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Child abuse a growing problem

published: Wednesday | July 4, 2007

ALTHOUGH THERE has been an emergence of children's rights groups in Jamaica during the last decade, many Jamaicans say child abuse remains a big problem in this country. A Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson poll found that 58 per cent of 1,008 persons interviewed on June 18 and 19 in the 14 parishes, strongly agreed when asked the question: It is said that there is too much child abuse in Jamaica, do you agree? There was a fairly large gender gap, however, as, of those women polled, 68 per cent strongly agreed while 49 per cent of the men strongly agreed. The poll had an error margin of plus or minus three per cent. The margin between persons who agreed was considerably smaller, with women accounting for 33 per cent of the respondents. Twenty-eight per cent of males agreed. Too much child abuse Six per cent disagreed that there is too much child abuse; two per cent strongly agreed. Three per cent said they did not know enough to comment. Betty-Ann Blaine, chairperson of Hear the Children's Cry, said many of Jamaica's children suffer at the hands of predators. "We are hearing more cases of rape and carnal abuse, but there's definitely a gap in cases being reported and not reported," Ms. Blaine said. "Cases on the books really do not reflect the true picture." On June 12, the first annual report of the Office of the Children's Advocate showed there were 1,185 cases of rape of young girls and carnal abuse in Jamaica in 2006.

NOTE-WORTHY: Child abuse

published: Friday | May 9, 2008

Child abuse I am appalled at the overwhelming number of child-abuse cases, 700 so far, up to May 6. I believe sexual assault on a minor should be penalised with 25 years to life in prison. I'm a grandfather six times over and a great-grandfather once, and I looked after everyone without abusing any. Incidentally, I was married underage but was determined to prove I could be a great father, and I did, since two of my children have master's degrees and the third is doing her master's, too. I hope and pray that Jamaican parents will come to their senses and understand that when we abuse our children it leaves a mark on them for life. - C. Elswick,, Washington, DC, Via Go-Jamaica

War on sex abuse - Gov't creates child crisis hotline to beef up crime unit
published: Wednesday | October 15, 2008

Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday instructed the task force on child abuse prevention to move immediately to implement the recommended short-term initiatives to address the crisis of violence against children. The immediate strategies to be implemented will include moves to establish a three-digit emergency number whereby children in crisis can call and report cases of abuse. The task force met yesterday afternoon at Jamaica House with Golding; Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Olivia Grange; and Health Minister Ruddy Spencer. The task force representatives are drawn from several government ministries and agencies, the Cabinet Office and the Opposition. The group presented a number of short-, medium- and long-term measures to curb child abuse Cable and cellular providers will be required to work in association with the Constabulary Communication Network to display photographs and carry information on missing children. The Ministry of National Security has been instructed to strengthen the capacity of its Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse. Strategies to better protect the country's children. Grange advised the meeting that several cable stations have already committed to supporting a public education programme to help in the campaign to protect the nation's children. Golding instructed the Child Development Agency, through its chief executive officer, Alison Anderson, to provide each agency with a breakdown of their specific recommendations so that a plan of action can be developed for implementation. The agencies are to meet within the next two weeks when the prime minister will be provided with their plans of action to deal with the issues of child abuse and protection of children. Sexual Offences Bill Meanwhile, the Sexual Offences Bill is to be brought before Cabinet within the next two weeks. It fell off Parliament's Order Paper after the House was dissolved for the 2007 general election. A National Advisory Council to administer the provisions of the Child Care and Protection Act is also to be brought to Cabinet within the next two weeks. The Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention was estab-lished by Golding a week ago following a series of horrific attacks against the nation's children. Ananda Dean, an 11-year-old St Andrew girl, disappeared in September after leaving school for home. A body believed to be that of the child was found on September 28 but the police are still awaiting DNA test results to confirm the identity.

Days later, a nine-month-old boy was sodomised and later died and a 10-year-old girl was raped in Trench Town St Andrew after returning from the shop. More than 56 children have been murdered since the start of the year.

Complaints of child abuse flood Children's Advocate

published: Thursday | February 23, 2006

Petrina Francis, Education Reporter CHILDREN'S ADVOCATE Mary Clarke says her office has been flooded with complaints of abuse against children, including a serious allegation of abuse by a government agency. The Office of the Children's Advocate was created out of the Child Care and Protection Act. The Children's Advocate is responsible for investigating and representing cases of violation of children's rights, and various forms of crimes and abuses against the nation's children. The Children's Advocate also serves as the watchdog for agencies and organisations which are responsible for the island's children. "People have been calling and writing in and I have been getting a lot of complaints including two against schools, one to do with child labour, HIV/AIDS issues and one of a serious nature made against a government organisation," Mrs. Clarke told The Gleaner yesterday. DECLINED TO COMMENT She, however, declined to comment on the nature of the complaints. The office of the Children's Advocate was temporarily being operated out of the Ministry of Health, but was removed because critics have been arguing that it should be an independent office. The office is now temporarily located at 60 Knutsford Boulevard. Mrs. Clarke explained that the National Land Agency is assisting her to find a permanent building. The Children's Advocate, who reports directly to Parliament, said she is in the process of recruiting staff but is in the meantime getting legal advice from the Attorney-General's office for cases brought against institutions or persons outside of the government. She noted that the Office of the Public Defender was handling complaints, brought against the government. Persons who wish to make complaints on behalf of children can contact the Office of the Children's Advocate at 926-7584, ext 232.

Parents must do more for kids

published: Tuesday | October 14, 2008

The Editor, Sir: I would like to add my 'bit' to the ensuing 'debates' surrounding the care and protection of our children. Child abuse in any form is not new in our Jamaican society, neither are missing children. The recent arguments put forward by various people and groups are somehow treading a political line. The argument put forward that Government is not doing enough to protect our children has

some merits, but what are we as parents and citizens doing? Government cannot legislate parental care and protection. Childhood Parents need to play a more active role in the lives of their children. Many parents are robbing children of their childhood, we dress our little girls like they are auditioning for a role as an exotic performer, and buy the most violent video games for the boys. We use material possessions to replace love, care and protection and are so caught up in our own lives that we neglect our children. We need to stop calling on Government to do everything, Government did not bring our children into this world, we did, and we need to start taking a stand for our children. What can you do to protect your child. Is buying that extra hair extension, cosmetic, lotto ticket, cash pot etc, worth more than getting someone trustworthy and reliable to take your child to and from school? Legislation Crimes against children and the population in general, sad to say, will continue because we allow it. We turn a blind eye, a deaf ear and become mute when we see crime of any form happening around us. No one wants to get involved, that is until it happens to us. Government can enact legislation from now to eternity, but until we stop being blind, deaf and mute it will not make a difference. Parents, guardians, everyone stand up and play your part in protecting our children. I am, etc., JADE JULY

Child Abuse: An Overview > Effects of Child Abuse on Children: Abuse in General
Children suffering abuse develop a range of maladaptive, anti-social and self-destructive behaviors and thoughts by trying to cope with the abuse - by trying to understand the situation and why the abuse is happening. Think of it like this: a person is robbed and beaten while walking down the street at night. In trying to deal with the situation, the person thinks, "I shouldn't have walked down that street," or "I shouldn't have been there at that time of night," or "I should have walked with more confidence," or "I shouldn't have made eye contact," or "I should have given in quicker," or "I should have fought back," or any number of other ideas. The point is the person feels a sense of control over the situation if they can blame themselves or something they did for the attack. Instead of the world being a dangerous place where violence occurs at random, the world becomes a safe place within certain behavioral parameters.

Children experience the same kinds of thoughts when they suffer abuse, except they are much more immature and often make much less sense because the violence is occuring in their own family, and nothing makes sense in that situation. And the abuse suffered by children occurs much more frequently. If the adult in the above example is attacked and mugged every week despite changing their behavior each time, it won't be long before the person starts coming up with bizarre explanations for the violence and becomes afraid to leave the house entirely. If the person has a chance to talk with the attacker after every attack (like in cartoons where the rabbit asks the fox "why did you attack me?" and the fox comes up with a different silly reason each time or like in child abuse where the victim and the perpetrator interact constantly) the person will be sent through a psychological maze of smoke and mirrors leading to any number of bizarre ideas about how to avoid the attack next week. By coming up with ideas about what they did to cause the abuse and what they can do differently to avoid the abuse, children also develop a range of maladaptive behaviors which can become pathological problems. In addition to distorting children's thoughts, abuse also forces children into a position of having to "hide the family secret". This prevents children from having real relationships and has life-long effects. And because our ability to form healthy social relationships is learned, abused children are deprived of many skills necessary to navigate the social world. Their entire concept of a relationship is distorted. This leads to problematic relationships in life and even on the job. Another disturbing aspect of abuse is the experiential restraint it puts on children. If a child fears doing anything new because of the chance that it will lead to a violent attack or because an abusive parent keeps extremely tight control over them, the child will lose his or her sense of curiosity and wonder at the world and will stop trying new things and exercising his or her mind. That child will never achieve his or her intellectual potential. Another aspect of abuse which cannot be ignored is the physical stress it puts on a child. Multiple exposures to violence and trauma cause what's known as autonomic and endocrine hyperarousal. Basically it means the victim gets stressed out. When a person experiences this hyperarousal over and over again, there are permanent physiological changes. These changes can be seen as over-reactions to stimuli, as in being easily startled especially by things that remind the victim of the original event; generally being emotionally numb; craving high-risk, stimulating, or dangerous experiences or selfinjury; difficulties in attention and concentration; cardiovascular problems; and immune suppression which leads to a higher risk for colds and more severe illnesses.3 There is a long list of outcomes for children experiencing abuse. They range from mild, almost unnoticeable personality effects to full-blown breakdowns in healthy functioning. The point is that abuse increases a child's risk of developing a number of health and psychological problems, and as such Ill list a few:

Effects of child abuse:

Academic difficulties; Agressive behavior; Alcohol and/or other drug abuse; Anxiety; Attention problems; Bad dreams; Bed wetting; Behavior problems; Chronic pain; Compulsive sexual behaviors; Concentration problems; Dangerous behavior such as speeding; Dehydration; Depression; Dissociative states; Eating disorders; Failure to thrive; Fear or shyness; Fear of certain adults or places; Frequent injuries; Insomnia; Learning problems; Lying; Malnutrition; Oppositionality; Panic attacks; Physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches; Repeated self-injury; Risky sexual behaviors; Running away; Self neglect; Separation anxiety; Sexual dysfunction; Sleep disorders; Social withdrawal; Stealing; Stuttering; Substance abuse; Suicide attempts; Thumb-sucking or any age-inappropriate behavior; Truancy.2,3,6,15 Children have different levels of resiliency or hardiness and different personality attributes, so different children respond differently to similarly abusive situations. That's why the lists of warning signs above seems so general. None of the symptoms above is diagnostic of child abuse - i.e., the presence of any of the signs above does not prove that abuse has occurred. Also, a child may endure abuse without developing any of the symptoms above. Abuse simply increases the risk for all of the symptoms. Basically, children are supposed to learn everything they need to thrive in this world from their caretakers. Abusive parents provide the opposite of what children need. Instead of teaching and nurturing growth, they distort and destroy.

From: Written by Referring to this article: "Child Abuse: An Overview" was written by C. J. Newton, MA, Learning Specialist and published in the Find (formerly Mental Health Journal in April, 2001. About Us Since our inception in 1996, the Find Network has become a trusted resource for those in need of mental health services. Our private, secure online directory enables users to find the therapist who is right for them, with just a few clicks of a mouse. Read more about us below.

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SEO Expert C. J. Newton

C. J. Newton is co-founder and CEO of Mir Internet Marketing, a comprehensive Internet marketing firm founded in 1996. C. J. is a recognized SEO expert and leads our team in providing expert search engine optimization services to a wide range of businesses. C. J. is active in the business community in Chicago and in the SEO community worldwide, and he volunteers his time and expertise to a number of organizations. He sits on the Membership Committee of the Chicago Software Association and is an Advisory Board member for the Technology Executives Club, providing technology and marketing guidance to the organization. He is also an Advisory Board member of El Bosque Nuevo, a not-for-profit organization working to preserve tropical rainforest areas in Costa Rica by preserving plant and animal species, sustaining human cultures, repairing ecosystems, and meeting human needs. C. J. is active in working to create a set of standards and best practices in the SEO industry. He is the chairman of the Directory and Client Services Committee and sits on the executive board of, the standard-setting organization of search engine optimization specialists. is the only organization of search engine optimization specialists which holds its members to documented standards of professional behavior. Through the SEO certification program, C. J. provides instruction in SEO marketing to those wishing to learn SEO. He is the author of a best practices in SEO white paper, Guide to Search Engine Optimization, published in

the Best Practices in Internet Marketing section of the American Marketing Association's Website. C. J. has researched search extensively, and acts as the primary author of our website content, including the Search Engine Marketing FAQ and our Search Engine Optimization Guide.

C. J. Newtons Summary
At Mir Internet Marketing, we are focused almost exclusively on growing our custom search engine optimization division, SEO Logic Search Engine Optimization and Placement Services. We successfully partner with web designers, Internet marketing firms, and search engine marketing (PPC) firms to provide their clients with best practices SEO services. I am the author of all of the search engine optimization tips and resources on our site,, and am the author of the best practices white paper, "Guide to Search Engine Optimization" published by the American Marketing Association. At Mir, I am focused on growing our successful marketing company and on maintaining our position as leaders in the field of organic search engine optimization.

C. J. Newtons Specialties:
Search engine optimization, accessible websites, pure CSS web development, good Internet citizenship.

C. J. Newtons Experience
Chief Strategy Officer

Mir Internet Marketing, Inc.

(Marketing and Advertising industry) September 2008 Present (7 months)

CEO and President

Mir Internet Marketing, Inc.

(Marketing and Advertising industry) July 1996 September 2008 (12 years 3 months)


Institute for ADD & Learning

(Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Mental Health Care industry) June 1994 July 1996 (2 years 2 months)

Learning Disabilities Specialist

North Shore Center for Behavioral Medicine

(Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Mental Health Care industry) October 1991 June 1994 (2 years 9 months)

C. J. Newtons Education
Northwestern University - The Graduate School
MA, Learning Disabilities, 1990 1991

Northwestern University
BS, Learning Disabilities, September 1986 June 1990

James W. Prescott, Ph. D., American scientist. Speciality Disciplines: Developmental Neuropsychology; Psychophysiology; CrossCultural Psychology; Health Psychology; Quantitative Methods. 1966-80 Health Scientist Administrator, Developmental Behavioral Biology Program, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health In this function, Dr. Prescott conducted important research on the origins of violence. He found out that somato-sensory deprivation, i.e. the failure of infant physical affection and the deprivation of sexual pleasure, leads to violence and other aggressive behavior.

James W. Prescott, Ph.D., was a health scientist administrator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), one of the Institutes of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1966 to 1980. He created and directed the Developmental Behavioral Biology Program at the NICHD where he initiated NICHD supported research programs that documented how the failure of "Mother Love" in infant monkeys adversely affected the biological development of their brains. These astonishing abnormal brain changes underlie the behaviors of depression, impulse dyscontrol and violence that result from mother-infant separations. James Prescott is a developmental neuropsychologist and cross-cultural psychologist who received his doctorate in psychology from McGill University, Montreal, P.Q. Canada. He served as Assistant Head, Psychology Branch, Office of Naval Research (1963-1966); as Health Scientist Administrator, Developmental Behavioral Biology Program, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH (1966 -1980); and President, Maryland Psychological Association (1970-1971). He was the recipient of the "Outstanding Contributons to Psychology Award," Maryland Psychological Association (1977); and the Cine Golden Eagle Award, for his contributions, as Scientific Director, of the award winning Time-Life film, "Rock A Bye Baby" (1971). Dr. Prescott has given expert testimony on the origins of human violence, particularly domestic violence, before the Senate of Canada, the U.S. Congress and many other legislative and professional organizations.