Bulletin Board v286

Catholic church’s secret archives key to exposing sex abuse scandal — Huddled in a law office on Hamilton Street, the district attorneys of the five counties in the Allentown Catholic Diocese spent days poring over files that detailed nearly two dozen allegations that priests had sexually abused children over several decades. That unprecedented step came in May 2002 after sex-abuse allegations exploded in the Boston Archdiocese, prompting Allentown Bishop Edward P. Cullen to grant the five prosecutors, including Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin and Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, a rare glimpse into the diocese’s secret archives.

German Man Handed 1-Year Sentence for Sex Abuse of Boys — A German man was convicted yesterday for committing indecent sexual acts against two boys in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district, but was handed the minimum sentence of one year, meaning he will be free in a matter of months. Udo Sabiniewicz, 56, was arrested in June for allegedly sexually abusing six boys after the mothers of two of the children filed complaints with the police. Keo Thea, chief of the municipal police’s anti-human trafficking bureau, said at the time that the boys had accused Mr. Sabiniewicz of repeatedly molesting them.

Legal action launched by victims of ex Scout leader who indecently abused children in Hinckley — Victims of a former scout leader who sexually abused four boys in the 1980s have instructed lawyers to take legal action against the Scout Association. Michael Medhurst, 61, was jailed for more than five years earlier this week after admitting a string of indecent assaults against four children between 1981 and 1987 in Leicestershire. The charges related to four victims, all from the Birmingham area, who were assaulted by Medhurst between September 1981 and September 1987 in Hinckley and Castle Donington. Continue reading

42% of British men consider suicide

According to a new report, 2 in 5 men British between the ages of 18 to 45 contemplate suicide:

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) study found 42% of men aged 18-45 have considered killing themselves and revealed “shocking” facts behind male suicide.

The YouGov research also found 41% of those who had contemplated taking their own life had not discussed the feelings with anyone else.

Men said they did not want friends or family to worry about them or were not wanting to cause a fuss, the study found.

In the UK 12 men take their own lives each day – making it the biggest cause of death amongst those aged under 45.

Twelve men kill themselves per day. That is a stunning number, one that speaks volumes about men’s life experiences. Continue reading

The consequences of suicide

Suicide is a terrible act. A person must be a dark place to even consider let alone commit it. It is a hollow act that stretches out to everyone close to its victim. Everyone feels its emptiness.

I have known three people who committed suicide. I do not take the issue lightly.

So when I read about Julie Burchill’s son committing suicide, my response was sympathy. Burchill is a well-known feminist writer in the United Kingdom. She posted about her son Jack’s suicide on Facebook.

Burchill appeared to have a adored her youngest son. According to an article about her:

She once described him as her Achilles’ heel — the one person capable of hurting her because she loved him so much.

That stands in stark contrast to how Burchill viewed her eldest son Robert. Continue reading

#YouAreNotHelpingYourself

Hugo Schwyzer recently quit the internet. According to a statement he released on his blog, he got tired of the “take-down” culture on the internet, tired of the critics, and needed some time off to deal with some personal issues. The latter turned out to be an online affair with a woman who is a sex worker. I am unclear as to how this became public, but that seems to be the actual reason Schwyzer bowed out.

Schwyzer to attempt suicide a few days after leaving the internet. Less that 12 hours after the attempt, Schwyzer gave an interview further explaining his behavior.

As much as I dislike Schwyzer’s positions and believe that he has done great harm to the male students in his classes and the boys he has mentored over the years, I do not want to see anything bad happen to him. He has my sympathy to an extent.

However, I cannot help but think that Schwyzer’s behavior over the last two weeks is a deliberate emotional manipulation. For a man who wanted to take time off from the internet, Schwyzer remains present across the web. He gives an interview every few days. It would appear that he is trying to garner attention rather than deal with his issues in private.

That brings us to his recent Twitter admission. Continue reading

R.I.P. Earl Silverman

Last month, I wrote about Earl Silverman closing down his shelter for abused men. The Men’s Alternative Safe House (MASH) was reportedly the only private men’s shelter in Canada. Earl paid for everything out of his own pocket, but could no longer shoulder the costs. He eventually sold the home. The day after he finished packing everything up, Earl hanged himself in the garage. According to the article, Earl was a victim of abuse at the hands of his ex-wife, and found it difficult to get help:

“When I went into the community looking for some support services, I couldn’t find any. There were a lot for women, and the only programs for men were for anger management,” Mr. Silverman told the Post shortly before his death. “As a victim, I was re-victimized by having these services telling me that I wasn’t a victim, but I was a perpetrator.”

Continue reading

Bulletin Board v165

23 women convicted of child pornography in Sweden — A Swedish court on Tuesday convicted 23 women and one man of child pornography offenses in what investigators called a unique case because of the number of female perpetrators. The Falu District Court gave the women, aged between 38 and 70, conditional sentences and fines ranging from 2,500 to 18,000 Swedish kronor ($380 to $2,700). It also sentenced a 43-year-old man to one year in prison for aggravated child pornography.

7-year-old’s suicide shocks Detroit community — Peering through the keyhole of a locked door in her family’s home near Detroit’s New Center, a 14-year-old girl saw the unthinkable: her 7-year-old brother hanging from a bunk bed with a belt around his neck, a police report says. The girl alerted her mother and called 911. The mother and a neighbor forced their way into the room, took the boy down, and called 911, too. The 7-year-old, whom the Free Press is not naming, had been depressed about being bullied by other kids at school and in his neighborhood, and about his parents’ recent separation, the boy’s mother told police, according to the report.

