Category Archives: Child Molestation

“Dissociative Identity Disorder” by Therapy Glasgow

Broken-down house, Source https://www.flickr.com, Authors Forest and Kim Starr (CC BY-SA 3.0 United States)

This post from “Stephen” at Therapy Glasgow eloquently conveys the essence of Dissociative Identity Disorder:

“Still Like A House

Fractured?  No, curiously I feel fractured but I see myself in the mirror and I’m whole, standing still like a house.  The mirror may be fractured, but my eyes still swivel like windows in this head, guided by a nose that acts as a weather vane.  I open and close my mouth like a door and my ears sit like unoiled hinges.  But I don’t feel like a house.  I feel like a room: a room divided against itself.

Whole Not Hole

If I am whole, how come there are holes in my experience?  Not holes; they just feel like holes.  They’re no more holes than my forgetting what I had for breakfast last Tuesday is a hole.  If I decide, out of my indecision comes a need to follow a trail of breadcrumbs, walking backwards in flip-flop sandals: Shameday, Shatterday, Frightday, Thugsday, Whensday, Chewsday: vegetarian bacon that tasted like cardboard soaked in lapsang souchong.

Not Broken

Broken.  Like a wine glass washed in a lapse of concentration, snapped stem in the sink?  No, I just feel broken.  I’m no more broken than my daydream in the bubbles is a symptom of a broken mind.  I just went travelling for a second and broke a glass, not my hip…” [Continued at https://therapyglasgow.com/2019/02/02/dissociative-identity-disorder/?c=166#comment-166. ]

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Systemic Evil

  • Child Sexual Abuse Imagery on YouTube. A large volume of child erotica is being monetized on YouTube [1].  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 [2].  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, and guaranteed Epstein and his co-conspirators immunity from further prosecution.
  • Known Sexual Predator on Government Payroll for Decades.  Investigation by Frontline and the Wall Street Journal confirms that Dr. Stanley Patrick Weber was moved from reservation to reservation by the US Indian Health Service (IHS) for over twenty years despite allegations that he was abusing Native American boys [3][4].  The IHS serves a largely impoverished population with little or no other access to health care.  Weber supplied victims with money, alcohol, and opioids.  He was finally convicted in 2016 of assaulting two Montana boys.  Many of Weber’s victims have spent years in and out of prison and/or struggling with addiction.  In its defense, the IHS indicates it was desperate for medical staff.  Other physicians have been hired with drug problems, criminal convictions, or a history of violence.
  • Catholic Church Sex Scandal.  Although widespread clergy abuse has been uncovered in the United States, Chile, Ireland, Germany, and Australia, there is little hope that the current Conference on the Protection of Minors will result in genuine – and long overdue – reform by the Catholic Church [5].  Clergy abuse in India, Africa, and elsewhere in the undeveloped world has yet to be addressed.  Pope Francis attributes abuse to clericalism, i.e. an excessive deference to clergy and the assumption of moral superiority on their part despite all evidence to the contrary [6][7].  However, the failure to put universal mandatory safeguards in place has played a large role.  Recommendations by the earlier Commission for the Protection of Minors were approved by the Pope, then ignored by the Curia. Subsidiarity allows the bishops in each country to make their own decisions about reform.  Meanwhile, the rape of nuns by priests and bishops has been reported to church hierarchy for 25 years, but is only now coming to light [8][9][10].

Whether corruption is governmental, ecclesiastical, or otherwise, it can become so blatant and pervasive as to undermine any good that may be accomplished by an organization or institution.

But victims are not without recourse, in the face of systemic evil.  Public outcry in the form of protest and boycott can be extremely powerful.  The only question is whether the public will can be marshaled.

[1]  USA Today, “AT&T, Disney, Epic Games drop YouTube ads over concerns of pedophile comments on videos” by Mike Snyder, 2/22/19, https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2019/02/22/at-t-disney-epic-games-pull-youtube-ads-child-exploitation-concerns-pedophiles/2948825002/.

[2]  Slate, “Judge: Alexander Acosta, Now a Trump Official, Broke Federal Law in Brokering Jeffery Epsteing’s 2008 Plea Deal” by Molly Olmstead, 2/21/19, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/02/jeffrey-epstein-sex-trafficking-plea-deal-alexander-acosta.html.

[3]  PBS, “A Pedophile Doctor Drew Suspicions for 21 Years. No One Stopped Him.” By Christopher Weaver, Dan Frosch, and Gabe Johnson, 2/8/19, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/patrick-stanley-weber-sexual-abuse-pine-ridge-blackfeet-reservation/ .

[4]  PBS, “Predator on the Reservation”, 2/12/19, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/predator-on-the-reservation/.

[5]  The Atlantic, “What to Watch for During the Catholic Church’s Sex-Abuse Meeting” by Rachel Donadio, 2/20/19, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/02/pope-francis-hosts-catholic-church-meeting-sex-abuse/583129/.

[6]  Vatican News, “Protection of Minors: Card. Salazar says bishops’ responsibility ‘inescapable’ ” by Linda Bordoni, 2/21/19, https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-02/protection-minors-meeting-abuse-cardinal-salazar-vatiab.html.

[7]  Aleteia, “What is ‘clericalism’?” by Nicholas Senz, 8/23/18, https://aleteia.org/2018/08/23/what-is-clericalism/.

[8]  CNN, “The abuse of nuns is ‘going to explode’ ” by Christiane Amanpour, 2/22/19, https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2019/02/22/marie-collins-child-sex-abuse-survivor-vatican-summit-pope-francis-amanpour.cnn .

[9]  NPR, “ ‘I Just Froze’: Former Nun Talks About Experiences of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse”, 2/9/19, https://www.npr.org/2019/02/09/693062479/former-nun-talks-about-experiences-of-abuse-in-germany.

[10]  AP News, “Nuns in India tell AP of enduring abuse in Catholic Church” by Tim Sullivan, 1/2/19, https://www.apnews.com/93806f1783f34ea4b8e9c32ed59cdc06.

The series Returning to Toxic Relationships will resume next week.

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

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R. Kelly

“It’s too late. They should have did this s__ 30 years ago.”
– R. Kelly, Facebook Live [1]

The Lifetime channel recently aired a documentary series called “Surviving R. Kelly” which explores the R&B singer-songwriter’s reputation for preying on young girls [2].  The program contains statements by several of Kelly’s underage victims.  The young women describe having been groomed, abused, then finally abandoned.

A number of journalists have reported on R. Kelly’s reprehensible behavior.  Kelly was acquitted of child pornography in 2008, though a tape allegedly showed him having sex with and urinating on a 14 y.o.

The program sheds light not only on the singer’s pattern of predation, but the roots of this behavior.  It, also, exposes the complicity of others in the music business. Continue reading

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Sex Tourism

Detail from painting at Casa del Centenario, Pompeii (PD)*

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was known for its hedonism.  Archaeologic evidence has been found of numerous brothels.  Erotic art was common in homes.  Phallic symbols were used all over the city, as signs of fertility and good fortune [1].

This may sound titillating to us.  We have not though progressed far, in the centuries since.  Sex tourism is widely advertised today.  Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia are among the countries that derive income from it [2].

Those who plan their vacations around the sexual activities – legal and illegal – available in foreign countries are unlikely to consider their impact on the local men, women, and children selling their bodies (and souls) to survive. Continue reading

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War Wounds

Azerbaijani refugee child (1996), Author Ilgar Jafarov (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

“I am blind to beauty for I have seen the ugliness of war,
My heart discard, my soul’s an open sore,
My spirit’s broken, and my body is not well,
For I have seen the smoke and fire
And passed through the gates of hell… ”

– Kevan Lyons, The Poet of Churchill Square

These are grave times.  Terrorism stalks the world, striking without warning or mercy.  I can think of no better analogy for abuse.

Abuse is a conflict in which children’s lives are the battlefield; a conflict in which children go unarmed, yet have war wounds inflicted; a conflict in which children will never be victors.

Under wartime conditions of deprivation and abandonment, the simplest word of encouragement is denied a young heart.  Under wartime conditions of violence and destruction, the most defenseless among us are battered and broken.  Under wartime conditions of rape and pillage, basic sexuality becomes an item of commerce, and a lifelong source of pain.

Little wonder that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — first identified in the combat setting centuries ago — is common among abuse victims, as well. Continue reading

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Sexual Violence Among Children On Base

Related image

Photo courtesy James Worthington/Pinterest

The Senate has ordered an independent evaluation of how the Defense Dept. deals with child sexual violence on military bases [1].  This follows an Associated Press investigation which exposed multiple failures, in instances with underage victims and assailants [2].

The US Armed Forces have attempted to come to terms with the rape of female soldiers for the past 10 years.  But reports of rape and sexual assault among children on base often die a slow death, under mountains of paperwork and red tape.  Some are deliberately buried.

