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.]
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]
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
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
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]
"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."
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.
'In 2002, five years before journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered
by members of Your Black Muslim Bakery
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]
In July 2007, NPR published a two part series
(direct links: 1
) 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)
A Prison Nightmare
. On June 23, 2009, the National Prison Rape Commission released its final Report and proposed Standards
to prevent, detect, respond to and monitor sexual abuse of incarcerated or detained individuals throughout the United States. More prisoners reported abuse by staff than abuse by other prisoners.
"He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying."
--thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU has received documents detailing detention, abuse, and death, of many, including children,
at Abu Ghraib. Mostly PDFs, but summaries
available on most pages: ... Investigation closed because furtherance "would be of little or no value" ...
--statements of that sort are common throughout.
More Prison abuse.
Inmates were raped, starved and beaten
. Some beaten to death
, forced to perform oral sex on other prisioners
... The list goes on and on. But this didn't happen in Iraq; it happens in America every day. How un-American, indeed.