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

Bulletin Board v287

‘Campus Witches’ beat up a male student over sexual assault allegations — The “Campus Witches,” a feminist group at the Ankara University Faculty of Languages, History and Geography, has suddenly garnered newfound popularity after video footage showing female students from the group physically assaulting a male student and accusing him of sexual abuse went viral. As the video posted on the Campus Witches’ Facebook page on March 29 shows, security officers came to rescue the male student after members of the group began to physically assault him.

Christian Brothers accused of dodging Ballarat child sex abuse compensation claims — A religious order implicated in a notorious child sex abuse ring in Victoria has been accused of refusing to assist victims achieve adequate compensation. A survivor and his lawyer said the Christian Brothers, who ran the St Alipius Boys School in Ballarat, were adopting a smoke and mirrors approach to avoid paying up.

Feds: Hastert paid to hide sexual abuse, then cried extortion — Five teenage boys who say they were molested by former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. That is the dark secret the feds say led Hastert to agree to pay one victim $3.5 million so others wouldn’t come forward, federal prosecutors said Friday in a sentencing memorandum. It’s a secret that cost the once-powerful Republican $1.7 million in payouts — along with his reputation. The memo offers a damning account of the sexual abuses for the first time in a case that’s been shrouded in mystery. Continue reading

Stop the Abuse: Urban Light

Often times people want to help others but do not know how. This cannot be any truer than when it comes to helping abused men and boys. The resources sometimes are not apparent and are often difficult to find. Sometimes the resources are hidden or even barred by other groups who wish to polarize the issue. The intent here is to provide those who wish to help male victims with the opportunity to do so.

Please remember that you do no have to empty your wallets to help. Even a small donation can go a long way. And for those on the other side of the issue, it would go a long way to demonstrating real concern for all victims if you donated as well.

Special note: One of the individuals who works with this group emailed me. She asked about my blog and the type of work I do. She was interested because of my posts about trafficking of men and boys. Urban Light is one of the few organizations in the world that reaches out to specifically male victims of sex trafficking.

They are based out of Thailand, which has a very high rate of sex trafficking, especially with children. With so few organizations that help abused boys, it is important to support those who. I urge readers to spread the word about the organization. You can link to this post or (better) link to the organization’s website or Facebook page.

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Urban Light

The Reality

According to the United Nations, there are over 27 million modern-day slaves in the world. These numbers are often under-reported but Urban Light exists to change that. The stories of these young men can no longer be neglected. Many of them are forced to move from the hill-tribe villages of Chiang Mai into the night life of the red light district. In order to find work and provide for their families, many fall victim to a harsh life stuck in the sex trafficking system.

Urban Light is one of the only organizations of their kind to specifically focus on helping young men and providing an outlet for safety, health and renewal. Most people in Thailand and around the world don’t want to acknowledge the existence of male sex trafficking and exploitation – but Urban Light is here to educate, advocate and bring attention to the dark realities these young men face.

Please donate and help make a difference.

Stop the Abuse: Mankind UK

Often times people want to help others but do not know how. This cannot be any truer than when it comes to helping abused men and boys. The resources sometimes are not apparent and are often difficult to find. Sometimes the resources are hidden or even barred by other groups who wish to polarize the issue. The intent here is to provide those who wish to help male victims with the opportunity to do so. Every month I will post a new link to an organization that provides services for male victims. As the list grows, I will create a page where all the links can be found.

Please remember that you do no have to empty your wallets to help. Even a small donation can go a long way. And for those on the other side of the issue, it would go a long way to demonstrating real concern for all victims if you donated as well.

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Mankind

Since 2000, we have been delivering specialist support services to men (18+) who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and/or adult sexual assault at any time in their lives. Mankind developed from the need for an agency in Sussex that could provide appropriate services to men. Funded by the Big Lottery, we are the only service of its kind in the South East.

Please donate and help make a difference.