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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Case Update: Andoni Petroutsas - Updated Photos


Andoni Petroutsas is a victim of an international family abduction. Andoni was allegedly abducted by his mother, Despoina Asvesta. A felony warrant was issued for Despoina on August 31, 2010.

Andoni’s father, George Petroutsas has not seen his son in almost four years. George is involved in an ugly international child custody battle to have his son, Andoni, returned to him from the child’s mother who is holding him in Greece.

A judge awarded full custody to George but allowed George's ex-wife to have the child visit her in Greece for a final visit. Now, the mother continues to refuse to return Andoni to George per the court order and an international custody dispute is underway. Unfortunately, everyday father and son are not reunited is a lost day.

These photos were taken approximately 6 months ago (late 2013) at a school in Greece:


If seen please contact Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office (California) 1-831-454-2586 or 1-831-687-9001 ΟΠΟΙΟΣ ΕΧΕΙ ΠΛΗΡΟΦΟΡΙΕΣ ΑΣ ΕΠΙΚΟΙΝΩΝΗΣΕΙ ΜΕ 001-831-454-2586.

Additional Links:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Genital Mutilation – Time to Man Up

The Crown Prosecution Service in the UK has come under fire in the last two weeks for failing to secure any convictions for Female Genital Mutilation, despite laws implemented over 29 years ago to deal with the crime.

Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM as it is often called, varies in type. The  most severe form of FGM involves cutting and scaring of the external female sex organs, to leave a small hole for urine and menstrual blood to pass. Some documented cases have found women with holes as small as a pinhole.

No wonder then that top medical professionals in England were infuriated by the recent decision to prosecute just one doctor for suspected FGM (on a woman), despite there being an estimated 144 complaints to police about the practice in the last two to three years. That anger only intensified further when it was revealed that the head of the CPS, Alison Saunders, would be required to come before a committee in the House of Commons to explain the lack of progress on this front – the conviction began to look more and more like a way of appeasing the government.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Safety Tip Tuesday: Theories & Goals to Consider When Choosing a Child Safety Program


For years, we have known that 30-minute "stranger danger" programs presented once a year are not fulfilling our youths need for safety education regarding the aforementioned. But what is adequate? For that matter, what is the real goal? To “say” children have been taught this safety? Or is it to actually save lives and protect the vulnerable? 

Stories of child abduction, abuse and exploitation frighten both parents and children. Although it is natural for parents to fear for the safety of their children, there is growing information that prevention education works. Research has established that children can be given the tools and knowledge to be safer.

There are numerous programs available for children designed to help parents, teachers and community groups better protect children, and help children better protect themselves. There are DIY programs, free NPO programs, or pricey and flashy kung-fu type classes. But again, what is adequate when it comes to the safety of your child. 

Here are few fundamental safety education theories and goals a community must address when teaching children how to protect themselves from abduction, abuse and exploitation:

The Theories
  • If we can improve the knowledge, self-confidence, and assertiveness skills of children, then they will be safer because they will be better able to recognize danger and resist potential offenders.
  • If we can improve the knowledge, self-confidence, and assertiveness skills of children, then we will be able to deter many offenders who look for and prey on vulnerable children.
  • If we can improve the knowledge, self-confidence, and assertiveness skills of children, then we can break the "cycle of victimization" in which some of those who have been victimized later become offenders.  

The Goals
  • To enhance a child's ability to avoid victimization
  • To enhance a child's self-esteem
  • To reduce the feelings of guilt and blame that often are associated with victimization
  • To promote disclosure of abuse and victimization
  • To enhance and coordinate community response
  • To enhance communication between parents and children about personal safety
  • To reinforce adult supervision and protection
  • To deter offender behavior
*Theories & Goals Provided by NCMEC  
 
Safety Tip Tuesday (#CQISTT) is a weekly post that addresses child safety, ideas, concepts and fundamental approaches that help protect children from kidnapping, abuse and exploitation. Sign-up to follow this blog and receive updates. Written by Anthony Gonzalez for Child Quest International

 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Safety Tip Tuesday: Human Trafficking 411

National Human Trafficking
Resource Center
www.polarisproject.org
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others (most often children and women). As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of "labor or services," such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will. The factors that each of these situations have in common are elements of force, fraud, or coercion that are used to control people.  Then, that control is tied to inducing someone into commercial sex acts, or labor or services.  Numerous people in the field have summed up the concept of human trafficking as "compelled service."  Every year, human traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world, and here in the United States.  Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world.

Sex trafficking includes commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), as well as every instance where an adult is in the sex trade as the result of force, fraud, or coercion.  Sex trafficking occurs within numerous venues in the broader sex industry, commonly found in street prostitution, online escort services, residential brothels, and brothels disguised as massage businesses. 

National Human Trafficking Resource Center: The NHTRC is a program of Polaris Project, a non-profit, non-governmental organization working exclusively on the issue of human trafficking. They are not a government entity, law enforcement or an immigration authority.

If you need help, know someone who needs help, or have suspicions, call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733) from anywhere in the country (USA), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

Safety Tip Tuesday (#CQISTT) is a weekly post that addresses child safety, ideas, concepts and fundamental approaches that help protect children from kidnapping, abuse and exploitation. Sign-up to follow this blog and receive updates. Written by Anthony Gonzalez for Child Quest International