This blog is about a lot of different things besides child sexual abuse. It's about intrigue. It's about betrayal. It's about love and about disappointment. It's about Japan culture and Third Culture Kids or TCK's. It's about being totally helpless and hopeless. It's about being as strong as Sampson. It's about international relationships. It's about all this and more.
Copyright 2009 Janet Calcote Simmons All rights reserved.
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, know that you are not alone, and there are many wonderful organizations, articles and publications that can help you on your path to healing. If you are the family member, friend, or loved one of person who has experienced sexual abuse, thank you for supporting them.
This page is dedicated to identifying resources for survivors and loved ones seeking information and resources about preventing, identifying and dealing with the trauma of sexual violence.
RAINN provides services, resources, and information aimed at addressing the needs of sexual abuse survivors. Their website includes information regarding the prevalence and occurrence of sexual violence, advice for loved ones seeking to support a friend or family member, and articles for victims on how to cope with the trauma of sexual assault.
RAINN also operates the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, which allows victims to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. The hotline may be accessed by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673). In addition, RAINN offers an online hotline, in which survivors can chat one-on-one with a trained RAINN support specialist to help seek services like counseling and mental health treatment.
Darkness to Light provides crisis intervention and referral services to people affected by sexual abuse of children, either as survivors seeking resources or individual seeking information to help a loved one. Calls to the Darkness to Light Hotline are automatically routed to a local call center. Their Hotline phone number is 866-FOR-LIGHT (367-5444).
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children operates a Cyber Tipline , which can be used to communicate information to law enforcement about child pornography or child sex trafficking. You may reach their 24-hour Hotline number by dialing 800-THE-LOST (843-5678).
The National Child Abuse Hotline number is 800-4-A-CHILD (422-2253). The hotline can provide local referrals for victims of childhood sexual abuse seeking services in their area. Their centralized call center allows the caller to speak with a counselor, and the hotline also features a language line that can provide services in over 140 languages.
NCADV works to raise awareness about domestic violence, educate and create programming and technical assistance materials, and assists survivors and other persons impacted by domestic violence. The website provides links to domestic violence programs in your area, and also has information regarding the National Domestic Violence Hotline, accessible at 800-799-SAFE (7233).
Pandora’s Project provides a list of crisis support and resources for survivors of rape and sexual abuse. The website also provides links to articles and essays about sexual assault victimization and prevalence.
OVC operates the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services, a searchable database dedicated to helping crime victims identify service providers and agencies in the United States and abroad. In addition, CrimeVictims.gov provides referrals for crime victim services and victim assistance programs for survivors seeking assistance.
The Center provides services to Americans in civilian and military populations overseas who are suffering from domestic violence. In addition to providing advocacy, safety planning and case management, the center assists victims with relocation, emergency funds for housing and childcare, and funds for payment of legal fees.
The Department of Defense (DOD) operates the Safe Helpline, which is a groundbreaking crisis support service for members of the DOD community affected by sexual assault. The hotline provides live, one-on-one support and information to the worldwide DOD community. The service is completely confidential, anonymous and available worldwide, 24/7, by click, call or text. The Hotline number is 877-995-5247.
This website provides an inventory of hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centers and women’s organizations, searchable by country, in addition to an index of domestic violence resources in over 70 languages.
TELL is dedicated to providing effective support and counseling services to Japan’s international community. Services include free phone counseling, professional face-to-face evaluations and therapy, and community-wide programs.
The Tokyo Rape Crisis Center was established in 1983 to provide telephone counseling services to victims of sexual violence. The Center also provides medical referral information as needed. The center has a webpage in English [http://www.tokyo-rcc.org/center-hp-english.htm] as well as one in Japanese [http://www.tokyo-rcc.org/].
The Bureau of Consular affairs has a section of their webpage dedicating to helping United States citizen victims of crime overseas. The site lists resources, referral information and services for victims of crime abroad, coordinated through the office of Overseas Citizens Services.
Established by Congress in 2000, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) brings a singular and comprehensive focus to childhood trauma. NCTSN is dedicated to improving access to care, treatment and services for children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events. The website’s Sexual Abuse page provides information on ways to identify sexual abuse, policies for creating safe places for children, and the benefits of trauma-focused therapy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
NSVRC seeks to provide leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaboration, research and promoting resources. NSVRC’s “Resources” page provides links to publications, news outlets, and articles regarding sexual assault victimization.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs operates the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC). OVC offers information and resources for individuals seeking research, technical assistance and publications relating to victims of crime.
The World Health Organization provides publications, research, information and studies pertaining to sexual violence internationally, including the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), a consortium established to promote research on sexual violence and generate empirical data ensuring that sexual violence is recognized as a priority public health program.
Letters to Survivors: Words of Comfort for Women Recovering from Rape compiles letters from survivors around the world who want to share their personal message of hope after rape. Each woman’s letter addresses a different aspect of recovery from rape, such as recovering trust, coping with depression and suicidal thoughts, self-injury, spirituality/God, how to find support, how to recognize toxic so-called “helpers,” how to work effectively with your therapist, how to handle discouragement, and how to find hope again.
The Courage to Heal is a critically acclaimed guide for women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The book offers a hope and a map of the healing journey from victim to survivor. Weaving together personal experience with professional knowledge, the authors provide clear explanations, practical suggestions, and support throughout the healing process.
This comprehensive handbook offers readers emotional support and practical guidance in overcoming the trauma of rape. The book seeks to help readers learn the most effective ways of dealing with their feelings immediately following an assault, during the subsequent months, and years beyond.
Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse was the first book written specifically for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The resource combines practical advice as well as personal stories from male survivors in order to explore strategies for survival and healing.
The Rape Recovery Handbook: A Step By Step Help for Survivors of Sexual Assault provides victims with an effective framework by which they may begin their healing process, and offers insight into how sexual assault can affect many different areas of a person’s life.
The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms was written by psychologists and trauma experts Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula. In the book, the authors identify techniques and interventions used by PTSD experts around the world to offer trauma survivors – including victims of rape and childhood sexual abuse – effective tools to help conquer their most distressing trauma related symptoms.
Dear ASIJ Parents, Trustees, Alumni, Faculty and Members of the ASIJ Community,
We write to update you on the status of our investigation into reports of sexual abuse at ASIJ by Jack Moyer, a teacher and consultant affiliated with the school from 1963-2000.
As you are aware, after hearing of the deeply troubling allegations, the current Board of Directors took action last June to retain an independent law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. The investigation, involving extensive interviews in multiple countries, is nearing conclusion.
While we had anticipated concluding the investigation sooner, it is important to note that, shortly after announcing our process, we received a demand letter from a law firm that has been retained in the U.S. by a number of victims. The firm made significant financial and other demands on the school, which we have been working through. In December, we and the law firm hired by the victims mutually agreed to engage a respected mediator with relevant experience to help find a responsible way forward. Those discussions are ongoing.
We recognize that everyone in our community is eager for a resolution to this dark chapter in ASIJ’s history. We want to assure you that we continue to work diligently to get the facts and to do all we can to achieve a fair resolution consistent with our obligations to the victims, for whom we have great sympathy, as well as our school, including current and future students.
We appreciate your continued patience and support.
The Board of Directors
The American School in Japan
This past November, we received a letter from a former ASIJ
student detailing sexual abuse by a former ASIJ teacher, Jack
Moyer. Moyer was employed as a middle school teacher from
1963 – 84. Based on other information we have been able to
gather, as well as an acknowledgement made by Moyer to
another affected student prior to his death in 2004, we believe
he engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with students
during his teaching tenure at ASIJ. Following his retirement
from teaching at ASIJ in 1984, Moyer continued as a
consultant for ASLFs off-campus marine science programs
The current Board of Directors and leadership team take these
circumstances very seriously and recognize the disturbing
implication for our students and families, past and present. By
openly acknowledging this sad part of our history and by
offering our sincere sympathy to those who were impacted by
these events, we hope to assist in the healing process. We
encourage anyone who desires to share his or her experience
with us to reach out. Please contact Board Chair, Mrs.
Stephanie Howe Toppino by either calling the school directly
(0422-34-5300 ext 201) or via email at email@example.com.
We also take this opportunity to assure our community that
ASIJ is a school committed to sustaining an environment that
does not permit or condone any form of sexual abuse, sexual
harassment, or any abuse of children by adults. To this end,
we will continue to review policies and practices as they
relate to the protection of students. Currently our counseling
programs at each division address with our students about
their responsibility to treat others with respect, their parallel
right to be treated with respect and be safe in their person and
how to report inappropriate behavior. Counselors at each
division will continue to reinforce these messages.
We would like to also announce an ASIJ donation to TELL
Counseling. TELL offers counseling services throughout
Japan as well as a Lifeline School Awareness Program and
the Child Protection Awareness Program. All of these worthy
programs address the needs and rights of children in Japan.
We encourage those in the community who would like to join
us in our pledge to do so by contacting TELL directly at
http://www.tellip.com/index.php7/how to donate/
One of our core stated values at ASIJ is to provide for the
social, physical, and emotional well being of our students. We
believe that a culture of trust and respect is the very
foundation on which all of our educational efforts as a
community are based. As we look forward, the school will
work to continually ensure that this foundation remains
A recent visitor to ASIJ remarked that our students look out
for one another and are gentle in their interactions with each
other. We are proud of this observation and will continue to
ensure that this culture endures and is the standard by which
we judge our success.
In this day when social media is so prevalent and concerns
with cyber-bullying so paramount, we ask you to be
especially sensitive to the impact your words and posts (and
those of your children) can have on our community.
To ensure that any communications are both accurate and
respect the privacy of our community, we ask that you refer
any inquiries you may receive directly to either of us, rather
than responding yourself.
ASIJ, its leadership team, and its Board of Directors, thank
you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.
