I thought I'd copy the comments on my op-ed today and have some fun. Join me!
I think we get to it here in his response to Ben Torres when he says: "What Rohr has done is oversell his points including Apuron who will receive punishment from Rome." There, you see? He's an Apuronophile.
There's also the old "shut up and sit down and let Rome take care of it." LOL. Yah, like Rome has a great record of punishing bishops. (More LOL.). As most know, the bishop of Boston who presided over decades of child rape in his diocese, a horror that was made into a movie, was plucked from certain judgment and rewarded with a cushy life in his own Palazzo in Rome by a pope who is now a saint.
I added that there was nothing personal and even admitted that he may be right about why Blas lost. My point wasn't McNinch's survey or his opinion. My point was "so what." Blas put Guam on the map. By lifting the statute of limitations relative to sex crimes against children PERMANENTLY, Guam now has made the most severe statement of any place in the nation about its intolerance of child sex abuse.
Here is the full article published in the PDN on 2/2/2015. The article was reprinted on the referenced website as the article is no longer available on the PDN website.
Data does not account for unreported cases
By Cameron Miculka
HAGÃ TÃA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, February 2, 2015) – Although Guam has one of the highest rates of reported rape in the country, the data likely shows only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the island's problem of sexual violence.
According to national and local statistics, Guam's per capita rate of reported forcible rape is more than twice the national average.
Neither local nor national data take into account the number of unreported rapes, which make up the vast majority of all attacks, according to federal surveys.
In order to better educate the community and address the need for better disclosure rates, staff at Healing Hearts Crisis Center, a branch of the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center that provides support for victims of sexual assault, are working to better educate the community about stamping out sexual violence.
Each year, the Guam Police Department compiles its Unified Crime Report, which provides data about specific crimes committed in Guam.
Since 2009, the number of reported forcible rapes in Guam has risen from 29 to 110 reports last year.
In 2013, the most recent year for which both national and local statistics are available, GPD received 106 reports of forcible rape. That comes out to a rate of 64.2 reported rapes per 100,000 people.
The national rate, according to the FBI's own unified crime report, is 25.2 reported rapes per 100,000 people.
Of the 50 states, only Alaska, with a rate of 87.6 reported rapes per 100,000 people, has a higher rate than Guam.
Dr. Ellen Bez, a medical consultant for Healing Hearts Crisis Center, was initially skeptical of the data put forth by police that indicated Guam's rate was more than twice the national average and whether the local data scaled with the national data.
However, she said, she wouldn't be surprised that Guam's per capita rate was higher than in the U.S., and posited several factors that could contribute to the situation here.
Bez said those factors could include large households and the presence of migrants who come from communities where sexual assault doesn't carry the same consequences it does here.
She added that the center is exploring the possibility of conducting surveys and generating its own statistics about rape in Guam.
However, the number of reports made in Guam could just be the tip of the iceberg.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, the majority of rapes have gone unreported in past years.
In 2013, the department's "Crime Victimization" survey indicated that only 28 percent of those who reported being raped said they reported the incident to police.
Bez said the standard statistic puts the number of unreported rapes nationwide at around 60 to 80 percent.
However, there's no telling right now how Guam's disclosure rate compares to the country.
Bez said she'd expect the rate to closely mirror the national statistic, with the island maybe falling closer to the higher end of the scale.
Whatever the rate of unreported rapes is, she said, it's an issue Guam needs to face head on.
"I mean it's a huge problem," she said. "It doesn't make any difference if you say 60 or 70, it's a huge problem."
Family member attackers
Maresa Aguon, Healing Hearts program manager, said the victim's family dynamics also can be a factor.
In the majority of rape cases, the perpetrator is usually identified as a family member or acquaintance.
Aguon said in 2013, of the 111 clients Healing Hearts served, 51 percent of those clients said the attacker was a family member. An additional 36 percent of clients said the attacker was an acquaintance.
That's been consistent with data collected over the last few years, she added.
"Stranger rape is not the big, hot issue on this island," she said. "It's not where the majority of the victims come from."
The 51 percent figure includes all clients served at Healing Hearts over the course of 2013, both children and adults.
It's uncertain how those numbers compare to the bigger picture of rape in Guam because the police no longer provide that information in their reports.
Bez added that this is similar to the situation in the U.S. mainland, where most rape victims know their attacker.
Aguon said the fact that more than 80 percent of victims know their attackers could contribute to low disclosure rates.
"These children -- and a lot of times these are the children -- these children know what's going to happen if they tell," she said.
Accusing a family member of rape will lead to tension in the household and, if the attacker is the primary breadwinner, a possible loss of financial support for the family.
Bez and Aguon said attackers "absolutely" depend on victims' fear of coming forward.
Bez added that a child's fear of seeing their family be torn apart can be one of the biggest factors in play.
"You know, the adjudication process can sometimes take years to get things going," she said. "And in the meantime, the child sees their life falling apart."
"And here this child said something and they see the result, they've lost everything," she continued.
As a result, some victims might want to recant their accusation to avoid further strife.
Disclosure is especially difficult when the victims are male, said Bez.
Aguon noted that in 2013, 14 of the center's 111 clients were male.
Bez said having those victims come forward about being victimized is "always harder."
"Boys, you know, traditionally have to be tougher and braver," Bez said.
She added that there tends to be more shame associated with boys who are raped.
Aguon said the center has seen very few males come through their doors, especially adults.
Bez also said that it's not uncommon for male victims to wait years, "sometimes more than half their life," before coming forward about being sexually assaulted.
Overall, disclosure is the "number one" issue for fighting back against sexual assault, said Bez and Aguon.
In order to solve that issue, Bez and Aguon said outreach is a huge component of the work they do.
The two women said the agency works to spread awareness and educate the island's population about what sexual assault is and how it can be stopped.
Those campaigns, said Aguon, have brought forth real results.
AND HERE IS THE STORY FROM KUAM
Posted: Jun 30, 2012 5:39 PM
Updated: Jun 30, 2012 6:09 PM
by Sabrina Salas Matanane
Guam - The national statistics are alarming: more than five children die every day as a result of child abuse and most of those children are under the age of 4. "For Guam, I believe that sexual abuse comes third in ranking from physical abuse to physical neglect to sexual abuse," said Lydia Tenorio, administrator for Child Protective Services.
Even more frightening, the statistics indicate that most all juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. "I think that the community needs to know that it's no longer who you don't know but who you do know," she said.
Here on Guam we've seen this first hand, for example recently a former Untalan Middle School basketball coach pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a teenager for ten years. The abuse started when the victim was 7. Two JFK coaches were arrested in recent weeks accused of having sex with their students while on campus, another teacher at Untalan Middle School was recently indicted by a Superior Court grand jury on charges of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct and child abuse.
"I think it's sad that you have people in authority and control over children who take advantage of this and I think that education and awareness that while we tend to say don't talk to strangers and avoid strangers, but the reality is unfortunately are the caregivers those who actually have some type of responsibility over the children," she said.
Tenorio adds the recent conviction of former long time Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky should awaken the nation's conscience. Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting close to one dozen boys over a 15-year period. His arrest led to the firing of Penn State hall of fame coach Joe Paterno and the university's president for failing to report the abuse to proper authorities.
"I think that the national case now in the Sandusky case that had just occurred. Hopefully that will raise even more awareness and prevention. It's sad because it's likely that a lot of victimization has likely been going on so I think it's encouraging for the victims who have yet to come out or who may be victims at this time, to say that there is justice to the system."
"They're also now relooking and rethinking about the definition of a mandatory reporting person, because as we know, folks within or at least its alleged within that institution had known about it and never really reported it and so there are those mandatory laws and definitions that probably need to be a little more updated," she said.
Tenorio who has been at the forefront of the battle to protect and keep our island's children safe says the cycle of abuse has to stop, unfortunately if it goes unreported it will likely continue. "And we have to remember that the children are the helpless ones and that part of the dynamics with children who are victimized is that they get victimized over and over again and it's at a certain age when they find the courage to come out after it's happened so many times," she said.
In the meantime, Tenorio says her office is here to help and willing to host workshops for groups and organizations to promote awareness and prevention. And for those of you at home watching or listening on the radio that might be scared to come forward.
She said, "I just encourage those that are victims to report to Child Protective Services. If you don't want to go through any type of formal system law enforcement or report to some adult you can trust that you know will help you in this process, and one way or another we'll be there as a department to help."
The number for Child Protective Services is 475-2672 or 2653.