India’s Marital Rape Crisis, The litany of child abuse by Catholic priests, Police failed to investigate abuse – Melbourne archdiocese
November 25, 2015 Comments Off on India’s Marital Rape Crisis, The litany of child abuse by Catholic priests, Police failed to investigate abuse – Melbourne archdiocese
Rape within marriage remains legal in several countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including Singapore, China, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco. And even in countries where spousal rape is technically a crime, strong legislation and adequate punishment is often severely lacking. In several states in the U.S., including Ohio, Oklahoma and Connecticut, marital rape is “semi-legal,” according to a June report by The Daily Beast. Sexual violence within marriage is also an “infrequently prosecuted” crime in America.
The litany of child abuse by Catholic priests
Priest after priest in the Melbourne archdiocese of the Catholic church was caught abusing children. And for decades bishop after bishop ignored these crimes. In Melbourne over the past 35 years, 454 people made claims or substantiated complaints about child sexual abuse by priests, religious employees or volunteers.
Detective told child abuse victim she must have been ‘asking for it’, inquiry hears Royal commission hearings into Melbourne archdiocese hears police failed to investigate abuse, despite questions about conduct of priest involved
India’s Marital Rape Crisis Reaches ‘Tragic Proportions’
One-third of men in India, where spousal rape is legal, admit to having forced a sexual act on their wives.
Dominique Mosbergen Senior Writer, The Huffington Post 11/24/2015
….By 2013, new legislation was passed that strengthened punishments for sex crimes. Violations such as stalking and voyeurism were added to the penal code, and police officers were made criminally accountable for failing to record sexual offenses. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government pledged “zero tolerance” for violence against women and vowed to strengthen the criminal justice system to crack down on these crimes.
But despite these promises, and though some laws pertaining to sexual assault by strangers have indeed been beefed up, the archaic law that permits a husband to rape his wife still exists.
“Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape,” states a 2013 amendment to the Indian Penal Code of 1860.
With such a law in place, registering a case of sexual assault against a husband in India can be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.
This has resulted in a marital rape crisis of “tragic proportions” in the country, with men assaulting their wives with impunity and women enduring the abuse under a shroud of silence, according to activists including Mihira Sood, a Delhi-based attorney who specializes in women’s rights.
“Marital rape is an extremely widespread problem,” Sood told HuffPost. “[It’s] compounded by the fact that it is not recognized as an offense, either by the law as well as by much of society that is conditioned to see it as an inevitable part of marriage.”
Since marital rape is not a crime, exact statistics are hard to come by. The limited data that is available, however, provides a horrifying glimpse into the enormity of the problem.
Last year, the United Nations Population Fund and the International Center for Research on Women surveyed more than 9,200 men across seven Indian states. One-third of them admitted to having forced a sexual act on their wives, while 60 percent said they’d used some form of violence to assert dominance over their partners.
Another 2014 report, by researcher Aashish Gupta of the Rice Institute, found that women are 40 times more likely to be sexually assaulted by their husband than a stranger. Gupta concluded that fewer than 1 percent of sexual assaults within marriage are reported to police….
Rape within marriage remains legal in several countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including Singapore, China, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco. And even in countries where spousal rape is technically a crime, strong legislation and adequate punishment is often severely lacking.
In several states in the U.S., including Ohio, Oklahoma and Connecticut, marital rape is “semi-legal,” according to a June report by The Daily Beast. Sexual violence within marriage is also an “infrequently prosecuted” crime in America….
In 2013, a panel of lawmakers told parliament that the move “has the potential of destroying the institution of marriage.” Home Affairs Minister Haribhai Chaudhary said in April that “the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors,” including illiteracy, poverty, social custom, religion and the widespread perception that “marriages are sacrosanct.” The Indian government, he said, would not be considering any amendment to its laws regarding marital rape despite a United Nations recommendation to do….
Dismantling a deeply entrenched system of patriarchy in the country is a major challenge women’s rights activists face in their fight against marital rape, said Priya Nanda, a director at the International Center for Research on Women.
