Malignant trauma and the invisibility of ritual abuse, Origins of Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist Terms, Neighbors of polygamist cult issue – FLDS
February 12, 2019 § Leave a comment
– Malignant trauma and the invisibility of ritual abuse
– Origins of Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist Terms and Symbols – A Glossary
– Neighbors of polygamist cult issue warning to Minnesota – FLDS
Malignant trauma and the invisibility of ritual abuse
Salter, M. (2019) Malignant trauma and the invisibility of ritual abuse,
Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 13(1), forthcoming.
This paper draws on psychoanalytic understandings of malignant trauma to explain the invisibility of ritual abuse. Ritual abuse refers to the misuse of rituals in the organized sexual abuse of children (Salter, 2012). Ritual abuse is typically practiced in extended family networks and criminal groups that participate in the production and circulation of child exploitation material (CEM).
Despite claims that ritual abuse is a hoax or a product of false memories, cases of ritual abuse have been substantiated in child sexual assault prosecutions since the 1980s, including major cases in Canada (Steed, 1995), Belgium and England (Kelly, 1998), the United States (Ellzey, 2007) and Wales (Morris, 2011). Invisibility is a consistent theme in the lives of victims and survivors of ritual abuse. While there is now a considerable literature on the therapeutic treatment of ritually abused children and adults (e.g. Badouk Epstein, Schwartz, & Wingfield Schwartz, 2011; Miller, 2012; Schwartz, 2013), ritual abuse is largely unrecognized outside of the trauma and dissociation field as a distinct form of exploitation. International efforts to develop a coordinated response to the ritual abuse of children in the 1990s in countries such as Australia, the UK and USA were halted or reversed in the face of a media-driven backlash (Salter, 2017).
The invisibility of ritual abuse remains as a doubled trauma for survivors, who endure the effects of past or current abuse amidst the denial of that abuse (Matthew & Barron, 2015), and a vicarious trauma risk for therapists, who treat a profoundly vulnerable and needy client group against a backdrop of professional uncertainty and skepticism (Scott, 1998). This paper uses qualitative data from interviews with ritual abuse survivors and mental health practitioners to argue that the trauma of ritual abuse and its invisibility are co-constitutive. Cultural and familial environments shaped by an infantile dread of human vulnerability are the primary conditions of possibility for ritual abuse, as this dread prompts enactments of traumatized cruelty within contexts with scant capacity to acknowledge or address this form of violence. The mechanisms for the reproduction of ritual abuse are thus submerged within psychosocial structures of normalization, exploitation and dissociation.
The article begins with an explanation of malignant trauma and its applicability to ritual abuse, before examining the social and psychological processes within which ritual abuse victimization is rendered undetectable. The article discusses the enforced disappearance of ritual abuse from public policy and how the provision of care to ritual abuse survivors has become contingent on its denial and erasure. The article closes by reflecting on the role of therapists and others in interrupting the malignancy of ritual abuse, and the possibilities of crafting cultural resources and moral frameworks to transform the dread at the core of ritual abuse….
Theories of malignant trauma offers solutions to the gordian knot of ritual abuse, and the specific dilemmas and paradoxes that it poses: How could parents commit such atrocities on their own children? Why would paedophile rings engage in bizarre ritualistic behavior? And how could networks of child torture flourish amidst the surveillance of the contemporary state? This article illuminates the psychosocial structures within which ritual abuse is concealed and reproduced, in which the intergenerational transmission of ritual abuse is secured through projective cruelty in the embodied resolution of autistic-contiguous anxiety. While the ritual and religious dimensions of ritual abuse channels the vitality of the autistic-contiguous mode into atrocity, it remains concealed within the collective dread of perpetrators, victims and bystanders.
This study of ritual abuse provides further evidence for the critical importance of addressing the mechanisms and contexts within which familial sexual violence is intergenerationally transmitted. Gentile (2017) observed the focus of psychoanalytic scholarship on trans-generational trauma on the Holocaust and other forms of mass genocide. Despite the existence of “only a handful of articles that describe sexual violence through the lens of trans-generational trauma”, she notes that the majority of cases she observes in clinical work involve “generations of domestic violence, sexual violence and profound neglect” (p 170). With between 10% and one third of therapists reporting contact with survivors of organised and ritual abuse (Salter & Richters, 2012), identifying and treating familial cultures of sexual violence is vital to the disruption of malignant trauma.
This article argues that ritual abuse survivors are victims of a persistent failure of cultural memory, in which the evacuative responses of perpetrators to dread are reproduced by bystanders and larger systems and processes. The invisibility of ritual abuse is guaranteed by social structures and systems that deny the possibility of the ritualised violation of children, and that refuse to attribute reparative meaning to the struggles of survivors to speak and be heard. In such a context, the malevolent expulsion of dread is multiply determined at the intra-psychic, interpersonal and collective level, of which the dissociation and reenactment of ritual abuse is the inevitable result. The framework of malignant trauma points towards the intersection of forces that are at work in the disappearance and invisibility of evils such as ritual abuse; forces that are grounded in human subjectivity and relationality, and thus present in us all. Indeed, Alford (2016) argues that trauma is irreducibly social and psychological, in which the risks, impacts and understandings of violence and loss are mediated by cultural and political processes.
The solution is to craft symbolic resources at the individual and collective level that attribute significance to tragedy, loss and vulnerability as inevitable features of human existence, rather than as embarrassing and avoidable contingencies. The experience of ritual abuse survivors suggests that conceptualisations of abuse and trauma capable of withstanding evacuative impulses may also prompt renewed ethical commitments to the disruption of evil. At the individual and social level, it would seem that the symbolization of dread is intimately involved with moral growth and the containment of malignant trauma.
Origins of Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist Terms and Symbols – A Glossary
The eruption of neo-Nazism and White Supremacy on display in Charlottesville in August 2017 and at other rallies across the country has exposed the public to symbols, terms, and ideology drawn directly from Nazi Germany and Holocaust-era fascist movements. Some of those who carried torches and swastika flags in Charlottesville weren’t afraid to openly call themselves Nazis.
The leaders of today’s Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist organizations are not Adolf Hitler, and America is not Germany, but, in order to understand their agenda, it is vital to understand the history of these code words, symbols, and ideologies. See more resources for confronting hate below….
Nazi Racial Ideology
Hitler was obsessed with race long before becoming Chancellor of Germany. His speeches and writings spread his belief that the world was engaged in an endless racial struggle. White Nordic people topped the racial hierarchy; Slavs, Blacks, and Arabs were lower, and Jews, who were believed to be an existential threat to the “Aryan Master race,” were at the very bottom. When the Nazis came to power, these beliefs became government ideology and were spread publicly in posters, radio, movies, classrooms and newspapers. They also served as a basis for a campaign to reorder German society, first through the exclusion of Jews from public life, then the murder of disabled Germans as well as Slavs and, ultimately, the effort to exterminate European Jewry….
Neighbors of polygamist cult issue warning to Minnesota
A recent land purchase by FLDS church leader sparks fear that religious compound could be planned for northern Minnesota.
Author: AJ Lagoe, Steve Eckert February 7, 2019 GRAND MARAIS, Minn….
Child sex abuse
The FLDS split with Mormonism in 1890 when the mainstream church renounced polygamy. For more than a hundred years it was centralized around the remote community made up of the twin cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona and had an estimated 10,000 members….
The group was made infamous in the mid-2000s when their self-proclaimed prophet Warren Jeffs landed on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List when he fled after being indicted for child sex abuse.
Jeffs was sentenced in 2011 to life in prison plus 20 years after being convicted of sexual assault involving two girls, ages 12 and 15, he took as wives. He is said to still be leading the group from behind bars.
FBI records made public in criminal cases against Jeffs show he instructed his followers to set up what they call “houses of hiding” and “lands of refuge” across the country.
One of those “lands of refuge” is the South Dakota compound next door to the Von Rumps.
Karl says the population of the compound is hard to pin down. “At one time I was sure there was over 300,” he told KARE 11. But he believes recently the numbers have dwindled….
Seth Steed Jeffs is also no stranger to legal troubles.
He was convicted in 2006 of harboring or concealing his brother Warren who was at the time on the run from the child sex abuse charges.
In 2016, Seth Jeffs also pleaded guilty to food-stamp fraud as part of a federal investigation into the practice of collecting benefits in the name of children but diverting them to the church. He was sentenced to probation.
After that, he dropped off the radar.
Utah attorney Alan Mortensen has been searching the country for Seth Jeffs since 2017, trying to serve him with a lawsuit alleging that he was involved in the ritualistic rape of a young girl.
“We’ve been looking for him for over a year now,” the lawyer told KARE 11. “We could never locate him.”
Mortensen has filed a civil lawsuit in Utah accusing Seth Jeffs and other FLDS leaders of participating in “religious sexual rituals with underage girls” involving Seth’s brother Warren.
Mortensen’s client is a young woman identified in court papers as “R. H.” She claims that as part of a FLDS ritual she was sexually abused “on a regular basis, between five and six times a week, from the age of 8 years-old” until she turned 12. When she turned 14, she says she was forced to become a “scribe” documenting the abuse of other young girls in the sect.
The lawsuit claims that in his role as a “Priesthood Leader” Seth Jeffs witnessed the abuse by his brother and helped arrange the rituals. “He allowed it to happen and he witnessed it happening over and over and over to a young girl,” Mortensen told KARE 11….
Human trafficking epidemic 21st century slavery hits close to home, ‘A Culture of Silence’ speaks for Sierra Leone, Sexual Offences Bill to be published next week
November 14, 2014 Comments Off on Human trafficking epidemic 21st century slavery hits close to home, ‘A Culture of Silence’ speaks for Sierra Leone, Sexual Offences Bill to be published next week
Former journalist says human trafficking an epidemic
21st century slavery hits close to home By Maddy Lauria Nov 13, 2014
Rehoboth Beach — The Sussex County Republican Women’s Club received a harsh reality check when veteran journalist Christine Dolan described a human trafficking case that struck close to home.
“Listen up … you don’t have a clue,” Dolan said as she began to discuss her more than decade-long experiences with human trafficking. “Just like the Industrial Revolution, just like the Victorian era, just like the African slave trade, you are living in the digital age of slavery in the 21st century. It is not just on the street. It is over the internet.”
Dolan, who worked for ABC and CNN in the 1980s, was commissioned by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children to study child exploitation in 2000….
Dolan said Easton, Md., shows human trafficking occurs close to home. While many attendees raised their hands to say they were familiar with the town, most audience members voiced surprise that a brothel, operated a few doors down from a Mexican restaurant on Dover Street, was busted just a few years ago, leading to sex trafficking convictions in fall 2013….
Now Dolan is on a mission to spread the word that human trafficking crimes are proliferating throughout the world, which she outlined in her “Tots to Trafficking to Terrorism” presentation during the club’s dinner meeting Oct. 22. She said globalization and increased internet access provide ways for everything from child pornography to trafficking for torture to make a mark on international markets.
“Terrorism is a transnational, transcriminal network. Trafficking is transcriminal, transnational network,” she said. Dolan said groups like al-Qaida and the group known as the Islamic State are trafficking organizations with a hand in sex and labor trafficking as well as torture rituals.
Dolan outlined the main branches of human trafficking to include sex and labor, sex tourism, child pornography, child soldiers, organ trafficking, skin trafficking and ritual abuse torture. Dolan cited an evidence comparison by Interpol that 89 percent of online incidents affect victims between the age of 6 and 12, while 10 percent include victims age 3 and younger. She said there have been great efforts made since 2000, but the demand for younger victims has increased, with a jump from 3 percent in 2005 to the recently reported 10 percent of young trafficking victims….
‘A Culture of Silence’ speaks for Sierra Leone
By Peter Keough Globe Correspondent November 13, 2014
For most people, the sufferings of African countries such as Sierra Leone, which has endured a hellish civil war only to be confronted with the Ebola epidemic, are regarded as passing news items.
For the documentary filmmaker Raouf J. Jacob, however, Sierra Leone is his beloved homeland. Forced to emigrate to America with his family in 1999 in the midst of the internecine conflict, he returns in “A Culture of Silence” to the place of his birth to see how it has rebounded from its bloody past. He and his partner and fellow filmmaker Lara M. Moreno tour the country with their camera to see how it has confronted its intransigent problems. These include poverty, the exploitation of resources by foreign corporations, cultural misogyny epitomized by the practice of female genital mutilation, and the legacy of war embodied by its most tragic victims — child soldiers kidnapped by warlords and forced to kill….
Sexual Offences Bill to be published next week, says Minister for Justice
Legislation will strengthen laws on grooming, pornography and harassment
New legislation on sexual offences will strengthen laws on grooming, pornography and harassment, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said.
Thu, Nov 13, 2014,
….“It will include strengthened provisions on age of consent, grooming and harassment,” Ms Fitzgerald said. “And it will strengthen offences of acquiring pornography online.”
