Tales from the front
TORONTO SUN, By MICHELE MANDEL, May 2, 2004
HOLD THE rice, the state of the union is looking pretty grim. While the gay community rushes to the altar, straight couples are beating a path to divorce court -- and they're finding that breaking up is hard to do.
Reforms to the much-maligned Divorce Act have been shelved; wives complain they aren't getting the support they're owed; husbands insist they're being bankrupted and can't see their kids and the children are the ones left to suffer most of all.
Love is a battlefield and "until death do us part" has gone the way of the bow and arrow.
Canada has one of the highest rates of divorce in the western world, ranking fifth behind world leaders the U.S., Cuba, the U.K. and France. more than one-third of all marriages in this country end in divorce.
When no-fault divorce was introduced in 1985, ending a marriage became no more difficult than cancelling your cable.
As a result, the divorce rate skyrocketed five-fold between 1968 and 1995, peaking at 96,200 marriages dissolved in 1987.
The easier divorce laws had coincided with a seismic cultural shift: The "me" generation wanted out of abusive and intolerable marriages and they weren't about to stick it out for church, children or what their neighbours might think.
But this new quest for liberation has also had an unintended side effect: It's encouraged people to abandon marriages that may have been worth saving. Many couples are slipping in and out of holy matrimony with as much thoughtfulness as a tipsy Britney Spears in Las Vegas.
And many find they are no better off after they divorce.
"We have ... seen that a sizable proportion of marriages that end in divorce were actually quite 'salvageable' and that many of these ex-spouses are no happier after," notes Dr. Anne-Marie Ambert of York University in a report for the Vanier Institute of the Family.
"One cannot but help wonder if couples who marry should not be more encouraged to face the inevitability of ups and downs in relationships, and I am not referring here to severe conflict, which after all, afflicts only about a third of divorcing couples. After 25 years of studying divorce, I have come to conclude that there are too many divorces that are useless."
Children are often the big losers. Compared to kids of parents who remain together, the York University sociologist says children of divorce are at greater risk of suffering from depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders; exhibiting behavioural problems; becoming young offenders and doing less well in school.
As they grow older, children of divorce are at greater risk to be more often unemployed, do less well economically; have more marital problems and divorce more.
SOCIAL ILLS FOLLOW DIVORCE
Many experts believe family breakup is behind many of society's current ills, from child poverty to crime and violence. Dr. Harold Minden of York has cited research showing 70% of long-term prison inmates, 60% of rapists, and 75% of adolescents charged with murder come from broken homes.
"The cost to society of marriage breakup and the resulting emotional, social and behavioural problems in children, adolescents and their parents is in the millions of dollars," Minden has said. "And the greatest danger is that we have accepted marriage breakup as normal in our society."
As for the divorced couples themselves, many admit they are not any better off than they were during their marriage.
"A lot of people who decide on divorce don't realize how hard it is going to be and a lot of them with children don't realize how badly the children are going to take it," says Ambert. "We do need divorce for the really bad marriages, but the ones that shouldn't happen ... are a problem."
If there is one thing both sides agree about in the divorce wars, it is that the system is a mess.
The family courts are backlogged, some fathers are being ordered to pay stratospheric child support, many mothers complain that the overburdened Family Responsibility Office is ineffective in getting them the support they're owed.
Nobody, it seems, is happy with the Divorce Act, but revisions that would have changed the terms of "custody and access" to shared "parental responsibility" were even more contentious.
The bill died when Prime Minister Jean Chretien dissolved Parliament, and while new Justice Minister Irwin Cotler says he personally supports the amendments, he seems in no hurry to revive the controversial issue.
The reforms were designed to encourage a more cooperative arrangement between parents by taking out the terms custody and access, says Prof. Nicholas Bala, of Queen's University. "The concern is that the words suggest a winner-loser mentality -- one parent wins custody and the other, as a consolation prize, gets access," he says.
Noted family lawyer Phil Epstein says that instead of changing the terminology, the government should pour more money into court facilities, mediation, conciliation and parent co-ordinators.
"It's the high-conflict cases -- 10% of (all divorce) cases -- which take up 80% of the court time," he says.
Family law is the only area exempted from mandatory mediation in the civil courts because of what Epstein argues are "old-fashioned" notions that women can't hold their own and would be out-powered by their former spouses. Mediation, the lawyer contends, should be compulsory.
The other "scandal" in the divorce courts, he says, is that "in provincial courts, we're up to 80-90% being self-represented."
Legal Aid is so restrictive now that many must go to court without a lawyer, causing an incredible burden on the judges and on the system.
"These cases take twice as long and they're much more difficult to resolve."
That's because it's a "gender war zone" out there, says Bala, of Queen's.
The divide is especially wide because the emotionally charged issues of support and access have seen high-octane groups form on both sides.
If you listened to them, you'd think all divorce cases involve domestic violence or children who are being kept from their fathers, when in fact, those cases are not the majority at all.
For example, Canadian research suggests that access denial by the custodial parent is a serious problem in only 2%-5% of separations.
"In fact statistically," Bala argues, "the problem of fathers who are the so-called disappearing dads ... dad never writes, dad never phones, is a much bigger problem than fathers who are denied access."
Child custody issues remain the most difficult for the courts, Bala says.
"I've heard judges say it's easier to make a decision involving $100 million in a company than a decision involving one child," he added.
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.
The Guardian, UK
August 16, 2005
A married primary schoolteacher was jailed for 15 months yesterday after admitting having sex with an underage teenage boy.
Hannah Grice, 32, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of indecent assault on the boy, who was aged 14 and 15 at the time of the offences.
Sentencing her at Stafford crown court, Judge John Shand told Grice, from Cannock, Staffordshire, she had abused her position of trust.
"Cases such as this are, of course, made worse by the fact that you were a member of the teaching profession," he told her. "You should have been very sensitive indeed to child welfare issues." Grice was also ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years. Read More ..
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 ..
Females Convicted of Sexual Assault automatically get lighter sentences
The Manchester News UK
The mother of one victim said after Bromiley was jailed: "If I could get hold of her I'd kill her. She stole my son's childhood and he's now in a terrible state and has threatened suicide. She got away lightly and should have got at least 10 years."
Judge David Hale explained that he was constrained by the law which only allows for specific charges to be brought when the offender is a woman. Had she been male, he said, the sentence would have been in double figures.
He said: "As a house mother you were in charge of children who were mentally and educationally disadvantaged and you took your own advantage of them for your own needs and sexual pleasure. This is the worst case of a woman abusing children in her care any court in the land has had to face." Read More ..