Media Coverage of Sexual Violence in Brazil

Journalistic Coverage of Sexual Violence Against Children in Brazil



  • News coverage on stories involving sexual abuse/exploitation of children was found to evolve 200% in 10 years (from 2,004 news stories in the year 2000 to 6,024 in the year 2009).
  • In 2009, 18% of stories in the Tim Lopes Journalistic Contest included references to legislation, as compared to other news sources sharing information on sexual violence in general (9.7%) or children’s rights in general (5.7%). [See Slide 20 for more data]. Also, there was found to be an impact of this contest on the journalistic culture – e.g., winning journalists “gain a much deeper understanding of the problem and commit to it even if [they] change outlets/jobs” and they “become focal points within their newsrooms.”
  • The Tim Lopes contest has also been found to have impacted public policies/the state system. For example, there was an improvement of ECA (Brazilian Bill of Children’s Rights) through Amendment 485 regarding child pornography on the internet.
  • Although sexual exploitation is difficult to measure, due to the specific nature of the problem (e.g., it is an illegal activity, and many victims prefer to remain silent) and based on the “agenda setting” approach, ANDI believes that the level of public awareness on sexual violence against children in Brazilian society has grown in recent years due to more qualified media coverage.
  • ANDI cites accomplishments such as the following: public awareness about the National Day to Combat Sexual Violence, May 18, has grown annually; President Lula made the issue a priority regarding his social policies; a congressional investigation panel on the issue was established; and there was a significant growth in the number of calls to the national hotline (4,494 in 2003, compared to 29,756 in 2009).

False allegations…but whose?

Okay, this can also be “liar or denier”? In this case, the father is accusing the son, not the ex-wife, of making a false allegation.


By Rich Cholodofsky

Thursday, January 6, 2011
In a court case that pits father against son, Anthony Cesare of Delmont is asking a Westmoreland County jury to make his 28-year-old son pay for making up a lie that Cesare claims ruined his reputation and cost him business.

In court documents filed more than two years ago, Dominic Cesare accused his 53-year-old father of sexual and emotional abuse, according to Anthony Cesare.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s totally ridiculous,” Anthony Cesare testified Wednesday about his son’s allegations.

Dominic Cesare accused his father of sexually abusing him as a teenager in a court document he filed in a custody case in 2008 and in later depositions for the lawsuit.

Attorney Steve Morrison told jurors that the defense to the defamation suit is that the abuse allegations are true.

“The conduct itself is really reprehensible,” Morrison said.

Dominic Cesare never reported his allegations to police. Morrison said the disclosure came too late to have a case prosecuted.

According to Anthony Cesare’s lawsuit, the sexual abuse allegation surfaced as a manufactured attempt to prevent him from seeing his grandson. Then his son spread those allegations to customers, according to the father.

Both Cesares run competing Delmont-area businesses that install custom-built water treatment systems.

Anthony Cesare said his son’s allegations cost him customers.

His lawyer, Amy Cunningham, said there is no proof of any sexual abuse, and her client has since been certified by the Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau to act as a foster parent.

“The evidence will show Dominic never, never told anybody about this allegation of sexual abuse before he filled out that custody form,” Cunningham told the jury.

The trial before Judge Anthony Marsili will continue this morning.

Rich Cholodofsky can be reached at or 724-830-6293.

Images and text copyright © 2011 by Trib Total Media, Inc.
Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.


PAS doesn’t make manual

There are always lobbyists for parental alienation syndrome, but they did not win out this time either.
PAS is not making it into the DSM-5, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Great news for Protective Parents!!
PAS, or parental alienation syndrome, is the idea that one parent (usually the mother) poisons the mind of the child(ren) against the other parent. It was created by Richard Gardner who blamed “hysterical” women for making false allegations of child sexual abuse against fathers. He was misogynist, didn’t publish in a peer-review journal, defended child molesters, and this mental health expert stabbed himself in the chest, committing suicide.
The biggest concern about PAS is that it masks child abuse (see work by Jay Silverman at Harvard). Is the parent “alienating” the child or has the other parent abused the kid, creating hostility and fear? It also serves to scapegoat women. Children experiencing divorce can be depressed or angry for many reasons – not just because Mom tells them bad things about Dad. Then, there are the “reunification centers” where they reunite children with the estranged parent (potential abuser) and cut off ties with the parent that had the closer relationship.
Now, why is it that PAS – if it’s truly a mental health condition – works on changing children’s attitudes and not the parent’s? Wouldn’t that be working on changing the “cause” of the problem? And, is PAS a mental health condition or a legal strategy for gaining access or custody?
I refer to PAS as Pedophile Acting as Scientist. There’s no doubt in my mind that this so-called syndrome is in the best interest of the abuser. It also fails to meet scientific standards. I have no doubt parents bad-mouth each other, but it is not a mental health disorder. It is not a blanket cause for relationship break-downs or failures – sometimes, it’s because the parent can’t or won’t take accountability for their past or current actions. Sometimes it’s because there’s been abuse and it’s more common for abusers to deny abuse than it is for people to make false allegations.  