The department received approval from the Cabinet to draft the legislation last December. It had been described as “long overdue” by organisations working in the field and by politicians including Senator Jillian van Turnhout.
The Minister also said yesterday that she would bring forward legislation on victims’ rights and on domestic violence in the new year….
Victims’ rights The new victims’ rights legislation will be introduced in 2015 so that Ireland can comply with its obligations under the EU victims’ directive, which was adopted at European level in 2012.
The directive includes obligations to protect victims from harm and intimidation and provide access to information, services and compensation.
Ms Fitzgerald said the new legislation would be “a very important mark of a change of approach to victims” and would reposition victims so their needs are central to the criminal justice system….
Stephen Collins – Victim Comes Forward, Rotherham child sex abuse scandal, Adverse childhood experiences – allostatic load
October 16, 2014 Comments Off on Stephen Collins – Victim Comes Forward, Rotherham child sex abuse scandal, Adverse childhood experiences – allostatic load
L.A. County Sheriff Investigates Sex Crime
Victim Comes Forward
10/15/2014 BY TMZ STAFF
Stephen Collins is now under investigation by a third law enforcement agency for allegedly molesting and/or exposing himself to young girls … TMZ has confirmed … and the victim herself is the one who came forward to make the complaint.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … the woman was 13 at the time and she has now gone to law investigators with her allegations.
Our sources say … the incident involves a relative of a neighbor when Collins lived on Havenhurst Drive in West Hollywood during the summer of 1983.
Collins confesses to exposing himself to the girl on the audio tape posted on TMZ last week. We redacted her name and address.
Collins also says on the audio … he went back to the victim and “made amends” years later….
Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal is tip of iceberg, says police chief
Child exploitation is a hidden crime, and offences at home are the biggest concern, says Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey
Randeep Ramesh, Social affairs editor
The Guardian, Wednesday 15 October 2014
There will be more Rotherham-style child sexual exploitation scandals unearthed in the coming months as the “stone is lifted” on the scale of abuse perpetuated on the young, one of Britain’s top police officers has warned.
In an interview with the Guardian, Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk police, who is the leading officer concerned with child abuse within the Association of Chief Police Officers, said that sex crimes involving children had for “too long been a hidden crime”.
He also sparked a clash with fellow professionals by calling on teachers and doctors to take on more responsibility over detecting signs of abuse.
Bailey warned that the scale of the problem was far larger than previously thought, with the latest research estimating that the number of children suffering sexual abuse at some point in their childhood could be as high as 600,000. “We don’t know for sure. But I think it’s tens of thousands of victims [a year] of an appalling crime.”….
The concern of the police is that it is not gangs that are the biggest problem when it comes to sexual abuse, but the home.
Bailey said: “[This fixation] is rather overshadowing a far, far, bigger picture, and that bigger picture is that 90% of child sexual abuse takes place in the home where crimes are being perpetuated upon victims by people they know already. It is really important that we get some context around this.”….
National household survey of adverse childhood experiences and their relationship with resilience to health-harming behaviors in England
Mark A Bellis, Karen Hughes, Nicola Leckenby, Clare Perkins and Helen Lowey BMC Medicine 2014, 12:72 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-12-72
Almost half (47%) of individuals experienced at least one of the nine ACEs. Prevalence of childhood sexual, physical, and verbal abuse was 6.3%, 14.8%, and 18.2% respectively (population-adjusted). After correcting for sociodemographics, ACE counts predicted all HHBs, e.g. (0 versus 4+ ACEs, adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals)): smoking 3.29 (2.54 to 4.27); violence perpetration 7.71 (4.90 to 12.14); unintended teenage pregnancy 5.86 (3.93 to 8.74). Modeling suggested that 11.9% of binge drinking, 13.6% of poor diet, 22.7% of smoking, 52.0% of violence perpetration, 58.7% of heroin/crack cocaine use, and 37.6% of unintended teenage pregnancy prevalence nationally could be attributed to ACEs….
Neurobiological studies have already identified changes to the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex associated with ACEs, while epigenetic studies are exposing gene-environment interactions with negative health consequences once exposed to stressors.
Danese A, McEwen BS: Adverse childhood experiences, allostasis, allostatic load, and age-related disease.
Physiol Behav 2012, 106:29-39.
Adverse childhood experiences, allostasis, allostatic load, and age-related disease
Andrea Danese Bruce S. McEwen DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.08.019 Physiology & Behavior
Volume 106, Issue 1, 12 April 2012, Pages 29–39 Allostasis and Allostatic Load
How do adverse childhood experiences get ‘under the skin’ and influence health outcomes through the life-course? Research reviewed here suggests that adverse childhood experiences are associated with changes in biological systems responsible for maintaining physiological stability through environmental changes, or allostasis. Children exposed to maltreatment showed smaller volume of the prefrontal cortex, greater activation of the HPA axis, and elevation in inflammation levels compared to non-maltreated children. Adults with a history of childhood maltreatment showed smaller volume of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, greater activation of the HPA axis, and elevation in inflammation levels compared to non-maltreated individuals. Despite the clear limitations in making longitudinal claims from cross-sectional studies, work so far suggests that adverse childhood experiences are associated with enduring changes in the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. These changes are already observable in childhood years and remain apparent in adult life. Adverse childhood experiences induce significant biological changes in children (biological embedding), modifying the maturation and the operating balance of allostatic systems. Their chronic activation can lead to progressive wear and tear, or allostatic load and overload, and, thus, can exert long-term effects on biological aging and health.
We reviewed the physiological correlates of adverse childhood experiences. We examined the effects on the nervous, the endocrine, and the immune systems. These systems are abnormally active in maltreated children and adults. These effects may be adaptive in the short term but subsequently become detrimental. These effects may explain why maltreated individuals are at greater risk of disease.
Live streaming of child sex abuse an ’emerging threat’ , Ukraine police unit stormed after brutal rape
July 2, 2013 Comments Off on Live streaming of child sex abuse an ’emerging threat’ , Ukraine police unit stormed after brutal rape
Live streaming of child sex abuse an ’emerging threat’ 2 July 2013
Live streaming of child sex abuse via webcams is an emerging threat, experts have warned, amid a doubling of reported indecent images.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said children were being “abused to order”. Offenders targeted vulnerable families overseas, paying them to facilitate child abuse, according to its report.
Ceop said those carrying out abuse used a “hidden internet” to disguise their identity and avoid detection. The report found the number of still and moving child abuse images reported to Ceop had doubled in the last year to 70,000 – although this includes a “substantial” number of duplicated images.
The child protection body – part of Home Office’s Serious Organised Crime Agency – said it received 8,000 reports of indecent images of children being shared last year.
It said live streaming emerged in 2012 as a means of producing and distributing images. “We’re seeing cases where they’re effectively being abused to order for paying customers,” chief executive Peter Davies told the BBC.
He said some of those exploiting children via the internet were in the UK, adding: “At every level an absolutely appalling kind of crime.”
Children were forced to engage in sexual activity on live webcams in exchange for payment to the family or organised crime gangs, according to Ceop’s annual threat assessment of child exploitation and abuse….
“The use of the hidden internet in the UK and beyond is expected to continue increasing throughout 2013, possibly reaching 20,000 daily UK users by the end of the year,” said the report….
An estimated 50,000 UK web users are involved in distributing abuse images.
Threat Assessment of Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse June 2013
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre London http://www.ceop.police.uk
Ukraine police unit stormed after brutal rape
By MARIA DANILOVA Associated Press Tuesday, 07.02.13
KIEV, Ukraine — Protesters hurling firebombs stormed a local police station unit in southern Ukraine after authorities refused to detain one of two police officers implicated in the brutal gang-rape of a young woman.
Residents of Vradiyevka, some 330 kilometers (200 miles) south of Kiev, continued to rally outside the station Tuesday, booing the local governor and vowing to continue their vigil until the officer is arrested. During the storming late Monday, protesters smashed windows, broke doors and set fire to the building, while police fought back with tear gas.
The case has caused widespread anger among Ukrainians, who say that corruption, lawlessness and the impunity of government officials and their wealthy friends has increased markedly since President Viktor Yanukovych came to power three years ago.
The victim, a 29-year-old local woman, was returning home from a bar last Wednesday when she says she was shoved into a car, driven to the woods, raped and savagely beaten by two policemen, aided by a driver. The woman remains in the hospital in a serious condition, having sustained multiple fractures to her skull and bruises all over her body….
August 28, 2012 Comments Off on Should Those Who Download Child P_rn Pay the Victims, Rapists Seeking Custody
Pricing Amy: Should Those Who Download Child Pornography Pay the Victims?
