Sexting, Shame and Suicide, Another Teen Sexually Assaulted, From the Streets to the ‘World’s Best Mom’

October 30, 2013 Comments Off on Sexting, Shame and Suicide, Another Teen Sexually Assaulted, From the Streets to the ‘World’s Best Mom’

Sexting, Shame and Suicide
A shocking tale of sexual assault in the Digital Age
By Nina Burleigh
September 17, 2013

….In Nova Scotia, Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, was taken off life support and died this April, three days after her mother discovered her hanging in the bathroom of their Halifax home. According to her mother, the teen got drunk at a party in 2011 and was gang-raped by four boys, who snapped a picture of the scene and posted it online. Her mom said Rehtaeh was mercilessly bullied by classmates for the next two years, even after the family moved to a new town to get her away from the abuse. In early August, Canadian authorities charged two 18-year-old boys with disseminating child pornography.

Diane Rosenfeld, director of the Gender Violence Program at Harvard Law School, says such incidents are far more common than just those that wind up in court or involve suicide. Most, she says, don’t make the local news or even reach school administrators because the girls are too embarrassed to do anything. Rosenfeld and her students work with girls, sometimes filing civil suits and encouraging them to graduate. Many are too humiliated to stay in school.

Rape stats may be no higher than in years past, but the numbers are as shocking as ever. Every two minutes, a sexual assault happens in the U.S., and nearly 50 percent of the victims are under the age of 18, according to Katherine Hull, a spokeswoman for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: “The demographic of high school- and college-age women is at highest risk for sexual assault.” More than half of the incidents go unreported, advocates say. The ability to record and communicate gang-sex assaults has added a new enhancement to an old and ugly crime against women. From Instagram to Snapchat to texting, young people with raging hormones and low impulse control are passing around what amounts to child pornography. And the bodies most frequently watched and passed around are female….

But recent Saratoga High graduate Jessica Hayes describes a school environment where disrespecting girls is neither rare nor effectively addressed. Hayes recalled two ugly incidents with football players that occurred during her own freshman year. A boy from the team unzipped her sweater in the middle of the quad, exposing her bra. When she kneed him, she was disciplined. Months later, a group of four or five boys surrounded her at a football game and tried to intimidate her into going under the bleachers with them. She punched one boy and ran, and then endured “20 to 30 harassing texts a day” for months. During her freshman year, she ate lunch in her mother’s car, rather than with the other students.

“If you feel disrespected, the office staff doesn’t do much to help you,” Hayes says. “If something does happen, the girls feel you have to deal with it on your own. It would have been so hard for Audrie to go back to school. Half the people have seen her naked, half the people think she’s a whore, and judge and bully her. Teachers know. They can’t not. They hear about it.”….

On April 11th, seven months after Audrie’s suicide, the Santa Clara County sheriff arrested the three boys on charges of misdemeanor sexual battery, felony possession of child pornography and felony sexual penetration. When they arrested the boys, police seized new phones and other electronic gadgetry their parents had bought to replace what authorities took in the fall. Police found new pictures of other nude teen girls on some of their phones, prompting them to add on new charges in July. Sources close to the case tell Rolling Stone that police discovered one of the boys was trying to make money selling the pictures.

Two of the boys have admitted that the felony charges against them are true, according to sources close to the case, and they are awaiting sentencing – which could range from community service or time in a juvenile-detention center. Their records will be sealed when they turn 18. The third boy may be upgraded to adult court, where the sentence is harsher and a sexual-assault charge would remain on his file for life. California prosecutors are limited by a statute requiring a sexual assault committed by a minor age 14 and over to be “forcible” in order to directly qualify for adult court. A sexual assault on an unconscious victim is not considered forcible….

Writer Laurie Halse Anderson published an influential book in 1999 called Speak, about a high school rape and its effects on a victim. Since then, she has spoken at high schools and middle schools around the U.S., and estimates she has talked to a million kids about rape. “What really strikes me is that, when it comes to recording sexual assaults and wanting to show it off, the young men committing them are not seeing them as crimes, they see them as pranks. And there’s no point in pulling a prank unless you share it.” Anderson said parents and educators need to talk to younger boys about informed consent. “When I speak to students, I tell boys that if a young woman isn’t of age, she isn’t capable of giving informed consent, and if she’s drunk or high, there’s no informed consent. And those cases, if you have sex, you can go to jail. And the jaws drop, because right away, they think of the sex they had at a party last weekend, where everybody was wasted.”….
http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/sexting-shame-and-suicide-20130917

Another Teen Sexually Assaulted

http://www.childlaw.us/another-teen-sexually-assaulted

From the Streets to the ‘World’s Best Mom’
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF October 12, 2013

NASHVILLE — WHEN men paid Shelia Faye Simpkins for sex, they presumably thought she was just a happy hooker engaging in a transaction among consenting adults.

