Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Encouraging survivors of sexual abuse

Penn State sex abuse case gives courage to victims across the United States. - Detroit Free Press
Since the child sex abuse scandal broke at Penn State University in November, victims of sexual abuse -- many of whom had remained silent about their suffering for years -- have been speaking up across the country, seeking counseling, calling hot lines and contacting attorneys.

An unprecedented increase in reports of abuse seems to have been inspired by the fall from grace of the university's revered football coach, Joe Paterno, and the school's president, Graham Spanier.

"If the powerful come down, the powerless really do feel they have a shot," said Marci A. Hamilton, a lawyer from Bucks County, Pa., and author of "Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children."

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), based in Chicago, reported that in the last six weeks, it had been deluged with e-mails and phone calls from survivors.

"The real enemy in the child safety struggle is 'surely,' " said David Clohessy, SNAP's executive director. "Surely, after all those lawsuits, surely, after all those priests were ousted, no day care center or athletic program or school or church or scouting group would ignore or conceal child sex crimes anymore."

Penn State gave the lie to that assumption, which helped survivors in several ways.

"Whenever high-profile predators in a particular occupation or setting are exposed, especially in rapid succession, some victims abused in the same setting or by the same type of perpetrator come forward out of hope," Clohessy said.

One of the major reasons victims keep their abuse secret is fear, Clohessy said. Fear that they will not be believed. Fear that they will be seen as complicit. Fear that they will be judged harshly.

"While it's extraordinarily hard for any child sex abuse victim to come forward, there's another layer of complexity and shame when it's same-gender abuse," he said.

Since the Penn State scandal broke, disclosure has become easier. The scandal also seems to have tipped public opinion, Hamilton said: "There is this sense that something needs to be done."

During a recent TV appearance with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Hamilton was asked, "So what should we do?"

When she replied, "Get rid of the statute of limitations," she said, "the entire audience started applauding. I was amazed. ... We weren't seeing this kind of tone in the public before Penn State."

Dragging sexual abuse out into the open...
What was little understood years ago was the nature of the compulsion - that abusers were often unable to resist future temptation, especially if they were around kids (which they often were, partly because many pedophiles choose jobs that keep them near their targets).

In the Catholic Church, priests who confessed and said the required prayers were forgiven (forgiveness being, after all, the business the church is in). His superiors might transfer him to another parish without realizing that, penitent though the abuser may have been, they were only providing him with a new source of victims.
Sexual abuse is a real threat to children, and it deserves our attention. And sexual contact with children is a crime, so sweeping it under the rug is a crime, too.
Protecting children is everyone's job.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Prayer


They will call him Immanuel- which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23



Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

If you were a victim of sexual abuse by John Langworthy at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas

Sgt. Byron Fassett in the Dallas police department child exploitation unit is ready to take your call if you were abused by John Langworthy during his time in Dallas while on staff at Prestonwood Baptist Church in the mid to late 1980s or if you have information about these crimes. Langworthy was fired in the summer of 1989 by Prestonwood for the known sexual abuse of several boys. The staff heard directly from victims but failed to report the abuse to the police as required by mandatory reporting laws enacted in TX in 1971. Please call Byron at 214-671-4200. I have spoken with Byron. If you need to leave him a message, please do. He will call you back.

To report a case of abuse in Mississippi, contact Jamie McBride, Assistant District Attorney for Hinds County, who is handling the criminal case of John Langworthy there, at 601-968-6568. Langworthy is facing eight counts of gratification of lust. Two of the counts stem from Clinton cases and the other six were filed in Jackson, police said. 



Investigators said the incidents involved five male victims, who at the time were between 8 and 12 years old, and took place between 1980 and 1984 when Langworthy served as a volunteer for First Baptist Church of Jackson and Daniel Memorial Baptist Church in Jackson.  Langworthy is out of jail on $700,000 bond. He pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled to appear in court again on March 19. His trial has been set for April 2.


Hopefully others who have been harmed by John Langworthy will have the courage to come forward and contact the police.

Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting other kids.


Apathy: The Assistant Coach of Child Sexual Abuse by Child Help founders Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Fedderson published on December 13, 2011 on foxnews.com
It starts by recognizing that everyone has a responsibility to protect our children. Childhelp asks readers to get off the bench and report, educate and fight the epidemic of child abuse that exists in all of our communities. Many people see signs of abuse but refuse to come forward fearing they might be wrong.
We say "risk making a mistake for the love of a child."
According to a survey by Finkelhor & Dziuba-Leatherman, child sexual abuse is rarely identified. An estimated 3% of child sexual abuse cases are actually reported.
When in doubt, act for the child and contact proper authorities. Dial 911, contact CPS or call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD/1-800-422-4453).
In sex abuse cases, silence not so golden, after all.




Dale Hansen's Sports Special - sharing his story of abuse for the first time

                                   



The victim of a sexual crime is the only victim we don't talk about, and maybe it's time we do.
But who stands to cheer for the victim of a sexual assault? And much like cancer, we all know a victim.
It might be a child in your family... a cousin or a brother... the kid on the corner... a kid in your class. We all know somebody. You might not think you do, but I know you do.
Because you all know me. I was 10 years old in my little Iowa town.
It really was the Mayberry of the Midwest. Everybody knew everybody (at least we thought we did).
The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.
The good men at Penn State University didn't, and the innocence of a child was lost forever.
Talk to your children, and — more importantly — make sure that your children aren't afraid to talk to you.
The innocence of a child is worth fighting for. The innocence of a child is worth the job of a coach. The innocence of a child is worth talking about. That's why I choose to talk about it tonight.
And it's why at this time of year, every year, I want the Oak Ridge Boys to remind us all: "Thank God for Kids."

BY MICHAEL O'KEEFFE


 When Jimmy Carlino first accused former Christ the King Regional High School basketball coach Bob Oliva of sexual abuse in 2008, Oliva and school officials tried to discredit him, writing him off as a crackpot looking for a quick payday. Carlino was vindicated in April, when Oliva pleaded guilty to sexual abuse charges in a Boston courtroom.

Carlino will talk about his experience at 2:30 pm on Friday on DeFoRadio.com, the web station run by South Florida radio personality Jeff De Forest. (Here is the link: http://www.deforadio.com/)

Carlino recently sent the Daily News an open letter to the alleged victims in the Penn State and Syracuse sex-abuse scandals about what he went through after he went public about the abuse, and what they can expect.

You may read or hear where people in the community show support of these manipulative predators. Don't let any of this hurt you.

I don't want you to feel alone. You're gonna hear he's innocent until proven guilty (he'll always be guilty in your heart and soul regardless of any outcome). You may hear, you're in it for the money. We know that's hogwash, because why would anyone admit that somebody violated them for a payday? Coming forward takes so much strength and courage. You're a hero to so many, including the many other victims who live in silence forever. It takes strength just to survive these atrocities and try to live a normal life.

Our healthy sexual curiosity was distorted through the workings of a sexual deviant. Our curiosity was normal. We did nothing wrong, they did. These feelings didn't make us different than our friends, it didn't mean we were homosexuals. Subconsciously, or consciously, we may consider all these things or other things. But, the biggest hurdle has been cleared or overcome. Admitting what happened was the hardest part. Now, you must get help by talking to professionals that will guide you through the next chapter of your life. It's vital to get all those hidden secrets out that have been haunting us.

This Friday, at 2:30PM on deforadio.com, Father Bob and myself will be talking about childhood sexual abuse and the survivors. We will focus on what to expect when going into the early stages of a criminal trial against a pedophile. Please tune in if you can.
If you want to reach us immediately, you can email Father Bob at Road to Recovery or myself, Jim Carlino, at stop.running1221@yahoo.com or call us at 862-368-8200.
Your calling us or contacting us will be held in the strictest confidence. We will be honored and proud to help you in any way possible. We mean that from one victim to another to another. There are no hidden agendas. We only want you to know you're not alone and there are people out there who love you, support you and admire you.

It's time to stop running and enjoy your life...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Penn State's Culture of Loyalty

by R.M. Schneiderman in The Daily Beast

The accusations against Curley and Schultz reveal an undeniable repugnance. And while it is easy to understand why Paterno—who has since been fired—and McQueary would initially report the incident in the shower to their superiors, it is mind-boggling to think that they would remain silent when they realized that nothing was being done about it.

Like the Catholic Church and other institutions beset by scandals, Penn State appears to have been plagued by a culture that valued loyalty over justice.

Preserving the image of the institution—an economic juggernaut, whose vaunted football team pumped an estimated $59 million into the local economy every home game—seems to have been more important than protecting yet another child from an alleged serial predator.

Did the culture of loyalty also allow abuse to flourish when Dr. Jack Graham, Neal Jeffrey and others at Prestonwood Baptist Church fired a confessed child molester but failed to report him to the police as required by law? They allowed John Langworthy to quietly move on to other unsuspecting schools and churches to immerse himself in a career teaching music to kids of all ages...for 22 years until his arrest and indictment in September of 2011 in Mississippi on 8 counts of felony gratification of lust with 5 victims, boys between the ages of 10-13.

Did the culture of loyalty also allow abuse to flourish at Second Baptist Church in Houston with Chad Foster? with Eddie Struble?

Police know of the names of 7 other victims of Chad Foster. Detectives said, so far, all of the tips have been tied to girls at Second Baptist Church. "There's some people we've heard want to come forward, but haven't done so yet," Spurger of the Precinct 4 Constable's office said.  If you need to report a case, call 281-401-6228.

Never forget the lessons learned from Penn State.

Our love for children and our desire to protect them, to help them to grow into healthy adults, are the primary reasons why all of us were so shaken and saddened by the recent allegations of sexual abuse and molestation at Penn State University.

Many of us in the Lehigh Valley have long-standing ties to Penn State as alumni or parents of attending students, as fans of the football team, or as admirers of the revered coach who has been a champion of integrity and educational values for so many years.
 We are incredulous as to how so many in positions of authority could turn a blind eye to the alleged, unimaginable actions of a former football coach who has been accused of being a sexual predator of innocent children, while at the same time funding and being the face of an organization to help at-risk children.
 Was the priority at Penn State to win football games above protecting vulnerable, innocent children?

As Christmas decorations are going up, as radio stations play the music of the season, as plans are being made, and as children prepare Christmas lists with joy and anticipation, what is the lesson for us adults to learn from this incomprehensible tragedy? Let me offer some suggestions:

If you are ever in a situation where you witness or suspect sexual abuse of a child, step up to protect that child (even, God forbid, in the very confines of the church). Intervene aggressively at the moment, if necessary, to separate the child from the abuser.
Do not pass the information up the chain of command and to someone else; call the police immediately!

Many at Penn State proclaim they did "the right thing" legally, informing their superior.
But no one ever stood up for a child victim by alerting police with a single phone call over the course of many years. They clearly did not do enough. No one took the moral responsibility to do what was necessary to protect the children who, authorities say, were so brutally victimized.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Vigilance: the only protection against child sexual abuse


Add the Scouts to the list of bodies — including but not limited to the church and some minor sports associations — that admit to fumbling the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of one of society's greatest ills. In a bid for transparency, Scouts Canada has initiated a third-party review of its handling of past sex abuse cases and its current volunteer screening practices.

While this may offer closure for some victims, it is foolhardy to suppose it will make the Scouts a safer place for children. There is no safe place. Like most youth groups, the Scouts follow a process of vetting volunteers that includes a criminal record check.

While sounding impressive, a criminal record check is worth approximately the paper it's printed on.

This procedure identifies only individuals who have been apprehended and charged; the vast majority of abusers never encounter the law. Again, like other groups, Scouts Canada adheres to a "two-deep" rule, requiring at least two screened leaders to be present with a child at any time. In most cases, this policy is as much for the protection of adults as it is for children.

Moreover, it does nothing to prevent the cunning manipulation that is so often the precursor of abuse. Scout leaders aren't molesting little boys around the campfire and coaches aren't abusing kids during the pre-game talk in the dressing room.

Successful sexual predators are adults who use positions of authority to gain positions of trust of a child and child's parents and create their opportunities for gratification.

Any adult who initiates a unique relationship with a child — treatment or affection preferential to others — should be regarded with caution. Red flags include unwarranted praise, small gifts and private jokes.

Go ahead and be paranoid.

The only real protections a child has against the threat of sexual abuse are knowledge, empowerment and guardians who listen, believe what a child tells them and are eagle-eyed for signs of distress.

We learned last week that a confessed and recently indicted child molester in Clinton, Mississippi, John Langworthy, has obtained a new pharmacy tech license, issued on Nov. 28, 2011. He was indicted by a grand jury in September, 2011 on 8 counts of felony child sexual abuse and is out on a $700,000 bond. His trial is set for April 2, 2012 in Hinds County, Jackson, Mississippi. He has been seen working at a Medicap pharmacy in Clinton, MS. 



C.  Be of good moral character as evidenced by having undergone and successfully passed a criminal background check conducted by the Board.

Mississippi Board of Pharmacy
204 Key Dr, Suite D Madison, MS 39110
Phone: 601/605-5388 Fax: 601/605-9546

To the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy,

We urge you to revoke the pharmacy technician license recently issued to an admitted child molesting minister, John Langworthy, of Clinton, Mississippi, indicted in September 2011 on 8 counts of felony child sexual abuse of 5 victims, and out of jail on a $700,000 bond. It is disturbing that this confessed criminal behavior meets the standard of  “Be of good moral character as evidenced by having undergone and successfully passed a criminal background check conducted by the Board” as listed on your website as requirements for certification. Bestowing the privilege of a license to practice professionally in a pharmacy  to someone with a background of an arrest, charges and indictment of sex crimes against children further places kids at risk in the community and deters other victims of this man’s crimes from coming forward.




Chad Foster, former Second Baptist Church youth pastor arrested again on new charges

UPDATE 4/1/2013: Chad Foster sentenced to 5 years for sexual assault of a child

MSNBC:
Investigators said Chad Foster, 33, first met the 14-year-old girl when he worked as a youth minister at Second Baptist Church in Houston. The communications continued as Foster later became a youth minister at The Community of Faith Church in far northwest Harris County, authorities said.
 
 "If you're a person who does a lot of fishing, where do you go?  You go to the water where the fish are. Same with predators," said Sgt. Gary Spurger of the Precinct 4 Constable's Office.  He said there are more victims in this case that he's heard want to come forward but haven't done so yet.
Investigators believe there could be other victims.  If you need to report a case, call 281-401-6228.


KHOU: Youth minister accused of raping teen now charged with online solicitation of a minor

KPRC: Chad Foster charged with soliciting a teenager online
Police say that they have the names of  7 other girls who are possible victims.
Investigators believe there could be other victims.  Detectives said, so far, all of the tips have been tied to girls at Second Baptist Church.

In October, I posted details about serious concerns raised by parents who contacted me about another former Second Baptist minister, Eddie Struble. I have a copy of a police report from October 2009 citing his stalking of a teenage boy that he met and befriended while he was the music minister at Second Baptist Church. There is also an incident number filed with the Houston police department juvenile sex crimes division. Please, if you or anyone you know, saw, suspected, or suffered sex crimes by Chad Foster, Eddie Struble or anyone else, come forward, call the police, get help and start healing. You are not to blame. You did nothing wrong. Do not go to church authorities. Go to the police. Call 911. 

*The light of truth and knowledge is our most important tool in protecting kids.


                             




*The Guardians of Silence: Penn State's Tim Curley and Gary Schultz on trial

So why did two such powerful men - Curley and Schultz - walk away from investigating what was clearly a case of child sex abuse? The answer is a combination of ignorance, fear and ego.
The Penn State Scandal has torn down the wall of silence and like the fractured Germany, a new union has emerged and the marriage of the victim to their voice will not be shaken.
We have to let the Penn State Scandal be our call to action and leave our place on the sidelines for a better view on the world.
Speaking up about what we know is wrong is a matter of facing our own fears and realizing that our conscience thrives on the truth.
We have to educate ourselves to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse and work as a community to end the tragedy of stolen childhoods and vandalized happiness.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

After Penn State & Syracuse, Congress Examines Child Abuse Prevention | C-SPAN

Shining the light on child sexual abuse: C-SPAN: Subcommittee Hearing - Breaking the Silence on Child Abuse: Protection, Prevention, Intervention, and Deterrence

Kids are not only victimized by the perpetrators but also by the institutions that are filled with adults who do not stand up for the victims [and report the abuse.] -Mr. Sheldon Kennedy , Former NHL player and Co-Founder, Respect Group Inc., Alberta, Canada, testifying before the United States Senate Education subcommittee on children and families on December 13, 2011...his full remarks are powerful and they are documented here.
From Kennedy's website:
 Sheldon Kennedy skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career (Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins) and played for Canada’s gold-medal winning team in the 1988 World Junior Hockey Championship. He was also Captain of the Memorial Cup winning Swift Current Broncos in 1989.
He is best known for his courageous decision to charge his Major Junior Hockey league coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five year period while a teenager under his care. Sheldon’s subsequent decision to go public with the charges brought these issues to the social forefront. Sheldon has become an unofficial spokesperson for millions of abuse survivors around the world.
His life story was made into an award winning television movie and he has appeared on Oprah, ABC’s Nightline, nominated as Peter Jennings’ Man of the Week, W-5 and The Fifth Estate. After retiring from the NHL, Sheldon in-line skated across Canada to raise awareness of abuse issues. In 2006, Sheldon wrote “Why I Didn’t Say Anything” a riveting account of the many psychological impacts of abuse. Sheldon’s personal experience and continued work “in the trenches” has lead to his passion to make change.
 Having transformed a negative situation into proactive programming he continues to carry his message through Respect Group Inc., the company he co-founded. Respect Group Inc. provides empowering on-line education for the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment.
In Kennedy's testimony today:
 Empower the bystanders and you’ll be taking an important first step in breaking the silence on child abuse.
 One of the expert witnesses on the panel today that testified before the Senate subcommittee was Dr. Robert W. Block, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and expert in the sub-specialty of child abuse pediatrics. He relayed a story of being asked by people, "Why do you do what you do?" His reply:
"How could you not."
In his testimony Dr. Block makes an important point about reporting child abuse:
What many fail to realize is that a report is NOT an accusation; but rather is a request for further investigation.
 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. ~ Proverbs 31:8

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shattering the Silence

Silence is common in child sexual abuse cases.

As police investigate allegations of child molestation by coaches at Penn State and Syracuse, nagging questions linger about signs that may have been missed — or ignored

"It's not that it's so invisible. It's that it remains a silent crime. People worry if they say anything they could ruin someone's life," said Maia Christopher, executive director of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers in Beaverton, Ore. "Now everyone is asking what did you see and who did what (at Penn State). We know that people did see things and did not respond in a way that could help."

"We don't like to think that these things go on and are done to people we know and love," Donovan Rice said. "I think people recognize it more than we are willing to admit. We're not honest with ourselves about how many times we have felt uncomfortable about what another adult is doing. It's time we get honest with ourselves."

Reaching out to shatter the silence:

 The Penn State sex abuse scandal has drawn important national attention, but victims and advocates are working to shine light on the local reality of child abuse.
 Zoie Brown is one such victim, and she launched her website, Victims Get Vocal, last month to encourage others to share their stories and direct them to the help they need.
Zoie hopes she can help others find the support they need before it is too late, she said. She pointed out that many who are abused go down the same avenue of self medication, and some even turn to suicide. She was inspired to launch the site by the story of victim Ashley Billasano, a Texas teen who committed suicide in November.

“If you find that good support system and you can be heard, you can get help,” Zoie Brown said. Through her website and Facebook page, she says she receives about three messages a day. She responds to each of them and encourages them to report their case and seek therapy, which she said is the only real way to handle the trauma.

“It doesn’t go away,” she said, “until you deal with it.”

Penn State culture explained away Sandusky. (Associated Press)


At Penn State, a school whose sports programs vow "success with honor," the circle of knowledge about assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was kept very limited. And those in the know explained the allegations away — or looked away.

The warning signs were there for more than a decade, disturbing indicators that Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was breaching boundaries with young boys - or maybe worse.

Year after year, Penn State missed opportunity after opportunity to stop Sandusky. Secrecy ruled, and reaction to complaints of improper sexual behavior was to remain silent, minimize or explain away - all part of a deep-rooted reflex to protect the sacred football program.

The fact that so few say they knew is all anyone needs to know about the insular culture that surrounds Penn State - a remote and isolated community in a central Pennsylvania valley, a university cloaked in so much secrecy, in large part, because it is exempt from the state's open records law, and a football program that has prided itself on handling its indiscretions internally and quietly, without outside interference.

Institutions such as churches and schools that make up the moral fabric of our society that are charged with the safety and well-being of children must lead the way in shattering the silence of child sexual abuse. Until they do, the status quo of silence will rule the day and kids will be in danger, while the predators these institutions protect lurk freely among them.  There are churches that I know of personally that have remained quiet and  looked the other way about a confessed child molester, Prestonwood Baptist Church and Morrison Heights Baptist Church. When will they and others understand what's at stake and shatter the silence?

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Facade of Goodness: response to Penn State on Focus on the Family

Best-selling author Dannah Gresh and her husband, Bob — who reside near Penn State and have a son attending the university — offer an inside perspective on the response of local Christians to the allegations of sexual misconduct levied against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky in a recent Focus on the Family broadcast.




That children should be protected is a transcendent truth.

If it happens in your school, don't go to the school. Go to the police. If it happens in your church, don't go to the church. Go to the police!

Prestonwood Baptist Church did not even do what was LEGALLY necessary in reporting child sexual abuse.

Just one person would have had to stand up...ring the bell.
The media is doing what we should have done a long time ago. The media is holding accountable those leaders that we did not.
Stand up for what is right and let God handle the rest. 

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82: 3-4


The Swimsuit Lesson is a powerful family resource -
introducing a simple, yet effective way for parents to educate their children about the danger of sexual abuse. This beautifully illustrated story book includes a separate step-by-step parents' guide. Author Jon Holsten provides a realistic view of the danger facing children today - and what parents can do to reduce chances of being victimized.
 Jon Holsten is a veteran police sergeant in Fort Collins, Colorado. As a detective in his agency’s Crimes Against Persons Unit, Jon investigated and helped successfully prosecute dozens of child sexual assault cases. Jon is a recognized authority on the topics of child sexual abuse education and prevention.
 
"A unique and passionate book!"
Diane Sawyer - ABC's World News Tonight
 
"A simple, easy to understand formula."
Charlie Gibson - ABC News


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tyler Perry's Open Letter to Penn State 11-year-old

I don’t know your name, but I know your face. I don’t know your journey, but I know where you are. I am your brother!

I must tell you, what you have done is so courageous. The strength that it must have taken for your 11-year-old voice to speak out about such a horrible act is something that I didn’t have the strength or courage to do at that age.

I was a very poor young black boy in New Orleans, just a face without a name, swimming in a sea of poverty trying to survive. Forget about living, I was just trying to exist. I was enduring a lot of the same things that you’ve come forward and said happened to you, and it was awful. I felt so powerless. I knew what was happening to me, but unlike you, I couldn’t speak about it because no one saw me. I was invisible and my voice was inaudible.

So to think that you, when you were only 11 years old, spoke up—you are my hero! I’m so proud of you. You have nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to know you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not your fault. Please know that you were chosen by a monster. You didn’t choose him. You didn’t ask for it and, most of all, you didn’t deserve it. What a huge lesson that was for me to learn. Your 11-year-old self was no match for wicked, evil tactics of this kind. You were hunted like prey. A pedophile looks for the young boys he thinks he can manipulate. The ones who have daddy or mommy issues, the ones who are broken, and the ones who are in need. But this wasn’t you.