Custody catastrophes

In the Custody Catastrophes department, we have a father convicted of child sexual abuse. I’m sure if this story involved a mother, it would have made national news. The father got visitation rights (which indicates the mother must have made allegations if he didn’t get shared parenting). He sexually abused the baby girl the first visitation he got. He dumped the baby in the woods and reported that she was snatched while he wasn’t looking. Luckily, she was found and taken to a hospital. This story could have had a worse ending – and all because women’s claims are not taken seriously – and abuse could have been prevented in the first place – if she was believed and he was given supervised visitation.  

Clark gets 50 years to life for attempted murder, sexual assault on his child
Cory Clarke was sentenced to 50 years to life Friday for sexually abusing his 7-month old daughter and then leaving her in the woods to die on July 4.

Clark was convicted in March of attempted murder, first-degree predatory sexual abuse on a child, incest and other first-degree felony sex crimes.

Clarke reported the baby missing to a Walmart employee. He maintained that the baby was snatched while he was changing her brother in a bathroom.

In Australia, they’re having the same problems in their Family Court system. Women’s claims of abuse go unheeded. Here is an article about a recent study from Sydney University called “No way to Live.” The study interviews 22 women.

Act aids abusive fathers, imperils children

Here’s the report, No Way to Live

And to give you an example of the misogynist Fathers Righters, here’s a link I got when I searched for the report. I’m unable to open it though.

Malicious mothers demanding changes to Australia’s Shared

Jun 24, 2010 The study, No Way to Live, will add pressure to the federal Attorney-General, Blog Directory for Sydney, New South Wales…/law-fails-children-exposed-to-harm?…AustraliaCached

Media attention needed

Two cases are in need of media attention:

1.)  This case involves a child who’s being sexually abused by her father, who has custody. A restraining order prevents the protective mother from seeing her child:

2.)  This case involves a mother who faces 30 days in jail because her daughter doesn’t want to see her father:

If you are a writer or know someone who works in the media, please consider writing about these cases. Thank you.

Judges’ math skills

In this case, a father abuses TWO daughters for TWENTY years, which results in NINETEEN pregnancies.

The father was sentenced to NINETEEN AND A HALF years in prison. The judges thought that was too much and reduced it to FOURTEEN AND A HALF YEARS, and with good behavior that would amount to how many years?!

The judge described how the man ruined the lives of his two daughters, abusing them from the age of around 8 or 10 and continuing until their thirties.

Lord Justice Hughes said victim impact statements made by the two girls made for harrowing reading.

But the minimum jail term was in line with those imposed for “serious” murders and should be reduced to fourteen and a half years.

For the complete article, go here:  Rapist Father Receives Reduction in His Sentence After Latest Ruling.

Court-ordered abuse

I come across these cases weekly if not daily: court-ordered abuse. It involves the family court judge allowing visitation or custody of a child to a parent that physically, mentally or sexually abused him or her. The Leadership Council on Child Abuse estimates that more than 50,000 children are placed in this situation each year.

Worse, one way for a parent to get out of an accusation of abuse is to allege “parental alienation syndrome” (pas). PAS is a term used to describe how a parent (most often the mother is accused) “poisons” the mind of a child against the other parent. It is a simplistic term that lacks scientific standards and fails to examine how feelings of hostility can be natural when parents divorce or when a child witnesses violence.

In Brave Girl, 12, Tells Judge: Never Let My Father Out ! the child was sexually abused by her father during court-ordered weekend visits. She tells the judge she never wants to see her father again. Why did he have visitation in the first place? 

Sexual abuse claims are not always believed – many judges think women are being malicious and vindictive when they make these claims. Moreover, when a child states she doesn’t want to see her father again, the dads are claiming it’s PAS. Both of these issues, along with other factors, have put our family courts in a state of crisis, where the best interests of the child are not being met.

Here’s another one: Boyfriend Convicted of Toddler’s Murder, But Jury Says No Death Penalty.

Jessica Davis said she suspected Jarred Knight had been abusing her son. She testified about a change in the boy’s behavior, saying, “Tyler would latch onto me, even made marks on my neck, kick, cry, scream. It would seem that he didn’t want to go with him.”

If these behaviors, which mimic “parental alienation syndrome,” can be found in an intact relationship with cases of abuse, ya think they can be found in divorcing couples withouth the court thinking the woman was malicious?!  One can only hope – the welfare and lives of women and children depend on it.