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Amazing secrets: Dealing with the ICK factor of youth safety issues (Part 2)

WHY is this all such a mess? There is an ick factor, or yuck factor that alerts most readers to quickly consider, express what a pity or shame, and then abort further thoughts or actions when reading materials like this.

Addressing the ICK factor of missing, trafficked, AWOL and murdered kid issues.

Trying to write about the convergence of these issues is hard. In that this writer has no professional forensic murder experience. There is a stress factor to reading advanced forensic circumstances, reports and viewing related matter. This writer has an ick factor response. Other advanced skills training and professional experience, along with a lot of support takes over and this writer continues to consider, process and write.

This is not a professional paper. (This writer is a retired mental health social worker with a Masters Degree in that, specializing in children, youth, young adults and families for 25 years..... a wide variety of issues including some things related to this... sex abuse and addictions and family life. Much of this writer's professional work was in acute care settings, with complex diagnoses including traumas.)

And this is not a research paper or any kind of legal statement. It is merely an attempt to bring together thoughts that seem to have relationships about these child, youth and young adult crimes ( adolescence doesn't end until 25).

Developing perspective on this mixed issue is probably about infant/child/youth/youngadult safety, in the end. Composed of failed alerts systems, missing kids, youth and young adults, human trafficking, child sex issues like pedophila or child porn, murder, unidentified child victims and is complex.

This linked article series began by trying to document questions that have arisen for this writer in the last 6 months.

There probably is no good way to do this like this, but it sure looks like a need.

Increasing public and government awareness can reasonably include the "steep learning curve" as Dr. Lori Handrahan an international human rights investigator (professor) called it and helping the people stay "awake and alert" as Dr. Michelle Alexander a human rights/civil rights specialist (lawyer) .

This writing will try to anticipate some questions and problems, while considering what it is like to try to solve problems already in hand with no map. THAT weighs heavy on trained professionals and often overwhelms involved families, advocates and potential advocates. Some as food for thought, but more to illustrate the absence or ineffectiveness of existing process or policy to really improve responses for actual victims, potential victims and families, communities and those who provide supportive responses over multiple environments. That while reaching for what might help, expand understanding and awareness, and support diligent timely responses.

Dr. Alexander writes and speaks on the re-emergence of Jim Crow laws as human rights violation in systems and how that washes over and has worn many down failing to uphold civil rights as originally defined, and grow positively beyond that. She has a great video with a lecture at Hampshire College and has written a couple of books.

The "Steep learning curve" has evolved to a new project Dr. Lori Handrahan is working on from a very different but converging perspective, addressing the Guardian Ad Litem and Judicial Systems in the Northeastern United States, particularly Maine.... and how it is not serving human rights in children and families.

Dr. Handrahan noted the very big differences between what she initially understood an infant/child/youth/youngadult safety problem to be about. The "Steep Learning Curve" noted how that evolved into questions that seemed odd, if not impossible to some at the point of discovery.

Those findings, appear less and less odd over time, as the frequency of complex problems regarding child safety and risk have exploded. Or the recognition of the risk and problems has exploded. So the more time passes, and more people ask and tell what they see and learn, the greater chances of that "Steep Learning Curve" becoming normative, and that exact Dr. Handrahan data, or data along those lines being a starting point instead of rejected as a foreign object.

On an emotional and odd subject most people have little or no experience with , more and more families seem now touched by one or more of this set of issues of youth safety that in some countries makes the victimized person or family an untouchable. ( that is definition 3..... Understanding in sympathy and empathy that these issues must be dealt with differently is the key to better responses.

There are multiple cases that brought this writer to this article. They have appeared in multiple environments, over multiple time spans. Each vintage of problem has it's own set of things that were going on in culture and policy.. all of which is dry dry dry. But relevant.

So mixing those extreme peaks of accounts of a traumatizing crime or suspected crime, having a person "turn up missing" or "gone missing" as the current turn of phrase rolls is an interesting prospect with the dry, dry dry.

And actually, looking at some suppositions on the part of professionals of prior vintages from the Mary Phagan case in 1910 to FBI reports in the 1980's and later is odd and extreme, mixed with dry, dry, dry.

A little like maps of the world or something... science beliefs when we didn't know so much. The problem is "more will be revealed" and there are points to work from, but a limited number of awarenesses one might permamently stop on.

The problems, situations, tools and players are ever changing. Game on, all the time is exhausting... even to trained professionals. But can have pay offs.

What seems to be needed and impaired to press ahead? Empathy. Also a belief that all efforts benefit from considerations and inspections. Even perfection benefits from audit and reassessment when new tools become available. Both help manage facts, and move towards reducing the "ick factor" and on to fact based methods and decisions.

Empathic capacity is covered in professional writings and work of Dr. Berthold, once an NASW (National Social Worker) of the Year. This video shows some advanced concepts, but surely, even the general public can see merit in what she is saying. It runs about an hour, and has some highlights at 12 min, 19 min, 24.50 min, 27 and 28 min. Easier to watch the whole thing, really.

Dr. S. Megan Berthold works, talks and writes about treating survivors of torture (yes this and that have great similarities...ICK factor?) .... these issues fall along the same lines as these issue of public safety. Some of her calls for "empathic attunement" and "empathic capacity" weigh heavily in preventing what allows, perpetuates and encourages systems induced traumas.

Maybe, improved systemic empathic responses may be guided by the most recent case in this writer's purview, Racine Jane Doe, or perhaps Relisha Rudd, Myra Lewis, Bryce Laspisas or Anne J. Hill. So multiple ideas and a number of cases will be looked at in this series over the next few weeks.

The State of Wisconsin, the city of Racine.... probably without even knowing it, practices that balance in empathic attumenent that Dr. Berthold talks about. ..... pushing the envelope on their and the reader's empathic capacity. If you want to understand what she has to say, you'd need to look at her materials directly.

Racine does this all for a person who remains mostly cloaked to them, with the case of Racine Jane Doe (RJD).

Racine has shown and continue to use the following versions of






Cases like this, found or missing are solved by the public considering and sharing information with the experts. And some of those systems need tune ups, expansions or increased public awareness for use. Rarely does one set of information show itself as the silver bullet. Cooperative problem solving, expecting and seeking best practices is what cracks the proverbial code.

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