Stop Child Abuse – Advocates for Reform and Safety

WELCOME TO SCAARS

SCAARS is a non-profit corporation which seeks to improve the laws pertaining to child abuse, mandatory reporting, the applicable statutes of limitations, as well as court outcomes in the judicial process.

SCAARS is the result of determined individuals who have dedicated their time to reforming policies which place children in danger. Whether due to religious indoctrination or institutional policies which endanger children, our goal is to make our world a safer place for children.

Changing Laws – Changing Lives

We believe a diverse coalition of organizations and individuals can be united. “Changing Laws – Changing Lives” is a realistic purpose. We do not seek to compete with existing groups who have passionately worked for years in this effort.  SCAARS will support and continue to learn from them.

SCAARS is optimistic that a grassroots movement will promote solutions. As more people comprehend the issues, their passion will grow in support of remedies. The saying, “Half of the solution to a problem is knowing what the problem is”, will factor into the growth of our grassroots activism. Exponential growth occurs when each individual shares knowledge with others.

Reporting abuse is the key to prevention and the beginning of healing.

Child abuse spreads to new victims when the perpetrator is not reported to the authorities.  Our website provides practical information to assist understanding why child abuse is hidden from the authorities.  Why do parents cooperate with an institution’s influence not to report the criminal act of child abuse? How is it possible that parents, by not reporting years of abuse of their children, deny their loved ones the means to deal with the trauma resulting from child sex abuse? We seek to enlighten a grassroots movement.

Mandatory reporting, education, background checks, providing “child safe institutions”, and statutes of limitations, are areas in which laws need to be improved.  Culture change is a necessary step to the solution. SCAARS recognizes that “Changing Laws, Changing Lives” and “Culture Change” are long-term transformations.

With its 501(c)(4) tax status, SCAARS can accept non-deductible contributions to lobby State Legislatures nationwide, as well as Governors and Congress, to enact needed reforms and improvements. We are building a team of attorneys and paralegals to work with staff members in critical offices around the country and the world to refine language and prepare court cases to effect the needed change. We welcome your participation and support, beginning here.

You are welcome to use this brochure to help spread our message:

Blog Highlights

For ALL articles, select BLOG from the menu above.


Why I am a SCAARS Supporter

by B.P. in Illinois

My father was a man of great integrity who abhorred religious hypocrisy. In his youth, he boldly marched in front of churches in Brooklyn, NY, with a sign that read, “Religion is a Snare and a Racket.” He never backed down from speaking against the piousness of the clergy or the sins they committed in God’s name. As a matter of fact, it was his favorite subject!

Therefore, I was raised with the conviction that devotion to God and to truth was to be first in my life. Whenever I had any questions, Dad would always tell me to do the research. He was convinced that he had found “the truth” and it could stand up to any scrutiny. “Don’t take my word for it – look it up.” he’d say.

Read entire article here


Should Confessions to Clergy Be Exempted from Mandatory Reporting of Child Sex Abuse?

The history of confession, along with the penance and absolution it achieves in the mind of the believer, is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Exodus chapter 21, which immediately follows the Ten Commandments, gives priests authority to adjudicate cases of wrongful death, with the power to set a compensation price on the value of a life. In this tribal desert setting, the priesthood held the rights and duties of the State’s interest in administration of law over life and death matters, inheritance, crimes and punishments.

By the Christian era, the Roman authority and law code had become the State’s interest, with permission given to local religious bodies for adjudication of cases, but not capital punishment or judgments against Roman citizens. However, the path to absolution from sin, redemption and salvation in the Christian faith was through open confession and penance as evidence for repentance. The early congregations had religious authority to expel members from the congregation for gross sins (1 Cor 5) or to re-instate them on the basis of being “grieved into repentance.”1

By the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, Canon 13 gave priests of the church the power to absolve sins at a death-bed confession and change the penitent’s outcome from damnation to salvation. In 459 AD Pope Leo’s “Magna indignatione” gave priests sufficient power. . . .

