MJ Akbar (left), Priya Ramani (right), Image courtesy of The Week https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2021/02/17/metoo-priya-ramani-acquitted-in-defamation-case-filed-by-mj-akbar.html.
WARNING: Graphic Images
Earlier this year, an Indian court acquitted journalist, Priya Ramani, in a criminal defamation case by former government minister, MJ Akbar, for accusing him of sexual misconduct .
Ramani had alleged in a social media post that she was sexually harassed by Akbar in 1993, when called to a Mumbai hotel for a job interview. Following Ramani’s allegations, over 20 other women came forward to make similar allegations against Akbar. As a result, Akbar was forced to step down, though not before he filed suit. Continue reading
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 .
We assume parents will raise their children to become good citizens, and teach them right from wrong. Unfortunately, that assumption is often mistaken.
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 . 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].
“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 . 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
Filed under Child Abuse, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Poverty, Religion, Sexual Abuse
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 . 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 . 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.
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
“Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting” by Artemisia Gentileschi (c. 1638), British Royal Collection (Accession No. RCIN 405551) (PD)
“My illustrious lordship, I’ll show you what a woman can do.”
The Baroque artist, Artemisia Gentileschi is not known for a light and frothy style. By any standard, Artemisia’s paintings are powerful, her imagery striking.
To begin with, she often chose as her subjects strong women – whether from myth or the Bible. Among the best-known are Susanna, Esther, Judith, and Mary Magdalene . But Artemisia’s own story is compelling.
Born in 1593, Artemisia was introduced to painting by her father, Tuscan artist Orazio Gentileschi .
Rape and Trial
In 1611, Artemisia was raped by fellow artist, Agostino Tassi.
In the expectation that they would be married to restore her honor, Artemisia continued to have sexual relations with Tassi for nine months. When it became clear Tassi would not or could not marry her, Artemisia’s father pressed charges against him. Continue reading
WARNING: Graphic Images
A South Carolina woman, Alyssa Dayvault, 32 y.o., was convicted of two counts of homicide by child abuse for having killed her infant children – a girl and boy, born in 2017 and 2018, respectively [1A].
The Public Defender claimed that Dayvault had intended to give the children up for adoption. Instead, Dayvault hid both pregnancies from her mother and boyfriend, ultimately disposing of the children in trash bags.
Dayvault apologized in court to her two remaining children, but seemed oblivious to the harm to her dead infants. She was sentenced to 40 years.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jer. 17: 9).
We have, it seems, grown numb to the needs of our children. With 9 months to decide the fate of each of her children, this woman committed infanticide. Then did it again, a year later. The children were simply trash to her.
And Alyssa Dayvault is not alone. A Michigan woman, Antoinette Briley, 41 y.o., was charged with the murder of her twin sons in 2003 . Evidence suggests she, too, discarded her newborns in the trash. Continue reading
University of Utah, Author University of Utah (CC 3.0 Unported)
Lauren McCluskey, a 21 y.o. student athlete at the University of Utah, was murdered by a former boyfriend despite having complained to campus and Salt Lake City police over 20 times .
Lauren met her murderer, 37 y.o. Melvin Rowland, in a bar. The co-ed ended their brief, month-long relationship on learning Rowland was a convicted sex offender who had lied about his name and age.
Calls for Help
Over the next two weeks, Lauren reported to police that Rowland was sending her harassing messages and attempting to extort money. She did, in fact, send him $1000 in the futile hope of securing the return of embarrassing photos.
Lauren’s body was found in the backseat of a car on campus. She had been shot to death. Rowland killed himself following a police chase.
The University of Utah has settled with McCluskey’s parents for $10.5 million. A separate $3 million donation will be made to the Lauren McCluskey Foundation, and funds raised for an indoor track to be named after Lauren. Continue reading
“Shipwreck: the sun breaking through the clouds after a storm” by William Joy (1859), Photographer/Source Christie’s Auctions, (PD-Art, PD-Age)
WARNING: Graphic Images
We close 2020 on a tragic note: the sexual assault and battery of a newborn by a 14 y.o. boy living in the same Florida foster home [1A].
Assailant Sexualized as a Toddler
The teenage assailant is thought to have been sexualized as a toddler, when his biological mother exposed him to pornography and engaged in sexual activity in his presence.
History of Prior Assaults
“If someone is predatory, they are going to focus in on someone that is vulnerable. Putting a young child in a situation like that is beyond shocking.”
-Pediatric Neuropsychologist, Thomas Dikel [1B]
The couple who fostered then adopted this boy (the Kleins); the non-profit responsible for overseeing child welfare locally (Kids Central); and the entity providing case management services (The Center) were all aware of the boy’s dangerous proclivities, since he had sexually assaulted other children.
Nonetheless, Kids Central and The Center continued to send foster children to the Kleins’ home. Continue reading
Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Rape, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault
Marisol Nichols at 2018 San Diego Comic-Con, Author Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)
The TV series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Riverdale could hardly be more different. The first is a gritty crime drama. The second is a teen melodrama based on the Archie Comics.
The two, however, have something in common: a remarkable actress who takes part in real life FBI and other police “sting” operations targeting child predators .
Employing her acting skills, Marisol Nichols collaborates with law enforcement – sometimes in the role of a child, sometimes in the role of a distraught parent – to combat sex trafficking. Texts and phone calls lure child molesters to motel rooms, where they can be arrested.
Nichols was, herself, sexually assaulted at 11 years of age.
The actress has since established a non-profit called Foundation for a Slavery Free World https://www.slaveryfreeworld.org. Her non-profit produces Hollywood events to raise awareness of sex trafficking, and recognizes groups and individuals for their work in this field.
For her own work, Marisol Nichols received the President’s Distinguished Volunteer Service Award in 2017.
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28: 1).
 E!, “Riverdale Star Marisol Nichols’ Story of Hunting Child Predators Is Being Turned Into a TV Show” by Lauren Piester, 8/31/20, https://www.eonline.com/news/1183800/riverdale-star-marisol-nichols-story-of-hunting-child-predators-is-being-turned-into-a-tv-show.
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Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Rape, Religion, sex trafficking, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Slavery