Female sexual abusers not as rare as widely believed
The Edmonton Journal, By Sarah Sacheli, Canwest News Service, January 29, 2010
WINDSOR, Ont. -- She gave him life and was the only parent he ever knew. In the way she snapped photos of him sleeping and playing happily, she was like any other adoring mother. But she also committed unspeakable acts to his little body, turning him into a human sex toy in her pornographic broadcasts.
The set of facts involving the Windsor-area mother who sexually abused her two-year-old son horrified both those involved in the case and those who'd only heard about it.
"Society expects the mother of a toddler would do everything in her power to make sure her child is protected from harm," said the judge who on Friday handed the 24-year-old woman a 3 1/2-year prison sentence.
He called her crimes "appalling" and "abhorrent."
While female sexual abusers are rare in the court system, those who deal with child sexual abuse know the woman is not unique. She may be the first Ontario woman to be jailed for making child pornography featuring her own offspring, but she's not the first mother to sexually abuse a child.
A national study released in 2005 shows that biological mothers were the perpetrators of sexual abuse in 5% of the substantiated cases investigated by child welfare authorities.
The instance is probably higher, since researchers are certain that many cases of child sexual abuse never come to light. "A lot of people have difficulty believing women are capable of sexually abusing children," said social worker Angela Hovey, whose doctoral thesis deals with a topic related to this theme.
Even victims of such abuse, looking back at it as adults, have a hard time talking about it.
In her past employment in federal prisons, she would ask inmates about any sexual abuse in their past. "Many men had been abused by women." The problem, she said, was "they often had more difficulty identifying it as abuse."
A U.S. report, entitled "Child Sexual Abuse -- The Predators," explains it this way. "Mothers generally have more intimate contact with their children, and the lines between maternal love and care and sexual abuse are not as clear-cut as they are for fathers."
Therefore, the report says, "Sexual abuse by mothers may remain undetected because it occurs at home and is either denied or never reported."
Hovey says it's hard to get accurate data on the prevalence of female sex offenders, much less women who abuse their own children. The best information, she believes, may come from victims themselves.
A 2003 U.S. study questioned a random sample of adults to determine the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse. It found that of the 32% of females and 14% of males who identified themselves as victims, 9% of women and 39% of men said they had been abused by at least one female.
While figures are usually inflated, studies of male sex offenders show 45% to 50% were themselves victims of sexual abuse. Hovey is researching counselling practices for women survivors of sexual abuse to see if they should be asked if they've ever in turn abused anyone. She saw it in her private practice -- women sexually abusing children.
"Do I think it happens a lot more than we hear about? Absolutely," said Bill Bevan, executive director of the Windsor-Essex Children's Aid Society -- which sees two or three such cases each year.
Most don't end up in prosecutions because the young victims aren't capable of testifying. "It could be a teacher. It could be a sister. It could be a babysitter. It could be a mother with her child."
Society kids that teenage boys abused by women are somehow "lucky" and females, by nature, are too nurturing to commit such an offence. In any case of child sexual abuse, there's "kind of gender bias" that automatically excludes women from suspicion, Bevan said.
"It's not the first place you look. It's the father figure you look at first."
Canadians think of female sex offenders, and their minds automatically turn to Karla Homolka who, with her then husband, Paul Bernardo, abducted, sexually abused, tortured and murdered female victims, Bevan said.
"On the other end of the scale is where the female in the caring role takes in a partner who is abusing the child.... Some mothers might be kind of looking the other way."
Justice Kathryn Feldman, in a Jan. 18 Ontario Court of Appeal case, said the Internet is providing greater opportunity to produce and distribute images of child abuse.
"The victims are innocent children who become props in a perverted show, played out for an ever-wider audience not only of voyeurs but of perpetrators," Feldman said of a case involving a father who sexually abused his daughter and distributed the images over the Internet.
"The predominant offender in Internet child exploitation is males," said Windsor police Det. Jason Belanger. "They're out there, but if you do get a female offender, you're surprised."
