In the News
April 25, 2018 | Press Release
“Game Over: Commission to Protect Youth Athletes,” Funded in Large Part by $300,000 Investment from the Foundation for Global Sports Development, to be led by University of Pennsylvania-Based CHILD USA. Commission Comprised of National Experts in Child Sex Abuse, Law Enforcement, Academia, Trauma, Sports and Investigative Journalism.
March 23, 2018 | Press Release
In Partnership with The Foundation for Global Sports Development, CHILD USA will examine the prevalence of child abuse and neglect in elite athletic organizations to determine how to best prevent it.
March 21, 2018 | Trudy Ring
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the famously anti-LGBT Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, is arguing against pending state legislation that would offer a window for survivors of sexual abuse to sue over crimes that happened decades ago.
Dolan made an unannounced visit to the state capitol in Albany to urge lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo not to support a “lookback” provision in the Child Victims Act, which would give survivors a one-year period to bring suits over decades-old incidents of abuse.
March 21, 2018 | Kenneth Lovett
ALBANY— Gov. Cuomo stood up for survivors of childhood sexual assault on Wednesday, and pushed back against Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s statement that a lookback provision for them to revive old legal claims would be “toxic.”
"These victims have been denied their day in court for far too long and we stand with them," Cuomo told the Daily News in a statement. “The arguments against a lookback do not stand up against the experience of every other state and this debate only wastes time and delays justice.”
Oh, I can very much believe, because its outline and ingredients are completely familiar. Here we have an adult whose professional energies were largely devoted to children — and who was thus considered to have a special concern for, insight into and way with them. We have a figure of authority and expertise who seemed to be, and sometimes was, actually helping kids, so that their inclination — along with the reflexes of their parents and of their abuser’s colleagues — was to defer to him, trust him and give him the benefit of the doubt.
The Washington State Senate voted 32-16 to ban license therapists from subjecting LGBTQ-identifying youth to conversion therapy designed to change their sexual orientation and gender identity. Six Republicans crossed over to vote with the chamber’s Democratic majority to approve the ban. The Democrats, who won the majority on Nov. 7, 2017, have long wanted to pass a bill banning conversion therapy, but were hamstrung by Republican leadership, who had refused to allow a vote on the measure in past sessions.
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman confronted Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor who she says sexually abused her for years, with a blistering statement in court on Friday.
A bill passed in the State House of Representatives last year offers some hope for people who were sexually assaulted years ago and want to see the ones who harmed them prosecuted. But that hope faces some difficult challenges in the Senate.
ALBANY — New Yorkers across the board overwhelmingly support the Child Victims Act.
American gymnastics star McKayla Maroney was completely broken. After suffering what Maroney claims was years-long sexual abuse at the hands of former USA Gymnastics (USAG) team physician Dr. Larry Nassar – “It started when I was 13 years old,” Maroney posted on her Facebook page last October – the 2012 London Olympics gold medal-winning gymnast signed a confidential settlement in December 2016 with USAG, the sport’s national governing body. “In light of her worsening condition, and desperate need for psychological intervention, the Plaintiff McKayla Maroney entered into this agreement to obtain funds necessary to pay for lifesaving psychological treatment and care,” reads part of the explosive civil lawsuit Maroney filed against USAG, Nassar, Michigan State University, the U.S. Olympic Committee and 500 other individual anonymous defendants last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
BOSTON (Reuters) - The death on Wednesday of Roman Catholic Cardinal Bernard Law, who covered up the church’s child sex abuse scandal for decades, prompted U.S. activists to reflect on how far their efforts have come to make sure abusers can be prosecuted and how many hurdles remain. Thousands of people worldwide came forward to say they were child victims of priest abuse after the scandal broke in 2002. But many in the United States found that state laws protected their attackers from criminal prosecution or even civil lawsuits for crimes that were years or decades old.
Shaun Dougherty is prominently involved in bringing attention to child sexual abuse statutes of limitations in the two states where he splits his time living: Pennsylvania and New York. And the Johnstown area resident sees similarities with how the issue is being handled in both locations. Dougherty and others have been attempting to eliminate Pennsylvania’s criminal and civil statues for abuse going forward, while also creating a retroactive window for cases of past alleged abuse. He became involved in the issue after his own alleged sexual abuse – at the hands of a predator priest – was apparently mentioned, with his name redacted, in a 2016 grand jury report that claimed the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown carried out a decades-long cover-up. He has also joined in the effort to change New York’s statutes. Dougherty spent hours on Monday attempting to raise support for his cause by visiting New York legislators and conducting telephone interviews.
It began with accusations against one of Hollywood’s most powerful titans of cinema in early October. After felling Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement has brought down dozens of powerful men in entertainment, media, tech and politics over accusations of sexual impropriety. “We’ve reached a tipping point for secrecy,” remarked Marci Hamilton, the Fox Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. “The victims now feel sufficiently supported by the culture to come forward.” Tarana Burke, who founded #MeToo more than a decade before it gained widespread traction, as said she wants to see the campaign be far more than a short-lived viral episode. Such fears appear unfounded. Since Weinstein’s downfall propelled #MeToo to the national spotlight it has shown no sign of slowing down. So influential has the movement become that Time magazine labeled the predominantly female group of accusers its Person of the Year.
In October, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its state-by-state comparison of immunization rates among kindergartners for the 2016-17 school year, one state shone above the rest—Mississippi, where rates for childhood vaccines were 99.4 percent for each of the vaccines evaluated. For context, every state had high immunization rates, with none dipping below 84 percent. But Mississippi was a surprise leader in vaccinations.
A coalition of organizations, advocates, and sex abuse survivors from across New York has kicked off a campaign to extend the statute of limitations in New York for child sexual abuse crimes. The group hopes to convince Republican state senators to support the effort and began Wednesday at the district offices of two Hudson Valley senators. Marci Hamilton is CEO and academic director of Philadelphia-based CHILD USA, which aims to protect children from abuse and neglect. She is a founding member of New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators . . .
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 . . . .
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
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 . . . .
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.
The list keeps growing of powerful men accused of sexual abuse, assault, or harassment. In historical order, just to name the headliners, Bill Clinton, Fr. Paul Shanley, Jerry Sandusky, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Al Franken, John 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 . . . .
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 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.
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.
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.
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 . . .
Jean Mercer | June 21, 2012
This paper outlines an unconventional treatment for mental illness, the exorcism or deliverance ritual used by Pentecostals and some other charismatic Christians. Deliverance beliefs and practices are based on the assumption that both mental and physical ills result from possession of the sufferer by demons, and are to be treated by the expulsion of those demons. Deliverance practitioners claim to treat schizophrenia, ADHD, and Reactive Attachment Disorder, and believe that these problems are related to sins either of the person in treatment or of an ancestor. Clinicians and counsellors dealing with clients who partially or completely espouse deliverance beliefs may need to understand their worldviews and to discuss their belief system before managing to engage them in conventional mental health treatments. Unusual ethical problems may also be met in the course of such work.