Child abuse in United States military families


This video from the USA says about itself:

Reports: U.S. Military Overlooked Rape of Boys

22 September 2015

Brooke Baldwin speaks with father whose son was killed in Afghanistan. Allegations are surfacing marines were told to tolerate abuse by Afghan military.

By Shelley Connor in the USA:

Child abuse and neglect soar in US military families

9 January 2017

A recent investigation by the Los Angeles Times/Tribune has uncovered a significant increase in child abuse and neglect among US military families since 2003.

Using Freedom of Information Act requests, the Times gained access to reports from the Army, Navy and Air Force that reveal that, in many cases, military officials failed to act upon known or suspected cases of child abuse in military families.

The reports confirm that child fatalities in military homes jumped from 14 in 2003 to 38 in 2012; from 2012 to 2014, they remained above 30 per year until they dropped to 23 in 2015—the last year that Pentagon records are available. That same year, the Family Advocacy Program (FAP), a military program aimed at intervening in cases of domestic violence and child neglect, reported 5,378 cases of child abuse and neglect in military families.

For years, the Pentagon has maintained that child abuse is less common and less severe in military homes than it is among the civilian population. It asserts that its vigilance in weeding out drug and alcohol users screens out most abusive parents—moreover, service members, the Pentagon says, are free from the stress of unemployment faced by most civilians, which decreases the financial strain upon military families.

Most proudly, the Pentagon points to its Family Advocacy Program (FAP) and the obligation of base commanders to monitor the welfare of their troops’ families and to order the FAP to intervene in cases where service members are suspected or known to have abused their family members.

Despite the Pentagon’s boasts, however, the rate of child abuse and neglect in the military has risen from 4.8 incidents per 1,000 children to 7.2 within five years. This rise, demonstrated by the Pentagon’s own records, has occurred even as the number of enlisted personnel has declined by 10 percent in recent years.

Moreover, FAP personnel point out that these are only the cases to which its caseworkers are alerted. The Times report quotes Rene Robichaux, who oversees the Army’s clinical child abuse treatment program, who said, “We get about 25 percent of the incidents. The rest occur behind closed doors.”

The FAP was founded in the years following the Vietnam War, when there was a spike in spousal abuse cases amongst returning military personnel. Previous efforts by the military to intervene in domestic abuse cases amongst its members had been poorly funded and unenthusiastically maintained.

FAPs predecessor, the Child Advocacy Program, was established in 1976 to address mounting incidents of child abuse in military homes. In 1979, after multiple reports demonstrated that military service members were responsible for 15 percent of the nation’s total spousal abuse cases, the program was expanded to include spouses and renamed the Family Advocacy Program. The program has a budget of around $2 million a year, and is brandished by the Department of Defense both as a benefit to military recruits and as a shield against the public outcry against the military’s treatment of enlistees and their families.

Child abuse and neglect are known to correlate strongly with deployment. Despite this, base commanders have failed to report cases of abuse to the FAP. Child welfare advocates have pointed out that there is reluctance among commanders to address cases of abuse and neglect, because they can lead to a service member’s discharge. Not only that, these reports can be seen as evidence of a commander’s incompetence to monitor his or her troops.

Several recent high-profile child murder cases have also shown that FAP referrals alone are inadequate to address concerns over child maltreatment in military families.

In the case of 22-month-old Tamryn Klapheke, who died of starvation on Dyess Air Force Base, the FAP had previously intervened, along with Texas’ Child Protective Services, after the infant’s malnourished state was reported by doctors. Tamryn’s father was serving overseas at the time. Tamryn’s mother, Tiffany Klapheke, cooperated with FAP’s requirements, making all of Tamryn’s assigned doctors’ visits and completing a parenting course.

Three months after a social worker had noted in Tamryn’s file that fatality was likely if she were not fed appropriately, the family was released from the program’s oversight. Autopsy reports demonstrate that Tiffany Klapheke had provided neither food nor water for Tamryn for at least four days before she died.

All branches of the military have increased staffing for the FAP in recent years. Nevertheless, the program is overwhelmed, particularly when units return from deployment. A service member might wait for three weeks or more to speak with an FAP therapist after being referred to the program. Moreover, the cases that are referred tend to be extreme, demanding immediate attention. There is an incentive for caseworkers and their managers to quickly move families through the program in order to work through the caseload.

In some cases, parents never come into contact with an FAP caseworker, even when there are multiple, well-documented reports of abuse.

Such was the case of Talia Williams, a five-year-old girl living on Wheeler Air Force Base, who died after being beaten by her father and stepmother in July of 2005. Mrs. Williams had been reported by coworkers numerous times for remarking that beating children was acceptable as long as there were no incriminating marks. Her father did not take such precautions; the staff at Talia’s daycare notified military police after finding bruises on Talia’s arms and back. Talia had told them that her father beat her with a paddle when he was angry.

The FAP agent assigned to Talia’s case never took action; Naeem Williams was sentenced to life in prison for his daughter’s murder. In 2008, Talia’s mother sued the Army for negligence and wrongful death in federal court. The Justice Department attempted to block the suit, arguing that the Army was not responsible for child abuse on its bases. U.S. District Judge Alan C. Kay rejected the government’s motion to dismiss. Last year, the Justice Department settled with Tarshia Williams for $2 million—the amount of the FAP’s yearly budget—in the case of her daughter’s death.

The United States has been at war continuously for more than 15 years. Decreases in enlistment have meant that enlistees face multiple deployments. The stress placed on these service members and their families is well-documented.

Children of service members suffer from anxiety at a higher rate than their civilian cohort. Behavioral problems, distractibility, and cognitive impairment among the children of deployed troops reveals the tremendous strain that their parents’ deployments places upon their young shoulders. When their parents return, readjustment to civilian life is fraught with peril. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is prevalent among these service members; added to that is the economic uncertainty to which they return.

It is wholly unsurprising that child abuse and neglect are increasing in these families. In fact, the military’s own research, conducted since the late 1970’s, confirms that this is not a novel, undocumented phenomenon. The evidence accrued steadily throughout the 1980’s that spousal abuse was much more prevalent in the homes of service members who had been deployed, and child abuse, it is well-known, is much more likely in families where there is spousal abuse.

The military’s use of the FAP as a fig leaf to hide behind is therefore obviously disingenuous, as is the Pentagon’s insistence that military families are well-cared for economically.

Many service members, lured to war by the dangling of recruitment bonuses, are now being forced by the Pentagon to repay those bonuses, despite serving multiple overseas tours and incurring significant psychological and financial strain.

The unnecessary deaths of Talia Williams and Tamryn Klapheke testify to the fact that the United States’ endless wars are claiming victims on American soil; moreover, they expose the indifference of the military to the scourge of child abuse amongst its ranks, when addressing it would endanger the steady stream of soldiers to fight and die for the interests of American imperialism.

Dutch cartoonist Peter van Straaten dies


Child abuse, cartoon by Peter van Straaten

This 2011 cartoon is by Peter van Straaten from the Netherlands. It is about sexual child abuse in the Roman Catholic church. It depicts a praying child, abused by a crucifix.

Peter van Straaten died this week, 81 years old.

Van Straaten said about some of the reactions to that cartoon:

I got a huge load of hate mail and even death threats. I’m not used to that at all, it really scared me. … But apparently there were a lot of outraged Catholics. On the advice of my wife, I even removed our nameplate from the front door.

British police sexual abuse scandal


This video from Britain says about itself:

“Police and sexual exploitation“: HM Inspector Mike Cunningham

8 December 2016

More than 300 police officers have been accused of using their position to sexually exploit people, including victims of crime, a report has said.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Hundreds of British police officers accused of sexual abuse

Today, 17:13

More than 300 British police officers have been accused of sexual abuse during the past two years. The HMIC inspectorate, which checks the work of the British police, announces this. It is yet another abuse scandal in Britain after reports of widespread abuse by, among others, TV personalities and in the football world.

British police officers abuse their authority according to the inspection report, offending against crime victims, alcoholics and drug addicts, but especially against victims of domestic violence.

‘A disease’

The data are from the period March 2014 to March of this year. Police top brass speak in this context of a “disease to be eradicated.” Moreover, prospective policemen must adopt the mindset that this is unacceptable, say senior police officials.

Less than half of the complaints appears to have reached the police complaints committee, according to the report by the inspectorate. The abuse has often remained unpunished; according to the HMIC there is a significant discrepancy between the number of allegations and dismissals from the police.

Rape rampant in Canadian army


This video says about itself:

13 November 2015

Canada’s Sikh Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has faced racial abuse from his own soldier for being Indian. Apparently, a non-commissioned officer from the Canadian Forces Base commented on Sajjan making a racist reference on social media.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Hundreds of Canadian soldiers assaulted by colleagues

Today, 18:04

Nearly one thousand Canadian soldiers during the last twelve months have been victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment. More than a quarter of the female soldiers have been assaulted during their careers, says the Canadian Statistical Office.

The office examined the situation, because the Canadian army has had for long time a reputation of hostility and aggression against women and homosexuals.

The army top brass began last year a campaign to put an end to harassment and sexual violence, but the Canadian Chief of Staff General Jonathan Vance acknowledges that the campaign appears to have had little effect. He calls the outcome of the investigation “sobering, but not surprising.”

Ban

Vance thinks the sexual mores are substantial problem for the Canadian Forces. “We know about it and try to address it. These new figures make me more motivated than ever to eradicate this behavior and ban the perpetrators from the army.”

The statistical office calculated that sexual assault and sexual harassment in the armed forces appear almost twice as much as in other work environments. 840 soldiers say they had to do last year with “unwanted sexual touching”, 150 soldiers have assaulted people and 110 soldiers complained about other unwanted sexual acts.

Higher rank

About 15 percent of the Canadian Forces are women and most of the complaints came from women soldiers. 49 percent said the perpetrator was a man with a higher rank.

Statistically, for soldiers one may expect that far less than 49% of other soldiers are of higher rank. I have no Canadian army figures on this; but in most armies the higher the rank, the less soldiers with that rank. So it looks like the higher the rank, the worse the sexual abuse.

Among men who reported sexual violence or intimidation, the perpetrators were primarily soldiers in the same rank.

The report does not mention any case of a soldier with a lower rank assaulting or harassing someone of higher rank.

Eight out of ten surveyed Canadian soldiers have also witnessed or have been targets last year of inappropriate sexual comments, innuendo, insults and jokes, the researchers say.

Men in Canadian army are at ‘significantly’ greater risk of suicide after deployment, study finds: here.

Breivik’s party politician in Norwegian paedophile network


This video from Northern Ireland says about itself:

Chris Moore, ‘Securing justice for clerical child abuse victims’

18 December 2012

Chris Moore is an award-winning investigative journalist based in Belfast, who has written and reported extensively on clerical and institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland. He was the reporter on the UTV current affairs programme Counterpoint which produced the ground-breaking programme Suffer Little Children in 1994, exposing the Brendan Smyth child sex abuse story. His books include Betrayal of Trust, Fr. Brendan Smyth Affair and the Catholic Church (1995) and The Kincora Scandal: Political Cover-up and Intrigue in Northern Ireland (1996). Chris has continued to cover these and related stories ever since, including the struggle by campaigners for inquiries into abuse in Northern Ireland, on which he has reported critically for The Detail website.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Norway shocked by paedophile network

Today, 20:46

In the Norwegian child abuse case that came to light yesterday, a senior police officer has been suspended. His 23-year-old son is said to have played an important role in the big paedophile network that has been discovered. The boy was arrested and will remains for four weeks in custody. The first two weeks he will be in complete isolation.

The father stands accused that he has visited web sites with pornographic texts about children. The man is said to have admitted that he did read “erotica”, but that they did not contain prohibited content, according to him. He said he did not know of the involvement of his son in the big paedophile network.

Drugs and doping

The network is said to also include two Norwegian politicians. According to the Norwegian channel NRK, one of them was an employee of the government party FrP and he later had a key role in local politics. During a search also drugs and doping were found at his place. He admits this possession, according to his lawyer, but he denies that he has anything to do with the paedophile network.

The Norwegian coalition government consists of two parties: the conservative party and the FrP (‘Progress Party’) of this person, from eastern Norway, suspected in the ‘Dark Room’ paedophile network case. The FrP is a far right xenophobic party, comparable to Vlaams Belang in Belgium and Golden Dawn in Greece. Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik used to be a FrP member. Also other Norwegian violent xenophobes used to be active in the FrP. One FrP politician expressed sympathy with a Swedish racist who murdered people at a school with many immigrant pupils.

Dutch Christian Democrat politician suspect of abusing minor girl: here.

Rape legalised in Turkey?


This video says about itself:

15 February 2015

Women have taken to the streets across Turkey to denounce the brutal murder of a student, killed after allegedly resisting a rape attempt by a minibus driver.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the death of Ozgecan Aslan, 20, whose burnt body was found in a riverbed in the southern city of Mersin.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Turkish proposal: marrying after abusing minors

Today, 19:59

Members of the Turkish ruling party AKP have proposed a bill, in which men accused of sexual abuse might marry their underage victims under certain conditions.

Thus they could evade prosecution. The proposal was already adopted by the Turkish Parliament in a first round of voting.

The opposition and human rights organizations have expressed strong criticism. They say that the proposal amounts to amnesty for rape and legalizing child marriages. They are afraid that the new law will be used to enforce marriages.

Over the last decade violence against women has increased in Turkey, the BBC writes. Critics of the government of President Erdogan accusing them that they are increasingly trying to force women into a subordinate role.

‘Structural sexual abuse in Dutch Roman Catholic Church’


This video says about itself:

Catholic Church’s systematic abuse cover up in USA

16 November 2014

The Pope [John Paul II] played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

24 October 2016

The [Dutch] Roman Catholic Church has paid victims of abuse cases so far nearly thirty million euros in damages, reports daily De Limburger.

A complaints committee that investigates the abuse in the Catholic Church received 3678 reports of abuse. …

Certainly three hundred people have had to deal with exceptionally serious abuse. They will be compensated up to 100,000 euros.

Structural abuse

Stevens, chairman of the complaints committee, says in De Limburger that most provincial superiors of religious orders will pay the compensation. “Two or three provincial superiors do not want to pay. We are still working on a solution.”

According to Stevens one may speak of structural abuse in the Church. “Not all church officials have done wrong. But the fact that there are so many perpetrators does justify to speak of structural abuse at that time.”

FORMER SOCCER PLAYERS HAVE COME FORWARD ALLEGING SEXUAL ABUSE AT ENGLISH SOCCER CLUBS Investigations have been launched into “pedophile activity in youth teams, which victims say has gone unreported for decades.” [Reuters]