“Hattie Williams, senior reporter at the Church Times, has covered the proceedings of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church from the beginning. She talks to Paul Handley, Editor, about the experience, and what she thinks the Church can learn.” Listen to it all (slightly under 17 minutes).
Category : Teens / Youth
Depression has become increasingly common among American teenagers – especially teen girls, who are now almost three times as likely as teen boys to have had recent experiences with depression.
In 2017, 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said they had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, up from 8% (or 2 million) in 2007, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
One-in-five teenage girls – or nearly 2.4 million – had experienced at least one major depressive episode (the proxy measure of depression used in this analysis) over the past year in 2017. By comparison, 7% of teenage boys (or 845,000) had at least one major depressive episode in the past 12 months.
The total number of teenagers who recently experienced depression increased 59% between 2007 and 2017. The rate of growth was faster for teen girls (66%) than for boys (44%).
NEW: Depression has become increasingly common among U.S. teenagers – especially teen girls, who are now almost three times as likely as teen boys to have had recent experiences with it. https://t.co/zR3Bsrj9Su
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) July 12, 2019
The archbishop of Canterbury has thrown his weight behind calls for the government to make the reporting of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults mandatory.
Justin Welby told the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA): “I am convinced that we need to move to mandatory reporting for regulated activities.”
Regulated activities cover areas where professionals come into routine contact with children and vulnerable adults, such as teaching, healthcare and sporting activities. In a church context, this would cover clergy and youth leaders.
Survivors of clerical sexual abuse have argued that mandatory reporting of allegations or suspicions of abuse to statutory authorities is a vital component of effective child protection. They argue that a failure to comply should lead to criminal sanctions.
— londonchurchfinder (@ldnchurchfinder) July 11, 2019
The British Sierra Leonean journalist Isha Sesay led CNN’s Africa reporting for more than decade — covering stories ranging from the Arab Spring to the death of Nelson Mandela.
But now, in her first book, titled Beneath the Tamarind Tree, Sesay has a chance to explore, in depth, the story most important to her career and closest to her heart: the ISIS-affiliated terrorist group Boko Haram’s 2014 kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from the northern Nigerian town of Chibok.
Sesay broke the story and followed it for years, despite government obfuscation and waning international interest after a wave of social media activism (remember #BringBackOurGirls?). For two years, 219 of the girls remained in captivity and 112 are still imprisoned.
In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, Sesay combines the released Chibok girls’ stories with her own journalistic experiences to powerful effect.
To author Isha Sesay, American viewers’ ability to forget the Chibok girls’ plight is symptomatic of a dangerous shortsightedness.
She writes that these horrors should be “right at the heart of the conversation about the global threats America is facing.” https://t.co/xHBwf7sN5c
— NPR (@NPR) July 10, 2019
The NSSG, on behalf of the Church of England, reiterates the apology to all those who have been abused by those who held a position of power and authority within the Church. It remains committed to ensuring that words of apology are followed by concrete actions to improve how all worshipping communities across the whole Church in its many forms – across its parishes, dioceses, cathedrals, religious communities, national church institutions and other church bodies – respond to concerns and allegations of abuse and to all victims and survivors of abuse and others affected by this, whilst at the same time working to prevent such abuse from occurring in the first place. The Church must continue to find ways to place children and young people at the centre of its response and safeguarding at the heart of its mission and culture.
The Church recognises that these responses are made to the recommendations from the Inquiry that have arisen as a result of IICSA’s work to date. The Church will need to consider carefully the evidence given to the July public hearings in respect of the national and wider church and is committed to progressing further improvements that can be made ahead of IICSA’s final report, when we anticipate additional recommendations being made.
This phase of the Anglican Church investigation has examined two case studies. The first was the Diocese of Chichester, where there have been multiple allegations of sexual abuse against children. The second concerned Peter Ball, who was a bishop in Chichester before becoming Bishop of Gloucester. In 1993, he was cautioned for gross indecency, and was convicted of further offences in 2015, including misconduct in public office and indecent assault.
The Church of England should have been a place which protected all children and supported victims and survivors. It failed to be so in its response to allegations against clergy and laity.
The CDC has noted that in 2017, suicide rates in the country’s most rural counties were 80% higher than they were in large metropolitan counties. While the evolving epidemic of opioid addiction and death has begun to infect the nation’s cities, it first took root in rural, largely white populations.
Across the country, rising rates of suicide, fatal drug overdoses and deaths due to alcohol abuse have collectively driven up the average American’s probability of dying at any age. In recent years, these so-called “deaths of despair” have also reduced the average life expectancy of Americans.
Suicide is now thought to be the second leading cause of death for Americans between 10 and 34.
“I don’t think it is an exaggeration at all to say that we have a mental health crisis among adolescents in the U.S.,” said San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge, whose research focuses on generational differences in emotional well-being.
Read it all (my emphasis).
The rate at which young Americans took their own lives reached a high-water mark in 2017, driven by a sharp rise in suicides among older teenage boys, according to new research. https://t.co/R5CMYJguqG
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 19, 2019
(WSJ) Julie Jargon–How 13 Became the Internet’s Age of Adulthood–The inside story of COPPA, a law from the early days of e-commerce that is shaping a generation and creating a parental minefield
At 13, kids are still more than a decade from having a fully developed prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in decision-making and impulse control. And yet parents and educators unleash them on the internet at that age—if not before—because they’re told children in the U.S. must be at least 13 to download certain apps, create email accounts and sign up for social media.
Parents might think of the age-13 requirement as a PG-13 movie rating: Kids might encounter a bit more violence and foul language but nothing that will scar them for life. But this isn’t an age restriction based on content. Tech companies are just abiding by a 1998 law called the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which was intended to protect the privacy of children ages 12 or under. It’s meant to keep companies from collecting and disseminating children’s personal information. But it has inadvertently caused 13 to become imprinted on many parents’ psyches as an acceptable age of internet adulthood.
Researchers at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society interviewed families around the country over five years and found that they believed that websites’ age requirement was a safety warning.
“Across the board, parents and youth misinterpret the age requirements that emerged from the implementation of COPPA,” the researchers wrote. “Except for the most educated and technologically savvy, they are completely unaware that these restrictions have anything to do with privacy.”
[Rosemarie] Mallett, a south London priest and prominent anti-knife crime campaigner, will speak about how the church can respond to the issue of serious youth violence and help young people affected by it at the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Dr Mallett said: “We must work with other organisations to find the best way to support young people in our parishes and our schools, and to be part of the solution to the challenges – not only of serious youth violence but the whole issue of young people who fall through the system.
“One way that churches can help is to provide safe havens for young people.
“This isn’t necessarily about running youth clubs, in many cases this may simply be providing a place where they can go, relax and feel safe, especially during the period immediately after school hours when flashpoints can occur.”
Mallett will lead the debate on combating knife crime in which she will urge parishes to open their doors after school and call on church leaders to receive training to equip them to support individuals, families and communities affected by serious youth violence.
— The Voice Newspaper (@TheVoiceNews) June 24, 2019
Recent efforts to legalize marijuana in New York and New Jersey have been stalled — but not killed — by disputes over how exactly to divvy up the revenues from marijuana sales and by worries about drugged driving. Those are both important issues. But another concern should be at the center of this debate: the medical implications of legalizing marijuana, particularly for young people.
It’s tempting to think marijuana is a harmless substance that poses no threat to teens and young adults. The medical facts, however, reveal a different reality.
Numerous studies show that marijuana can have a deleterious impact on cognitive development in adolescents, impairing executive function, processing speed, memory, attention span and concentration. The damage is measurable with an I.Q. test. Researchers who tracked subjects from childhood through age 38found a consequential I.Q. decline over the 25-year period among adolescents who consistently used marijuana every week. In addition, studies have shown that substantial adolescent exposure to marijuana may be a predictor of opioid use disorders.
The reason the adolescent brain is so vulnerable to the effect of drugs is that the brain — especially the prefrontal cortex, which controls decision making, judgment and impulsivity — is still developing in adolescents and young adults until age 25.
It’s tempting to think marijuana is a harmless substance that poses no threat to teens and young adults. The medical facts, however, reveal a different reality, write two physicians. https://t.co/LOBE3uIh4Y
— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) June 16, 2019
Churches will be encouraged to offer a place of sanctuary for young people as part of efforts to combat knife crime and serious youth violence, in a key debate to be held at the General Synod next month.
The Revd Canon Dr Rosemarie Mallett, a priest in Angell Town, south London, will urge parishes to consider opening their doors after school hours as safe havens for young people in hot spot areas for serious violence.
