Lawmakers Blast Child-Abuse Inquiry on Tax Shelter Jersey Island
By Leah McGrath Goodman 9/10/14
Neil McMurray used to be a professional fisherman and crabber—until one of his children was repeatedly bullied in school and he found himself investigating what he began to view as a startling lack of concern for the welfare of children in his tiny island home.
“For the past decade, I have been writing about what I have come to see as a culture of concealment within our government, education and justice systems, which have repeatedly failed the most vulnerable members of our society, particularly children,” says McMurray.
McMurray lives on the island of Jersey, a $2 trillion tax shelter in the Channel Islands. Just 14 miles off the west coast of France, Jersey is part of neither Great Britain nor the European Union but a “Crown dependency”—meaning it is technically accountable to the queen of Great Britain but governs itself.
A 47-year-old married father of two, McMurray launched a humble but highly influential blog, Voice for Children, around the time the island’s police announced in 2008 that nearly 200 people from different parts of the world had come forward to report they had been victims of child predators on the island.
Since then, McMurray has assiduously covered child-protection issues in Jersey, gaining a following that includes global human-rights activists as well as the island’s locals, not excluding Jersey’s chief minister, Ian Gorst. But he has also gathered a good deal of notoriety....
Dubbed Operation Rectangle, the 2008 police investigation into widespread child abuse on the island yielded 151 suspects in Jersey, which is only 5 by 9 miles in size. Of those, 30 are now dead and fewer than a dozen were convicted, sparking widespread outrage from victims and witnesses and creating deep divisions on the island.
During Operation Rectangle, a dig under a government-run Jersey children’s home, Haut de la Garenne, unearthed the remains of children aged 6 to 12, according to a Jersey police press release, which noted that “no people are reported missing” and “there are no suspects for murder.” The probe closed in 2010 under questionable circumstances.
In July, a long-awaited Committee of Inquiry convened hearings in Jersey to investigate whether there may have been a cover-up of decades of atrocities against children. The inquiry stated September 5 that “new witnesses are coming forward all the time, and it is anticipated the hearings will last many months.”....
40 percent of women with severe mental illness are victims of rape, attempted rape
September 3, 2014
University College London
Summary: Women with severe mental illness are up to five times more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual assault and two to three times more likely to suffer domestic violence, reveals new research.
Women with severe mental illness are up to five times more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual assault and two to three times more likely to suffer domestic violence, reveals new research led by UCL (University College London) and King's College London funded by the Medical Research Council and the Big Lottery.
The study, published in Psychological Medicine, found that 40% of women surveyed with severe mental illness had suffered rape or attempted rape in adulthood, of whom 53% had attempted suicide as a result. In the general population, 7% of women had been victims of rape or attempted rape, of whom 3% had attempted suicide. 12% of men with severe mental illness had been seriously sexually assaulted, compared with 0.5% of the general population....
"The number of rape victims among women with severe mental illness is staggering," says lead author Dr Hind Khalifeh of UCL's Division of Psychiatry. "At the time of the survey, 10% had experienced sexual assault in the past year, showing that the problems continue throughout adulthood. Considering the high rate of suicide attempts among rape victims in this group, clinicians assessing people after a suicide attempt should consider asking them if they have been sexually assaulted. Currently this is not done and so patients may miss opportunities to receive specialist support."
Men and women with mental illness were also found to be more likely to be victims of domestic violence than the general population. Domestic violence includes emotional, physical and sexual abuse. 69% of women and 49% of men with severe mental illness reported adulthood domestic violence.
Domestic violence from family members (other than partners) made up 63% of total domestic violence cases against psychiatric patients compared with 35% of the general population....