Half of adult mental health issues begin in childhood, according to a report (picture posed by models) “My dad left when I was four and I remember thinking it was all my fault. At s
Police said that over a period of three months, between March and June 2014, the boy’s mother and her then-boyfriend kept the child locked in a bedroom in their Southeast D.C. apartment as “punishment” for misbehaving. The mother later told police she was “embarrassed” because the boy has cerebral palsy, according to court papers. She also said she “hated” her son and blamed him for a miscarriage, the papers said.
The mother, Betty T. Threatt, 27, is to appear Monday before Judge Rhonda Reid Winston in D.C. Superior Court, and her attorney said in court that she intends to enter a plea deal with prosecutors. Neither side would discuss details of the agreement. Her former boyfriend, Lester O. Jackson, 52, rejected a plea offer and is to go to trial in July.
Court, police and social service documents, along with family interviews, present a harrowing tale of how the boy allegedly ended up locked away without anyone noticing. Bulluck told social workers that Threatt had stopped allowing him to see their son. When Threatt moved to the District from Prince George’s County in February 2014, she failed to enroll him in school, according to two officials with knowledge of the case. The boy’s grandmother said she eventually became so worried that she called social services.
Threatt, Jackson and their attorneys would not comment publicly, and Bulluck did not return repeated calls and messages left with family members.
Threatt told social workers that she was born to a mother who was addicted to crack cocaine, an allegation her mother declined to address. At age 9, Threatt was sent to an inpatient psychiatric facilityfor treatment after putting the family cat in a microwave and turning it on, according to social services documents. “I got meds for my anger and therapy,” she told a court-appointed psychologist recently. She said she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Threatt said that a year after she returned home, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend, an allegation that her mother denies. By the time she was 13, Threatt gave birth to the first of her five children.
The boy was the second-oldest of Threatt’s children. For the first few years of his life, he was raised by Threatt, his father and his paternal grandmother in Bulluck’s family home in the 300 block of Decatur Street NW. Threatt, Bulluck would tell a social worker, “moved in and out” of the house several times during the boy’s early years, then finally left for good, leaving Bulluck and his mother to raise the boy.
When his mother died in 2013, Bulluck told social workers, he felt he could no longer care for his son and sent the boy to live with Threatt. “I thought I could trust her,” Bulluck told a D.C. social worker, according to a 28-page document prepared on Oct. 23.
Bulluck said he visited his son at Threatt’s apartment on weekends for a year, according to the report. But Bulluck lost contact with Threatt after she began dating Jackson and eventually moved, according to the social services report. Threatt would not give him her new address, he told social workers, and allowed him to speak with his son only with the phone on speaker.
As 2014 wore on, Bulluck became more concerned about his son’s whereabouts, according to the report.
In February 2014, Threatt and Jackson moved with the boy and his three younger siblings from Temple Hills, in Prince George’s, to the District. Police said that soon after the move, the couple began locking the boy in a bedroom and withholding food.
According to the police charging document, Threatt received about $700 a month for her son as part of his government disability check. She told social workers she also received about $732 a month in Social Security for her disability.
Threatt told police she had Jackson change the locks on the boy’s bedroom so it locked from the outside, according to the charging documents. She also told authorities that she struck the boy with a belt and that she and Jackson wrapped the boy’s ankles and wrists with duct tape, the documents state.
Sometime over the next few months, Bulluck and Brighthaupt both began searching for the boy, according to Brighthaupt. “I hadn’t seen my grandson in four months. My family hadn’t seen him. There had to be something wrong,” she said.
Brighthaupt said she contacted D.C. Public Schools but got no answers. She said she and Bulluck later went to a school where she thought the boy was enrolled. “They would not allow us to come in the building and check and see if he was there,” she said.
Eventually, Brighthaupt said, she called the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency. A spokeswoman for the agency declined to comment on whether an investigation was launched.
Bulluck would later tell a social worker that he thought Brighthaupt’s call prompted Threatt to drop their son off at his home on June 18.
After her arrest a few days later, Threatt’s three younger children, ages 1, 4 and 7, were placed in foster care. It is unclear who had been caring for her oldest daughter. A neglect case has been filed against Threatt involving the younger children.
When the boy was 5, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which mostly affected his left hand, according to the social worker’s report. After her arrest, Threatt told a detective that she was “ashamed” of her oldest son. Social workers did not detail any signs of physical abuse of Threatt’s other children.
Prior to her arrest last June, Threatt had little contact with police. In 2009, D.C. Superior Court records show Threatt was arrested for driving without a license. In 2012, she was arrested for assaulting her landlord and was ordered into anger management classes.
