The slippery slope of reasoning

I am not a fan of slippery slope arguments. People tend to make them when dealing with sensitive topics. If the other side cannot be convinced by a basic argument, the speaker turns to the slippery slope argument. This play on extremes is meant to show the flaws in the other side’s position. Typically, however, it only shows how invested the speaker is in a given issue.

Yet sometimes there is a validity to the argument. Case in point: Indiana’s new religious freedom law. Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law early last week. The move prompted immediate outrage over the impression that the law allows people to discriminate against gay people under the guise of protecting religious rights. If someone belongs to a religion that opposes gay marriage and refuses to serve a gay couple, say by baking a wedding cake, the law protects the religious person from being sued.

That was not, however, how the law was taken. Both sides saw it is as a wholesale allowance of general discrimination. Many on the right would deny that, claiming that businesses could not discriminate against individual gay people. Yet that is not how some supporting the law responded.  Continue reading

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Exeter football coach Anthony Mitchell jailed for raping boys — Anthony Mitchell used his position as manager of the team in the 1970s to gain access to 11 and 12-year-old boys. Mitchell, of Exeter, fed his victims drink or Mogadon sleeping pills before abusing them on overnight trips, the city’s crown court heard. His victims were prompted by the Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile scandals to report his crimes to police.

Former Shefford boys are still fighting for justice over abuse — BACK in the 1990s I received a call from someone who had ‘a big story’. I was new to journalism so was quite excited but my more experienced, sceptical colleagues were unconvinced. ‘If it’s a cat up a tree, don’t offer to get it down for them,’ was the advice. This was the first time I met Damian Chittock and heard the story of St Francis Boys’ Home, Shefford. The home was run by the Catholic Church and the residents were mainly abandoned or orphaned boys between the ages of six and sixteen.

German prof apologizes after denying internship to male Indian due to ‘rape problem’ — A German professor has apologized for denying an internship to a male Indian student, citing India’s “rape problem” as a reason for his disqualification. It comes after Germany’s envoy wrote a scathing letter objecting to the professor’s reasoning. “I have made a mistake,” wrote biochemistry Professor Annette Beck-Sickinger of the University of Leipzig in a statement on Monday. “I sincerely apologise to everyone whose feelings I have hurt.” Continue reading

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Big increase in male sexual abuse victims contacting Warwickshire charity — A charity working with male victims of sexual assault from Coventry and Warwickshire say they have been ‘‘inundated” with new clients following a series of high profile abuse scandals. Staff at RoSA (Rape or Sexual Abuse Support Services) have provided counselling support for nearly 200 men in the last financial year – many of whom were subjected to abuse when they were younger.

Boy cross-examined by ‘sex abuser’ dad in molestation case — A Brooklyn dad accused of molesting his son acted as his own lawyer in court Wednesday — forcing the now-14-year-old to be cross-examined by him. As if taking the stand and recounting the details of his alleged abuse weren’t painful enough, the courageous youngster had to suffer the indignity of answering outrageous questions from the man he says sexually molested and beat him starting at age 8.

Chicago-Area Imam Charged With Sex Abuse at Islamic School — The longtime head of a suburban Chicago Islamic school has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman who worked there, and a civil suit filed Tuesday accuses him of abusing that employee and three teenage students. The legal actions shed light on an issue that even many Muslims say is too often pushed into the shadows within their communities. Continue reading

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180 Boys in Two Dorms, 11-Year-Old Found Dead in Hyderabad Juvenile Home — At a government-run juvenile home in Hyderabad, the mysterious death of an 11-year-old boy this week has uncovered horrifying conditions in which nearly 200 boys are forced to live. The boy was found dead in his bed on Wednesday morning in the home located in the city’s Saidabad area. The police suspect that he was allegedly sexually assaulted and murdered by a fellow inmate.

Au pair who sexually abused young boy and had more than 30,000 child porn images is jailed for ten years — AN AU PAIR was today starting a ten year jail term for sexually abusing a young boy and possessing more than 30,000 child porn images. Czech national Dusan Juran was caught when police swooped on the Bradford home where he was caring for two young children, after catching him file sharing indecent photos on the internet.

Ex-Boy Scout describes mental scars left by abuse at trial — A California man suing the Boy Scouts of America over sexual abuse suffered at the hands of a volunteer Scout leader was so scarred by the incident that he once threw up outside a restaurant when he saw someone who looked like the man, he testified in the opening day of a civil trial. The 20-year-old man, who was 13 when he was molested in 2007, told jurors Monday that he secretly taped the Scout leader making a partial confession because it was “a 13-year-old’s word against a Scout leader, an adult.” Continue reading

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Acclaimed Durham headteacher Anne Lakey appears in court on boy abuse charges — An acclaimed headteacher has appeared in court charged with indecently assaulting a boy 25 years ago. Anne Lakey, 55, from Stanley, County Durham, had been lauded nationally for her work as chief executive of the Durham Federation of Schools after overseeing the biggest improvements in GCSE results in the country.

Englewood woman indicted on sex assault charges in alleged abuse of 5-year-old boy — An Englewood woman has been indicted on aggravated sexual assault charges in connection with the alleged abuse of 5-year-old boy. A grand jury in Hackensack returned a five-count indictment on Thursday against Roxanne Hewitt, 33. Police responded to Hewitt’s DuBois Court home in April after the victim’s mother reported that her son had been sexually assaulted, authorities said.

Man jailed for 20 years for sexually abusing young boys — A PAEDOPHILE who sexually assaulted three boys over a 20-year period – starting when he was aged just 10 or 11 – has been jailed for 20 years. Alexander Lake, 39, of East Cliff, Porthtowan, abused the boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, between 1985 and 2008, in South Brent and Paignton, Truro Crown Court heard on Friday. Continue reading

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Adolescence: The secret life of boys — I was a cute child, I guess. When I got to school my older cousin took me aside. He said some older boys would come after me—for sex. “That’s how it works,” he said. “It’s dangerous for new boys.” He told me I had to make sure I was never alone. He said, “Don’t go to the toilet alone. Don’t let a senior boy call you out alone.” He told me what places to avoid.

Alabama woman convicted in children sex abuse ring — The conviction Wednesday of an Alabama woman accused of being part of an incestuous sex ring provided graphic evidence about horrendous child molestation, but it didn’t answer a baffling question: What happened to a young victim who is missing and presumed dead? Jurors took two hours to convict Wendy Wood Holland, 35, of sodomy, sexual abuse, sexual torture and child endangerment. She showed no emotion when the verdict was read.

Babysitter Accused Of Raping 10-Year-Old Boy Claims ‘He Forced Himself On Me’ — A babysitter accused of raping a 10-year-old boy is claiming that she was forced into the act. Marybeth Rataic, a 25-year-old Connecticut woman, was said to have had “three or four sexual encounters” with the pre-teen in question, but she shares a different side of the story. According to a report from NBC Connecticut, Rataic claimed that the 10-year-old had a crush on her and “forced himself on her while they were wrestling and tickling each other.” Continue reading

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$13.5M for Jehovah’s Witness sex victim — A San Diego judge has found that the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witness church covered up years of sexual abuse by a local church leader and continued to put children in danger of being molested, a ruling likely to echo across the country as alleged victims from other congregations take similar cases to court.

Ala. woman charged with sodomizing two young boys, sexually abusing young girl — According to an Oct. 29 report from The Call News in Mobile County, 25-year-old Brandie Renee Smith of Chunchula, Alabama, was arrested at her home on Stagecoach Drive by deputies with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and charged with multiple child sex abuse crimes. Those crimes include six counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 and two counts of first-degree sodomy. Smith was arrested and charged on Friday.

Dispelling the myths of male sexual abuse and offering hope — Sexual violence of males is not uncommon. About one in six males experience some form of sexual violence at some point in their lives. Reports of male childhood sexual abuse are under-reported. Sexual assault is a crime of power and control, not a crime of passion or sex. Adult sexual contact with young boys and adolescents is sexual abuse, not sexual initiation. Being sexually abused as a child does not mean you will become a sexual offender. Continue reading