Dr Mallett, a prominent campaigner in combating knife crime, will lead a debate at the General Synod in York calling for church leaders to be trained to support families and communities affected.
She will call for churches to take a range of practical measures – from providing knife amnesty bins to training for clergy and other leaders to protect young people potentially vulnerable to ‘county lines’ exploitation.
But Dr Mallett will also highlight the unique spiritual dimension churches can bring through prayer and pastoral support for communities affected.
(Lancashire Telegraph) Senior leaders in Diocese of Blackburn call on church to protect children from sex abus
he letter, sent to all clergy, readers and safeguarding officers in the Diocese of Blackburn, came following the release of the recent publication of the reports by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) on the Diocese of Chichester and the Peter Ball case.
That report found that The Church of England’s response to child sex abuse allegations was marked by secrecy and criticised former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey for supporting the disgraced former Bishop Peter Ball. Ball was jailed in 2015 for 32 months for offences against 18 teenagers and men between the 1970s and the 1990s.
Calling on all church leaders within the diocese to read the report and learn the lessons from it, the letter reads: “The church is one body, so whilst we may not ourselves have been directly involved in the abuse of children and vulnerable adults, we are fellow members of the body with those who have and so we are all called to repentance.
“The church should be the conscience of the nation and yet as the report shows, again and again we have placed the reputation of the institution above the needs of the vulnerable. In addition, when the contemporary church fails to respond properly to allegations from the past, this becomes a form of re-abuse, adding a fresh layer of hurt and harm to those whose lives are already damaged. Trite, formulaic apologies will not do. There has been grave sin within the church, and unless corporately we name, confess and deal with that sin, our mission to the nation is fatally undermined….”
Two-thirds of churches have five or fewer young people in their worshipping community, according to a survey by the Allchurches Trust. Over 40 per cent admit their provision for young people is ‘inadequate’.
A poll of more than 800 churches has shown that more than two-thirds have five or fewer young people in their worshipping community; but that 96 per cent would love to provide more support and activities for them if they had the right skills and resources in place.
The survey carried of churches from a range of Christian denominations throughout the UK and Ireland to gain insight into the work that churches are engaged in with children (age 0-10) and young people (age 11 to 18), found that 67 per cent of churches surveyed have five or fewer young people in their worshipping community, while 26 per cent have none, and 45 per cent have five or fewer children (15 per cent have none).
The Allchurches Trust has launched a grants programme in response. Growing Lives makes grants of up to £25,000 available to help churches and Christian organisations to connect with children and young people and forge lasting links with families in their area.
Court papers have revealed that the number of victims of the late John Smyth QC have exceeded 100.
Smyth, who groomed his victims when he was chair of the Iwerne camps from 1975-82, was previously known to have beaten at least 26 young men in the UK.
When his crimes came to light in 1982 the leadership of the Iwerne network arranged for him to move to Zimbabwe to work with a missionary organisation.
Once there, Smyth started his own network of camps, in which boys were routinely beaten for his sexual pleasure. A court case was launched but aborted in 1997, and court papers from that case reveal that as many as 90 boys made formal complaints against him.
Read it all (subscription).
The Parish Newsletter of Christ Saint Paul’s Yonges Island SC for this week https://t.co/uUhVxBYiFh #southcarolina #media #growth #teens #education #lowcountrylife #religion #anglican pic.twitter.com/xPZLQsRAK4
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 17, 2019
A statement from members of the House of Bishops in response to The Anglican Church Case Studies IICSA report:
“We write on behalf of the whole House following the publication last week of the IICSA report into the Peter Ball and Chichester Diocese case studies. We recognise that the publication of this report causes most hurt and concern to survivors themselves. It reopens wounds.
“At this week’s meeting of the House of Bishops, Archbishop Justin asked every one of us to read and study the full report in detail and we are absolutely committed to this. The Church has failed survivors and the report is very clear that the Church should have been a place which protected all children and supported victims and survivors. We are ashamed of our past failures, have been working for change but recognise the deep cultural change needed takes longer than we would like to achieve.
“We welcome the recommendations.
“The report will now go to the National Safeguarding Steering Group next month so the Church can formulate a detailed response to the findings and recommendations as we approach IICSA’s wider Church hearing in July. The lead bishop for safeguarding has been asked to report back to the House and to General Synod.
