An Oral History of the Crime Victim Assistance Field
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Seymour: Good morning. This is the OVC Oral History Project. I'm Anne Seymour interviewing David Lloyd. Welcome, David.
Lloyd: Thank you. I'm David W. Lloyd. I'm the Director of the Family Advocacy Program in the U.S. Department of Defense. The Family Advocacy Program is DOD's approach to preventing and intervening in cases of child abuse, both physical abuse, neglect and sexual abuse and also spouse abuse, which we're now broadening to all domestic violence. It's a social services program that creates multi-disciplinary approach in working more, very closely with military and civilian law-enforcement and using the military justice system or coordinating with the civilian justice system.
Seymour: And how long have you been doing that, just to give us context?
Lloyd: I went over to DOD, in 1995. Prior to that, I came into the government in 1991 as the Director of the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in the Department of Health and Human Services. That was called NCAN back then. It is, it has be renamed OCAN as the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, and has been moved within the Children's Bureau there at HHS. But, that's still working the same issues in terms of child abuse and primarily the family court system and so we work regularly with them on a lot of federal interagency work groups.
Seymour: Well, I'm gonna back you up to when you first got involved in anything related to crime victims. Can youtell us when and how you first entered into this field?
Lloyd: I first entered into the field of crime victim rights in the fall of 1975. I was at Georgetown University Law Center here in Washington, D.C., and wanted to learn litigation. And Georgetown had one of the very fewlaw clinics that represented abused and neglected and delinquentminors, and it was led by Wally Mlyniec who's nowan associate dean over there. Uh, my very first case, my very first client was a three-month-old baby whose 16-year-old motherhad poisoned himdue to her paranoid schizophrenia. Andthat was working primarily through the family court that, which is, as opposed to the criminal court. The good news was the child, by every test we could determine, was unharmed. It did not hurt his future development. The mother got into a very good mental health treatment program and there were a lot of family, larger family dynamics that had contributed to her mental health problem. And at the end of the year, you could see, just to look at her, to listen to her and watch the interaction with her and her family members, that she was in a good stable mental healthtreatment thing and receiving appropriate medication.
And the child was now protected. But it was interesting to me in working with the law enforcement investigators, howthat child obviously could not testify in court and so the child in a sense was a piece of evidence, but that there was no uh, no thought at that timethat this could possibly be treated as a criminal matter as opposed to a family matterto go into the family court. I had some subsequent cases involving physical abuse of a child by a person who did not have a mental illness and once again, it was handled within the family court. The child was taken into foster care. But the parent essentially only received, if you will, the admonition of the judge that they needed help in dealing with their anger or impulse control or whatever their... their other problem was. And I had some questions, you know, given the severity of some of those cases, as to why this was so, and when I graduated from law school in 1976, I started working for an organization called the (interruption).
I started work part-time with the American Academy of Judicial Education which had a grant from the Office of Justice Programs to train limited jurisdiction judges in a number of states to improve their their quality. These were the judges who primarily did preliminary hearings and also did misdemeanor cases. In working with the faculty, primarily other judges, I heard horror stories about how cases of crimes that weren't felonies, but how victims were... were treated in a very cavalier attitude on the part of some of these magistrates and justices of the peace or district court judges. And that raised my level of concern a great deal. Because when someone has, you know, some minor property taken from them or property damage or something like that that would be a misdemeanor, they nevertheless feel they're invaded personally.
I passed the bar in '76 and as I was practicing I continued to take volunteer cases of child abuse. And in that point I started getting some child sexual abuse cases. And I can recall a case here in the District of Columbia where the prosecutor in the family court very... very nice highly-educated, excellent trial lawyer, could not bring herself to talk about child sexual abuse with these two young boys that were both preschool. She could not use ... that either the anatomically correct terms nor could she think of any euphemisms that might be age-appropriate for these children. And she was terribly embarrassed by both the subject matter--it seemed to me--and by not being a parent herself her inability to really communicate with these young children. That triggered up my... my concern a bit more. Then I began seeing that there were some juveniles, at least, who were molesting younger children and those were being prosecuted as juvenile delinquents. But it was very much on a, as part of the ongoing part of the family division of the D.C. Superior Court.
In, later in the 19, the summer of 1977 I was asked to join the staff of uh--it was called the Child Protection Center Special Unit at Children's Hospital, National Medical Center here in Washington, D.C.. The hospital had applied for a special grant from uh... from Back then it was the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration or LEAA. And it was one of two grants that was awarded. The other was to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Lucy Berliner was the primary investigator. And this one was awarded to Children's Hospital and the Project Director was Joyce Thomas, who was a pediatric nurse practitioner with a lot of experience in dealing with complex public health issues. She had actually dealt with the Legionnaires' Diser, Disease issue, in, when the first time it was discovered in Philadelphia. So had a lot of dealings with the law-enforcement and politicians and the media and that sort of thing. It was called the Child Protection Center Special Unit because the hospital could not bring itself to say that it was going to deal with sexual abuse.
This is 1977. The Child Protection Center had been dealing with the physical abuse of children and kind of neglected children that created medical problems for a decade or more. But this was a new, this was new territory. And I can recall a hospital administrator who called it "that other kind of child abuse." He could not bring himself to say "child sexual abuse." The first significant change that we noticed was the field of child sexual abuse in the mid-70s--the early 70s to mid-70s--was dominated almost to the point of excluding anything else with incest. And this had to do with arriving, arising from the field of child abuse where everything is intra-family. We don't really, hadn't really cared much about the next door neighbor who would physically hit a child, and so we were looking at parents who hit their own child. And so then when sexual abuse came up, we were thinking primarily of "dear old dad" who was molesting his daughters or stepdaughters.
And so once again this was kept primarily within the family court, and those daughters might go into foster care. He might or might not be prosecuted and there was probably more likely that he was not prosecuted than... than that he was. We started our program with the assumption that we were going to see a 150 children a year. And I was hired to be the kind of the criminal justice expert because they suddenly discovered the law enforcement in D.C. was interested in prosecuting these cases--at least the police officers were--in the criminal court. And all the hospitals' experience had been with the youth division law enforcement side that went to family court. So I did a lot of training for the hospital staff in terms of how criminal court was different then... than family court. A 150 children a year was the goal. We would give them complete medical workups. We would assist in the interviewing process. Part of my responsibility was for any of those cases that were going to court to provide victim accompaniment.
We didn't think a little child should be there alone. I'll come to that in a minute. Well, in the first nine months, we saw almost 200. The second year we saw 350 and from thereafter it was almost 600 children a year that we saw with alleged sexual abuse in the greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. So those were the suburban counties in Maryland and Virginia as well as D.C. When it was known to the law enforcement people that we had this special project and it would not cost them anything to get our special assessments and we would ensure that the examining physician and mental health professionals would go to court if necessary and that the child would be, receive follow-up care as well as court accompaniment, they would bypass their own usual hospitals and bring their children to D.C. The first case I went to court with I can recall, a very, very, tired detective from the Sex Offense Branch, who had been on the midnight shift, sitting in the waiting room outside the courtroom dozing because of being essentially on, on a 24 hour basis, following up a shift, or having to go to court, while this child was sitting there with anxiety.
And it wasn't the police officer's fault. I want to be clear, but no one had given a thought to what the child's needs were. So I invented little games that you could, quiet little games that you could play in the little waiting room outside the courtroom, such as, take a piece of paper, crumple it and see if we can bounce it off the wall and into my briefcase. Anything to keep a... a child who needed a little physical activity doing something, but quiet. I played more games of hang the man than I can remember. I lost more games of tic-tac-toe intentionally that I can remember. The wonderful thing is the children actually usually did very well. And I'm happy so say that most of the judges showed a special concern, I think, for... for the children. It was clear which attorneys were parents and were used to talking to young children and which weren't. But it was more the procedural things that happened prior to the case getting to court. If you think of a six year-old child, something that happened two years ago, is a third of the child's life. As opposed to for us adults something that happened two years ago is just a smaller portion of memory. And for things to happen to children in a preschool or elementary school period is a, is happening during a significant period of their development, their psycho-social development.