Read entire article here


Joe Anderson’s Letter

Joe and Barbara Anderson

After Joe Anderson resigned as an elder in the Manchester, Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW’s), he wrote a resignation letter, dated June 5, 2002, and sent it to officials at the World Headquarters of JW’s in Brooklyn, NY. A copy of that letter is found below.

In addition, close friends, Daniel Sydlik and Jack Barr, both members of JW’s Governing Body, received a copy as well as each elder in Joe’s home congregation in Manchester, Tennessee.

Approximately, eight weeks later, Joe Anderson was disfellowshipped by JW’s leaders who used Joe’s letter as a basis to do so. From then on, this exemplary Christian man, who ministered to the flock for 42-years, has been shunned by his son, Lance, and daughter-in-law, Wendy, their two children, and all other JW’s that were part of his life.

What did Joe say in his resignation letter that was so injurious and evil that would cause such extreme action taken by his religion? Read on and decide for yourself whether shunning Joe Anderson is justified.

Read entire article here


An Insider’s Account about How a Report of Child Sex Abuse Is Handled

In November 2016, I made a life-altering decision. After 47 years of association with Jehovah’s Witnesses, many of those spent as an elder in the congregation, I chose to leave. Although there were many reasons for this decision, it was the issue of how child sexual abuse has been mishandled that pushed me to this choice.

Since I had served as an elder, I knew the organization’s policies well. But, I had never had to handle a case of child sexual abuse directly. Once I saw how these practices were applied and how damaging they are, I could no longer support them. When I saw the extent that the organization would go to in order to defend their position and the abusers themselves, I knew I couldn’t stay.

As more people become aware of the problem with child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness organization, it might be helpful to understand the full scope of the issue. Having been trained in these policies, I would like to make things clearer by presenting a typical scenario of child sexual abuse and how the organization directs it to be handled.

Read entire article here


Child Protection in America

Sad to say that for centuries in the U.S.A. animals were better protected from abuse than children. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) began in 1866, but there was no organization in existence to protect children from abuse. It was in the early 1870’s, when a particularly horrific case of a child in a foster home being whipped daily came to the public’s attention. Things began to change when attorneys for the ASPA argued that laws protecting animals from abuse should not be greater than laws protecting children. Soon, the world’s first child protection organization, the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, was established in 1875 as a nongovernmental organization.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that a public call was made for both state and federal governments to focus on child protection services as an arm of social services. In 1935, Douglas Falconer wrote the following on the best proactive approach. . . .

Read entire article here


 

News Highlights

For ALL news items, select NEWS from the menu above.


Clergy Abuse [from California’s Office of the Attorney General]

In light of the news surrounding the sexual abuse of children by members of clergy or religious organizations across the country, the Department of Justice is gathering information from the public regarding complaints of this nature in California.

Source: Clergy Abuse


New Report Lists 263 Bay Area Priests Accused Of Sexual Abuse

A law firm suing California bishops for the records of priests accused of sexual abuse released its own report Tuesday listing more than 200 clergy in the San Francisco Bay Area it says are accused of misconduct.

Source: New Report Lists 263 Bay Area Priests Accused Of Sexual Abuse


U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia Launches Hotline for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Clergy

WASHINGTON – The Superior Court Division’s Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section and the Victim Witness Assistance Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia are launching a hotline and e-mail address for survivors to report child sexual abuse by clergy, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced today.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia Launches Hotline for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Clergy


Scott Morrison’s national apology to Australian survivors and victims of child sexual abuse – full speech

Full text of the apology speech for institutional child sexual abuse as delivered in parliament on Monday

Source: Scott Morrison’s national apology to Australian survivors and victims of child sexual abuse – full speech


PM delivers official national apology to victims of child sexual abuse – video

The office has already begun its work to raise awareness of child safety and to drive cultural change in institutions in the community – to ensure that the systemic failures and abuses of power that brought us here today are not repeated.

