THERE IS HOPE FOR VICTIMS OF ABUSE
A commentary by Therese Park
Special to The Kansas City Star 10/20/12
When Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, was found guilty last month of failure to report child abuse suspicions, he made a profound statement from which everyone could benefit.
“The protection of children is paramount,” Finn told the judge before he was sentenced.
Child abuse is such a vague term for such a wide variety of evil that can leave Continue reading
Thanks to the hard work and cooperation of educators, law enforcement, child advocates and caring adults, it appears that child sexual abuse has declined significantly in the past 2 decades. This does not lessen our commitment or our need because clearly, we have been doing something right!! Read this article to find out more: Rate of Child Sexual Abuse on the Decline – NYTimes.com.
June 14, 2012
The Jerry Sandusky case is now coming to trial and we will soon learn the outcome in
this situation. For some reason, this particular story has captured the attention of
the public in a way that few others have. Is it because well-known sports figures are
involved? Is it because of the association with a prestigious University that prides itself
on integrity? Is it because of the connection with a respected charity whose founder
may have had ulterior motives for serving disadvantaged children? Is it because there
was an apparent eye witness to one of the events?
Whatever the reasons – the scrutiny is welcome. Far too many children are sexually
abused every day and most of them do not get their day in court!
Hopefully some positive things will come from this horrific story – maybe more victims
will feel safe enough to come forward; maybe organizations who work with children will
strengthen their safety policies and procedures; and maybe some of us will act more
quickly and more decisively when we suspect that something may not be right. If any of
those things happen, then something positive will have come from this tragedy!
Michelle S. Herman
President and CEO
15440 W. 65th Street
Shawnee, KS 66217
To report suspected abuse in Kansas call 1-800-922-5330 or in Missouri 1-800-392-3738.
Sunflower House was proud to be a part of a wonderful event promoting inter-agency partnership. This partnership is vital to our goal of building stronger families in our community. Over 60 law enforcement partners, including Wyandotte County Sheriff Ash and Jackson County Sheriff Sharp, attended the event where law enforcement vehicles circled the track at Kansas Speedway together. Click here to watch the video from KMBC.
EXPOSING CHILD ABUSE | A gentle path to harsh truth
A PLACE TO TELL
Sunflower House provides a comfort zone where children can open up about life’s most frightening, painful moments.
By LEE HILL KAVANAUGH | THE KANSAS CITY STAR
Minutes before their father’s sentencing, his three daughters waited in the corridor of a Wyandotte County courtroom, Division 5.
Their eyes swollen, makeup cried off, the women wrapped their arms around each other. They grieved, but not for their father and his fate. One held crumpled papers in her hand.
“I’m not sure I’ll be strong enough to read this in court,” she said. After days of finding words to describe her pain, she had typed a victim impact statement confronting her father for his sexual abuse against her years ago. But his sickness reached much deeper in their family.
The second paper was handwritten in the broad cursive loops of a 10-year-old – where words screamed in bold letters when emotion turned profane.
It was composed by the second generation of victimhood, the convicted man’s granddaughter.
The child who told. The one who stopped the man’s decades-long spree of satisfying his urges with children, but not until after she attempted suicide twice and drew pictures of monsters visiting her bed.
Her details of the abuse – revealed at Sunflower House – led to her grandfather confessing everything, including how he’d “loved” her at least 20 times last year.
Every day, a child endures the unwelcome touch of a predator. Nationally, statistics indicate it happens to one in four girls, one in six boys. But abuse experts know Continue reading