Everyone old enough remembers the moral panic during the 1980s surrounding Satanic Child Abuse--a memory refreshed most recently by HBOs hit, True Detective
. The most famous case, of course, was the McMartin Preschool trial
, which exemplified the panic surrounding satanic child abuse in day cares. As time passed, many felt that the allegations of abuse constituted a modern day witch-hunt
However, scholar Ross Cheit's new work
(“The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children,”) dispels many of the myths surrounding the events which still loom large in the American memory. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest
on Apr 7, 2014 -
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 -
"One parental right that is coming under attack more and more is the right to administer reasonable corporal punishment." Blogger Libby Anne of Love, Joy, Feminism
(who was homeschooled) has written a detailed three-part series (1
) describing how the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA
)'s mission to insure the rights of homeschooling parents has come to include making it harder for CPS or other agencies to receive or act on reports of child abuse. [more inside]
posted by emjaybee
on Apr 20, 2013 -
The Beardslee, Shellrude and Darr families left North America for West Africa during the 1950s. They followed what they believed to be “God’s Calling” – to spread Christianity throughout the world. Their children however - starting at the age of 6 – were required to attend the boarding school in Mamou, Guinea, run by the Christian and Missionary Alliance
. Cut off from their families for 9 months out of the year and without any reliable means of communication, the children quietly suffered emotional, spiritual, physical and/or sexual abuse at the hands of the all-missionary staff.
All God’s Children
tells the personal story of the first boarding school for children of missionaries to be investigated for abuse at the hands of the parents’ missionary colleagues. The survivors and parents share their journey of seeking justice, redemption and healing. [more inside]
posted by PeterMcDermott
on Jan 30, 2012 -
In 2006, Hannah Overton was charged with the death of her 4-year-old foster son, Andrew Burd. Media accounts
at the time claimed that Overton had force-fed her misbehaving son a mixture of water and creole seasoning, leading to death by salt poisoning. Convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole in 2008, Overton's case led angry bloggers to call her "the ultimate evil,"
part of a cult of "child abuse groupies,"
a murderer that "church cronies"
are working to free.
This month's issue of Texas Monthly
paints a fuller picture of the short life of Andrew Burd and the conviction of the mother who was working towards adopting him.
posted by mudpuppie
on Dec 20, 2011 -
At 14 months, Spanish infant Osel Hita Torres was brought by his parents to Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama decreed him to be the reincarnation of the recently deceased Lama Yeshe. Torres became Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche, and spent most of his life growing up in a gilded cage in the Tibetan exile capital, venerated as a living deity and isolated from the corrupting influences of the world. But then he escaped
. [more inside]
posted by acb
on Jun 1, 2009 -
Russell Tongay cheerfully dropped his preschoolers into the Mississippi River. Two-year-old Kathy made it five miles before he pulled her out. Her five-year-old brother Bubba finally staggered to shore after 22 miles. Merely a warmup, their beaming father told the media gathered on the St. Louis riverbank, for what would be his children's crowning achievement: to swim the English Channel, England to France, a crossing that in 1950 had been completed only four times.
And so began the short, sad celebrity of the Aquatots
, another chapter in America's morbid fascination with children pushed by parents and coaches beyond overachievement into the realm of abuse
. [more inside]
posted by stupidsexyFlanders
on Sep 5, 2008 -
by Governments all over the world, the city of Auroville
is an ongoing experiment 'whose stated purpose is to realize human unity in diversity' through yoga. Unfortunately, it seems the 'rule free' society has attracted some of the least welcome of humanity's outliers, namely child sex tourists
. [more inside]
posted by asok
on May 27, 2008 -
Arrest in real-time abuse case
. "An undercover police officer in Toronto's child exploitation unit, who says he's seldom surprised what he sees any more, was shaken to the core Sunday when a suspected pedophile he was chatting with on-line allegedly began sexually assaulting a preschooler and sending images of the attack over the internet to him in real time." Detective Constable Paul Krawczyk: "My heart just started going, sweating, and I felt like throwing up." Police tracked down and arrested the man within an hour and a half.
posted by russilwvong
on Nov 2, 2006 -
In the emotive world of child abuse
, Professor Sir Roy Meadow became a celebrity in the last 25 years. He described Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy
in which parents were said to have confabulated symptoms in their children in order to obtain medical treatment. Among child and health workers, Police and Social Workers, his eponymous law held that multiple childhood deaths in individual families were indicative of abuse and infanticide.
He was of course a popular forensic expert and his testimony resulted in murder convictions and removal of at-risk children from their families. But the Court of Appeal in UK has found that Prof. Meadow's statistical assertions and scientific reasonings
were themselves confabulated and there have been a number of convictions overturned. He is now fighting for his professional reputation
before the General Medical Council in London. [More Inside]
posted by peacay
on Jun 28, 2005 -
KXLY News 4
Mayor Jim West of Spokane Washington has been accused of sexual abuse of a male child. Mayor West announced in the local Spokesman Review newpaper that he plans on staying on as Mayor.
posted by Ignition
on May 7, 2005 -
this mefi story here
where a set of extremely abusive parents who abused their children into their teens were sentenced to only 9 months prison. A judge now deems that sentence "demonstrably unfit" and resentences the mother and father to 5 and 4 years in jail, respectively. Thanks to t r a c y for the update.
posted by shepd
on Nov 5, 2004 -
children for 13 years, make them do degrading things, deny them food to the point of degrading them further, force them as teenagers to wear diapers, tie them up, even give them mental problems! Get 9 months in a prison yourself. That's an expense rate of just about 17 : 1! Why not come to Canada and enjoy these exceedingly low rates today before they're gone?
posted by shepd
on Jul 6, 2004 -
Jesse Friedman's Web Site
from the incredibly powerful and amazing documentary Capturing the Friedmans
. A "documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes." When watching the film from start to finish I went back and forth on their guilt or innocence and when the film was over I'm still not sure. In the time of the mass media hysteria and questionable police tactics what would you have done?
posted by suprfli
on Mar 26, 2004 -
From the NYT (reg req.'d)
This is the saddest story I can imagine.
"It was only a week ago that the tiny body of Stephanie Ramos was found in a plastic bag in a garbage truck in the Bronx, discarded by a foster mother who told the police that she panicked when the severely disabled girl died.
It was an ugly ending by any measure, but particularly cruel in this case because the little girl's life began the same way: wrapped in a plastic bag and discarded on a New York City byway."
Has anyone ever been a foster parent? A foster child? Are things often this bad - and this good? (That'll make sense when you read the story.)
posted by Jos Bleau
on Jul 18, 2003 -
How sick are we
as a nation when this is done is public and no one notices. Of course, the coast was clear, as the mom checked before she launched this attack. But then, to read that the family, seeing the videotape of the beating, still protects their daughter, I have to come close to burning rage inside.
Enough to make me wish she gets caught and prosecuted in Texas, where she has some links.
posted by Busithoth
on Sep 19, 2002 -
Infant kept on life support
for the sake of the father. Moises Ibarra is being held in jail on child abuse charges and if his 7 month old son is taken off LF, Ibarra will be charged with murder (doctors say the son is basically brain dead and will not recover from his injuries). Meanwhile, the mother wants her son off LF so he can "go to heaven." (Looks like a real life soap!)
posted by Why
on May 3, 2002 -
Veganism nearly kills baby?
A New york couple is charged with reckless endangerment after there baby is taken to the hospital underdeveloped and near death. The article doesn't specifically say veganism was the reason for the baby's poor health but strongly impies it. [link via plastic]
posted by drezdn
on Apr 30, 2002 -
In one of the worst cases of child abuse in Canadian history
, Tony and Marcia Dooley stand trial for the second-degree murder of Tony's son Randall, who was 6 at the time that he was killed.
The autopsy found that he had 14 broken ribs, a lacerated liver and multiple head wounds. The coroner has said that the wounds inflicted are consistent with being stomped on
by an adult.
I don't understand how people like this
can be allowed to have children in their custody. The case both saddens and sickens me, and (without starting a huge debate on the merits on capital punishment - that's old hat) sometimes makes me wish we were a little harder on our criminals up here in Canada.
posted by PWA_BadBoy
on Apr 17, 2002 -