Sanctuary for the Abused

Thursday, May 26, 2005

From Publishers Weekly:
This fascinating investigation into what makes abusive men tick is alarming, but its candid handling of a difficult subject makes it a valuable resource for professionals and victims alike. Bancroft, the former codirector of Emerge, the nation's first program for abusive men, has specialized in domestic violence for 15 years, and his understanding of his subject and audience is apparent on every page. "One of the prevalent features of life with an angry or controlling partner is that he frequently tells you what you should think and tries to get you to doubt or devalue your own perceptions and beliefs," he writes. "I would not like to see your experience with this book re-create that unhealthy dynamic. So the top point to bear in mind as you read [this book] is to listen carefully to what I am saying, but always to think for yourself." He maintains this level of sensitivity and even empathy throughout discussions on the nature of abusive thinking, how abusive men manipulate their families and the legal system and whether or not they can ever be cured. Jargon-free analysis is frequently broken up by interesting first-person accounts and boxes that distill in-depth information into simple checklists. Bancroft's book promises to be a beacon of calm and sanity for many storm-tossed families.

One of the best books I have ever read on defining, understanding and dealing with an abusive partner. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005


National Missing Children's Day was first recognized on May 25, 1980 in the United States, following the disappearance of six-year-old Etan Patz off the streets of New York City. May 25, 1979 marked the first time Etan had been allowed to walk to the bus stop alone. Etan has yet to be found. As a result of Etan's disappearance, former United States President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution declaring May 25th as National Missing Children's Day. In 1984, this day was recognized in Canada and continues to educate the public of the harsh realities facing missing children.

Facts & Stats about Missing Children

An estimated 2,300 children are missing every day in the United States. Missing children can victims of family abduction, non-family abduction, or they can be runaways.

Family Abductions
An estimated 203,900 children were victims of a family abduction in 1999. A family abduction occurs when a family member takes or keeps a child in violation of the custodial parent's/guardian's legitimate rights.

Family abduction findings:
78% of abductors are the non-custodial parent
21 % are other relatives
42% of children were living with a single parent
15% were living with another relative/foster parent
66% were taken by a male relative
35% of children were between 6-11 years old
24% of the abductions lasted between 1 week and 1 month
82% of abductors intended to affect custody permanently

Reasons why family members become abductors:
They are dissatisfied with custody decision in court
They have been denied visitation for not paying child support
They are protecting the child and/or themselves from abuse
They are angry with the break-up of the relationship
They are angry with the other parent's new partner/lifestyle

Non-Family Abductions and Stereotypical Kidnappings
An estimated 58,200 children were victims of a non-family abduction in 1999. Non-family abductions occur when someone who is not a relative abducts and detains a child without lawful authority or parental permission with the intention to keep the child permanently. In 1999 there were also 115 stereotypical kidnappings. A stereotypical kidnapping occurs when a stranger or slight acquaintance transports a child 50 miles or more from home and either kills the child, holds the child for ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently.

Non-family abduction and stereotypical kidnapping findings:
81% were 12 years old or older in non-family cases

58% were 12 years old or older in stereotypical kidnappings

In 40% of stereotypical kidnappings, the child was killed

In another 4%, the child was not recovered

86% of the perpetrators are male

The abducted children are predominantly female

Nearly half of all victims were sexually assaulted

Over 1.5 million children had a runaway or throwaway episode in 1999. Runaway cases occur when a child of 14 years or less leaves home without permission for at least one night. For older children, a runaway is defined as a child who stay out for at least two nights. Throwaway episodes occur when a parent or other household adult tells a child to leave the house without arranging alternative care and prevents the child from returning home.

Runaway/throwaway findings:
Two-thirds of children are between 15 and 17 years old

The male-female ratio is equal

More than half returned home in the same week

99% return home

21% are physically or sexually abused at home

Why children run away from home:
42% have family problems

14% because of peer pressure

5% because of drug or alcohol abuse

4% because of physical abuse

Child Find of America Inc. is a national not-for-profit organization that locates missing children through active investigation, prevents child abduction through education, and resolves incidents of parental abduction through mediation.

1-800-I-AM-LOST or 1-800-A-WAY-OUT
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Sunday, May 22, 2005

FBI: Internet pedophiles a growing threat
From Correspondent Terry Frieden

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal law enforcement officials are playing catch-up when it comes to combating clever pedophiles and child pornographers using the Internet, FBI Director Louis Freeh told Congress Tuesday.

At a Senate subcommittee hearing, Freeh said investigations have turned up thousands of suspects whose abuse of children thrives through the anonymity of the Internet. He said pedophiles are increasingly using the Internet to contact children and transmit child pornography.

"There's certainly no greater danger to them in the context of this subject matter than the Internet and the very easy use which pedophiles and criminals can make of that Internet," said Freeh, who said educating parents about the growing threat is crucial.

Freeh and Ernest Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said law enforcement agencies need more money to combat the problem. The Office of Management and Budget turned down a recent FBI request to add $10 million for its child-exploitation task force.

"I think we have the tools there. I just think we need more resources," Freeh said. The subcommittee's chairman, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire, said the panel will consider restoring the FBI's budget request.

Mother of victim: 'I was totally unaware'

At Tuesday's hearing, a mother identified only as Diane Dow said she was stunned to learn that her 11-year-old son had been lured into sexual molestation over the Internet.

"I was totally unaware of any of this type of activity until this happened to my son," she said. "I never even heard of such a thing before."

To demonstrate how predators can approach children in cyberspace, an FBI agent displayed for senators an online transcript of an actual case.

A business executive tried to arrange a meeting with a 14-year-old school girl by promising her, "I would give you a very gentle hug when we met." But the "girl" in question was actually an FBI agent. The man was later convicted for paying for sex with a minor.

Predators only prosecuted after 3 transmissions

Freeh disclosed that a grand jury investigating Internet child predators now has a list of nearly 4,000 suspects.

Only about 450 of the people on that list are actually facing charges, because prosecutors usually want three transmissions of pornographic materials to prove a suspect's "intent" before initiating a prosecution, Freeh said.

That prosecution criteria drew a rebuke from the FBI's leading Senate critic, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

"That's kind of like saying it's all right for a bank robber to rob a bank three times before the FBI's going to investigate the bank robbery," Grassley said.

As of March 5, the work of the FBI's task force had resulted in 83 felony convictions. It has also investigated 19 cases in which pedophiles crossed state lines to meet juveniles, Freeh said.
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Friday, May 20, 2005


Dear Harriette:

My name is not important, but what is important is that I'm an abusive spouse. This is for all the other men out there that think they do not have this type of problem -- think again. This is a major problem all across the world. And I know for myself, I love my spouse dearly and I know I must acknowledge this, and seek help, if I'm ever going to be a better person and a husband. No woman deserves to be beaten up, slapped or pushed around. My woman sometimes pushes me to the breaking point, but that still does not make it OK to hit her. There are laws in place and a lot of men behind bars because of this. I've been there too.

So I urge all men who think they might have a problem to try and to get some sort of counseling before it's too late -- too late for you, too late for her. Life is too short and too precious, and I want to spend mine with her. I am presently in treatment and hope to continue with more intense therapy. I hope that this message reaches another man who needs some help too.

Mr. Vet, Peekskill, N.Y.

Mr. Vet:
Thank you for having the courage to write in about your reality -- that you have been abusive to your wife during your marriage. Acknowledging your actions is the first step in the healing process. Many people are afraid to tell themselves the truth, let alone anybody else. While it's easy to feel ashamed of violent, abusive behavior, you can feel proud of yourself that you have sought help and continue to go to therapy to learn how to change your behavior. In addition to seeking therapy, I recommend that you and other men who are grappling with spousal abuse read the book "Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse" by Michael J. Paymar (Hunter House, Inc., 1999).

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Monday, May 16, 2005

'My wife left me for a cyber love-rat'

By Matthew Chapman

As internet dating booms, both men and particularly women can leave themselves open to exploitation. Here, the tale of an online Romeo who managed to make six women fall in love with him at once.

Musician David Bagg is still in shock six months after his wife walked out on him for a man she had never set eyes on or even spoken to. "This was like a bolt from the blue," the 41-year-old said.

His wife Judy logged on to a website offering online healing last September. She e-mailed Joe Grice, the man who ran the website, asking for help with her arthritis.

Judy's e-mailing began innocently enough. She communicated regularly with Mr Grice for a few minutes every night with her husband's full knowledge.

Her husband said: "She had some concerns about her health and I thought if that helped her then fine. Quite quickly it became more secretive and she would be up in the computer room for hours in the evening."

Chatrooms have become increasingly popular
It was only from looking at his wife's e-mails after she disappeared that Mr Bagg realised what had been happening.

His wife had been meeting Mr Grice in a chatroom and their conversations sometimes lasted hours.

The messages became more explicit over time and Mr Grice eventually suggested he come over from the US to meet Judy.

Events came to a head last December when Judy took off.

Not the only one
Five of Judy's friends had also been in e-mail contact with Mr Grice. Amazingly, all six women, two PhD students among them, had fallen in love with this stranger over the course of two months.

One of them, Cheryl, an attractive postgraduate student aged 27 said: "I just can't explain it now. It became so intense it took over my whole life - and yes, I think I did love him in the end."

It was like love bombardment
Her friend and fellow victim Nicola, 26, puts Mr Grice's prowess down to his ability to tell them what they wanted to hear.

She said: "It was like love bombardment. He kept saying how wonderful I was and I fell for it."

Mr Grice encouraged the developing bonds with a simple ruse.

First he instructed all the women not to talk to each other. Then he encouraged each one to tell him secrets about the others. He would then confront the women with these secrets which he said he had gained through his mystical powers.

At one stage the six women - who all lived in Oxford - were online, sometimes simultaneously, as Mr Grice persuaded them to perform sex acts on themselves and urged them to leave their partners.

It was only when Judy Bagg disappeared that the other five women came to their senses.

A 'guru' unmasked
Mr Grice is now living in Oxford. The BBC's 5 Live Report has established he is a 49-year-old ex-US Air Force Gulf War veteran who, at the time of his online seductions, was living in a tent in a friend's garden.

There is a tendency to give away a lot about yourself
Jenny Madden

He has left behind two children and an angry ex-wife who says she has spent several years trying to track him down to recoup a large number of child support payments.

Mr Grice has gone onto newsgroups to claim he is running clinical trials on ME in conjunction with Oxford Brooks University.

Yet the university authorities have never heard of him.

Neither Mr Grice or Mrs Bagg have commented on the affair.

Click here for love
Experts say the story serves as a cautionary tale of the potential power of the internet - and chat rooms in particular - to warp human relationships.

An online community may feel safer than real life
The boom in internet dating is one area where the vulnerable can be manipulated., one of the largest dating websites, had 1.6 million people posting advertisements in 2001 and the figure is expected to double this year.

While the majority of dates may be successful, it still leaves a lot of lonely-hearts open to being exploited, particularly women, says Jenny Madden, the founder of Women in Cyberspace.

"Women find cyberspace comforting because they are not being judged by their looks," she says. "But they also leave themselves very open to manipulation because there is a tendency, in chat rooms particularly, to give away a lot about yourself very quickly."

David Bagg is hopeful he can someday be reunited with his wife.

"I still love her, despite what the Internet did to our relationship," he said.
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