Growing up, I was occasionally threatened with “the belt,” or asked if I wanted a “patch on my tuchus” whenever I behaved extra naughty. But that’s all they were — threats. Instead, my parents sent me to my room, took away prized privileges, or assigned me extra chores. Now, with my own son, there aren’t even threats. There are other methods of discipline that are more than effective for us so I don’t need to hit, whip or spank my son in order to get him to behave.
I’ve never quite understood the idea of corporal punishment as a method of discipline. In my mind, discipline is used in order to shape good behavior while eliminating bad behavior. In the best case scenario, inflicting pain as punishment, especially when used on young children who may not quite understand what is going on, breeds fear and resentment. In the worst case scenario, it breeds the notion that physical violence is acceptable. In fact, studies have shown that the use of physical punishment actually increases violent behavior in children.
But what if your defense is that you beat your child out of love? Keep reading »
Monday’s apprehension of accused child molester Charles Mozdir in New York City is owed not just to the brave police officer and two U.S. marshals who took bullets during the incident; the anonymous woman who recognized Mozdir on John Walsh’s show CNN “The Hunt” and immediately called the police also should be heralded as a hero. Keep reading »
I woke up one morning last week to my Twitter in an uproar. That’s reasonably common in my world, as many of the people I follow are marginalized and there’s a lot to be angry about. Turns out that the FBI has seized MyRedbook, a California site where masseuses and escorts could advertise for clients for free, and arrested two people, Eric Omuro and Annmarie Lanoce, in connection to “using the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution” as well as money laundering under several aliases.
As of right now it’s not entirely clear if those arrests were the main focus of the sting, or if there will be more upcoming. It’s terrifying to many people close to me, who used MyRedbook to advertise their erotic entertainment services because other options like Eros were too expensive or less trafficked by paying customers. We don’t really know what options sex workers who had profiles up on MyRedbook have to protect themselves from investigation. I’m among them, as I used to advertise on MyRedbook as a professional dominatrix. Keep reading »
I haven’t been following the Australian swimming community’s sexual abuse scandal. I only feel like I have been. That’s because these sorts of heartbreaking stories are so goddamned familiar: a coach is accused of sexually abusing the young charges under his tutelage and with whom he has shared lots of private time, often far from home.
In Australia’s case, several coaches were accused of sexual abuse of both male and female swimmers between the ages of 11 and 16. One coach is Scott Volkers, who is accused of child sexual abuse by three now-adult women. Volkers is accused, among other things, of rubbing the genitalia of a 13-year-old girl and groping the girls’ breasts; he has long claimed his innocence. Charges were dropped against Volkers in 2002 because accusations could not be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Two years later, in 2004, prosecutor Margaret Cunneen advised against recharging him.
Currently, Australia is holding an investigation (called a “royal commission”) focusing on the country’s institutional response, including whether Cunneen’s advice not to recharge him was appropriate. At the time, Cunneen showed skepticism that the abuse could be prosecuted. Which, as a lawyer, is her job to prove. However, what Cunneen said about it all was pretty offensive to these victims. Cunneen said it could all be seen as “trivial … almost fanciful” and it would be difficult to prosecute Volkers for molestation because his victim may not have developed breasts yet. “It is legitimate to consider whether 12-year-old swimmers even had breasts,” she said. Keep reading »