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GCHQ to help tackle ‘dark net’ child abuse images

| December 11, 2014 at 07:32 am

Prime Minister David Cameron: “There can be no grey areas”

Intelligence experts and organised crime specialists will join forces to tackle child abuse images on the “dark net”, David Cameron has said.

The prime minister said a joint GCHQ and National Crime Agency unit would hunt online paedophiles with the same “effort” used to track terrorists.

Speaking at a London summit, he said online child exploitation existed on an “almost industrial scale” worldwide.

He also unveiled a law to stop adults sending children “sexual” messages.

Mr Cameron said the new unit was part of a drive to remove millions of “sickening and depraved” images from the internet. (more…)

Theresa May: How this Government plans to protect children from devastating sex abuse

| December 10, 2014 at 09:31 am

Telegraph Wonder Women Exclusive: Home Secretary Theresa May, host of the WeProtect summit in London this week, explains why we must all unite in the battle to eliminate online child sexual exploitation in Britain and all over the world

It is often the case that the most difficult issues are the hardest to confront. Yet confront them we must. Which is why today, in London, representatives from more than 50 countries have gathered with one particular aim: the elimination of online child sexual abuse. (more…)

Heidi Klum, Eva Longoria, and Nicole Kidman Designed Teddy Bears for a Good Cause, and You Can Bid on Them

| December 9, 2014 at 02:05 pm

Ever wondered how a teddy bear would look if your favorite celebrity designed it? Wonder no more because tonight Sotheby’s is auctioning off 40 plush Build-A-Bear teddy bears customized by the likes of Eva Longoria (above), Karl Lagerfeld, Heidi Klum, Nicole Kidman, and even Bill Clinton.

The auction is the brainchild of Operation Bobbi Bear, an organization that rescues and protects children of sexual abuse in South Africa, and Life Ball, an annual event that raises money for HIV and AIDS awareness. Jackie Branfield, Operation Bobbi Bear’s founder, tells InStyle that a teddy bear is a natural fit because her organization uses them in the field to help young victims describe their sexual abuse.

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Bill Cosby Child Sex Abuse Claim: Woman Files First Civil Lawsuit

| December 8, 2014 at 07:22 am

Bill Cosby has been accused of child sex abuse, in the first civil lawsuit filed since allegations resurfaced. Cosby stands accused of sexually assaulting Judy Huth in 1974, when she was just 15 years old.

In her complaint against Cosby, published by Philipelphia Magazine, 55 year old Huth alleges that the veteran comedian plied her with alcohol and invited her and a friend to the Playboy Mansion. (more…)

Witnesses to child abuse may have to report and testify

| December 2, 2014 at 11:34 am

PIERRE | The South Dakota Legislature will be asked next month to patch a hole in state law that requires people in positions of public responsibility to report abuse or neglect of children under age 18, but doesn’t always require them to testify to what they saw.

The change calls for the person who witnessed the disclosure or evidence to be available to answer questions when the initial report is provided to law enforcement or the state Department of Social Services.

Current state law requires a long list of people in the healthcare, education, law enforcement, courts, social services and counseling fields to report information in instances when they suspect abuse or neglect of a child under age 18. (more…)

Children sexually abused at NSW yoga retreat, witness to tell royal commission

| December 1, 2014 at 02:00 pm

Children were groomed and physically and sexually abused at a yoga retreat on the New South Wales Central Coast, a witness at a child sex abuse inquiry has said.

Bhakti Manning will give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse over the response of the Satyananda Yoga Ashram to allegations of child sexual abuse by the Ashram’s former spiritual leader in the 1970s and 1980s.
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Press Vatican on Aust child abuse: UN

| November 28, 2014 at 07:43 am

The UN wants the Abbott government to take on the Vatican over documents relating to child abuse by Catholic clergy.

In a report handed down in Geneva on Friday, the United Nations Committee Against Torture welcomed the work of the national royal commission into child sexual abuse.

However, the Australian government should take “all appropriate measures” to get “all evidence” from the Vatican to ensure meaningful investigations can be carried out.

