Bulletin Board v232

30 Years of Abuse — RAMPANT abuse, including of a sexual nature, at the St Michael’s Home for Boys in Diego Martin is not a recent phenomena and has been going on, at the very least, for the past 30 years, a former inmate told Newsday yesterday. The ex-inmate, now a happily married, gainfully employed father in his mid-40s, who owns his own home and car, spoke on the basis of strict anonymity with Newsday yesterday.

Abused boy ate insects to survive, ‘looked like Holocaust victim,’ police say — A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy who reportedly was nearly starved to death, suffered regular beatings and resorted to eating insects has been released from the hospital and is now in foster care, WPXI-TV – Pittsburgh reports. Child welfare workers, responding to a complaint, found the child looking like a human skeleton in a home in Greenville last month, police said.

An abuse victim’s new book shatters an unholy vow of silence — ‘Sworn to Silence’ a recollectuion of the clerical abuse of a boy, reflects on blame and shame in 1970s Ireland, says Dan Buckley. BLESS me, Father, for I have sinned. Those are the words that the Catholic Church authorities in Ireland expected of a 14-year-old boy as his response to years of abuse by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth. “I knew that the quizzing about confession was all about me and my fault,” says Brendan Boland, now 53, in Sworn To Silence, his memoir published today. Continue reading

The last human rights taboo?

Originally posted on July 2, 2013

The Guardian published an article titled Male rape: the last human rights taboo. Rich McEachran questions why NGOs pay so little attention to sexual violence against men and boys despite growing concern for the problem:

There is a disconcerting disparity between how various aid organisations and NGOs are dealing, or are failing to deal, with the issue. On a macro-level, organisations may not be aware of what they’re looking for and may not see how male rape fits into the bigger picture. It may come as a surprise that the UN only changed its own definition of rape to cover male victims, in 2011; this followed the publication of an article in The Observer.

NGOs at a micro-level, some of whom are already working with male survivors – the Refugee Law Project for instance – face major obstacles, such as acquiring funding and carrying out field work or accessing survivors in remote areas. The author of the aforementioned article spoke to Chris Dolan, the director of RLP, who claimed that one of the project’s donors refused to provide future funding if 70% of the client base wasn’t female.

Despite the fear of losing funding, the pervasiveness of the problem (academic Lara Stemple writes that male sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war from Chile to Iran, Kuwait to Uganda) means that the humanitarian community needs to challenge perceptions of rape, improve understanding and create awareness.

Yet that may be difficult to do given the gendered focus on sexual violence. As McEachran notes in the article, many NGOs use gendered language to refer to victims of sexual violence. Even in instances in which NGOs acknowledge the existence of abused men and boys, little of their literature mentions those experiences. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v231

Alleged victim tells court of abuse by five different paedophiles in youth — An elderly Dublin man has gone on trial accused of sexually abusing a boy and paying him money in a flat over thirty years ago. The alleged victim told a jury today that he was abused by five different paedophiles during his youth, including the accused. The accused man (73) has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to indecently assaulting the male, who was aged between 11 and 13 years old, on dates from October 1983 to June 1985.

Boy Found in Basement Alleges Long-Term Abuse by Parents — When a 12-year-old Detroit boy went missing on June 14 and was found 11 days later, it should have been a day to rejoice. Instead, his discovery in the family’s basement has turned into weeks of unanswered questions, with some unsettling information about what the child’s life may have been like.

Defence taskforce finds appalling abuse — TEENAGE recruit Graham’s life was ruined on the night he was raped twice at a West Australian naval training base and he’s lived with the trauma ever since. THE appalling abuse of Graham and other junior sailors as young as 15 was all too common at HMAS Leeuwin, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) says. Their stories could now be referred to the ongoing royal commission into child sex abuse, with many parallels to the effects of abuse by pedophile priests and others emerging from the hearings. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v100

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

Amanda Marcotte responds to women who are against feminism

This all began with a Buzzfeed article featuring selfies by women proclaiming that they do not need feminism. The article made the internet rounds, irritating many feminists in the process. Most of the counter criticism rested on the unsubstantiated claim that none of the women in the pictures knew anything about feminism. Marcotte, however, used a different approach. Rather than simply claim that the women against feminism were clueless, Marcotte created a host of strawmen and proceeded to not knock them down.

For example, one woman wrote:

against-feminism-1
That is rather specific. Yet Marcotte decides to bring up violence against men:

I’m guessing that this “just tell them to fuck off” approach doesn’t apply to situations where men could be victims. Mugging is a criminal offense that deserves social policies to address it, because men are understood to be equally victimized.

Nothing in the woman’s statement says anything about physical violence. The comment referred to a boy saying something “mean and sexist.” Where is the physical violence in that? Why would one need a social policy to fend off an insult? Continue reading

A good talk about male survivor resources

Allan emailed me a video of Rick Goodwin’s talk about male victims of sexual abuse and building the Men’s Project. It is worth viewing. It gives an insight into the things abused men and their advocates face when trying to create services for them.

Why are there no refuges for male victims of domestic violence?

Accord to a 2005 study, 15% of women and 6% of men in Ireland suffer some form of domestic violence. Yet none of the shelters in the country provide beds for men:

“There is not one bed for men suffering from domestic violence,” said Niamh Farrell of AMEN, the only domestic violence resource in Ireland for men.

“If there is no bed for men there is no bed for the children [with the men],” she said, explaining that fathers or guardians may not want to leave their children in the domestic situation.

“You can encourage them to look for help but in terms of housing, we can’t do anything to help them with that because there is no refuge.”

This is ridiculous. Abused men face the same problems as abused women. They need to find a safe place for themselves and sometimes their children. If no one provides them with safe housing, many abused men end up in homeless shelters and on the streets. This proves risky because some shelters will not accept men with children, and obviously living on the streets with a child is a poor option. That leaves two options: remain in the abusive situation or leave the situation yourself, but leave the children with the abuser. Continue reading

A Worthy Debate

Originally posted on July 9, 2013

Over the years, several people have asked me why I debate with feminists. According to those people, feminists will never consider my positions no matter how balanced, so I should not bother with them. Many people hold that view. Mensactivism has a post arguing a similar position. In it, Matt wrote:

Occasionally MANN admins receive an email from someone saying they said something on a feminist web site that got them banned immediately, or flamed and put on moderation, and gee, why did that happen? The thing they said is usually simply a questioning of a presumption or an ask for more evidence, usually not something inherently offensive. But to feminists, any questioning of their ideas, presumptions, or evidence is. I was sent a link to this video for my own “amusement” but have decided to post it. It’s a collage of what it looks like to actually try to have a debate or public encounter with feminists about men’s rights issues. It’s NSFW since there are a lot of curse words hurled around.

Debating/reasoning/arguing with feminists is an utterly futile cause. In my experience, the only feminist who stops being a feminist is one who realizes him/herself in a moment of epiphany just what has been going on here. So IMO, it’s better to spend time and energy educating others than talking to a wall with no ears (and one that hurls obscenities back at you, to boot). But if you want to argue with them because you think it’s constructive in some way for the movement or there’s a chance you may be able to persuade one to see reason, then by all means; you got more optimism than me!

Continue reading