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13 Child Abuse News Articles
from 1st Quarter of 2018
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source

1-18-18 Child pregnancies reignite sexual abuse debate in Turkey
News reports of a spate of underage pregnancies in Turkey have sparked anger online. News reports of a spate of underage pregnancies in Turkey have sparked anger online. One hundred and fifteen girls, including 39 from Syria, have been treated at a single hospital in Istanbul in less than five months. News website Hurriyet Daily reported 38 girls became pregnant before the age of 15, and 77 before turning 18. The age of consent is 18 in Turkey and all cases of pregnancy under the age of 15 are classified as child abuse. A hashtag, which translates as 'You can't cover up the abuse of 115 children', has been used more than 47,000 times since Wednesday. Many are sharing a photograph allegedly showing a redacted list detailing the ages of some of those admitted. Most social media users expressed their sadness so many young girls had been the victim of abuse. The story has also reignited wider debates about sexual abuse and women's rights. Referring to previous assertions that women should not laugh in the street and should dress modestly, one user suggested the focus should shift away from women's behaviour and onto their protection. "Instead of meddling in the laughter and the clothes of underage girls, learn to protect them," read the tweet which was shared and liked more than 3,700 times. One twitter user attempted to highlight the wider issues faced by Syrian girls in the country. "Apparently many of the children were Syrians," she wrote. "I know from where I work that even when we inform the police about 15 year old girls who have given birth, all they do is take statements and leave. The law does not apply to them."

1-17-18 Turpin case: Shackled California siblings 'victims of torture'
Police say 13 siblings who were found malnourished, some of them shackled, in a California home were torture victims. Riverside County Sheriff's office said the mother was "perplexed" when officers came to rescue the siblings, who are aged two to 29. Investigators said they had had no previous contacts with the couple, David and Louise Turpin. Their 17-year-old daughter escaped the home in Perris from a window on Sunday and alerted police. "Some of our staff described that there was a very foul smell inside the residence," Capt Fellows said. "It was extremely dirty and as we reported previously many of the children were malnourished." Mr Turpin, 57, and Mrs Turpin, 49, have been held on charges of torture and child endangerment. Bail was set at $9m (£6.5m) each. Asked to say more about the torture allegation, Capt Fellows said: "If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10 year old, being chained to a bed and being malnourished and injuries associated with that I would call that torture." He said investigators have found no evidence of sexual abuse or mental illness at this stage, but added the inquiry was just beginning. "I can't get into the specific details of the conversation, but it seemed that the mother was perplexed as to why we were at that residence," Capt Fellows told reporters.

1-16-18 Larry Nassar case: Victims confront 'repulsive' predator
Dozens are testifying against the ex-Team USA gymnastics doctor accused of molesting about 100 girls. A former babysitter who was abused by ex-Team USA gymnastics sports doctor Larry Nassar has told him in court: "You are a repulsive liar." Kyle Stephens was the first of dozens who will testify against the 54-year-old this week as he is sentenced. People in court wept as she told how Nassar convinced her own parents she was lying about the abuse. Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles on Monday said she was also sexually abused by Nassar. At Tuesday's hearing in Lansing, Michigan, former family friend Ms Stephens told Nassar: "You convinced my parents that I was a liar. "You used my body for six years for your own sexual gratification. That is unforgivable." Ms Stephens told the court: "I felt I was losing my grip on reality, I started to question whether the abuse ever really happened. "For my own sanity I forced myself to walk through the abuse step by step so I didn't forget that I was not a liar." Ms Stephens told how Nassar repeatedly abused her from age six until age 12 during family visits to his home in Holt, near Lansing. She told the court she continued to babysit for the family because she felt protective of the predator's young children and because she needed to pay for her counselling sessions to deal with the abuse. "Complex feelings of shame, disgust and self-hatred brought me bouts of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and other compulsive conditions," Ms Stephens said. "Perhaps you have figured out by now, that little girls don't stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world." Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is expected to hand down a sentence on Friday. Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting females at his home, at a gymnastics club and in his Michigan State University office. He has been accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. Prosecutors are seeking at least 40 years in prison.

1-16-18 Simone Biles: Larry Nassar abused me, says four-time Olympic champion
Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles says she was sexually abused by former Team USA gymnastics sports doctor Larry Nassar. In an emotional statement, Biles, a star of the Rio Games, said she would not let Nassar "steal my love and joy". Nassar was jailed for 60 years for possessing child sex abuse images and has also admitted assaulting gymnasts. "I know this horrific experience does not define me, I am much more than this," said Biles, 20. Three former US Olympians have accused Nassar of sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment, including Gabby Douglas, who won gold with Biles in the team event at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Nassar will be sentenced this month over two cases in which he admits assaulting female gymnasts. The 54-year-old was jailed in December for three counts relating to child sex abuse images on his computer. Nassar's lawyers told BBC Sport they would not comment on Biles' statement. USA Gymnastics said in a statement it was "absolutely heartbroken, sorry and angry that Simone Biles or any of our athletes have been harmed by the horrific acts of Larry Nassar".

1-16-18 Turpin: Shackled siblings found in Perris, California home
A California couple have been arrested after police found their 13 children allegedly held captive at home, some "shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks". David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were held on charges of torture and child endangerment. The couple's children - aged two to 29 - lived in Perris, 59 miles (95km) south-east of Los Angeles. Officers were alerted by one of the victims, a 17-year-old girl. The girl - who appeared to be "only 10 years old and slightly emaciated" - on Sunday managed to escape and call the emergency number using a mobile phone found inside the house, the Riverside Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Police officers later found "several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings". The officers were "shocked" to discover that seven of them were actually adults aged between 18 and 29. "The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty," the police said. They are now being treated in local hospitals. The head of one of the hospitals, Mark Uffer, told Reuters news agency: "It's actually heartbreaking for the staff and it's unbelievable what you see." Mr and Mrs Turpin are now being held in jail with bail set at $9m each. (Webmaster's comment: Abused since birth. Obscene!)

1-16-18 Pope feels 'pain and shame' over Chile sex abuse scandal
Pope Francis has said he feels "pain and shame" over a sex abuse scandal which has rocked the Catholic Church in Chile. The Pope also asked the victims of sexual abuse committed by priests for forgiveness. He made the remarks during his first official address in Chile. The Pope had been criticised in Chile for his decision to ordain a bishop who is accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest. Pope Francis has said in the past that dealing with abuse is vital for the Church's credibility, and that "sanctions" must be imposed against perpetrators. But critics in Chile say he failed to respond to their request to review the appointment of Juan Barros as bishop of Osorno. Parishioners in the southern Chilean city say Bishop Barros used his position in the Catholic Church to try to block an investigation into the actions of his mentor, Catholic priest Fernando Karadima. The case of Fr Karadima, an influential priest who was found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing young boys and ordered to do penance, shook the Catholic Church in Chile. Pope Francis said on Tuesday that he was sorry for the "irreparable harm" caused to the victims of sexual abuse by Church ministers. On Monday, activists fighting for the rights of sexual abuse victims gathered in Santiago for a conference. They launched an organisation called Ending Clerical Abuse which "seeks to stop child sexual abuse by the clergy" worldwide.

1-15-18 Malware populates children's apps with porn adverts
Malware that displays explicit pornographic adverts has been found lurking in 60 apps available on Google's Play store. Many of the apps infected with the malware are aimed at children, and some have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. The malware also promotes fake security programs and tries to get people to sign up to expensive services. Google said it had now removed all the compromised apps from the Play store. The "AdultSwine" malware was discovered by researchers from CheckPoint software, which said apps harbouring the code had been downloaded at least three million times. Infected apps include add-ons for the hugely popular pocket edition of Minecraft as well as apps themed around well known Disney characters. The CheckPoint researchers uncovered the infected apps as well as the infrastructure used to pipe offensive adverts and other offers to victims. Reviews of infected apps on Google's store warned about the presence of the pop-up adverts.

1-13-18 Sherin Mathews: Father of adopted girl charged with murder
The US father of an adopted three-year-old girl has been charged with capital murder after an autopsy ruled she died from "homicidal violence". Sherin Mathews was first reported missing from her Texas home in October, triggering a large search operation. Her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, originally said she disappeared after he put her outside as a punishment. After the girl's body was found two weeks later in a drain entrance, he said she had accidentally choked. Police say his version of events changed repeatedly during the investigation. He was indicted with capital murder on Friday, and could face the death penalty or life imprisonment if he is found guilty. Authorities confirmed the charges were filed after autopsy results, but have not revealed the child's cause of death. (Webmaster's comment: The perfect victim. A child is who totally under your power. What's just a bad as the adoptive father is the adoptive mother who knows the truth yet says nothing and does nothing. She is as guilty as he is.)

1-12-18 Pakistan Zainab murder: Anger in Kasur as other parents speak out
Kasur is an angry city right now. The murder and sexual assault of six-year-old Zainab Ansari, who disappeared on her way to a Koran class on 4 January, has sparked deadly riots. Zainab was last seen alive on CCTV footage walking hand in hand with an unknown man. Her body was found in a rubbish dump a few days later. And according to a police document obtained by the BBC there have been 10 similar cases in the city since January 2017. Investigators have recovered traces of the same DNA on six of the victims, including from Zainab's body. All six were young girls, all went missing extremely close to their homes, and all were left, unburied, in rubbish dumps or abandoned houses nearby. Their families all live within a 3km (two mile) radius. The first in the spate of the girls to be abducted was five-year-old Ayesha Bibi who disappeared from outside her home almost exactly a year before Zainab, on 7 January 2017. It was her father Asif Baba's birthday. He's kept the white teddy bear she gave him as a gift that day, along with her school uniforms and doll collection. "Anger is a very small word to describe how I feel," he told the BBC. "This is not a house - it's a graveyard. Since Zainab died it's like we lost our daughter again. It was the same when I found out about each of the other girls." He says his family and others in the city have been traumatised. "People in the town are scared. The kids are scared to even go to the bathroom - they say to their mothers to wait outside - we won't lock the door." "My other daughter didn't speak for four months. There was a family wedding, she said she's not coming because she might be kidnapped."

