Why Does God Allow Abuse?

Why does something as cruel as abuse occur under the watchful eyes of our Father? These acts are witnessed on a daily basis; some have even experienced them firsthand and naturally we ask, why?

Dr. Josh McDowell was a victim of abuse for seven long years. When he was able to put an end to it he was left with one question, why did God permit it? He sought out the answer by reading God’s word. Years of research led him to a realization and a conclusion that he enthusiastically discusses with everyone. Share his testimony to help others heal.

Girl, 5, raped and flogged for being late for dinner at foster home, inquiry told

Girl, 5, raped and flogged for being late for dinner at foster home, inquiry told

State of NSW resisted accepting liability for abuse at Bethcar children’s home despite one manager being jailed for 30 years

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is currently examining events that occurred at the Bethcar children’s home in Brewarrina, NSW.

A girl who was physically and sexually abused from the age of five until 15 by her foster parents at a home for Indigenous children was also lied to and convinced to be so terrified of her biological parents she would not speak to them, the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has heard.

Kathleen Biles and two of her siblings were made wards of the state and sent to live at the Bethcar Children’s Home in Brewarrina in remote northern NSW more than 30 years ago.

The state-funded home was run by Burt and Edith Gordon and their son-in-law Colin Gibson from 1969 to 1989.

The royal commission is examining how complaints of abuse at the home were handled, with an emphasis on the “protracted” litigation procedure when civil proceedings were brought by fifteen former residents of Bethcar against the State.

Biles told the public hearing in Sydney on Wednesday that she had learned from her department of child services (Docs) file that her mother had tried to get the children back, but her father thought they were better cared for at Bethcar, and that he “trusted” the foster parents, Burt and Edith Gordon.

Gibson was jailed in 2007 on two separate sentences of 12 years and 18 years for offences against a number of girls.

Biles told the commission her first memory of abuse was at the age of five when she went to the Gordons’ to complain of a headache.

“Before Edith could say anything, Burt held up the blanket he was under and said words to the effect ‘come under the blanket with daddy. Daddy will make it better’,” said Biles.

Burt Gordon then sexually assaulted her. Edith Gordon seemed “completely indifferent”, said Biles. When she started crying, Edith Gordon said “what’s wrong with you you naughty little girl” and Burt Gordon invited her under the blanket again.

Edith Gordon told her to go to Burt Gordon but she said no, so the woman physically beat her.

“Later I learned from experience that Edith would respond like this every time we told her that we had been abused,” said Biles.

The children were also told that their parents did not want them. Burt Gordon would tell the children their parents were evil and alcoholic, and threatened to send the children back to them if they misbehaved, said Biles.

“I was terrified of my biological parents because of what he said,” she told the hearing.

When her parents came to see her at school one day and called out to her, she was too scared to go to them.

Biles detailed numerous horrific instances of the decade-long abuse which she said made her feel “violated” and like “nowhere was safe, even if other people were there”.

No case was taken against Burt Gordon, who was old and unwell at the time of the investigation. He has since died.

The royal commission is hearing from a number of witnesses, including six former residents of Bethcar.

Another five-year-old girl was raped and then flogged when she was late for dinner after she was placed in Bethcar at the age of two or three. The abuse began soon after. The girl, given the pseudonym AIQ for legal reasons, told no one until she was in her late 30s.

Children who went to police and NSW welfare officers with allegations of abuse were returned to the home where they were beaten, the commission heard.

As the hearing began in Sydney, the commission was told the state of NSW had for years resisted accepting liability for any abuse and disputed for four years that it had occurred – even after Gibson was jailed.

When 13 former residents came forward in 2008 to sue the state, the Crown Solicitor’s office employed solicitor Evangelos Manollaras and junior counsel Patrick Saidi to handle the case.

Counsel assisting the commission, David Lloyd, said Manollaras doubted the abuse had happened and at one stage wrote “... in fact, I’m having some difficulty in having understanding how a jury convicted Gibson”.

There were years of delay and legal tactics. Saidi was highly critical of the Women’s Legal Service, which was supporting some victims, the inquiry was told.

Lloyd also said that when the plaintiffs requested an acknowledgment and a modest amount of money, Mallollaras expressed the view that “firstly I don’t ever recall the state apologising for anything, secondly as to the sexual assaults, I have a very strong doubt that anything occurred at all in most cases”.

In one email Manollaras raised the “possibility of undertaking some surveillance” on at least some of the plaintiffs and suggested an initial compensation budget of $20,000-$30,000.

The case was settled at the beginning of 2014, with each plaintiff getting $107,142 with the state to pay legal costs.

The state had spent almost $1m defending it.

The hearing continues.

theguardian.com

A version of this column originally appeared in:

ADOPTED-Alleged abuse victim liked to ‘concentration camp survivor’

PEORIA, AZ (CBS5) - A Peoria couple face felony child abuse charges after two of their adoptive daughters outlined a pattern of ongoing physical and psychological abuse at the hands of their parents that began five years ago as an attempt, the mother said, to "train" the girls to be "loving and nurturing."

Johann Jorg admitted to spanking two of his adoptive children with a wooden paddle. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

Johann Jorg admitted to spanking two of his adoptive children with a wooden paddle. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

Johann Glenn Jorg, 61, and his wife, Kimery Lynn Jorg, 53, were arrested Thursday afternoon at their home in the area of the Loop 101 Agua Fria Freeway and Bell Road in Peoria. Each face four charges of felony intentional child abuse with intent, according to a police statement.

The Jorgs are the adoptive parents of four girls, ages 7, 8, 11 and 13 years old.

The 11- and 13-year-olds were found by police to be severely malnourished and emaciated, according to the statement.

The 13-year-old was hospitalized May 30 and in a condition likened to a "concentration camp survivor." She was severely malnourished and medical personnel were wary of re-feeding syndrome, a dangerous condition when a malnourished person begins to receive proper nutrition, according to the statement. She remained in the hospital Friday morning.

The girl also had abnormal growths on her legs, severe "leathering of the skin on her buttocks due to repeated beatings, and calloused and blistered feet consistent with running on the pavement barefoot, according to the statement.

Kimery Jorg said she doled out most of the punishment to the girls because she was home most of the time. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

Kimery Jorg said she doled out most of the punishment to the girls because she was home most of the time. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

The 13- and 11-year-old girls told police they were forced to run several hours a day, were spanked several times a day with a wooden paddle, and forced to memorize, recite and repeatedly write Bible verses without any mistakes or suffer further punishment, according to an investigating officer's statement. The oldest was also forced to live in the backyard nude with only a bucket to use as a bathroom, according to the statement.

According to Child Protective Services, all potential foster parents are required to complete 30-hours of training including lessons on appropriate and acceptable discipline techniques. CPS Spokeswoman Jennifer Bowser said these were lessons the Jorgs should have completed and understood as former foster parents.

Neither parent denied punishing the two for lying and stealing, and acknowledged that Kimery Jorg doled out most of the punishment because she was home with the children and that Johann Jorg spanked the children with the wooden paddle and recently shaved the head of the 13-year-old, according to the statement.

The parents admitted the girls were often spanked several times a day over their clothes.

Neither parent was able to describe to police actual instances of the girls stealing anything, though Kimery Jorg said a single Mentos breath mint was missing during a trip to Colorado and that 22 items from a relative's house were stolen during the trip, though she could not detail any of the items.

The parents said they often "suspected" the children were stealing, and the 13-year-old said she once was caught taking food because she was hungry.

The 13-year-old also said she was forced to eat "prison food" consisting of oatmeal for breakfast, prunes and crackers for lunch and grits with salsa for dinner, according to the report.

Read more at: Alleged abuse victim liked to 'concentration camp survivor' - WNEM TV 5:

 

A version of this column originally appeared in:

Foster mother arrested after 19-month-old boy found with third-degree burns on legs: prosecutors

Shirley Verneus, 35, was charged with assault for allegedly scalding the toddler insider her Queens home.

