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We are thrilled to be co-sponsoring a two-day healing event for Male Survivors and Their Allies (professionals, loved ones, and other advocates), here in Portland OR, on May 29th and 30th, 2015!

REGISTER WITH MALE SURVIVOR AT www.malesurvivor.org!

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TELLING

Adult Survivors of Child Sex Abuse Step into the Light

Telling-Poster85x11-Oaasis-OSF Presented by Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service (OAASIS), in partnership with Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s National Collaborative Arts Project.

DESCRIPTION:

In a society in which one out of four girls and one out of six boys have experienced child sex abuse, it remains a secret rarely shared. In the gripping play TELLING**, the true stories of seven adult survivors are woven together to create a tapestry of pain, secrecy, and ultimately, hope.

Using visual images, original music, movement, dance, and poetry, these brave residents of the Pacific Northwest share their personal stories of prolonged abuse by brothers, fathers, mothers, teachers, priests, babysitters, strangers and “friends” of the family. With courage, some trepidation and even some humor they step onto the stage, into the light, and recount experiences that changed their lives dramatically. Their stories are a roadmap to hope for other survivors.

PLEASE NOTE:

A counselor will be present at the performance for anyone who may become distraught by the play’s content, which is powerful but not graphic. Adult language will be used on stage. Parental guidance is recommended for children under 13.

A talkback with actors/storytellers; director Jamie Rea; Executive Director of OAASIS, Klarissa Oh; and Founder & Executive Director of The Breathe Network, Molly Boeder Harris will be conducted after the performance, facilitated by journalist playwright Margie Boule.

LOCATION:

Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Carpenter Hall
15 S Pioneer St.
Ashland Or 97520

September 29th, 2014
Monday at 7:00pm

TICKETS:
$18 Adult | $15 Student/Seniors/Military
Tickets may also be purchased at the door. Box Office opens one hour prior to curtain.
Purchase online HERE.

ARTISTS:
Written by Margie Boulé
Directed by Jamie M. Rea

Performers: Elise Bradley, Das Chapin, Cristi Dillon, Gabriel Mikalson, Gordon Romei, Carolee Horning, and Digene Farrar.

Design Team: Jamie M. Rea, Gordon Romei

**TELLING was inspired by the Secret Survivor series created by Ping Chong + Company in New York, which has provided funding and support for this production. The play also was made possible by a grant from the Ms. Foundation.**

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By Nicole Hanna-Jones
January 9, 2010
Oregonlive.com

Six posters of missing children from the metro area — five girls and one boy — were tacked to the wall of the Jantzen Beach hotel banquet room, a silent reminder of why more than 500 participants from 10 states had gathered Saturday.

One of three missing teens who ends up on the streets will be lured or forced into prostitution within 48 hours, according to national estimates. The annual Northwest Conference Against Human Trafficking hoped to bring a sense of urgency to the problem and capitalize on a recent local and national push to fight domestic human trafficking.

Oregon, advocates and law enforcement officials say, is a growing hub for forced prostitution and servitude. Just last week, a Portland man was arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court on suspicion of prostituting a 14-year-old relative.

Still, many Americans believe human trafficking to be an international phenomenon.

“I, like so many others, thought that trafficking was a problem that plagued other countries like Thailand and India, but was oblivious to what was happening right here in our backyard,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel, who is spearheading the county’s efforts to combat human trafficking and open a shelter for sexual trafficking victims.

Portland has become a center for human trafficking for several reasons, said Keith Bickford, a Multnomah County sheriff’s detective who heads the Oregon Human Trafficking Task Force.

The city’s proximity to Interstates 5 and 84 as well as two rivers is attractive to traffickers, as is lax sexual trafficking enforcement laws, a legal sex industry, a large population of street kids and Oregon’s dependence on seasonal farmworkers, Bickford said.

Yet, the state keeps no data on victims of sexual trafficking, Bickford said, making it difficult to accurately assess the depth of the problem and get adequate resources.

About 300,000 American youths are trafficked for sexual exploitation, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. During a one-night national sting involving 29 cities last February, law enforcement officers picked up seven underage girls involved in prostitution in Portland — more than any other city besides Seattle. They also picked up six adult pimps in Portland and cited 14 adult prostitutes.

