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Heroes Who Defend Children

Please take the time to view all these wonderful men and women and when possible send them a few kinds of praise.  For all we are thankful.

Joe Biden   Congressman for the Children
Jan 04, 2008
Senator Joe Biden's withdrawal from the presidential race is bittersweet for pro-child, anti-crime voters. For over three decades, Biden has been a leader in Congress in the fight against child abuse and domestic violence. Biden wrote the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and has long been known as the champion for law enforcement in Washington. But Biden's most lasting contribution could be the Combatting Child Exploitation Act of 2007, now in the Senate, which would reverse a decade of empty rhetoric about protecting children by providing major new resources to interdict the exploding crisis of child exploitation. America has never seen a president with a serious commitment to fighting this crisis, and to date no other presidential candidate has stepped forward to match Biden's commitment. Our respect and congratulations go out to Senator Biden and his presidential campaign. We know that if there is a silver lining today it is that Joe Biden now returns to Washington full-time, where children need him more than ever.

For Working to Protect Abused Children We Thank you

For Working to Protect Abused Children We Thank you

Richard Ducote, Esquire

Attorney and child advocate, he has represented many protective parents and worked for changes.  He is the creator of the Protective Parents' Act.


Richard Ducote, J.D.
Richard Ducote is the premiere custody litigator in cases of domestic violence and child sexual abuse.  He has achieved a rare record of child advocacy successes in his 28 years of legal practice.  Mr. Ducote’s nationwide practice includes custody, tort, and “termination of parental rights” cases on behalf of victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.  His primary concentration has been in cases where courts have granted custody of children to child molesters and domestic violence perpetrators.  In his first case before the United States Supreme Court, he won a unanimous reversal of the decision of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Ankenbrandt v. Richards, 504 U.S. 689, 112 S.Ct. 2206 (1992); thereby obtaining the right of abused children to sue their parents in federal court and eliminating the hundred year old “domestic relations exception” to federal diversity jurisdiction. He has been admitted pro hac vice in over 40 states. He is an ardent opponent of “Parental Alienation Syndrome,” having cross-examined its creator, Richard Gardner, and other proponents in successful efforts to exclude evidence based on the bogus science advanced by PAS.  He has obtained several million dollar verdicts on behalf of sexually abused children and adults.  He has drafted protective statutes related to child welfare, termination of parental rights and child custody; several have been adopted by state legislatures. Attorney Ducote is the author of Guardians ad Litem in Private Custody Litigation: The Case for Abolition, 3 Loy. J. of Pub. Int. L. 106 (2002).  Attorney Ducote has appeared on Donahue, Oprah, 60 Minutes, CNN, Good Morning Britain, and Leeza; and his interview quotes have appeared in Parade Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Money, Newsweek Magazine, Oprah Magazine and the National Law Journal.  He was recently featured in PBS's Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories (10/05); exposing the problem of family courts awarding custody of children to abusive parents.

Daniel G. Saunders

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EVERGEEN, Ala., Jan. 27, 2006
Quote from Tracie Lee Dean.  Her instinct and fortitude has rescued two children from terrible abuse.
"I had to go through hell before anyone would listen to me. I thought I was going crazy. I'm just glad she's safe."
A man and woman are in police custody in the possible sexual abuse of a 3-year-old girl and teenage boy thanks, authorities say, to the diligence of a Decatur, Ga., woman who continued to insist that authorities look into the case.
Conecuh County District Attorney Tommy Chapman said the man identified himself as Jack Wiley, 58. According to the Mobile (Ala.) Register, he was charged with two counts of rape and one count of sodomy.
For the complete story see the Alabama Page

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Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper

Jersey inquiry:'A child lies buried... I'm not going to walk away'
Last Updated: 12:03am BST 23/05/2008