Canwest News Service
Â© Copyright (c) National Post
VANCOUVER - Canada's largest study into the sexual exploitation of street kids and runaways has shattered some myths about who the abusers might be - with the most surprising finding being that many are women seeking sex with young males.
"Some youth in each gender were exploited by women with more than three out of four (79 per cent) sexually exploited males reporting exchanging sex for money or goods with a female," said Elizabeth Saewyc, associate professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia and principal investigator for the study conducted by Vancouver's McCreary Centre Society.
"I must admit it wasn't something we were expecting."
Associate Press, U.S.A.
April 3, 2009
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A western Pennsylvania mother has been charged with giving her 13-year-old daughter drugs and alcohol so the woman's boyfriend could impregnate the girl without her knowing, police said Thursday.
Shana Brown, 32, is no longer able to have children but wanted to have a baby with her current boyfriend, Duane Calloway, said Uniontown Police Detective Donald Gmitter. The pair decided to drug the girl so Calloway, 40, could have sex with her, he added.
"There's some sick people on this case," Gmitter said.
Brown has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, turned herself in Thursday and was being held in the Fayette County jail, police said. Brown's attorney did not return a call for comment.
Calloway faces several counts of attempted rape. He was arrested Wednesday and remains in jail. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
The three attacks occurred in Brown's home in Uniontown, about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, according to the criminal complaint.
The Oprah Winfrey Show
This woman raped or sexually assaulted over 100 children by her own account.
Because we assume women never commit child sexual abuse, we treat one who is accused with disproportionate disgust
The Guardian, UK
June 11, 2009
About 20 years ago, I gave a talk about sexual abuse to the RAF. At the end, a young airman came up to me and said, "It's not just men, you know," before hurriedly walking away. That pulled me up sharp. Up till then, like most people working in the area of sexual abuse, I'd always assumed the abusers were men.
This just isn't so. We can't be sure of the precise prevalence of sexual abuse by women, as there hasn't been enough research into the subject. Academics have just assumed it doesn't happened. But conservative estimates suggest that 5% of girls and 20% of boys who have reported being abused have been abused by women. From my own research - I have had 800 cases reported to me - I believe the more likely figure is that it is 20% of all sexual abuse that is done by women.
It is women themselves who have done most to propagate this conspiracy of silence. It has almost become a feminist axiom that it is men who are to blame for abuse and that if women are in some way implicated, it is only because they have somehow been forced or controlled into doing so against their will. Again, this turns out to be completely incorrect: 75% of the cases reported to me involved women acting on their own. Read More ..
Lesbian Pedophilia and the rape of girls
Don't attend performances.
Had intercourse with 2 teenagers
Pleads guilty to incest charges
A Kitchener woman has pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with her two teenage sons on separate occasions.
Mainichi Daily News, Sakai, Osaka, Japan, November 26, 2006
SAKAI, Osaka -- A woman accused of cutting off her newborn son's private parts in 2004 was ordered Monday to spend five years behind bars.
The Sakai branch of the Osaka District Court convicted Shizue Tamura, 27, a resident of Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, of inflicting bodily injury.
"The way she committed the crime was unprecedented, inhumane and cruel," Presiding Judge Masahiro Hosoi said as he handed down the ruling. Prosecutors had demanded an eight-year prison term. Read More ..
After Plymouth case shocked the nation, police say number of women abusing children
The Guardian UK and The Observer
4 October 2009
Researchers from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF), a child protection charity that deals with British female sex offenders, said its studies confirmed that a "fair proportion" of child abusers were women. Donald Findlater, director of research and development, said results indicated that up to 20% of a conservative estimate of 320,000 suspected UK paedophiles were women.
Associated Press / Fox News
MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A 35-year-old seventh-grade teacher was charged with having sex with one of her students at least 20 times at the teacher's home.
Jodi Thorp, 35, surrendered to authorities Monday on charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors claim she had sex with the boy at her Mendham home between June 2001 and September 2002. The boy is now 15.