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CFS Takes a Village

June 19, 2013 permalink

Manitoba CFS has seized all but one of the 54 children in a Mennonite community. Authorities have forbidden the publication of the name of the town.



Community's children apprehended by province

Four Old Order Mennonite members accused of assaulting youths

An Old Order Mennonite community in Manitoba has reportedly had all but one of their children apprehended by Child and Family Services amidst allegations of child abuse.

In addition, the number of adults charged has now grown to four from two as the police investigation continues.

Initially, two men from the community were charged, but two more members -- a man and a woman -- also now face assault charges.

The Free Press is not naming the accused or the small community due to a publication ban put in place Tuesday to protect the identity of the victims.

During the man and woman's brief appearance in Brandon provincial court on Tuesday, defence lawyer Scott Newman indicated that CFS had apprehended all the children from the community except one 17-year-old.

"There's no children in the community," Newman reported.

A community member has indicated that 54 children usually live there.

The four adult community members face multiple counts of assault and assault with a weapon.

Two men, described as one of the community leaders and his son, first appeared in court in March.

At that time, it was alleged that at least seven children, aged seven to 14 years, were assaulted on the community.

With two other individuals charged, the number of children said to have been assaulted has reached 13.

An update on the children's age range wasn't immediately available on Tuesday.

Collectively, it's alleged that the assaults were committed between July 1, 2011 and Jan. 31, 2013.

Each of the four adults is accused of assaulting more than one child, and of using weapons multiple times that included a leather strap and a cattle prod.

For example, court records to date indicate that one child had three separate assailants and was assaulted with three different weapons -- a strap, a whip and a cattle prod.

This account is based on court documents and may change if there are further arrests.

One source indicated that the alleged assaults were committed as some form of discipline, but that hasn't been confirmed.

Crown attorney Grant Hughes indicated in court that the investigation isn't expected to be complete until July 30.

The first two men to be arrested were released on bail, as were the man and woman who appeared in court on Tuesday.

Five community members watched Tuesday's proceedings from the gallery.

One man said that he couldn't comment on the case, but shared a brief description of the community.

Usually about 70 people, including 54 children, live in about 10 homes there.

The community also includes machine, furniture, harness and wagon shops.

In general, Old Order Mennonites have a lifestyle that rejects certain technologies, and that appears to be the case here.

The community resident said they avoid the use of electricity and there isn't Internet access.

Residents don't generally use phones, although they have a land-line phone for emergencies.

Their mode of transportation in and around the community is typically horse and buggy.

And, in general, the community keeps to itself.

The resident also confirmed that all the community's children except for one were apprehended by CFS.

However, a provincial government spokesman couldn't confirm that account by deadline.

-- Brandon Sun

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

Global News has named the community as Gladstone.



Mennonite community ‘distressed’ after 42 children seized

GLADSTONE – A member of a Manitoba Old Order Mennonite community tells Global News that Child and Family Services took 42 children from their homes near Gladstone last week.

“We are very distressed,” said a bearded man riding a horse and buggy who Global News can’t identify to protect the identity of children involved.

“CFS has apprehended all our children that are minors. They walked into the houses, took the babies out of their cribs while they were sleeping.”

The seizure is believed to be related to multiple criminal charges against three men and one woman in the community, including assault and assault with a weapon, specifically a whip, a leather strap and a cattle prod. Court documents say the alleged assaults took place between July 2011 and January 2013.

“I was surprised when I heard that,” said Peter Dyck, a Gladstone resident.

“I didn’t think that was happening in their community.”

RCMP are investigating, and on Wednesday afternoon a police cruiser and a blue SUV were at one of the Mennonite properties. A farm resident who lives nearby said the property was home to one of the accused. There was a brief interaction between two men on the property and two RCMP officers. The officers left a short time later. The occupants of the SUV did not exit the vehicle.

CFS issued this statement when asked about the mass apprehension:

“Child protection professionals are working with the families and children involved in this difficult circumstance, including providing counseling services and supports during their participation in the ongoing RCMP investigation. The child protection staff are also working to ensure culturally sensitive placements for the children.”

According to area residents, the community of about 100 moved to Manitoba roughly four years ago from Ontario.

“They just kind of go about their daily business, doing their own thing I guess,” said a neighbour who lives near the Mennonite properties.

Gladstone residents said members of the Mennonite community frequent the town for amenities such as the auction and veterinary services. Residents said interaction was limited, but always friendly, which is why the criminal charges are a surprise, they said.

“It’s not that we want to get them out of here. It’s just … make things right,” said Dyck.

Source: Global News

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Approved and proposed for signature and ratification or accession by General Assembly resolution 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948

entry into force 12 January 1951, in accordance with article XIII

Article 2

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Source: Internet Archive