 Do you know that at the young age of 11 you had more courage than all the adults who let you down? All of the ones who didn’t go to the proper authorities, all of the ones who were worried about their careers, reputations, or livelihoods. All of the ones who didn’t want to get involved. Or even the ones who tried to convince your mother not to fight. You are stronger than them all! I wonder what they would have done if it were their own child.

I had a few of those adults in my life, too. They knew and did nothing. One of them even said to me that it was my fault, because I allowed myself to spend time with the molesters. And yes, this was someone who was in power and could have called the police, but instead this person allowed this criminal to go on molesting other young boys for many years. When I did tell a family member, I wasn’t believed. I suffered in silence. But not you, my young strong hero, you have done what many of us wish we could have done. You used your voice!

You know, now that you’re older you need to be aware that the aftermath of abuse may affect you for a very long time. But that’s OK; just know that the strength it took for you to talk about it then will help you get through it now. I often tell myself that if I made it through that experience as a child, then surely as a man I should be able to get past it. It still may take you a while, but that’s OK too. I have known people who have gone through the same things that we have, but unfortunately they were never able to admit it, and it destroyed them. They never went for help, and they let the abuse defeat them. Some of them went to prison for crimes, some are addicted to drugs, and some have even committed suicide. I know that none of these things will happen to you. You are too strong for that!

No matter what happens next, just know that the hardest part is over. I wish the coward and very sick individual who hurt you would have the courage to admit his wrong and not put you through a trial. But he will most likely profess his innocence until the bitter end. And probably, all the while, yelling at the top of his lungs about all he has done to help troubled young boys.

You may have to go through with that trial, and you may feel all alone when you’re on that witness stand, but just know that there are millions of young boys and grown men who are standing with you—including me. If every man who has ever been molested would speak up, you would see that we’re all around you. You may not know all of our faces and names, but my prayer is that you feel our strength holding you up. You will get through this; you’ve already endured the worst part at age 11. Now fight on, my young friend, fight on! We are all with you.
Watch Tyler Perry in a full episode on Oprah with 200 men who courageously stand together to say there were all molested.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Choices have consequences: failing to report child sexual abuse

A teacher, two pastors and a former principal have been arrested in a sexual assault case involving a 15-year-old boy, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado.
After a lengthy investigation, multiple interviews and search warrants, deputies said a grand jury indicted four people:
·  A teacher at Hilltop Baptist School, 32-year-old Terah Allyn Rawlings, is charged with eight counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and obscenity-promotion.
·  The senior pastor at Hilltop Baptist Church and former superintendent of Hilltop Baptist School, 63-year-old Franklin "Wayne" Knight, is charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect and accessory to a crime. Deputies said Knight is Rawlings' uncle.
·  The associate pastor of Hilltop Baptist Church and former athletic director at Hilltop Baptist School, 57-year-old Raymond "Allen" Knight, is charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect. Deputies said he is Rawlings' father.
·  The former principal of Hilltop Baptist School, 51-year-old Jan Ocvirk, is charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect.

http://drlaura.com/pg/jsp/charts/audioarchiveplayer.jsp?pid=85793: The Penn State scandal has ignited many memories for Roxine who suffered childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather. Her family knew and did nothing! She shares a letter she wrote about the importance of standing up and protecting those young victims. SILENCE is not an option!

How Dorothy Sandusky Could Have Been Duped by Darlene Ellison in The Daily Beast

Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas failed to report a known and confessed child molester.

What's at stake: preserving and protecting the innocence of children

Protecting a program before a child

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Morning Breakfast Casserole



I love this, now a tradition in the Smith home on most holiday mornings. I love that you can prepare the night before and just bake the next morning. 

1 can crescent rolls
1 lb sausage, I like either maple or sage
6 eggs
1 cup millk
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese

Flatten out crescent rolls to make a crust in a 13x9 dish. Cook sausage until brown and crumbles, then place on top of the unbaked crust. Mix the eggs and milk and pour over the sausage. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with the shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until done.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remember the Children

Please.

 And please don't sympathize with disgraced Paterno..."After turning a blind eye to the alleged victims, the face of Penn State deserves the shame." - Ian O'Conner ESPNNewYork.com


Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary says Penn State scandal holds a lesson for Southern Baptists (story in The Associated Baptist Press with my response). I would hope so.

When you see a crime, you call the police. You don’t go to your boss or employer. When you suspect child abuse, call the police. Going to your boss, employer, church, or other institution, etc., to make a report, does not protect kids. Criminal behavior requires a criminal investigation by law enforcement.

Predators need secrecy and protection to do harm. The light of truth and knowledge is our greatest tool in protecting kids. A child's life is never of lesser value than an institution and the power and prestige its name holds. Act accordingly.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

Watch: Former NHL player Theo Fleury, a sex abuse survivor, and SNAP National Director David Clohessy speak to the "Early Show" anchors about the Penn State scandal and the firing of famed coach Joe Paterno.

and a discussion on ESPN



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Color of Shame without the Hail Marys

I am from a family of blue bloods.

Penn State Blue.

From the deluge of news coverage you know the broad outlines of this story: a 10 year silence about a Penn State assistant football coach who abused young boys sometimes in the facilities of this legendary football powerhouse, the grand jury investigation, the knowledge that the abuse stretches back 15 years, the arrest of the former assistant coach who ran a program for troubled youth, too, an emergency Sunday meeting of the university’s board, the removal of the athletic director and the vice president for finance and their arraignment on perjury charges for lying to the grand jury the university president who all too quickly backed these top administrators, and in the midst of it the Icon – JoPa, Penn State’s head football coach.

And within the span of less time than it takes for the holiday bowl games schedule, the Camelot that has been filled with Merlin’s wizardry has become Mordred unmasked.

To a family that understands “ measure it” from the matriarch as not a recipe direction but a demand to get every last inch for a first down, the shock and sadness go deep like a wide receiver.

This Blue family stretches from a generation who went to college football games in suits, –yes, suits with skirts – followed by cocktail parties at fraternities to a generation that tweets the stats and thinks a fraternity is a name for a rock band, a bad name for a rock band.

While the shock is deep and explosive in its suddenness and our immediate concern for the youngest and most recent of us on the campuses keenly real, the knowledge of what must be done is sure.

