Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse, Sexualized Violence in Organized Structures of Violence and in Ritual Structures of Violence
December 3, 2019 § Leave a comment
Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse: Cross-Sectional Findings from Individuals Who Report Being Victimized
by Johanna Schröder , Susanne Nick, Hertha Richter-Appelt and Peer Briken
Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112417
Organized and ritual child sexual abuse (ORA) is often rooted in the child’s own family. Empirical evidence on possible associations between ORA and trauma-related symptoms in those who report this kind of extreme and prolonged violence is rare. The aim of our study was to explore socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the individuals reporting ORA experiences, and to investigate protective as well as promotive factors in the link between ORA and trauma-related symptom severity. Within the framework of a project of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Germany, we recruited 165 adults who identified themselves as ORA victims via abuse- and trauma-specific networks and mailing lists, and they completed an anonymous online survey. We used variance analyses to examine correlations between several variables in the ORA context and PTSD symptoms (PCL-5) as well as somatoform dissociation (SDQ-5). Results revealed a high psychic strain combined with an adverse health care situation in individuals who report experiences with ORA. Ideological strategies used by perpetrators as well as Dissociative Identity Disorders experienced by those affected are associated with more severe symptoms (η2p = 0.11; η2p = 0.15), while an exit out of the ORA structures is associated with milder symptoms (η2p = 0.11). Efforts are needed to improve health care services for individuals who experience severe and complex psychiatric disorders due to ORA in their childhood.
Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse: Cross-Sectional Findings from Individuals Who Report Being Victimized
ORA, defined as organized child sexual abuse where a (pseudo-)ideological (i.e., ritual) content serves as legitimization for violence, is a complex and polarizing issue in mental health care contexts as well as in research. At present, the uncovering and reprocessing of ORA is a problem that remains to be solved in Germany, as well as internationally. Given the paucity of research in this field, we believe that this study contributes to closing this evidence gap, as it presents empirical data on reported practices of ORA and its impact on trauma-related symptom severity in self-identified victims, in which reported ideological/ritual strategies by the perpetrators and an exit out of the ORA structures play a major role. A key policy priority should therefore be to intensify efforts on the understanding of ORA-related structures, as well as the complex clinical presentation of those affected. Services like information websites and exit programs should be developed by experts in the field in order to contribute to generating appropriate treatment services for this group of clients. Mental health professionals and centers specialized in the treatment of severely traumatized clients with CPTSD and dissociative disorders would contribute to a better support of clients who report such trauma histories. The therapeutic process of detachment from perpetrator networks is intense, and supporters of individuals who experience ORA face special difficulties, like, for example, dissociative personality states.” https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/11/2417/htm
Sexualized Violence in Organized Structures of Violence and in Ritual Structures of Violence
Strengthening Prevention, Intervention and Help for Victims and Survivors from the Expert Committee
“Sexualized Violence in Organized Structures of Violence and in Ritual Structures of Violence”,
at the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth April 2018
“In traumatic situations which are experienced early and repeatedly, dissociation enables sur-vival by forming separate structures of consciousness in the as yet immature personality. The structures thus created can appear and act as independent personalities. This can result in a dissociative identity structure with an inner system of more or less separate personalities/personality parts. Without protection and appropriate support, the structure persists through adolescence and adulthood (like any long-term trauma symptom) since it was created as a survival mechanism. This falls into the clinical category of dissociative disorders and/or dis-sociative identity disorder.
Dissociative identity disorder (DIS)
Since the standard ICD diagnosis manual in Germany is currently being reissued, we refer to the most current diagnosis manual for mental disorders DSM 5.
It describes dissociative identity disorder using the following criteria:
a) Presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states. There are clear differences in the awareness of one’s self and one’s actions, accompanied by related changes in affect, behaviour, awareness, memory, perception, thinking, and sensory-motor functions. Different personality parts take control of the person’s behaviour at different times, which can lead to visible changes. These changes can be observed by the person himself/herself as well as by others.b) An inability to remember important personal information, important everyday and/or traumatic incidents, which cannot be put down to ordinary forgetfulness. The revised version ICD 11 scheduled for 2018 is expected to contain a similar definition.
Intentionally induced DIS
This involves intentionally utilizing the dissociative protection mechanism and forcing split-ting by means of planned, repeated use of severe violence. The resulting personality parts are trained for specific purposes. Intentionally induced DIS can go unnoticed for long periods of time. There is usually no discernible personality change, instead there is an external everyday person, alongside of or through whom other personalities act. As a rule, this occurs without the everyday person being able to detect or talk about it.”….
“Intentionally induced DIS
Dissociation is an instinctive survival mechanism of the human organism. It is possible to trigger this dissociative protection mechanism intentionally. Forms of severe violence experienced in early childhood which are planned and repeatedly applied bring on dissociation (splitting) and the creation of personality parts which are more or less separate from each other in one person. The individual personality parts are trained for specific purposes defined by the perpetrators/groups of perpetrators, e.g. sexual exploitation, trafficking in drugs or human beings, espionage, specific tasks determined by the ideology of the group, control of the inner personality system. This makes a child especially profitable, e.g. within the scope of commercial sexual exploitation, with the child fulfilling the needs of various “clients” by means of personality parts which can be made to respond to codes or triggers. One possible example: Part A is insensitive to pain and can be used for extreme sexual violence; B knows specific patterns and automatically obeys; C shows physical arousal/“desire” etc.
Intentionally induced DIS can remain unnoticed for a long time. There is usually no discernible personality change; instead there is an external everyday person, besides whom and/or through whom other personalities act. As a rule, this occurs without the everyday person being able to detect or talk about it. In addition, some of the personality parts are only active in defined situations, e.g. while being sexually exploited or within the context of the group’s ideology. At the same time, there are everyday personalities who, for example, go to school and have no memory of the violence. The gaps in memory and/or inner dissociative barriers protect the perpetrators from being discovered (see also Mind-Control, Conditioning, Programming).
Mind-control is the deliberate and planned control of a person. Dissociation, conditioning, and program-ming begin at a very early stage, often from birth on (cf. Intentionally induced DIS). The child or per-sonality parts learn that taking any kind of initiative or seeking help in any way is pointless and will be severely punished.
Person, personality, personalities, personality parts
Various terms are used in the specialized literature and in this text. It is an attempt to express complex phenomena in words. Normally, a person is considered to be an individual (Latin individuum “indivisible”, “single thing”). The term “individual” is used especially for designating people as moral subjects, i.e. as possessing rights, responsibilities, and obligations. In this context, the term “persons” is used rather than “individuals”. In the case of persons, individual characteristics, interests, and features are also attributed to subjective elements of the personality, of individuality (Source: Wikipedia). The individual/person is a consistent unit – albeit with many facets and possible roles.In the case of people with severe dissociative disorders/dissociative identity disorder (DIS), this consist-ency is no longer given. The personality is split as a result of dissociation serving as a survival mechanism.
The emergent parts are more or less rigorously separate from each other. In the case of intention-ally induced DIS in particular, the separation may be very extensive and expressed in completely distinct behaviours and thought patterns, memories, capabilities, etc. Depending on the perspective, this can be considered a matter of autonomous personalities or parts or personality parts or personality conditions. It is critical that the formation and existence of the individual parts be considered, in addition to observing the whole (inner system of the personalities). Every person is unique and impossible to control completely – despite inner systems which, in part, were intentionally created by the perpetrators and controlled by them. People with DIS can, through progressive integration (overcoming inner dissociative barriers and amnesias) and self-regulation, develop and use individual strengths, capabilities, and traits for themselves.
Experiencing sexualized violence normally has consequences which not only result in psychiatric illnesses but also have huge impacts on abilities to interact socially, on professional development, and on physical health. The earlier in life sexualized violence is experienced, and the more frequent and more intense the violent acts are, the more complex the consequences are, that is to say, the consequences overlap with each other. Victims and survivors of organized violence and ritual violence have to live with the consequences of complex traumatisation and with the effects of severe dissociative disorders.
Programming refers to intentionally linking different conditioned behavioural patterns to various corresponding inner parts. These behavioural patterns can then be activated by means of conditioned stimuli/triggers and thus controlled. The automated actions (programmes) may have different, possibly life-threatening, effects: e.g. a return to the group of perpetrators, refusal to eat, inability to accept help, self-mutilation, or suicide.
Sexualized violence/Sexual abuse
The term sexualized violence emphasizes the fact that the focus of the act is violence and not sexuality. Sexuality is functionalized for the purpose of committing violence and exercising power. Based on UBSKM definitions, according to social law the definition of sexual abuse corresponds to that of sexualized violence and denotes actions which are performed on or in the presence of girls or boys against their will, or to which they cannot consciously consent as a result of their being in an inferior position physically, psychologically, intellectually, or verbally. The perpetrator uses his/her position of power and authority to satisfy his/her own needs at the expense of the child. According to criminal law: anyone who forces children into sexual acts, demands that they perform sexual acts, or forces them.
New York passes Child Victims Act, allowing child sex abuse survivors to sue their abusers, Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and the moral context of trauma science
January 30, 2019 § Leave a comment
New York passes Child Victims Act, allowing child sex abuse survivors to sue their abusers
By Augusta Anthony, CNN Mon January 28, 2019
New York (CNN)The New York State Legislature passed a bill on Monday that will increase the statute of limitations for cases of child sexual abuse.
The Child Victims Act will allow child victims to seek prosecution against their abuser until the age of 55 in civil cases, a significant increase from the previous limit of age 23. For criminal cases, victims can seek prosecution until they turn 28. The bill also includes a one-year window during which victims of any age or time limit can come forward to prosecute.
“New York has just gone from being one of the worst states in the country to being one of the best,” in terms of the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, said Marci Hamilton, CEO of Child USA and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Hamilton said the bill “represents over 15 years of work by survivors and advocates trying to get around the stiff opposition from the Catholic bishops and the insurance industry” and is a step forward in the national conversation. There are eight other states considering similar legislation….
Catholic Church opposition
Monday’s bill passage comes after more than a decade of opposition from the Catholic Church in New York. In a news conference on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is a Roman Catholic, blamed the church directly for preventing the bill’s passage.
Speaking about why the bill took years to pass, Cuomo said, “I believe it was the conservatives in the Senate who were threatened by the Catholic Church.” The bill passed the Senate unanimously on Monday. In November 2018, Democrats took over the Republican-held Senate….
Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and the moral context of trauma science
Michael Salter Published online: 24 Jan 2019
Download citation https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2019.1571858
The fraught process surrounding the recent nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court was a spectacular deployment of institutional power to suppress good faith allegations of sexual violence. Trauma survivors and their allies have been shaken by the public scorn and victim-blaming that occurred when a childhood acquaintance of Kavanaugh’s, Christine Blasey Ford, alleged she had been sexually assaulted by him while they were at high school. Kavanaugh denied the allegation and US President Donald Trump firmly supported him. The matter only became more heated when, after Ford agreed to testify publicly to the Senate Judiciary Committee, two other women come forward with allegations of sexual assault and improper conduct by Kavanaugh.
The response of Kavanaugh and his supporters was replete with the rhetoric of denial. Kavanaugh variously characterized the allegations as part of a “coordinated effort” and “conspiracy” to destroy his reputation and prevent his nomination. President Trump agreed that the three women describing abuse by Kavanaugh were politically motivated. He went on to suggest that one woman “has nothing” on Kavanaugh because she “admits she was drunk” at the time of the alleged assault. Conservative media commentators speculated that Ford was suffering from “false memories” of rape, or had mistaken her actual attacker for Kavanaugh. Such language, reverberating from the White House and its spokespeople and advocates, represents a sustained campaign of institutional betrayal that only compounds the trauma of sexual assault (Smith & Freyd, 2013 Smith, C. P., & Freyd, J. J. (2013). Dangerous safe havens: Institutional betrayal exacerbates sexual trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 26(1), 119–124. doi:10.1002/jts.21778[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], , [Google Scholar]), consonant with other policy positions that have profoundly traumatised the vulnerable (Smidt & Freyd, 2018 Smidt, A. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2018). Government-mandated institutional betrayal. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 26(5), 491–499.[Taylor & Francis Online], , [Google Scholar]).
The proposition that allegations of sexual violence are motivated by animus or the product of confabulation or “false memories” has a long and shameful history (Campbell, 2003 Campbell, S. (2003). Relational remembering: Rethinking the memory wars. Oxford, UK: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. [Google Scholar]). Movements against sexual assault and child abuse have routinely been accused of hiding an ideological agenda, or creating the conditions for false allegations by confused women and children. The conflicts surrounding Kavanaugh’s appointment have highlighted the persistence of a culture of disbelief.
However, it is notable that the attempts by Kavanaugh’s supporters to invoke pseudo-scientific explanations for Ford’s allegation found considerably less purchase in the mass media than they might have in the past. Questions about the integrity of Ford’s memory were largely limited to right wing and conservative media, and were rejected in statements from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and the American Psychological Association. Progress against the institutionalized mechanics of denial and unaccountability is substantive although clearly incomplete (Brand & McEwen, 2016 Brand, B. L., & McEwen, L. (2016). Ethical standards, truths, and lies. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 17(3), 259–266. doi:10.1080/15299732.2016.1114357[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®], , [Google Scholar])….
While I hesitate to argue that we can read life lessons directly from research findings, it does appear to me that the overall direction of trauma research and treatment trends in a particular moral direction. If we seek to find opportunities for trauma survivors to recover and live well, and if we want to promote the conditions in which people are not traumatised in the first place, then we are necessarily advancing moral propositions about human happiness and flourishing. Research on trauma, recovery and psychological wellbeing consistently finds that human beings thrive when we are embedded in emotionally rich, mutual and equitable relationships. This conclusion furnishes us with a powerful and, I think, very appealing image of a good life – one characterized by dignity, equality, accountability, and shared recognition – that the trauma field should not hesitate in articulating clearly. Political theorist Alford (2016 Alford, C. F. (2016). Trauma, culture, and PTSD. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.[Crossref], , [Google Scholar]) suggests that a key reason for the expanding public interest in trauma science is precisely because the concept of ‘trauma’ provides a rare acknowledgement of human relationality and vulnerability in a culture that is exhaustively individualistic and atomizing.
When a person like Christine Blasey Ford stands up to testify to a traumatic event, in opposition to incredibly powerful forces, we can recognize this as a courageous step in the fulfillment of a moral vision that we also have a stake in. The visceral and hate-filled response that has driven her, and her family, from their home is stark evidence of the cost paid by people who challenge the structures of traumatisation. Such costs have, of course, been visited in the past on trauma therapists and researchers whose ethical and scientific convictions have also bought them into conflict with vested interests. However the tremendous support that rallied around Christine Blasey Ford, and that recognised and celebrated her bravery in stepping forward with her story, indicates a growing consensus that opposes traumatizing social formations and seeks an alternative. Trauma research and theory, I would argue, is well placed to elaborate on what those alternatives might be.
Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse, Spain police bust ‘Black magic’ prostitution ring, North Korea: Sexual abuse of women ‘common
November 1, 2018 § Leave a comment
– Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse: Cross-Sectional Findings from Individuals Who Report Being Victimized
– Spain police bust ‘black magic’ prostitution ring in Murcia
– North Korea: Sexual abuse of women ‘common’, report claims
Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse: Cross-Sectional Findings from Individuals Who Report Being Victimized
Johanna Schröder, Susanne Nick, Hertha Richter-Appelt and Peer Briken
Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2417; doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112417
Abstract: Organized and ritual child sexual abuse (ORA) is often rooted in the child’s own family. Empirical evidence on possible associations between ORA and trauma-related symptoms in those who report this kind of extreme and prolonged violence is rare. The aim of our study was to explore socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the individuals reporting ORA experiences, and to investigate protective as well as promotive factors in the link between ORA and trauma-related symptom severity. Within the framework of a project of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Germany, we recruited 165 adults who identified themselves as ORA victims via abuse- and trauma-specific networks and mailing lists, and they completed an anonymous online survey. We used variance analyses to examine correlations between several variables in the ORA context and PTSD symptoms (PCL-5) as well as somatoform dissociation (SDQ-5). Results revealed a high psychic strain combined with an adverse health care situation in individuals who report experiences with ORA. Ideological strategies used by perpetrators as well as Dissociative Identity Disorders experienced by those affected are associated with more severe symptoms (η2p = 0.11; η2p = 0.15), while an exit out of the ORA structures is associated with milder symptoms (η2p = 0.11). Efforts are needed to improve health care services for individuals who experience severe and complex psychiatric disorders due to ORA in their childhood.
Child sexual abuse (CSA), once thought to be rare, is nowadays accepted as a frequent reality that occurs across a range of cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds worldwide and encompasses many types of sexually abusive acts towards children, including sexual assault, incest, the production and use of child pornography, as well as commercial sexual exploitation . Sexual child abuse involving a network of perpetrators acting repeatedly and jointly on multiple victims is defined as ‘organized abuse’ . Organized abuse that follows a (pseudo-) ideological strategy (e.g., symbols or group activities with religious, magical, or supernatural connotations) in order to frighten and intimidate the children or to force the victims to participate whilst simultaneously accomplishing the perpetrators’ exculpation is referred to as ‘ritual abuse’ [3,4]. Salter further describes ritual abuse as ideological framing in organized CSA contexts, functioning as strategical practices through which abusive groups indoctrinate the victims into a violently misogynistic worldview in order to control them . In other words, ritual abuse occurs when a religious, political, or spiritual authority uses its position of power and the sovereignty to interpret the respective belief system to manipulate and dominate its followers. Since the 1980s, evidence of organized and ritual abuse (ORA) has been consolidated due to studies documenting psychological harm amongst children and adults disclosing such experiences ….
ORA, defined as organized child sexual abuse where a (pseudo-)ideological (i.e., ritual) content serves as legitimization for violence, is a complex and polarizing issue in mental health care contexts as well as in research. At present, the uncovering and reprocessing of ORA is a problem that remains to be solved in Germany, as well as internationally. Given the paucity of research in this field, we believe that this study contributes to closing this evidence gap, as it presents empirical data on reported practices of ORA and its impact on trauma-related symptom severity in self-identified victims, in which reported ideological/ritual strategies by the perpetrators and an exit out of the ORA structures play a major role. A key policy priority should therefore be to intensify efforts on the understanding of ORA-related structures, as well as the complex clinical presentation of those affected. Services like information websites and exit programs should be developed by experts in the field in order to contribute to generating appropriate treatment services for this group of clients. Mental health professionals and centers specialized in the treatment of severely traumatized clients with CPTSD and dissociative disorders would contribute to a better support of clients who report such trauma histories. The therapeutic process of detachment from perpetrator networks is intense, and supporters of individuals who experience ORA face special difficulties, like, for example, dissociative personality states. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that constant professional supervision is provided to them by professionals who understand the spectrum of possibilities and pitfalls in the treatment….
Spain police bust ‘black magic’ prostitution ring in Murcia
Spanish police say they have rescued 15 transgender Brazilians from forced prostitution in the city of Murcia.
The victims were beaten, forced to use and sell drugs, and often kept locked inside a flat, officials say.
They are also said to have been threatened with the use of black magic if they did not comply.
Objects related to the ritual-filled Santería religion were found in the flat. Thirteen suspects were detained for allegedly running the ring.
The authorities say the ring was headed by Brazilian who worked with associates to recruit vulnerable young people in Brazil….
North Korea: Sexual abuse of women ‘common’, report claims
North Korean officials commit sexual abuse against women with near total impunity, a report has claimed.
Human Rights Watch added that it is so common it has become part of ordinary life.
The report is based on interviews with 62 North Koreans who fled the country. They gave detailed accounts of rape and sexual abuse.
HRW said it revealed a culture of open, unaddressed abuse, particularly from men in positions of power.
Oh Jung-hee, a former trader in her 40s told Human Rights Watch (HRW): “They consider us [sex] toys. We are at the mercy of men.”
“Sometimes, out of nowhere, you cry at night and don’t know why.”
Gathering information from inside the secretive state is extremely difficult and reports like this are rare.
‘My life was in his hands’
According to HRW some women expressed that sexual abuse had become so normalised that they did not think it was “unusual” – with some saying it had become accepted as part of everyday life….
The perpetrators include high-ranking party officials, prison facility guards, police and soldiers.
Interviewees told HRW that when an official “picked” a woman, she would have little choice but to comply….
It added that forced abortion, rape and sexual violence had been carried out in prisons or in detention….
A Culture of Secrecy Is Helping Propel Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, FBI “did not want to learn the truth” about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh
October 5, 2018 § Leave a comment
– A Culture of Secrecy Is Helping Propel Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
– Alyssa Milano: We can’t let Trump and Kavanaugh be America’s face
– FBI “did not want to learn the truth” about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh, Boulder woman’s attorney says
A Culture of Secrecy Is Helping Propel Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
This is why we haven’t heard more from Kavanaugh’s high school peers.
Pema Levy October 4, 2018
When Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court in July, his high school social network had his back. Within 24 hours, more than 100 alumni of Georgetown Prep, the elite Jesuit high school outside Washington, DC, that Kavanaugh attended from 1979 to 1983, had signed a letter urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to confirm him.
“The network itself starts when you’re in school,” Paul Murray, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s who organized the letter, explained the next day to WAMU, the Washington-area NPR affiliate. “It’s a close-knit school. We are tight classes. Friendships lead to business, and so you have a lot of people that have been successful.” Murray added, “Most people, if they had 150 of their high school friends when they’re 53 years old stand behind you, I think that says a lot.”
Murray’s comments were clearly meant as praise to both Kavanaugh and the school they attended.
But in light of the sexual assault claims now leveled against the Supreme Court nominee, they expose a dark reality of the elite prep-school world in which boys depend on each other to advance socially and economically and protect each other’s reputations. It helps explain why several women who went to sister schools in the 1980s have come forward to describe the rape culture that pervaded the prep-school scene in the Washington area, but exceedingly few men have gone on the record with similar recollections. It also helps explain why Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates have been willing to speak to the press (and presumably the FBI) when they believed Kavanaugh was whitewashing his past as a hard partier in college, while very few of his high school classmates have stepped forward to describe Kavanaugh as anything but a Boy Scout who had the occasional beer, the same image he presented to the public and the Senate.
“I think we can legitimately ask why more men aren’t coming forward, especially on behalf of the women they knew,” says Alexandra Lescaze, a 1988 graduate of the all-girls National Cathedral School in a wealthy neighborhood of Washington, DC. “I think that many men are afraid. I think they are all considering their past actions and wondering whether they ever could be accused of something. I think they want to stay on the down low and not put themselves out there.”
After Julie Swetnick accused Kavanaugh of hanging around boys who spiked punch at parties and gang raped inebriated girls, some of his classmates and alumni of other local high schools sent a second letter to the Judiciary Committee calling her accusations nonsense. “We never witnessed any behavior that even approaches what is described in this allegation,” they wrote.
Swetnick’s allegations remain unconfirmed, but it’s unlikely none of those signatories saw behavior similar to what she described. Two days before Swetnick’s allegations were made public, Lescaze, now the executive director of the Hillman Foundation and a documentary filmmaker, recalled similar behavior in an article in Slate:
I distinctly remember being at a Beach Week party with my then-boyfriend when it dawned on us that there was a drunk girl in a room down the hall, and boys were “lining up” to go in there and, presumably, have their way with her. We didn’t know for sure, but my boyfriend and my friend’s boyfriend went to interrupt it and sent her on her way down the stairs. All I remember about her is that she was in the class above us and had dark hair. My friend has told me she remembers boys saying, “I’m next,” which was why our boyfriends went to stop it. That was the only time I can clearly remember a situation that was so obviously a “lineup,” as it was referred to by some at school. My friend remembers witnessing another, and though there weren’t lineups of this nature at every party, they happened often enough that we had a term. We didn’t call it rape.
It was not always so formal a queue. I remember another time when boys were sitting in kind of a campfire circle that could have started as a game of spin the bottle. But by the time I walked through the room there was a girl who was drunk and in the center of the circle, and the boys were taking turns putting their hands up her skirt instead of kissing her.
Women who endured this 1980s prep-school scene recall a specific power structure to explain how the boys got away with aggressive sexual behavior and why the women stayed silent about it. Today, the women are increasingly coming forward to share their memories, including personal stories of assault. “I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve heard from,” says Lescaze of the notes she received following her Slate article. “It makes me shaky. I just can’t believe how many people have been holding this for so long. It’s just like another collective #MeToo scream that’s happening in unison here.” She’s heard from a few men as well, she says, but far fewer. “They know these things happened,” she says, “but we are not seeing enough men stand up and speak.”
Meanwhile, Kavanaugh’s high school friends are sticking with him. A few have defended him publicly, though most have remained out of the press. One spoke anonymously to the New Yorker, after the FBI declined to interview him, and described Kavanaugh as a member of group that preyed on Georgetown Prep classmates and girls at other schools.
The paucity of male voices from the prep-school world is “a key indicator of the culture of secrecy and the code of what it means to go to that prep school,” says Deirdre Bowen, a law professor at Seattle University School of Law who attended Georgetown Prep’s sister school, Academy of the Holy Cross, while Kavanaugh was at Georgetown Prep.* “You count on everybody to keep your secrets, and you also know that if you were not to keep someone’s secrets, there’s retribution.”
In the elite prep-school world, boys depend on each other to advance socially and economically and protect each other’s reputations.
Bowen didn’t know Kavanaugh in high school, but she knew some of his friends, and she knew the culture of their elite world. (Bowen did note there were a number of students receiving financial aid who did not have an upper-class background.) The boys would band together, promote each other, and protect each other. “In the 1980s, males all knew that they were going to go to college and that the doors were open for them in a predictable future,” she recalls. “Who you knew and what your reputation was was the most crucial part.” The crew that Kavanaugh was part of, a group that included jocks, knew their futures were guaranteed if they stuck together. The more they showed off their masculinity to each other, she says, the closer the group was—and the more need for secrecy about what went on.
For women, there was an entirely different reason to stay silent about the culture of assault: Their reputations would depend on not falling prey to the boys. “Our concern was not about engaging in bad behavior and making sure that everybody kept our secret,” Bowen says. “It was protecting ourselves and our reputation because those secrets wouldn’t be kept by the boys. They would be made fun of by the boys, or information would be spread about us as to who is easy access and who is not.”
One example is the well-known Renate Alumnius entries by multiple boys in Georgetown Prep’s 1983 yearbook, including Kavanaugh, who appeared to be bragging about their alleged sexual exploits with a girl they sometimes mocked as easy. Girls who were assaulted were also objects of scorn. “The girls that this did happen to were called sluts, absolutely,” says Lescaze, referring to victims of rape and abuse. “And they made up nicknames for them that sort of everybody knew. And they were not nice nicknames. And often, those are the ones that those boys put in their yearbook pages.” She recalls one nickname in particular that made reference to a girl’s genitals….
Alyssa Milano: We can’t let Trump and Kavanaugh be America’s face
By Alyssa Milano Tue October 2, 2018
(CNN) If professor Christine Blasey Ford is to be believed, and I believe she is, Brett Kavanaugh is a sexual predator.
If any number of women are to be believed, and I believe they are, Donald Trump is a sexual predator.
Both Kavanaugh and Trump have denied allegations against them. I wish so deeply that the alleged sexual violence — and overall cruelty toward those who are vulnerable — committed by those who wear the mantle of our nation’s government began and ended with these two men. It does not. It exists at every level of our national institutions, and even at agencies working on behalf of our government who are tasked with the sacred duty of caring for children.
Until we root out the institutionalization of sexual violence and child abuse in our government, too many will continue to be victims — some in our name, under the false premise of protecting our borders.
Hidden behind the glare of the cameras pointed at Judge Kavanaugh is the ongoing plight of immigrant children in the United States. A New York Times article recently told the tale of hundreds of immigrant children from around the country being moved to a government-run tent city in Texas under the cover of darkness. There are no schools. There is limited access to legal services, and the children are frequently forced to represent themselves in immigration court….
FBI “did not want to learn the truth” about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh, Boulder woman’s attorney says
Attorney forwards sworn statement to FBI of Kavanaugh suitemate who volunteered to be interviewed
By The Denver Post October 4, 2018
The FBI, or those overseeing its investigation, “did not want to learn the truth” behind Deborah Ramirez’s allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Boulder woman’s attorney alleged in a letter to the bureau’s director.
Washington, D.C.-based attorney William Pittard wrote in a two-page letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray released Thursday morning that the bureau ended its probe of the allegations against Kavanaugh in four days “without permitting its agents to investigate.”
Following the FBI’s interview of Ramirez in Boulder last weekend, her attorneys provided a list of 20 witnesses believed to have additional information that could corroborate her account. Ramirez’s attorneys previously have said they don’t believe the FBI contacted any of those people.
“We are deeply disappointed by this failure,” Pittard wrote. “We can only conclude that the FBI — or those controlling its investigation — did not want to learn the truth behind Ms. Ramirez’s allegations.”
Kavanaugh repeatedly has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
Pittard attached a sworn statement by Richard Oh, a California emergency room doctor who was one of Kavanaugh’s suitemates at Yale University. Oh, who said he told the FBI he was willing to be interviewed, recalled a female student who “emotionally reported” an incident similar to the one described by Ramirez.
Later Thursday, Pittard sent a second letter to Wray with another statement from a witnesses Ramirez named who wasn’t interviewed by the FBI. That person, whose name is redacted, said Ramirez in 1991 or 1992 recounted an incident that occurred at Yale involving “a male classmate (who) exposed his penis to her without her consent.”
“The information provided by Ms. Ramirez is corroborated, and your agents should have been permitted to develop that information,” Pittard wrote in the second letter. “Both Ms. Ramirez and the search for the truth have been ill-served.”
Ramirez, who works for Boulder County, told the The New Yorker in an article published Sept. 23, that Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his genitalia in her face during a party in a dorm room at Yale University when they were both students in the early ’80s. Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, has denied the alleged incident ever happened….
College Hazing Gang Rape Rituals, US Customs Officers ‘Rape Table’ Ritual, Secret Facebook rules on what violence, self-harm and child abuse can be posted
May 23, 2017 Comments Off on College Hazing Gang Rape Rituals, US Customs Officers ‘Rape Table’ Ritual, Secret Facebook rules on what violence, self-harm and child abuse can be posted
– New Lawsuit Alleges Baylor Players Gang-Raped Women As ‘Bonding Experience’
– U.S. Customs Officers Allegedly Assaulted Coworkers In ‘Rape Table’ Ritual
– Leak: Secret Facebook rules on what violence, self-harm and child abuse can be posted
New Lawsuit Alleges Baylor Players Gang-Raped Women As ‘Bonding Experience’
May 17, 2017 Camila Domonoske
A new federal lawsuit against Baylor University accuses football players of drugging and gang-raping young women as part of a hazing or bonding ritual — and the university of failing to investigate the pervasive sexual assault.
The players often took photographs and videos as they carried out the gang rapes, the suit alleges. It was filed by “Jane Doe,” who says she was raped by four to eight Baylor players in February 2012. Her Title IX suit says the school’s “deliberately indifferent response” effectively denied her educational opportunities.
The suit also describes dogfighting at football parties and burglaries carried out by football players, without consequence.
The alleged assaults and other criminal activities took place during former head football coach Art Briles’ tenure at the school in Waco, Texas.
Briles and former university President Ken Starr were both removed from their posts last year after a wave of sexual assault allegations against Baylor players.
The school’s regents said last May they were “horrified,” “shocked” and “outraged” to learn about the sexual violence that was happening on campus — and the “mishandling of reports” by the university…..
The suit also describes a culture of sexual assault woven into hazing rituals:
“Upon information and belief, prior to Plaintiff’s arrival at Baylor, members of the Baylor football team had already developed a system of hazing their freshman recruits by having them bring or invite freshman females to house parties hosted by members of the football team. At these parties, the girls would be drugged and gang raped, or in the words of the football players, ‘trains’ would be run on the girls.
“The gang rapes were considered a ‘bonding’ experience for the football players.
“Photographs and videotapes of the semi-conscious girls would be taken during the gang rapes and circulated amongst the football players. Based upon investigation, Plaintiff has confirmed that at least one, 21-second videotape of two female Baylor students being gang raped by several Baylor football players was circulated amongst football players…..
U.S. Customs Officers Allegedly Assaulted Coworkers In ‘Rape Table’ Ritual
One victim says it’s too extreme to be called “hazing.”
By Hilary Hanson May 13, 2017
Several officers of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency have come forward with bombshell allegations against their colleagues at Newark Airport in New Jersey.
Three officers told NBC New York they were sexually assaulted as part of disturbing rituals that involved being duct-taped to a table other officers called the “rape table.” The victims said that while no one ever removed their clothes, other officers would forcibly rub their genital areas on the victims strapped to the table, as well as grab them. This practice has been happening for years, according to the officers.
One victim said that “hazing” is an understatement of what happened to them.
“Hazing wouldn’t do this justice,” CBP officer Vito Degironimo told NBC. “This is complete assault. They take you in a room and your fellow officers are all watching as officers grab you.”….
Charlie Smith, who was identified by the Daily Beast as a CBP agent, corroborated the trio’s allegations in an interview with the news outlet, saying he’s heard stories of 17 similar assaults.
“Everybody has the same story,” he told The Daily Beast. “Their MO is always the same. There’s a supervisor who turned the lights off in the room. They’d call [the victim] into the room, so it was pitch-black when he came in. They threw him down on the table and did what they did.”….
Revealed: Facebook’s internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence
Leaked policies guiding moderators on what content to allow are likely to fuel debate about social media giant’s ethics
Nick Hopkins Sunday 21 May 2017
Facebook’s secret rules and guidelines for deciding what its 2 billion users can post on the site are revealed for the first time in a Guardian investigation that will fuel the global debate about the role and ethics of the social media giant.
The Guardian has seen more than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts that give unprecedented insight into the blueprints Facebook has used to moderate issues such as violence, hate speech, terrorism, pornography, racism and self-harm.
Facebook will let users livestream self-harm, leaked documents show
Internal manual shows how site tries to strike balance between allowing cries for help and discouraging copycat behaviour
There are even guidelines on match-fixing and cannibalism.
The Facebook Files give the first view of the codes and rules formulated by the site, which is under huge political pressure in Europe and the US.
They illustrate difficulties faced by executives scrabbling to react to new challenges such as “revenge porn” – and the challenges for moderators, who say they are overwhelmed by the volume of work, which means they often have “just 10 seconds” to make a decision.
“Facebook cannot keep control of its content,” said one source. “It has grown too big, too quickly.”
Many moderators are said to have concerns about the inconsistency and peculiar nature of some of the policies. Those on sexual content, for example, are said to be the most complex and confusing…..
The Guardian has seen documents supplied to Facebook moderators within the last year. The files tell them:
Remarks such as “Someone shoot Trump” should be deleted, because as a head of state he is in a protected category. But it can be permissible to say: “To snap a bitch’s neck, make sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of her throat”, or “fuck off and die” because they are not regarded as credible threats.
Videos of violent deaths, while marked as disturbing, do not always have to be deleted because they can help create awareness of issues such as mental illness.
Some photos of non-sexual physical abuse and bullying of children do not have to be deleted or “actioned” unless there is a sadistic or celebratory element.
Photos of animal abuse can be shared, with only extremely upsetting imagery to be marked as “disturbing”…..
Leak: Secret Facebook rules on what violence, self-harm and child abuse can be posted
Internal Facebook documents advising moderators on what content is to be censored or allowed has leaked.
By Darlene Storm, Computerworld May 22, 2017
Facebook allows users to livestream self-harm, post videos of violent deaths and photos of non-sexual child abuse, but comments which threaten to harm President Donald Trump are to be deleted, according to Facebook’s secret rule books for monitoring what its 2 billion users can post.
The Guardian got hold of leaked copies of over 100 internal Facebook manuals and documents that tell moderators how to handle content which includes violence, sex, hate speech, terrorism, nudity, self-harm, revenge porn and more controversial content – even cannibalism.
The giant social network has increasingly come under fire for how it handles disturbing content and for depending too heavily on users to report such content. At the beginning of May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company would hire 3,000 more people – on top of the 4,500 moderators it had – “to review the millions of reports we get every week.”
The leaked internal guidelines were given to Facebook moderators “within the last year,” the Guardian said. The documents show the fine line Facebook teeters on when deciding what content to censor without being accused of squashing free speech…..
January 28, 2017 Comments Off on New Baylor lawsuit alleges 52 acts of rape by 31 football players
New Baylor lawsuit alleges 52 acts of rape by 31 football players, ‘show ’em a good time’ culture
By Davis Potter Friday, January 27, 2017
The sexual assault scandal within Baylor’s football program had another repulsive layer added to it Friday.
A Baylor graduate has sued the school, alleging in the lawsuit that she was raped in 2013 and that more than 50 acts of rape were committed by 31 football players from 2011-14, according to a report by the Dallas Morning News.
The suit, according to the report, sheds further light on a culture of sexual violence under former Baylor coach Art Briles, stating the school implemented a “show ’em a good time” policy in reference to the football program’s use of sex to attract recruits. Briles coached the Bears from 2008-15 before being fired after an investigation into the program’s handling of sexual assault allegations found that it largely ignored rape claims and discouraged other victims from reporting rape.
The suit states an investigation carried out by lawyers uncovered at least 52 rape acts, including five gang rapes with two of those committed by at least 10 players at once. The woman, a 2014 Baylor graduate identified in the suit as Elizabeth Doe, alleges she was gang raped in the spring of 2013 and is suing the school for Title IX violations and negligence, according to the report….
Child and Ritual Abuse Research https://ritualabuse.us
Research and Articles by Neil Brick http://neilbrick.com
Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N., Turkey child rape protests, Growing up with The Family “sinister cult”
November 22, 2016 Comments Off on Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N., Turkey child rape protests, Growing up with The Family “sinister cult”
– Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N.
– Turkey child rape protests: Thousands take to streets against law that would let men off if they marry victim
– Growing up with The Family: inside Anne Hamilton-Byrne’s sinister cult
Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N.
By Umberto Bacchi Mon Nov 21, 2016
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A bill that could allow men accused of sexually abusing girls in Turkey to avoid punishment if they marry their victim would create a climate of impunity for child abuse in the country, U.N. agencies warned on Monday.
The Turkish parliament gave preliminary backing to the controversial proposal put forward by the ruling AK Party last week.
MPs are due resume the debate on Tuesday before a second and final vote.
Several U.N. agencies criticized the legislation, which they said was akin to an amnesty for child abusers and could expose victims to further suffering at the hands of their abusers.
“Any forms of sexual violence against children are crimes which should be punished as such,” the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, U.N. Women and the U.N. Development Programme in Turkey said in a joint statement on Monday.
“We call on all Members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly to do their utmost in ensuring that all girls and boys in Turkey are better protected from all forms of sexual abuse.”…
Turkey child rape protests: Thousands take to streets against law that would let men off if they marry victim
‘We will not shut up. We will not obey. Withdraw the bill immediately,’ chant protesters
Harriet Agerholm Sunday 20 November 2016
Thousands have taken to the streets of Istanbul and other cities in Turkey to protest against a bill that would allow child rapists to walk free if they marry their victims.
The country’s government insists the law would help resolve legal challenges caused by widespread child marriage in the country, yet critics argue the bill legitimises rape.
In Istanbul, protesters clapped and chanted: “We will not shut up. We will not obey. Withdraw the bill immediately.”
About 3,000 people gathered in Istanbul’s Kadikoy square, many waving placards that said: “Rape cannot be legitimised,” and “AKP, take your hands off my body” – in reference to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that proposed the bill.
Similar demonstrations were held in other cities, including Ankara, Izmir and Trabzon.
If the law passes, men who sexually abuse girls under 18 without “force, threat or any restriction on consent” and marry them could have their convictions quashed or avoid prosecution….
The proposed change would apply to cases between 2005 and 16 November 2016.
Growing up with The Family: inside Anne Hamilton-Byrne’s sinister cult
Cruel and charismatic, Anne Hamilton-Byrne was the Australian leader of a doomsday cult who thought she was the Messiah. Abigail Haworth on the woman behind The Family
Abigail Haworth Sunday 20 November 2016
Anne Hamilton-Byrne…leader of The Family, the Australian doomsday cult she founded in the 1960s, she claimed to be Jesus reborn as a woman.
….One of the few female cult leaders in history – and apparently one of the cruellest – Hamilton-Byrne operated in almost total secrecy over two decades. Hidden away in the countryside outside Melbourne, The Family’s motto was “Unseen, unknown, unheard”. The police, acting on information from two child escapees, raided the cult in 1987. It emerged that over the years Hamilton-Byrne had collected 28 children through bogus adoptions and “gifts” from followers, dressing them in identical clothes and bleaching their hair platinum. To keep her eerie brood under her control, they say she subjected them to vicious beatings, starvation and emotional torture.
“Anne wasn’t giving love,” says Parker, whose young son was one of Hamilton-Byrne’s victims. “She was offering it and then taking it back. She broke people’s spirit.”
The glamorous guru used the same tactic on her adult followers, handpicking them from Melbourne’s wealthy professional elite with promises of spiritual fulfilment in the 1960s and 70s when new age seeking was all the rage. “I’ve been waiting for you,” she’d say on first meeting a potential recruit. “You are special
Preaching a mishmash of Christianity, eastern mysticism and apocalyptic prophecy, she allegedly forced followers, including children, to take dangerous amounts of LSD and other hallucinogenics as part of prolonged initiation rites. Once they had submitted, she’d dictate every aspect of their lives. “There was only one rule: do absolutely everything she said,” says David Whitaker, a former child survivor. “That included what to think, what to wear, what to eat, who to marry, who not to marry. Total obedience.”
The children were initiated with ‘huge, relentless doses of LSD’ in trips that lasted for days…
By the time of the police raid, Hamilton-Byrne had broken up families, destroyed marriages and left her child victims with lifelong psychological scars. A number of followers tried to kill themselves, either during their time in The Family or after they escaped. Tragically, some succeeded. The cult leader amassed an estimated AU$150m (£90m) through property, land and cash donated by followers. She hid overseas and was eventually arrested in 1993 on relatively minor fraud charges….