“It is absolutely right that the Church at all levels should learn lessons from the issues raised in this report and act upon them”
Bishop Paul Butler
Bishop Christine Hardman
Bishop Peter Hancock
Bishop Sarah Mullally
For decades, the Church of England repeatedly and seriously failed to respond to allegations of child sex abuse made against clerics and churchpeople, the official abuse inquiry has concluded.
It also failed to implement safeguarding structures to protect children and vulnerable adults who “should have been safe” under its care.
These conclusions are included in the report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA), Anglican Church Case Studies: the Diocese of Chichester and the response to allegations against Peter Ball, published on Thursday.
The 252-page report summarises the thousands of documents, witness statements, and oral evidence given during two public hearings in London in March and July 2018. The hearings used the diocese, and the case of the disgraced former Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball, as case studies to examine the extent to which the Church of England as a whole failed to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse over several decades.
In both the diocese and the wider Church, the report states: “The responses to child sexual abuse were marked by secrecy, prevarication, avoidance of reporting alleged crimes to the authorities and a failure to take professional advice.”
This includes the Church’s “unwavering support of Peter Ball” during the Gloucestershire Police investigation (allegations about Ball came to light when he was translated to from Lewes to Gloucester), and its failure afterwards to “recognise or acknowledge the seriousness” of Ball’s misconduct.
The report comments specifically on the evidence given by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, on the case, whose response is described as “weak”. His “compassion” towards Ball did not extend to the victims, it says.
LATEST. For decades, the Church of England repeatedly and seriously failed to respond to allegations of child sex abuse made against clerics and churchpeople, @InquiryCSA report on @ChichesterDio concludeshttps://t.co/2456czvttO
— Hattie Williams (@hattieewilliams) May 9, 2019
Two former Bishops of Lincoln “turned a blind eye” to alleged abuse cases and did not report them to police until decades later, a BBC Panorama investigation…[revealed yesterday].
A list of 53 Lincoln Diocese clergy and staff was also eventually referred to the police in 2015, eight years after a review into past safeguarding disclosures was announced.
The Church of England Past Cases Review which examined thousands of records in 2008 and 2009, including some child abuse cases, found that some names could have been referred years earlier.
The police investigation that followed resulted in the conviction of three people….
https://t.co/lf3c1ZB03Z Looks like Lincoln is another Chichester. I’m sure plenty more will emerge from this & other dioceses. @churchofengland has been hiding much & hoping things would lay undisturbed. They are in crisis and still not owning it properly.
— Gilo (@seaofcomplicity) April 29, 2019
Watch it all (30 minutes).
— John Harvey 💜 (@Mr_John_Harvey_) April 29, 2019
To their credit, the Scottish Liberal Party have moved swiftly to suspend and investigate Lord Steel’s case. In this they put to shame the Church of England. At virtually the same time problems have again hit the Church of England with reports
from Chester Crown Court that the local Diocesan Bishop had received an admission from a priest abuser but accepted an assurance that he “would not do it again”. This has resulted in campaigning journalist Andrew Graystone writing to directly call for the Bishop’s resignation.
In both cases, plainly those exercising misjudgement are not bad people. I constantly remind readers that the context of the time must be factored in. However, the time for this to be an excuse allowing us to continue, simply apologising, undertaking a “learned lesson review’ and moving on, has surely passed. That scenario has been played out too many times in too many places. Victims need to see more robust responses either from the individuals concerned or from the relevant institutions.
Until such public figures pay a price, either through voluntarily resignation, through the withdrawal of honours conferred upon them, or through being shunned by the court of public opinion, we shall continue to have a culture of minimisation and cover-up. Hitherto the only ones who have paid a price for these matters coming into the public domain are the victims who have to revisit their history of pain, humiliation, anger and all the tragedies within their personal lives that go with this.
If the Establishment, secular or faith, is to retain any credibility, it is time for its members to grasp the personal responsibility that such cases require. Great reputation and personal advantage goes with pubic status: with great privilege goes great responsibility. Respect for both victims betrayed and the institutions served requires no more feet shuffling but bold moral acceptance of consequence through principled resignation.
Anything less would demonstrate precisely the kind of cynicism which our Archbishop advised us to give up for Lent when he addressed the General Synod last month. It will continue to poison our public discourse unless or until those privileged with public approval voluntarily surrender it when public confidence is no longer merited.
After telling detectives in November that he had sexually assaulted young boys in the North Charleston church where he volunteered, Jacop Hazlett made another troubling revelation: this wasn’t the first time.
As a teen in Ohio, Hazlett had been jailed for molesting a younger boy. And when he later moved to North Carolina and began volunteering in churches there, his interactions with young people drew concerns from two congregations he joined, according to a recent lawsuit.
NewSpring Church leaders insist they knew none of this when Hazlett began volunteering in the children’s ministry at their North Charleston campus last year. They expressed shock when he was accused of sexually assaulting at least 14 children during his nine months there. They said they had taken every precaution to prevent such crimes from occurring….
After confessing to sexually assaulting boys in the North Charleston church where he volunteered, Jacop Hazlett made another revelation: he wasn’t the first.
At least 4 men working for NewSpring have been accused of sexual misconduct with youngsters.https://t.co/NOJy2k3fHe
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) March 7, 2019
A Florida-based pediatrician who is also a mother is calling out YouTube over a series of videos aimed at kids with inappropriate content, including one offering instructions on how to commit suicide.
Dr. Free Hess, who runs her own website called PediMom.com, said she first encountered the video with a clip of the suicide instructions edited in about seven months ago from a concerned parent.
Hess said although the clip was removed from YouTube Kids – a version of YouTube available as an app billed as kid friendly – it had resurfaced on YouTube.
A clip from the video recorded by Hess appears to show cartoonish characters from “Splatoon,” a video game made by Nintendo. Hess said more than four minutes in, the video abruptly flips to a man offering advice on how to commit suicide.
“There has to be a better way to assure this type of content is not being seen by our children,” said Hess in a blog post published last Friday. “We cannot continue to risk this.”
This mom came across the hidden video of a man offering advice on how to commit suicide, along with several other inappropriate videos.https://t.co/NiM7bAsZ0W
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 26, 2019
Rebecca: Yes, they say if you didn’t convert to Islam you wouldn’t get home alive. That’s what they say.
Here are some of the girls two years ago right after they were released, alive but looking like concentration camp survivors, haunted and numb. This is Rebecca, skin and bones.
Lesley Stahl: I heard you were eating grass.
Rebecca: Yeah. Some of us eat that. And we are just be patient and live like that. No food. No anything.
Look at them today, in their 20s. They’re healthy and full of spirit at a school created just for them, paid for by the Nigerian government and some donors, where they are making up for lost time.
They’re from Northern Nigeria, where life can be hard and opportunities for women are limited. Now, in their Wi-Fi-equipped dorms, they have smart phones, and lap tops and their own beds.
They go back to Chibok to see their parents twice a year; over Christmas and during the summer.
Read it all (video highly recommended).
While in captivity, the Chibok girls, many of whom were Christian, were pressured to convert to Islam. They were also deprived of food. Some ate grass to survive. https://t.co/sUqbWBg7cA
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) February 18, 2019
Rev. James Martin:
But you know my faith in God hasn’t changed. It’s it’s my sort of disappointment and anger. You know certain people in the church at abusers certainly some of whom I know people who covered this up. But I think it’s also important to say that this happens in all sorts of institutions you know families schools places like that. But in the church what we need to do is really address that and be sort of forthright about it and be as transparent as possible so frankly I am really in favor of the release of these lists that have been happening that’s pretty controversial because it’s it’s necessary for transparency it’s necessary for us to understand how these things happen and enable us to move ahead and reconcile.
Well what are you looking for this week? What helps the church survive this?
Rev. James Martin:
This desire to confront it without any sort of fear. You know that you know we have of the truth the truth sets us free. I mean that that really should be kind of what we’re focused on.
You think the Pope’s doing enough?
Rev. James Martin:
I think the pope could always do more. I think that this meeting in the end of this week is really helpful it’s the heads of all the bishops conferences. There are still countries where bishops have said well it doesn’t happen in our country it doesn’t happen and are part of the world. And I think one of the reasons for this meeting is to teach in a sense those bishops the facts about sex abuse. So I think that’s a really good step forward.
On PBS Newshour: “Pope sends ‘signal’ by defrocking ex-cardinal for sexual abuse” https://t.co/XzkkyYAK4o
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) February 16, 2019
Parents should not be complacent about the risks of teenagers using cannabis, experts are warning.
UK and Canada researchers said they had found “robust” evidence showing using the drug in adolescence increased the risk of developing depression in adulthood by 37%.
They said the findings should act as a warning to families who saw cannabis use as part of the growing-up process.
The team added that the developing brain was particularly susceptible.
The researchers – from University of Oxford and Montreal’s McGill University – said cannabis use in the young was an “important public health issue”, particularly given that cannabis available today tends to be much stronger than it was previously.
Around one in nine young adults and teenagers use the drug each year in England and Wales.
Cannabis use in teens linked to depression https://t.co/e6vjV80WHU
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) February 13, 2019
In a series of interviews, nine members of the Stoneman Douglas community — students, parents, police, teachers — reflected on the past 12 months.
They did not want to relive that day. They did not want to argue about politics. They did not want to talk about the gunman’s pending trial for capital murder.
This is what they wanted to do: mourn.
In all the activity of the past year, the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, the tour across the country registering voters, the investigations, the hearings, finishing senior year, getting into college — some said they hadn’t had time to take the measure of what they had lost. As Jammal Lemy, 21, a Stoneman Douglas alumnus-turned-activist explained it, “We just had so much going on.”
A father a year after the Parkland massacre: ”Everything that I see in the house relates to Joaquin. But I also miss my grown-up son, the one I will never have — the one that will go to college, get married, have kids. As a father, you have dreams.“ https://t.co/IZrIMHIzui
— Laurie Goodstein (@lauriegnyt) February 13, 2019
Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said he was “deeply moved” by Molly’s story and acknowledged his platform was “not yet where we need to be” on the issues of suicide and self-harm.
Images that encourage the acts are banned, but the boss admitted that Instagram relies on users to report the content before it is purged.
“The bottom line is we do not yet find enough of these images before they’re seen by other people,” Mr Mosseri added.
But he said the Facebook-owned firm would introduce “sensitivity screens” making it harder for users to see images showing cutting.
The issue is not simple though.
He argues a key piece of advice from external experts is that “safe spaces” for young people to discuss their mental health issues online are essential, providing therapeutic benefits.
Social media giants should face multi-million fines if they fail to take down damaging content that leads children to suffer self-harm, bullying or emotional distress, the Church of England says today.
The bishop who has led the Church’s campaigns on social media said the Government should introduce regulations similar to Germany’s where firms face fines of up to 50m Euros (£44m) if they fail to delete posts within 24 hours of a complaint.
It is the first time the Church has thrown its weight behind a duty of care – a centrepiece of The Telegraph’s campaign social media – that would give children the same protections online as they get in the real world.
.@BishGloucester is calling for fines for social media companies that fail to take down damaging content that leads children to suffer self-harm, bullying or distress. https://t.co/0lg6ci785r @churchofengland pic.twitter.com/Gsbb55bqYf
— Gloucester Diocese (@GlosDioc) February 1, 2019
Thirty families have accused technology giants of abetting their children’s suicides in the wake of the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, as the health secretary told social media sites to take responsibility for their effect on young lives.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Molly’s father, Ian, criticised the online scrapbook site Pinterest, as well as Instagram, for hosting disturbing content that he believes played a part in his daughter’s death.
“The more I looked [into Molly’s online accounts], the more there was that chill horror that I was getting a glimpse into something that had such profound effects on my lovely daughter,” he said. “Pinterest has a huge amount to answer for.”
Papyrus, a charity that works to prevent youth suicides, said it had been contacted by 30 families in the past week. Parents said they suspected social media had played a part in their children’s suicides.
A Sunday Times investigation found numerous graphic images of self-harm on Pinterest that could be viewed by children as young as 13.
Read it all (subscription needed).
Awful. Can’t even imagine what is must be like being a teenager today bombarded with social media and impossible standards
Revealed: how Big Tech pushes teens to suicidehttps://t.co/RNo10XC41C
— Joumanna Bercetche (@CNBCJou) January 27, 2019
Church pews may be full of teenagers, but a new study says college students might be a much rarer sight on Sunday mornings.
Two-thirds (66 percent) of American young adults who attended a Protestant church regularly for at least a year as a teenager say they also dropped out for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22, according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. Thirty-four percent say they continued to attend twice a month or more.
While the 66 percent may be troubling for many church leaders, the numbers may appear more hopeful when compared to a 2007 study from LifeWay Research. Previously, 70 percent of 18- to 22-year-olds left church for at least one year.