This is a article from a small town newspaper about a new program started at
WSU. This whole program moved from Washington DC area to 21 miles from my
Thanks Guys Tom aka Muldoon
Victor Vieth develops program dealing with child abuse at WSU
By Carol Boynton Lewiston Journal Editor
Victor Vieth of Lewiston has been a diligent advocate for 17 plus years,
interviewing children of sexual abuse through training and developing. A
model that is being used to hopefully irradiate child abuse in the United
In 1985, the National District Attorneys Association established the
National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse as a program of the American
Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI). Aimed at responding to an increasing
volume of reported child abuse, the National Center serves as a central
resource for training, expert legal assistance, court reform and
state-of-the-art information on criminal child abuse investigations and
prosecutions. Vieth is the director for the National Center for the
Prosecution of Child Abuse in Alexandria, VA and has developed the same type
of Resource Center at Winona State University.
The late Senator Wellstone took the initiating role in finding funding for
the endeavor. And the visionary, President Kruger of Winona State
University realized the importance of the program and now the campus houses
the National Training Protection Center in Maxwell Hall.
According to Victor Vieth the Center employs five employees at the Winona
based site. The purpose of the center includes these services: The
National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse works to improve the
handling of child abuse cases by providing:
*Expert training and technical assistance by experienced attorneys through
conferences, site visits, state-specific training programs and thousands of
phone consultations each year rendering technical assistance and advise
professionals through cirriculum.
A clearinghouse on child abuse case law, statutory initiatives, court
reforms and trial strategies -- a unique, comprehensive and continually
*Authoritative publications including the highly acclaimed manual,
Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse, Second Edition, a monthly
newsletter Update, a monograph series, annual statutory summaries, and
special reports such as a federal supplement to the manual and a
comprehensive handbook on Investigation and Prosecution of Parental
*Research on state and federal developments, best practices and
prosecutorial innovations in cooperation with academic centers, federal and
state prosecutors and specialists.
*Training NCPCA's, training schedule conducts training
across the country as well as through the National District Attorneys
Association (NDAA) at the National Advocacy Center. Vieth travels
extensively to encompass the training throughout the United States and has
just returned from a conference in Canada.
"We are generating enthusiasm across the country. People sometimes don't
realize the intensity of the problem. As a nation we spend $120 billion
every year dealing with the aftermath of child abuse. Medical costs, court
costs, prison costs, etc. The epidemic of child abuse is 10 times the rate
of cancer. Statistically, 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 10 boys will be
abused in their lifetime," reflected Vieth.
"We also deal with the Faith- based scandals and we have a working group
trying to get a handle on the problems throughout all congregations," he
The problems society is dealing with many times is reflected to past child
abuse issues. Our goal is to find the abuse at earlier ages. By 10 years
of age we have already found the problems being escalated to hard core
delinquency run-aways and children prostitution to name a few. The sad
scenario of it all is many times these children were reported as early as
ages 4-5-and 6 years of age to have been sexually abused. But the on-going
surface problem of society is that many choose shut their eyes to the
problem at hand," Vieth said.
In regards to the program Vieth stated, "40 states have actively said they
want to be a part of the program and 10 states are already actively
involved. Just this week, I went to Tennessee for a conference to train
those wanting to be a part of the program. We want to build up the
coalitions in the country. Four or five people may be leading the charge
but several thousand are working on the effort. We honestly believe that
with emphasis put properly on the dynamics of the abuse our efforts could
lead us into a time that we could wipe out child abuse."
Training also puts emphases on Equal Justice issues: Investigations and
Prosecutions of Child Abuse Investigation and Prosecution of Child
Fatalities and Physical Abuse childPROOF Advanced Trial Advocacy and
Finding Words. Vieth stated "We use interviewing and preparations of
children for court investigations and prosecutions. The child has
difficulties when forced to tell a jury about the abuse. Conflicting
emotions of fear and sometimes love for the perpetrator may cause the child
to be reluctant to speak of the abuse.
Vieth conducts presentations on all aspects of criminal child abuse cases
that take place throughout the country. An advanced course, specialized
trial advocacy, focuses on specific trial skills needed by child abuse
prosecutors. The federal Children's Justice Act supports multidisciplinary
training on investigation and prosecution of child abuse.
In 1998, APRI's National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse launched
Finding Words, as a forensic interviewing process course for law enforcement
officers, child protection caseworkers, and prosecutors. The course was
modeled after and developed in collaboration with CornerHouse, an
interagency child abuse evaluation and training center in Minneapolis,
Half a Nation by 2010 APRI's National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse
has established a high quality, five-day forensic interviewing course
modeled after Finding Words. The concept is patterned after Minnesota where
85 out of 87 counties have received training through our partnering agent,
CornerHouse. "We work with state and local officials and child abuse
professionals to develop state of the art courses that are tailored to the
unique dynamics of individual states. To date, five states have completed
the training and ten states, or 20% of the country, have been admitted into
the program," reiterated Vieth.
"We could virtually eliminate child abuse over the course of the century if
our country united behind these goals and developed a concrete plan toward
this end," stated Vieth.
Through Vieth's research he gives these concrete steps in the five obstacles
to ending child abuse:
1. Most abused children will never be reported to child protection
2. Most reports of child abuse will never be investigated.
3. Most child abuse investigators, prosecutors and other professionals are
inadequately trained to work with child victims.
4. By the time a report is substantiated and makes its way into the system,
the child is typically older, and the physical, emotional and other
hardships caused by the abuse are more difficult to treat.
5. Child victims receive an inadequate share of our country's scare
Vieth looks at these five steps to ending the abuse:
1. Adequately prepare professionals to recognize, report, and response to
abuse. In partnership with Winona State University, APRI is developing a
model undergraduate curriculum to fulfill this need, By 2040, model child
maltreatment curricula will be in place in every institution of higher
learning in the United States.
2. Detect abuse at it's earliest stages. APRI teaches teams of
investigators the science and art of interviewing young victims of abuse.
APRI's model interviewing course is already established in 10 states; the
goals is to reach all 50 by 2020.
3. Ensure ongoing training for those in the field. APRI trains up to
14,000 child protection professionals in as many as 35 states each year.
APRI's new child protection Training Center on the campus of WSU will
dramatically expand training opportunities for those in the front lines.
4. Institute prevention from the ground up. Prevention programs must be
locally designed and tailored to local dynamics. The model curricula will
include instruction in developing and funding local prevention programs.
5. Reach the tipping point. Through these and other efforts, we will reach
what Malcom Gladwell calls the tipping point. By ending the culture
permitting child abuse, we will dramatically educe the incidence of abuse.
Those partnered with Vieth are Tom Harbinson, a former Scott County
attorney. He will be training and traveling to designated areas for
conference training. Angie Scott of Indiana will oversee forensic
interviewing programs with attorneys and professional interviews. Jodi
Furness is the staff attorney and takes care of the technical assistance.
She takes care of the tracking information for specific cases.
Vieth as a father of two children along with his wife, Lisa state, "It is of
utmost importance to talk to your children about abuse. Good partnering and
communication gives the children the empowerment to protect themselves.
Without this communication children are just not safe for they may not
understand the dynamics of the possibilities."
Vieth spoke of a specific study showing 561 men had perpetrated 195,000
victims. Of course, there may be those who continued to remain silent as
well. Men will target 20 girl victims before being caught. And also it was
found in the study that men will target 150 boys before being caught.
Vieth was born and raised in Winona. He went to WSU and has appreciated the
fact of bringing his family from the DC area to a small town setting of
Lewiston. "It's been so rewarding to be able to give back to the community
and believing in something good that will happen in the future because of
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence