Wednesday, August 17, 2016
17,000 People Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War, George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims, Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against 'Peeping Rabbi' Barry Freundel, Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women's Lives
- 17,000 People Have Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War: Report
- George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims
- Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against 'Peeping Rabbi' Barry Freundel
- Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women's Lives
- Association of Reports of Childhood Abuse and All-Cause Mortality Rates in Women
17,000 People Have Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War: Report
By Lucy Westcott 8/17/16
More than 300 people die in Syrian prisons every month, often after being subjected to brutal torture and abuse by security forces, according to a new report from Amnesty International.
The report says at least 17,723 people have died in custody in Syrian prisons since the start of the country’s conflict in 2011, and it documents crimes against humanity committed by government forces. While detainees dying in Syrian prison custody isn’t new—in the decade leading up to 2011, there were around 45 deaths in custody each year, according to Amnesty—it’s “never been to the scale that we’re currently seeing,” Claudia Scheufler, the report’s author, tells Newsweek.
“Anyone who could in any way be seen as opposing the government,” including journalists, human rights activists and medical workers, could end up in prison in Syria, says Scheufler. More recently, humanitarian workers who have been providing support to those displaced by the fighting have increasingly been jailed. One woman told researchers that someone she was giving food to didn’t like the way tomato paste was being distributed. That person complained to the security forces, and the woman ended up in prison.
Amnesty spoke with 65 survivors of prison torture and abuse in security facilities operated by Syrian intelligence agencies and the infamous Saydnaya Military Prison, located outside Damascus. A number of people told Amnesty that in addition to being tortured, they witnessed extrajudicial killings, saw fellow detainees being beaten to death and shared cells with dead bodies.
Those who spoke with Amnesty described a “welcome party” ritual when they arrived at a detention center, which involved beatings with metal bars or electrical cables. Women detainees suffered from sexual assault and rape by male guards. Forms of torture that survivors described to Amnesty, and that were used to extract “confessions” from detainees, include dulab, the process of forcibly contorting a body into a rubber tire, and falaqa, flogging the soles of the feet....
George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims
Victoria police will not confirm whether detectives intend to interview Pell in Rome over historical child sex abuse allegations, which he has denied
Melissa Davey Wednesday 17 August 2016
Victoria police are considering whether to charge Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, with historical child sexual abuse offences.
Last month the chief commissioner of Victoria police, Graham Ashton, confirmed allegations against Pell had been referred to the Office of Public Prosecutions for a recommendation as to whether police should drop the investigation, investigate further or lay charges.
George Pell exposed himself to young boys at surf club, says Victorian man
In a statement issued on Wednesday the Victoria police media office confirmed it had received the office’s recommendation but would not confirm what had been recommended or whether detectives would be sent to Rome to interview Pell, who is the Vatican’s chief financial advisor.
“We have received advice and will now take the time to consider it,” the statement said. “As with any investigation, it remains a decision for Victoria police as to whether charges will be laid.”
Police have been investigating allegations that Pell exposed himself to three young boys at Torquay life saving club in Victoria in the summer of 1986 or 87.
Another two allegations involve two former St Alipius students, who allege Pell repeatedly touched their genitals while swimming with them at the Eureka pool in Ballarat in 1978-79. At the time, Pell was episcopal vicar for education in the Ballarat diocese.
Pell has vehemently denied the allegations against him, describing them as “nothing more than a scandalous smear campaign”. He accused police of leaking to the media, and called for a Victorian government inquiry into the alleged leaks....
Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against 'Peeping Rabbi' Barry Freundel
In the civil case, the plaintiffs claim that the mikvah, the synagogue, the religious court and the RCA ignored warning signs against Freundel, convicted of secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s ritual bath.
JTA Aug 17, 2016
The Beth Din of America has been added to the list of defendants in a $100 million class action suit against Rabbi Barry Freundel, the prominent Washington, D.C., spiritual leader who was convicted of secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s ritual bath.
On Tuesday, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in Superior Court in Washington, D.C., that included the rabbinical court, according to a news release on behalf of the Sanford Heisler and Chaikin Sherman Cammarata Siegel law firms.
The suit, which was filed originally in December 2014, also names as defendants Freundel’s former synagogue, Kesher Israel; the Rabbinical Council of America, the main professional association for modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States, and the National Capital Mikvah, the ritual bath Freundel used to spy on his victims.
In the civil case, the plaintiffs claim that the mikvah, the synagogue, the religious court and the RCA ignored warning signs of Freundel’s behavior.
Freundel is believed to have violated the privacy of at least 150 women he filmed while they undressed and showered at the mikvah, or ritual bath. They included members of Kesher Israel, candidates for conversion to Judaism and students at Towson University in Maryland, where Freundel taught classes on religion and ethics. The rabbi also secretly filmed a domestic violence abuse victim in a safe house he had set up for her.
He pleaded guilty last year to 52 counts of voyeurism and began serving a 6 1/2-year sentence in federal prison....
Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women's Lives
Extreme stress may affect the way the body's cells function
By Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women who suffered physical or emotional abuse as children often die at a younger age than other women, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among nearly 6,300 middle-aged U.S. adults, female survivors of child abuse were more likely to die over the next 20 years, versus other women.
And the worse the abuse was, the greater the impact appeared to be on a woman's life span. Those who said they'd suffered severe physical abuse were 58 percent more likely to die during the study period, compared with women with no history of child abuse.
Experts said the findings, published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Psychiatry, highlight the lasting and extensive effects of child abuse.
Previous research had already shown that survivors of abuse are at risk of poorer physical and mental health as adults....
Although the study found a link between abuse in childhood and a shorter female life span, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to definitively prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Still, Shalev, who does research on the biological effects of stress during early life, had at least one theory as to how abuse may lay the groundwork for an earlier death.
Adversity in early childhood may leave a biological "fingerprint" that affects how body cells function over a lifetime, he suggested....
"We know that both men and women suffer long-term effects," he said.
That's not true of all child abuse survivors, of course, Shalev pointed out. And the point is not to "alarm" people with a history of abuse, he added.
Instead, Shalev said, they should be aware of the possible long-term risks, because they can do something about it -- by eating well, exercising, and seeing their doctor for routine health screenings.
"A healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the effects," Shalev said.
An estimated 702,000 U.S. children suffered some form of abuse or neglect in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....
Association of Reports of Childhood Abuse and All-Cause Mortality Rates in Women
Edith Chen, PhD1,2; Nicholas A. Turiano, PhD; Daniel K. Mroczek, PhD; Gregory E. Miller, PhD JAMA Psychiatry. Published online August 17, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1786
August 17, 2016
....Results Of the 6285 participants included in the study sample, 2987 were men (48%) and 5581were white (91%), with a mean (SD) age of 46.9 (12.95) years. Women who reported childhood emotional abuse (hazard ratio [HR],?1.22; 95% CI, 1.01-1.49; P?=?.04), moderate physical abuse (HR,?1.30; 95% CI, 1.05-1.60; P?=?.02), or severe physical abuse (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.20-2.08; P?=?.001) were at increased risk for all-cause mortality during the follow-up period. Reports of more types of childhood abuse were also associated with a greater risk of all-cause mortality in women (all vs none HR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.24-2.30; P?=?.001; some vs none HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.01-1.52; P?=?.04). These effects could not be accounted for by childhood socioeconomic status, personality traits, or adult depression. No associations were observed in men.
Conclusions and Relevance These results suggest that in addition to the established psychiatric consequences of abuse, women who report childhood abuse also remain vulnerable to premature mortality into adulthood. Thus, reported childhood abuse may have long-term ramifications for health and longevity in women.