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sexual-abuseThe shocking events that unfolded at Penn State last week are a stark reminder of the sludge that rises to the surface when a sexual abuse scandal is uncovered. Victims often fail to speak out — perhaps out of embarrassment, perhaps out of fear, perhaps out of the sheer fact that no one will take them seriously.Accused perpetrators hide their behavior. If discovered they deny, minimize and often blame the victim.

If an intermediary institution, such as the Roman Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, the military or even a university, connects the abuser to the abused, many forms of misdirection emerge: silence, tunnel vision, cover-ups, lies, disingenuousness, a bad memory, changing the subject, plausible deniability and on and on.

Event Is A Tribute To Founder Marleine Bastien

Marleine BastienWhen a grieving Haitian mother recently came to South Florida to let the world know that her daughter had been murdered by thugs in the Dominican Republic, she sought out Haitian activist Marleine Bastien to arrange a press conference. When an elderly Jamaican grandmother traveling through U.S. customs in Miami a few weeks ago vanished without a trace, her friends and family turned to Bastien to help track down their loved one’s whereabouts.

And when a Haitian immigrant was detained for hours on end last summer, it was Bastien who spent hours fighting for and ultimately winning his release. Bastien’s extraordinary dedication to the causes of justice and fair immigration policies will be publically recognized when the agency she founded - Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami or Haitian Women of Miami - celebrates its 20th anniversary.

A United States judge says she has noticed a “marked increase” in the number of Caribbean youths who have become “entangled” in the criminal justice system.

Addressing an activity here on Oct. 30 marking the 32nd Independence anniversary of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sharon Commissiong-Gianelli, a judge in the Nassau County, Long Island, District Court, said the “stakes have become even higher” for young people who are not U.S. citizens.

Between January and June of 2011, the United States carried out more than 46,000 deportations of the parents of U.S.-citizen children, according to previously unreleased federal data obtained by Colorlines.com’s publisher, the Applied Research Center. The figures reflect a striking increase in the rate of removals of parents and raise serious concerns about the impact of these deportations on children, many of whom are left behind.

Congress demanded two years ago that the Department of Homeland Security begin to compile this data by July 2010, but it had not been made available to the public. The Applied Research Center obtained it through a Freedom of Information Act request.