To whom much is given, much is expected.

Joe Paterno’s coaching career must end. Today. Not after the game with Nebraska on Saturday. Not at the end of the season. Today.

Graham Spanier the University president must be removed. Today.

Michael McQueary, the grad assistant who is now a coach, must be gone. Today.

In the face of the absolute heinousness of child sexual abuse and the neglect of the child by Penn State authorities which allowed other children to be molested is the abdication of all the underpinnings of success with honor.

Nothing gets set aright if there is hedging.

But resignation and removal are only the beginning.

The drive to begin the long and perhaps unattainable fight for Penn State’s redemption must be led by Paterno in a fierce and unyielding battle to find the victims coupled with an unstinting drive for the legislative changes that need to be made by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to protect children from sexual abuse and give victims their day in court.

This is a stanza in Penn State’s alma mater: “Let no act of ours bring shame to one heart that loves thy name.”

Now that shame does blanket the Nittany Valley only the pick and shovel work of determined reform with the child at the center is worthy of being how the game should be played.

Pennsylvania is Catholic territory. Given the reaction of Penn State Country to this massive moral failure with its near complete parallel to the saga of abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, uneasy should rest the heads that wear miters.

Catholics have obligations here. No longer can there be sideline standing. The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown which encompasses Happy Valley has an excruciatingly bad record on sexual abuse. The Philadelphia Grand Jury gives the measure of the state of things in Catholicism in the Keystone State as well.

To be shocked by what has happened at Penn State, to expect accountability, to weigh the sending of children to this institution, to reconsider where to put one’s money by current students, parents and alumni alike and not to ask and demand at the very baseline the same from Catholic Church and its leaders who have repeatedly been given reverential passes is a circumstance worthy only of a Dante ranking.

Out of the ashes of the scandal of St. Joe can arise the phoenix of the protection of children for the touchdown and the touchstone of our lives.




Monday, November 7, 2011

Protecting a program before a child



Just hours after stepping down, two high-ranking Penn State administrators face arraignment Monday on charges they lied to a grand jury investigating former defense coordinator Jerry Sandusky and failed to properly report suspected child abuse. Columnist Mike Wise at The Washington Post writes that if these Sandusky allegations are true, Penn State and Joe Paterno deserve part of the blame.

You want to grab hold of and shake those who reported the crime only to their superiors, washed their hands of responsibility and then let it go, treating a kid’s life as if it were a football that slipped through their hands.

No one from Penn State — not Paterno, not the human neckties, no one — ever reported the alleged incident to law enforcement, which the grand jury report says is required under Pennsylvania law.

In Warped Sports World, the don’t-ask, don’t-tell, sweep-it-clean behavior is rationalized as loyalty, having your coach’s or teammate’s back, moving on from the problem. It’s seen as a noble quality, putting the team’s needs — the university’s needs — before your own.

Certainly it can be argued that Paterno and Penn State would have been irrevocably hurt if these allegations had surfaced in a police report almost 10 years ago; a program whose legendary defensive coordinator was accused of being a pedophile would lose recruits and, by association, money and prestige. Who wouldn’t want that to go away?

But more unconscionable, if true: putting loyalty to the many, the program, in front of the victimization of even the one, a child.

And because they possibly chose to protect Penn State’s brand instead of a child — a 10 year old kid whom they never even bothered to find out the name of, according to the grand jury report — more children might have suffered because of their silence.

Tragically, this "don't-ask, don't-tell, sweep-it-clean behavior" sounds all too familiar as the stories are prevalent of trusted leaders in churches and other institutions who also have placed the loyalty of staff members and the reputation of the names of those institutions above the very lives and safety of children, the most vulnerable among us.

 Dr. Jack Graham and the executive leadership at Prestonwood Baptist Church, a megachurch in Dallas, Texas, also remained shockingly silent and enabled a child sexual predator. In June of 1989, they directly knew about the sexual abuse of several boys by then youth music minister John Langworthy, recently indicted in Mississippi and awaiting trial on 8 felony counts of sexual abuse of 5 boys there. Prestonwood staff heard directly from victims but failed to report the abuse to the police as required by TX state law mandated in 1971. Texas law is clear. If you suspect child abuse, report it. Langworthy was fired from Prestonwood and allowed to leave the state returning to his home state of Mississippi where he soon thereafter began teaching in Clinton public schools and working as a music minister with kids of all ages at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, MS. He did so until his school contract was not renewed for this school year and his resignation from the church in May 2011 in which he cited mental and emotional reasons. On August 7, 2011, Langworthy confessed from the pulpit to sexually abusing boys while he served at churches in Mississippi and in Texas.

Read here about my efforts to warn about Langworthy and also the disturbing pattern that is endangering children. That Jack Graham and other executive staff who knew about the abuse didn't call the police (and still haven't to this day to my knowledge) is unconscionable. Like Joe Pa and others at Penn State, as Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast writes, it is "totally and eternally unconscionable." No admission has been made by Prestonwood leadership for how they broke the law by failing to report child sexual abuse, endangered children and enabled a predator to move on to unsuspecting churches, schools and communities for 22 years. This says it all:
What is disgusting to me and many of my Penn State buddies is that the very people who preached responsibility and honor did all they could to protect the reputation of the football program ahead of the children who Sandusky allegedly abused.

How dare they? Why didn’t any of these people — Paterno, Curley, Schultz or Spanier — contact the police with what was obviously a criminal matter?

Why do some people, whether it’s at Penn State, in the Catholic Church hierarchy or any at institution with power and influence, think of these children as expendable? What is wrong with these people, this nation, when we stop caring about the most vulnerable among us?

Jack Graham and other pastors and leaders in institutions charged with protecting children should heed the advice in an article by Cathy Lynn Grossman in USA Today, Catholic bishops' lesson for Penn State: Call the cops!
A trusted adult, respected by the community, offers special programs for vulnerable boys -- then sexually abuses them. Word travels up to higher authorities but no one calls the police. They handle it within...
Sound familiar? It's the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal rewritten on a university campus.
 Grossman cites a statement by Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the website Bishop Accountability which archives documents related to the Catholic abuse scandal, in which she calls the Penn State story
...a disgrace and a tragedy. What's rare and encouraging in this case is that the grand jury chose to hold the enablers as well as the perpetrator accountable. Let's hope this trend continues. When managers in ALL institutions know they will be arrested for hiding sexual predators, children in our society will be much safer.