Still, many at the conference said a collective national denial of the issue remains.

“What we’re about in the U.S., we’re willing to jump out there and save the world but we won’t look under our own rocks because it’s embarrassing,” Bickford said after giving a presentation on the work he’s doing with the task force.

Multnomah County has hundreds of human trafficking cases involving both people born in the United States and immigrants often brought or coerced here from other countries. His caseload is divided equally between those trafficked for sexual exploitation (mostly people from the U.S.) and those trafficked for labor (mostly immigrants), he said.

Other speakers at the conference said public officials are starting to take notice of the long-hidden crime.

Last month, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced a bill along with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to help victims of sexual trafficking and provide more enforcement power against traffickers. The bill would fund pilot projects in six states to establish shelters for victims and provide counseling, legal aid, education and job training, as well as fund additional police officers and prosecutors.

“I want to see us start a national mobilization,” Wyden said after giving a brief speech about his bill. “It’s fair to say that in the past there’s been the sense that Oregon is not the kind of place you would see this. There’s no denial now and people are ready to go.”

A shelter to help victims escape exploitation is the greatest need in Portland, said Esther Nelson of the Sexual Assault Resource Center. The lack of a safe place makes it difficult to help people, she said, and impedes law enforcement efforts because victims often disappear.

Multnomah County and Portland officials have committed to finding money to open a shelter here, though they have no time line.

“We can’t do much more without a shelter,” Nelson said.

 

May 19, 2011

Sanne SpechtBy Sanne Specht

Mail Tribune

An Oregon House bill passed earlier this month aimed at discouraging false reporting of child abuse would have a chilling effect on an area of crime that is already under-reported, child abuse experts say.

House Bill 2183 would make it a violation — punishable by a $720 maximum fine — to knowingly make false allegations of child abuse to police or the Department of Human Services.

“The intent is good. But the unintended consequences could be very dangerous for some children,” said Marlene Mish, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center.

Proponents of the bill include House Judiciary co-chairman Wayne Kreiger, R-Gold Beach, and Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford.

The bill is designed to discourage adults from using malicious allegations of abuse in bitter divorce or child custody cases, supporters say.

Esquivel did not return phone calls to the Mail Tribune on Wednesday. Rep. Dennis Richardson, D-Central Point, said he did not promote the proposed legislation. But Richardson voted in favor of the bill on May 3, along with all 30 House Republicans and seven Democrats, in part because he has personal knowledge of a case in which a man was falsely accused of child abuse during a divorce, he said.

“This happens more frequently than we would want,” Richardson said.

Mish said holding people accountable for false reports is “a good thing.” But the bill could have the unintended consequence of keeping children trapped in abusive situations because adults are fearful of making a report that, while true, might not be able to be proven, she said.

“The message we don’t want to give is to dissuade people who need to do the right thing and report,” she said.

Ashland resident Randy Ellison is an adult survivor of child sexual abuse and board president of Oregon Association of Adult Sexual and Incest Survivors.

Ellison has been meeting with legislators, encouraging them to kill the bill in the House. Now that it has passed in the House, Ellison is hoping the bill will die in the Senate.

“We do not need people worrying about being wrong when deciding to report or not,” Ellison said. “We want people to report suspected abuse. If people are in doubt, we want them to err on the side of reporting.”

The bill has the support of at least one Oregon senator. According to news reports, Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, testified he was once the victim of a trumped-up claim of child abuse.

Ellison said he had sympathy and empathy for anyone victimized because of a false report of abuse. But statistics show child abuse is the most under-reported crime next to domestic abuse, he said.

“This is a pointless bill that harms the current trend in society of eradicating child abuse and is a slap in the face of every agency that works with child abuse,” Ellison said, adding there is already a law on the books that deals with false reporting.

ORS 162.375 states initiating a false report is a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,250 fine and 30 days in jail.

Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston said the proposed law is similar to the current statute, but focuses more on those who initiate false reports to DHS or a mandatory reporter with knowingly false intent.

Huddleston said his office has proceeded against adults for filing false reports under the ORS in only a few cases. Huddleston added he had not seen many cases he thought would be applicable under the proposed law.

Others who testified against the proposed legislation include the Oregon District Attorneys Association, the Oregon Network of Child Abuse Intervention Centers, the Oregon School Employees Association, Children First and the Child Advocacy Section of the Oregon Department of Justice, Ellison said.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email sspecht@mailtribune.com.

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KIDS Center Hosts Annual ‘Healing Hearts’ Luncheon
By Homa Quazilbash
May 5, 2011
KTVZ.COM

BEND, Ore. — More than 500 community members gathered in Bend Wednesday afternoon to speak out against child sex abuse — and hold the biggest fund-raiser of the year for an organization that tackles the problem every day.

It was the third annual ‘Healing Hearts’ luncheon hosted by the KIDS Center at the Riverhouse Convention Center.

Guests heard from speaker — and sex abuse survivor — Randy Ellison about his experience, and what he now calls his mission.

“I was abused by my minister as a teenager and it went on for several years,” Ellison said. “Then I kind of buried it away and went on with my life — got heavily involved in alcohol, drugs, those distortions.””I wasn’t the kind of husband I would have liked to have been, the father I would have liked to been. You bury something that major, it distorts everything in your life,” Ellison added.

Volunteers and workers at the KIDS Center were busy counting pledge cards well into the day. In the past, the event has raised more than $50,000 for the KIDS (Kids Intervention and Diagnostic Service) Center, which is a 21 Cares for Kids partner.

The non-profit is not funded by the government and gets only a small portion of its budget from the state, so most of it is from community outreach, like Wednesday’s event.Just this year, the KIDS Center has already seen nearly 500 kids come through its doors in need of medical evaluations and therapy.

The Oregonian
Saturday, March 5, 2011
By Harry Esteve

SALEM — Part of the public fury that grew over former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt’s admission that he sexually abused an underage girl was that he could not be prosecuted for the crime — the statute of limitations had expired long ago.

Now Oregon lawmakers are considering a change that would eliminate the time limit on when someone accused of abuse or assault of a minor could be prosecuted.

“I just think there is no rationale that we deny children the ability to seek justice later on in life,” says Rep. Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, who is pushing the proposed change in the law.

The proposal, contained in House Bill 3057, gets its first public hearing Monday and will likely generate a fight pitting prosecutors against defense attorneys. Some district attorneys say young sexual assault victims need extra protection. Defense lawyers say the change would make it far more difficult for people to make the case that they’ve been wrongly accused.

Oregon has a six-year statute of limitations on most sex crimes. However, the law allows a longer time period if the victim is under 18. In that case, the crime can be prosecuted any time before the victim turns 30, or within 12 years after the crime is reported to police or the Department of Human Services.

But even those extended time periods aren’t always enough, says John Foote, Clackamas County district attorney.

“Child abuse is a lifelong event,” he says. “It stays with people their whole lives. Sometimes society ends up paying for it. Sometimes the victim does.”

The bill offers one more layer of protection if abusers understand they could be prosecuted long after the crime, Foote says. “When you’re in the work we’re in, protecting children, you realize these kids need all the protection they can get because the effects are so devastating.”

Innocent defendants need protection, too, says Gail Meyer, lobbyist for the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Completely removing an already lengthy statute of limitations stacks the deck against them, she says.

In criminal cases, as opposed to civil ones, the defense has no right to depose witnesses, Meyer says. Most of the crimes fall under Measure 11’s mandatory sentencing guidelines and it takes a 10-2 jury verdict to convict.

“Add that to a delayed report of 20, 30, 40 years, it’s just too much,” she says. “It just spells a disaster for justice.”

Goldschmidt offers the most high-profile case in Oregon of a crime that went unreported until it was too late to prosecute. In May 2004, the former governor and Nike executive confessed that he had sex with an underage girl when he was Portland mayor in the 1980s. He kept the crime secret for years, in part by making payments to the victim as part of a court settlement.

Despite the criminal nature of his abuse, Goldschmidt faced no chance of prosecution. The bill Hunt is pushing would apply to offenses that occurred before or after the law’s effective date, but would not allow prosecutors to open old cases.

Goldschmidt has since disappeared from public life, but community outrage hasn’t let up. It flared again over reports of the recent death of his victim, and a story in The Oregonian in which the victim gave several interviews to former columnist Margie Boule that offered grim details of her abuse by Goldschmidt.

Hunt says the Goldschmidt case is far from the sole reason he introduced the bill. It’s as much about reports of abuse within the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts as it is about Goldschmidt, he says.

Hunt’s wife, Tonia Hunt, is executive director of the Children’s Center of Clackamas County, which works with young abuse victims. As a result, he says, he hears stories on a daily basis about the terrible things that some adults do to minors.

“We want victims to come forward, whether they’re still children or whether they’re adults,” Hunt says. “Ultimately, they’re not going to heal or move on until justice has been promised and achieved.”

Harry Esteve

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by David Krough, kgw.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on August 3, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 4 at 8:08 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Child sex criminals were put in the cross hairs by the federal government Tuesday with new tools for law enforcement in Oregon.

Department of Justice officials on Tuesday released a report on the National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction.

Law enforcement wants to focus on prevention of child pornography, online enticement, child sex tourism and sexual exploitation on Native American reservations.

U.S. Marshals Service targeted the top 500 most dangerous, non-compliant sex offenders in the country. In Oregon, a full-time deputy marshal was added as the Sex Offender Investigations Coordinator.

“Sometimes an investigator needs to step back and take a look and communicate with other agencies that are also working on it. The goal in the end is to bring all these individuals to justice,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Cory Cunningham.

The agency also created a new database to coordinate efforts statewide. The department also re-launched a website to combat sex crimes against children at ProjectSafeChildhood.gov.

Multnomah County Commissioner Dianne McKeel applauds to the focus on child exploitation, but believes the Portland Metro is also in desperate need for a shelter to house and treat the victims of the child sex trade.

“The shelter is a safe place for them to be and it’s also learning the skills that you need to go out into the world,” said McKeel.

McKeel believes newly approved federal funding could have a local shelter open within a year.

If you or anyone you know need help recovering or escaping from the child sex trade, the Sexual Assault Resource Center can be reached 24 hours a day. 503-640-5311.

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by Teresa Blackman
KGW.com
August 2, 2010

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A high school band teacher in Vancouver was arrested Sunday for allegedly having sexual encounters with a 17-year-old girl who had been his student since her freshman year.

Tyler Benedict, 30, was charged in court Monday with two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Benedict was working as a band teacher at Heritage High School in Vancouver when the sexual acts occurred, according to  Sgt. Kevin Allais with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Police were alerted by the teen’s parents who said they became suspicious after noticing inappropriate messages on her cell phone and computer that turned out to be from Benedict, Allais said.

The teen later told police that her relationship with Benedict was romantic and sexual. The detectives also said that when they interviewed Benedict, he admitted that he had a sexual relationship with his student.

Court documents obtained by KGW said that Benedict had performed oral sex on the teen on two occasions.

Jerry Piland, Executive Director of Human Resources for the Evergreen School District, released the following statement via email on Monday: “The district is waiting for the police report. The allegations are very serious and the district will take extremely strong actions if this has occurred. Those strong actions will be that he would no longer have a job.”

Benedict has worked at Heritage for the past three years.

Bail at the Clark County Jail was set at $10,000. The court documents also said that Benedict was placed on suicide watch while in custody.

Benedict is married and lives in Ridgefield, Wash. with his wife.

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by KGW.com Staff and Anne Yeager
August 2, 2010

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A Vancouver man who police described as “violent” was arrested for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl and also forcing her to commit sex acts on his friend, according to investigators.

Samuel Chapman, 28, of Vancouver was charged with kidnapping, rape, burglary and harassment, according to police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.

Court documents obtained by KGW said that the girl told investigators Chapman has assaulted her 10 times in the past, but she was afraid to tell police because he threatened to hurt her family.

The girl said she met Chapman at a park in January and had since engaged in a “fear-based” relationship. She said he told her that he would kill her mother if she told anyone about what was happening.

The girl said that Chapman told her he loved her, but at the same time, forced her to do things sexually she didn’t want to do.

Friday morning she said he  forced her into a van where he punched her with a closed fist 30 to 40 times, then forced her to perform a sex act.

On Friday morning at 2:30 a.m., the girl’s family called 9-1-1 for help after they said Chapman came to their home, grabbed the girl by the ponytail, slammed her against a wall and then dragged her into a van.

“He showed up my house at 2:45 and pulled me out of bed by the hair,” the girl said. “Pulled me out of bed, threw my little sister into the entertainment center, and then pushed me back into bed.”

“It kind of hurts because I haven’t had that much of a childhood.”

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By SCOTT K. PARKS / The Dallas Morning News
sparks@dallasnews.com
Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pedophilia has dogged the Boy Scouts for decades, and the issue shows no signs of going away. No one knows how many men have infiltrated the organization for immoral sexual purposes.

News organizations and child advocates are awaiting an Oregon court’s ruling on whether thousands of internal files documenting suspected pedophiles in Scouting should be released to the public.

The so-called “ineligible volunteer” files are kept at the Boy Scouts’ national headquarters in Irving.

Spanning two decades between 1965 and 1985, they tell unspeakable stories.

The files were entered into evidence during a civil court case pitting former Boy Scout Kerry Lewis against the Scouts’ national council and its Portland-area branch.

Lewis alleged that a Scoutmaster had sexually abused him repeatedly when he was a Scout during the 1980s – even after the Scoutmaster had been identified as a pedophile.

The case ended in April when a jury returned an $18.5 million verdict against the Scouts.

Kelly Clark, one of Lewis’ attorneys, successfully argued that the BSA had reacted defensively to allegations that it hadn’t done enough to identify and prosecute pedophiles in its ranks, preferring instead to quietly expel them.

Evidence showed that Scout leaders often did not tell parents that pedophile Scoutmasters had abused their children. The Oregon jury’s verdict sent a clear message to Scouting, Clark said.

“The short version is that you cannot put the mission of the organization above the safety of kids, no matter how divinely inspired you think it is,” Clark said.

The Scouts plan to appeal the Oregon verdict, but they face similar pedophile cases around the U.S.

Virginia Starr, a spokeswoman for the Scouts, addressed the issue in e-mailed answers to questions from The Dallas Morning News. She said the organization established a Youth Protection Program in the late 1980s and has repeatedly improved it during the last 20 years.

Scout leaders are no longer allowed to meet one on one with boys. Mandatory youth-protection training for all Scoutmasters and other adult volunteers was adopted just last month. Criminal background checks for volunteers are required.

In addition, Scoutmasters and Scouts cannot sleep in the same tent unless they are father and son. Separate shower arrangements are made for adults and children on campouts.

Jim Brunner, Scoutmaster of Troop 300 in Plano, is among the many adult volunteers watching the pedophile cases as they go to court. He said the allegations are decades old and do not reflect today’s reality.

He praised chief Scout executive Bob Mazzuca and the national office for adapting to the times, even to the point of including warnings against pedophiles in the legendary Boy Scout Handbook.

“The Boy Scouts are on the cutting edge of youth protection,” Brunner said. “They’ve led the way.”

Pedophiles present one problem for the Scouts. The ban on gays presents another challenge. It essentially forces families to decide whether it’s ethical to belong to a group that discriminates against people based on sexual orientation.

Mazzuca said his organization’s position is essentially synonymous with the U.S. military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

“The issue only becomes an issue when a person makes it an issue,” he said in an interview with The News. “Sexuality has no place in Scouting in any context.”

In a two-page document titled “2009 Report to the Nation,” Mazzuca makes no mention of youth protection or any of the other issues that threaten to distract Scouting from its mission.

Instead, the report is filled with facts: Scouts collaborate with 118,000 educational, faith-based and community organizations; 52,470 Scouts earned the Eagle rank in 2009; Scouts contributed more than 700,000 hours to projects beneficial to streams, lakes, oceans and other bodies of water.

Concluding his interview with The News, Mazzuca said, “We plan to be here for another hundred years.”

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