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 »
I am a mother of sons. I do not have any daughters. I recognize that it is a cultural norm to pierce women’s ears, especially young girls as infants. If I had a daughter, you better believe I would carry her right into Claire’s Boutique and pop a few shiny gold studs into her baby ears. I’ve also toyed with the idea of piercing both of my sons’ ears, but unfortunately, ‘N Sync caused that trend to crash and burn for men in the late ’90s. I’m mostly kidding, but I still don’t consider piercing a baby’s ears, regardless of gender, to be child abuse. Read more on The Gloss…
From 1925-1961, the Home, in Tuam, Ireland, was where thousands of unwed mothers and their “illegitimate” children were sent to pay a penance for their out-of-wedlock pregnancies in the form of indentured servitude overseen by Catholic nuns. Like the Magdalene Laundries, which were also run by the Catholic Church, the Home’s treatment of these women/girls and their babies was abusive, with moms and children often kept separate from each other and ostracized by the surrounding community. Now, five decades after the Home was shut down and destroyed, the remains of 800 hundred babies, the children of those women whose only crime was getting pregnant out of wedlock, have been discovered in a septic tank on the property. Keep reading »
“Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Sept. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.” – Reno Gazette-Journal
How could anyone write a scathing and public obituary showing such distain for a parent? For me, it was a natural “normal” process for ending and celebrating the death of someone who camouflaged themselves as a mother.
There are no words or expressions to adequately describe the sense of freedom I felt upon a phone call from my brother singing “Ding Dong, the witch is dead.” Keep reading »
Last night, The New York Times posted Woody Allen’s response to daughter Dylan Farrow’s allegations that he molested her as a child which, he writes, will be his final word on the matter. If it is, then he has done himself no favors. The entire thing is a revolting display of arrogance and entitlement, and, in my opinion, only further supports Dylan Farrow’s story, as Allen’s justifications, mistruths and attacks fit those of an unrepentant sociopath and child abuser. If the Times actually edited op-eds, they would have had a fact-checking mess on their hands. It’s worth noting that almost every defense/excuse Allen makes in his piece was also used in that godawful piece on The Daily Beast, which led me to wonder if Allen used it as a reference. Keep reading »