The Defense Dept. does not, it seems, even track such reports for statistical purposes.  The Associated Press, however, managed to uncover nearly 600 cases between 2007-2018. Continue reading

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A Long Silence

Broome County Courthouse, Binghamton, NY, Author Doug Kerr (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

Statutes of Limitations are time limits under the law within which accusations can be criminally prosecuted or civil damages pursued.

Purpose

Statutes of Limitations serve a dual purpose.  They encourage investigation while evidence is still available and memories fresh.   And they allow society to move forward in an orderly fashion, with old disputes resolved.

Tolling

Murder has consistently been viewed as the exception.  The crime is considered so grave by society that it warrants investigation whenever uncovered…even after many years.  The question we must ask is how closely other allegations parallel this.

Most states suspend or “toll” their Statutes of Limitations to allow injured minors to reach majority.

Many states have made special provisions for child sexual abuse cases – in part because of the breadth and heinous nature of such crimes, in part because victims are often reluctant to come forward for years, and in part because there may be repressed memories involved [1].

A Long Silence

Systemic suppression of the truth – as, for instance, by the Catholic Church – may result in a long silence.  That does not ensure societal peace…much less justice.

[1]  National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), “State Civil Statutes of Limitations in Child Sexual Abuse Cases”, 5/30/17, http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/state-civil-statutes-of-limitations-in-child-sexua.aspx.

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

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Credibility

Detail from “Allegory of Justice” by Claude Laprade (1702), Museo Nacional Machado de Castro, Portugal, Author P.Lameiro (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

Given the recent #MeToo Movement, the Roman Catholic Church sex scandal, and the growing frequency of child abuse allegations in the context of custody disputes, the issue of credibility is crucial.

False allegations – whether of rape or child abuse which did not occur – are a serious concern.  Lives and careers can be destroyed by them.

Signs of Truthfulness

There are factors which tend to support the truthfulness of victims.  These include the following:

  • A complaint to authority, in close proximity to the alleged event.
  • Documented physical injury, in close proximity to the alleged event.
  • Changes in the behavior of a child, in close proximity to the alleged event.
  • Detailed descriptions of sexual interaction by a young child.
  • Multiple victims, unrelated to one another.
  • Recurrent victims, when an accused relocates or is reassigned.

None of these factors, by themselves, assure that allegations are grounded in fact.  Each, however, carries some weight.  All are present in the Catholic Church sex scandal. Continue reading

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Predator Priests, Part 3

Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, former Archbishop of Boston who resigned in response to the Catholic Church sex scandal, Author City of Boston Archives, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/cityofbostonarchives/9519694234/ (CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

Whether in the Roman Catholic Church or evangelical church, clergy abuse is a fundamental betrayal of Christian belief.

The Good Shepherd

Christ the Good Shepherd, the Suffering Servant, sacrificed Himself for our sake.  The sinless Savior took on our sins, and went to the cross in our place.  Predator priests do the opposite.  They prey on the innocent, targeting the weak and vulnerable under their care, for the sake of perverse self-gratification.

This is perhaps the lowest, most despicable form of abuse.  Not only does it destroy a child’s confidence and self-esteem, but a child’s very faith in God.

The Priest/Penitent Relationship

The relationship between a priest and penitent is intended to be sacred, on a par with the relationship between a father and child.  It is meant to mirror the relationship between God and man, and is or should be based on trust.  When that trust is violated, the wound is deep and lasting.

Qualifications for Christian Leadership

And a servant of the Lord must…be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth…” (2 Tim. 2: 24-25).

“A bishop…must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior…not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle…one who rules his own house well…not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.  Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Tim. 3: 2-7).

“For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but…a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1: 7-9).

Scripture lays out the necessary characteristics for Christian leadership.  These include self-control, gentleness, humility, fidelity, and genuine holiness (as distinguished from the mere appearance of piety) .

Predator priests lack every one of these. Continue reading

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Predator Priests, Part 2

WARNING:  Graphic Images

The Roman Catholic Church is not alone in facing accusations of clergy abuse.

Pastor, Heather Larson and elders of the Willow Creek Community Church, a Chicago-based megachurch, recently resigned amid a sexual abuse scandal involving church founder, Rev. Bill Hybels, and multiple women [1][2A].  Hybels resigned in April, but denies the accusations made against him.

Willow Creek meanwhile paid $3.25 million to settle lawsuits against a volunteer who sexually abused two disabled children [3].  The volunteer, Robert Sobczak, Jr. pled guilty, and is currently serving a seven-year prison term. Continue reading

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