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Domestic Abuse Bill 2020: changes made by the commons 15 April 2021

Source: parliament.uk published on this site Friday 16 April 2021 by Jill Powell

The Domestic Abuse Bill  purpose is to make provision in relation to domestic abuse; to make provision for and in connection with the establishment of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner; to prohibit cross-examination in person in family proceedings in certain circumstances; to make provision about certain violent or sexual offences, and offences involving other abusive behaviour, committed outside the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.

Debated in the Lords the commons have published HL Bill 190 Commons disagreement, amendments in lieu and reasons

The Bill is now in its final stages.

Ex-football coach and sea cadet officer guilty of sex attacks on 10 boys

A former youth football coach and sea cadet officer has been found guilty of sex attacks on 10 young boys over a 35-year period.

William Hay, 71, abused his victims at various locations in Aberdeen and Perthshire, including a beach, a campsite, a sports complex and a golf club.

The attacks took place between 1981 and 2016.

Hay, of Aberdeen, was convicted of 12 charges at the High Court in Glasgow.

He had denied all of the allegations.

In a statement released after the proceedings police described Hay as a "sexual predator" who abused boys aged between 10 and 15. 

Det Ch Insp Steven Bertram, of the National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said he befriended his victims through football or sea cadets. 

"He betrayed their friendship and their trust," he added. 

"The bravery shown by the victims in coming forward to report these crimes has to be commended and this has been instrumental in securing his conviction. 

"I hope this conviction will offer some comfort as they move forward from their ordeal."

The court heard a a previous trial against Hay was abandoned in 2019.

Judge Lord Sandison ordered Hay's name be put on the sex offenders list.

He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.

Talk it over – new resource to support discussions around online hate

Source: UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC) published on this site Tuesday 13 April 2021

Childnet have launched 'Talk it over’, a new research-led resource designed to support educators in facilitating empathetic, honest, and evidence-based conversations on online hate and how to tackle it with secondary aged pupils. This blog takes a closer look at this resource and the way that educators can use it to support the young people they work with.

The research behind the resource

In July 2020, Childnet undertook a research project with over 2000 British young people, aged 13-17 years old.

The research found that the internet is the most likely place for young people to witness hate and that 80% of young people had seen something hateful online aimed at a particular group in the last year.

We found that nine out of ten young people agreed that no one should be targeted with online hate because of their gender, race, religion, sexuality, disability or transgender identity. 72% of young people believe that people their age have an important role to play in tackling online hate and creating a kinder internet for everyone.

What is Talk it over?

Talk it over is:

  • written for use with young people aged 13-17 years old,
  • informed by research led with over 2000 British young people,
  • made up of quick activities designed to be engaging and adaptable,
  • accompanied by key guidance for educators coving topics such as the law, safeguarding and reporting,
  • free to download.

There are four sections within Talk it over, each with their own learning objectives:

  • To understand what is meant by ‘online hate’ and why people may use the internet to express it.
  • To examine the impact of online hate on people who are targeted and those who see it happening.
  • To develop strategies for responding to online hate, including reporting it.
  • To explore and develop ways to make the internet a more accepting and inclusive place.

Each section includes an infographic supported by key questions to guide discussions whilst sharing relevant findings and statistics from the 2020 research; and two short teaching activities which can be delivered in a 10-20 minute session and explore the themes arising from the research in greater detail.

Young people are already using the internet in innovative and inspiring ways to enact change in their communities and celebrate difference. It is our hope that by sharing the findings from our research, and the real experiences of young people that it represents, we can empower even more young people to talk it over.

Teachers and Educators can find the Talk it over resource on the Childnet website.

‘Rape culture’ cannot remain the norm in our society, says charity chief Nimco Ali

Source: BBC News published on this site Wednesday 14 April 2021 by Jill Powell

Anna Davis writes:

“The school sexual abuse and harassment scandal is a reflection of what is happening to women in wider society and is likely to be widespread, a leading activist warned.

Nimco Ali, chief executive of charity The Five Foundation, and government adviser on violence against women and girls, said allegations of abuse are unlikely to be confined to a small group of schools, because the impact of porn culture is being felt by young women and girls across the country.

Private schools in London were the first to be named in allegations of rape culture and sexual harassment. But a growing number of state schools and some primaries are now being named on the Everyone’s Invited website. More than 14,500 testimonies detailing abuse have been published on the site by schoolchildren and former pupils.

Ms Ali said: “I don’t think it’s something that’s just evident in private schools. As a woman and a feminist and someone that’s worked in the sector, I have known young women have been reporting the impact of porn culture in their adolescent and teen years.”

She added: “It is going to be kids everywhere and probably harder for kids who are disadvantaged and living in poverty to come forward.” It comes as there are growing calls for a full inquiry into the extent of the abuse in schools.

Britain’s most senior child protection officer, Chief Constable Simon Bailey, said he expects referrals to come in from “both the private sector, the mainstream state school sector and universities.”

Geoff Barton, head of school leaders’ union ASCL, said the problem of sexual violence and abuse is not just an issue for schools to tackle, but said social media companies, parents and the criminal justice system all have a role to play.

Ms Ali said: “What’s happening in schools is a reflection of the society and the world we have created for these young people… children are products of the things we put out there.

“It’s not about coming down on young men and teenagers, it’s about looking at ourselves as adults and saying what is the society we have created that has actually normalised this?”

Ms Ali pointed to a Girl Guiding survey which shows that two-thirds of British girls had experienced sexual violence or harassment at school in 2017.

She said: “I am surprised how men are surprised by these stories… any man that says they are surprised by the fact women live in fear of male violence is either a liar or dumb… I don’t want to contextualise it by saying this happens in schools — it is literally happening in society.”

She said young men are being let down by not being given the education and information they need. She added: “Young men are not born to be predators or abusers… addressing toxic masculinity is not just good for women, it’s good for young boys as well. There needs to be real, true reconciliation.””

Carer sentenced for threatening and taunting a dementia sufferer

Source: Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) published on this site Monday 12 April 2021 by Jill Powell

A 24-year-old woman has been sentenced for ill-treating an 84-year-old resident at the Wirral care home where she worked.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Valentina Baghiu, of Borough Road in Tranmere,  poked, threatened and grabbed the wrist of the victim who was frail and suffered from dementia.

The incidents had been filmed on the defendant’s mobile phone while she was working at  Birch Tree Manor Nursing Home.

The first video shows Baghiu poking the elderly resident with a broom and shouting at her to stay awake.

In the second video the carer is out of shot but appears to be sitting next to the resident and filming her. She is laughing and taunting the resident and begins to poke the resident who becomes very distressed.

The resident says: “Get off me” and “I hate it, leave me alone.” She tries to get up and move away but the carer grabs her by the wrist and pulls her roughly back down into the seat. The resident cries out in pain. The carer then shows the resident a clenched fist.

Baghiu was suspended from her job on 9 December 2019 and she was arrested. Unfortunately, by this time her victim had died from an unrelated cause on 21 November 2019. She had been receiving 24 hour, one to one care at the home as she was at high risk of falls.

The victim's daughter told police officers that, towards the end of her life, her mother said that a member of staff had been grabbing, pushing, punching her and shouting at her. Sometimes she would have bruising to her arms but the family thought this was just due to the fact she would bruise easily.

A translator identified some of the comments that Baghiu had made to the victim in the videos. These included, "You're gonna get it (what's coming to you). Watch out, you'll see what a good plucking you're gonna get tonight” and "I'll mess you up like nothing else".

Baghiu was charged with the ill-treatment/wilful neglect of an individual by a care worker. She pleaded guilty on 5 January 2021 at Birkenhead Magistrates’ Court.

At Liverpool Crown Court today (7 April 2021) she was given a six-month jail term, suspended for 18 months.

She must also do 75 hours of compulsory unpaid work for the community, take part in a Rehabilitation Activity for a maximum of 15 days and she must be supervised by the Probation Service and pay £122 Surcharge to the Court.

In a moving Victim Personal Statement, the resident’s daughter said: “My mother was a social worker, so spent her life looking after vulnerable people.

"To then find out that, when she was at her most vulnerable, she was taken advantage of, is sickening. My mother had one to one care, which mistakenly made the family presume she was very safe, well looked after and, most importantly, happy.

"Instead, now we must contend with the fact that her final weeks were full of misery, fear and trauma."

Associate Prosecutor Alan Currums of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said: “This is an incredibly sad case. The victim’s family had planned their mother’s funeral but were then told it had to be delayed because of what had emerged about Baghiu. They couldn’t talk to anyone about this as a criminal investigation was under way.

“They had thought their mother was safe but she had become the victim of a heartless and callous bully who filmed the assaults on their mother because she thought they were funny.

“Most carers, including the staff at this home, care for the residents compassionately and competently, despite the challenges presented by patients with dementia.

“The good work of the vast majority of carers should not be forgotten when the actions of people like Valentina Baghiu come to light. They are the bad apples in an area of care that is often the scene of great kindness and professionalism.”