“From the girl who has to stop doing homework to make tea for her father or is pulled out of school to marry, to the girl who is not given rightful access to her inheritance, or men in institutions of power, you see male privilege everywhere,” Nanda said over Skype from her New Delhi office. “At every level, we encounter the forces of patriarchy. It is deeply internalized, by men and women alike, and extremely difficult to challenge.”….
Women largely shared similar views on these matters, the report found. About 65 percent of female respondents agreed that “there are times when a woman deserves to be beaten,” while 9 out of 10 women surveyed said wives should “obey” their husbands….
This view that wives are duty-bound to have sex with their husbands is, in fact, codified in law.
The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 states that a married person can take his or her spouse to court to demand the “restitution of conjugal rights” if the partner refuses to have sex with them….
The litany of child abuse by Catholic priests that no longer shocks the world
Once the evidence revealed at the royal commission in Melbourne would have made headlines everywhere. Now it merely fits into a devastating pattern
David Marr Tuesday 24 November 2015
Priest after priest in the Melbourne archdiocese of the Catholic church was caught abusing children. And for decades bishop after bishop ignored these crimes.
The priests were caught abusing as soon as they left the seminary. They kept abusing despite “treatment” and despite being shifted from parish to parish. The church knew what was going on and for a very long time no one called the police.
But Melbourne fits the now familiar pattern of the Catholic world. Gail Furness SC, piling up the numbers in her dry opening address to the 35th case study of the royal commission, might have been talking of Chicago, Brussels or Caracas.
In Melbourne over the past 35 years, 454 people made claims or substantiated complaints about child sexual abuse by priests, religious employees or volunteers. Of those, 335 made claims against priests. Seven accused priests accounted for 54% of all claims.
What sets the city apart from cities in Europe and America is how little the church has had to pay. Furness puts the bill for damages plus legal and medical costs at not quite $18m….
Absent but everywhere was George Pell. Though other bishops living and dead will have their reputations raked over by the commission, the hearings over the next month will essentially assess the record of the man who now sits in Rome as the treasurer of the Catholic church.
The cardinal has broken with the church’s legal team and its gentle determination not to cross-examine victims. After turning all his career for help to the top end of town, Pell has engaged the Melbourne mega-advocate Allan Myers to test his accusers….
But now they are looking at the years in between: at his first, crucial post in Melbourne from the mid 1980s as an auxiliary bishop under archbishop Frank Little.
Early in that time Little sent Pell to deal with crazed Father Peter Searson who was terrifying children in the poor parish of Doveton with guns, knives, perpetual confession, hanging around their toilets and much other weird behaviour.
That he did nothing effective to deal with Searson in those years hangs over Pell’s reputation today. Parents, parishioners and teachers all wanted the priest gone. Complaints about the priest went back a decade. But beyond dressing Searson down once or twice, Pell appears to have done little….
Pell will also be answering to the commission for his dealings with paedophile priests Billy Baker of North Richmond, Kevin O’Donnell of Oakleigh, and Ronald Pickering, who fled Gardenvale for London where Pell sent him each month the stipend of a retired priest….
Detective told child abuse victim she must have been ‘asking for it’, inquiry hears
Royal commission hearings into Melbourne archdiocese hears police failed to investigate abuse, despite questions about conduct of priest involved
Melissa Davey Tuesday 24 November 2015
A detective told a teenager who was repeatedly the victim of sexual abuse she must have been wearing a “neon sign” above her head “asking for it”, and that there was not enough evidence to investigate her case.
Julie Stewart, now 40, gave evidence before the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse on Wednesday that she was sexually abused by a family member between the age of five and eight.
She was then sexually abused by the parish priest at the Holy Family church in Doveton, Victoria, Peter Searson, from when she was in year three, the commission heard….
On Tuesday, the commission heard complaints had been made about Searson from his time as a parish priest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Sunbury in 1977, to the decade when he was a parish priest at Holy Family parish in Doveton. In 1997 he was charged with unlawful assault of an altar boy, and was released on a good behaviour bond without conviction after pleading guilty….