Royal Commission hears testimony of systematic abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began its public hearings this week. The hearings are taking place in Ballartis holding long-awaited public hearings in Ballarat in Victoria, Australia. The purpose is to examine the abuse children experiences at the hands of Catholic clergy over the last few decades, particularly during the 1970s. It is not good:

Ballarat was one of the most horrific sites of abuse and it was revealed that in 1971, all male teachers and the chaplain at the St Alipius primary school were molesting children.

[Senior Counsel Assisting the Commission Gail] Furness said the royal commission would also hear from a survivor who had a photograph of his grade four class at St Alipius in the 1970s.

She said he would tell the hearing, of the 33 boys pictured, 12 had committed suicide.

That is astounding. It is shocking in part because of the severity of the impact. A third of the boys from a single class committed suicide. More troubling is that apparently all the men in positions of power in the school abused children. It also appears that many of the women at the schools knew of the abuse and did nothing to stop it. Sometimes they engaged in abuse themselves.

I find it difficult to believe that something like that could happen and no one would know about it. There are too many people, both abusers and victims, involved for this to go unheard and unseen. This is not just a cover-up by the Catholic Church. This also implicates the Australian local government. Many people had to know about this and choose to ignore it for it to get to this stage.

The stories the men share are particularly horrific, not only in their physical brutality but also in the callousness displayed by the abusers and their enablers. For example: Continue reading

Jerry Sandusky found ‘perfect victims’ at the Second Mile

Matt Sandusky spoke to a group about the abuse he suffered at the hands of Jerry Sandusky:

Matthew Sandusky walked the crowd at the Pinnacle Center through the subtle and gradual grooming process of building trust with children through attention and activities before the sexual abuse actually takes place. He told them of a dysfunctional and abusive childhood that made him easy prey when steered to Sandusky’s Second Mile nonprofit for disadvantaged youth when he was 7.

“The Second Mile was feeding this man the perfect victims,” said Sandusky, 36, who said he was age 8 when the abuse began at the nonprofit’s summer camp and 17 when it ended.

He said Jerry Sandusky had all their backgrounds, knew who didn’t have a father in their lives, so all he had to do was choose who to target. He said the kids were taken to football games with seats on the 50-yard-line and the coach began spending more time with the boy’s family.

There are people who abuse children who do so merely because they are sexually attracted to children. There is no intent hurt the child or just to use them. Many of these people do genuinely care about their victims despite their actions.

Then there are people like Sandusky. The true predator. Continue reading

Louis C.K. offends people with funny jokes

I was too busy being brutally murdered in Mortal Kombat (because I suck at that game), so I had no idea Louis C.K. hosted last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live. So imagine my surprise when I woke up to this:

Host Louis C.K. is no stranger to edgy comedy — as seen on his critically acclaimed FX series “Louie” — and his nine-minute monologue shocked some on social media.

The comedian remarked on his experiences growing up in the 1970s, first pointing out that no one was offended by racist language at that time (and admitting to his “mild racism” today). Then he got a few groans from the audience once he started delving into the topic of child molesters.

He said that the child molester living down the street was not a big deal to most people at the time.

“Child molesters are very tenacious people,” he noted, pointing out the fate of those who are caught doing it.

“From their point of view, it must be amazing to risk so much!”

Many in the audience sounded shocked by this point in the monologue and he was aware that the joke didn’t go over well.

Fair enough. Let us see the offensive opening monologue: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v261

Illiberal Feminism Is Running Amok — When men disagree with illiberal feminists, a favored silencing tactic is to accuse them of “mansplaining.” The term grew out of a fairly brilliant 2008 essay by feminist writer Rebecca Solnit, who described the exquisitely annoying feeling of having a certain type of man condescendingly lecture a woman on a topic about which he knows very little—in this case Solnit’s own book.

Men Can Be Raped Too: Expert Urges Government to Recognize Male Rape — For the sake of gender equality, Jia Jian, a legal expert lecturer at the Chongqing-based Southwest University of Political Science and Law, made a proposal last Monday that the Chinese government expand the Criminal Law’s definition of rape victims in order to include males.

National support for abused men — For the first time in New Zealand, a national structure has been set up specifically to support male survivors of sexual abuse. Members from regional support groups around the country gathered at a hui in Nelson and made a commitment to the body, which would be known as the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust Aotearoa New Zealand (MSSAT).

Sexual assault cases: ‘Nirbhaya’ centres to focus on young male victims — Growing increasingly aware of molestation and sexual assault of young boys, the civic body will soon set up ‘Nirbhaya’ centres that, apart from providing medico-legal, surgical and psychological counseling to women victims, will also specifically cater to adolescent boys who have been subjected to such assaults. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v260

Conference for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Held in Portland — The Oregon Abuse Advocates & Survivors in Service has partnered with Reed College’s Sexual Assault and Prevention and Response program to host a special conference for male survivors of sexual abuse and assault on Friday and Saturday, May 29th and 30th. The conference is entitled Male Survivor Dare to Dream Weekend and is open to male survivors, their loved ones, and professionals or advocates who work for male survivors.

Florida woman gets 50 years in prison for sex abuse of minors — A northeast Florida woman has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for her role in the sexual abuse of minors from a school in Flagler County. A judge in St. Johns County imposed the sentence Wednesday on 51-year-old Rhonda Wilkerson, calling her actions “despicable.” Police arrested Wilkerson in February 2014 after claims by children at an area school that they had been sexually abused by Wilkerson and a man, William Dillow.

Gov. Scott Orders Prison Changes to Reduce Beatings, Corruption — Gov. Rick Scott ordered changes at the Department of Corrections on Friday to address prison beatings and corruption after the Legislature went home without doing the same. The Legislature was working on bills to address problems after a series of reports detailed deaths, cover-ups and corruption in the prison system. But the bills died when the Florida House went home three days early over a budget impasse and a dispute with the Senate over health care coverage for the poor. Continue reading

Reports of rape against men double in Manchester

According to the Greater Manchester Police, the rate of reports of male rape doubled in the last year:

Since April 2014, men have been victims of 84 incidents of rape or attempted rape, compared to 35 in the previous 12 months.

Sexual assaults on men have also risen, from 69 to 93 in the same periods.

GMP and Survivors Manchester, a group that helps men who have been raped or sexually abused, have launched a poster campaign aimed at men who have been the victims of rape, urging them to come forward and break the silence.

While the overall reported numbers are low and likely unrepresentative of the actual rate of sexual violence against men and boys, the increase in reporting shows that the problem is greater than people assume. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v259

Boys and Men Suffer Sex Abuse, Too… — My thesis here is that many more American males are victims of sexual abuse than most people know or care about. How many people would guess that, according to a recent study, twenty percent of reported incidents of sexual abuse in the active duty military involve male victims? The report admits that counting the number of male victims is a problem because many male victims of sexual abuse either remain quiet about it or call it something else (e.g., “hazing”).

Children’s panel boss abused young victim before official meetings — The victim wept as he told a jury how Daniel Ross attacked him at the panel’s Glasgow headquarters in the early 1990s. The now father-of-four recalled how Ross “groomed” him and went on to abuse him again before vital hearings. Ross, who was also a special police constable, had by this time already preyed on another vulnerable boy he met through the children’s panel and attacked a third young man.

Damages sought for boy victims of sex abuse –The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice and sought the response of the Delhi government on a plea challenging the provisions of the Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme of 2011, on grounds that it discriminates against male victims of child sexual abuse. The plea has also sought enhancement in the amount of compensation given to child victims of sexual assault. Continue reading