Cardinal George Pell has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse such a request is unreasonable because some documents are private and internal to a sovereign state – the Vatican. (more…)

Newport News man arrested on child abuse charges

| November 25, 2014 at 02:51 pm

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Newport News, Va. – The 27-year-old caretaker of an 8-year-old Newport News boy has been arrested on child abuse charges.

Christopher James Alberty was arrested after police made a welfare check on the boy on October 24th.

When officers arrived they found the boy with a bruise on his face and bruising on his thigh.

Child Protective Services responded and an investigation began by a Special Victims Unit Detective.

Alberty was arrested and charged with child abuse on November 24th as a result of that investigation.

Source: News Channel 3

Child abuse cases are ‘tip of the iceberg’ in sexual exploitation of young people, warns Theresa May

| November 24, 2014 at 02:59 pm

Theresa May speaking in the House of Commons

The cases of child abuse exposed so far are only the “tip of the iceberg” of the extent of sexual exploitation of young people, the Home Secretary Theresa May has warned.

Ms May spoke of her dismay over the number of abusers who have been able to operate with impunity both in the past and today.

She said it was impossible to assess whether the activities of a paedophile ring involving senior figures in public life were covered up in the 1980s, but insisted an independent inquiry into historical sex abuse would establish the full facts.

“It’s not possible to say whether there was a cover-up, that is why I think it is so important we have the inquiry so we get at the truth,” she told the Andrew Marr Show.

“There is a real issue here about how was it that in the past, but continuing today, the very institutions of the state that should be protecting children were not doing so. Why was it these abuses were able to take place and nobody was brought to justice as a result of that?”

She added: “We must, as a society… get to the truth of that and because I think we we’ve already seen revealed is the tip of the iceberg on this issue.”

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, pledged that the full truth of sex abuse claims – as well as a new allegation that a boy was murdered by paedophiles in the 1980s – would be established by his officers.

He told the programme that it would be “silly to speculate whether there was a cover–up”. He added: “As an investigator you have to go with an open mind, if people make that allegation I will take it seriously. But I can assure you there will be no cover-up while I’m here.”

He said the 40 detectives looking into the fresh claims were often confronted by a huge mountain of paperwork involving thousands of boxes as well as the “real challenge” of filling in the gaps when files were missing.

“There are a series of claims over quite a long period of time and not all of them are linked, although in the public imagination they may be in that it is child abuse,” he said.

“You have got the extra complication of people in power and was there a cover-up? I’m determined we will get to the bottom of this so we are talking to the witnesses and all the people who have got information.”

Sir Bernard said: “I think everyone will understand that this long after the event it can be quite hard to get to the bottom of the claims and complaints. We will do but it can take a little long than people might expect.”

Source: Independent

L.A. Unified urged to remain vigilant after settling sex abuse claims

| November 21, 2014 at 03:40 pm

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An attorney representing plaintiffs in the Miramonte Elementary School child abuse scandal thanked the L.A. Unified School District for agreeing to a $139-million settlement Friday but urged school officials to continue to push to safeguard children in the system.

“No more rhetoric,” Brian Claypool said outside the downtown Los Angeles County Courthouse where jury selection in the case began earlier this week. “Today is not the end of the Miramonte child abuse scandal, it is the beginning of change.”

Claypool vowed to ensure that L.A. Unified makes fundamental changes to its policies and approach to sexual abuse. Growing emotional, he cited as example one of his clients — a young girl who told her counselor that she didn’t want to live anymore. “She envisioned herself walking to the edge of the pier and jumping off in the ocean,” Claypool said. “That’s an example of the depth of grief that these families have suffered and we wanted the LAUSD to acknowledge that and take responsibility for that and compensate these families.”

John Manly, another attorney who handled the civil cases, said there was “a volcano of evidence” against the district. He said that L.A. Unified settled the case because there was “a legal gun pointed at their head.”

Manly also took to task the Board of Education. saying the seven members never held a public meeting on Miramonte; rather, he said they handled the matter entirely in secret.

“If I was a board member of this district, I would hang my head in shame,” Manly said.

The pact will settle about 150 legal claims from Miramonte parents and children who chose to push forward with the civil trial. Dozens of claims were settled last year for about $30 million.