Grisham and the law

Originally posted on October 17, 2014

John Grisham waded into a political war-zone when he commented on the conviction of people who possess child pornography. Grisham stated in an interview with the Telegraph:

“We have prisons now filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child,” he said in an exclusive interview to promote his latest novel Gray Mountain which is published next week.

“But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”

His comments sparked criticism from child advocacy groups. However, Grisham went on to state:

Asked about the argument that viewing child pornography fuelled the industry of abuse needed to create the pictures, Mr Grisham said that current sentencing policies failed to draw a distinction between real-world abusers and those who downloaded content, accidentally or otherwise.

“I have no sympathy for real paedophiles,” he said, “God, please lock those people up. But so many of these guys do not deserve harsh prison sentences, and that’s what they’re getting,” adding sentencing disparities between blacks and whites was likely to be the subject of his next book.

No one paid attention to that part, or this part of the Telegraph article:

Since 2004 average sentences for those who possess – but do not produce – child pornography have nearly doubled in the US, from 54 months in 2004 to 95 months in 2010, according to a 2012 report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

However the issue of sex-offender sentencing has sparked some debate in the US legal community after it emerged that in some cases those who viewed child porn online were at risk of receiving harsher sentences than those who committed physical acts against children.

A provocative article in the libertarian magazine Reason headlined “Looking v Touching” argued last February that something was “seriously wrong with a justice system in which people who look at images of child rape can be punished more severely than people who rape children”.

Grisham later issued an apology for his comments. Continue reading

Male rape still considered a joke in South Africa

Given the dismissive attitudes towards male victims of sexual violence in Western countries, it is easy to forget that male victims in other countries face a greater level of hostility. This is particularly true in many African countries where cultural norms still view men as inherently powerful and incapable of being raped unless they are gay.

This attitude can lead many abused men and boys to remain silent since the likely response to their coming forward would be this:

Samkelo Mabaso* was raped by a stranger in Nelspruit last November, but when he told his friends they laughed at him so he decided not to report the rape.

“I still remember that horrible night like it was just yesterday,” said Mabaso (26) who was walking home at around 7pm. “In front of me, there were two ladies and behind me, a man. Those ladies took a turn and I continued on the same road and the man followed me.

“As I was about to take a left turn, the man hit the back of my head.  I woke up in an abandoned house. He was on top of me and he took his penis and put it between my thighs. Then he turned me over and with force, he raped me,” said Mabaso.

The following morning, Mabaso opened up to a group of his friends because he needed their support and advice.

“But instead of comforting me, they laughed at me,” said Mabaso. “One of my friends said: ‘What, are you gay now?’ I just said ‘I’m not gay, I was raped’. But at that moment I knew that disclosing the event and opening a case would be a waste of time because, if my friends thought it was a joke, other people would probably also make fun of me.”

That is a horrible way to treat a friend, regardless of what happened. Continue reading

Stop the Abuse: Hagar International

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.


Hager International

Hagar restores to wholeness the lives of women and children in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Vietnam that have been torn apart by human rights abuse. Walking the whole journey of protection, recovery, empowerment and integration with each individual is the whole reason for Hagar.

Established in Cambodia in 1994, Hagar launched programing in both Afghanistan and Vietnam in 2009.

In 2004, the U.S. State Department named Hagar founder Pierre Tami as one of the its six international heroes in the struggle against the modern-day slave trade.

Because we believe that broken lives can become whole again.

Hagar’s name derives from the biblical story of Hagar in Genesis 16 and 21. Read the Hagar Biblical Story.

Currently, Hagar supports 1,200 women and child victims of trafficking, domestic violence and exploitation in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Vietnam. They were among the world’s most broken and despondent people… but not now.

Please donate and help make a difference.

Confronting taboos: Nigerian boys abused by women

Abuse committed by women remains a taboo subject. In countries like the United States, that began to change as more high profile cases hit the news. However, other countries still keep the discussion of the topic to a minimum.

Nigeria is one of those countries. Sexual violence is not something openly discussed or confronted, but this is particularly true when the rapist is female. Cultural stigmas and expectations often lead boys raped by women to rationalize their abuse even as they acknowledge the abusive power dynamic at play.

A recent article on covered the issue. Author Aderonke Bello interviewed several men abused by women as children. One man recounted his “abusive relationship” with a 35-year-old woman that began when he was 12-years-old:

Juwon Adeniji was introduced to sex at age 12 by a woman 23 years his senior. She forced him into an abusive relationship which lasted for seven years.

“My cravings for older women cannot stop in this lifetime,” were the words of Juwon Adeniji, “I am married to a woman who is 11 years older than me, I fought a battle with my family members because my wife is older. Anyway, I won. So far, I have been blessed with two healthy boys.”

His parents were never at home to tend to him. He was left in the mercy of their neighbour who took advantage of his parents’ busy schedules to abuse their son. For the years it lasted, they never found out about what was occurring right under their noses. The boy enjoyed the act and got used to it, not realising it was abuse until he became an adult.

“My parents worked from morning till evening. With me being the only child and no one to leave me with in the ancient city of Idanre where my parents worked, our neighbour who was a full housewife offered to take me in when the school bus drops me. Then my parents would pick me from there at the end of each working day (from Monday to Friday). She fed me daily, we would watch Indian films and wrestled together when her husband was not around. I liked her because she cared for me,” he explained.

One of the moment common refrains one hears about female abusers is that they act out of love and compassion and confusion. They are never predatory. It is only their need for companionship that drives them. Keep that opinion in mind as Juwon continues his story: Continue reading

A Village in Turmoil

News of a child sexual abuse ring rocked a rural Pakistani village this past week. According to reports, over hundreds of children were kidnapped, drugged, and raped by a pedophile ring led by members of a local gang in Kasur:

Villagers accuse police officials of covering up a pedophile ring, after videos emerged of their children being molested by members of a prominent and influential local family.

They say the abuse had been going on since at least 2009, and that the children were blackmailed to steal from their homes to prevent the videos from going public.

Reports on the number of victims vary:

According to a survey by the group last week, one in three of the 500 households questioned in the district of Kasur had a child who had been sexually abused, Sara said.

CNN affiliate Geo TV reported higher numbers, saying around 400 videos were made of 280 minors.

Continue reading

The Pope promises people responsible for the sex abuse “will be held accountable”

Pope Francis addressed the sexual abuse scandal in his speech this morning. He stated that “all responsible will be held accountable.”

“I have in my heart, the stories of suffering and pain of the minors who were sexually abused by priests. And, it continues to overwhelm me with shame that the people who were charged with taking care of these tender ones violated that trust and caused them a profound pain. God weeps.” Pope Francis said at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, according to a translation of the Spanish remarks by The Washington Post.

“The crimes and sins of sexual abuse of minors cannot be kept in secret any longer.” he continued.

This statements follows criticism from victims and their supporters over the prior lack of comment on the sex abuse scandal during the Pope’s previous speeches:

Victims’ groups had complained earlier in the week that Francis neglected to address their plight when he congratulated bishops for their “courageous” and generous response to the scandal. Sunday’s meeting took place a day after the pope celebrated Mass with Justin Rigali, the cardinal who was archbishop in Philadelphia when the archdiocese was accused of sheltering pedophiles.

This makes the Pope’s statements in front of the bishops and seminarians all the more powerful. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v272

As Taliban Prisoner, Bergdahl Said To Endure ‘Horrible’ Abuse — U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl endured some of the worst abuse any U.S. prisoner of war has seen for decades while being held for five years by the Taliban in Afghanistan, a defense official has testified. Bergdahl suffered torture, abuse, and neglect, including months of beatings, said Terrence Russell, an expert with the military’s Joint Personnel Recovery Agency.

Barbara Kay: Attention paid to male issues doesn’t diminish from feminism: it’s not a zero sum game — Cathy Young is a widely admired libertarian “equity feminist” American journalist, whose considerable critical skills often deployed in dismantling the “rape culture” narrative, continually ruffle ideologues’ feathers. Young was scheduled to speak at the University of Toronto tonight, Thursday, September 24th, on “The Politics of Gender and Victimhood,” an event planned by the University of Toronto Men’s Issues Awareness Society (UTMIAS) and sponsored by the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFÉ), on whose advisory board I sit.

Bluffs woman pleads not guilty to having sex with teen boy — A Council Bluffs woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual abuse involving a 15-year-old boy. Jessica Pritchard, 26, was arrested on July 23 in Alliance, Nebraska, and charged with four counts of third-degree sexual abuse involving a minor and four counts of dissemination and exhibition of obscene material to a minor. If convicted of third-degree sexual abuse with a minor, a Class C felony, Pritchard could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Continue reading