In Houston last week, a 32-year-old youth pastor at a Houston-area church was arrested, accused of raping a 16-year-old girl. Chad Foster is charged with sexual assault of a child.

The victim told investigators that she and Foster immediately became friends, and at some point, they exchanged phone numbers. She said they would communicate regularly via text messages.

 Then, in late July, the victim told investigators that their relationship became sexual at Foster’s home. The victim said she and Foster continued to have a sexual relationship through mid-October. 

The victim told investigators that Foster told her multiple times how important it was that they keep their relationship a secret, because of their age difference. She said Foster told her if anyone found out, he would be in legal trouble.

But in late October, the girl said she started feeling bad about her relationship with Foster, so she made an outcry to her Spanish teacher and another pastor at the church. They notified the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.


It took great courage for this young girl to come forward and reach out for help. Thankfully, the adults in positions of trust that she told did not remain silent and look the other way which would have enabled the predator, harmed the victim and endangered more children. The teacher and pastor should be commended for notifying the police as required by law. This should be the rule, not the exception, so kids can be protected every time. 

Predators need secrecy and protection to do harm. The light of truth and knowledge is our most important tool in protecting kids.

Amy Smith
Houston SNAP 

UPDATE: Joe Paterno announced today, 11/9/2011, that he is leaving at the end of the season. Physician, author, and Washington Times columnist Milton Wolf writes:
How will he look his players in the eyes while they're huddled in the child rape rooms that they once considered to be their locker room? I'd bulldoze the place if I could, or at least gut it and rebuild. Exorcise the demons and start a new legacy in what was once a great program. The players and, even more so, the victims deserve that evil place to be destroyed.

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says the Penn State scandal holds a lesson for Southern Baptists...story in the The Associated Baptist Press with my response.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Commitment and Compassion


Every time I see or hear Dr. Frasers name I cry. When we see him at Texas Childrens walking down the hall, I cry,when I see my daughter on stage at school I cry. I remember when she turned one I wrote him a letter thanking his parents for having such an awesome son lol. Dr. Fraser and his team will forever be one of the very best gifts I ever received. God Bless you All. ~ comment from a mom on Inside Congenital Heart Surgery at Texas Children's Hospital (took the words right out of my mouth and heart)

Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., Surgeon-in-Chief, the heart surgeon who saved our baby girl's life, featured in the article To Save a Child's Heart:
"I became a children’s heart surgeon because the results last a lifetime.” It’s what gets him up every morning, what sustains him through emergency weekend-long transplant operations, and what makes the time away from his family worth it. His wife, Helen, says, “It’s the difference between a job and a calling.”

When surgery goes well, and Fraser manages to fix and restart the heart, ease the child off of bypass, and sew up its chest; and when, after eight nonstop hours of intense concentration, he finally steps back from the operating table; and when, hours later, the infant opens its eyes and sees its parents’ faces, the whole episode seems, in a word, miraculous.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What's at Stake: protecting and preserving the innocence of children

UPDATE 9/22/13: I mentioned in the original post that Eddie Struble is living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area now. He is attending and assisting in a leadership position in the worship ministry at Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, according to the information on their website here. The SBC has a long history of completely ignoring credible allegations of child sex abuse by their own clergy and volunteers, and in this case of credible allegations of abuse by Eddie Struble, there are police reports. The SBC has a long history of protecting and enabling the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against children in their churches by continuing to elevate and place them in public positions of leadership and trust. Predators are master manipulators and use these positions of trust, particularly spiritual trust, to groom kids and gain the trust of parents, preying upon the vulnerable.
5th Sunday Hymn Sing
September 29 at 6:00pm
You are invited to be part of this 
nostalgic and encouraging night of 
worship. Join in singing your favorite 
hymns of praise from our hymnal on 
Sunday evening September 29.
Joining Bro Philip in leading this time 
of worship will be Phil Jones, Phillip 
Smith, Eddie Struble, and Martin Critz
Open Your Eyes
Unfortunately the church is not necessarily known as a safe place for those who have been hurt by this crime. Rather than leading the charge the church is scandalized by reports of abuse within her ranks. Instead of seeking justice and providing safe, healing environments for survivors and their families, the church has become known for its cover ups and lack of competence and compassion when caring for those hurt by sexual abuse.
In a recent article in the Associated Baptist Press, Bob Allen, writes, "A victims’ advocate says autonomous Baptist churches are ill-equipped to deal with the problem of sexual abuse by clergy because they lack the objectivity to respond appropriately to allegations against a trusted minister." This lack of objectivity clouds the better judgement of those in places of authority charged with protecting the most vulnerable in their congregations, children.


When familiarity with a credibly accused minister tragically trumps the *mandate to report the knowledge of abuse or suspicion of abuse to the police, children are placed in danger, particularly when the perpetrator is removed from one place of ministry only to be allowed to move on to unsuspecting churches and communities. I have seen this firsthand in the mishandling of reports of abuse by my former youth music minister (*See Prestonwood Baptist Church John Langworthy).

A few months ago I was made aware of specific concerns about a minister credibly accused of the sexual abuse and stalking of at least one teenage boy of which I am aware. This music minister, Eddie Struble, was formerly on staff at Second Baptist Church, a Baptist megachurch in Houston, with a membership of more than 53,000. He left that position a couple of years ago and sometime after that was hired as the interim music minister at Humble Area First Baptist Church but is no longer on staff there, as of October 2010, and has moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He also worked as a vocal coach at Hits Theatre in Houston. Prior to working at Second Baptist, he was on staff at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis and Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa.


I have communicated with all of the Houston area organizations involved, as well as the pastor of Idlewild Baptist, regarding my concerns about Eddie Struble. One of the employers confirmed that he was fired for suspicious behavior. Any suspicion of abuse to minors must be reported to law enforcement as mandated by TX reporting laws which were enacted in 1971.

