Monthly Archives: June 2013

In the Aftermath of Abuse, Part 1 – Victims and Predators

” ‘Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father…’ ” (Matt. 18: 10).

Each year, some six million children in the United States are sexually or physically abused. This 6-part series will explore the emotional and spiritual ramifications of abuse, with a view toward assisting the survivors of abuse and those who care for them in dealing with its long-term effects.

It must be said at the outset that children are NEVER responsible for the abuse inflicted upon them. The idea of a “bad” or “seductive” child is a lie perpetrated by child molesters, a rationale to excuse their heinous actions.

Predators are often manipulative, convincing child victims that they brought on the violation; consented to the violation; will not be believed, if the violation is reported; will be sent away from home, if the violation is reported; will place their parents (or pets) in danger, if the violation is reported, etc.  Some of these same arguments are made to women by the husbands and boyfriends who perpetrate violence against them.

As a consequence, victims often experience a misplaced sense of guilt and shame.  This will be further discussed in our next segment.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT:  http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Child Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

The Least of These

Earlier this month, Texas pageant mom, Tori Hensley, acknowledged giving her toddler daily caffeine to boost the child’s energy.

Last week, an Ohio day care worker was charged with drugging the youngsters entrusted to her. Tammy Eppley is said to have sprinkled Benadryl and melatonin into the children’s food with the goal of getting them to sleep all day. Eppley had bragged of her success to friends.  She now contends she was merely joking.

Hopefully, these situations have not yet resulted in permanent injury to the youngsters involved.  They do, however, illustrate the vulnerability of children .

We will be held to account both for what we inflict on these little ones, and for what we deny them that is necessary for their proper growth and development.

“…’Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me‘ ” (Matt. 25: 40).

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT:  http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Child Abuse, Physical Abuse

Wrongly Convicted

Happy is he…whose hope is in the Lord his God…Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed…The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners” (Ps. 146: 5-7).

An Associated Press story recently highlighted the fact that bite mark evidence has lost credibility. At least two dozen of the men arrested and/or convicted on such evidence have since been exonerated by DNA testing. Many of the men were imprisoned for a decade or more.

Levon Brooks was sentenced to life after being convicted of the sexual assault and murder of his ex-girlfriend’s 3 year old daughter. Kennedy Brewer was sentenced to death in a similar case. The “human” bite marks on the little girls were later attributed to crayfish and insects in the water where the bodies were found. DNA testing in both cases matched Justin Johnson who, also, confessed. Johnson had a history of rape.

Cases involving the assault and death of children are particularly heinous. While moved to seek justice for these young victims, we must not jump to conclusions about guilt from a desire for closure. Joseph and the prophet, Jeremiah, were two of the biblical figures falsely imprisoned.

Jesus, Himself, was denied due process and convicted on the basis of perjured testimony. Worth remembering, as we pursue justice.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT:  http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Justice, Sexual Abuse

Scandal at the State Department

Just the latest in a series of scandals, an Inspector General’s Report accuses the State Department of having quashed several attempts to investigate sexual misconduct by overseas officials, including an ambassador.  Some of that misconduct is said to have involved sex with prostitutes, some of them minors, which would make the activity criminal, as well as despicable.

A genuine  investigation is now, we are told, underway.  Evidence of criminality is to be referred to the Justice Department.  That will make a refreshing change from empty posturing, and a ceremonial slap on the wrist.

It is easy to become cynical in the face of such scandals.   That power corrupts hardly comes as a surprise.

A few observations, however:

  1. Assuming that grounds exist for these allegations, it took courage for the whistleblower(s) to come forward.
  2. The children who were violated are no mere fiction.  Their youth and potential are daily being squandered.
  3. The women who sold their bodies to powerful men, for lack of anything else to offer, are more than the smutty jokes made at their expense.  They are human beings living out a tragedy.

It is dangerous to become jaded.  As we become hardened, less and less can shock us.  We begin to pride ourselves in that fact.  Gradually, we lose the feeling in our hearts, in the same way diabetics lose the feeling in their extremities.  Both processes are deadly.

At very least, we should demand accountability, both from those involved in such misconduct and those who tolerate it.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT:  http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Justice, Politics, Prostitution, Sexual Abuse

No End to Evil

Details continue to emerge re:  the Boston Marathon bombings.  Overseas, more than 800 recently died when a Bangladeshi garment factory collapsed.  Safety infractions are under investigation.  Meanwhile, three young women held captive for decades in what appeared an ordinary Cleveland home were found and released.

There is no end to evil.  We could daily find other stories of inhumanity in the news.  How is the average person to respond to all this?

It is important we remember that there is good, as well.  For every act of cowardice, there are countless acts of courage.  For every instance of selfishness, there are countless acts of self-sacrifice.

These may not receive the same press, but they are as real and impactful.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT:  http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Terrorism, Violence Against Women