IN - Allegations of child abuse at Hephzibah House, Winona Lake, 2018

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by human, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. disgruntled

    disgruntled Verified insider/expert - Hephzibah House Case

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    Yes. you have to be from a vetted fanatical family in a vetted fanatical (supporting) church to even get the application package for Hephzibah house.
     


  2. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Just a side note about state's inability to adequately protect girls and women exploited by these "religious schools".

    The 2011 Mother Jones article linked a couple pages back discusses the difficulty in getting state legislatures to vote for some kind of regulation and accountability for these "schools".

    Most states have powerful lobbyists who fight these regulations. Below is a link to the WS thread on the case of a wife of a very controversial lobbyist for "Christian" issues in the state of Missouri, Kerry Messer. His wife went missing one night in 2014. He later admitted to fabricating a suicide note for her in which he blamed his son. He admitted to having affairs with women in his organization, among other things. His wife's body was found 2 yrs later in a remote area of the family farm. COD hasn't been determined, LE is still investigating, but his sons are adamant their father killed her so he could be free to marry his mistress.

    https://www.websleuths.com/forums/s...ieve-County-8-July-2014&highlight=lynn+messer

    Maybe it will help to take a close look at some of the people who are pushing state legislators to overlook this abuse.

    There's an episode of the "Disappeared" series on Investigation Discovery channel. It aired last spring, I think you can view it online. Here's a sneak peek

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQvovvtJSHM
     
  3. Hope4More

    Hope4More Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    Ditto at the federal level. I'm reading up on the legislative history of that House bill which would have mandated several child-abuse reporting mechanisms for private/religious institutions (which Williams actively opposed), and why it died in the US Senate.

    I'm looking for the names of those responsible in the Senate who either killed it /let it die in committee, and for any of their stated reasons for their opposition.
     
  4. disgruntled

    disgruntled Verified insider/expert - Hephzibah House Case

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    As horrible as that story is, there is a tremendous difference between abusive school tactics from 40 years ago and systematic starvation and beatings and complete total confinement with no advocate, no voice and no hope. I also was a student in a public school in the 80's before I was taken to Hephzibah House and there were school counselors and student advocates and social workers even then. Some kids were still paddled in school in the 80's My husband and I both were. 4 swats with a paddle in the school office is quite a different league from what went on at Hephzibah house. What happened to me in the 80's is of no importance other than insight into the man I know. What is happening to the children there right now is what we are concerned about. I do not believe that a man who in the 80's delighted in, giggled like a school girl at the beating of infants with wooden boards and the girls who were diapered because they were not allowed to use the bathroom until they had an accident or the girls who winced and cried when they moved because they were so raw or bruised or teasing them with food they could not eat has reformed to become a compassionate and caring and safe individual whom we should just "trust" with the girls locked in his basement. Girls who cannot even speak to their own parents uncensored, who are under harsher lock down conditions than the most dangerous killers in our highest security prisons. We can just walk away and pat ourselves on the back because it was normal to beat kids in the 80's?
     
  5. disgruntled

    disgruntled Verified insider/expert - Hephzibah House Case

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    We were scheduled to go on the Dr Phil show around 2009, but he cancelled at the last minute. I have no idea why. I assumed it had to to with more interesting stories being out there at the time.
     
  6. disgruntled

    disgruntled Verified insider/expert - Hephzibah House Case

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    I am so grateful. Those who take invite and action in any small way are hero's to those girls.
     
  7. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Great idea to do that research. With the Turpin torture case, this all needs to be revisited. Its crazy that public schools are held accountable, but not private/religious institutions.
     
  8. Margo/Mom

    Margo/Mom Active Member

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    As I see it, the biggest challenge at present is getting someone in authority (or a mandated reporter) IN the place. And without some specific information about actual current harms/activities nobody can get a warrant to get past the gate.

    I did sorta brainstorm about the bad idea of lobbing an incendiary device in--the idea being that a fire would at least get some first responders in. NOT recommended.

    But, I did a quick review of Indiana State Ed Regs for private schools: https://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/regprivschl/regprivschl.pdf (beginning on page 82). Some disappointing info:
    Accreditation of non-public schools is voluntary, and clearly Hephzibah is not raising their hand on this one. They would be considered a non accredited nonpublic school. Which gets them out of a good many regulations.

    However, if my reading is correct (Gitana?), they are required to "register" annually with the state, which gets them a number (which the do not seem to have in going through publicly available state databases). They are also (I believe) required to annually provide the state with an annual enrolment number.
    The State Superintendent MAY require them to provide a list of students (name, address, age) and they MUST respond if this is requested.
    The school MAY require students to provide something from their prior school, but they are required (again--if I am reading correctly) to see a birth certificate or other credible documentation of name and DOB for each student. If none is made available to them, they are required to report to Missing Children to ensure that this child has not been reported missing from somewhere. (don't know that this is helpful, just thought it was interesting.

