Child Abuse

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Revealing I Was Sexually Abused Lost Me The Mother I Never Had

After what feels like a lifetime of battling drug and alcohol addiction, and my own tenuous mental health issues, three years ago -- at the age of 47 -- I finally found the strength to tell my wife and adult son that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Like too many other survivors of childhood sexual violence who decide to go public with their disclosure, I have lost contact with my mother and my siblings as a result. If you really want to know how to destroy an already fragile soul, take away the one thing that a survivor of sexual violence needs most -- connection, which equates as validation and worthiness.
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Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Are Possibly the Worst Parents in America

I am not by any means condoning Josh Duggar's behaviour. His actions have been reprehensible. What I am doing is pointing out an all too familiar calling card that has been handed out time and time again by the same backwards religious fanatics that America calls its own. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have failed utterly as parents by refraining from doing one thing: protecting their children.
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A Summer 'Vacation' Likely to End in Horror

This phenomenon of taking children back to their native countries during the summer break to undergo female genital mutilation is called "vacation cutting." FGM is a horrendous, harmful and painful cultural practice that involves partial or total removal of a girl's genitalia, ostensibly as a rite of maturity but more clearly to control a girl's sexuality.
World Vision Canada

Many of Today's Wars Have Smaller Soldiers

Today's conflicts are smaller in scale than the world wars on which we normally focus come Remembrance Day. But tragically, so are many of the soldiers. There are some 250,000 child soldiers in the world today, mostly in Africa. Children the age of my school-aged sons are shoved headlong into a hell that's unimaginable for most adults, let alone a child.
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What I've Learned After a Decade of Researching Suicide

The death of comedian Robin Williams last month sparked a worldwide discussion about suicide, its underlying causes and how it might be prevented. And, with World Suicide Prevention Day taking place Sept. 10, the subject is certain to generate more debate as people seek to understand this important health issue. Having spent 10 years researching the subject while working as a professor of psychiatry, I believe there are things we can do as a community to tackle this problem. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to reflect on what researchers have learned over the years about strategies for preventing suicide.
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For Raping a Little Girl, Five Years in Prison Isn't Enough

I'm sorry, I didn't realize that a person required a previous criminal record in order to receive adequate sentencing for years of abuse and rape of a minor. This story has received almost no attention. A friend of mine in Halifax tried to contact the national media, but they just took her name and number and said they would call her back. They never called her back. They either just weren't interested or else felt that it was too contentious -- but given the high-profile treatment other rape cases have received in the media, the latter doesn't seem very likely, does it?
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Though I Keep Getting Detained, I'll Never Stop Being an Activist

I was sitting on a bench inside the military court that day, accompanied by a military intelligence agent, waiting for my military judge to arrive in the courtroom. It was a spring day, in April 2011, just few months after the revolution started. It was the fifth time I was detained in Egypt because of my activism. It isn't that I can understand the situations of people facing injustice from afar, I can feel their pain, because it's my pain as well.
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Most Child Sex Tourists Are 'Situational Offenders', Not Pedophiles

We tend to assume that the tourists who abuse children are pedophiles, people with a clinical disorder and an exclusive sexual inclination for pre-pubescent children. We imagine them carefully planning their trips, with children front and centre. But the fact is, the majority of child sex tourists are in fact "situational offenders". They're presented with a situation where they can have sexual contact with a child, and they seize it. The anonymity of being a tourist or traveler often influences their decision, convincing them that they won't get caught.
World Vision Canada

South Sudan: Don't Look Away

Three years ago today, there was dancing on the streets of South Sudan. A new nation had just been born. Having voted to separate from Sudan, the people were bursting with dreams for a free and independent future. But the anniversary of independence is not being marked today with celebrations.
AP

How To Undermine a Rape Victim: Woody Allen Edition

Do not treat the victim as if they are a person with agency and thoughts and feelings. Tell yourself that it's rational and logical to want to know all sides of the story, though you never want to know the other side, the perpetrator's side, when your house is broken into or your wallet is stolen or your child is hit by a car. Tell yourself that we can never know for sure what happened and since a man's life can be destroyed by accusations of rape, it's best to err on the side of caution. Do not think about the girl whose life was destroyed when she was seven. Above all, never, ever, ever think about the ways that you might be complicit in this.