 Under Texas law,ministers and clergy are required to report any suspected child abuse ― sexual or otherwise ― to authorities within 48 hours of being told, otherwise they too are committing a criminal offense. A child is defined as anyone under the age of 18.

Information on mandated reporting laws nationwide is also available here via RAINN. Here is a list of specific behavior signs of a predator from Houston experts and here are some great tips on child sexual abuse prevention in Parenting magazine. Please read and pass it on.


In July 2011 I obtained a copy of a police report from the Spring Valley Police Department, which is public information, from October 12, 2009 detailing a call for service to the former Struble home. In the report, (redacted copy embedded below), there are concerns about stalking of a minor as well as a Houston police department incident number filed with the juvenile investigation unit that handles sexual abuse. The offense listed on the report is "Criminal Solicitation of a Child." On a call to Hits Theatre about these concerns, I was told that they are "aware of the allegations." I advised Hits also to report any knowledge of or suspicion of abuse to the police, and to be aware that kids may be afraid to come forward for fear of not being believed. In my attempts to get more information from Second Baptist on Eddie's departure and the allegations of abuse stemming from his time at Second, David Dixon, executive pastor, responded in a voicemail to me that "we have no information at all." The audio is embedded below. Click the play button to listen:



 A few weeks later,  I received this email from David Dixon:

From: Dixon, David [mailto:ddixon@second.org]
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 8:56 AM
To: spacecitysnap@gmail.com
Subject:

Amy, I am aware of 3 emails that you have sent to various staff members regarding a former employee. All of those email have been sent to me as I am responsible for these issues for Second Baptist Church. If you wish to discuss your emails please contact me directly and not anyone else. In addition please provide me the name and contact information of the [*] police detective and I will be happy to contact them.

David Dixon 

Eddie Struble- Spring Valley police report page 1

Eddie Struble police report page 2

Eddie Struble Houston Police Offense Report

As an advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse, I am concerned that there could be more victims harmed by Eddie Struble, such as detailed in the police report above. It is critical for anyone who has seen, suffered or suspected child sex crimes by Eddie to come forward, report these crimes to law enforcement, get help, start healing and protect others. It is also imperative that the staff at his previous churches and places of employment come forward and report to law enforcement any knowledge or suspicion of abuse to kids.

Christa Brown, in the Associated Baptist Press article cited above, states, “Many clergy abuse survivors say that the experience of having been disbelieved and attacked by their faith community is even more painful than the memory of having been sexually molested by a minister,” she said. “It is the community that often causes even more harm than the molesting minister.” Brown, of Stop Baptist Predators, a survivor of sexual abuse by her Southern Baptist youth minister when she was 16, shared her testimony in a 2009 book titled This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang. Christa's story and a review of her book were featured in the Austin American-Statesman,  Christa Brown's saga resonates more for me now that I'm a mother:
Christa Brown's story will likely make you mad. As a naive 16-year-old growing up in a North Texas Baptist church in the 1960s, she was pressured into having a sexual relationship with her youth minister. The married pastor told Brown it was God's will and justified his marital infidelity by citing Bible verses about concubines — then excoriated her as a satanic temptress when his wife found out.


When Brown reported the abuse to another church leader, the minister, like so many Catholic priests we've since heard about, was transferred to another congregation. No police investigation. No announcement to the congregation.


...
 What happened to children at the hands of Catholic priests and bishops was so beyond the pale that no policy could ever make it right.
I see that now because I know what it means to want to protect someone so fiercely. I know what innocence is and the importance of preserving it as long as possible. Molesters don't just ruin childhood, they set their victims up for an adulthood fraught with anxiety and anger, failed relationships and self-loathing — nothing any mother would wish for her child.
I always felt sorry for abuse victims. But as I held my baby and imagined all the wonder and joy that awaited her, I began to understand more clearly what Brown and so many others had stolen from them.
 ...


Like her Catholic friends who tried to effect institutional change, Brown said she encountered hurdles and denial and indifference among Baptist leaders in the national and state conventions. Her abuser, who finally left the ministry after serving different churches, never faced charges. And Baptist leaders have yet to create a national database of abusers or a central reporting point for victims.


But "This Little Light" should stir Baptist leaders to action. And it should help all of us understand just exactly what's at stake.
  
*We all have the responsibility to protect  children from harm. If you suspect the abuse or neglect of a child, it is your duty to report it immediately. Call 911. In TX that would apply to any child under the age of 18 when the abuse took place. Per the Office of the Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott:


Anyone having cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect MUST report the case immediately to a state or local law enforcement agency or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

DFPS has a toll-free, 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-252-5400 or www.txabusehotline.org
 
If you suspect abuse:

DON'T try to investigate. DON'T confront the abuser. DO report your reasonable suspicions.

It is not up you to determine whether your suspicions are true. A trained investigator will evaluate the child's situation. Even if your report does not bring decisive action, it may help establish a pattern that will eventually be clear enough to help the child.
Please, if you saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes, please contact the police or local law enforcement agency, no matter how long ago or how recent the abuse occurred. Children's Advocacy Centers are also available across the country to support victims and their families. National Children's Alliance is a professional membership organization dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient and put the needs of child victims first. The mission of Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas is to restore the lives of abused children by supporting children's advocacy centers in partnership with local communities and agencies investigating and prosecuting child abuse. To find a local center in TX, go here and you can search by county.

The light of knowledge and truth is our most important tool in protecting kids.

Please contact me at spacecitysnap@gmail.com if I can be of any assistance.

Amy Smith
Houston SNAP 

Update: In light of the events involving Penn State, SNAP urges the new Penn State coach to come clean.
We also call on interim coach Tom Bradley to release a statement to disclose what he knew or suspected and when regarding Sandusky’s crimes. Bradley was also there while this cover up took place, so it is hard to believe that Bradley was completely unaware of the situation. We hope that Bradley comes forward to tell the police and the public exactly what he knew, and when he found out.

May the watchers become warriors in protecting kids.