Tag Archives: Cleveland captives

Monster

A monster pled guilty to his despicable acts in open court this week.

To avoid the death penalty, Ariel Castro – the man who held three young women in Cleveland captive for 10 years, who brutally beat, raped, and starved them, killing one of his children in the womb – pled guilty to 977 counts.  Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1000 years.  The plea deal spares the women from testifying at trial.

Castro attempted to lay the blame for a decade of voluntary, heinous acts on supposed sexual abuse in his own past and an addiction to pornography.  This was nothing less than slander against the many child abuse survivors who would give their lives rather than harm a child.

According to Childhelp[i], about 30% of child abuse and neglect victims abuse or neglect their children.  This tragic figure tends to mask the fact that 70% of victims do not abuse or neglect their children.

Evil is, in other words, a result of choice.

The Abel study of non-incarcerated sex offenders (those offending against both child and adult victims) found individuals from every walk of life, and all levels of education; 80% between the ages 20 – 49; 53% married, formerly married, or at some point in a partner relationship; and the majority employed[ii].  In some 59% of cases, intense interest in sex with a non-consenting person (child or adult) began in adolescence[iii]  apparently without a trigger.

In studies of juvenile sex offenders, Johnson and Schreir reported prior physical or sexual abuse by 66%; Longo reported prior abuse by 47%[iv].  To the extent these figures are accurate, they suggest 34% – 53% of juvenile sex offenders were never themselves abused.

Admittedly, many factors influence our choices.  But the choices remain in our control.  Monsters make themselves.


[i] Childhelp, National Child Abuse Statistics, http://www.childhelp-usa.com/pages/statistics.

[ii] The Future of Children, Judith V. Becker, PhD, Princeton University http://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/docs/04_02_09.pdf.

[iii] As above.

[iv] As above.

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

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Filed under Child Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

Through Hell and Back

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, the three women held captive for a decade in a Cleveland home, have made a video thanking God and all those who have extended a helping hand to them.  The video can be found on You Tube at:

Amanda says, “I am getting stronger each day.”

Gina declares, “I may have been through hell and back.  But I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face, and with my head held high…I will not let the situation define who I amI will define the situation…I don’t want to be consumed by hatred…We need to take a leap of faith and know that God is in control…”

Nothing more need be added.

Contributions to assist the women in rebuilding their lives can be made through the Cleveland Courage Fund at:

http://www.clevelandfoundation.org/about/cleveland-courage-fund/

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

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Filed under Justice, Law, Slavery, Violence Against Women

No End to Evil

Details continue to emerge re:  the Boston Marathon bombings.  Overseas, more than 800 recently died when a Bangladeshi garment factory collapsed.  Safety infractions are under investigation.  Meanwhile, three young women held captive for decades in what appeared an ordinary Cleveland home were found and released.

There is no end to evil.  We could daily find other stories of inhumanity in the news.  How is the average person to respond to all this?

It is important we remember that there is good, as well.  For every act of cowardice, there are countless acts of courage.  For every instance of selfishness, there are countless acts of self-sacrifice.

These may not receive the same press, but they are as real and impactful.

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

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Filed under Terrorism, Violence Against Women