A child disappears every 3 minutes within the United Kingdom. Yet, it is increasingly complex to gain access to child abduction statistics. Truth be told, every year another paedophile is burnt alive, shot or stabbed due to vigilante justice. How did this happen? Countless priests and offenders formerly convicted of sexual child abuse are merely relocated and continue to fill up their closets with childrens skeletons, while those in charge of them seem to be above the law. Another major issue that persists within the UK there exists no set definition of child. Unofficially, individuals consider anyone under the age of 18 to be a child. However since there is no set law, children around the age of 16 or 17 often feel independent and consequently act that way legally. Thus, the enquiry “how many missing children are there within the UK?” remains unanswered.
Child Sexual Abuse
Official police statements reveal that every 3 minutes a child is reported missing. This is equivalent to 20 children vanishing every hour, 480 children every day, 3360 children every week, 14’880 children every month…That equals a minimum of 175’200 children per annum.
According to NSPCC statistics, A sum of 18,915 sexual crimes against children under 16 were recorded in England and Wales in 2012/2013. 35% of all sexual crimes (53,540 sexual crimes in total) recorded in England and Wales in 2012/2013 were sexual crimes against children under the age of 16.
In 2012/2013 the police in England and Wales recorded:
5,156 offences of rape of a female child under 16.
1,138 offences of rape of a male child under 16.
4,171 offences of sexual assault on a female child under 13.
1,267 offences of sexual assault on a male child under 13.
6,634 offences of sexual activity involving a child under 16.
176 offences of abuse of children through prostitution and pornography.
373 offences of sexual grooming.
192 offences of abuse of a position of trust involving a child under 18.
More than one third (39%) of all rapes recorded by the authorities in England and Wales in 2012/2013 were committed against children under 16 years of age. In addition, over 23,000 sex offences against children aged under 18 years in England and Wales between April 2012 and March 2013 were recorded. Conversely, 40,345 individuals were registered as sexual offenders in England and Wales on 31 March 2012. 29,837 of these offenders are on the Sex Offender Register for sexual offences against children. In consequence, 941 previous child sex offenders on the Register have re-offended within that year. According to the NSPCC, 60-70% of child sex offenders target girls only, about 20-33% boys only, and about 10% children of either sex.
“The majority of perpetrators sexually assault children known to them, with about 80% of offences taking place in the home of either the offender or the victim.”
There is no single source of statistics for the number of children who are killed by another person in the UK.
NSPCC statistics state “Killings of children by a natural parent are committed in roughly equal proportions by mothers (47%) and fathers (53%), but where the child is killed by someone other than a [birth] parent, males strongly predominate”. “The proportion of child homicides in which the perpetrator is a parent is exceptionally high among infants”. For example between 1995 and 1999 in England and Wales, 80% of homicide victims under one year old were killed by a parent.
Child Mortality Rate
Five children die unnecessarily every day of conditions such as asthma, meningitis and pneumonia as the NHS care for young people is “badly organised and dangerously inadequate”, the leader of Britain’s 11,000 specialists in children’s health warns. About 2,000 children a year lose their lives due to an array of problems, which results in the UK possessing one of the worst death rates among children up to the age of 14 in Europe, the president of the Royal College of
Paediatrics and Child Health informed the Observer.
The Guardian reports “The WHO’s mortality database for last year shows that the UK had by far the highest number of the 6,198 yearly excess child deaths compared with Sweden across the 14 nations –1,951 in all. That was more than twice the number in France (962) and more than that in other similarly sized countries such as Germany (815), Italy (683) and Spain (545)”.
According to the RCPCH, overall child mortality has declined by over 50% in last 30 years:
• Injuries are the single biggest cause of child deaths
• Young maternal age remains a risk factor throughout childhood Additionally, efforts to prevent deaths in children must focus on improving the quality of care for children with chronic conditions including their families. According to a major, recent study into child mortality launched by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). The study is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, as a part of the Clinical Outcome Review Programme: Child Health Reviews -UK (CHR-UK) project. It uses death registration data for UK children between January 1980 and December 2010, examining key areas such as multiple morbidity, child injuries, birth weight and maternal age to assess the risk factors for child deaths. With two thirds of children dying with chronic conditions (approx. 40% neurological conditions) researchers state further information is required on the proportion of children that suffer from chronic conditions which are terminal in order to improve end of life care for these children and their families. “Today’s report also shows that despite a decline in the overall child mortality rate and a decline in deaths due to accidents, injury remains the most frequent underlying cause of death, accounting for between 31%-48% of deaths in children aged 1-18 years. The number of children dying from intentional injuries, such as self-harm or assault, has not changed in over three decades.”
