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Showing posts from 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 rea…

The Prayer

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


Merry Christmas!

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…

Penn State's Culture of Loyalty

Did Penn State's Culture of Loyalty Allow Abuse to Flourish? 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

Vigilance: the only protection against child sexual abuse

The North Bay Nugget, Ontario, CA, by Andrea DeMeer
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-d…

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.  Hesaid 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.
Houston Chronicle: 15,000 sexts evidence against youth pastor, authorities say
KHOU: Youth minister accused of raping teen now charged with online solicitation of a minor

KPRC: Chad Foster charged with…

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 le…

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…

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 …

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

In Newsweek Magazine, Hollywood’s Tyler Perry writes to a young boy involved in the Penn State scandal to tell him he isn’t a victim at all—he’s a survivor. It is the most eloquent statement I have read on the subject. 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…

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 Rawling…

Holiday Morning Breakfast Casserole

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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.

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 trium…

The Color of Shame without the Hail Marys

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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 …

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…

Commitment and Compassion

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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 w…

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

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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 SingSeptember 29 at 6:00pmYou are invited to be part of this nostalgic and encouragi…