So from the standpoint of the mental health professionals and social services professionals, they want the legal proceedings to end quickly so the child can go on and put that behind them and deal with, kind of recurring memories as they... as they might arise. From the prosecutor's standpoint you want the child to keep those facts in memory. So we... we had some built-in conflicts that... that part of my job was to work with some pediatricians including two wonderful pediatricians, Annette Ficker, who knew an awful lot about physical abuse of children and Dr. Morea, Mimi Kanda, who became one of the first pediatric experts on child sexual abuse, I think in the East Coast. So I worked there until 1987 so it was about nine years--oh, about 10 years, about 4,000 child sexual abuse cases.
Seymour: Is this before CASA, before Children's Advocacy Centers, can you give us context to a newer person in the field, what are the befores that we're talking about here?
Lloyd: I'm trying to remember when CASA really was created. CASA became pretty visible in the early 1980s. That... that's court-appointed special advocates using volunteers. In part it had to do with the fact that law... lawyering for children is not a... is not a good career choice, for one, your clients don't have any money to pay you, okay. The second, they don't have the ability to contact you and start communications. It's not being in private practice with adult clients. So a lot of the lawyering for children tends to be good where it's in a district where there's a law school and somebody can represent these children. It tends to be perhaps less good in other areas of the country where you have to get someone to volunteer to represent the child. And back in the early to mid-70s there were still states that didn't require the child to be appointed a lawyer in a child abuse or neglect proceeding.
Seymour: So who was their advocate?
Lloyd: They may not have had any.
Seymour: They had none.
Lloyd: And one of the good things that happened was the American Bar Association Center on Children in the Law and Howard Davidson was the, kind of the primary person for that, and a woman named Josephine Bulkley, focusing on child sexual abuse, really started pushing that it was not enough to rely on the social worker whose primary allegiance, of course, was to the social services agency to represent the child's interest. So they were pushing for training of lawyers or law students under supervision or for something like what became the court-appointed special advocate things. Well, CASA started coming into visibility, as I said, about the early '80s because I recall by the mid-80s there were a number of articles on a number of trainers suggesting that CASA should be appointed in criminal proceedings in child sexual abuse cases, which were the ones that were more likely to go to criminal court. So that... that's about that timeframe. It was in the mid-1980s that a prosecutor down in Huntsville, Alabama, Bud Cramer, was personally appalled by the handling of a child sexual abuse case in Madison County there... there in the Huntsville area.
This was a girl about 12 or 13 who, after being involved with the criminal legal process, committed suicide. And so they did a reconstruction of what had happened in this girl's life. They got everyone involved from the official agencies and it... and it was room that perhaps had 20 people, or so in it. And they'd be, were able to track the number of times this young girl had interviews with one or another person. The failure of one person to communicate with the other so that the girl had to say the same details to three, four, five, six different people because there were no, there was no transmission of records or no joint interviewing. And Bud became personally invested in ending this practice and did end that practice and then received a grant. And I'm not sure whether it was from the Justice Department or from HHS to create a... a program, a real program that would actually have its own building where you could set up a joint interview.
At first they were thinking about using video, or closed-circuit TV to interview this child and to have the law enforcement officer, the social services' representative and a prosecutors' representative uh, it, do a joint interview and have medical examining room right in that same facility so that it was a one-stop shopping for that child. And everyone then would know the story and it would be preserved for evidence. They were able to purchase a charming bungalow, as the first Child Advocacy Center. So I would guess that's in the early to mid-80s because by the late '80s there were, the... the word had spread that this... this was a good way and there was... there was a growing network of places that had either duplicated it or were trying to duplicate the success there in Huntsville.
Seymour: And Bud now in Congress, which is pretty awesome. David, in your, in the, in your pioneering area, which is child abuse, child sexual abuse, what was the greatest challenge you and your colleagues faced way back then in affecting change?
Lloyd: I think the... the greatest challenge we had in affecting change, there were two. One of which was the subject matter of child sexual abuse. It is a taboo. I mentioned the difficulty somebody had with even talking about child sex abuse. We were... we were fairly notorious in the hospital, because we could talk about uh... various medical conditions, such as genital warts or sexually transmitted diseases, while having lunch in the cafeteria. And it would gross everyone else out. They wouldn't want to, in fact we, I remember people moving to another, mov... moving to another table. I think it was the time that Joyce was... was eating some kind of a soup that vaguely resembled the... the symptoms she was describing that everyone pushed their... their lunch away from them. But to talk, to try to train prosecutors, particularly those who didn't have experience with the, with children about penises and vaginas and children's terms for that. That was... that was one thing. And people had difficulty believing that child sexual abuse was not caused by the guy in the dark raincoat lurking around the alley, that in fact could be your neighbor.
It could be that wonderful teenage babysitter that you had. It could be that, this man, the reason he married this woman was not because he was sexually interested in her, but that he was sexually interested in her children from a previous relationship. And so, whereas physical abuse and neglect are so associated with poverty in this country, child sexual abuse was discovered to really apply across all socio-economic levels. So that was... that was the... the climate in the late 70s. The... the second challenge along with it was that everyone either thought it was--if they thought it was the stranger lurking in the alley, well, why don't they uh, well, I think they wanted to short-circuit the criminal justice process and just do him in right then and there. But if it was "dear old dad," that this should be handled in the family court. And part of our challenge was to say to social services people, "Look, the bulk of the problem may not be intra-family, that our caseload showed that only about a third of the cases were intra-family."
The... the remainder were an awful lot of men who were in, who were intimate partners of a woman who were molesting her children or who were neighbors, friends, a... a few, just a few, in coaching situations or in child care situations. But of course the... the parental concern and the media hype was all that we have all these perverts lurking in our coaching staffs and our child care centers and that sort of thing. So that was the... the... the ta... taboo nature of it, kind of joined with the fact that we didn't know much about it. It was the women's movement in large part that helped join alliance I think with the criminal justice, crime victim rights movement, to really bring child sexual abuse out of the closet. And I... and I think a lot of credit is really deserved to the women's movement for... for really doing this and insisting that his promises to change his behavior were not meant to be believable and should not be trusted--that in fact you needed to have some kind of formal intervention through a court system, to either put him behind bars so he's not, he's going, you're going to incapacitate him for years. Or, you could put him on probation, but at least monitor his access to children.
Seymour: In the early days, David, were there any secrets or tactics or strategies that you and your colleagues used that were particularly successful in affecting change or educating or, what worked?
Lloyd: I think one of the things that worked in training prosecutors in particular was to make it clear that although we were primarily from the health and the mental health and social services side, that we believed that there... there was a place for the criminal justice system and we wanted to help them do their jobs better and that we weren't trying to tell them how to do it, nor were we trying to charge them money for it, but that we had... we had the ability to do free training. And I know Lucy Berliner's program in Seattle had that same ability.
Seymour: So they just, you provided everything free, no cost.
Lloyd: We would do training for the U.S. Attorneys' Office here in D.C. which prosecutes street crime in the D.C. Superior Court. We did that about every other year, and we did it at a time that, of their choosing. If doing it during the noon hour was the best way to get the majority of the people there, that's when we would come. Similarly we went to the uh... D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, down to their training academy. We were there right after morning roll call and did training down there before eight a.m., at their site, and no problem. I was on on-call status and if we had a problem with a... a detective showing up at the hospital at midnight with a child and there was a problem, I'd come over to the hospital and I would... I would run troubleshooting. Uh, every once in a while you'd get a physician who for whatever reason didn't want to cooperate with the police and we just made it clear that that was hospital policy and if that physician didn't want to comply with hospital policy there would be a memo to that effect. And he or she would have to answer to the hospital authorities to continue their privileges of working at the hospital.
And that... that cut down a lot of problems. The second thing is I, if one of them got a subpoena, I would meet with them and say, "Look, here's where the courthouse is. Here's how to get there. Here's where to park. You go in this door and you do this. Wear, you know, what to wear? Take a photocopy of your medial records, actually make two photocopies of a, of your, so that you'll have one for the prosecutor--although they already have a copy--so... so you have one for yourself and you can give one to the defense attorney if they need it. Uh, here are the likely questions. I'm not gonna tell you what to say, but reflect on this case and particularly does this question make sense based on what you saw?" So they were getting free training, free preparation within the hospital. So it... it increased the cooperation, I think, of the hospital staff and once the prose, once the word got out that Children's Hospital was helping the prosecutors on this, these cases-- the combination of a hospital's reputation and the fact that the people came prepared, there were a lot... lot more guilty pleas.
We had a particular legal hurdle that was in D.C. in that by case law there was a requirement that the prosecution have corroborative evidence in addition to the victim's testimony in child sexual abuse case and adult sexual assault cases.
Seymour: And in plain, corroborative evidence.
Lloyd: Right. It was, this was a heritage from the old discrimination against women basis. And there was a lot of public pressure to change that and I am proud to say that a number of us were behind the prosecution of a particular case that got the D.C. Court of Appeals to... to change that case law. And it... it was not a close decision in chasing, changing the case law. It was pretty overwhelming. But that was a huge hurdle because child sexual abuse frequently was a touching situation. So you're not going to have a lot of--you're not even gonna have any DNA evidence on that. Actually that's one of the interesting changes that happened. Back in the 70s, we didn't have DNA testing so, you may have a suspect who was a secretor and would secrete is blood type and his semen or prostatic acid phosphatase, which is another enzyme that was secreted. But the world of forensics has... has improved dramatically in uh... in almost 30 years.
I think the other thing that happened was there was a growing recognition that we could use technology to make it easier for children in the courtroom. And by the mid-80s, I would say, most states had either by statute or by court rule the authority to use closed-circuit TV for a child to testify in a different setting, but be cross-examined, undergo, but not be in the courtroom. There was also authority in most states and some training on, for prosecutors on how to use it that you could make a showing that the child was unavailable to testify and use a videotaped interview from a prior, from the initial law enforcement interview. Now that obviously has problems with it, but that was a that was a major change. And once prosecutors knew that they had this in their... in their arsenal of tools, they did a better job frankly in preparing children and making sure that they had support. And just the willingness to go forward with this case also would result in more I think guilty pleas without trial than... than there had been convictions previously.
Seymour: So a lot of what people uh--I don't know if take for granted is a good way of saying this--but a lot of what we have today to protect children's rights, needs and interests did not exist when you started.
Lloyd: That's correct. There were a couple of wonderful alliances that were built. The program I mentioned in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle was ar, we... we viewed each other as sister programs. And so we would frequently be in communication with each other doing joint training at... at major conferences. The Children's ash, Advocacy Center down in Huntsville became--and the network that they created with Nancy Chandler as... as the head of that network--became a major player because as that was in more states that meant there could be more... more advocacy, lobbying in state legislatures for crime victim rights, things. I think the third thing that happened was the creation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. And Jay Howell and John Rabun, with Ernie Allen as... as the President have done a wonderful job of keeping, not just missing children, but sexually exploited children's issues in the forefront. I would say one of the huge changes that came about was the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, back in the late '80s I guess it was.
This was very controversial at the time. This... this was the Reagan Administration and it was Attorney General Meese and there was a lot of upset people looking at pornography. Pornography is not illegal. It and pornography can include erotica that some people like and it can include titillating things that are very degrading to women, and things that are just disgusting to a lot of people. But it's when it crosses the line into obscenity that everyone knew that it was illegal, although there was some question as to what the contemporary community's standards might be in a particular area.
Seymour: Isn't this great. This is so much fun.
Lloyd: The Attorney General Meese's commission on pornography was alarming, I think a lot of civil libertarians uh, about it. Well, it turned out that I think the number was around thirty of the recommendations had to do with child pornography, which everyone agreed was disgusting and should be illegal. And to its credit the Congress did respond with some major legislation and I --that prohibited possession and interstate and international shipment of materials used in child pornography.
Seymour: And again, David, before this there, that was not illegal.
Lloyd: It may have been in a few states, but people didn't know it existed. And I started working at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the fall of 1987 and I was horrified. Once you see a little bit of child pornography, you really understand why this has to be stamped out. The most frustrating development that's happened since then has been the Internet. There are images on the Internet that are of photographs that were taken back at the first two decades after 1900. And those images have been photocopied and photocopied and... and new prints out of old negatives, a third, fourth generation. And now they've been digitized and they're out there on the Internet. So there are children who are perhaps grandparents, or even great-grandparents by now whose victimization, sexual victimization is preserved, at one or another times in cyberspace forever. To its credit, the FBI and U.S. Postal Service and some of the other federal law-enforcement offices have been working wonderfully together along with Interpol to bust open these huge networks of people sharing Inter uh, child pornography via the Internet.
And I have created approaches to identifying those who are actually using the Internet as a communications tool to locate-- it's so disgusting I can hardly--locate parents who'd be willing to have their children participate in sex in exchange for money or something else as well as those who are luring teenagers and younger who are on the Internet chat rooms into assignations where they could be sexually victimized. So there's a lot of Federal law enforcement presence that's all developed, in my view, since the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography. So that was, that's been a major plus and frankly I don't, I think some of the libel, civil libertarians' concerns about that commission in hindsight were kind of overstated because it focused primarily on child sexual abuse.
Seymour: Go, Ed Meese. This is the hardest question for a lot of people. If you were gonna say one--the greatest accomplishment in the field of child sexual abuse and try to find one--you've been in this field thir... 30 years.
Lloyd: I would say -- I'm not sure I can say one, but a significant accomplishment was the Victims of Child Abuse Act--I think it's of 1990--and it was then Representative, he's now Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio, who was a leading force behind that. It was, the good news was I, my recollection there were a lot of co-sponsors for that legislation, but that was the federal law that codified some of these practices that had been occurring in state laws and in state court rules about the use of videotape; the use of closed-circuit TV; generally the way that there could be court- appointed special advocates; the way there could be children's advocacy centers, a variety of those supports. And it's amazing to me a little more than a decade later we... we take that as kind of uh... always been there and it wasn't. It was a huge advance. And he had been a prosecutor in Ohio and was... was particularly interested, not in the family court, but what should be done in the criminal court. I can recall Howard Davidson and Jay Howell and myself and I think there was an... another person--well, Anne Seymour--went to his office and told him that he was on the right track.
There were a few things where we suggested he tweak his bill a little bit. But that we assured him that he would receive a lot of support from child advocates out there and there wasn't gonna be any squawk and I think that one sailed through the Congress pretty easily. But as I go through the federal code sometimes looking for something and I'll see a reference to that and I'll, and I will remember. Gosh, I remember participating in the process that created that. I think the second--I mean if there, the second major accomplishment was to bring child sexual abuse out of the closet I think and to treat it seriously as a criminal matter.
Seymour: So many things we take for granted. Uh, looking at the field of child sexual abuse today, David, what's needed to continue with the growth and professionalism of the field or what's missing?
Lloyd: There continues to be a disconnect between the social services agencies that are public agencies versus the private non-profit social services agencies and the law enforcement side. For example, the public agencies are still focused on the family court and that's fine in incest but public agencies continue to have funding struggles 'cause they're funded under state governments. So as tax revenues decline their ability to respond to growing need is... is challenged. Secondly, actually the same is true for private non-profits. But private non-profits have always been creative about filling niches that... that needed to be filled. And so you will find children's advocacy centers whose primary job is dealing with child sexual abuse, but they will also deal with physical abuse and neglect and other kinds of victimization. Right now there... there's very little social service involvement in the child pornography cases and the Internet.
That's primarily just handled by the law enforcement and it's not clear at all that those children once their identity is established that they are plugged into an appropriate social services and mental health network to help them deal with what happened to them in terms of a person sexually victimizing them and then taking photographs and knowing that although you seized those, that if they were digitalized they're out there on the Internet in cyberspace.
Seymour: It's so scary, that stuff. What advice can you give to professionals and volunteers in your field who have just recently joined who may not know the history, but are looking to this as a career as you did thirty years ago?
Lloyd: Actually I'm not sure I was looking at it as a career thirty years (laughter) for me it's, it was actually part of a spiritual journey. I really had felt that I was given a vocation by God to really try and address the needs of children, to make it a better world for children. And this was an area where I could use my training in particular. I'd say three things, one of which is learn as much as you can about research and evaluation. The good news is the field of child sexual abuse actually is very receptive to research and evaluation. The bad news is that there is no quality control for people who are doing training. And so anyone who chooses to, can proclaim himself or herself as an expert in child sexual abuse and go out and do training even though the practice in the field is better or different or both. So learn as much as you can about research and evaluation. It's tough in social service, but do it, learn as much as you can about how to write for, apply for funding and how to deal with donors 'cause you'll probably only be in the non-profit world.
And really learn advocacy, learn how the political process works. Learn how a state legislature works. Learn how the Federal government works. Learn what to expect from a hearing, that they're not really fact-finding, that they're to get somebody's point of view on the public record, whether that's a good point of view or a bad point of view is somewhat immaterial, particularly if that person is sponsoring the bill. So you have to learn how to identify and cultivate staffers who work with key legislators so that bills can be shaped in ways that will do the right thing.
Seymour: Like lobbying is that...
Lloyd: Well, of course non-profits are not supposed to do lobbying if they're receiving tax-exempt funds so it's advocacy which may be part of their mandate.
Seymour: Okay, thank you, for that correction. What's your vision for the future in child sexual abuse or if you want to go broad with the whole field of victim services for the rest of our lives?
Lloyd: I think the child sexual abuse field hasn't really come of age The interesting thing there's been a decline in reported child sexual abuse cases over the last few years. We're still trying to figure out why. David Finkelhor and his colleagues at the University of New Hampshire are probably the leading experts in kind of the incidents and problems in child sexual abuse. They still have some questions about whether this is a short-term phenomenon and if so, what's its cause or is this, hopefully, a positive sign of a long-term decline? There... there's a continuing challenge in the technology area because of the Internet-based crimes. There's a recent Supreme Court decision that says, for example, you can put a photograph of one child's head on another child's body and that's uh... technically it wasn't, it was a depiction, but it wasn't real victimization of a real child. And I'm not an expert on that so you're gonna have to talk to people at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children such as John Rabun who'd been following that closely, or Nancy Chambers there.
But that... that's a real kind of a challenge I think on the law enforcement side. One of the things I think in the victim rights field needs to do is to continue to reach out to the clergy and pastoral counselors. For a large part of this country, people will go to their spiritual leader, be they a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, whatever. And one of the things I was always pleased to see was that the National Organization for Victim Assistance always had workshops on the spiritual aspects of crime victimization and invited clergy and pastoral counselors to participate. And how meaningful tho... those workshops were to survivors of violent crime. In fact I can recall probably one of the best workshops I ever attended at a NOVA conference was where the clergy made it clear to those survivors that they should not be expected to have ...put it behind them or to get on with their life or to immediately pronounce forgiveness to someone who was still proclaiming his innocence and challenging appeals and keeping them enmeshed in something that had happened to them a long time ago.
It was a wonderful healing moment to actually kind of... see that. So I think there's a continuing need for that and a lot of clergy and pastoral counselors are... are just really unprepared in terms of what psychologically a victim of violent crime is going through.
Seymour: What is your greatest fear for the future?
Lloyd: I think that this country does not want to recognize that we all have a stake in what happens to vulnerable citizens. And this country believes that if something bad happens to you that you should pay for, addressing all the problems that have arisen from that and that I, as your neighbor, if I have no responsibility if I know about it. It's up to me through charity to help you if I choose to. But that there is, that we have no stake at all as a country in helping make sure that our vulnerable citizens get assistance. And so there's a lot of pressure to keep cutting social services' budgets, keep cutting grant opportunities for non-profit organizations that really provide assistance to crime victim, as well as a lot of others. If you think of a child who's been victimized in some horrific way and has not received the assistance and love to deal with that as they grow up, you have a maladjusted person who is a much higher risk to commit the next violent crime. But we pretend as a country that "oh, no, cutting back our taxes is far more important than making sure we have opportunities for that person to get a nec, connected and deal with the problems they need to."
That concerns me greatly because it... it's as if we uh, if we don't know the person individually then... then we don't have a stake in their welfare. And that seems to be contrary to what our founding fathers and mothers would say about this country.
Seymour: David, thanks for that walk down memory lane, but is there anything that I haven't asked you that you want to add?
Lloyd: Yeah, you didn't ask me about the fun that we used to have.
Seymour: Well, I was gonna end with Janice. Okay, David Lloyd was always known as one of the funnest people in the entire field. So tell us a little bit about the fun and then run us through Cinderfella.
Lloyd: Well, let me just say there was a stigma at one point I think in helping crime victims because this was a topic nobody else wanted to deal with. So when those of us who did work with crime victims, be it child abuse or domestic violence or sexual assault or just homicide or whatever it might be, it was wonderful to connect with people who were doing the same that you were doing, who had the same frustrations and the same joys. And you could speak the same language in a shorthand and these are wonderful people with a lot of vitality in their lives, a lot of good grounding in their lives. And they, we all seem to have come to the conclusion that you work hard and play hard. And so we did. We had wonderful conversations and at the National Organization for Victim Assistance conferences there were talent shows. At first they were competitions and then it got to be "who wants to compete?" It just was, there were talent shows. But we had people who should have been standup comedians and we had people who should not have been standup comedians and all performing.
And we had people who played the spoons. And I would do a clown routine and there were others who were quite talented musically and would sing and play other instruments. And it was just a wonderful way of letting our hair down. People would seek each other out at big conferences on other topics and then want to go out to dinner together and go dancing together. I can remember dancing with Martha Goddard, Marty Goddard, and with Jane Burnley and just letting our hair down and thinking, "God forbid, our co-workers back, wherever, should ever see us having this much fun, when they thought we were dealing with this awful subject matter of crime victim."
Seymour: That's great. Now, can you give a little dish of Cinderfella? That's a barometer of your level of fun today.
Lloyd: Actually, and this is something at the Capitol Steps which is a humor group in Washington, Sue Bayell, of one of the people there also does a variation of it or something else. But it takes alliteration and transposes them. It goes once upon a time yany mears ago there was girl by the name of Coor Pinderella and she lived in a house with her micked stepwother and her two sad bisters who made her wo all the dork in the house. She had to fweep the sloor and dash the wishes and she would sit frying by the crireplace at night because her micked stepwother and two sad bisters were so evil, mean, and wicked, bad and nasty towards her. (Laughter) There are other stories, too, about the pee little thrigs, pittle lig, pittle lig, let me come in. Not by the chair of my hinny, hinny, hin. I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll hoe your blouse down, you know. Then there's the story about bleeping seauty and, you know, other similar things.
Seymour: Well, if there's any doubt that the victims' rights field thirty years ago was a hoot and a holler, David just resolved that question.
Lloyd: A lot of hollering.
Seymour: There you go. Thank you so much, for doing this interview with us.
Lloyd: You're welcome.
|This project was supported by Grant Number 2002-VF-GX-0009 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.|