Threatt’s family blames Jackson for the alleged abuse. “My daughter wasn’t like that until she met” Jackson, Brighthaupt said. “She wasn’t into drugs. She didn’t drink; she didn’t do nothing. I’m not saying it was anybody’s fault. I’m just saying my daughter was not like that before she met that man.”
Threatt’s sister, Asia Brighthaupt, 30, said, “It was the man, the dude my sister was with, who made her do those things.”
Jackson, who has a 1-year-old with Threatt and adult children ages 34, 27 and 22, told a social worker that he and Threatt dated for about four years and that the relationship was “up and down.”
In 1992, Jackson was arrested for handgun possession. The outcome of that case is not clear. Prosecutors also allege that Jackson, while in the couple’s apartment, pulled out a handgun, pointed it at his head in front of Threatt and the children and said he would pull the trigger.
The boy, now 10, spent more than a week in the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and monitored by the psychiatric unit. “Mr. Bulluck was practically living at the hospital with his son, attending team meetings, attending therapy session (both physical and mental) to learn how to care for his son post-discharge,” the social worker wrote.
Later, the child received therapy, working on walking long distances, climbing stairs and his speech.
A teacher told a social worker in October that the boy, now in the third grade in a Southeast elementary school, was “clingy” and that there was some concern about his performing at grade level. But overall, the teacher said, the boy was “doing well.”
The boy’s grandmother said he was “excellent” and likes football and basketball. “He doesn’t talk about what happened,” Brighthaupt said.
Bulluck told social workers that he is now focused on raising his son.
“It’s all about school, video games and getting back to normal,” he told the social worker.
As for what police say happened with his son’s mother, “I will teach him to respect her, because she is his mother, but never to forget,” he said.
Julie Tate and Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.
Three thugs who carried out vicious attacks on young disabled men have avoided being sentenced for hate crime for the second time, raising fresh questions about the criminal justice system’s commitment to addressing targeted offences.
One prominent disabled campaigner said the case showed the treatment of disability hate crime by the criminal justice system was “a joke” and a “toothless weapon”.
Last week, Ben Dean, Keian Heap and Jack Clark, all from Bury, were convicted by a court of offences relating to a “merciless, sadistic and bloodthirsty attack” last October on a young man with bipolar disorder.
The trio had already been convicted of a separate attack on a young man with Asperger’s syndrome in a Bury park, in 2013.
Neither of the attacks appears to have been treated by the courts as a disability hate crime, which would have seen the three young men handed stricter sentences.
They are just the latest in a long line of violent, targeted crimes carried out against disabled people, which have not been treated as hate crimes by judges and magistrates, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and police forces.
In the latest attack, on 4 October last year, Dean and Clark had shouted disablist abuse outside the home of Kieran Clark – calling him a “mong” – and threw stones at his windows and banged on his door, until he came out to confront them in a bid to protect his home and pregnant girlfriend.
Following an initial scuffle in a nearby field, Kieran Clark returned home, but the gang persuaded him to follow them back out to the same patch of land.
They then hit him with a fence post, punched him, stamped on his head, and repeatedly stabbed him, in a 10-minute attack, during which he thought he was going to die.
Two days earlier, on 2 October, also in the early hours of the morning, members of the gang had again hurled disablist abuse at Kieran Clark – calling him a “muppet” and “schizo” – and threw stones at his window. The court heard that they had a history of chasing and antagonising him.
Dean, of New Cateaton Street, Bury, and Jack Clark, of Walnut Avenue, Bury, both 15, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and were ordered to serve five years juvenile detention, while Heap, 19, of Walmersley Road, Bury, admitted violent disorder and was jailed for three years.
All three defendants had a previous conviction for assaulting a young man with autism in a Bury park in 2012.
The judge told the trio that they had “targeted” Kieran Clark, and added: “There is something about people with learning difficulties that you three take a serious exception to.”
And he said it was “plain that you have no compassion for others who are different from you and those you perceive as inferior, even though they are not”.
But despite the judge’s comments, he does not appear to have increased their sentences using the disability hate crime provisions contained in section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act.
Sources suggest that the judge was invited to apply section 146, and agreed to do so, while the defence barrister declined to contest the suggestion that it had been a hate crime.
But despite the judge indicating that the offences would be treated as hate crimes, he appears to have failed to increase their sentences.
There was further confusion among the criminal justice agencies when a spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the attack on Kieran Clark was initially investigated as a potential hate crime, but that officers had decided later that it was not hate-related.
