Ontario-wide strategy needed for male sex abuse victims, inquiry told
Canadian Press, By Allison Jones in Toronto, February 27, 2009
CORNWALL, Ont. - Male victims of childhood sexual abuse need specialized support services and a provincial ombudsman dedicated to their plight, the Cornwall inquiry heard Friday as the $40-million probe drew to a close after three years of testimony.
The inquiry, established to examine institutional responses to allegations of sexual abuse in eastern Ontario, spent the majority of its final week hearing submissions dealing with allegations that a pedophile clan operated with impunity in the city for decades.
Lawyers at the inquiry cast the clan stories as fabrications spread by a misguided police officer and embraced by a panic-stricken community.
On Friday, the submissions focused on healing and reconciliation for the community and victims.
Following a complaint in 1992 that a former altar boy had been sexually abused by a priest and a probation officer, many others came forward to allege they had also been abused by prominent people decades ago.
Many of those complainants were men, and a lawyer for the counselling group The Men's Project said even though there were a lot of community services in the city at the time, none could adequately handle men's counselling.
"In fact, they had to bring in my client from Ottawa because they were the only ones with expertise to deal with this," David Bennett told the inquiry.
"Even though there were existing social services they just weren't able to deal with it and (that's) why there needs to be a specialized area."
Both The Men's Project and the Victims Group urged the commissioner to recommend that the Ontario government create victim treatment service centres for male survivors of sexual abuse provincewide.
Both groups also called for the province to create a sex abuse ombudsman.
"There has been a theme from survivors of not being believed, getting the run-around, being kept in the dark, which for some had the effect of re-victimization," the Men's Project said in its written submissions. "An ombudsman could rectify this."
In addition, the government needs to remedy how treatment for sexual abuse victims is funded, the Men's Project said.
Currently, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care assumes funding for recent sexual assault, but a year after the assault service is often refused and the person is referred to community services run by the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Men's Project said.
"Sexual abuse victims, either male or female, experience post-traumatic stress issues that can only be defined as complex, potentially disabling and requiring specialized treatment," the group said, in recommending the Health Ministry take responsibility for treatment funding.
The Men's Project said given the economic downturn they are worried the government will not have the resources to fund male sex abuse services. But it's too important not to, the group said.
"To not deal with this issue, to not meet it head on, not to implement these types of recommendations will cost the citizens of this province a great deal more" Bennett said.
The group Citizens for Community Renewal also pushed in their submissions for an apology to sex abuse victims and all citizens of Cornwall from the local bishop, the mayor and the premier.
Speaking in Amherstburg, Ont., on Friday, Premier Dalton McGuinty said he wouldn't comment until he has seen what Commissioner G. Normand Glaude has to say.
"I should wait for the report (and) see what recommendations flow from that," McGuinty said.
"Who knows, the report itself may even speak to that kind of a request."
A school resource officer program that has seen police officers in 22 high schools in Toronto should be extended throughout Ontario, the Cornwall Police Service said.
It has been successful and would foster communication between police and youth, Cornwall Police Chief Dan Parkinson said after the inquiry.
"It is for young people that they can speak to police officers, that the barrier of fear perhaps is somewhat reduced and police officers in the schools... are able to build those relationships," Parkinson said.
The police also recommended a review of privacy legislation and how it impacts sexual abuse investigations. Police are not necessarily able to inform the public of alleged child sexual abuse, lawyer John Callaghan said in an interview.
"We're asking that there be a review, not so that we disregard the other societal values (of right to privacy and presumption of innocence), but take another hard look as to under what circumstances and to make it clear when the police can tell the public about predators in their midst," Callaghan said.
Woman convicted of killing 3 kids after custody battle
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, USA, August 26, 2008
HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.
The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.
She tried to kill herself afterward.
The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.
Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.
A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.
ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.
Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.
Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.
It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.
At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.
Wednesday, May. 22, 2002
KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) -- An Ontario woman who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in one of Canada's stiffest penalties for child abuse will be released on full parole after serving less than half her term.
Lorelei Turner, 38, and her husband Steven were convicted of manslaughter in July 1995 for beating and starving their three-year-old son John to death in a case that horrified Canadians who followed the trial.
But on Wednesday, a panel of the National Parole Board in this eastern Ontario city ruled Turner will be released but placed on probation until July 2011.
Until then, she must remain within 25 kilometres of her residence, is not allowed unsupervised contact with anyone under 16, and must continue to receive counselling.
"The board would have looked at the risk and obviously found a low risk to reoffend," Carol Sparling of the National Parole Board said Wednesday.
Mainichi Daily News, Sakai, Osaka, Japan, November 26, 2006
SAKAI, Osaka -- A woman accused of cutting off her newborn son's private parts in 2004 was ordered Monday to spend five years behind bars.
The Sakai branch of the Osaka District Court convicted Shizue Tamura, 27, a resident of Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, of inflicting bodily injury.
"The way she committed the crime was unprecedented, inhumane and cruel," Presiding Judge Masahiro Hosoi said as he handed down the ruling. Prosecutors had demanded an eight-year prison term. Read More ..
This overview paper summarizes recent research on girls who exhibit aggressive and violent behaviours. It defines relevant terms, outlines factors which may contribute to girls' aggression and violence, and presents ideas for preventing these behaviours. A list of resources is also included. 2002, 13p. Read More ..