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I attended the Child Abuse Symposium in Santa Clara County, California last Friday and heard a highly effective and important presentation by Dr. John Stirling, Director of the Center for Child Protection at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Medical Director of Santa Clara County’s Children Shelter.

Dr. Stirling presented the findings of the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study, a study that has been out for years, which shows a direct link between child mistreatment and adult health and well-being.

Here is a synopsis of the primary findings of the ACE  Study performed by Dr. Vincent Felitti. Fundamentally, the study found that childhood adversity has a direct correlation with adult disfunction and poor health.

Please read the synopsis of this important study:

http://xnet.kp.org/permanentejournal/winter02/goldtolead.html

In this article in the Washington Post, triggered by the Pope’s recent apology, Sinead O’Connor eloquently writes about her personal experiences relating to child abuse and the Catholic Church, her views on recent events relating to the Catholic Church, as well her belief in God.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032502363.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

51 year-old award winning MTV video director, Aswad Ayinde, has been charged with repeatedly raping and impregnating his daughters over decades and using extreme violence and threats to prevent them from telling the authorities.

Ayinde, who won an MTV award for directing The Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly,” fathered six kids with his daughters from the mid-1980s to 2002 – and delivered the babies himself, according to New Jersey prosecutors. Ayinde also had nine kids with his ex-wife, Beverly, and at least three more with two other women in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors said Ayinde kept the kids from informing the authorities by beating them with wooden boards or kicking them with steel-toed boots.

“I was afraid to ever accuse him of being demented or being a pedophile,” Beverly Ayinde, who married him in 1977, told the court. “I knew the word, but I wouldn’t dare use it because it would result in a beating.”

Ayinde also made a point of moving his family from town to town, even squatting in an abandoned funeral home in New Jersey. Later, he moved to Brooklyn and began passing himself off as an artist, brazenly boasting his now-grown daughters were his wives.

More:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/03/11/2010-03-11_pure_evil_nj_fantatic_aswad_ayinde_charged_with_raping_daughters_

Researchers at the School of Medicine and the Trinity Institute for Neuroscience at the Trinity College Dublin have shown that child abuse leads to negative structural brain changes including an increased susceptibility to depression:

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2010/02/26/Child-abuse-can-cause-brain-changes/UPI-24541267212440/

I hate to keep bringing you horror stories of child abuse, but perhaps it’s needed. We need resources allocated where they belong. I’m willing to bet this man was severely abused as a child.

Here is the story:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/02/08/2010-02-08_us_soldier_joshua_taber_waterboarded_his_daughter_4_because_she_couldnt_recite_a.html

Senator Jake Knotts of South Carolina has recently proposed a bill giving teachers, principals, schools and school districts absolute civil and criminal protection from liability for any injury or harm resulting from their beating school children. No this did not happen in the Middle Ages. This is January 2010! Here is the language of this amazing bill:

  Proposed Bill – S. 1042 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 25, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Section 59-25-60. (A) A teacher who disciplines a student on school district property by means of corporal punishment while acting within the scope of his employment is immune from all civil and criminal liability that may arise from the incident. The same immunity is extended to the principal, school, school administrators, school district, and school district administrators for which the teacher is employed.

(B) For purposes of this section:

(1) ‘Corporal punishment’ means physical punishment inflicted by an adult in authority within the guidelines established by the school district on a student enrolled in a public school of a school district of this State.

(2) ‘Principal’ means the administrative head of a public school of this State.

(3) ‘Teacher’ includes both a teacher as defined in Section 59-1-130 and a teacher aide as defined in Section 59-1-140.

(4) ‘School district’ means a legal entity as defined in Section 59-1-160.”

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.    

There must some sort of support for this in South Carolina, but how can anyone believe that children should be beaten and that neither they, their parents,  nor their guardians should have any recourse to protect them. It seems that many people do.

Here are some interesting facts on this issue:

http://www.nospank.net/tjohnson.htm

A judge in Wisconsin has ordered a mother jailed because her daughter will not comply with a court order to live every other week with an abusive father. The mother was ordered jailed 30 days or until the daughter complies and taken into custody immediately after the last court hearing where she presented evidence that the daughter is “terrified of going; she has night terrors and severe anxiety.”