1-10-18 Akubra girl Dolly's bullying suicide shocks Australia
A 14-year-old girl who as a child was the face of iconic Australian outback hat firm Akubra has taken her own life over online bullying, say her family. In a Facebook post, the father of Amy "Dolly" Everett called for more awareness of bullying so his daughter's life "will not be wasted". Akubra also expressed its condolences, issuing a call for all to "stand up" against any kind of bullying. One in five children in Australia say they were bullied in the past year. In his emotional Facebook post, written on Sunday, Dolly's father, Tick Everett, gave no details of the bullying, but said she had wanted to "escape the evil in this world". He said he hoped the attention on Dolly's death last week might "help other precious lives from being lost". (Webmaster's comment: Bullies need to be punished severly so they feel the same pain as their victims.)

1-9-18 Apple investors urge action on 'smartphone addiction'
Big investors have called on Apple to develop software that limits how long children can use its smartphones. The call came from two investment groups that hold $2bn (£1.48bn) of Apple stock between them. A letter calling for the digital locks, signed by Jana Partners and a California teachers' pension fund, was sent to the iPhone maker this weekend. The call for better controls was welcomed by academics studying youngsters' use of technology. Jana Partners and the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) called on Apple to consider the impact excessive use of smartphones had on the mental health of young people. The two are worried that if Apple does not address growing concerns about smartphone use, its stock market value and general reputation could be damaged. According to a Reuters report, half of US teenagers believe they are addicted to their mobile phones and feel the need to respond immediately to messages. Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology at the London School of Economics, said it was good to hear the call from the investors. She added there needed to be one voice between device manufacturers, social media companies and internet service providers (ISPs) on the issue of smartphone use.

1-8-18 We should teach kids how to use social media, not scare them off
A report into the social media habits of under 12s seems worrying, but children are unlikely to switch off, so they should learn how to safely navigate the online world. Is social media broadening children’s horizons and opening up new opportunities? Or is it undermining their confidence, creativity and attention spans? The minimum official age for use of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat is 13, yet three-quarters of 10- to 12-year-olds in the UK are said to have accounts. So what should parents do? The latest round of worry was sparked by a study of the impact of social media use on 8- to 12-year-olds published last week by Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England. The report looked at the social media use of 32 children, who said they used it to stay connected with friends and family and to have fun, by, for example, watching videos. But they also described pressures to be constantly contactable, online comments that undermine their self-esteem, and the perceived need to shape offline activities to make them more shareable. “On Instagram especially, you see your friends going ice skating, partying or talking about how much revision they have done, and it can make me feel inadequate,” says Bea, a 14-year-old from Bristol who did not take part in the study. “It’s just so constant and hard to get away from.” Children have to take risks on their journeys to adulthood, and desires to fit in and be popular existed before Mark Zuckerberg came along. However, in previous generations these pressures came largely from people they knew, and they mostly stayed outside the home. “Now the pressure could come from any one of the nearly 3 billion people online, and follows them from school to home, and can even continue through the night,” says Beeban Kidron, founder of 5Rights, a campaign group for children’s rights online.

1-4-18 Poland child sex offenders list 'protects children'
The Polish government says a new public online register with data on convicted paedophiles is a "breakthrough tool" to protect children. Deputy Justice Minister Michal Wos said the register would enable parents to check if any paedophiles were living in their area. "The good of the child is the most important thing," he told Polish radio. Personal data on 768 paedophiles, including ID photos, can be viewed on the Polish justice ministry website. Critics say such open disclosure can make it harder for paedophiles to reintegrate into society after serving their sentence. It can also put them at risk of vigilante attacks, some argue. The Polish register gives details of each paedophile's crimes and sentencing, date and place of birth, and home district. Polish public broadcaster TVP says they are mainly paedophiles who have raped children aged under 15, some of whom acted with particular cruelty. (Webmaster's comment: Once you serve your time you should be free to reintegrate into society without fear or prejudice. If the sentences are to short for the crime then lengthen them, but do extend punishment by exposing ex-criminals to hate, prejudice, and possibly violence.)

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13 Child Abuse News Articles
from 1st Quarter of 2018

Child Abuse News Articles from 2017 4th Quarter