Student gets $6 million abuse settlement from school following abuse

In rare instance of accountability, a former student abused by one of his teachers will receive a $6 million settlement from the school district:

Vince Finaldi, an attorney for the former high school student, said the egregious conduct of Redlands Unified School administrators in the case warranted what may be one of the largest single-victim sex abuse settlements by a public agency.

“The size of this settlement represents the gravity of the damage done to this young victim and his family and it also highlights the extreme malfeasance and neglect by school officials who turned a blind eye to the criminal conduct of a teacher and failed to protect a student,” Finaldi said.

Laura Whitehurst faced 41 felony counts of unlawful sex acts. She faced a potential 29-year prison sentence. She chose to plead guilty to six counts of lesser offences, resulting in a one-year jail sentence. She was released after six months and placed on probation. She was also required to register a sex offender, but otherwise faced no other penalty. She also shares custody of the child that resulted from her abuse of the student.

The former student’s attorneys argued that the school officials were culpable because they knew of the abuse but nothing to stop it. School district officials agreed to a settlement, although it appears for purely public relation reasons: Continue reading

The Deaf Excuse: when disability (and femaleness) absolve child rape

When it comes to excusing child rape, the United Kingdom never disappoints. Of all the reasons one could think of to not imprison someone, deafness does not make the top of the list. Yet a UK judge felt that two sisters who habitually raped a boy for 14 years should not face jail time because they cannot hear:

Two sisters who sexually abused a boy over a 14-year period have been spared jail because they are both deaf and would experience ‘complete isolation’ in prison.

Julie Fellows, 30, and her sister Jennifer, 32, of Kington, Herefordshire, began molesting the victim when he was just six and then again when he was a teenager. […]

Julie was found guilty following a trial of indecently assaulting a boy aged six to nine between October 2000 and April 2004 and sexual activity with a boy aged between 13 and 17 by between October 2008 and October 2010.

Jennifer admitted gross indecency with a child under 16 between October 2000 and April 2004 and inciting a male child aged between 13 and 17 to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity between October 2008 and October 2010.

That sounds rather serious, however, Judge Robert Juckes did not agree. He decided to spare the sisters any jail time because the sisters’ disabilities would put them in “a state of complete isolation” in prison. Juckes made the decision despite sentencing guidelines recommending one year in jail for Jennifer and six years in prison for Julie.

Juckes explained his decision: Continue reading

Christopher Anderson Leads MaleSurvivor to Assist Abused Males

Tom Hodson interviewed Christopher Anderson, the executive director of MaleSurvivor. The interview covers a variety of issues related to male victimization, including the lack of services, the support MaleSurvivor provides, and the stigmas male victims face.

What I like about Anderson’s approach is that he does not focus on being a victim. He prefers to use the term “trauma”, which is a clever way of getting around the problem of recognizing men’s experiences of sexual violence. Many people, including men who were abused, do not view those acts as “rape” or “molestation”. They do not see themselves as “victims”. Using any of those terms could result in men side-stepping their issues. By calling it “trauma”, it makes almost clinical and medical. That may offer some men an easier means of accepting what happened to them without needing to view themselves as “victims”. Continue reading

What happens when you ignore female sex offenders

This what happens when people ignore women who express sexual interest in children:

A woman who was obsessed with Dublin pop sensation, Jedward, has been jailed for two years after she sexually abused two 14-year-old boys.

The woman groomed the two boys over social media before inviting both to her house in Dubdonald, South Ayshire in the UK.

She told the two boys that they could drink alcohol with her and watch films.

The abuser, Kirstin MacRuary, frequently posted on her Facebook page, prior to the abuse about her sexual fantasies involving Jedward.

Pictures of Jedward who are originally from Lucan, were posted on MacGuary’s Facebook page from when they were 12 years old, reports The Mirror UK .

One would think people would report such behavior, but it seems rather common for women to get a pass when they express sexual interest in child stars. Continue reading

Boko Haram kidnapped 10,000 boys and the world remained silent

It says something about a culture that prides itself on humanitarian concern that this culture could care so much about 200 kidnapped girls, but not bat an eye over 10,000 kidnapped boys.

The Wall Street Journal published an article detailing the extent of Boko Haram’s cruelty against boys. I previously wrote about how the terrorist group spent the better part of 2013 murdering hundreds of men and boys in Nigeria.These acts made some international news, but it was only when Boko Haram kidnapped 197 girls that the world took major notice of the group.

The mothers of some of the girls created the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which went viral. First Lady Michelle Obama famously tweeted a picture of herself holding a sign with the hashtag written on it. Yet during that time Boko Haram continued to murder scores of men and boys. Shortly before and after kidnapping the girls, the group when on a killing spree, the latter of which resulted in about 400 men and boys, including infants, being slaughtered.

This received limited news coverage, yet nowhere near the amount of social media attention that the kidnapping of 200 girls received. What does our apathy buy us? What comes of this level of utter indifference to boys’ suffering? This: Continue reading

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.

Dylan Voller’s mother regrets calling police

I recently wrote about the torture juvenile inmate Dylan Voller suffered in an Australian juvenile detention center. The story went viral and spawned an investigation into the abuse committed in the detention center. It also prompted protests against the torture and  international condemnation.

While some responded to the news stories with outrage, many were unsympathetic to Dylan’s abuse. They argued that Dylan either would not have been in the position to be abused or somehow deserved as a result of his criminal behavior. I noted in my first post that Dylan Voller is hardly an angel. He has been in and out of jail since he was 12, and his most recent crime involved a drug-fueled crime spree culminating in a violent assault.

Yet much of prison abuse happened prior to that crime spree. It also appears that outside of that last offense the worst Dylan has done is throw things at people, break objects, spit at guards, and threaten to hurt himself. None of those appear to justify the cruelty the guards used against Dylan.

They do, however, hint at a broader issue with Dylan. It is one that I suspected as I watched the videos of the guards abusing him. Dylan’s mother confirmed my suspicions in a recent interview. Joanne Voller told reports that she now regrets calling the authorities on her son.

She explained that Dylan attended at least five different schools in three years due to his behavior. She eventually contacted the NT Department of Children and Families services after her son broke a window. They told her that her son would receive the help he needed if she reported him. Instead, Dylan ended up in spending more time in jail than outside. Joanne stated: Continue reading