Can this really be permitted to occur, using our nation’s judiciary power? Shouldn’t we have oversight procedures to ensure children are safe, rather than permitting court power to be used in such gruesome ways? Why would anyone believe that forcing a child to spend time alone with a parent with a history of abuse is a good thing to do? So many unanswered questions. Obviously, a child’s safety should always take precedence over a parent’s “rights”.

Further, how shocking is it that a court would threaten a child with the jailing of her own mother. The sort of guilt and shame the girl must feel must be unbelievable.

Judge Jails Mother Over Daughter’s Refusal To Visit Father, Now Public Crowd Powered Media, November 13, 2009.

Well, the story get even more shocking. Here is the next installment. Really just too much to believe: http://refusesvisitpressrelease.blogspot.com/2009/11/father-refuses-visitation.html#comments

The fact that horrible things are taking place in family courts all over America is no secret. Judges and other court officials are enabling child abuse and destroying children’s bond with protective parents!

Public protest over this despicable situation is growing.

http://capitalnews9.com/capital-region-news-12-content/your_news/capital_region/492704/hundreds-attend-battered-mothers-custody-conference

But we need more widespread awareness.

The benefits of breastfeeding cannot be overemphasized. Numerous studies show that breastfeeding not only improves immune function, reduces life-long disease, and increases IQ, it also helps prevent abuse and neglect due to the mothering hormones it releases. See UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Statement On New Breastfeeding, January 7, 2010, and UQ Research Finds the Mum Bud Bond May Reduce Neglect, The University of Queensland Australia News, December 9, 2009.

It appears that the mother’s body was created with built-in mechanisms to support the her healthy and positive rearing of infants to create physically and emotionally healthy adults. Yet human beings routinely breach this bond and create circumstances of physical and/or emotional abuse and neglect.

“Men’s rights” groups are growing in power. As the feminist movement has made some strides in issues of women’s rights, a powerful backlash has gathered momentum. Certain men have a drive to keep women in positions of pain and mistreatment. These groups label women fighting for freedom and equal rights as feminist extremists whose goal is make men’s lives difficult, claim that domestic violence laws are unfairly applied against innocent men when women are in fact equal abusers, and argue that women falsely cry abuse during custody cases, thus punishing men by refusing them custody.  The facts actually show that the percentage of domestic violence cases in which women are truly physically abusive against their husbands is close to 3%, that in fact the new stricter domestic violence laws are being applied against women who have used low levels of violence in self-defense, and that male abusers are in fact being routinely given custody while the women who report the abuse are losing custody under the guise of the supposed “Parental Alienation Syndrome”. In fact, a number of men are using these groups as a cover for continuing abusive behaviors against women and children. Please read this article publiched this week which has a well-written thorough overview of these issues: “Men’s Rights” Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective, by Katherine Joyce, Double X, November 5, 2009.

The following is from an article by Mary Katherine Armstrong, “Child Abuse, Shame, Rage and Violence”, (Journal of Psychohistory, Summer 2003):

Dr. Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber was a prominent German doctor who set himself up as an authority on child psychology. In 1858 his books on child rearing were so popular with German parents, that some of them went through forty printings. Of course, the parents who bought the books did not even remotely suspect that they were purchasing manuals on how to expose their children to a systematic form of torture with long term effects.

Dr. Shreber’s psychology started with the newborn baby who should be drilled from the very first day to obey and refrain from crying. Master the crying baby through frightening it, and “you will be master of the child forever. From then on, a glance, a word, a single threatening gesture will be sufficient to control the child” (Miller, 1990, p.10). As a result of admonitions to avoid physical demonstrations such as stroking, cuddling and kissing, all these German infants suffered from the absence of direct, loving contact with their parents. Today’s extensive research into attachment theory makes clear the damage done by such unattuned parenting.

Germany was the only nation which gave precise details on how to discipline babies through frightening them. German children were reared according to detailed rules, designed to produce children who were cut off from their own ability to think things through and come to satisfactory personal decisions. Humiliation, these child rearing experts pronounced, is the key to producing adults who will always obey authority figures and never act in accordance with their own will. Alice Miller tell us that dependence on authority, plus intense shaming of children, produced the generation of Germans who obediently followed Hitler into the Second World War and found their emotional release in carrying out atrocities. She says:

Of course children in other countries have been and still are mistreated in the name of upbringing and care-giving, but hardly already as babies and hardly with the systematic thoroughness characteristic of the Prussian pedagogy. In the two generations before Hitler’s rise to power, the implementation of this method was brought to a high degree of perfection in Germany (1998, p.574).