Bulletin Board v291

Abused men suffering from lack of support services — More services are needed to support male victims of domestic abuse, a charity has warned. Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS) – the country’s only group working to support male victims of domestic abuse – said rising levels of this kind of abuse mean more support is needed. It comes as new figures on partner abuse contained in the Scottish Crime and Justice survey revealed that of the 576,000 adults in Scotland who experienced some kind of abuse since the age of 16, 178,000 these were men.

Celebrated Alaska storyteller charged with sex abuse of 14-year-old — A prominent Alaska storyteller and performer faces felony charges after police say he had sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on Craigslist. Jack J. Dalton, 43, appeared in court Wednesday in Anchorage. He is accused of visiting the teenager’s home for sex in March and later admitting in a text message that he knew the boy was underage. Police say Dalton told investigators he previously had sex with a different juvenile he met online five to six years earlier and has used software to anonymously view child pornography.

Cuomo Mum on Child Sex Abuse Bill as Deadline Nears — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has dodged repeated entreaties from advocates against child sexual abuse to support legislation that would enable many victims of this crime to seek justice from their abusers. In a May 9 statement, Cuomo sidestepped pointed questions from the advocates, and from the press, about his willingness to push the state Senate to pass the Child Victims Act before the current legislative session ends June 16. The bill would eliminate New York’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse, which is one of the shortest in the nation. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v290

Analysis: Court reverses 40 years of law on rape sentences — Even the Mississippi Supreme Court gets to change its mind. And it did so in April, ruling that judges can sentence people convicted of rape to life in prison, even if the jury didn’t recommend a life sentence. In that 5-3 ruling, the court overturned 40 years of its own decisions that had previously found only a jury could sentence a rape defendant to life in prison.

Frats Accused of Abusing ‘Male Privilege’ for Raising Awareness of Sexual Assault — In an op-ed for The Daily Northwestern, author Jessica Schwalb chastised the fraternities because their signs might “trigger” some students. The author claimed support for the campaign was “just a cruel reminder” for sexual assault survivors and that the efforts were “purely symbolic” of the problem. The signs, which included statements such as “[Sexual assault] is everyone’s problem,” “We stand against sexual violence,” and “We support survivors,” were intended as a show of solidarity for sexual assault awareness week.

Israel snubs UN concerns about prisoner abuse in Israeli jails — Michal Sarig-Kaduri, the deputy director of the human rights department at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, told United Nations’ Committee Against Torture on Wednesday that punitive measures such as solitary confinements and separation were “extremely restricted and used for short and limited periods of time, for a maximum of 14 days only.” Solitary confinement is the practice of isolating inmates in closed cells, depriving them of any human contact. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v289

Boys’ boarding school Teacher Alan Morris had sex with pupils at Bethany School in Curtisden Green, Goudhurst — A teacher comforted a boy who was being bullied at a private boarding school but then sexually abused him while plying him with alcohol, a court heard. Alan Morris also had sex sessions with another boy in a shower after they played squash together. Now 71, he denied committing the historic abuse at Bethany School in Curtisden Green, Goudhurst, but was convicted.

Defining rape as gender neutral — Under section 375 of the Penal Code of Bangladesh, 1860; rape occurs when a man has sexual intercourse with a woman under one of the circumstances like, against her will, without her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her in fear of death, or of hurt. The rape also occurs in the situation like when a man approaches with her consent and he knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married, with or without her consent, when she is under fourteen years of age.

Former church youth volunteer pleads guilty to sexual abuse, facing 171-489 years in prison — A former Bluefield church youth volunteer pleaded guilty Monday morning to charges he sexually abused teen boys. Timothy Probert, 57, of Princeton, pleaded guilty to 37 charges, including first-degree sexual abuse, third-degree sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault, first-degree sexual assault, sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian and one count of delivery of a controlled substance. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v288

Absurdity reigns in campus sexual assault trials — There’s an old legal adage that good facts make good law, and bad facts make bad law. In the case of campus sexual assault, it may be that absurd facts will — eventually — make good law too. About five years ago, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a letter that would change the face of campus sexual misconduct proceedings at colleges across the country.

Boy alleging rape by father says also abused in foster care — A boy who was removed from the family home after allegedly being raped by his father and forced to have sex with his mother was further sexually abused while in foster care, a trial has heard. The now 12-year-old has so far spent five days giving evidence via video-link about alleged abuse by his parents in their Waterford home. He has alleged his father raped him, sexually abused him with a hot poker and forced him to have sex with his mother over the course of several years from when he was about six years old.

Catholic Church issues public apology for sex abuse of priests 20 years ago — Uruguay’s Roman Catholic Church said it is ashamed over the “abhorrent acts” committed by its priests who were accused of sexually abusing three persons who were in their teens 20 years ago even as it made a public apology for their acts. In a letter on its website, the church denounced the acts, lamenting that the crimes went unpunished because the statute of limitation has elapsed, the Associated Press reports. Continue reading

Maryland lawmakers block abuse support bill

It takes great deal of courageous to talk about one’s experience of abuse in public. It takes much more to do it as an effort to get legislation passed to assist other victims of abuse. It takes something unheard of to do it two years in a row, only to see the bill ignored and tossed aside. This is what C.T. Wilson faced in Maryland:

For the second year in a row, he put it all out there: the shame, the fear, the self-loathing, the pain, the dark details of his horrific, repeated rape.

An Army veteran and attorney, Maryland Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles) stood before his colleagues in Annapolis, confessed that he “really, really” didn’t want to be there and told them why he doesn’t sleep much at night. Why he hoped his children would never be boys. Why he knows he is “a monster on the inside.”

And for the second year in a row, lawmakers in the state legislature put all that in a drawer. And closed it.

“It’s usually the case when we tell our stories,” Wilson said. “Nobody wants to hear this. And we want to be heard.”

Wilson wants his fellow delegates to understand what the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse endure. And what recourse they have years and years later. And for two years, he has sponsored legislation aimed at helping them.

As it stands, a criminal case against an abuser can be pursued anytime, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.

But a civil case — the kind of action that can get a patient’s treatment paid for — has a statute of limitations. Victims have seven years once they reach adulthood to file a civil suit against a molester or a school, a team or a church that enabled that abuser.

And unless a victim comes to terms with the abuse, recognizes it, fights through it and files a civil suit before age 25, no dice. And that’s a big problem. Because many victims of childhood sexual abuse repress the memories in order to survive. Some even kill themselves.

Since Maryland removed the statute of limitations on the criminal cases, I see no reason why this should not apply to civil cases. As Wilson notes, many victims do not report their experiences until years after the abuse happened. In those instances, they will begin addressing whatever issues developed as a result of the abuse. It makes sense to allow them to file a suit for damages as this would be the point where the damages would be most apparent. Continue reading

Christian Couple Prepares to Open First U.S. Home for Sex-Trafficked Boys

While I am not a fan injecting religion into solving human rights issues, I do welcome support for victims of sexual violence when it seems genuine. In this case, it appears completely genuine. A Christian couple decided to open a home for boys used for sex trafficking:

Chris and Anna Smith, who are poised to open the first safe house in the United States for sex trafficked boys, didn’t set out to be trailblazers. They founded their Christian ministry, Restore One, in 2012, hoping to open a facility for girls in Greenville, N.C.

Anna, a sex trafficking survivor, worked as an intern at a similar facility, Hope House, in Asheville, N.C. When Hope House founder Emily Fitchpatrick learned the Smiths wanted to open a home, she asked them to consider taking in boys.

“That wasn’t something we wanted to pioneer,” Anna Smith told me.

Then the Smiths heard Tina Frudt, human trafficking survivor and founder of Courtney’s House, describe the plight of boys who came to her program.

“There are no places that boys can go,” Frudt told The Daily Reflector.

According to one study, as many as 50 percent of sexually exploited minors are males and yet there are few resources for them, including residential treatment facilities.

“That’s when we said yes to boys,” Anna said.

The Anchor House, the name the Smiths chose for the home, faced immediate problems. The first was that they could not find a suitable location for the home. It took them a year to find a location large enough for their needs. They eventually found a spot in Greenville, North Carolina. That led to the second problem: Continue reading

What Male Survivors Face

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In an effort to raise awareness, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) released seven videos of survivors sharing their stories. In a rare move, RAINN included two men’s stories. According a CNN article:

Men account for 8% of RAINN’s online hotline users under 18 and 18% of callers older than 18, according to data provided to the organization. Men and boys often discuss sexual abuse that occurred in the past, with 70% of men and boys discussing an event that occurred more than five years ago and 58% of them discussing a repeated event in the past that is no longer occurring.

This is likely because RAINN rarely does any outreach to help male victims, and provides little information and support for male victims on their website. To this point, much of the information on their site redirects men to 1in6.org, an organization specifically designed to assist male victims.

That said, at least RAINN included the men’s stories, and thankfully CNN chose to feature them in the article. It is important for people to hear what men and boys experience. It would have been better if RAINN had included someone who was assaulted by a woman so that people could see women commit sexual violence as well, but again, it is surprising they included male victims at all. Continue reading