Quote of the Day

“I have come to believe that in order to thrive, a child must have at least one adult in her life who shows her unconditional love, respect, and confidence.”

  • United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in her book “My Beloved World”
Quote of the Day

UK Convicts Youngest Revenge Porn Offender

The UK recently convicted a 17 year old juvenile male of posting sexual content of his 14 year old ex-girlfriend. The sentencing judge admonished him with the following:

“There is absolutely no justification for what you did.You have broken her trust that private and intimate pictures would be respected and kept private. . .It may well impact her ability to trust men in the future and relax in intimate situations. . .She was only 14, she has got her whole life ahead of her and what you did to her, the feelings you caused her, will stay with her the rest of her life.”

See the full story here:


The Arizona legislature had a difficult path in enacting “revenge porn” statutes, as local businesses argued that the statutes had a potential “chilling effect” on  the First Amendment. Specifically, that it would place liability on book sellers and arts and entertainment industries where they have no way of ensuring that possible victims consented to nude and/or sexually explicit images. Defenders of Children has an interest in protecting children and  domestic violence victims, and hopes that this statute helps alleviate further domestic abuse.

The following is the current Arizona statute:

13-1425. Unlawful distribution of images; state of nudity; classification; definitions

A. It is unlawful to intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise or offer a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording of another person in a state of nudity or engaged in specific sexual activities if the person knows or should have known that the depicted person has not consented to the disclosure.

B. This section does not apply to any of the following:

1. Lawful and common practices of law enforcement, reporting unlawful activity, or when permitted or required by law or rule in legal proceedings.

2. Lawful and common practices of medical treatment.

3. Images involving voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting.

4. An interactive computer service, as defined in 47 United States Code section 230(f)(2), or an information service, as defined in 47 United States Code section 153, with regard to content provided by another person.

C. A violation of this section is a class 5 felony, except that a violation of this section is a class 4 felony if the depicted person is recognizable.

D. For the purposes of this section, “state of nudity” and “specific sexual activities” have the same meanings prescribed in section 11-811.

UK Convicts Youngest Revenge Porn Offender

The Long-Term Consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences

Researchers have shown that adverse childhood experiences can have long-term effects on children’s academics and physical health. Studies also show that these events can negatively influence a person over an entire lifetime.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) include emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, neglect, witnessing domestic violence, and parental divorce. This can be exposure to a one-time event, or sustained over time. Each child’s perception to the event and reaction will be different.

The study states that “while some stress in life is normal- and even necessary for development- the type of stress that results when a child experiences ACEs may become toxic when there is ‘strong, frequent, or prolonged activation of the body’s stress response systems in the absence of the buffering protection of supportive, adult relationship.’ The biological response to this toxic stress can be incredibly destructive and last a lifetime.”

See the article at:


See the study at:


The Long-Term Consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences

Whether an Alleged Abuser Should Personally Cross-Examine Victims

A recent Arizona criminal case raised the question of whether an alleged abuser should be allowed to personally cross-examine the minor victims in a sexual abuse case. The case deals with a defendant who is personally representing himself. In criminal cases, the Confrontation Clause of the United States Constitution guarantees that “the accused shall enjoy the right to… be confronted with the witnesses against him.” This confrontation is achieved through cross-examination.  Usually, the defendant’s attorney directs all cross-examination, thus protecting the victims from having to personally interact with the defendant. However, if defendants are self-represented, they are allowed to direct all cross-examination themselves; including cross-examining the victims in the case.

Arizona has a variety of statutes in place to protect victims and their families from interacting with criminal defendants.  Although Arizona has safeguards to protect minor victims from having to be in the same room with the defendant while testifying, there is not yet a statute to prevent a defendant from personally cross-examining victims. The trial court, after an evidentiary hearing, determined that the defendant would be able to personally cross-examine one of the minor victims. The victim’s attorney appealed to the Arizona Court of Appeals.

The Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision, basing their decision on the Supreme Court case Maryland v. Craig.  The Supreme Court in Maryland v. Craig ruled that child victims may be in a different room from the defendant during cross-examination if certain requirements are met.It did not address the issue of whether a defendant may personally cross-examine the victims.Unsatisfied with the Arizona Court of Appeals decision, the victim’s attorney filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court for review of the issue.

Defenders of Children submitted an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief to the United States Supreme Court in support of one of the minor victims. This type of brief supports the argument of the Petitioner and allows the Court to consider different perspectives public policies that would be affected by a case decision. We focused our argument around two issues: 1) Whether the reliability of a victim’s testimony could potentially be affected when having to directly interact with their perceived abuser; and 2) Victims cannot be properly protected by the Arizona rules of evidence because abusers have specific tactics to intimidate and harass victims that are unknown to judicial actors. We provided research and statistics on recantation, a victim’s “fight, flight, or freeze” reactions when exposed to stimuli that cause potential trauma, and the grooming and intimidation that defendants use to exert power over victims.

The day we submitted our brief, the defendant in the case agreed to not personally cross-examine the victims. Instead, he will allow his advisory counsel or the judge to ask his questions instead. At this date, the United States Supreme Court has not determined whether they will hear the case.

Although this is a victory for these particular victims,the larger issue of a defendant’s ability to personally cross-examine victims is still undetermined. This potentially leaves other victims vulnerable to a defendant’s intimidation and harassment in an already hostile process. It is our hope that statute or case law will act to protect future victims in criminal cases.

News coverage of the case can be accessed at:


Whether an Alleged Abuser Should Personally Cross-Examine Victims

Bad Grandpa

We’ve heard of parents leaving their children in the car on warm summer days, but this is the first we’ve heard of a Grandfather leaving his 5-year-old granddaughter in the desert for over 4 hours. With a loaded .45 caliber handgun. What’s more, he apparently spent the time eating cheeseburgers and having drinks. Thankfully, the little girl was rescued by her Mother and a volunteer firefighter.

Find the story here:

Grandpa Leaves Girl in Desert

Bad Grandpa

About Us:

Defenders of Children is an Arizona nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization launched in January 2008 by a team of professional child advocates with 60 years combined experience. Defenders of Children does not directly represent children or family members in legal matters, but employs its resources to ensure that abused (or allegedly abused) children receive the protections and the rights to which they are entitled.

To learn more, please visit us at:



To protect children and end the cycle of abuse in our society.

We do this by providing assistance on a case-by-case basis to abused (or allegedly abused) children where there is compelling evidence of ongoing abuse or denial of rights. Defenders works to ensure the safety of children and their rights to a healthy living environment. Further, Defenders of Children provides an educational outreach to adults and child welfare professionals most likely to intervene and ensure that child abuse will be prevented.

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