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“...every angel has a past and every sinner has a future.”

Staten Island’s Pill Problem: [The New Yorker] "New York City is the heroin capital of the country, and the epidemic has hit its most tranquil borough the hardest."
posted by Fizz on Sep 1, 2014 - 18 comments

"Offender-funded" Justice

"These probationers aren’t just paying a court-ordered fine; they’re typically paying an ever-growing share of the court’s administrative expenses, as well as a separate fee to the for-profit company that supervises their probation and enforces a payment schedule—a consolidated weekly or monthly set of charges divided between the court and the company. The system is known as 'offender-funded' justice. But legal challenges to it are mounting, amid concerns about abuse, corruption, and the use of state penalties to collect private profits. In a wide range of cases, offender-funded justice may not result in justice at all." Get Out of Jail, Inc.
posted by supermassive on Aug 7, 2014 - 20 comments

The true measure of a society is how we treat our children

When the Bough Breaks. "Children often can’t tell detectives what happened to them. But their injuries always tell a story. The essence of a child abuse investigation is determining the plausibility of an adult’s story, given the child’s condition. Could the child have sustained the injuries by falling off a bed, tumbling down stairs, or any number of accidents that parents routinely describe? Or does the story fail to account for the injuries?" A profile of Sergeant Brenda Nichols, the head of the Dallas Police Department’s Child Abuse Squad, and one of her cases. (SFW, but the article contains graphic descriptions of child abuse that some readers may find disturbing.)
posted by zarq on Aug 2, 2014 - 17 comments

How Dying Became A Multibillion-Dollar Industry

Hospice, Inc. (A Huffington Post project)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 20, 2014 - 22 comments

Determining the risk of harm or neglect

Should a Mental Illness Mean You Lose Your Kid? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 2, 2014 - 32 comments

Maybe not.

Studies show that abused or neglected children placed in foster care face lifelong challenges greater than children who remain with their families.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 13, 2014 - 57 comments

You feel like you’re carrying the abuser in your pocket.

Sarah’s abuser gained access to every password she had. He monitored her bank accounts and used her phone to track her location and read her conversations. She endured four years of regular physical and emotional trauma enabled by meticulous digital surveillance and the existing support services, from shelters to police, were almost powerless to help her. “We wish we could just stop the clock because we need to catch up,” said Risa Mednick, director of the Cambridge domestic violence prevention organization Transition House. To fight back, Transition House and others turn to the same methods used by intelligence agencies in order to keep their clients safe.

posted by ChuraChura on May 9, 2014 - 26 comments

17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Girls About Sex

Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone.
But first, we're going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 28, 2014 - 120 comments

Florida's Shame

"After Florida cut down on protections for children in troubled homes, deaths soared. The children died in ways cruel, outlandish, predictable and preventable." [more inside]
posted by quadrilaterals on Apr 9, 2014 - 60 comments

Florida's Century of Abuse

From January 1, 1900, to June 30, 2011, Florida School for Boys (aka Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys) was operated by the State of Florida as a reform school for boys ranging in the age from 8 to 21, in the panhandle town of Marianna. With a notorious reputation for inflicting severe abuses(pdf) on its minor inmates, including beatings, rape, torture and even murder, going back a century, Florida authorized archaeologists and anthropologists from the University of South Florida to conduct an investigation of the school's graveyard. Last month, after a several month long excavation, researchers and forensic anthropologists have announced the discovery of remains adding up to 55 people on school grounds, five more than previously known, and 24 more than listed in school records. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Feb 20, 2014 - 81 comments

The cost of staging a modern World Cup

Qatar has proposed a bold vision of its future in 2022, but at what cost? In September 2013, the Guardian reported that up to 4,000 migrant workers would die during the construction process for Qatar's staging of the football World Cup in 2022. The Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee, an advocacy group representing Nepalese and South Asian migrant workers, estimates that 400 Nepalese have died on Qatari construction sites since 2010. Nepalese make up around 20% of the migrant workforce. In the past two years 450 Indian workers have died on construction sites. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Feb 17, 2014 - 32 comments

Children See, Children Do

Children See is a a powerful ad from NAPCAN on how children learn from adults bad habits.
posted by quin on Feb 10, 2014 - 11 comments

Death of a Playmate

Here is a 1981 Pulitzer Prize winning article about the death of Playboy Playmate and rising star Dorothy Stratten.
posted by reenum on Feb 8, 2014 - 22 comments

When to Separate the Art From the Artist

Controversy about Woody Allen is in the news again due to an open letter by Dylan Farrow, who explicitly details sexual abuse allegedly committed by Allen when Farrow was seven. The letter appeared shortly after Allen was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, prompting the old question, is it possible to separate the person from the art and if so, how?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 2, 2014 - 921 comments

I sat out there every day trying to dig out that damn stump

"One night in August 2004, I awoke to a man and a woman in my room whom I had never seen before telling me that they were "escorts" and we were going to a place called "wilderness."...There is a legal process where parents can sign over custody of kids who need residential care, which makes sense, because if a kid has to be housed in a mental health facility, the staff needs to be able to make all of the day-to-day decisions for her care. But that same process works for "unruly" teens like me, which meant the company that ran my camp had total legal control over where I went and what I did." --Cracked.com takes on the Tough Love for Troubled Teen camps that, mostly unregulated, are "treating" more and more children every year. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 27, 2014 - 69 comments

Justice does not take the shape of punishment eagerly dispensed.

Words, Words, Words: On Toxicity and Abuse in Online Activism: "There was a time in my life where I took pride in being a 'social justice warrior' on Reddit, ticking the boxes of others' mistakes, missteps, and misspoken words, cruelly scolding people, looking for those who were 'doing it wrong' as a means of validating my own sense of integrity as an activist, as if each person I roasted would be a talisman against the same thing happening to me ever again. It was only when I discovered that I had made someone cry for hours that I took a long step back and asked myself if I was really making the world a better place by doing this." [more inside]
posted by Anyamatopoeia on Jan 6, 2014 - 284 comments

Curse of the Mummyji

Mothers in law have long been a focal point of Indian society. With the modernization of Indian culture, their roles are changing for better and for worse.
posted by reenum on Jan 1, 2014 - 17 comments

"We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period."

When Bill de Blasio takes the oath of office on Wednesday to become New York City's mayor, one of the first things on his agenda will be the fight to ban horse drawn carriages in Central Park. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 30, 2013 - 166 comments

The Other Side of the Story: Having an Affair with My 8th Grade Teacher

"I once believed that that flutter came from the flapping of butterflies’ wings, but I have since learned that it came from a grown man fanning the flames of a young girl’s vulnerability...they engulfed trust and then incinerated innocence. They left scar tissue on my memory and cinders of my late childhood...I could gather those remains just as I once gathered lies in a jar, and I have learned to spread the ashes along wherever I go, so that I won’t have to rummage through debris."
posted by rcraniac on Dec 7, 2013 - 62 comments

The Joshua Generation is rebelling

The Homeschool Apostates by Kathryn Joyce. Via The Toast.
posted by zeptoweasel on Dec 5, 2013 - 177 comments

It's Hard to Speak About these Things in Public...

So He Drew This Instead. (TW: child abuse)
posted by Kitteh on Nov 19, 2013 - 29 comments

The Girl in the Closet

From the Dallas Morning News, an 8-part profile of Lauren Kavanaugh, who was kept in a closet for six years before being rescued at age 8 weighing 26 lbs, and of the remarkable people and recovery that has followed. [Warning: this story and the accompanying photos and videos are immensely hard to read, watch and listen to, and this piece is a trigger for every possible kind of abuse.]
posted by DarlingBri on Oct 31, 2013 - 92 comments

The Stolen Ones

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper published a special project recently: The Stolen Ones investigates the local child sex trafficking industry, and documents stories from survivors and their families. (SFW, but some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 25, 2013 - 15 comments

Hoax or Confession

The first postcard on today's Postsecret is disturbing. (TW: murder, abuse) The text reads "I told everyone that she dumped me, but I dumped her (body)", along with a picture taken from Google Maps. It was determined that the location was likely Wooded Island in Chicago, IL. A search was made, though nothing was found. However, as a commenter on Dianna E. Anderson's blog posting about this points out, the postmark reads 2008. Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret has said he didn't go to the police, and instead sees this as a free-speech issue. [more inside]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Sep 1, 2013 - 69 comments

On Marrying a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse

As his wife, how do I respond? That he survived? That he’s brave? That he’s a hero for letting me talk about it? That I will stand beside him with a personal mission and public vow that nobody will ever hurt him, physically or emotionally, again, the way they did during his 30 months as a choirboy from 1988 to 1990?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 28, 2013 - 29 comments

"The bleep at airport security may be the last chance they get"

Spoon in underwear saving youths from forced marriage. "As Britain puts airport staff on alert to spot potential victims of forced marriage, one campaigning group says the trick of putting a spoon in their underwear has saved some youngsters from a forced union in their South Asian ancestral homelands." [more inside]
posted by kmennie on Aug 15, 2013 - 15 comments

The Poorest Rich Kids in the World

Raised by two drug addicts with virtually unlimited wealth, Georgia and Patterson survived a gilded childhood that was also a horror story of Dickensian neglect and abuse. They were globe-trotting trust-fund babies who snorkeled in Fiji, owned a pet lion cub and considered it normal to bring loose diamonds to elementary school for show and tell. And yet they also spent their childhoods inhaling freebase fumes, locked in cellars and deadbolted into their bedrooms at night in the secluded Wyoming mountains and on their ancestral South Carolina plantation. While their father spent millions on drug binges and extravagances, the children lived like terrified prisoners, kept at bay by a revolving door of some four dozen nannies and caregivers, underfed, undereducated, scarcely noticed except as objects of wrath.
posted by showbiz_liz on Aug 15, 2013 - 52 comments

Meet the Janoskians

The Janoskians are a group of five YouTube comedians from Melbourne, Australia renowned for their cringeworthy pranks on unsuspecting members of the public. Formed in 2010, the group now attracts rock-star welcomes from hordes of screaming fans when it tours across the world and has signed deals with Sony and MTV. [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry on Aug 11, 2013 - 31 comments

Fez II Cancelled

Phil Fish, the volatile and sometimes controversial developer of indie game Fez, has abruptly announced its cancellation: "this is as much as i can stomach. this is isn’t the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign. you win." Though this follows in the wake of a popular podcast's host calling him a "tosspot", a "wanker", and a "fucking asshole", Fish has been the subject of massive Internet antagonism ever since his appearance in Indie Game: The Movie; he's been hounded for saying that Japanese games suck, though he claimed the comment was taken out of context, for Tweeting that "PCs are for spreadsheets" prior to Fez's PC release, and for not patching a save-corrupting bug that he claims Microsoft was charging him "tens of thousands of dollars". Fish has often responded poorly to critics in public, but Jonathan Blow (The Witness, Braid) and C418 (Minecraft) each claim that Fish has been at the receiving end of far worse, and far more frequent, vitriol.
posted by Rory Marinich on Jul 28, 2013 - 205 comments

You've ruined my dreams.

When Nada Al-Ahdal discovered that her parents had sold her she ran away. She is 11 years old, and this is her message. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Jul 22, 2013 - 32 comments

Punish the perpetrator, not the victim

"In reality, it's surprisingly hard to stop someone who really wants to murder you, especially if he has easy access to a gun. Restraining orders don't create a magic force field around the victim. Shelters help, but they are underfunded and depend on the victim giving up substantial rights to hold a job (which gives the abuser the ability to find you), have a social life, or even speak to family members," writes Amanda Marcotte, before summarising a Domestic Violence High Risk Team model of monitoring and escalating controls on the abuser, not the abused. Plus, the approach appears to be making a difference. [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel on Jul 15, 2013 - 40 comments

The Expendables

Many of America's biggest corporations rely on temp workers to make up an ever increasing portion of their work force. This has led to a boom in the temp agency industry and a sharp decline in temp workers' quality of life.
posted by reenum on Jul 2, 2013 - 32 comments

jittery UK government reveals itself before potential claims of former v

Mau Mau to Midnapore: Confronting the brutality of empire There are certainly some Britons, including academics, journalists and human rights lawyers, who are aware of the realities of colonialism. However, in the society as a whole and in the media in the UK there are still far too many who seem strangely reluctant, even after so many decades after the end of the British empire, to come to terms with the true nature of colonialism or learn from the perspective of former subjects who had rebelled against it.
posted by infini on May 6, 2013 - 17 comments

When your abuser or estranged relative dies

When your abuser or estranged relative dies - funerals, obituaries, & condolences. This is a practical, thoughtful and informative website created by two Christian women who are knowledgeable about dealing with pathological narcissists and sociopaths within a family context, in particular the topic of "Silent Partners". [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 4, 2013 - 29 comments

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Rutgers Fires Basketball Coach After Video Goes Public: [New York Times] Rutgers fired Mike Rice, the coach of its men’s basketball team, on Wednesday, a day after a video [ESPN] surfaced showing him berating his players during practices, throwing balls at them, kicking them and taunting them with slurs.
posted by Fizz on Apr 3, 2013 - 68 comments

"Magna est veritas et praevalet"

Last June, the New York Times published an exposé of New York's exclusive Horace Mann School, detailing decades of sexual abuse of students by their teachers. The revelations prompted additional accusations and lawsuits from former students, an all-but-useless investigation, an admission by one of the school's former teachers, and a response by the school to parents (pdf). But one person who escaped the Times' notice was former English teacher Robert Berman.
posted by zarq on Mar 24, 2013 - 24 comments

Silent No More: Women In The Military Speak Out Against Sex Crimes

Sexual Assault In The U.S. Military is the focus of a serious contender for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Awards. The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative doc that sheds light on the under-reported epidemic of sexual abuse against female members of the military, as well as the lack of punitive action in these crimes: of the 8 percent of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted in the military, only 2 percent result in convictions. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.

By official estimates from The Department of Defense, 19,000 violent sexual crimes occurred in the military in 2011 alone. Sexual assault is grossly under-reported in the military. In 2011, 3,191 assaults were reported when its likely that somewhere between 19,000 and 22,000 assaults occurred. The women in the film speak about the physical and mental abuse they underwent while serving in the military - and about the the lawsuit they joined and the verdict in which their experiences were labeled "occupational hazards". The film is already garnering much attention, especially as front-running Oscar Nominee - and lawmakers are taking notice. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Feb 19, 2013 - 46 comments

.

The Price of a Stolen Childhood [NYTimes.com] When Nicole was a child, her father took pornographic pictures of her that still circulate on the internet. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 24, 2013 - 47 comments

Last Call: Vertical Integration and England's Drinking Problem

England has a drinking problem. Since 1990, teenage alcohol consumption has doubled. Since World War II, alcohol intake for the population as a whole has doubled, with a third of that increase occurring since just 1995. [...] The United States, although no stranger to alcohol abuse problems, is in comparatively better shape. A third of the country does not drink, and teenage drinking is at a historic low.
How a vertically integrated alcohol industry is to blame, and why the US could find itself in the same position soon.
posted by spiderskull on Nov 20, 2012 - 96 comments

Librarians are doing it for themselves

What really concerns librarians; what do they discuss when they self-organise and decide for themselves? After the inaugural UK event, the second UK Librarycamp, with around 200 attendees, was recently held; reflections by Frank Norman, Carolin Schneider [1] [2], Sarah Wolfenden, Amy Faye Finnegan, Shambrarian Knights, Michelle, Jennifer Yellin, Jenni Hughes, Bookshelf Guardian, Amy Cross-Menzies and Simon Barron, and by one of the organisers. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 1, 2012 - 10 comments

Fairy tale endings only happen in fairy tales.

Saving Aesha She came to America after the Taliban hacked off her nose and ears, a symbol of the oppression of women in Afghanistan. Since then, she's been passed around by well-meaning strangers, showcased like a star and shielded like a fragile child. The fairy-tale ending everyone hoped for has remained elusive.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Oct 13, 2012 - 12 comments

Prison Rape: Obama’s Program to Stop It

"The Justice Department estimates that more than 209,400 people are sexually abused in US detention every year… A great deal has been learned about this over the past few years. The [Prison Rape Elimination Act] legislation, which charged the [Bureau of Justice Statistics] with undertaking annual statistical analyses of the problem that have proved indispensable, also created a body called the Review Panel on Prison Rape.… A commission charged with issuing recommendations didn’t do so until six years after the bill’s passage; then Attorney General Eric Holder missed by nearly two years the statutory deadline for promulgating them. But the standards that Holder’s Department of Justice finally did issue are very strong."
posted by the mad poster! on Sep 25, 2012 - 51 comments

"Escalation Techniques"

How child molesters get away with it. 'Jerry Sandusky and the Mind of a Pedophile,' by Malcolm Gladwell. Some may find the descriptions within the article disturbing. Via.
posted by zarq on Sep 17, 2012 - 44 comments

“Why are you shocking him? He’s tied down. He can’t hurt anyone.”

"The school even had its own vocabulary: Its shock device was known as the 'graduated electronic decelerator' or GED. Staffers didn’t shock residents but instead gave them GED 'applications.'" Founded by Harvard grad and Skinner disciple Matthew Israel, the Judge Rotenberg Center for the developmentally disabled is built around the idea of conditioning behavior through corporal punishment/"adversives". Israel is a technology pioneer in the technology of applying electric shocks for behavioral modification...and some parents are grateful for his controversial methods of "retraining" some of his most challenging patients. However, at least two UN officials" have called it "torture." A response to the center's arguments on the efficacy of this "treatment."
posted by availablelight on Sep 4, 2012 - 93 comments

Pawns in the War on Drugs

Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods." [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 28, 2012 - 84 comments

"The animals were in hell”

Marineland is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Niagara Falls. It features the world's largest habitat for viewing orcas, houses a world record 41 beluga whales in their exhibits, and offers a variety of daily shows featuring bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, sea lions and walruses. On Tuesday, the Toronto Star published the results of an extensive investigation, alleging "a pattern of neglect that has repeatedly resulted in animal suffering." Video. Slideshow. Demonstration protests are scheduled for Saturday. Marineland denies mistreatment.
posted by zarq on Aug 16, 2012 - 41 comments

"Abused people go one or two ways: They either self-destruct or make a difference, you feel me? I’m gonna make a difference."

'In 2002, five years before journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered by members of Your Black Muslim Bakery, (Previously) a woman identified only as Jane Doe No. 1 stepped forward to report decades of sexual abuse, welfare fraud and violence by the bakery's leader, Yusuf Bey Sr. She was prepared to hand over to Oakland police DNA from her three children -- evidence that Bey had impregnated her, the first time when she was 12. This was a risky move, but the woman had powerful motivation: her daughter, then 18, had alerted her that Bey was trying to abuse her -- his own child. Now, Jane Doe No. 1 has decided she no longer wants to be nameless. Her name is Kowana Banks and she is the first of Bey's victims to speak publicly.' Video interview. Transcript. (Via) This post recounts experiences of rape and sexual abuse. Topics may be disturbing to some readers. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 9, 2012 - 8 comments

Report finds Penn State president, Paterno concealed facts about Sandusky sex abuse

Report finds Penn State president, Paterno concealed facts about Sandusky sex abuse: "Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and other university leaders 'repeatedly concealed critical facts' relating to assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse from authorities, according to Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who conducted an investigation [PDF] for the university in the Sandusky scandal." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Jul 12, 2012 - 405 comments

"The justice system is invisible, unable to deter or heal."

In July 2007, NPR published a two part series (direct links: 1, 2) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf) from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime," NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
posted by zarq on Jul 6, 2012 - 14 comments

Internet rallies to support abused elderly bus monitor

Summarized on Storify: "A shocking video of middle schoolers verbally abusing a poorly-paid, hearing-impaired grandmother of eight hired to keep them safe on the school bus went viral on Wednesday. " Sympathy and donations have come in from around the world, and Reddit users have complained to the school district and started a thread that's helped to raise $150,000+ so far.
posted by deern the headlice on Jun 21, 2012 - 279 comments

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