By Kayla Gahagan

BISMARCK, N.D. — Lenny Hayes was just a kid when it started. To escape, he simply closed his eyes and pretended that the sexual abuse he was experiencing wasn’t really happening.

“When I am being victimized over and over, I am looking down from the ceiling and I could see my body being taken advantage of,’’ he said Monday, recalling the abuse to task members of a public hearing convened by the U.S. Department of Justice to study the impact of exposure to violence on American Indian and Alaska Native children.

Steubenville. Chapel Hill. Maryville. Tallahassee. Billings. Nashville. Storrs. Across our nation incidents in cities, towns and universities have put sexual assault in the headlines along sports teams and fraternities. As national leaders in the efforts to respond to sexual violence and support survivors, it is deeply disturbing to us that as a nation we’ve made seemingly little progress in addressing this issue. Why haven’t things changed? Why are we still blaming victims?

By Adam Liptak

WASHINGTON — The notices arrive almost every day. They tell a young woman named Amy, as she is called in court papers, that someone has been charged with possessing child pornography. She was the child.

Female soldiers testified on Monday that they were recruited for a prostitution ring organized by a sergeant at Fort Hood in Texas.

By Claudio Lavanga, NBC News Correspondent

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican is to set up a special committee to improve measures to protect children against sexual abuse within the Church, the archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, said on Thursday. 

"Up until now there has been so much focus on the judicial parts of this but the pastoral part is very, very important. The Holy Father is concerned about that," O'Malley told reporters, referring to Pope Francis.

The Vatican has refused to provide information requested by the United Nations on the alleged sexual abuse of children by priests, nuns or monks.

The Vatican said the cases were the responsibility of the judicial systems of countries where abuse took place.

The UK National Secular Society accused the Vatican of hiding behind legal technicalities.

On his appointment in March, Pope Francis said dealing with sex abuse was vital for the Church's credibility.

After hours of debate, the Senate failed to vote yesterday on the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA). Introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), MJIA would move the decision of whether to prosecute sexual assault cases out of the chain-of-command and give it to independent, objective, trained military prosecutors.

By CNN Staff

 

A grand jury investigating the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, has indicted four more people in the case, including the school superintendent, two other educators and an assistant football coach, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Monday.

This brings to six the number of people the grand jury has indicted after two students were convicted in March of rape, DeWine said.

20 November 2013 – Drawing a direct link between violence against children and poverty, United Nations officials marked Universal Children’s Day with a call to make child protection a priority in the global development agenda for the decades to come.

By Travis Gettys

Police in football-mad Tallahassee, Florida, told a woman who accused Florida State’s quarterback of sexual assault that her life would “be made miserable” if she pursued charges against the star player.

An attorney for the woman and her family released a statement Wednesday about the detective’s comments in connection with the investigation of Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston.

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