Stephanie H. Toppino
Chair, Board of Directors
Edwin V. Ladd
Head of School
Mr. Ed Ladd, Head of School
Ms. Stephanie Toppino, Board Chair, Board of Directors
The American School in Japan
1-1-1 Nomizu, Chofu-shi,
Tokyo, 182-0031, Japan
Dear Mr. Ladd & Ms. Toppino:
We are writing in response to your communication of March 2014 regarding Jack Moyer. To say that we are broken-hearted at this terrible news is a monumental understatement. It is almost impossible for us to believe. Many of us spent our entire formative years at ASIJ. The school, the relationships we forged there, and the memories we made are as beloved to us as our own families. It is shocking and heartbreaking to us that such evil could have befallen any of our classmates and friends. That the evil acts were not only known to the administration of the school but appear to have been sanctioned by it (through continuing to associate with the perpetrator for years after the knowledge of his deeds was brought to the attention of the school) is entirely beyond our comprehension. It is, in a word, outrageous.
As a result, respectfully, as a class, we are not satisfied with your letter. As alumni of the school, many of us have made significant financial contributions to ASIJ over the 27 years since our graduation, and in some cases have sent our own children to become students at the school. We respectfully, but firmly, ask for answers to the following questions:
1. What actions have been and will be taken to protect future students from befalling a similar fate?
2. What specific actions have been taken to understand how this could have happened under the watch of prior administrations, and why nothing was done when the allegations were initially brought forth?
3. Are there any current administration/board members who were present during the years Jack Moyer was associated with the school during and after employment? If so, are they being asked for a full accounting of what might have been known?
4. What plans does ASIJ have to support Jack Moyer’s victims, a number that may well exceed several dozen?
As we know you are aware, one of the overriding purposes of any institution that is entrusted, as ASIJ was and continues to be, with the welfare of children, is to protect those within its care. The unfortunate impression we are left with after reading your letter is that ASIJ cares more about ‘circling the wagons’ than fulfilling the trust bestowed upon it by parents. We are certain that this is not your intent.
A full airing of the past, including who knew what and when they knew it, is the only way forward. If ASIJ chooses to be proactive in allowing 3sunshine2 to prevail, our community will have a far better chance of healing, as Penn State recently learned (and the parallels with Penn State here are deeply troubling, both in terms of the likely number of victims and the culpability of former administrators who looked the other way).
We send this letter in the spirit of caring deeply for ASIJ, and look forward to your response.
June 2014 Letter from ASIJ Announcing Ropes & Gray Investigation
June 4, 2014
Dear ASIJ Parents, Trustees, Alumni, Faculty and Members of the ASIJ Community,
Since ASIJ publicly acknowledged in March the allegations of abuse on the part of JackMoyer, a teacher and consultant affiliated with the school from 1963-2000, the Board of Directors and the administration have engaged with students, parents, trustees, alumni, and our regulatory authorities as well as affected former students. We appreciate the many expressions of support, as well as constructive input from a number of you in our broader community.
The loss of a child’s innocence in a school setting is inexcusable, and the Board has received these allegations with humility, sympathy and the utmost seriousness. It is in that spirit, and after extensive work on this matter, that we have concluded the need for an independent investigation into the facts of this case. We see this as an essential step toward continuing to minimize or eliminate the risks that something of this nature would ever happen to current or future students. We also hope this will help provide a measure of closure for those who have been directly affected.
We write today to let you know the Board’s Statutory Auditors have engaged the respected law firm of Ropes & Gray to lead the independent investigation. Based in Boston, but with offices in Tokyo, Ropes & Gray has no prior involvement with ASIJ and has extensive experience with similar investigations, involving schools in the U.S. and internationally. Ropes & Gray is tasked with ensuring the investigation is thorough, fair and appropriate with respect to all concerned.
The investigation, which we expect to be completed by sometime this fall, will be completely independent. The school’s Statutory Auditors, Katherine Hall and Fred Morgenstern, identified Ropes & Gray, set the terms of engagement, and will oversee all matters regarding the progress of the investigation. Their oversight will be based on the standards set out under the school’s governance procedures and Japanese law, which requires ASIJ to appoint independent Statutory Auditors to monitor the Board as non-Directors.
The investigation will examine all school records regarding Jack Moyer. It will involve
interviews with former students who elect to come forward, as well as current and former
board members, administrators, faculty, alumni, parents and others who may have relevant information. It will address the allegations against Moyer, and assess how ASJI faculty, staff and administrators responded. It will also examine any other allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior at ASIJ that might surface as part of this investigation. It will cover the period from Moyer’s employment up to and including today.
Anyone wishing to come forward with information that may be pertinent to this independent investigation may do so under full confidentiality at 617-235-4397 in the US, and 03-6259-3566 in Japan. Those who wish to contact the Firm via email may do so at:
Ropes & Gray will present its report and findings to the Board once the review has been
completed. A summary of the report and its conclusions will be made public thereafter, taking into consideration victim privacy and Japanese privacy laws.
While we wait for the report and its recommendations, we want you to know that we have
already moved forward with a number of initiatives to protect students. Criminal background checks are now mandated for all employees, both new and existing. ASIJ is also studying best practices at other schools and we are working with the organization Keeping Children Safe to devise and introduce new measures that will go even further in addressing the needs of our students. Further information on these steps will be shared in due course.
We thank you for your continued support, and encourage participation in the Ropes & Gray
investigation if you have information to share.
The Board of Directors
The American School in Japan