Category Archives: Sexual Assault

Continuing FLDS Tragedy

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Ira_Eldredge_and_his_three_wives_circa_1864_%28restored%29.png

Retouched portrait of Mormon Bishop Ira Eldredge with his three wives (Nancy, Hannah, and Helvig), (c. 1864)

Public Domain as published before January 1, 1928

An offshoot of the infamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) is carrying on the heinous practices of Warren Jeffs, though Jeffs has now been incarcerated for over a decade [1].

Samuel Bateman, 47 y.o., the leader of this polygamous Mormon sect, claims to be Warren’s legitimate successor and a “prophet” in his own right [2A].

Bateman is alleged to have taken 20 or more wives, some as young as 8 or 9 y.o.  He is said to have traveled through Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and Nebraska in order to have sex with underage girls.  As a result, Bateman is facing state and federal charges which include kidnapping and child abuse.

A total of eleven members of Bateman’s splinter group have now been charged with transporting children across state lines for purposes of sexual activity, recording that activity, destroying evidence, and witness tampering.

Mormon Polygamy Historically

Though it is today prohibited by the mainstream LDS, polygamy was among the original teachings of Mormonism, and practiced till 1890 [2B][3].  Doctrinally, polygamy was actually viewed by Mormons as being essential to Salvation, and more significant than baptism.

Downsides of Polygamy for Women

Polygamy — most recently pitched to the public under the seductive guise of polyamory — necessarily creates tensions and inequities, whether practiced by Mormons, Muslims, or others [4].  Women in such an arrangement do not have equal rights with their male partner.

Some “wives” will be favored over or replaced by others, causing harmful friction not only among these women, but their children.  Emotional abuse, depression, severe financial restrictions (even outright destitution), and ultimate abandonment are not uncommon [5A].

Polygamous relationships are, also, prone to domestic violence and/or sexual abuse, not to mention the negative impact they have on children [5B].

Continue reading

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“What Is Toxic Shame?” by Ann Bale

While the following post by Ann Bale was directed to those harmed through a partner’s sexual addiction, it applies to all those suffering from toxic shame, therefore, all abuse victims.

Ann blogs at Don’t Lose Hope https://sexaddictionpartners.wordpress.com.

“…Toxic shame is the feeling that you’re worthless at your core – so you deserve to be rejected, mistreated and ignored, despised and punished by the people in your life. These are damaging, erroneous beliefs.

Shame develops in response to being abused and unloved, especially by the people who are close to you.

Toxic shame often takes the following forms:

1. Feeling bad (utterly shameful) about something terrible that was done to you.

2. Feeling bad (utterly shameful) about choices and actions that belong to someone else. Here, the shame is “guilt by association” – even where the choices and behaviours have nothing at all to do with you.

3. Feeling stigmatized, or experiencing some form of prejudice, where you feel judged and less than other people. Here, the shame generally relates to feelings of inadequacy related to something beyond your control.

4.  Experiencing shame in response to the way someone else sees and judges you.

5. Experiencing shame because you have different outlooks and values from someone else.

6. Feeling awful (and wrong) because you have set and/ or enforced appropriate and healthy boundaries – boundaries which another individual isn’t happy with (usually because they want to control you and the situation).

7. Feeling ashamed of having and expressing emotions, and especially intense and/ or negative emotions.

8. Feeling ashamed of having and expressing legitimate needs, and asking for those needs to be met.

How to Cope with Toxic Shame

Self-compassion is the key to getting free of toxic shame.  It is making the choice to show compassion to yourself in situations where you feel like a failure, or inadequate, or where you hurt, or are suffering, or are struggling, or weak. It is making every effort to be kind to yourself, and being gentle, understanding and patient with yourself.

Something to Think About

‘Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourself.’ – Pema Chodron

Could you start to show this compassion to yourself [1]?”


[1]  Don’t Lose Hope, “What Is Toxic Shame?” by Ann Bale, 3/4/23, https://sexaddictionpartners.wordpress.com/2023/03/04/what-is-toxic-shame/.

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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Internet Safety Tips for Teens

File:Social media.jpg

Typical social media sites, Source Flickr, Author Automotive Social
(CC BY 2.0 Generic)

The following safety tips were supplied by a child advocacy center all too familiar with child abuse in its many forms.  Please, discuss them with the teens in your life.

Personal Safety 

Never share your personal information with others online unless you already know them offline, and they have good reason for needing to know.

Before sharing the following information with ANYONE, always check with a trusted adult first:  last name, address, phone number, date of birth, school name, social security number, passwords.

Social Media

Many social networking websites (e.g. Facebook/Meta, Twitter, and Instagram) have minimum age requirements for signing up.  These requirements are there to protect you!  Never accept a “friend request” from someone you do not already know offline.  Again, never share personal information with others. Continue reading

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PTSD and Grief – Healing Through Nature

File:Early Fall in Sierra Nevada Range, CA 9-16 (29957191822).jpg

Early Autumn in the Sierra Nevada, Author Don Graham of Redlands, CA (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

– John Muir

The respected naturalist and environmental philosopher, John Muir, believed that nature offers the body and mind opportunities to heal themselves [1].

Muir tirelessly hiked the Sierra Nevada, writing extensively about his experiences and ultimately co-founding America’s premier conservation organization, the Sierra Club.  His activism helped to preserve both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.

Mission Outdoors https://missionoutdoors.org/ and Hometown Hero Outdoors https://hometownherooutdoors.org/ are two small non-profits which share Muir’s view.

They afford military service members and veterans a temporary escape from the stress of combat or the difficulties of transitioning to civilian life through hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.  Hometown Hero Outdoors is open to law enforcement personnel, as well.

PTSD

Many of these individuals suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder – an illness to which victims of childhood abuse and domestic abuse are, also, prone. Continue reading

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Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Image courtesy of CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in 1891, Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles is now considered a masterpiece [1].  In its day, however, the book was seen as shocking.

Plot

An early examination of rape and domestic abuse, Tess of the D’Urbervilles is the story of Tess Derbeyfield, a simple country girl.

After a series of misfortunes, Tess is hired by the wealthy D’Urberville family but raped by their son Alec.  The following summer she delivers a sickly infant who dies shortly after.

Tess later finds employment as a milkmaid.  She falls in love with a farmer, Angel Clare, who is unaware of her past.

Since Angel confesses on their wedding night that he once had a brief affair, Tess tells him about the rape.  This does not go over well.  Angel views her as “impure”, and abandons her to try farming overseas. Continue reading

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Mea Culpa

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Southern_Baptist_Convention_logo.png

Guidepost Solutions has issued a scathing report accusing leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, of routinely stonewalling claims of clergy abuse for the past two decades [1].

Convicted child molesters were allowed to continue in ministry without warning to their current congregations across multiple states.

This revelation is akin to the Catholic Church sex scandal in severity.  It confirms that pride and sexual sin are not limited to a single denomination (or linked to a vow of chastity). Continue reading

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Psychedelics for Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD, Part 2

File:FerndalePoliceStop102415.jpg

Drug paraphernalia including marijuana/cannabis and a methamphetamine pipe, following a police stop in Ferndale, CA, Author Ferndale Police Dept., Source https://kymkemp.com
(PD per California Public Records Act)

We continue our discussion of the risks and benefits of a drug-based psychiatric approach utilizing psychedelics to treat anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Despite growing enthusiasm for the use of psychedelics, the evidence is far from in.

LSD

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) – one of the most potent hallucinogens – was studied from the 1950s to 1970s in order to assess behavioral and personality changes, as well as relief from psychiatric symptoms [1][2A].

LSD was originally used in the treatment of anxiety, depression, addiction, and psychosomatic illness.  Readers may recall that the US Army and CIA, also, experimented with LSD as a truth serum.  But most early studies were not performed to today’s standards.

Across 11 randomized-controlled studies (involving a combined total of 567 patients) positive outcomes were observed, particularly with regard to alcoholism [2B].

In rare instances, however, psychedelics such as psilocybin and LSD can evoke a lasting psychotic reaction (more frequently in patients with a family history of psychosis) [3A].  Adequate screening of a patient’s vulnerability and prior psychotic episodes before the use of LSD is, therefore, emphasized. Continue reading

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The Link Between Domestic Abuse and Mass Shootings

File:05 22 21 Downtown Minneapolis Mass Shooting (51196885820).jpgMinneapolis Mass Shooting 5/22/21, Author Chad Davis, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/146321178@N05/51196885820/
(CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

  • 6 were killed and 12 injured in a recent mass shooting in Sacramento [1].  Three shooters were subsequently identified, and found to have domestic violence backgrounds [2A].
  • Last year, a man who murdered 9 coworkers at a railyard had earlier been accused of sexual assault and abusive behavior toward a girlfriend [2B].
  • The man who murdered 49 patrons of the Pulse nightclub in 2016 had beaten and strangled his former wife [2C].

The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions reports that 7 of 10 mass shootings were committed by batterers [2D].

A study in the Journal of Injury Epidemiology confirms that violence against a partner and violence against a stranger are closely related [3][4].  Between 2014 and 2019, 75 of 110 mass shootings were either domestic abuse related or perpetrated by an individual with a domestic abuse background. Continue reading

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Sexual Assault by Fraud

Informed Consent' and Why it Doesn't Work

Image courtesy of PetaPixel.

New Jersey nurse, Mischele Lewis, fell in love with the wrong man [1][2].  It was a mistake that would propel her into a world of deceit.

Lewis, a divorced mother of two, believed she had found true love.  The object of her affection, William Allen Jordan a/k/a Liam Allen, described himself as an undercover operative for the British Ministry of Defense.

Jordan turned out to be a con man and convicted sex offender, with ex-wives on two continents, and a half dozen children.  After wearing a wire, Lewis managed to secure a conviction of Jordan for scamming her out of funds. Continue reading

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Sexual Harassment in India

MeToo: Priya Ramani acquitted in defamation case filed by MJ Akbar - The Week

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 [1].

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

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