According to the Guardian, a 2004 Home Office research study examined 798 police reports of child abduction in England and Wales in an effort to map the situations that lead to children being taken. Just over half of the cases examined were attempted abductions. Of the total, 56% (447) involved a stranger, of which 375 were attempted abductions and 72 were successful. A further 23% (183) of all reported abductions were parental, usually in circumstances a child is entangled in custodial disagreements. In recorded cases of abductions and attempted abductions by strangers, motives for the offence are largely unrecorded, however the Home Office document states, it is “reasonable” to presume numerous to be sexually motivated, as the most common scenario, involving a male offender, attempting to entice a child into a car or physically attempting to drag a victim from a public place. Data collection on missing children is neither co-ordinated nor centralised, which complicates ones capability to understand the scale of the problem. Reports made by law enforcement agencies, child services and other organisations are recorded differently at local, national and international levels. Researchers are forced instead to gather information from missing persons data and related crime reports such as those on trafficking, grooming and abduction. In 2009-2010 there were approximately 230,000 reports of missing children under the age of 18. Research conducted in 2003 suggested that 8% of children and young people reported missing had been forced to leave. This included stranger and parental abduction and being thrown out of home. Abduction by a non-custodial parent is an offence under Section 1 of the Child Abduction Act 1984. The principal source of annual child abduction statistics in England and Wales is taken from crime records published by the Home Office. Figures for Northern Ireland and Scotland are not annually reported in this document.
Privatisation of Childcare
In my professional experience, consisting of years of employment within the social care, I can attest to the varied conditions within the system, yet overall they appear to be lacking and unfavourable in numerous matters.
According to an article published in July 2013, the British government plans to allow outsourcing firms to bid for contracts to manage social services for vulnerable children in England, while dropping laws allowing the removal of companies that fail to do the job properly. A number of firms have expressed an interest in proposals that would permit them to bid for contracts managing foster care and other childcare services. Labour stated the plans would remove legal provisions that allow councils to remove a firm that has failed to meet national minimum standards. They would also relax the rules governing independent inspections of services that place and monitor children that are looked after by the state. Concerns have emerged after the two of the biggest outsourcing companies in Britain, Serco and G4S, were found to have overbilled the taxpayer by charging to tag numerous offenders that were dead or in prison. Lisa Nandy, the children’s minister, stated the latest plans would result in Britain’s most vulnerable children at the mercy of an unregulated private sector. She contacted the regulatory reform committee, which is considering a draft legislative reform order, urging it to reject the government’s plans. “For the government to consider outsourcing a sensitive service such as foster care to the private sector, when we have just seen with G4S and Serco how a profit motive can have disastrous consequences for the public purse, is madness.” she explained “The proposals remove many of the checks and balances required to ensure the safety of children whilst introducing the unchecked unpredictability of the market. They should withdraw their proposals now and think again.”
Nandy’s letter outlined the reform order would remove the requirement for direct registration and inspection by Ofsted for providers of social services by amending the provision which imposes it. “It appears to remove the obligation for a national minimum standard relating to the fitness of providers and any mechanisms for removing providers who fail to meet these standards. The implications are potentially very serious and could have a profound impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the country.”
A Department for Education spokesperson revealed that even legal requirements would be removed under government planning, inspections and a national minimum standard for providers would be covered by councils’ existing obligations. The DfE thereafter wisely remarked “It was nonsense to suggest that private-sector and voluntary organisations cannot provide good-quality services for children” and that the suggested change in policy was first explored under the last government. Trial runs in six areas in which the private sector was involved, inspected by Ofsted, were set up as a response to concerns that social workers were overburdened and unable to dedicate enough time to supporting children in care. However, the evaluation, published last year, displayed mixed results, yet no better outcomes for children in social care. In addition, the study, published last year in the Children and Youth Services Review, concluded: “While the independent sector is often the setting for innovation, the public sector continues to function as a repository for a wide range of expertise and resources. It is also more likely to offer continuity of knowledge, skills and care and, in this respect, it may be better placed to respond to the uncertainly that characterises the needs of children in out-of-home care.”
Paedophilia and the Removal of Children
The recent accusation of paedophilia, involving a Coronation Street celebrity. As the fourth actor within the series, this accusation was plastered all over the Sun and the Mirror. Ultimately, it was revealed that he was participating in an extramarital affair on the dates he was accused of having molested a young girl between the age of 4 and 8. Consequently, it was published in an article of the mirror that the mother of the child had orchestrated the entire event in association with a paedophile ring. The actor was subsequently cleared of all charges. Coincidence or a single phenomenon? I think not.
According to the Dailymail, one of the country’s leading judges insists the Press must be allowed into family courts to prevent miscarriages of justice. Sir James Munby, head of the family courts, stated that without “the jealous vigilance of an informed media”, families will inevitably suffer irreversible injustices. Yesterday, he cited two cases in which social workers wrongly seized children from their parents as “a dreadful warning” of what can occur when courts operate behind closed doors. Sir James, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, also called for the opening up of the Court of Protection. The secretive court, which settles the affairs of those that have lost the capacity to decide for themselves. He explained, the routine ban on journalists at its hearings must be removed. His is phonecall seven months after the Daily Mail revealed that a judge at the Court of Protection had secretly ordered a woman to be jailed as she defied his ruling by trying to get her father out of a care home, in which she thought his life was in danger. Wanda Maddocks was imprisoned without her name or any details of her contempt of court being made known to the public, and without a lawyer to represent her. Senior judges later proclaimed that no human should be jailed in secret.
A recent article by Dave Bohon in the New American’ displayed that legalizing pedophilia is a continued effort which, thanks to certain conservative groups such as Liberty Counsel and the American Family Association are coming to light. Matt Staver of the pro-family Liberty Counsel has rightly pointed out: “if reclassifying pedophilia was merely an ‘error,’ it would have been caught in the ‘decade’s journey.’ Whether it is classified a ‘sexual orientation’ or a ‘sexual interest,’ any effort to legitimize pedophilia will provide pederasts with all the arguments they need to remove age of consent laws, and children will suffer.”
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, a 63 year old, recently explained what he described as a “child-rape assembly line” among sects of fundamentalist Jews. A member of Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidim fundamentalist branch of Orthodox Judaism, Nuchem designs and repairs mikvahs in compliance with Torah Law. The mikvah is a ritual Jewish bathhouse used for purification. Devout Jews are required to cleanse themselves in the mikvah on a variety of occasions: women must visit following menstruation, and men have to make an appearance before the High Holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Many of the devout also purify themselves before and after the act of sex and before the Sabbath. On a visit to Jerusalem in 2005, Rabbi Rosenberg entered into a mikvah in one of the holiest neighborhoods in the city, Mea She’arim. “I opened a door that entered into a schvitz,” he told me. “Vapors everywhere, I can barely see. My eyes adjust, and I see an old man, my age, long white beard, a holy-looking man, sitting in the vapors. On his lap, facing away from him, is a boy, maybe seven years old. And the old man is having anal sex with this boy.” Rosenberg stated “This boy was speared on the man like an animal, like a pig, and the boy was saying nothing. But on his face, there was fear. The old man looked at me without any fear, as if this was common practice. He didn’t stop. I was so angry, I confronted him. He removed the boy from his penis, and I took the boy aside. I told this man, ‘It’s a sin before God, a mishkovzucher. What are you doing to this boy’s soul? You’re destroying this boy!’ He had a sponge on a stick to clean his back, and he hit me across the face with it. ‘How dare you interrupt me!’ he said. I had heard of these things for a long time, but now I had seen.”
The child sex abuse crisis in ultra-Orthodox Judaism, like that in the Catholic Church, has produced its share of shocking headlines in recent years. In New York, and in the prominent Orthodox communities of Israel and London, allegations of child molestation and rape have been rampant. The alleged abusers are schoolteachers, rabbis, fathers, uncles and figures of male authority. The victims, like those of Catholic priests, are mostly boys. Rabbi Rosenberg believes around half of young males in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, the largest in the United States and one of the largest in the world, have been victims of sexual assault perpetrated by their elders. Ben Hirsch, director of Survivors for Justice, a Brooklyn organization that advocates for Orthodox sex abuse victims, thinks the real number is higher. “From anecdotal evidence, we’re looking at over 50 percent. It has almost become a rite of passage.” Ultra-Orthodox Jews that speak the truth about this continued abuse are ruined and condemned to exile by their own community. Dr. Amy Neustein, a nonfundamentalist Orthodox Jewish sociologist and editor of Tempest in the Temple: Jewish Communities and Child Sex Scandals, revealed the story of a series of Hasidic mothers in Brooklyn that complained that their children were being preyed on by their husbands. In these cases, the accused men “very quickly and effectively engage the rabbis, the Orthodox politicians, and powerful Orthodox rabbis who donate handsomely to political clubs.” The goal, she told me, is “to excise the mother from the child’s life.” Rabbinical courts cast the mothers aside, and the effects are permanent. The mother is “amputated.” One woman befriended by Dr. Neustein, a music student at a college outside New York, lost contact with all six of her children, including an infant she was breastfeeding at the time of their separation.
Seven years ago, Rabbi Rosenberg started blogging about sex abuse in his community and opened a New York City hotline to field sex abuse complaints. He has posted appeals on YouTube, appeared on CNN, and given speeches across the US, Canada, Israel, and Australia. For this he is reviled, slandered, hated, feared. He receives death threats on a regular basis. In Yiddish and Hebrew newspapers, advertisements taken out by the self-described “great rabbis and rabbinical judges of the city of New York” have denounced him as “a stumbling block for the House of Israel,” “a public rebuker and preacher of ethics” who “persists in his rebelliousness” and whose “voice has been heard among many Jewish families, especially young people in their innocence drawn to listen to his poisonous and revolting speeches.” Leaflets distributed in Williamsburg and Borough Park, the centers of ultra-Orthodoxy in Brooklyn, display his bearded face over the body of a writhing snake. “Corrupt Informer,” reads one of the leaflets, followed by the declaration that Rabbi Rosenberg’s “name should rot in hell forever. They should cut him off from all four corners of the earth.”
NBC News reported that nearly 400 children were rescued and 348 adults arrested following an expansive and “extraordinary” international child pornography investigation by the Canadian police. The three-year project, named Project Spade, began when undercover officers with the Toronto Police Service Child Exploitation service made contact with a Toronto man allegedly sharing “very graphic images” of child sexual abuse in Oct. 2010, Toronto Police Service Chief William Blair stated at a press conference. Police stated their investigation revealed an entire child film production and distribution company in Toronto operating via the web site azovfilms.com. The site was run by 42-year old Brian Way, distributing images of child exploitation to individuals across the globe. Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins, head of Toronto’s Sex Crimes Unit, stated that they enlisted the help of the United States Postal Inspection Service since countless of the videos were being exported to the U.S. and began a joint investigation. After a seven-month long investigation, officers executed search warrants across the city of Toronto including at the business, located in the city’s West End. Investigators catalogued hundreds of thousands of images and videos of “horrific sexual acts against very young children, some of the worst they have ever viewed,” Inspector Beaven-Desjardins said at the press conference. Police seized over 45 terabytes of data from the $4-million business that distributed to over 50 counties including Australia, Spain, Mexico, Sweden and Greece.
As a result of the investigation thus far, 50 people were arrested in Ontario, 58 in the rest of Canada, 76 in the United States, and 164 internationally. What was most alarming, Inspector Beaven-Desjardins said, was that many of the arrests were of people who worked with or closely interacted with children. Among those arrested were 40 school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, six law enforcement personnel, nine pastors and priests and three foster parents, she said. Citing a particularly egregious example, she explained police found over 350,000 images and over 9,000 videos of child sexual abuse in the home of a retired Canadian school teacher. Certain images were of children known to the man and he was also charged with sexually abusing a child relative. The inspector said an indispensable aspect to the success of the operation and the rescue of 386 children from child exploitation was the expansive cooperation between Toronto police and organizations worldwide. “This confirms that when we work together regardless of the borders that divide us we can successfully take down those who not only prey on our most vulnerable but also profit from it,” she said. Police said the children were “rescued from child exploitation” but did not give more details. Way was charged with 24 counts, including possession of, distribution of, and importing and exporting child pornography. The police, however, concluded that the investigation is ongoing and more arrests could follow.