It was actually more complicated than that, as it usually is. Simpkins says that her teenage mom, an alcoholic and drug addict, taught her at age 6 how to perform oral sex on men. “Like a lollipop,” she remembers her mom explaining.

Simpkins finally ran away from home at 14 and into the arms of a pimp.

“I thought he was my boyfriend,” Simpkins remembers. “I didn’t realize I was being pimped.”

When her pimp was shot dead, she was recruited by another, Kenny, who ran a “stable” of four women and assigned each of them a daily quota of $1,000. Anyone who didn’t earn that risked a beating.

There’s a common belief that pimps are business partners of prostitutes, but that’s a complete misunderstanding of the classic relationship. Typically, every dollar earned by the women goes to the pimp, who then doles out drugs, alcohol, clothing and food.

“He gets every penny,” Simpkins explains. “If you get caught with money, you get beat.”….

Sex trafficking is one of the most severe human rights violations in America today. In some cases, it amounts to a modern form of slavery….
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/opinion/sunday/kristof-from-the-streets-to-worlds-best-mom.html

Rehtaeh Parsons cyberbullying report calls for hospital review, Ritual murder suspects

June 17, 2013 Comments Off on Rehtaeh Parsons cyberbullying report calls for hospital review, Ritual murder suspects

Rehtaeh Parsons cyberbullying report calls for hospital review
Cyberbullying expert says more action needed to help young people after Halifax teen’s death
CBC News  June 14, 2013

A review of how the Halifax Regional School Board handled events leading up to the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, the teenager who took her life in April after she was cyberbullied, is recommending an external review of the Halifax hospital where she was a patient for five weeks after she had a breakdown and became suicidal.

“Rehtaeh was a young woman of great promise whose needs were not met,” read the documents.

Ontario-based education experts Debra Pepler and Penny Milton took less than a month to explore 10 questions about anti-bullying programs in Nova Scotia following the death of the 17-year-old.

Rehtaeh’s parents say she was raped by four boys at a party a year-and-a-half ago where she was drunk. A picture of the alleged assault was circulated at her school and in social media….
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/06/14/ns-rehtaeh-parsons-school-board.html

How we shot, cut head, hands of Okada rider — Ritual murder suspects
Written by  Oluwatoyin Malik
Saturday, 15 June 2013

….That was part of the chilling facts revealed during the week about the circumstances surrounding the ritual killing of an okada rider at Idi-Mango area of Sanyo, in Ibadan, Oyo State, as the two suspects arrested, Femi Taiwo (30) and Kazeem Bamidele (35), confessed that the deceased was actually killed for money-making ritual purposes. But they claimed that they thought he was an armed robber, as they had been specifically instructed to look for body parts of an armed robber.

….In an interview with Saturday Tribune, Taiwo, an indigene of Abeokuta, Ogun State, who is married with three kids, said:  “My wife and kids are with my mother in Abeokuta. I am an okada rider. I also work as a security guard. I am an OPC member. I had a boss called Baba Oodua. He was the one who first suggested that we could do money-making ritual if we could lay hands on body parts of a thief or armed robber. He, myself and Kazeem, the cobbler, were at the meeting where we discussed and decided on the issue. We also contacted one Alfa who promised to do the charm for us if we could bring some body parts…..
http://tribune.com.ng/news2013/en/component/k2/item/14367-how-we-shot,-cut-head,-hands-of-okada-rider-%E2%80%94ritual-murder-suspects.html

Wales child abuse: Report finds evidence of 140 allegations – Operation Pallial, A Child Without Dreams, Teen dies after being ‘beaten’ at camp that ‘makes men out of boys’, Why Christie Blatchford Is Wrong About My Daughter Rehtaeh

April 30, 2013 Comments Off on Wales child abuse: Report finds evidence of 140 allegations – Operation Pallial, A Child Without Dreams, Teen dies after being ‘beaten’ at camp that ‘makes men out of boys’, Why Christie Blatchford Is Wrong About My Daughter Rehtaeh

Wales child abuse: Report finds evidence of 140 allegations   29 April 2013
An independent investigation examining claims of historical child abuse at children’s homes in north Wales has found “significant evidence of systemic and serious sexual and physical abuse”.

Investigators in Operation Pallial have found evidence of 140 allegations of historical abuse between 1963 and 1992. Seventy six new complainants have also come forward and 84 suspected offenders been identified.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22339417

Wales child abuse: Operation Pallial inquiry finds evidence of 140 claims  29 April 2013

An independent investigation examining claims of historical child abuse at children’s homes in north Wales has found “significant evidence of systemic and serious sexual and physical abuse”.

Investigators in Operation Pallial have found evidence of 140 allegations of historical abuse between 1963 and 1992. Seventy six new complainants have also come forward.
The claims centre on 18 homes involving offences against boys and girls aged between seven and 19.  A total of 84 suspected offenders have been named – 75 male and nine female. Of these, 16 have been named by more than one complainant….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22306588

A Child Without Dreams
Marian Wright Edelman  President, Children’s Defense Fund 04/26/2013

Every day four children in America are killed by abuse or neglect.  More than 750,000 children are abused or neglected each year.  Even when children survive or after physical scars heal, the emotional damage left by child abuse and neglect can last a lifetime just as the post traumatic stress left by gun violence leaves deep scars in countless children.

Joseph Miles has essentially been on his own since he was 13 years old — the year his mother tried to kill him.  Until then, he would say, he cried for love.  After that he gave up on hoping ever to find it.  Today Joseph is in his forties and has been incarcerated since he was 28.  When he came to prison he couldn’t read or write. It was only recently that Joseph realized he missed out on something crucial besides love in early childhood:  he didn’t even know he should have had dreams until it was much too late….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marian-wright-edelman/a-child-without-dreams_b_3165763.html

Teen dies after being ‘beaten’ at camp that ‘makes men out of boys’
A 15-year-old South African boy died after he was kept chained to his bed, beaten with planks and hoses at a training camp that boasted of “making men” out of its young recruits, a court has heard.   By Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg  24 Apr 2013

Raymond Buys, who had learning difficulties, was admitted to hospital and put on life support two months into a three-month training course run by Alex de Koker’s Echo Wild Game Rangers in the bush an hour south of Johannesburg.

He was severely emaciated and dehydrated, had brain damage, a broken arm and bruises, and cigarette burns all over his body. His mother was told that the chances of him surviving were “virtually zero”. He died two weeks later.

“I sent my son on this course to make him a better man, to give him a better future,” Wilma Buys told The Daily Telegraph. “I trusted Alex de Koker with his life.”

Mr de Koker, 49, and employee Michael Erasmus, 20, are currently on trial for charges of murder, child abuse and neglect, along with two cases of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in relation to Mr Buys’ death.

His death is alleged to have been the third among the mainly Afrikaans children who attended the R22,000 (£1,500) courses run by Mr de Koker, who was reportedly a member of murdered white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche’s Iron Guards movement.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/10015978/Teen-dies-after-being-beaten-at-camp-that-makes-men-out-of-boys.html

Why Christie Blatchford Is Wrong About My Daughter Rehtaeh – Father of Rehtaeh Parsons
Glen Canning 04/26/2013

This morning I woke up and read an article in the National Post about Rehtaeh’s case. I’m not upset or mad. A little disappointed maybe. The writer, Christie Blatchford, makes a few statements I would like to address….

“What they had was a complainant whose evidence was all over the map…” Rehtaeh was intoxicated at the time and she has always stated she couldn’t remember much of what happened. What she did say was all over the map and that is exactly what one should expect it to be from a 15-year-old girl who remembers very little but is being swamped at school and online with slut stories about what took place.

“…independent evidence that supported the notion that any sex was consensual, and no evidence that Rehtaeh was so drunk that she couldn’t consent:” The two boys involved in taking and posing for the photograph stated Rehtaeh was throwing up when they had sex with her. That is not called consensual sex. That is called rape. They also stated they had to get her dressed when they were finished. She was passed out. That is the story they told to anyone at Rehtaeh’s school who would listen. That is their account of what happened. There are numerous people who heard that and shared that. No evidence she was so drunk that she couldn’t consent? How drunk does someone have to be? Drunk enough to get sick or drunk enough to not remember?….
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/glen-canning/rehtaeh-parsons-christie-blatchford_b_3164434.html

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