Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Orange County NC’

UNC Chapel Hill, NC on HIGH ALERT! A murder and a sexual assault of two students within a week…

September 16, 2012 Comments off

UNC students are on alert, about an attack on a female student.

Chapel Hill Police say they’re looking for a suspect described as “a college-aged white male.”

The police say they got the report Saturday afternoon, and the victim says she was sexually assaulted in the early morning, off, but near the school grounds.

All the students we talked to had already gotten the message about the possible threat.

Nisha Walton read the warning to us, off her cell phone. She and other U.N.C. students got the warning from the school’s “Alert Carolina” about the sexual assault of a female student.

Walton said, “Most of the alerts that I have gotten have been concerning sexual assault on females. I wouldn’t say it’s something that’s common on campus, it’s usually off campus.”

Police say this most recent one also happened off campus, at a nearby home.

On Sunday, Chapel Hill Police patrolled the downtown area close to the school.

Students say they’ve learned it’s best to travel together to stay safe. Walton said, “I usually do group activities on campus, and not go somewhere when it’s like late at night or early in the morning, cause there was an incident when a girl was running and some guy tried to attack her.”

Male students say they’re worried too. Student Reddy says he also got the email saying a woman had been sexually assaulted.

Reddy said, “I am concerned, yeah campus safety is a problem, but I think the campus does have a lot of safety measures in place. And I think they do a good job for the most part. But incidents like these are problematic.”

The students praise the school for keeping them in the loop, even in cases where crime happens off- campus.

Shelby Rawlins, a UNC student , said, “I definitely think that they have to do, they have to be extra cautious. So I think that’s why they put out the email, but I definitely feel, like I feel safe enough.”

We’ve asked Chapel Hill Police for a copy of the incident report, and will release more information as we get it. Police ask people who know anything about the alleged crime to call Crimestoppers at (919) 942-7515.

Meanwhile, UNC is asking its students to keep watching the “Alert Carolina” website for updates. That website is alertcarolina.unc.edu.

UNC-Chapel Hill sent out the alert Saturday warning of a sexual assault reported near campus.

The alert said Chapel Hill police were investigating a report from a female student that she’d been assaulted in a residence near campus in the early morning hours Saturday.

The suspect was described only as a college age white male.

Chapel Hill police Sunday declined to provide any more details.

The campus alert said UNC police were asking anyone with information to call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC CrimeStoppers at (919) 942-7515. Information can also be submitted online at http://www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.

Via NBC17

A week ago, UNC lost a fellow student, Faith Danielle Hedgepath:

Chapel Hill Police are investigating the death of a UNC student identified as Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, and at this time they are treating the incident as a homicide.

“Police received a call after the victim was discovered in her residence at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road, which is the Hawthorne on the Hill apartment complex. Friends contacted police after they located the deceased around 11 a.m,” said Lieutenant Kevin Gunter. “At this point police do not believe this was a random act.”

Hedgepeth was a biology major from Warrenton, N.C, and a waitress at the Red Robin in Durham. She died just three weeks away from her 20th birthday.

WCHL’s Ran Northam was on the scene Friday afternoon and spoke to residents of the Hawthorne on the View Apartments. UNC staff member Dustin Bray returned home from work to find his apartment building inaccessible.

“I just got home and I guess there’s something going on here. I can’t get into my apartment right now,” said Bray.

Bray lives in the 1500 building where the incident took place.

He says he didn’t know anyone in the building but is concerned for his safety and if it is a murder, he says he will leave.

“I don’t know if I can do that or not, but I will break my lease if there’s something like that happening here. I’m moving out. I’m not going to deal with that. It’s right next to my apartment. I will leave.”

Christine Shia resides in the 1400 building which is directly across from where the incident occurred. She says she didn’t know the residents of the unit police were investigating but she says maintenance workers were there working on the unit recently.

Shia says she often saw people out and about, but didn’t know anyone by name.

“Everybody is pretty quiet over there- definitely students,” said Shia.

The apartment complex had not released any information to residents as of 4:45 p.m. Friday.

9/13/12 Update:

Faith’s homicide records have been sealed.

Chapel Hill police have ruled out a self-inflicted or accidental death in the case of UNC student Faith Danielle Hedgepeth — though they have yet to release new details about the homicide investigation.

On Monday, a Durham County Superior Courtjudge sealed several documents pertaining to the case at the request of Chapel Hill police.

Sgt. Josh Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the judge sealed multiple search warrants and the 911 call alerting police that Hedgepeth’s body had been found.

As of Tuesday, an autopsy had not been completed. But Mecimore said the preliminary autopsy results — which would likely determine a cause of death in the case — are not public under state law.

Mecimore said police requested the documents be sealed to protect the integrity of the investigation.

“There are a lot of details that only someone involved would know, outside of our investigators,” he said.

“It’s useful in interviewing folks to not have the general public know those details,” he said. “It could compromise our investigation.”