Standing with opposition leader Bill Shorten and the chairwoman of the national apology reference group, Cheryl Edwardes, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison delivers a national apology to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse

Source: PM delivers official national apology to victims of child sexual abuse – video


‘It’s a disaster’: Senate leader laments end of sex abuse victims bill, open to talks

Yet again, efforts to reform Pennsylvania’s child sex crimes laws appear to have failed in the Legislature. The Senate’s top leader on Wednesday lamented the failure, but left room open for more talks.

Source: ‘It’s a disaster’: Senate leader laments end of sex abuse victims bill, open to talks


How a Catholic sex abuse report in Pennsylvania echoed around the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Justice is launching an investigation into child sex abuse within Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic churches, the latest fallout of widespread allegations made public by a grand jury probe this summer. Here’s a timeline of events since the report’s release.

Source: PBS: How a Catholic sex abuse report in Pennsylvania echoed around the U.S.


Federal prosecutors open probe into clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania

Two people familiar with the probe say federal prosecutors have served subpoenas on dioceses across the state that seek a trove of sensitive files and testimony from church leaders.

Source: Federal prosecutors open probe into clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania


Florida AG Pam Bondi launches statewide investigation into sexual abuse by priests

Posted By Dara Kam, News Service of Florida on Fri, Oct 5, 2018 at 10:45 am

https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2018/10/05/florida-ag-pam-bondi-launches-statewide-investigation-into-sexual-abuse-by-priests


Montana Jehovah’s Witness sex abuse case underscores church’s worldwide reckoning

https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/montana-jehovah-s-witness-sex-abuse-case-underscores-church-s/article_fddc41e5-536b-5843-af30-200cc14892d8.html


Sen. Bill could waive statute of limitations

House amendment would open a 2-year window for now-adult victims of childhood abuse to file claims.

https://www.altoonamirror.com/news/local-news/2018/09/sen-bill-could-waive-statute-of-limitations/


Jehovah’s Witnesses must pay $35M to sex abuse survivor

https://nypost.com/2018/09/29/jehovahs-witnesses-must-pay-35m-to-sex-abuse-survivor/


Pennsylvania AG Shapiro: New information has surfaced since Catholic sex abuse report

https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/14124858-74/pennsylvania-ag-shapiro-new-information-has-surfaced-since-catholic-sex-abuse-report


Woman Claims Mormon Church’s Cover-Up Culture Protected Her Sexual Predator Dad

The Mormon church has a “culture” that protects sexual predators, Johnson said during the press conference.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mormon-church-cover-up-culture-sexual-predator_us_5b363f35e4b08c3a8f69aff1


Mormon Church in UT State Supreme Court CHALLENGING Reporting about Sex Abuse Victims

This is from 5 years ago.  First Amendment used to defend not reporting abuse to authorities.


Pennsylvania meeting highlights abuse problems among Jehovah’s Witnesses

June 2018 meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania attended by the press, activists, attorneys, and state politicians. Presents Watchtower policy related to Jehovah’s Witness child abusers.

 

Ways to Show Your Support:

  1. SPEAK UP!
    • Make your voice heard.
    • Be Alert.
    • Report abuse.
    • Change the culture.
  2. VOLUNTEER to help in a variety of ways.
    • Learn the issues and speak about the solutions, with family, friends, co-workers, and your representatives.
    • Volunteer your skills.  Contribute articles, do research, editing, photography, graphic design, make you-tube videos, post on social media.
    • See the Grand Jury page for ideas about initiating action against institutions guilty of systemic abuse.
    • Learn about how laws are made, Learn how a nonprofit organization can build a grassroots movement. Suggested Reading: “The Lobbying and Advocacy Handbook for nonprofit Organizations” and “Advocacy For Social Justice A Global Action And Reflection Guide.”
  3. DONATE.  We are a lobbying non-profit corporation, so contributions are not tax deductible.  Donations will be used for expenses and not salaries.  At present the donations will be used for legal advice and local transportation costs (i.e., commuting to State capitols, parking).  Any specific need for donations will be described in the future. The address and form is below, for contacting us about donations or any other issue.
  4. CONTACT our organization by sending an email or writing to the address below:

scaars.org@gmail.com

SCAARS
P.O. Box 944
Oakley, CA 94561

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