Saturday, May 6, 2017

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School: Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse Symposium included Screening of David Feige’s Documentary Untouchable

Back on April 27th I drove to Baltimore, MD to attend the Moore Center (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School) for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse symposium.

Morning Session
·                Opening Remarks
-        Ronald J. Daniels, JD, president, Johns Hopkins University
·                Keynote Address
-        Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO, Annie E. Casey Foundation
-        Elizabeth J. Letourneau, PhD, director, Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Professor, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
·                Youth intimate partner violence and aggression: What have we learned from the Shifting Boundaries prevention experiments?
-        Bruce Taylor, PhD, senior fellow, National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago and Co-Developer of Shifting Boundaries
·                Reconstructing sexual abuse prevention through trauma-informed practices
-        Jill Levenson, PhD, LCSW, professor of social work, Barry University

Afternoon Session
·                Lunch and Learn: Does registering juveniles as sex offenders reduce juvenile sex offending? Results from six states.
-        Geoff Kahn, MSPH, graduate student, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
·                Child Maltreatment Poster Session
·                Film Screening “Untouchable”
·                Panel Discussion: Child Sexual Abuse Policy and Practice
Moderated by Fred Berlin, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and including:
-        David Feige, attorney and director of "Untouchable”
-        Jill Levenson, PhD, LCSW, professor of social work, Barry University
-        Ryan T. Shields, PhD, associate director, Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
·                The Family Impact of Child Sexual Abuse
-        Stephen Moore, MD, MPH '93, president and CEO, CarDon & Associates, Inc., chair, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Advisory Board, and Mrs. Julia Moore, founding donors of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
·                Closing Remarks
-        Elizabeth J. Letourneau, PhD 

Anyone following me on Twitter (@MaryDofVA) saw my retweets from Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau (@eletourn) that evening with quotes from presenters. 

I was so glad I made the long drive to attend this gathering not only did I meet some researchers/experts that I have been emailing with for many years I was able to view the David Feige (@DFeige) Documentary Untouchable (@UntouchableDoc) that I have been waiting for over a year to be released on DVD or via Netflix. 

Untouchable is amazing! 

It follows Florida lobbyist (including private prison company GEO Group)  Ron Book and his daughter Lauren Book (of Lauren’s Kid’s) who was just elected State Senator and their crusade to create and tighten restrictions on anyone convicted of a sex crime. There is an amazing interview with Patty Wetterling (Jacob Wetterling’s mother and former NCMEC Board of Directors Chair), a mother who’s son was sexually abused so she decided to track all “Sex Offenders” in her neighborhood and then they follows 3 (or maybe it was 4) Registered Sex Offenders who are trying to abide by and keep up with all the legal restrictions, regulations and mandates for Registered Sex Offenders in their State. Plus there are interviews with Sex Abuse and Sex Offender Treatment researchers and providers Dr. Jill Levenson, Professor Eric Janus and others. 

Before 1 more “Sex Offender”, “Sexual Predator” or “SVP Civil Commitment” law is proposed and/or one more Grant is created or awarded every State and Federal Legislator, Governor, Attorney General, US Marshal, Sexual and Domestic Group and Victim’s Advocates should watch this documentary.

I asked the director David Feige back on April 27th when DVD’s would be available (I was ready to buy 140 for every VA Legislator) or streaming on Netflix would be released and his reply was disappointing, “it will be another year or two”.  

The only way to watch Untouchable for the next year or two is to host a screening.  

Mr. Feige suggested I host a screen for the Virginia Legislature where he’d come to host it and hold a Q&A afterwards and for a few minutes I seriously considered it but then reality set in and I knew that of the 140 Virginian Delegates and Senators the odds for even a quarter of them to show up for a screening that I’ve organized, that will confirm pretty much everything I’ve been claiming and proposing for the last 9 VA General Assembly sessions was slim to none. Validation that Mary Devoy has been correct with all the Sex Offender statistics and reform proposals that most VA Legislators willfully ignore year-in-and-year-out would be too much, they’d never show up. I'm a realist I know how most of them operate when it comes to facts, statistics or possibly being proved wrong and I know how many of them feel about me and this advocacy.

So who in Virginia could host a screening of Untouchable for an audience that actually would benefit from seeing it? 

I’m not sure but I’ll keep thinking about it and if any of you belong to or support a group who would benefit from a screening, you should reach out to David Feige for a screening. 

When Untouchable is finally available on DVD and/or online streaming please be sure to sit down and watch it. And then recommend it to others.

Some quotes that Dr Letoureau Tweeted out during the symposium that really struck a chord with me:
"Policies are enacted with good intentions, but we also need to think about the pain & damage done to families." Jill Levenson, PhD
"Be courageous in dispelling the myths. Be an advocate for truth and correcting the record." David Feige
"We can't let powerful people express their anger through policies." David Feige 

Lecturers critique child sexual abuse prevention policies, May 4, 2017

Mary Devoy