A police spokesman insisted that investigating hate crime was “a priority for GMP and we have strict policies in place to investigate incidents that occur and provide support to vulnerable victims”, while the investigation “was carried out thoroughly in line with GMP’s hate crime policy”.
Stephen Brookes, a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, said he was “deeply concerned” with the way the criminal justice system was dealing with section 146.
He said: “It is a facility that would make people think twice about hostility towards a disabled person, but section 146 is just not being used [and so that is not happening].
“It has become a joke, almost, a dusty file on the back shelf. It is being missed either by thepolice, the CPS or the judiciary – each one is failing to grasp the nettle.
“Until people work together, it is a toothless weapon.
“The facility is there but nobody either is using it or they are using it inappropriately. The message that comes out is that it really doesn’t matter.”
He added: “I think the judiciary are totally and utterly inept on section 146 at the moment.
“Somehow, we have to get to the judiciary for training, but they are an elite group who say they do not need training.”
Kate Green, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said there were still “too many reports of courts, the CPS and the police failing to identify and treat disability hate crime appropriately”.
She said: “Labour has committed to a new specific offence of disability hate crime. We will also make changes to the criminal records framework, so hate crimes are clearly marked on the criminal records of perpetrators.
“We will produce new guidance from the Sentencing Council to ensure the appropriate use of aggravated sentencing for hate crimes, particularly for repeat offenders, and review police and CPS guidance to ensure hate crimes on social media are adequately covered.
“We also need to ensure that those working in the criminal justice system receive proper training and that monitoring systems work effectively.”
News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com
‘…………..Women’s shelters are one of the most provocative legacies of the Western presence in Afghanistan.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Faheema stood trembling in the courtyard of the large house, steeling herself for the meeting with her family.
She took a deep breath and ran inside, her black abaya swirling around her, and fell to the floor at her uncle’s feet, hugging his knees, her face pressed against him, her shoulders heaving.
The reproaches came immediately. “How could you do this?” her uncle said. “You were always so sweet to everyone. How could you have done this?”
What Faheema, 21, had done was to run away from her home in easternAfghanistan with the man she loved. She left behind her large family and the man that her family had promised her to. Although her uncle’s words at first seemed kind, his tone had a dangerous edge: Faheema had to come home.
For a young woman from an Afghan village to go home after running away with a man is tantamount to crossing a busy street blindfolded: There is a strong likelihood that she will be killed for bringing shame on her family.
Faheema, who like many Afghans uses a single name, was one of the lucky ones: She had made it to an emergency women’s shelter, one of about 20 that over the last 10 years have protected several thousand women across Afghanistan from abuse or death at the hands of their relatives.
These shelters, almost entirely funded by Western donors, are one of the most successful — and provocative — legacies of the Western presence in Afghanistan, demonstrating that women need protection from their families and can make their own choices. And allowing women to decide for themselves raises the prospect that men might not control the order of things, as they have for centuries. This is a revolutionary idea in Afghanistan — every bit as alien as Western democracy and far more transgressive.
As the shelters have grown, so has the opposition of powerful conservative men who see them as Western assaults on Afghan culture. “Here, if someone tries to leave the family, she is breaking the order of the family and it’s against the Islamic laws and it’s considered a disgrace,” said Habibullah Hasham, the imam of the Nabi mosque in western Kabul and a member of a group of influential senior clerics. “What she has done is rebelling.”
The opposition comes not only from conservative imams, but also from within the Afghan government itself. Lawmakers came very close in 2011 to barring the shelters altogether and in 2013 nearly gutted a law barring violence against women. They yielded only after last-minute pressure from the European Union and the United States.
Now, as the Western presence in Afghanistan dwindles, this clash between Western and Afghan ideas of the place of women means many of the gains women made after the 2001 invasion are at risk.
Although the Taliban’s harsh restrictions on women alienated many Afghans and helped rally foreign support for the war, the idea that women must submit to men remains widely held.
“A lot has changed since 2001, but most people still have conservative, traditional views of women,” said Manizha Naderi, who runs Women for Afghan Women, which operates shelters or other programs in 13 provinces.
That makes the fragile network of safe houses and the women who staff them even more vulnerable to restrictive legislation and attacks by local strongmen. The shelters, like so much of the Western project to coax change in Afghanistan, are emblems of a society in transition.
While the shelters have brought freedom to many women, others are stranded, safe for a time from their families but unable to leave because neither their families nor society accepts them.
Ms. Naderi estimates that about 15 percent of the women in her shelters cannot leave — ever. For these abused women, the longer they live suspended between two worlds, the less the shelter comes to feel like a haven and the more like a jail.