    But here's the part I thought might be helpful. Each public agency (IOW, the local school district) is responsible to locate, identify and evaluate ALL students with disabilities, providing services as warranted. And this applies even to students attending private schools. Now, I did spend some time on the HH website, looking into their Mission and all those letters of support (interesting--none of them, even the letters of support from ministers--has a name attached). They define mission in terms of "troubled girls," which THEY define as being morally corrupt or rebellious. However, the rest of the world pretty much recognizes that this would be a population having considerable overlap with having learning/behavioral/emotional disabilities (frequently undiagnosed).

    Now, Warsaw (http://www.warsaw.k12.in.us/informa...14-2015-parent-student-handbook0904221pm/file) would be their local school district, and Indiana law (as well as federal IDEA legislation) gives them an affirmative responsibility to seek out children with disabilities in order to see that they get required services. Now, it's anybody's guess whether they would be willing to stick their neck out. But they are answerable to the State on this, and I don't think the HH influence reaches that far.

    Now, it's a long shot, and all it does is get a mandated reporter inside the grounds and in contact with their students (maybe). And it might take some outreach to the state DOE. But it also looks like a stone that hasn't yet been turned over.

    Anyone?
     
  9. Margo/Mom

    Margo/Mom Active Member

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    Indiana has an interesting slant to their private school exemption. Schools may CHOOSE to be accredited by the state. or not. And many do.
     
  10. ocgrad

    ocgrad Well-Known Member

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    It is exactly what we object about Sharia Law.
     
  11. ocgrad

    ocgrad Well-Known Member

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    You are a great writer Disgruntled. Write to reporters. Write to Dr Phil and Oprah. Write to as many people as possible. Your narratives will bring the needed awareness.
     
  12. disgruntled

    disgruntled Verified insider/expert - Hephzibah House Case

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    My list of contacts to make is long right now and I frankly think it is helpful if someone else makes some of these first preliminary connections. If my voice was enough they would have been shut down in 1985.
     
  13. HayLouise

    HayLouise Law Student

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    I have no problem at all passing this on for you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Hraefn

    Hraefn Verified Attorney

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    I am kicking myself for not being licensed in Indiana right now. I was supposed to take the IN bar exam next month but cancelled when we found out we were expecting. There has to be a lawyer in IN who would front the filing fees for a case against the Williams.

    IMO every willing survivor needs to sue them for everything civil law will allow, i.e. intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil assault and battery, false imprisonment, and anything else IN law allows for, as well as suing all the adults who knew of the abuse and failed to report it per IN law. Williams will come back with a statute of limitations defense but an attorney who truly cares about this will fight them on it. Lawsuits can get huge media hype even if they fail. Ultimately the goal should be to shut this family down from ever doing this to anyone else regardless of where they move or how long they wait or how many times they close and re-open. I also think every survivor should report the abuse to CPS.

    Everyone on here can contact the legislator that disgruntled told us has been met with by a survivor. The calls only take a few minutes and filling out the form online is even easier. Her staff will likely sort the messages, but if there are enough of them the legislator's themselves will know. http://indianahousedemocrats.org/contact-karlee-macer/
     
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  15. disgruntled

    disgruntled Verified insider/expert - Hephzibah House Case

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    That is exactly right.
     
  16. adot0902

    adot0902 Well-Known Member

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    I'm still reading and catching up but I think VMMKING made an excellent point, I think shifting attention to the Doctor's administrating illegal drugs or some type of tax scam could be the answer. Good Luck please let us know what you need us to do, I'm sure many would be happy to help with letter writing, research, etc. You've been on my mind since I've read your story and I can't shake it, I want to help, so just let me know how I can do that best.
     
  17. Hraefn

    Hraefn Verified Attorney

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  18. Hraefn

    Hraefn Verified Attorney

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  19. Hraefn

    Hraefn Verified Attorney

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    Another thing that could be done to help save these girls and perhaps prevent future girls from ever being placed there is to go after them on Google reviews. A few people have already posted some negative reviews but the more, and the more detailed, the more likely it is to make an impact. The few on there now some parents could write off as being disgruntled girls who never "learned" to be "godly" or "submissive" at the institution.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=hep...8#lrd=0x88169da368d05b4f:0x6c67e941ddcc9aeb,1,,,
     
  20. disgruntled

    disgruntled Verified insider/expert - Hephzibah House Case

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    This would be wonderful! Thank you!
     

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