Category Archives: domestic violence

Bad Parental Behavior

Juvenile Criminal Law | Criminal Defense Attorney in Tampa

Image courtesy of Barnett, Howard & Williams, PLLC

Maryland resident, Cornella Rookard, drove her armed 14 y.o. son to confront another boy.  The teen fired several times at the intended victim from the backseat of his mother’s vehicle with a shotgun.  He was later charged with attempted murder.  His mother was charged with assault, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and reckless endangerment [1].

We assume parents will raise their children to become good citizens, and teach them right from wrong.  Unfortunately, that assumption is often mistaken.

Parental Impact

Parents have enormous impact on the behavior of their children.  Parental interest and encouragement can increase a child’s self-esteem, motivation, and interest in school [2].  The reverse is, also, however, true.

Children who are rejected by their parents, who are inadequately supervised or grow up amid conflict run the highest risk of delinquency [3A].  Where parents are, themselves, involved in criminal activity, that risk increases exponentially [3B].

Absent Fathers

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5: 8).

It may be painful to hear.  But the absence of a father from the home is considered the single most important cause of crime [4].  Boys who do not share a home with their fathers after the age of 10 y.o. – 14 y.o. are twice as likely to be jailed as those from intact homes.  Boys fatherless from birth are three times as likely to be jailed.

This is not intended to cast aspersions on single or divorced mothers.  It is simply to point out that fathers serve a purpose above and beyond procreation (a concept that seems lost on our society). Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Poverty, Religion, Sexual Abuse

Rape as a Weapon

Femicides in Mexico: Impunity and Protests | Center for Strategic and International Studies

Protester holding sign which reads:  “Don’t Kill Us!”
Photo: ROCIO VAZQUEZ/AFP via Getty Image
WARNING:  Graphic Images

Rape is being used as a weapon in Mexico against women and girls protesting femicide and other gender violence [1].  Women who dress in black or cover their faces – even as a hygiene measure against COVID-19 infection – are viewed as suspect.

Femicide in Mexico

The World Health Organization defines femicide as the intentional murder of women because they are women.

Nearly 3500 femicides were committed in Mexico in 2019 alone [2].  Approximately 10 women are killed everyday by strangulation, suffocation, stabbing, and drowning.  Some 93% of crimes are either not reported or not investigated.

The inaction of Mexico toward this situation has drawn criticism from around the world.

Media Demonization

Women taking part in protests have been demonized by the media.  In this way, authorities have undermined the legitimacy of protest.  To further assure that women know their place, law enforcement uses violence to punish women who dare to take to the streets.

Human Rights Violations

More than two years after a judgment in the case of Women Victims of Sexual Torture in Atenco v. Mexico by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Mexico has made little progress in preventing human rights violations against women demonstrators. Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Justice, Law, Rape, Violence Against Women

Purity and Virginity Testing

“The Virgin in Prayer” by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato (c. 1645), National Gallery (Accession No. NG200), London, Author/Source Web Gallery of Art (PD-Art, PD-Old-100)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

Clinics in Britain offer controversial but ineffective tests for virginity which can place lives at risk [1].  Young women who “fail” such tests may be subjected to violence or sexual assault, starvation, banishment from their communities, and – in extreme cases – honor killings.

Shame and Dishonor

In a few cultures, the loss of virginity prior to marriage is still viewed as bringing shame and dishonor on the family and community as a whole.  For that reason, virginity testing is often required for marriage.

Of course, it is always the woman’s virginity called into question.

Forced Testing

Women may be forced by parents, potential partners, or future in-laws to submit to virginity testing.

Virginity tests are, also, at times carried out on sexual assault victims to verify that rape has taken place.  Needless to say, the testing is equally ineffective for that purpose, though it is traumatic. Continue reading

29 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Community, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Rape, Religion, Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women

Gender-Based Violence

Sukuma women and children of Tanzania, Author paulshaffner, Source Flickr (CC BY 2.0 Generic)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

The following is excerpted from an article by Lynn Monahan titled “Fighting Gender-Based Violence” in the June 2020 edition of Maryknoll Magazine:

“When she was only 8 years old, Ghati was sold by her older brother to a 55-year-old man, who put the orphan girl on a motorcycle and rode to his house… There the man raped her.

After two weeks of daily assaults, Ghati escaped while the man was working in his fields…The man was later arrested and eventually sentenced to prison.

Ghati, a pseudonym to protect her identity, was…placed in a shelter [in Tanzania] under the care of the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Africa.

‘What the center does is support vulnerable children,’ says Sister Annunciata Chacha, the director of the shelter called Jipe Moyo, a Swahili term meaning To Give Heart.

Jipe Moyo, a program of the Musoma Diocese, cares for children who have been living on the street, children who run away from domestic violence, children who flee from female genital mutilation (FGM)…sometimes called female circumcision, and girls escaping from child marriages…At the center, the children receive care, counseling and education…”

Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, sex trafficking, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women

“People Pleasing” Behavior, Part 2

Foto Removing the mask. Fotografia tirada por Luciano Moreira inserida na categoria arte-digital
Saved from junior.fineart-portugal.com

Those of us who are “people pleasers” as the result of childhood abuse and/or domestic violence have our reasons.  Deprived of affection, we long for acceptance.  Often cruelly punished when we did not conform to the expectations of others, we fear rejection.

Saying “no” to a request is difficult for us.  Putting boundaries in place, since it was never allowed, feels foreign and selfish.  We may even have been taught that it was “unchristian”.

Unfortunately, “people pleasing” behavior is not productive in the long run.  It is likely to leave us overworked and overwhelmed – often angry with ourselves for having failed to speak out.  Over time, we can lose sight of who we really are.

Inauthenticity drains the joy from living.  How then do we change this behavior?

Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

“People Pleasing” Behavior, Part 1

Traffic jam, Author Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz Mariordo (GFDL, CC Attribution 3.0 Unported)

  • You make a left-hand turn at an intersection, with your signal on well in advance.  The driver behind you stops in mid-roadway, and exits her vehicle to shout at you.  You can see her in your rearview mirror, gesturing wildly.   Puzzled, you re-examine your actions for several hours, in a fruitless effort to identify what you did wrong.
  • The vehicle behind yours persists in tailgating.  You can feel the sweat break out on your brow.  You check and re-check your speed.  Finally, the other driver tears past, and you breathe a sigh of relief.
  • Alone at night, in a deserted area, you speed up after the vehicle behind yours repeatedly flashes its high beams.  When you do stop at a lit plaza, the other driver pulls alongside to berate you.  You are mortified, at a loss how to respond.

Admittedly, there are lunatics on the road these days.  And all of us make occasional mistakes, whether driving or otherwise.

The truth is that we cannot please everyone, even when we adhere perfectly to the rules of the road or the rules of civil society.  Unlike the rules of the road, of course, the rules of society are often ambiguous.

But the inability to please others is extraordinarily painful for those of us who are “people pleasers” as a consequence of child abuse.  Domestic violence only adds another layer to our distress.

We long for peace, and try to achieve it through compromise.  We twist ourselves into pretzels trying to please.

The problem is that we have deep reservoirs of undeserved shame.  Our first assumption, in the face of any confrontation, is that we must be in error.

Since all human beings are fallible, we can generally find flaws in ourselves.  These do not, however, justify abusive behavior by those with whom we come in contact.

This series will conclude 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

21 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

Scars and Glory

“I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious”

“This Is Me” by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek,
Copyright © Kobalt Music Publishing

As abuse survivors, we carry scars – emotional, mental, and physical.  That is a fact of life for us.

To be ashamed of our scars is to be ashamed of who we are and who we were meant to be.  Afraid, we became valiant.  Humiliated, we grew resolute.  Weak and wounded, we found our strength.

Our scars are proof of that.  They are proof of the power with which we held onto life…and the Power that sustained us.

We have been hurt and we have been broken.  But we are still here.  We have been defiled and spat upon, rejected and reviled.  But we are still here.

We may not meet society’s standards for perfection.  We may not fit society’s mold of what it is to be acceptable.  Those standards are a product of ignorance.  That mold was meant to be broken.

Our scars are obvious.  But we are still here.  And our wounds are, also, our glory.

“In my deepest wound I saw Your glory and it astounded me.”

-St. Augustine of Hippo

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

22 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse

Suicide Prevention

Suicide with pills, Author Manos Bourdakis (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) indicates that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 15-24, the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 10-14, and the 10th leading cause of death in the US overall [1].

Risk Factors

The risk factors for suicide include [2]:

  • A prior suicide attempt or a family history of suicide;
  • Mental health issues (including depression) or a family history of such issues;
  • Substance abuse or a family history of such abuse;
  • Physical or sexual abuse;
  • Domestic violence;
  • The presence of firearms in the home;
  • Painful physical illness;
  • Financial difficulties;
  • Incarceration;
  • Suicide by peers;
  • Suicide by celebrities.

According to one study, the victims of child abuse were 2.56 times more likely to attempt suicide than others [3].   As many as 80.1% of those in the study who attempted suicide had been abused in childhood.  Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Community, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

Turkish Inequality

Anti-femicide memorial in Chile, Author En.el.cielo.con.diamantes, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/kamelia/2055714461/ (CC BY-SA 2. 0 Generic)

Women in Turkey have rallied in large numbers due to concerns that country may withdraw from the Istanbul Convention [1].  The Convention deals with systemic violence against women, and the state’s role in preventing domestic abuse.

Citing the erosion of family values and traditional gender roles, a small but determined group has lobbied Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to withdraw the country.  What seems behind the effort is an anti-Western sentiment, and the desire to revoke gender-based protections.

Turkey has a long history of femicides, the killing of women and girls by men because of their gender [2A].  Even with the Istanbul Convention in place, 417 Turkish women died as the result of domestic violence last year.  Thus far this year, 205 have been killed.

The murder of 27 y.o. Pinar Gultekin by her former boyfriend ignited the Turkish women’s protests [2B].  Anti-femicide protests have, also, taken place in France, South Africa, Mexico, and Chile in recent years.

Meanwhile, Poland, Serbia, and Croatia are considering abandoning the Convention. Continue reading

25 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Justice, Law, Rape, Religion, Violence Against Women

God’s Relationship to Abuse – Fate and Justice, Part 2

Gentian blossoms, André Karwath a/k/a Aka (CC BY-SA 2.5 Generic)

We continue our examination of God’s relationship to fate, justice, and abuse.

Justice

God created human beings in His image.  That is the reason we have a sense of justice at all.  Our sense of justice cannot be greater than God’s, since it derives from His.

Yet, because ours is a fallen world, we do not always see justice done.  The innocent suffer, as abuse victims can attest.  That is deeply disturbing to us…and it should be.  The question is whether we can trust a God who allows innocent suffering.

The answer to that rests with the character of God.  God is love personified.  He is holy beyond all measure, entirely incapable of evil.  And God is all powerful.  He is not, therefore, overcome by evil.

If we trust in Him, God is capable of sustaining us, despite our suffering.  God’s justice, however, plays out on a grand scale, against the backdrop of eternity.  We may not see justice done in our lifetime.  The Jeffrey Epsteins of this world may triumph for awhile.  But, in the long run, they do not escape justice (Gal. 6: 7).

Knowing these things about God, we can fully place our trust in Him.

Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse