Saturday, July 30, 2011

National inquiry sought over missing and murdered aboriginal women, Rabbinical court opens sex abuse debate in orthodox community

National inquiry sought over missing and murdered aboriginal women

VANCOUVER -- The Native Women's Association of Canada is calling for a national inquiry into the growing number of missing and murdered aboriginal women after feeling shutout from B.C.'s Missing Women inquiry.

"The government of B.C. has shut us out of the British Columbia Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, and now we have no confidence that it will be able to produce a fair and balanced report," NWAC President Jeannette Corbiere Lavell said in a statement issued today.

"The decision of the BC government to restrict funding for counsel primarily to police and government agencies demonstrates how flawed and one sided this process has become."

Her comments came after B.C. Attorney General Barry Penner has repeatedly rejected calls for funding for 13 groups who have been granted standing at the Missing Women inquiry, including the NWAC.

The attorney general has only granted funding for a lawyer to represent the families of the victims of serial killer Robert Pickton.

Rabbinical court opens sex abuse debate in orthodox community
By Marian Scott, Postmedia News July 26, 2011

MONTREAL — A rabbinical court has brought the long-hidden issue of sexual abuse in Montreal's Orthodox Jewish community out into the open.
In an advisory issued at the start of the summer-camp season, the Beit Din, a religious court, told parents to teach children about inappropriate touching, whether it's by another child, a relative or an authority figure.

The written notice said parents should explain to children it's an obligation — not a sin — to tell a parent or rabbi if an incident occurs.
The move is a departure for a community that's been accused in the past of sweeping the sensitive topic of sexual abuse under the carpet.

"That already is a huge step for the Orthodox community," said Diane Sasson, executive director of Auberge Shalom, a centre for women and children affected by conjugal violence.
That the Jewish court is acknowledging the existence of sexual abuse is a sign of progress, Sasson said.
But an expert on sexual abuse in the Orthodox community criticized the religious court for not telling parents to report incidents to police or youth-protection authorities....

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