Sep 1, 2012 By Lorelei Laird
….It started like so many other instances of child exploitation: Amy’s uncle showed her pornography and then began raping her on a regular basis.
Amy recalls telling him the penetration hurt, but it kept happening. And like most child victims, she trusted him when he told her it was a normal thing adults do with children, that he loved her and that it was their special secret, according to her victim impact statement. The uncle was eventually arrested and incarcerated. Amy grew into her teenage years and, with the help of therapy, seemed to be growing into a relatively happy, healthy, normal teenager, according to court documents. Then the other shoe dropped: Amy learned that her uncle had photographed the abuse and put the images online, creating a permanent record of her agonizing abuse.
It’s not exactly clear when Amy’s pictures began circulating online, but court records indicate the digital images date back to as early as 1998.
Amy, now in her early 20s, began sliding backward in her recovery. Court filings indicate that she suffers from depression, is withdrawn and anxious, and has a history of alcohol abuse. She’s been unable to succeed in college or work and is reluctant to socialize. While some experiences still trigger bad memories, she’s more concerned about being recognized in public by people who downloaded “her” images….
Under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, the government must notify Amy and other child pornography victims anytime anyone is arrested by federal authorities for possessing their images. Her attorney, James Marsh of New York City, says his office has received at least 1,500 required notices of federal prosecutions for possession of those images. “The day after we were retained in 2008, we had someone open up all these notices she received in the calendar years 2006 and 2007,” Marsh says. “It took two days just to open the envelopes.”….
Almost any time Marsh receives a notice of prosecution on Amy’s behalf, he files a formal request for more than $3 million to cover all of Amy’s psychological treatment, lost income and attorney fees. Marsh believes Amy is the first child pornography victim to use federal crime victim restitution laws in this way, and one of a very few nationwide. He knows of two other victims pursuing this strategy, including “Vicky,” another young woman whose victimization as a child is recorded in widely traded images. A third victim’s lawyer pursuing a similar strategy did not return calls for this article….
Masha’s Law, part of the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which permits young adults to sue those who download images of their childhood sexual abuse…..
American Bar Association Journal—Pricing Amy: Should Those Who Download Child Pornography Pay the Victims? By James R. Marsh on August 27, 2012
This feature article about the Marsh Law Firm’s efforts to secure restituiton for victims of child pornography appears in this month’s American Bar Association Journal which is read by over one million attorneys and corporate counsel worldwide. Here are several excerpts from Pricing Amy: Should Those Who Download Child Pornography Pay the Victims?
It’s not exactly clear when Amy’s pictures began circulating online, but court records indicate the digital images date back to as early as 1998.
Amy and her lawyer are, however, fighting back. Her battle is part of a series of cases—now wending their way through the federal courts—trying to help the victims of child pornography by seeking financial restitution, not from the perpetrator but from the untold number of people who subsequently download their pornographic images.
Amy could be considered the leader in this legal trend. Her pictures are among the most widely traded in the underground world of online child pornography.
Using the restitution provisions of the Violence Against Women Act, Marsh has begun utilizing the courts to request financial restitution from those convicted of possessing images of Amy’s child sexual abuse.
Imagine You Were Raped. Got Pregnant. Then Your Rapist Sought Custody.
It happens—and in many states there are no laws to keep rapists from terrorizing their victims all over again. Read on, Todd Akin.
—By Dana Liebelson and Sydney Brownstone Fri Aug. 24, 2012
The debate over Rep. Todd Akin’s widely condemned comments on “legitimate rape” has largely centered on abortion and Republican efforts to outlaw the procedure, even in cases of rape. But the controversy has also uncovered a little-discussed issue: When some rape victims do choose to give birth to a child conceived through sexual assault, they find that the legal door is left wide open for their victimization to continue. It sounds unfathomable, but in many states the law makes it possible for rapists to assert their parental rights and use custody proceedings as a weapon against their victims….
Part of the problem is that many rapes go unprosecuted. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, only 9 out of every 100 rapes are prosecuted and just 5 lead to a felony conviction. But of the 19 states that have laws addressing the custody of rape-conceived children, 13 require proof of conviction in order to waive the rapist’s parental rights. Two more states have provisions on the issue that only apply if the victim is a minor or, in one of those cases, a stepchild or adopted child of the rapist. Another three states don’t have laws that deal with custody of a rapist’s child specifically, but do restrict the parental rights of a father or mother who sexually abused the other parent.