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Jacob Wetterling Resource Center director honored with national award

A national organization is recognizing the director of the St. Paul-based Jacob Wetterling Resource Center for her work in advocating for missing and murdered people, and for sexual abuse prevention. Alison Feigh is one of 28 recipients around the country of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s annual Visionary Voice Awards, the center announced Tuesday.

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Families wanting answers on cold cases take their plea to the Legislature

A new bill being hammered out by Minnesota legislators hopes to breathe new life into reinvestigating cold case murders on a consistent basis. The bill seeks to empower families of victims and to survivors by forcing law enforcement agencies to reopen cases upon request. Zero Abuse Project’s Director of Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, Alison Feigh, speaks to the bill and its potential impact.

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ChildFirst launches in Nigeria

Zero Abuse Project, in partnership with the Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre, has graduated 30 Nigerians from the justice sector, child protection sector, and law enforcement, as child forensic interviewers for child sexual assault. As the first academy on the continent, it sets a precedent that will echo across borders, inspiring others to join the mission of creating safer spaces for children in Africa.

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Attacks in the metaverse are booming, and police are starting to pay attention

As virtual reality programs are booming, so are reports of attacks, harassment and sexual assault. Some activists argue these incidents should be treated as serious — even criminal — acts. And authorities are starting to pay attention. This spring, under a grant from the U.S. Justice Department, the Zero Abuse Project will hold workshops to explain the metaverse and its dangers to state and local police.

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A Final Wave of Sex-Abuse Lawsuits as One-Year Window Closes in New York

In the year since a one-time window opened in New York State allowing people to file sex-abuse lawsuits even after the statute of limitations had expired, more than 3,000 civil suits have been filed. Now, the focus is shifting to new legislation that could create another window for lawsuits or make permanent the ability to file civil lawsuits for sexual assault beyond the statute of limitations.

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Redwood County Attorney’s Office Hosts Zero Abuse Training

The Redwood County Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with The Minnesota County Attorney’s Association (“MCAA”) and Zero Abuse Project (“ZAP”), hosted Investigating and Prosecuting Stalking, Sexual Assault, and Domestic Violence, a two day training which brought together professionals from agencies across the State including law enforcement, prosecution, advocates, and social workers who listened and learned from experts.

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Judge awards $140M damages to victims in Michael Kelly case

Michael Kelly, a former New Hanover County Schools teacher who pleaded guilty to 59 sex crimes against children in 2019, has been ordered to pay $140 million in damages to the 14 plaintiffs in a civil case. The estimation for damages was completed by Jeffery Dion, CEO of Zero Abuse Project.

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John Stamos shares heartbreaking revelation of abuse with fans

John Stamos says he was sexually abused by his babysitter as a young child. The former “Full House” star made the heartbreaking revelation in advance of his upcoming book, “If You Would Have Told Me.” The 60-year-old told People magazine that he tried to “pack it away,” but that “it took me writing a book,” to realize what he accuses the babysitter of was inappropriate.

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Child abuse prevention conference calls for more to take action

Organizations and individuals from all across South Dakota made their way to Sioux Falls Thursday, meeting and discussing plans to combat child abuse in the state. Not only are more resources and training needed, more people overall are needed to help work towards a solution. Victor Vieth, CPO for Zero Abuse Project, stepped up as the first keynote speaker of the conference. His message to those in attendance is for more education for people like teachers, doctors, and more to help better spot and prevent abuse.

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Book about Wetterling tragedy draws high praise

After seven years of on-and-off-again writing, a memoir entitled “Dear Jacob: A Mother’s Journey of Hope” that was co-written by Patty Wetterling – Co-Founder of Jacob Wetterling Resource Center – and Joy Baker will be published and released October 17, 2023.

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ChildFirst trains young attorneys on how best to help child victims

Hancock County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Aimee Herring was one of a handful of professionals across the state invited to present at the Indiana ChildFirst Forensic Interview training as a part of Zero Abuse Project’s National Forensic Interview Training — a five-day, 37-hour course. “When we come to the table with the common goal of protecting children, we can all learn something from each other,” Herring said.

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‘Scouts Honor’: Netflix reveals the Boy Scouts’ child sexual abuse cover-up

On Sept. 6, Netflix will debut “Scouts Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America,” a documentary about how one of the largest youth organizations in the U.S. — with over 700,000 members — tried to cover up one of the most widespread child sexual abuse scandals in history. The project will prominently feature Zero Abuse Project Board member, Detective Michael Johnson.

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SD sees progress with CAST for child abuse case workers

In the past couple of years, the University of South Dakota has seen its first groups of students earn certificates with CAST, where participants get a deeper understanding of child maltreatment and how to respond. The University of South Dakota’s Department of Social Work Chair Kelly Bass is the director of the new program. He said integrating realistic cases through simulation has helped USD’s model see some early success.

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