A Frightening Example
Above all, Faheema wanted to avoid the fate of Amina, an 18-year-old who ran away from her family in rural Baghlan Province in the summer of 2013 and whose case became widely known. She fled when her family told her she would be marrying an older man.
Amina made it to the provincial capital and was picked up by the Afghan Intelligence Service. Unlike many runaways, who are seen as fallen women and are prey to being molested by the police, she was not abused. Instead, she was brought to the women’s ministry office, which exists in every provincial capital in Afghanistan.
The women’s ministry sent her to the only shelter in the province. But after one or two nights, her family arrived. They promised not to harm Amina if she returned home with them, repeating that pledge on a videotape after meeting with the head of the provincial women’s ministry office, Khadija Yaqeen. The girl then climbed into a taxi with her family. ………………’
While focus on abuse in residential care increased after the BBC’s Panorama exposure of Winterbourne View in 2011, there is scant attention given to the mistreatment of people with learning disabilities within intimate relationships. There is only one specialist refuge in the UK for women with learning disabilities who have suffered domestic violence and, until now, little research into this hidden problem.
Barbara Davis’s abusive boyfriend burned her fingers on the stove when he discovered her packed suitcase under the bed and realised she was trying to leave. He had controlled Davis, 36, who has a mild learning disability, for years. He isolated her from family and friends, verbally abusing her parents until they stopped visiting. He locked her in the privately rented London flat they shared, goading her to kill herself. She recalls: “He told me to strangle myself with a wire … he wanted me to die.”
Unaware of the existence of domestic violence support agencies or refuges, Davis (not her real name) eventually escaped with the help of family and is in supported living.
Davis’s story is typical of those uncovered by an unprecedented two-year research project by the University of Kent’s Tizard Centre that explores the experiences of former victims as well as the attitudes and practices of professionals who support such women.
Women with mild to moderate learning disabilities were interviewed for the research. They described physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and financial abuse. Researchers say some of the women’s experiences differed from those of their mainstream counterparts including “play-fighting” in which the perpetrator prepares their victim for later violence. Only four of the 15 interview subjects knew refuges existed.
The women said their partners did not have learning disabilities but did have physical or mental health issues, or a drug or alcohol dependency. Several had criminal records or were known to police.
Michelle McCarthy, who led the work and is a reader in learning disabilities at the Tizard Centre, says: “This is about coercive control and women not being free to live their own lives. These women have the least resources in terms of money and social or emotional support, so they’re going to be more vulnerable to domestic violence.”
She adds: “There’s play fighting and testing boundaries. The women have to go along with it or, as one said, they’re told ‘You’re a miserable cow’. The perpetrators have health problems and need care themselves, so the women find it difficult to leave.”
Campaigners’ efforts mean domestic violence has gradually risen up the political and public agenda – although a funding crisis means refuges are closing. The government, for example, is due to introduce a new offence of “coercive control” to address the fact that abuse is not just physical. However, there are concerns that the new law will not extend to carers, potentially allowing abusive male partners of disabled women to argue they are acting in the interests of their victim, therefore escape punishment.
Yet the Tizard research shows that most police officers do not believe that a learning disability makes women more vulnerable to domestic violence. Its attitudinal survey of police, health and social care workers from 17 police forces, 52 councils and 45 NHS trusts in England, Wales and Scotland found less than half of police officers felt women with learning disabilities were more at risk. This compares with 78% of health and social care staff. McCarthy says this is worrying given that the police are often the first point of contact in abuse cases.
Asked about learning disability training, one in five police officers said they had received “a lot” or “enough”. The research suggests professionals must be wary of diagnostic overshadowing, where problems such as a sudden loss of money or refusing support are attributed to someone’s learning disability, rather than considered as potential signs of abuse.
McCarthy believes domestic violence services must become more aware of learning disability while learning disability services must appreciate the risk for abuse within relationships. In addition, mainstream refuges should be more accessible to women with learning disabilities.
Beverley Lewis House, run by housing association East Thames Group, is the only specialist refuge for women with a learning disability. It has supported 180 women from across the UK for nearly 20 years. Councils pay an average weekly £975 per place, with referrals from across the UK. The service can accommodate 12 women and they stay an average of two years – about 18 months longer than at a mainstream refuge. The intensive support plan includes one-to-one counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy. Most women move on to supported living, some with a few hours of social care support a week after gaining new life skills and confidence.
Manager Asha Jama suggests the lack of focus on learning disability and domestic violence could be because women live with partners in “ordinary housing” and have mild support needs. This gives a false impression of their safety and resilience. “People [wrongly] think they’re safer [than in residential care],” she says. “The people we support have very quiet voices … It’s about looking at the person as a set of behaviours and acknowledging they have an emotional life with the same aspirations as everyone else.”
