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 »
The reaction to Dylan Farrow’s New York Times article about sexual abuse she allegedly suffered as a young girl at the hands of Woody Allen has gotten even murkier this week. Mia Farrow, 28-year-old Dylan’s mom, and Lena Dunham have both voiced their support. But Moses Farrow, one of Mia’s other adopted children, has publicly sided with his father, telling People magazine that Mia was “vengeful” and “drummed it into me to hate my father.”
Oh dear. Keep reading »
“Wanted to rip it out and just fucking step on my heart.”
There is really no way to describe “Coming Out Of The Closet” by Angel Haze, her rap about the sexual abuse she’s suffered since the age of seven, other than to say it’s the most intense song about sexual abuse I’ve ever heard. It’s candid, graphic, and heartwrenching. The song (set to the beat of Eminem’s “Cleanin’ Out Of The Closet”) isn’t just about the abuse itself, but also Haze’s ensuing self-loathing of her body and fear of men. Survivors and people triggered by sexual violence should be warned. Angel Haze’s album Classick comes out October 25th. Listen to “Cleaning Out My Closet” after the jump… Keep reading »
The debate over whether a father who found a man molesting his 4-year-old daughterand allegedly beat him to death has been raging for days now. And it’s time to put it to bed. The Texas dad will remain anonymous, and cops say he will likely not be prosecuted. What’s more: he says he wishes it hadn’t happened.
A grand jury will still debate charges of some kind for the father while police search for family of the deceased before releasing his name. And regardless of their decision, the father who acted out on his daughter’s abuser has two things to live with for the rest of his life that I don’t wish on anyone. Read more…
“One thing I used to do is carry a banana around in my pocket,” is what one man is using as evidence that he is innocent of sexual assault. David Morris, a 60-year-old pastor in Wales, is on trial for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl 15 years ago. Keep reading »
A Finnish doctor is on trial for sexual molestation after using a highly unorthodox method to diagnose a patient. When a 20-year-old woman came into his office complaining of nipple fluid, the doctor says he “used an old midwives trick” to diagnose her. After asking her permission, he sucked on her nipple. Now it’s up to the Finnish Supreme Court to decide if his method was inappropriate. Way to go, Dr. Nipple Sucker, M.D. That’s about as creepy as it gets. [FOX] Keep reading »