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Barriere Bits, Issue #009 – Child Pornography Sweep in Ontario, Canada
February 18, 2008
Welcome to Barriere Bits, the child abuse information e-zine that will provide you with international child abuse information.

In this issue, you'll find child abuse news from:


A massive child pornography sweep by the Ontario Provincial Police last week led to 73 criminal charges being laid against 21 men and one woman, ranging in age from 20 to 64. A youth was also among those arrested, but by law cannot be named. An investigation that began in January 2008 reportedly discovered a large number of individuals who were using the Internet to distribute images of child sexual abuse. Sophisticated new software has been cited as a tool that has enabled authorities to track images on thousands of computers, including those across the province of Ontario. Four additional arrests are pending.

My Comments: I'm all for technological advances that make it more difficult for Internet predators to exploit children!


Colorado State Representative Gwyn Green (District of Golden) introduced a bill that would lift the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits for children who suffer sexual abuse. Past victims for whom the statute of limitations has expired would have two years starting in July to file a civil lawsuit against their alleged abusers or any institution that knowingly allowed the abuse to take place.

The Catholic Church leaders in Colorado plan to fight this bill, citing church officials have stringent policies about removing suspected abusers and they work hard to reach out to potential victims. Archdiocesan spokeswoman, Jeanette DeMelo, reportedly stated that "No one who has a credible allegation of sexual abuse against them works in the ministry in the archdiocese.'' She further went on to say, "We have been proactive in seeking to offer healing assistance and mediation to past victims of sexual abuse.''

My Comments: Thumbs up to state Rep. Gwyn Green for introducing this bill. I hope that Colorado will see fit to pass this bill, and that other states follow suit. As for the Colorado Catholic Church; although they say they are doing everything possible to stop child abuse by the clergy and reach out to victims of past abuse, attempts to hinder legislation that would make them and other institutions more accountable scream more cover-ups. They do themselves no favours by attempting to block this bill.

Virginia Department of Social Services is now offering a FREE and self-paced online training course that will teach how to recognize and report child abuse to social services. Register for the course at VCU Virginia Institute for Social Services Training Activities

My comments: This is a great step toward helping abused children in the state of Virginia. And it's available to ANYONE, not just mandatory reporters. Way to go, Virginia!

United Kingdom:

The Scottish government announced a truth and reconciliation forum will be set up to help support adults who suffered childhood abuse. Children's minister, Adam Ingram, stated the forum would provide an opportunity to determine the facts, learn from the suffering of the abuse victims, and in so doing, will help to protect children from being abused in the future. Health Minister, Shona Robison, overseer of the forum, said it would help victims of historical abuse by providing them with a platform to voice their experiences, and at the same time, give public validation for what happened to them. The forum is but one of several measures recently announced in the Scottish parliament.

My Comments: Public validation is a first step toward healing and recovery for these survivors of historical child abuse. One can only hope that the public acknowledgement will indeed serve to make changes that will prevent children today from suffering the same fate.

Social worker Elaine Riley's February 15, 2008 article on my site titled Workers have "hands tied"... is an enlightening perspective on the child abuse situation in the United Kingdom.


Some eye-opening statistics have come to light in Australia. Research reflects 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys experience some form of sexual abuse. A report by the Australian Childhood Foundation has further discovered that 1 in 3 Australian adults would not believe a child who told them they were being abused. One in five adults said they wouldn’t know what to do if they suspected a child was being abused, or worse, they would lack the confidence to act. These disturbing facts has prompted Child Wise, Australia’s leading international child protection charity, to use its Speak Up campaign to target adults who would otherwise dismiss abuse claims. The study cited above was based on a survey of 720 adults.

My comments: Startling that these adult findings are apparent in a country where child abuse is virtually epidemic. Reports of unchecked child abuse of every kind, including abuse resulting in death, are in newspapers, online and in-print, each and every day.

As for 1 in 7 boys experiencing some form of sexual abuse; I strongly believe that this number is grossly under-reflected. There is mounting evidence in studies conducted in other countries that the number of boys who are sexually assaulted is ON PAR with that of girls. If we have any hope of making a dent in child sexual abuse, then we have to accept that BOTH boys and girls are victimized in equal numbers.


The head of the Bahrain Centre for Child Protection, Dr. Fakhriya Al Dairi, says boys are at higher risk than girls for sexual abuse because they hang out in the streets and with older boys more than girls. Sexual abuse cases apparently increase during summer vacations "because children are free most of the time."

The centre follows the philosophy that abused children should not be interrogated to reveal the identities of the abusers. They believe that the children should be "protected to forget their traumas and plight." According to Al Dairi, the centre was established to help abused children rather than make them feel guilty by tough questioning. She went on to say, "Yes we are keen to punish abusers, but this comes as our second priority, as children and their need to forget bad experiences they went through is on top of our agenda." 'Protecting Children – Future Security' is the theme the centre operates under.

My comments: Ridiculous! Backward! Emotionally abusive! Victims NEVER forget; which begs the question: Just what methods are being used to try and get these sexually abused children (mostly boys) to forget? Organizations that that adopt such inane policies don't protect children; they protect molesters!

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Author Bio

Darlene Barriere is a child abuse survivor, a violence and abuse prevention educator and author of On My Own Terms, A Memoir. She lives in semi-arid Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada with her husband, John.

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