Following the research findings, the Tizard Centre has produced a video, Don’t put up with it, information leaflets for women suffering abuse, and guidance for police, health and social care professionals.
McCarthy says: “Women with learning disabilities are women first. Anything that other women are experiencing, they experience too; there’s nothing about having a learning disability that protects women from domestic violence.”……….’
- Care visits for thousands of frail pensioners rationed to just five minutes
- Some staff are even being told not to waste time by making conversation
- Over 12 months, 209,000 five-minute slots were allocated by six councils
- Figures show 70% of councils still running ‘unacceptable’ 15-minute slots…………..’
‘……………….Freedom of information responses for 116 of the 150 local councils in England show that six actively commissioned five-minute care visits in 2012/13 – predominately from private firms.
They were Bury, Derbyshire, Dudley, Leicestershire, Milton Keynes and North Lincoln. In 2011/12, they were commissioned by Sandwell and Buckinghamshire.
Seventy-two out of the 103 councils that provided information used 15-minute slots in 2012/13 – a total of 1.8million visits. ………..’
So Paul Burstow LibDem MP and Norman Lamb LibDem Care Minister are critical of this, Paul reportedly said ‘care workers were being turned into clock watchers’ and Norman reportedly said ‘totally inappropriate and unacceptable’, the LibDems are part of the coalition government which is responsibile for austerity cuts, thereby forcing councils to cut care to the bone or beyond.
Care is not being provided and the persons requiring care are being, at the least, left without provision for basic needs, and eventually even worse.
These cuts are also causing a knock on effect of creating even more resources being required in the near future, not only on Social Services, but on the resources of the NHS.
We all wish to have choice, be respected and treated with dignity so why is this being denied to a large section of the UK community.
This is state created abuse of persons requiring care, which is causing safeguarding situations where these persons will be at risk of harm and more then likely demise.
This is non-care in the UK.
‘Of 21,000 older people admitted to hospital from care homes, an unusually high number are dehydrated, according to the findings of an Oxford University study.
Published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and taken from results compiled over a two-year period, the study found high sodium levels in 12 per cent of care home admissions, in contrast to 1.3 per cent from the rest of the population.
Authors of the study suggest that care home staff might be attempting to prevent incontinence by giving residents less fluid, but warn that dehydration means patients are far more likely to die in hospital, often from from heart attacks and pneumonia. ……’
A true reflection of care in the community in the UK and this is only one of many stories that could be told.
My name is Dan. I am a person with a learning disability, I am 23. I work at CHANGE. I inspect care homes.My blog is about my experience of living in Care Homes.
I used to live in supported living but it didn’t feel like that it felt like an institution to me and here’s why:
You were told what to do and it didn’t feel homely. It felt very cold in the atmosphere in the house because the staff used to sit in my living room on their mobile phones. This made me feel angry. The staff used to watch what they wanted on the television and they would turn the two other residents who were disabled women to the the wall while they, the staff, watched the television.
One of the women who lived there, when she needed the toilet, the staff said she had to have 2…
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Many, if not all councils are making cuts which will affect frontline services and some of these will reduce the amount of care being given or made available to some of the most vulnerable adults in the UK.
Many of these adults are reliant solely on their council funded care packages, as their disability benefits are used to fund other essential daily living costs, such as food, heating and other costs.
Some may have family carers, but these carers are already providing care to the limit of their resources. There is no slack for them to do more. many of the carers, themselves are aged and after many years of caring, their health as or is beginning to deteriorate.
The effects of any of these cuts will enhance the health deteriorisation of both family carers and those being cared for. This will, create many safeguarding issues and will further stretch the resources of both the NHS and Social Services.
Thereby creating a much greater funding crisis.
While I do not begrudge the ‘ring fenced’ money for Overseas Aid, thereby safeguarding the vulnerable overseas, but why can not the same be given to the vulnerable of the UK.
Why single out children, abuse is rife in the UK society of today, to any one classed as being vulnerable or being a person who may be at risk. This includes children, the elderly, the persons with a disability or in effect any person who is at risk from a person with power or assumed power. This power person could be a parent, a relative, a stranger, a friend, an employer, a work colleague, the list is endless. This is because an abuser could be anybody and the abused could be anybody, it only takes someone in a state of power or assumed power to commit abusive acts to someone who they know or feel is in a vulnerable state.
Then, in effect, all persons should be resonsible for reporting any acts of assumed abuse. It would then be the responsiblity of the appropriate bodies to investigate and to then act accordingly.