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, said sealing several entire documents — especially 911 calls — is unusual in most cases.  “The law recognizes in very narrow circumstances that it’s OK to seal records,” LoMonte said. “That doesn’t justify a blanket sealing.”

Chapel Hill police have said they don’t believe the slaying was random or that the community faces a threat.

But as of Tuesday night, no arrests or suspects had been announced in the case. A cause of death also has not been released.

Chapel Hill police set up a tip line for people to provide information related to Hedgepeth’s death, and Mecimore said they are investigating leads .

LoMonte said police often benefit from releasing information about investigations.

“When you have an unsolved murder, there’s definitely a duty for either the police to either warn people or reassure people,” LoMonte said.

“You don’t want people to dangle in uncertainty.”

Raleigh attorney Hugh Stevens, of the firm Stevens Martin Vaughn and Tadych, which has represented The Daily Tar Heel in court, said sealing documents in cases like these is not unusual.

“We’ve seen it with some regularity in high profile homicide cases,” Stevens said.

“Generally speaking, the justification is that releasing information impedes investigation into finding the perpetrator.”

Chapel Hill police and Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall also had several documents — including search warrants and an autopsy report — sealed after the murder of Student Body President Eve Carson in 2008.

“Sometimes it’s very much justified depending on the facts, but you don’t know the facts because it’s sealed,” Stevens said.

Via Daily Tarheel

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Advertisements

The Issue of Child Sexual Abuse…

February 19, 2011 Comments off

We Can End Child Sexual Abuse

The ultimate mission of D2L, to end childhood sexual abuse, can only be accomplished by sharing the solution of prevention, awareness and education with more and more people. This, in turn, builds momentum and over time, changes the way our nation and culture cares for, protects and nurtures our children. Being an active participant in the mission to end childhood sexual abuse is one of the most rewarding things we will ever do – and we cannot do it without you. We believe that learning the facts about childhood sexual abuse helps prevent it. Talking about it helps prevent it. Getting involved helps prevent it. The truth is, if childhood sexual abuse can be prevented, it can be stopped. That’s why D2L exists – to empower adults through awareness and to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to childhood sexual abuse.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training

Stewards of Children is the only nationally available program scientifically proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors. This revolutionary program is for any responsible adult who cares about the welfare of children. It is also appropriate for youth-serving organizations (sports leagues, day care centers, after school programs, children’s clubs, church groups and more).

Who Uses the Program?

Stewards of Children is for any responsible adult who cares about the protection of children. It is also used by individuals, organizations, businesses, and corporations who:

  • Seek training for staff and volunteers in the prevention of child sexual abuse.
  • Look to enhance their child protection policies and procedures or respond to insurance requirements.
  • Want to lead a community-based initiative and offer prevention training to the community.

What Topics are Covered in Stewards of Children?

  • Facts about the problem of child sexual abuse.
  • The types of situations in which child sexual abuse might occur.
  • Simple, effective strategies for protecting children from sexual abuse.
  • The importance of talking about the prevention of sexual abuse with children and other adults.
  • The signs of sexual abuse so you that you might intervene and be able to react responsibly.

What Outcomes Can Be Expected After Training?

  • Increased awareness of the prevalence, consequences and circumstances of child sexual abuse
  • New skills for adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse
  • Proactive, positive change to organizational policies and procedures
  • Individual commitment to action via a personal prevention plan

How is the program delivered?

Stewards of Children is available in two formats: ONLINE and Facilitator Led. The content of the programs is identical and both include three main sections including video commentary by adult survivors and experts in the field.

How Long Does the Program Take to Complete?

Stewards of Children typically takes about 2.5 – 3 hours. Think about it — in just 2.5 hours, you’ll have the information you need to better protect every child you know. The ONLINE version of the training does not have to be completed in one sitting — you can pause anywhere in the program and pick it up later without losing your place.

 

Dancing with the Stars Pro Shares Her Story of Abuse; “I Was Molested”, Cheryl Burke

February 11, 2011 3 comments

 

As any fan of Dancing with the Stars knows, Cheryl Burke exudes confidence when she’s waltzing, quick-stepping or doing the tango in front of millions.

But for the two-time DWTS champ, life wasn’t always so smooth: As a child, Burke was repeatedly molested by a friend of her family’s – and testified against him in court, helping send him to prison for nearly two decades.

“I’m telling my story,” says Burke, 26, who opens up about the molestation – and other struggles, including physical abuse by two former boyfriends – in her new book Dancing Lessons, (coauthored by PEOPLE senior writer Monica Rizzo). “They’re not secrets. There’s no shame.”

Burke’s abuser was a retired mailman who was trusted and well liked in Burke’s Bay Area community. He would sometimes pick Burke up from school and do odd jobs around her home. The assaults began when she was 5.

After he was accused of targeting other children, Burke acknowledged her own abuse. But, still reeling from her parents’ split when she was a baby, she was wracked with confusion.

“I felt guilty for wanting his love and affection,” she says, calling testifying against him “the hardest thing I’ve ever done … I saw his face and lawyers were asking me these questions and I was like, ‘What am I doing? Did he even do anything wrong?’ ”

Eventually, with the man in prison and years of therapy, Burke came to see just how wrong her abuser was.

Now, with season 12 of DWTS beginning in March, Burke is ready to tell her story. “If I can help just one person,” she says, “for me that’s all that matters.”

Cheryl Burke is now the latest in a long list of celebrities who have bravely told their story in the last year. We hope these stories will help make sexual abuse a more “speakable” issue in our society – for both the millions of survivors that carry their abuse in secret and for the millions and millions of children we can protect from ever being abused.

We look forward to the day when one of the many celebrity survivors comes forward and joins us in our fight to spread the word about how abuse can be stopped to begin with! We can prevent child sexual abuse!

Darkness to Light History, Ending Child Sexual Abuse

February 6, 2011 Comments off

We Can End Child Sexual Abuse

The ultimate mission of D2L, to end childhood sexual abuse, can only be accomplished by sharing the solution of prevention, awareness and education with more and more people. This, in turn, builds momentum and over time, changes the way our nation and culture cares for, protects and nurtures our children. Being an active participant in the mission to end childhood sexual abuse is one of the most rewarding things we will ever do – and we cannot do it without you.We believe that learning the facts about childhood sexual abuse helps prevent it. Talking about it helps prevent it. Getting involved helps prevent it. The truth is, if childhood sexual abuse can be prevented, it can be stopped. That’s why D2L exists – to empower adults through awareness and to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to childhood sexual abuse.

A Brief History

In 2000, Anne Lee, now Darkness to Light’s President and CEO, developed and implemented a strategy for a non-profit primary prevention program with the mission of reducing the incidence of child sexual abuse through public awareness and education. With tremendous community support, over $100,000 was raised and an award-winning media campaign was developed and launched in June of 2001.

In 2002 “7 Steps to Protecting our Children: A Guide for Responsible Adults” was created and Time, Inc agreed to place ads in various magazines they publish. In 2003 the documentary Childhood Stories was produced by the award-winning team of Breslin-Dunn. The documentary details the stories of four adult survivors of sexual abuse from various backgrounds and life experiences.

In 2004 we began work on an interactive sexual abuse prevention training program, called Stewards of Children, a 2 1/2 hour training program for adults. And, CNN began running Darkness to Light public service announcements nationally. These pro-bono ads were designed to increase awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse and to drive viewers to educational materials. CNN is still a significant supporter today and countless organizations and individuals have found us because of an ad they saw on CNN.

In 2006, Stewards of Children ONLINE was released as a web based version of the “live” or facilitated version of the training program.

Today we have more than 2,500 Facilitators who teach the program in 48 states and 10 additional countries and more than 200,000 copies of the Stewards of Children curriculum have been distributed and the program is also available in Spanish and Icelandic.

Other Noteworthy Accomplishments

Gracie’s Choice

Darkness to Light partnered with Lifetime Television on the issue of child abuse. The lifetime original movie, Gracie’s Choice, stars Anne Heche, Diane Ladd, and Kristen Bell. The movie was orginally aired in 2002.  “Gracie’s Choice” on Amazon

Darkness to Light Featured in Parenting Magazine

“Are you doing all you can to protect your child from sexual abuse? The standard advice is wrong: Here’s what it takes to really keep kids safe.” By Jessica Snyder Sachs Preventing the Unthinkable

Article Printed in October, 2003 Parenting Magazine  www.parenting.com

Darkness to Light Named as Noteworthy Public Awareness and Education Campaign by the Department of Health and Human Services

Darkness to Light was recognized in a report released April 2003 called Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. The report stated “Darkness to Light is a noteworthy public awareness and education campaign in that it shifts the responsibility of child sexual abuse prevention from children to adults.

Utilizing common sense messages for adults and parents, the public service announcements and advertisements center around preventing situations from happening, recognizing signs and reacting responsibly. The initiative also follows up their media message by providing a hotline for information and referral to local resources, and is developing a training and education program for educators, the faith community, and physicians on recognizing and responding to signs of child sexual abuse.”

McGruff™ Names Stewards of Children 2007 Crime Prevention Program of the Year!

The National Crime Prevention Council has named Darkness to Light their Crime Prevention Program of the Year for 2007. The McGruff Crime Prevention Award for Excellence was presented at the National Conference on Preventing Crime in Atlanta on October 4th.

Federal Grant from Health and Human Services Allows for Training of SC Department of Education

With the partnership of the South Carolina Department of Education and a federal grant from Health and Human Services, 20,000 educators were trained by Darkness to Light, making SC the first state to train teachers state wide.