The policeman at the centre of the Jersey inquiry tells Gordon Rayner he will not be cowed by threats   Doing what we have to do': Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper was unprepared for the 'venom' directed against him
Bent cops. Hostile politicians. Buried bodies. And at the centre of it, a maverick lawman who has received death threats for daring to uncover dark secrets from the past. 
Sounds familiar? It is, of course, a formula that has been endlessly revisited by film and television scriptwriters. But for Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper this is real life in the unlikely setting of Jersey, as he and his team try to discover the truth about appalling physical and sexual abuse allegedly meted out to more than 100 children in a former care home.
Although Harper is considered a hero by those who trust him enough to reveal the details of their childhood at the Haut de la Garenne home, there are those on the island who see the Ulsterman as an enemy of the state, an "outsider" poking his nose in where it is not welcome.
Since he became involved in the investigation, he has had more than 140 poison-pen letters - one even threatening to burn down his house and firebomb his car.
Ministers in the island's parliament have ridiculed him, referring to him as "Lenny Henry", and earlier this month Jersey's two most senior politicians used keynote speeches to suggest that the real scandal was not child abuse but the media coverage of the case which Harper has unapologetically courted.
Until now, Harper has refused to be drawn into a fight, but on Wednesday he could barely contain his anger as he faced the cameras to rebut suggestions that he had deliberately withheld a laboratory report that suggested a "skull fragment" found at the home might in fact be a piece of wood or coconut shell.
Not only had he not seen the lab report, he said, but cuts on some of the 30 pieces of bone and seven milk teeth discovered so far by his team pointed to "a homicide or unexplained death". He even produced one of the teeth to press home his point.
His message was clear: no amount of criticism will prevent him from pursuing the truth.
In his most candid interview to date, Harper, 56, admits that the increasingly personal attacks on him have taken their toll and concedes that his retirement later this year will come as a relief.
"Make no mistake, this is the most stressful job I have ever had," says Harper, who worked for the Metropolitan Police, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Strathclyde Police before taking this posting in Jersey six years ago.
"It's more stressful than working in south London, Glasgow, the Springfield and Falls Roads in Belfast.
"I have had not only threats to have my house and car burned, there have been rumours spread about my private life, letters written by people suggesting I'm having an affair… It's just constant. People have called me a liar, and at one point a letter was circulated to the newspapers in London saying I was guilty of abuse.
"So yes, I have taken it personally and I am finding it quite difficult."
Like the old-fashioned copper he is, Harper has, on the whole, refused to take up valuable police resources investigating the smear campaign, or even the threats against his property.
He finally drew the line, however, when one critic persistently made obscene gestures at him when he was out with his wife, Christina - and made sure the person in question was given a warning.
"It's had an effect on my wife as well… it's not pleasant and it's just unremitting," he says. "I do not have a problem with the job and doing the job, but it's all the surrounding nonsense.
"There are those who are just waiting for us to make a mistake. We are doing what we have to do, and there is no way we can backtrack on that. A child or children lies buried in the cellars under Haut de la Garenne, and no one would expect us to just walk away from that, even if it eventually turns out that those bones are very old."
Speaking in the TV lounge of Haut de la Garenne, Harper admits he was unprepared for the "venom" directed at him, and has been surprised at where it has come from.
While he has had widespread support from "ordinary people", and singles out the island's home affairs minister for praise, he adds: "I don't need to comment on the rest of the politicians; what they have said speaks for themselves."
He is too discreet to mention anyone by name, but it was Jersey's health and social services minister Ben Shenton (whose job is to combat child abuse) who sent an email to cabinet colleagues in March ridiculing Harper and saying: "My wife keeps referring to Lenny Harper as Lenny Henry - I don't think she's far wrong."
The question has also been raised publicly as to whether Harper had ever been investigated for "adult abuse".
Earlier this month the island's bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache (who acts as the speaker in Parliament) said in his annual Liberation Day speech that many journalists continued to write about the island's "so-called child abuse scandal.
All child abuse… is scandalous, but it is the unjustified and remorseless denigration of Jersey and her people that is the real scandal". The Chief Minister Frank Walker, the equivalent of Jersey's prime minister, has also rounded on those who have drawn attention to the case, accusing them of "trying to shaft Jersey internationally".
"They don't like me," says Harper. "That much is obvious. I don't know the reason why. I'm quite sure none of them has got any connection with it but it's beyond me."
Since the Second World War, Jersey, which as a Crown Dependency makes its own laws, has been ruled largely by a political elite of businessmen and bankers who appear to have transplanted the Jersey financial sector's culture of silence into all branches of the island's establishment.
Harper says he first encountered this omerta when he was investigating several corrupt police officers who had variously been accused of taking bribes, accessing police databases as favours for associates, and passing on intelligence files.
Is it simply that Jersey's political elite are fearful that negative publicity will damage the island's banking and tourism?
"They don't like bad news, and I don't suppose they like the fact that the bad news is coming from elsewhere." Meaning from someone who's not Jersey-born? He nods.
The Deputy Chief Officer has a wicked sense of humour and a throaty laugh, but they do not disguise his determination to seek justice for the 116 people currently regarded as victims of abuse on the island.
Tragedy struck his own family four years ago when his son-in-law was killed in Iraq while serving with the Royal Military Police. His daughter Raqual was pregnant with the couple's second child at the time.
Harper is close to his two grandchildren and, like any parent or grandparent would be, he is sensitive to the suffering which children have been through in Jersey's dark past.
"Regardless of whether this becomes a murder investigation, we are dealing with victims of alleged child abuse, and some people seem to forget that," he says.
With a defiant dig at some of his predecessors, he adds: "Many of the victims have had no contact with the police previously, other than hostility, and they are telling us they have come forward because they trust the inquiry team. That is a great source of pride for me and for the team."
He also cites the alleged victims as the reason for his controversial decision not to go public with doubts about the "skull fragment". "If I had announced it, the knives would have come out," he says.
"The inquiry team would have been attacked… and my view was that that would have done the abuse victims no good at all. Now I have given my detractors twice the stick to beat us with, but the truth is they didn't need an excuse."
He will retire on August 31, when the inquiry will still be wide open. Will he have mixed feelings? "It will be a huge relief in some ways to leave the pressure behind," he says. "I will miss the people who I'm working with on this inquiry immensely.
It is the best inquiry team I've ever worked with. But if I can tell myself that I've done everything I can do for the victims and for the people working for me then I will be quite content."

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Andrew Vachss

Child Protection

Many Vachss novels feature the shadowy, unlicensed investigator Burke, an ex-con, career criminal, and deeply conflicted character. About his protagonist, Vachss says:

If you look at Burke closely, you'll see the prototypical abused child: hypervigilant, distrustful. He's so committed to his family of choice — not his DNA-biological family, which tortured him, or the state which raised him, but the family that he chose — that homicide is a natural consequence of injuring any of that family. He's not a hit man. But he shares the same religion I do, which is revenge.

– "Andrew Vachss," Horror Online, April 1999.

Vachss coined the phrase "Children of the Secret," which refers to abused children, of whatever age, who were victimized without ever experiencing justice, much less love and protection.[8] In the Burke novels, some of these Children of the Secret have banded together as adults into what Vachss calls a "family of choice." Their connection is not biological, and their bond goes well beyond mere loyalty. Most are career criminals; none allows the law to come before their duty to their family.