A Troubled Silence — THE revelation this week of alleged widespread child abuse at the elite Horace Mann School in New York City, most of it occurring during the 1970s and ’80s, is only the most recent instance of men coming forward, many years after the fact, with horrific stories of sexual molesting from their childhood. Most of those accused of the abuse in the Horace Mann case are dead, but under New York State law, if alive they would most likely be safe from justice.

Male Rape in the Military: Michael’s Story — Michael F. Matthews joined the Air Force in 1972 and honorably served 20 years, 12 on active duty. One night in 1974, while stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, he was taking a shortcut to his barracks when he was attacked by fellow service members. They knocked him down and sodomized him. Matthews did not report his rape. In his words, “Coming forward with something like this… there’s a risk involved. And there wouldn’t have been any help.”

Micky Ward: I was molested as a child — Boxing great Micky Ward, the inspiration for the Mark Wahlberg movie “The Fighter,” says he was molested by a family friend from age 9 until he was 12. In Ward’s autobiography, “A Warrior’s Heart: The True Story of Life Before and Beyond The Fighter,” the retired boxer wrote of his attacker, who was 10 years older, “He never asked me to do anything to him, but rather I was always on the receiving end of his advances. It wasn’t every month or every week, but it happened and it happened many times.”

‘Sex history’ window to pedophile priest’s mind — The priest always started his favorite “game” by having the young boy remove his underwear and put on loose-fitting shorts so he could fondle him more easily. Then, the Rev. Robert Van Handel would run his hands up and down the child’s body as he stretched across his lap, Walkman headphones on his ears, pretending to be asleep. The recollection appears in a 27-page “sexual history” written by Van Handel, a defrocked Franciscan cleric who is accused of molesting at least 17 boys, including his own 5-year-old nephew, local children in his boys’ choir and students at the seminary boarding school where he taught.

UK children need more volunteer male befrienders — “The shortage means many boys in need of a strong male presence in their lives are missing out on the adult male companionship they would like,” states researcher Dr Sue Milne of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR) at the University of Edinburgh. Many of the children referred to befriending services face difficulties at home or in school. Some have learning or behavioural problems; others have been affected by the death or imprisonment of a parent, or by parental substance/ alcohol abuse.

Woman gets max sentence for abusing child with cold water — While imposing the maximum sentence Tuesday against a woman convicted of child abuse for torturing a 21-month-old girl with cold water, a judge lamented that his options “pale in comparison to any justice that should be doled out.” Mary Horsley, 51, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for her convictions on child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury and attempted child abuse with serious bodily injury.

Bulletin Board v139

3 women in Zimbabwe charged in series of sex attacks on men — Police in Zimbabwe on Friday charged three women found in possession of 33 condoms containing semen with 17 counts of aggravated indecent assault in a case that may be a break in a string of sex attacks over the past two years by women targeting male hitchhikers. Prosecutor Michael Reza told a court in Harare that the counts were for each of the 17 men who had positively identified the women as having sexually assaulted them in 2010 or 2011. The women, all of them in their mid-20s, were arrested Sunday in Gweru, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Harare, when their car was involved in an accident. Police found the condoms in the women’s car.

Afghanistan: Child Street Workers Vulnerable to Abuse — In the relentless heat of a summer’s day in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif, most people are trying to find some shade, but 11-year-old Mohammad Rafiq is walking the streets carrying a box full of shoe-shining equipment. Dripping with sweat, the boy asks passers-by, “Uncle, may I polish your shoes?” Although often rebuffed, he carries on walking undeterred, calling out, “Polish your shoes and slippers.” Mohammad Rafiq used to spend his days at school, but five months ago, his family moved to Mazar-e Sharif because of drought and unemployment in Faryab province, where they lived. He would love to carry on in school, but doubts he will able to do so.

Cleared man freed from La. prison after 30 years — Henry James was speechless when one of his attorneys told him he would be freed from prison Friday after 30 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. James said it felt like a miracle when the lawyer called Thursday to tell him a judge had vacated his 1982 rape conviction and ordered him released from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. “I was shocked,” he said during an interview at the offices of The Innocence Project New Orleans. “After 30 years, you’re finally getting a chance at justice.”

Erie mom, boyfriend arrested for locking boy in ‘inhumane’ conditions — An Erie woman and her boyfriend face charges of child abuse, false imprisonment and crimes against an At Risk juvenile after police say they locked a 14-year-old boy inside a small room in their mobile home, often with no food. Amanda Jolliff, 36, and Richard Smith, 31, were arrested late last month after a neighbor called police when he found the frightened boy hiding under his porch. “His mom was coming home and he didn’t want to be home with her and feel her wrath,” Chad Buss told FOX31 Denver on Friday. “He was terrified.”

Essex County priest, teacher, accused of exploiting boys — For nearly two decades, he was known as Father John, the Roman Catholic priest who passed out skimpy, tight-fitting bathing suits to young wrestlers and snapped pictures by the thousands. Sometimes, he’d join in the bouts, donning a Speedo himself and grappling with teenage boys, one accuser said. Amid claims of inappropriate conduct — and after a months-long stay at a treatment center for troubled clergy members — the Rev. John M. Capparelli was suspended from ministry by the Archdiocese of Newark in 1992.  Continue reading