJohn Conyers, and Charlie Rose have all faced accusations of this nature.  Thank God.  This is the moment that will change history, because the “kings” of our culture are being brought to the public square and revealed for what they are–craven abusers of power. Click the link above to keep reading.


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Seven Changes that Would Empower the #METOO Movement
By Marci A. Hamilton | November 25, 2017

The social media campaign #MeToo has been an extraordinary space where victims of sex harassment and assault have found their voices.  These victims are inspiring and you just want to believe that something good must come out of all of the pain that they have had to endure so long in silence.  While the disclosures are amazing, they aren’t enough to ensure a Harvey Weinstein never happens again.  Click the link above to keep reading.  


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Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32
By Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard, and Alice Crites | November 9, 2017

As the Roy Moore saga continues to unfold in Alabama, CHILD USA is cited by the Washington Post as the authority on child sex abuse statutes of limitations.  In Alabama, the statute of limitations for bringing felony charges involving sexual abuse of a minor in 1979 would have run out three years later, and the time frame for filing a civil complaint would have ended when the alleged victim turned 21.  


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Nancy Hogshead-Makar: #MeToo shows need for tighter rules in club and Olympic sports
By Nancy Hogshead-Makar | Oct 26, 2017

Last week, McKayla Maroney tweeted a message with the hashtag #MeToo, alleging she was sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. With her disclosure, she not only identified herself as one of the more than 140 women who have said they've been abused by Nassar, who has plead guilty to child pornography charges, but she also re-emphasized that the ubiquitous nature of abuse reaches even the highest levels.


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Marci Hamilton Appointed Penn Arts and Sciences' Third Professor of Practice

Penn Arts & Sciences | October 3, 2017

Marci Hamilton, one of the country’s leading church-state scholars, has been appointed a Penn Arts and Sciences’ Professor of Practice in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program. Practice professorships bring accomplished leaders from business, government, or the arts into Penn Arts and Sciences’ classrooms to complement the expertise of the School’s standing faculty. Hamilton also serves as a Fox Family Pavilion Senior Fellow in Residence in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program’s Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) and is Co-Chair of the Common Ground for the Common Good Program.


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Who’s Cheating California’s Tough New Vaccine System?

Dr. Paul Offit | September 02, 2017

Medical exemptions tripled once a stringent law went into effect for kindergarteners. A look at where it’s coming from suggests something sinister within anti-vaxxer strongholds.  The numbers are in on California’s tough new vaccination law, and they reveal a disturbing phenomenon.  In June 2015, the state enacted Senate Bill 277, mandating that at the beginning of the next academic year, all students had to be vaccinated, including those in private, charter, and parochial schools. It was one of the most restrictive immunization bills in history, and a response to a measles epidemic that started in Southern California at the end of 2014 and eventually spread into 25 states and two Canadian provinces, infecting hundreds of people, mostly children.


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Pushing the limit
By Alexandra Starr | November 2017

In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.


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The Catholic Church and Sex Abuse

Marci Hamilton | JULY 10, 2017

Re “The Vatican’s Failure in the Abuse Scandal” (editorial, July 7):There will be no meaningful changes in the Roman Catholic Church as it pertains to child sex abuse until Pope Francis invites the legal system into the cases by supporting global statutes of limitation reform.


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Trump Needs Vaccine Experts, Not Conspiracy Theorists: Trump could have turned to any number of reputable experts to learn about vaccine safety. Instead, he went straight for the fringe.  

Dr. Paul Offit | January 11, 2017

Imagine you’re the president-elect of the United States and you wanted to know more about vaccine safety. Who would you turn to? You could turn to Nancy Messonier, who heads a team of researchers at the country’s leading center for the study of vaccines: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Or you could turn to any one of a number of academic researchers who are involved with the Vaccine Safety DataLink, a computer-linked system of medical records that can determine vaccine-safety issues in real time as new vaccines are first used by American children . . . Donald Trump, unfortunately, didn’t turn to any of these groups or individuals . . . .


There Is an Antidote to the Politics that Endanger Children

Verdict   •   Marci A. Hamilton
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
The Framers of the Constitution fundamentally understood that people are inevitably tempted to abuse power and that concentrations of power are dangerous. To put it a bit more simply: power must be checked, or it will run amok, and that goes double for combinations of power.


The Demographic Both Party Platforms Missed: Child Sex Abuse Victims

Verdict   •   Marci A. Hamilton
JULY 25, 2016
The wild ride of this year’s presidential election has left many looking for landmarks that will guide their choice for the next president. One place to figure out who stands for what lies in the 2016 Republican and Democratic Platforms. So I decided to explore how each party deals with children.


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Statute of limitations reform advocates call NY 'national shame'

Laura Bult | May 2, 2016

New York is "a national shame" when it comes to getting justice for victims of child sex abuse, say people who helped change the antiquated law in other states.  The Empire State lags behind states like Georgia, Massachusetts, Florida and Utah, all of which in the past several years have passed bills that lengthened the time victims have to bring their cases to court.


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Why Non-Jews Are Choosing Jewish Circumcision Ceremonies: some parents opt for traditional mohels, rather than doctors, to perform the procedure on their sons—even when they aren’t Jewish themselves

Jessica Alpert | June 23, 2015

When Allison Finch, a 36-year-old mother of five from Houston, had her first son, in 2007, she had him circumcised before taking him home. But the circumcision was cosmetically uneven, a result that left her regretting the choice to have the procedure done in the hospital. “We weren’t overly impressed, but we didn’t know that there was another way,” she says.  So when their second son, Henry, was born in 2011, she and her husband Robert went a different route. Although they identify as practicing Christians, the Finches decided to have their baby circumcised by a mohel, a Jewish person trained to perform a ritual circumcision, or brit milah (Hebrew for “the covenant of circumcision”). In keeping with Jewish tradition, the family asked the mohel to circumcise Henry on the eighth day of his life.  


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Vaccinations Are States’ Call

Denise Grady | FEB. 16, 2015

Henning Jacobson just said no. Even though Massachusetts required it, he did not want to be vaccinated. He had had a bad reaction to a vaccine, and he opposed vaccination in general.  Refusing to back down, he fought the state law all the way to the Supreme Court. And Mr. Jacobson, a minister in Cambridge, lost.  He was not forcibly immunized, but he did have to pay . . .