Kansas Governor to sign DV bill On April 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Kansas Governor to sign DV bill


Mark Parkinson
On April 20 at 10:30 a.m. at Topeka Capitol Plaza Hotel, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson will sign the domestic violence designation bill that was earlier passed by the

Kansas Legislature. More information about this event will come later.

Kansas Legislature passes DV bill

Kansas Seal
It is official. The Kansas Legislature has passed the DV Designation Bill HB2517. On March 30, the Kansas

House passed the Senate version 119-0. This is the most comprehensive domestic violence legislation ever passed in Kansas. All that remains is the Governor's signature to turn this bill into law. The Brungardts are overwhelmed by this news and thank you all for your support. News




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(KS) Events will shine light on domestic violence Denise Brown, Curt & Christie Brungardt



Events will shine light on domestic violence

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The Wichita Eagle

They have been thrust into the spotlight by the violent deaths of family members more than a decade apart.

Now Denise Brown and Curt and Christie Brungardt will meet in Wichita for events intended to raise awareness about the prevalence and dangers of domestic violence.

Brown became a national speaker about domestic violence in the years since her sister, Nicole Brown Simpson, was found murdered in Los Angeles in 1994.

The Brungardts have made speaking out against domestic violence a focal point of their lives since their daughter, Jana Mackey, was murdered in her ex-boyfriend's apartment in Lawrence in July 2008.

Their appearances are part of a fundraiser for the Wichita Women's Initiative Network, a nonprofit organization that provides female survivors of domestic abuse with educational and employment opportunities.

"I'm excited that people are going to be able to have some awareness and learn about resources in the community," WIN director Kelley Graham said. "Most people in Wichita have not heard about the work that we do and the people that we serve."

Brown will appear at a VIP reception at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Hotel at Old Town and a luncheon at noon Tuesday at the Wichita Marriott. She will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Wichita State University Hughes Metropolitan Complex.

The Brungardts will be at the VIP reception Monday night, then head to Topeka Tuesday to witness Gov. Parkinson sign into law legislation they helped spearhead.

When it goes into effect on July 1, 2011, it will clarify diversion, assessment and intervention issues, said Sandy Barnett, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence.

"It will help close the gap on information available to prosecutors and courts when addressing criminal cases," Barnett said.

Currently, she said, law enforcement, courts and prosecutors may have information on a defendant's criminal history, but it does not state whether those incidents were committed in the context of domestic violence.

The law also requires law enforcement officers to consider defense of a person or property when determining whether to arrest a person for domestic violence.

That's an important component, Graham said, because several women told her they were arrested when they were simply defending themselves against their attackers.

Everyone is vulnerable

The Brungardts will bring a simple message to the event: Domestic violence can harm or kill anyone.

Professors who taught classes she was in at the University of Kansas have told the Brungardts just that: "If Jana Mackey can be a victim of domestic violence, all of us are vulnerable."

Mackey, 25, was an ardent advocate for women's rights, according to the website Jana's Campaign to Stop Domestic Violence. She spent years volunteering to aid victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

She received her bachelor's degree in women's studies from KU and participated in KU's Commission on the Status of Women. The university has created the "Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series" in her honor.

Mackey had recently ended a relationship with Adolfo Garcia-Nunez, a 46-year-old artist who went by the name Fito Garche. He was arrested in New Jersey after Mackey was found dead in his apartment and he committed suicide while in custody.

"They had dated for nearly a year," Christie Brungardt said. "We don't believe there had been on-going violence between them."

Mackey was reported missing before her body was found.

"When we were looking for her, I wasn't thinking about him," Brungardt said. "Maybe I'm just naive. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary."

'A national epidemic'

Education is the core of the Brungardts' message to others.

"The message we are trying to convey is, you need to be learning about this now," she said. "We need to be having a much larger and broader discussion."

And those discussions need to start when children are young. Teen dating violence has become "a national epidemic," Brungardt said.

One in three women will be the victim of abuse during their lifetime, statistics show, and domestic violence is the leading cause of injury for women between the ages of 15 and 44.

"We're going to have to get behind that like we have drunk-driving laws, seat belts, water conservation," Brungardt said.

Last year tied for the second-deadliest year for homicides linked to domestic violence in Kansas in the past 18 years, Barnett said. Forty-eight adults and children were murdered as a result of domestic violence — more than one-fourth of the state's homicide total.

Since 1992, Kansas has averaged 22 domestic violence-related adult homicides a year, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

"We're way higher in terms of incidents and fatalities than we should be," Brungardt said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

Read more: http://www.kansas.com/2010/04/17/1272955/events-will-shine-light-on-domestic.html#ixzz0lPrb31Kc

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(KS) Women Receive Overwhelming Response For Child Abuse Yard Signs



Women Receive Overwhelming Response For Child Abuse Yard Signs

Two local women are taking action following the recent abuse deaths of two children.

Reporter: Jared Cerullo
Email Address: jared.cerullo@kake.com

Child Abuse Yard Signs

Friday, April 16, 2010

Two local women are taking action following the recent abuse deaths of two children. The women are giving away yard signs asking people to call 911 if they suspect a child is being abused and they're getting an overwhelming response.

"That's our Vincent's prayer," said Lily Hill as she looked at the bright yellow sign that says 'Be aware. Child abuse can be anywhere. Call 911.'

That's the message Hill and Beverly Van Es want posted on every city block. Their actions were prompted by the brutal abuse deaths of Karsyn Young and Vincent Hill.

"Maybe even abusers will think 'Oh dear, somebody might be watching me and somebody might be listening and I could get in trouble. Maybe I won't do that."'

These grandmother's are getting an overwhelming response from people wanting a sign to put in their own yard. Even as we were interviewing them, someone knocked on the door to pick one up. Hill and Van Es have spent $600 of their own money for the first batch of signs and all of them are spoken for.

"One person can make a difference. One person has many friends. Two grandmas can really make a difference," said Van Es.

"We want people thinking about this," Hill explained. "We want people to think about the horrors that are going on. World War II prisoners of war weren't treated and tortured the way baby Vincent was."

These grandmas have loaded up a suburban with hundreds of signs to give away this weekend. They'll be giving them out at Asbury Church at 15th and St. Paul from 10-noon on Saturday. They've already given away 100 of them and have 200 more more on order. One by one they say, with help from above, they will cover the city with Vincent's prayer.

"We're just a couple grandmas that care," said Van Es. "And we got signs."

If you would like a sign for your yard you can contact Beverly Van Es at 316-838-8601 or Lily Hill at 316-946-1437. They say they will buy as many signs as they can, but would appreciate any donations to help offset the costs.


March 31, 2010

Abuse Hotline Call Dismissed Months Before Baby's Death

The Harvey County Sheriff's Department says an abuse hotline call regarding 19-month-old Vincent Hill was dismissed two months prior to his death.

Reporter: Stephanie Diffin
Email Address: stephanie.diffin@kake.com

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The Harvey County Sheriff's Department confirms someone called an SRS abuse hotline more than two months before 19-month-old Vincent Hill was allegedly beaten to death. But Newton SRS and Harvey County law enforcement say they were never informed of the call.

The call came in from a couple who lived in the same duplex as Hill, his mother, Katheryn Nycole Dale, and her boyfriend, Chadd Carr. Dale and Carr are both charged in the case.

"Nothing ever gets done until it's too late, and unfortunately, it's too late," said Jason Monarez, the victim's neighbor.

Vincent Hill's father describes the little boy as happy and always smiling.

"He's never going to be able to play catch with me, I'm never going to teach him how to learn how to fish," said Ricky Hill, Vincent's father. "I''m not going to get to see him do anything."

Now, Ricky Hill wonders if he would have gotten the chance to see those things if social services had further investigated a call it received on January 20th, two months before Vincent's death.

"We tried to stop it, we tried... me and my girlfriend both," said Monarez. "You could just hear through the wall, the child screaming."

So Monarez' girlfriend called an SRS abuse hotline. But the center dismissed the call saying it didn't indicate there was any harm taking place to the child. The last sentence of the report reads, "This completes the initial assessment with no further action needed."

"It just makes me angry, really, to know that i tried and it wasn't taken seriously," said Jessica Link, who placed the call.

Since the call stopped at the call center, Newton SRS says it never got word of the suspected abuse.

"If they would have had the report, they probably would have notified us, and something would have gotten done," said Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton.

SRS will not comment about specific cases, but did release this statement on the process of investigating calls to its hotline;

"SRS receives reports of alleged abuse and neglect through our Kansas Protection Report Center, 1-800-922-5330. In State fiscal year 2009 SRS received 56,207 reports of alleged abuse or neglect. Of those, 49% or 27,340, cases were assigned for further investigation."

"Intake workers receive protective services training to elicit specific information about the situation. Information requested is focused on the extent of the situation, circumstances of the situation, child’s functioning, parenting practices and caregiver function, in addition to information regarding the child’s age, person alleged to have caused harm to the child, where the child is located, other individuals or agencies who may have information regarding the incident and the availability of a non-abusing adult to protect the child from further harm."

"The information gathered through the intake process is then provided to a licensed social worker to review and determine whether the incident requires further investigation. This decision is based on specific safety and risk factors, including but not limited to: seriousness of the incident, prior agency involvement with the family, and seriousness of injury to child."

"All reports assigned for further investigation involving allegations of maltreatment of child must be investigated within either a 24 hour or 72 hour timeframe, depending on the nature of the allegation. Situations requiring a 24 hour response include, but are not limited to: life threatening situation, sexual abuse with the alleged perpetrator in the home, child in protective custody, or a child with current visible injuries."

"Certain reports, not alleging maltreatment, may be investigated within 20 working days. An example of this type of case would be truancy."


Charges filed in toddler’s death

By Cristina Janney

The Newton Kansan

Posted Mar 31, 2010 @ 12:07 PM


Chad Carr

Charges were filed in Harvey County District Court Tuesday in the suspicious death of a 19-month-old boy Saturday in North Newton.

Chad Carr, 26, 115 W. 24th St. in North Newton, is charged with two counts of aggravated battery and two counts of abuse of a child in the death of Vincent James Hill.

Carr allegedly was the boyfriend of the child’s mother, Katheryn Nycole Dale, who was not home at the time of the child’s death.

Carr allegedly was home alone with the child when he called 911 to report the child was not breathing. Carr allegedly tried to revive the child, but the child was taken to Newton Medical Center by Newton Fire/EMS where he was pronounced dead.

Law enforcement officials said Monday the child was bruised from head to toe and showed signs of previous injuries.

Further investigation found a concern had been called into the Social and Rehabilitation Services abuse center on Jan. 20.

The report did indicate a neighbor had heard yelling and screaming between the child and an adult male, a news release from the Harvey County Sheriff’s department stated.

The report was screened out by SRS because SRS said the report did not indicate the child was being physically harmed, the news release stated.

The report was never forwarded to any law enforcement agency for follow up.

Carr was booked on suspicion of murder, but County Attorney David Yoder said he is waiting for an autopsy report before deciding whether to file more serious charges.

On a search of Carr’s residence, police found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Carr has not been charged on the drug offenses.

Yoder said he wants to further review the evidence gathered by police to determine if he will file any charges on those offenses.

Carr is being held in the Harvey County Detention Center on a $150,000 bond.

A funeral service for the child will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Peabody United Methodist Church.

Copyright 2010 The Newton Kansan. Some rights reserved


Posted on Tue, Mar. 30, 2010

Neighbor had called hotline about Newton child who died

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The Wichita Eagle

    NORTH NEWTON — A 19-month-old boy had a broken collarbone, a broken lower leg and bruises from head to toe.

    But no one directly told local authorities that something was wrong in the child's life until after he died, local law enforcement officials said Monday.

    They announced that a man who had been living at the 19-month-old'

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    Queens dad beat 7-month-old tot to death because boy preferred his mother, prosecutors charge


    Thursday, April 15th 2010, 4:00 AM

    Larry Greene told his 7-month-old son, Xiah, to 'toughen up,' then fatally beat him, according to prosecutors.

    Pace for News

    Larry Greene told his 7-month-old son, Xiah, to 'toughen up,' then fatally beat him, according to prosecutors.

    Jealous that his son "preferred his mother," a Queens dad fatally beat his 7-month-old, the latest in a rash of violence against small children in the borough, officials said Wednesday.

    "Toughen up!" Larry Greene yelled at the crying child before punching him in the chest, prosecutors charged.

    Xiah stopped breathing moments later, and died Tuesday night at Queens Hospital Center, the fourth child in the borough to die at the hands of a guardian in five weeks.

    "We're grieving right now," Pierre Nady, 47, the victim's maternal grandfather, said Wednesday. "Xiah was only 7 months old - he was a cute, little boy [and] he was loved."

    Xiah had a bruise on his scalp, two bruises on the neck and five bruises on the chest that showed imprints of an adult's knuckles, officials said.

    The child's mother, Cassandra Nady, asked Greene, 20, who lives nearby, to watch Xiah at her St. Albans home.

    "He said the baby fell when he was feeding him but it wasn't even close to the truth," said Nady.

    Prosecutors said they have a videotaped confession from Greene, who admits hitting his son - and told them he was upset the boy "preferred his mother."

    Greene's shocked sister refused to believe he could be such a monster. "Larry is a good person, he wouldn't do anything like this," said Laquana Greene, 25. "It's a misunderstanding."

    Greene was charged with second-degree manslaughter yesterday and could face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

    Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Xiah was at the least the ninth child assaulted by a caregiver in the last five months.

    "There is no excuse for these senseless attacks," said Brown.

    - On Sunday, 8-month-old Mario Patrice was taken off life-support, four days after he was violently shaken by his father in their Far Rockaway apartment.

    Officials said Saul Cortez, 24, admits he punched Mario several times when he would not stop crying. The child suffered severe brain damage, a lacerated liver and several fractured bones.

    Cortez was originally charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child but a grand jury could upgrade the charge to murder, officials said.

    - Two Queens infants were killed by their baby-sitters in March, according to prosecutors. Anniyah Lavant, 19 months, and Dilan Crillo, 9 months, were each shaken to death by their guardians, both of whom were later charged with second-degree murder.

    - Five other children - all under the age of 5 - were also badly injured in incidents across the borough since November, according to Brown.


    With Thomas Zambito

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/04/15/2010-04-15_baby_boy_killed_for_crying_too_much_dad_held_in_slay_of_7monthold_tot.html#ixzz0lNZgM6pe

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    Prosecutor says "surge in child brutality is worst in 25 years"--but doesn't explain why (Queens, New York)

    Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)

    Great write up from DastardlyDads

    Prosecutor says "surge in child brutality is worst in 25 years"--but doesn't explain why (Queens, New York)

    A veteran prosecutor says that the Borough of Queens (New York) is experiencing the worst surge of brutal child abuse in 25 years, with 8 children badly beaten since the end of February.

    But why? In terms of assigning responsibility, all she says is something about "people making bad decisions or hiring the wrong people to watch their children."

    That's pretty darn vague and doesn't tell us much. Let's try to get more specific. How are these kids getting hurt? What are the circumstances? And who is doing the hurting?

    The answer is given as to how these kids are getting hurt: the majority of these cases are incidents of shaken baby syndrome.

    So let's speak plainly. Who commits the majority of shaken baby incidents? The research is clear. It's fathers. (It's mostly fathers in Queens too, based on the media reports.) Here's one Canadian study, though we could cite any number of studies that say the same thing:


    Shaken baby syndrome in Canada: Clinical characteristics and outcomes of hospital cases

    W James King, Morag Mackay, Angela Sirnick. Canadian Medical Association. Journal. Ottawa: Jan 21, 2003. Vol. 168, Iss. 2; pg. 155, 5 pgs

    The perpetrator was identified in 240 cases (66%), with the biological father being the most common (50%), followed by the stepfather/male partner (20%) and then the biological mother (12%). Overall, the perpetrator was male in 72% of the cases; 15% of perpetrators had a previous charge or suspicion for maltreatment of a child in their care.

    And what else? The Queens article also makes a vague reference blaming a bad economy, but that doesn't really explain why or how kids are getting injured or killed.

    So can we connect the dots?

    Let's look at a recent report out of Florida, which found that 200 children were fatally abused in the state in 2008--a 20% increase from 2007. At the same time, Florida's unemployment rate jumped from 4.1% to 6.2% in 2008, accounting for the loss of 339,600 jobs. So as we used to say in high school debate, what's the causal link between the two? Here's what the Florida report found:

    Unemployed men between 18-30 who watch the children while the mother is at work are the most common abusers, according to the report. Crying, toilet training and feeding are the most common triggers of physical abuse in young children.


    The scholarly research backs up the Florida study too. This what Guteman and Lee have to say about the issue:

    "The Role of Fathers in Risk for Physical Child Abuse and Neglect: Possible Pathways and Unanswered Questions" by Neil B. Guteman and Yookyong Lee.


    Studies have reported that unemployed fathers are far more likely than employed fathers to physically abuse their children (Jones, 1990; Wolfner & Gelles, 1993). One study, using state-level aggregate data, found that states with higher proportions of nonworking fathers also report higher rates of maltreatment (Paxson & Waldfogel, 1999), although these researchers note that caution should be taken in generalizing such findings to individual-level behaviors. Some researchers have hypothesized that unemployment can lower the male breadwinner’s status within the family and that such loss in status mightprovoke a father to attempt to reassert his authority by engaging in physically abusive and violent behaviors toward the child and/or other family members (e.g., Madge, 1983; Straus, 1974). Studies have reported that fathers who have sustained heavy financial losses tend to become more irritable, tense, and explosive, which in turn increases their tendency to become more punitive toward their children (cf. McLoyd, 1990). It may be that economic losses are perceived as stressful, especially in an uncontrollable way.

    But are unemployed dads abusing just from economic stress per se, or because they have been thrust into the role of being primary caretakers, a role that many are just not ready for, either because of nature or nurture? Again, from Guteman and Lee:

    In one of the first studies directly examining fathers’ involvement and child neglect risk, Dubowitz et al. (2000) reported that fathers’ greater direct involvement with child care was positively linked with higher child neglect risk but that their involvement in other household domains was linked with lower child neglect risk.

    So maybe what we need to do in Queens--and elsewhere--is stop assuming that the unemployed dad or boyfriend can "watch the kids" while mothers go to work. Maybe adequate, subsidized daycare or Grandma might work better. And maybe we need to stop with the radical role reversal experiment and get some of these dads back to work and out of the proverbial nursery.


    Jones, L. (1990). Unemployment and child abuse. Families in Society, 71(10), 579-588.

    Wolfner, G. D., & Gelles, R. J. (1993). A profile of violence toward children: A national study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 17(2), 197-212.

    Paxson, C., & Waldfogel, J. (1999). Parental resources and child abuse and neglect. Child Welfare, 89(2), 239-244.

    Madge, N. (1983). Unemployment and its effects on children. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 24(2), 311-319.

    Straus, M. A. (1974). Leveling, civility, and violence in the family. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 36(1), 13–29.

    McLoyd, V. C. (1990). The impact of economic hardship on Black families and children: Psychological distress, parenting, and socioemotional development. Child Development, 61(2), 311-346.

    Dubowitz, H., Black, M. M., Kerr, M. A., Starr, R. H., Jr., & Harrington, D. (2000). Fathers and child neglect. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 154(2), 135-141.


    Queens prosecutor says surge in child brutality is worst in 25 years

    BY Kathleen Lucadamo and Jonathan Lemire


    Friday, April 16th 2010, 4:00 AM

    A veteran Queens prosecutor said Thursday that a recent surge in brutal child abuse cases - including four deaths - is the worst she has seen in the borough in 25 years.

    At least eight Queens children have been badly beaten since Feb. 25, and authorities are unsure what to do to stop the disturbing upswing.

    "We've never seen anything like this," said Marjory Fisher, chief of Special Victims Bureau in the Queens district attorney's office.

    "I don't think I've ever seen so many severe child abuse cases in a span of five or six weeks," she said. "People are making bad decisions or hiring the wrong people to watch their children."

    Investigators say the majority of the abuse cases are incidents of shaken-baby syndrome - a crime that is nearly impossible to predict and hard to prevent.

    "It's not like a Compstat crime," said Fisher, referring to the NYPD crime stats program. "It's not like you can put cops en masse on a particular corner and stop this. These are events happening in people's homes."

    The children have not been victims of systematic abuse but were rather the targets of the explosive sudden rage of their guardians.

    "Shaken-baby syndrome involves defendants from across the board - people who often otherwise don't have a criminal history," said Leigh Bishop, senior trial lawyer in the Special Victims Bureau.

    "These are people who have stable lives, and then they lose it," she said. "They just snap."

    Xiah Greene, just 7 months old, became the latest of four fatalities Tuesday when his father punched him in the chest after becoming angry that the baby would not stop screaming.

    "Toughen up," yelled Larry Greene, who also told prosecutors that he was jealous that Xiah preferred his mother to him.

    Nonprofit groups that work with struggling families in Queens have noticed a spike in child abuse cases across the borough and say the violence is more severe than in the past.

    They say a bad economy fueled by an increase in undocumented immigrant families living in tight quarters has created a perfect storm for abuse.

    "Those families are under even more stress, and because of their undocumented status, they have fewer resources and places to go when there are problems in the family," said Sandra Hagan, executive director of the Child Center of New York in Jamaica.

    A 2004 state law passed after the death of an upstate baby at the hands of a baby-sitter requires hospitals to show a video on the dangers of shaking babies.

    Fisher wants it shown in city high schools.

    "Education is our best weapon," said Fisher, who delivers presentations to doctors and hospitals on how to be vigilant for signs of abuse.

    City statistics indicate that the number of child abuse reports in Queens has remained relatively level over the last seven years, according to the Administration for Children's Services.

    Statistics for 2010 were not available. ACS declined to comment on the recent rash of cases.


    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/04/16/2010-04-16_qns_prosecutor_says_surge_in_child_brutality_is_worst_in_25_yrs.html#ixzz0lHfw8aff

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/04/16/2010-04-16_qns_prosecutor_says_surge_in_child_brutality_is_worst_in_25_yrs.html#ixzz0lHfw9bLA

    Posted by silverside at 10:10 AM 0 comments

    Labels: child death, child murder, murder, shaken baby, statistics

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    Children should not be heard in the family courts??? Parental Alienation at it’s finest!

    Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)   

    Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a Scam It’s ONLY legal purpose in the courts is to PROTECT the abusers and to FURTHER Abuse the Victims. Its is ABUSE DENIERS dream come true. Court approved to TORTURE and KILL.


    Children should not be heard in the family courts. A judge's decision to hear evidence from a five-year-old sets a worrying precedent, says Cassandra Jardine.

    Published: 1:03PM BST 16 Apr 2010

    Comments 8 | Comment on this article

    A child of five is too young to know whether eating chocolate all day is bad for the teeth. Yet the evidence of a child of that age has been taken into account in the High Court in relation to a far more serious matter: whether that child and her brothers, aged three and eight, should have to return to Ireland and see their father again, or whether they can stay in England with their mother, who brought them here last year to escape their father.

    It sounds mad to take such a young child’s views into account. “I am violently opposed to it,” says Lady Catherine Meyer, whose own two sons were abducted by her husband in 1994; a trauma which caused her to start the charity PACT (Parents and Abducted Children Together).

    And yet it is a logical - even overdue - development from the 1989 Children’s Act which requires the wishes and feelings of a child to be taken into account when decisions are made about where that child should live, and with whom. If a child wants to have a say, it is important that the child should feel listened to.

    I have frequently heard from much older children, even teenagers, who feel cheated, not to say despairing, because their often passionate views are apparently of no interest to a court. Only this week I heard from a mother who wanted me to speak to her fourteen-year-old who was being forced to see his father against his will.

    So far I have not spoken to that child for reasons that are pertinent in this case, indeed all such cases, whether they involve abduction or divorce. Although a child may be sincere in his views, how do I know whether he has been coached to hold those opinions? Most parents in acrimonious circumstances are liable to poison a child's mind, sometimes for good reason, sometimes not.

    Giving evidence, whether to a social worker, judge or journalist, can be a deeply emotional experience. It needs to be handled deftly: ideally the questions should be asked by someone with training who also knows the child well so it is possible to hear the child’s true views, not a parroted version of the controlling parent’s.

    Above all, it needs to be made plain to the child that, while his views matter, they may not determine the outcome. Children are too young to bear that burden, and may not know all the relevant facts. He does, however, deserve to understand why a decision was reached. I once attended a case in which a mother pleaded for a child to give evidence. The judge turned down the request. All other reports tended towards the view that the mother was not capable of caring for that child. For the child to plead for her, and fail, would have been devastating. But the judge did offer to talk to the child informally afterwards.

    That approach - human, informal, non-confrontational - is one that should be taken more often, before, during and after a hearing. And not only when a parent makes an issue of it.

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    Jordan man kills wife with hammer over Internet chat


    The 30-year-old unemployed man faces the death penalty

    • AFP
    • Published: 00:43 April 9, 2010

    Amman: A Jordanian man was charged on Thursday with premeditated murder after he allegedly killed his wife for chatting online with another man six months after they got married, police said.

    "The suspect strangled his 37-year-old wife, smashed her head with a hammer and threw her body in a deserted area on the road to (Amman) airport after a fight two days ago," a police spokesman told AFP.

    "He tried to burn her corpse but failed. He claimed that he killed the woman over her alleged bad behaviour and because she was in touch with another man by chatting on the Internet."

    The 30-year-old unemployed man faces the death penalty.

    "After the crime, the suspect told his father-in-law that she had disappeared and the two men went police to report that she was missing," said the spokesman.

    "But police suspected him of killing the woman and later he confessed."
    In September last year, the US-based Human Rights Watch urged Jordan to reform its penal code, which it says condones the murder of women as "honour crimes."

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    (KS) Students Gather- Recall 12 year old who was killed by her Father

    Students will gather to recall shooting victim, 12

Gabrielle Morejon

    Gabrielle Morejon


      Students at St. John LaLande Catholic School in Blue Springs will gather Monday to share memories of Gabrielle Morejon, a seventh-grader shot to death Wednesday at her Lake Lotawana home.

      Investigators believe the 12-year-old was a victim of a murder-suicide. Her father, George Morejon, was found dead in a vehicle behind the house.

      Gabrielle had attended St. John LaLande since she was 3.

      “She was a beautiful, very bright girl,” the school’s principal, Natalie Helm, said Friday.

      The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about the shooting at 6:10 p.m. Wednesday. The Morejon home was in the 25000 block of Milton Thompson Road.

      A sheriff’s spokesman said Friday that more information would be released when autopsies were completed.

      News of the shooting shocked students at Gabrielle’s school.

      “This is a small school, only 21 in her seventh-grade class, and many of those kids have been together since kindergarten,” Helm said. “They were just grief-stricken. So sad for all of us.”

      A rosary will be part of Monday’s program.

      | Donald Bradley, dbradley@kcstar.com

      Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/04/16/1882397/students-will-gather-to-recall.html#ixzz0lNUJxlUM

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      Gov't report sees increase in campus violence (WA)


      By PETE YOST (AP) – 21 hours ago

      WASHINGTON — Targeted college campus violence, from serious assaults to the mass shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, is up sharply over the last two decades.

      The number of cases rose from 40 during the 1980s to 79 in the 1990s and 83 since 2000, says a study issued Friday by the FBI, Secret Service and Education Department.

      The cause of the increase is unknown, though the report noted a dramatic rise in college student enrollment in the past 20 years.

      Violence on or near college campuses is hardly new. The report cited, for example, a murder-suicide in 1909. In that incident 101 years ago, a man shot and killed a student on her college campus and then killed himself, reportedly after the student rejected his marriage proposals.

      "For years, colleges and universities have worked to address this challenge — to create safe campuses where academic and personal growth can flourish," says the study, "Campus Attacks." "In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, many universities were confronted with the troubling reality that one person can, in a few brief moments, devastate a college community through an act of targeted violence."

      The report was released on the third anniversary of the shooting rampage by Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 students and faculty members and took his own life. The report comes as a result of recommendations from a federal panel that studied that tragedy.

      In the 272 incidents of targeted violence studied for the report, 281 people were killed 247 injured. Of those deaths, at least 190 were students and at least 72 were employees.

      Targeted violence is defined as cases where attackers select a victim beforehand or randomly choose victims because they fit some predetermined profile or relationship. It excludes violence that breaks out spontaneously, such as during an argument.

      The study found that:

      _Factors relating to an intimate relationship were a motivating or triggering factor in a third of attacks and academic stress or failure was a factor in one out of 10 attacks.

      _Sixty percent of those who engaged in targeted campus violence were current or former students at the school where the violence took place.

      _Firearms were used in more than half the incidents and knives or weapons with a blade were used in over 20 percent.

      _Over 90 percent of those who committed such attacks were male.

      In nearly three-quarters of the incidents studied, the attacker appeared to have targeted one or more specifically named individuals. But sometimes it appeared that random people were targeted along with specific victims.

      Understanding what motivates an attacker to go solely after random victims "remains a complex and difficult challenge," the report said.

      The report included 52 acts of violence in areas surrounding college campuses, saying that to exclude nearby locations would neglect the role of campus safety departments and campus threat assessment teams in securing the general area.

      The report is a preliminary step in gaining a better understanding of targeted campus violence.

      The next phase of the work — a collaboration between the FBI and the Education Department — will examine case files and investigative records from campus attacks, with a focus on factors such as past behavior and mental illness by those who carry out such crimes.

      The research is expected to help threat assessment teams made up of professionals from a wide range of campus departments. The teams created in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech killings identify individuals whose behavior causes concern or is disruptive and assess whether the person has the intent or ability to carry out an attack.

      Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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