Laurent Hamels/Getty Images

Laurent Hamels/Getty Images

Shirley Verneus, 35, was charged with assault after the toddler was discovered with the serious injuries during a visit with his biological parents.

A Queens foster mother was arrested for scalding a 19-month-old boy with boiling water until his skin peeled off, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Shirley Verneus, 35, was charged with assault for the disturbing incident in a tub at her St. Albans home.

“The child will be permanently scarred — both physically and emotionally — by the experience,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The alleged abuse came to light when Verneus brought little Jaurelious Green for a meeting with his biological parents at the St. Christopher Ottile Foster Agency on Jan. 17. A case worker saw bandages on the boy’s legs and asked what happened.

The foster mom replied that she had left the toddler unattended in the bathtub with a 3-year-old two days earlier, court papers said.

She heard screams, then saw him in the tub with the water running and “observed the complainant’s skin peeling off,” according to the criminal complaint.

While Verneus claimed that she took the child to a clinic, she couldn’t show any record proving that, nor did she report the injuries to the foster agency, according to prosecutors.

And a doctor told investigators the second- and third-degree burns “from the top of his thighs down to the soles of his feet on both legs” and on his buttocks were more than a week old, the complaint said.

Jaurelious had to undergo surgeries and the delayed medical care exposed him to the risk of infections and other complications.

 

A version of this column originally appeared in:

Report: Mass. not attentive to core issues behind child welfare cases

Little Jeremiah

Little Jeremiah

STATE HOUSE -- While the Department of Children and Families mishandled the case of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver, a new independent review of the child welfare agency absolved the department of direct responsibility for the boy's death in a report outlining systemic staffing, policy and technology shortcomings.

The Patrick administration planned on Wednesday to release the final report from the Child Welfare League of America, which the state hired to examine the embattled child welfare agency. Gov. Deval Patrick, who is traveling in Israel on a business development trade mission, asked the organization to conduct a review of the department following well-documented lapses in case management that led, in the case of the 5-year-old Oliver, to the department losing track of the boy whose body was found on the side of a highway in Sterling last month.

"While there is significant evidence that some DCF staff did not do their jobs in the Oliver case, there is not evidence that DCF's actions and failures caused Jeremiah's death. DCF and many of the adults in Jeremiah's life failed to protect him," the report's authors wrote.

The findings of the report, a summary of which was provided to the News Service, build on preliminary recommendations offered in March by CWLA including a redistricting of DCF offices to balance social worker caseloads and the need to deploy more technology for use by social workers.

Many of those suggestions are in the process of being implemented, including hiring, though caseloads remain at an all-time high for the past 20 years fueled by increased substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence concerns and increased reporting from the community and "heightened vigilance" at DCF.

The report said Jeremiah's siblings have received "excellent supports and services" since being taken into DCF custody and are being given "everything they need to overcome the trauma of their experiences and the loss of their brother."

Patrick and the Legislature have been pouring new resources into DCF this year to facilitate hiring to lower caseloads, but CWLA suggests that recommended hiring of additional managerial staff, caseworkers, and specialists in substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence counseling will require "additional funding, beyond what has been recommended in the FY15 budget proposals."

The report also recommends increased funding for substance abuse treatment.

"To prevent the deaths of children, like Jeremiah, who come to the attention of DCF because of allegations of abuse and neglect, we must look beyond DCF itself; we must address the core issues that lead children and families to need DCF's intervention and services," the report said. "For many years, Massachusetts has not been attentive enough to these issues."

The Child Welfare League recommends that DCF continue to screen in for full investigation any report alleging abuse or neglect of a child 5-years-old or younger with young parents or parents with a history of drug abuse, domestic violence or mental health issues. The practice was put into place following the disappearance of Oliver.

 

A version of this column originally appeared in: