Putting our children at risk

David Webb
The Rare Reporter

Child sexual abuse a concern for everyone, especially LGBT parents

Most people would probably agree there is no resource that a society cherishes more than its children. So it is hard to fathom how sexual predators manage with such apparent ease to carry out horrendous, undetected assaults on children practically under the noses of their families and others who are charged with their protection.

As horrific as the crime of child sexual abuse is, there are no firm estimates of its prevalence because it often goes undetected and is seriously underreported, according to agencies that study child abuse.

Less than 100,000 crimes of sexual abuse are reported each year because children fear telling anyone, and adults who become aware of the activity are often reluctant to contact law enforcement agencies, even though there is usually a legal requirement to do so.

With so many LGBT households now raising children, it is obviously vital that all parents be aware of the tactics used by sexual predators to seduce children without arousing the suspicion of their families, and aware of the symptoms victims of child sexual abuse exhibit.

The critical need for sustained intervention into child sexual abuse recently gained national attention following a grand jury’s indictment of retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight victims over a 15-year period. The victims reportedly came into contact with the now 67-year-old, married Sandusky in connection with the Second Mile, a children’s charity the former football coach founded.

Although Sandusky denied, this week in an NBC interview, engaging in any type of sexual activity with the pre-pubescent boys, he acknowledged showering and “horsing around” with them after exercise. He also admitted hugging young boys and putting his hand on their legs when they sat next to him.

His admissions shocked viewers and confirmed in many minds what was already suspected — Sandusky is most likely a pedophile that has taken advantage of young boys with the unwitting complicity of their families.

It is a devastating scandal that will likely rival the one that rocked the Catholic Church a decade ago when it became known that untold numbers of Catholic Church priests sexually abused young boys and violated the trust of their families.

If the charges against Sandusky are true, the accounts by the victims portray a classic pattern of enticement and betrayal practiced by the former football coach in his pursuit of the young boys. Likewise, the lack of action by those who knew about Sandusky’s alleged criminal activity parallel what often happens when the abuser commands power and respect in a community.

Much of the difficulty in combating child sexual abuse can be attributed to its relative youth in terms of public awareness about the crime. The first studies on the molestation of children began in the 1920s, and the first estimate of the prevalence of the crime was reported in 1948.

In 1974 the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect was founded, and the Child Abuse and Treatment Act was created. Since then, awareness about the problem has grown dramatically, and much more is known about deterring the crime and assisting victims of it.

Children’s advocates have identified “red flags” to help parents and others protect children from sexual predators. They warn parents to be wary of someone who wants to spend more time with their children than they do, who attempts to be alone with a child, who frequently seeks physical closeness to a child such as hugging or touching, who is overly interested in the sexuality of a child, who seems to prefer the company of children to people their own age, who lacks boundaries, who regularly offers to babysit,who often gives presents or  money to children, who frequently walks in on children in bathrooms or locker rooms, who frequents parks where children gather, who makes inappropriate comments about a child’s appearance or who likes to photograph children.

Signs of possible sexual abuse in children include a fear of people, places or activities, reluctance to undress, disturbed sleep, mood swings, excessive crying, fear of being touched, loss of appetite, a drastic change in school performance, bizarre themes in drawing, sexually acting out on other children, advanced sexual knowledge, use of new words for private body parts and a reversion to old behavior such as bedwetting or thumb sucking.

Aside from the moral responsibility to protect children and other weaker members of society that all people share, it is essential to intervene in child sexual abuse because of the long-lasting psychological damage it usually causes. The problems can include feelings of worthlessness, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and distorted views of sexuality.

Also, victims of child sexual abuse tend to become sexual predators as adults, making it a crime that begets more crime.

The Sandusky scandal will undoubtedly lead to devastating repercussions for Penn State, for the Second Mile charity with which the former football coach is no longer affiliated and for law enforcement and university officials who became aware of concerns about the former football coach’s activities and failed to act on them.

But the real tragedy — if the allegations are true — will be the lasting impact upon the victims.

David Webb is a veteran journalist who has covered LGBT issues for the mainstream and alternative media for three decades. E-mail him at davidwaynewebb@yahoo.com.        

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 18, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

We’re still dreaming; IFI still acting like particularly atonal alarm clock

Martin Luther King Jr. of course didn’t live to see a day when his friend and trusted ally Bayard Rustin could fight for his own political rights as a gay man. But the person who knew MLK best, his late wife Coretta, certainly felt that King’s dream included LGBT:

CORETTA QUOTES

I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice… But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ … I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.

-March 31, 1998

Like Martin, I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others”, she would tell black civil rights leaders angered by gays and lesbians comparing their struggle to their own. She would quote her husband and say, “I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible.”

-June 23, 1994

Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.

March 24, 2004

We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say “common struggle” because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination.

November 9, 2000

We have to launch a campaign against homophobia in the black community.

June 8, 2001

Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.

April 1, 1998

Though why should we glean our insight from she who was enshrined in the bonds of marriage with the late civil rights leader, when we can instead let the self-appointed “protect marriage” crowd tell us what MLK wanted? This from the Illinois Family Institute:

King’s Legacy and Civil Rights Cause Misrepresented

“Civil Unions” Bill Not Analogous to Civil Rights Movement

Contact: David E. Smith, 773-858-6602; Pastor Al Cleveland, 708-275-1633; Laurie Higgins, 815-519-3808

HILLSIDE, Ill., Jan. 16, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — More than 40 African-American religious and political leaders will gather on Martin Luther King Day to decry the misrepresentation of King’s legacy and the noble civil rights cause. The recent passage of the “civil unions” bill has been trumpeted by some lawmakers as an achievement to civil rights. It is not.

Some lawmakers have suggested that King’s interest would have included homosexuality. David Smith, Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute, says, “Skin color is not analogous to behavior. To equate homosexuality to race is offensive and perverts the noble cause of a great man and an important movement in our history.”

Press Conference Details—

When: January 17, 2011; 10:30 A.M.

Where: Freedom Baptist Church, 4541 Harrison Street, Hillside, IL 60162; 708-449-3733

Speakers:

Pastor Al Cleveland

Bishop Michael Love

Dr. Hiram Crawford

Apostle Stephen Garner

Dr. Eric Wallace

Rev. Isaac Hayes

Pastor Larry Rogers

Cedra Crenshaw

John Arrington

Linda Jernigan

plus others…

During House Floor debate on the issue of “civil unions,” both State Representative Careen Gordon (D-Morris) and openly homosexual State Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago) exploited a flawed analogy by comparing same sex marriage to interracial marriage. In essence they are claiming that opposition to discrimination based on an immutable, non-behavioral, morally neutral condition like race is equivalent to homosexuals’ fight to normalize and institutionalize deviant sexual relations. Rep. Gordon expressed a radical and heretical notion in her plea for civil unions, which is merely a more publicly palatable term for same sex marriages. She described the passage of the civil union bill as doing “God’s work.”

Homosexual activists and their allies are advancing their subversive moral and political goals by hijacking the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. They seek to intimidate philosophical conservatives into silence by associating them with racism and bigotry. Volitional homosexual acts are not equivalent to race. And morals beliefs regarding volitional homosexual conduct are not equivalent to racism.

We shouldn’t allow the exploitation of the legacy of Dr. King to be exploited for the destructive purposes of the movement to normalize homosexuality and demonize traditional moral beliefs.

King’s Legacy and Civil Rights Cause Misrepresented [Illinois Family Institute press release]

(*Sidenote: Clearly IFI’s Laurie “homosexuality is like incest” Higgins wrote this release, as she is bizarrely/humorously addicted to the word “volitional” and its overuse)

Pretty rich to hear the word “exploit” tossed around by people who are HOLDING A POLITICAL PRESS CONFERENCE ON MLK DAY! If you want to get mileage out of this day, then fair enough. But at least have the fortitude to admit your own capitalization and derived benefit!

Though who has the time for self-awareness when there are just so many good and decent gay couples to purposelessly decry?

***

*Pete’s excited:

Screen Shot 2011-01-17 At 8.29.53 Am




Good As You

—  admin

Drawing Dallas

Just in time for Halloween, fashionista Davidré Stefond gives us naughty thoughts

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Hot, hot, hot!

Name and age: Davidré Stefond, 18

Occupation: Fashion marketing student

Spotted: Cedar Hill

The devil makes him do it: A French Gemini, Davidré Stefond walks to the beat of his own distinctive drum. Ever the trendsetter, Davidré has his own unique sense of style, and was known in school as “the kid who could dress.” Active in his business college, this trendsetter plays forward for his school’s soccer team, is an avid volleyball player, and practices Tae kwon do. His love of acting has inspired him to pursue a career as a professional actor, and he hopes to play difficult dramatic roles.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 29, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

Germany Is Treating Straight Acting Erik To Some Man Action

Hello from Germany! Erik, our "straight acting gay guy" and American college student now studying in Deutschland, is living in a house with 18 other people. Jesus. Some of his housemates are alpha male types — you know the ones, who reaffirm their masculinity by throwing around "faggot" as often as they say "brah." Kind of like that jerk Ryan. But it's not all bad news for Erik. He's found himself some local wienerschnitzel.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright