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Florida Child Abuse Attorney: Five Years Later, Lessons Learned Lie Dormant

February 7th, 2014   No Comments   Uncategorized

Gabriel Myers (image from Florida DCF)After Gabriel Myers, 7, killed himself while the foster child was being treated with a “psychotropic cocktail,” Florida foster care advocates hoped momentum had built sufficiently to get through the state Legislature a series of laws designed to protect children already traumatized by sexual abuse by other abused children. Instead, the proposed rules – and momentum – died.

Now, advocates are hoping to built momentum anew. They hope to push through several measures during the coming legislative session.

If any child could serve as a case study for the need for such rules and laws, it was Gabriel. He exhibited sexual behavior problems at school and had lost a foster placement due to his troubling behavior, according to news reports.

“One of the major things we learned was that the reason he was so disturbed was that he had been sexually abused himself,” said attorney Howard Talenfeld, president of the advocacy group Florida’s Children First. “As a victim of sexual abuse, he was acting out. This was a significant part of his problem that went unaddressed.”

Read the entire story here.

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