Old love letters, Source Flickr, Author Rachel Ashe of Vancouver, Canada (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)
Almost all of us have, at some time or other, run into an old flame and felt the desire to reconnect. What draws us is a mix of nostalgia and the desire to correct past mistakes, to “get it right” this time.
The problem is that many of the former relationships to which we find ourselves drawn as abuse survivors were, to put it mildly, toxic.
Why do we save the love letters of a man who repeatedly cheated on us? Why are we tempted to call the boyfriend who stole our charge cards and emptied our bank account? Why do we find ourselves checking Facebook for the ex who put us in the emergency room?
The answer is not that time heals all wounds. It is not that we are seeking closure, that we enjoy pain…or that we are simply too dim to know better.
One reason is familiarity. There is something powerfully familiar about these toxic relationships. They evoke buried memories from our past, memories we once associated with love. Continue reading →
Child Sexual Abuse Imagery on YouTube. A large volume of child erotica is being monetized on YouTube . The YouTube algorithm unwittingly works to favor child sexual abuse imagery. Disney, AT&T, Hasbro, Nestle, and McDonald’s have pulled advertising over the fact their ads are running on videos of young girls which pedophiles have sexualized. YouTube is blocking predatory comments, but not taking down these videos though social media is often used to facilitate grooming.
Violation by Labor Secretary of Crime Victims’ Rights Act. Judge Kenneth Marra has ruled that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act when he arranged a plea deal for multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein without informing victims . Despite having engaged in human trafficking and the abuse of more than 80 underage victims, Epstein was sentenced to a mere 13 months in a private wing of the Palm Beach county jail. Acosta, then the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, not only failed to prosecute Epstein under federal sex trafficking laws, but denied victims their opportunity to oppose the plea deal in open court or appeal it. Moreover, the secret plea deal shut down an ongoing FBI investigation, guaranteeing Epstein and his co-conspirators immunity from further prosecution.
Joseph Milano and Lauren Semanyk, a Maryland couple, have been charged with third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of their 10 month old daughter . Other charges pending include possession of drug paraphernalia. The couple waited over 6 hours to report that the baby had ingested fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50-100 times more powerful than morphine. They described Angelina to emergency personnel as having drowned during a bath.
A 16 month old Pennsylvania toddler is in guarded condition after having chewed on a discarded baggie that held heroin . Narcan saved both the baby’s life and his mother’s, both found unconscious. A search at the home turned up a dozen empty heroin bags. The mother is expected to be charged.
Antonio Floyd and Shantanice Barksdale, a Michigan couple, have been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter in the death of their 18 month old daughter . The toddler, Ava, died after ingesting some 15 times the amount of fentanyl commonly seen in overdose deaths. Drug residue, baggies, scales, herb grinders, and guns were found in the couple’s home. They have two other children.
We mull over baby names. We paint our nurseries pink and blue; decorate them with bunnies or friendly cartoon characters. We buy sound machines, cashmere receiving blankets, teddy bears 3’ tall, and designer baby clothes.
Amid all the excitement, we overlook only one thing in preparing for the birth of a child. And that is the very thing a child needs most: loving and responsible parents, capable of putting their child’s needs first. Continue reading →
Climbing Over Grit by Marzeeh Laleh Chini and her daughter Abnoos Mosleh-Shirazi is a ringing indictment of child marriage, in the years leading up to and during the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
A moving story of courage, strength, and love in the face of abuse, Climbing Over Grit is a first-hand account of the early life of Laleh’s mother, Najma.
Neglected by her wealthy but self-absorbed parents, Najma is married at the age of 11 to a man thirteen years her senior who regularly beats and rapes her. Despite horrific abuse, Najma’s spirit is never broken. She forms a close relationship with her mother-in-law and manages to raise four children (becoming a grandmother at the early age of 30).
In the process – and despite her husband’s vehement opposition – Najma resumes her education, attaining a small degree of independence. However, history repeats itself when Najma and her husband arrange a marriage for their daughter, Jaleh, at the age of 15. Continue reading →
The content of this website is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or a substitute for psychiatric treatment or psychotherapy. The victims of child abuse are encouraged to seek advice and support from duly licensed professionals.