intra-familial abuse

Crowd Control III: Mixed Messages (2)

“The witch-hunt narrative is a really popular story that goes like this: Lots of people were falsely convicted of child sexual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s. And they were all victims of a witch-hunt. It just doesn’t happen to line up with the facts when you actually look at the cases themselves in detail. But it’s a really popular narrative — I think it’s absolutely fair to say that’s the conventional wisdom. It’s what most people now think is the uncontested truth, and those cases had no basis in fact. And what 15 years of painstaking trial court research (says) is that that’s not a very fair description of those cases, and in fact many of those cases had substantial evidence of abuse. The witch-hunt narrative is that these were all gross injustices to the defendant. In fact, what it looks like in retrospect is the injustices were much more often to children.”

– Ross E. Cheit, The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children


The already seriously flawed European Justice system was brought into sharp relief with the case of Myriam Delay (now Badaoui) in France, where although abuse did take place, an extended ring of paedophilia was said to have been absent. “The trial had shattered the lives of 18 people accused in the case, with one committing suicide and others losing custody of their children, while sending France into a paroxysm of soul-searching.” [1]

The Outreau abuse trial started in 2000 and lasted until December of 2005 where over 66 adults were accused of raping, sexually abusing and prostituting 45 children between January 1999 and February 2002. By July 2005 videotaped testimony of the children provided “horrific details of abuse” which took place on a poverty stricken council estate “in a chronically deprived community.” [2]

One of the country’s biggest criminal trials, and the largest paedophile trial held in France, the Deputy public prosecutor Herve Lollic told the AFP news agency: “We are certain of not having identified all the victims and it is probable that we have not identified all the aggressors,” which doesn’t inspire the greatest confidence that justice would be done.  Charges were brought against an intra-familial paedophile ring in a poor area of a town in Western France. ‘These were people in difficulty, excluded from normal society, who found each other. And for them, everything was sexualised,’ said one local news journalist.  Another expert at the trial mentioned that ‘these were people who were unable to manage their sexual impulses. And nobody told them these things shouldn’t be done …’ [3]

Many of the accused were said to have been innocent of the crimes, with just four of the 17 men and women originally charged found guilty. What was deemed as evidence was later said to be no more than the imaginings of Myriam Delay  and the wild inventions of other children. As well as crucial evidence that was never heard in court which would have exonerated many of the accused, most of the 13 suspects who continued to plead their innocence were placed in detention in 2001. In the beginning of 2006 President Jacque Chirac called the case of the Outreau 13 “… an unprecedented judicial disaster…” [4]

France has been repeatedly criticised by the European Court of Human Rights and campaign groups for its pre-trial detention that can last up to five years. Many lost their jobs and saw their children taken into care. The case has revealed serious flaws in France’s judicial system, which should never have allowed most of the cases to come to court. This can only benefit those who commit the crimes and serves to feed the idea that much of the organised paedophilia and sexual abuse are children’s fantasies.  It underlines just how difficult it is to obtain prosecutions of high level networks if isolated groupings within society are loaded with incompetence and purposeful obstructions. It remains worrying however, that Miriam Delay on 10th day of her trial, suddenly admitted to fabricating much of the story concerning tales of gang rapes and a child prostitution ring based in her home. After a trial that shattered lives of 18 people accused in case, with one committing suicide and others losing custody of their children it begs the question was it all lies? The answer is no. There were cases of abuse. Delay’s retraction appeared to prove that no “commercial” bartering of “services” was organised.

outreau “The innocent and politicians first!”

After so many cases of abuse coming to light in the last 20 years it could be argued that social workers were trying to cultivate due caution coupled with suitable vigilance. 21 of the 23 families in the case had been monitored by French social workers after the first report in 1999, but the investigation only began in earnest in 2002 which seems more than a little apathetic in light of the severity of the abuse.

The Deputy public prosecutor said “… I fear that these things do not just happen in Angers…” With such painfully slow realisations forming at this late stage it is no wonder that intra-familial abuse and other forms of exploitation continue to rise in society. Where cases of intra-generational abuse occur, how does one penetrate the wall of secrecy set up as a natural course by the victims and perpetrators alike? When these walls are finally broken down, the methods adopted often lead to fatal flaws that see the wrong persons accused and caught up in the ensuing and very slippery shadows, which then causes suspicion and accusations to all, regardless of tangible evidence.

From the UK to the US and things are no better. Children are suffering unnecessarily as victims only to become further victims of court ineptitude and cultural and personal bias resulting in families being broken up and effectively destroyed. Meanwhile, the real abusers continue to get away quite literally, with murder.

From a series of life history interviews conducted by Sara Scott Ph.D from the Department of Sociology and Social Work at the University Liverpool, UK, the stories from one particular family detail a history of “violence, cruelty and sexual abuse.” One interviewee responded to a question about her uncle and abuse:

… once I was at boarding school he used to have to pick up us up from the airport and stay overnight and going back to school and things like that; he used to abuse then a fair bit…. My uncle in many ways was like my dad. He’d come across as a very nice bloke, good laugh and a joke. They managed to do what my parents had done, build up and image of everything’s fine, nothing’s wrong… ‘We’re the perfect family.’  My uncle has a daughter and four grandchildren – at least one I know that’s been abused.  I’m almost certain he’s abused his own daughter, he abused my sister, he abused my dad… very much into abusing people.

He abused you dad when he was young?

Yeah, from what I can gather from what my sister’s told me from when he was fairly young until his teens. Quite badly abused my dad, because of the 18 years [between them]. [5]

Scott goes onto emphasize the “ordinary” and “routine” nature of such abuse which existed in these families. Abuse began when the children were infants where it was so much part of their formative years that it became normalized:

[Kate]: Yeah, I can remember what I call normal abuse … which basically didn’t have any cult meaning, it was just my father. That was pretty much a regular occurrence as much as eating my meals actually. I can’t really distinguish particularly … It would happen at home or used to take me for walks in the park … anywhere really … I don’t think it really bothered him at all. […]

[Sinead:] As soon as I saw my mum each day I would get bath. And my mum used to pay particular attention to my private parts. She would wash me quite roughly and insert her fingers inside me. Sometimes my dad would help and he would help, and he would do the same thing. That must of gone on since I was born really. I do remember my dad would quite often insert things inside me, his hand was a favourite. It got to be normal, I just used to relax, it didn’t hurt so much. It was so ordinary, I didn’t think: ‘O, my God, what are they doing?’ That went on till I went to school. [6]

It seems to be true with many cases of intra-familial abuse that emotional cruelty and degradation also featured to a greater or lesser degree. In the case of the above middle class English family such instances included: “….pissing on me when I was in bath and putting my head down the toilet and putting faeces in my mouth. Nice, you know, nice things like that … I hate him.” [7]  Far from being merely a product of a dysfunctional family, incest is carried out most often by parents committing rape upon their own child which tends to cut through the psychoanalysis double-speak of “parents loving too much” [8] or the “failure of family obligations.”

***

If we look to the internet there are ample opportunities for those to find others who are attempting to make incest acceptable along with paedophilia. As with most forms of deviancy of the kind that includes bestiality, sadomasochism and fetishes of all types the internet provides a homogenous and anonymous entry into all manner of fantasy that is attempting to slip from pathology to normalcy.

There are even chat-rooms and websites that are de facto support groups for people engaged in incest. Ideas that advocate a better understanding of consensual sex between “kin”, blur the line yet again between the complexities of father-daughter relationships for example, where perhaps the only way to find a proper relationship is to give in to the adult’s manipulations, sex being the only way to gain “love” and attention. However, our concern here is for the child for whom the idea of consent, when confronted by the father or mother in such cases is a cruel abstraction devoid of any meaning. It can only be a form of parental rape at this stage and must be prosecuted as such.

In the UK, the old offence of incest was replaced with a more modern law that prohibits sexual relations between children under 18 and their blood relations, adoptive parents and siblings, step-parents, foster carers and those in a position of responsibility in the family. The “position of responsibility” covers people such as a friend of the child’s mother, a relative by marriage, such as an uncle, or another adult that lives in the same household. Whereas in New York, US, the penalty for those who molest an unrelated child differs greatly for those who molest children to whom they are related.

One may ask, which is worse: a stranger who rapes a child or the child’s own father committing the crime?

20051128© infrakshunghg

Not so, overseas. Sex with a child under the age of 11 is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. If, however, the sexually abused child is closely related to the perpetrator, state law ensures significantly more lenient treatment, to the extent that the prosecutor may choose to charge the same acts as incest. The problem being this is not listed as a sex offence, but as an “offense affecting the marital relationship,” It is therefore a Class E felony, whereby even a convicted offender may be granted probation. [9]

Can you imagine how useful a political tool this has become for the high-flying family man with a supercharged career and a penchant for abusing his children as he climbs the ladder to the top? Find the right lawyer, pay the money and rely on incest loopholes to finish the job. Such inconsistencies are not so surprising when we look at some of the definitions of sexual practices in law. In the State of North Carolina orgies are defined as “7 people in a closed room with their feet off of the ground.” Necrophilia (sex with corpses) was not illegal in Iowa until the late 1980s. It is surely little wonder that child abuse and the courts are in such chaos.  Similar eccentric laws exist in many Southern States.  Regardless of the precise statistics of each category there is a high probability that the prevalence of familial abuse and sexual abuse in general is not decreasing, though more overt and unplanned violent crime may well be on the decrease.

If we return to the US, in 1970 the results of one study recorded 86,324 persons arrested for sexual offences. In 1986, 168,579 persons were arrested for sexual offences which are almost double the number. The United States Department of Justice recorded in 1981 and 1989 respectively, that from 1970 to 1979 the rate of increase for sexual offences, other than forcible rape and prostitution was 5 percent. From 1979 to 1988 the rate of increase for these offences was 44.5 percent. [10] Therefore, we can make the tentative observation that the single largest group in our prison population may be those convicted of sexual offences, second only to drug offences. This maybe as much to do with sex-paranoia as puritanical authoritarianism where both are doing battle and squeezing any semblance of objectivity.

It is also worth noting that the high rate of physical and sexual abuse (including rape and violence within the family) will induce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children in particular, especially where genital pain is involved. This becomes understandable when we realise that an estimated 61 percent of violent sex offenders in State prisons have a prior conviction history and a further estimate of 1 in 4 imprisoned rape and sexual assault offenders with dominant past histories of violent crime, with 1 in 7 having been previously convicted of a violent sex crime. [11]

With child abusers who have been known to re-offend as late as 20 years following release into the community, this is not a problem that will disappear with sporadic under-funded, community-based supervision and management. This is a problem that goes very deep indeed into all aspects of social systems: economics, politics, and education.


“Society does not believe that women really do sexually abuse children … There’s almost a perception that boys should be happy or grateful, or certainly not experiencing sexual contact with females as abusive.” – Dr Joe Sullivan  [12]


As mentioned previously in discussions of The Female Psychopath female sexual abuse is another taboo the recognition of which still lags behind of male abuse both in reporting and investigations. Women in society are seen as the carers, nurturers and protectors. To accept that some women also abuse, whether sexually or physically is unconsciously resisted which has led to a paucity of research and data, though this is slowly changing. As always, this too creates tensions between child advocates, agencies and feminist groups who fear that it will feed into the already difficult plight of women in society generally, not least the arena of abuse.

There is one theory that suggests that women frequently abuse children physically rather than sexually. This is the most readily available individual, or individuals to whom the abuser can claim to exert control and retain that power normally denied to them, especially within a fragmented and disintegrating home environment where pathologies tend to manifest. [12]  Examples of female sexual abuse fall into distinct categories including: teachers who are involved with adolescent and/or pre-pubescent boys or consider themselves “in love” and/or want to teach them about sex; [13] women who are coerced into offending and who are initially abuse dependent i.e. allows another male to initiate the action but can end up abusing on their own; [14] and abusers who have been sexually abused themselves from a very young age and go on to inflict the same abuse towards their own children. This may not be necessarily aggressive, threatening abuse, rather “a cry for emotional intimacy.” [15]

Pathological narcissism and psychopathy may also play its part where cases are just too extreme to be classed as anything else. The case where a mother feared she would “lose her boyfriend while she recuperated from surgery arranged for her 15-year-old daughter to have sex with him,” is but one example. [16]

Though the above suggests there are important differences between male and female abuse, this type of offending, despite the cultural stereotyping of young boys “enjoying it and wanting it” can be just as detrimental, creating concerns regarding masculinity, deep-seated anger, betrayal, helplessness, negative attitudes towards relationships with the opposite sex and continuing occurrences of self-blame and guilt. In other words, female sexual abuse, like male abuse, has long term psychological effects that can ruin lives.

Social service and mental health professionals are unused to the idea that females can and do abuse children making the detection and of such crimes even more difficult. This means that children remain vulnerable to continuing and undetected abuse of this kind. There are estimates that 5 percent of girls and up to 20 percent of boys that have been abused are perpetrated by women, though the small amount of data available is less than definitive. [17]

With inter-generational physical and sexual abuse being unreported yet prevalent, anti-sexuality set against sexualisation form dominant forms of “edutainment” with a vacuum of appropriate role models and a widening of the gap between the rich and poor. However, with power comes impunity and while society at large battles with its demons, locked into a cycle of self-abuse, we begin to get an idea that all is not well with the authorities and established institutions in the Western world that purport to guide, instruct and look after its populace. Children are not only becoming victims within the family but are also manifesting narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies which have been inflicted upon them.

There can be no greater barometer than by looking at the plight of children under globalisation. There is thus something very wrong indeed in our institutions and social systems if the very core of the family is exhibiting symptoms of emotional decay and psychological disorders to the extent that parents, siblings resort to the abuse, torture and murder. This is further exacerbated by a climate of fear placing pressure on parents who are made to feel hypersensitive and over protective of their own children. Like certain representatives of the climate change industry, the child abuse industry often has some fat pay cheques to offer their employees.

The traditional roles of the father, mother and the family unit in general are deteriorating in the UK and the US.  Similarly, children are desperately in need of enduring role models that nurture and nourish their growth rather than creating unnecessary tensions which are pulling the child’s psyche apart. To say that children globally are receiving mixed messages would be an enormous understatement.

The spectre of the lone paedophile / child molester is given endless mileage and moral panics are whipped up to protect the organised networks of abuse. These are sometimes mirrored in the family and communities at large. The ability to tackle these issues remains diffused at best, due to the active or passive acquiescence of law enforcement and authorities already tied to what is institutional abuse in secret. This situation can only worsen if the core reasons for its presence continue to be brushed under the proverbial carpet. And these reasons are to be found in our present systems which define the very societies themselves. The Rule of Law only goes so far in protecting the innocent, but ensures immunity to those with money, prestige and power on a scale that is unacceptable for so-called democratic nations. Perhaps it has always been so, but the structures upon which our present laws were founded seemed to have all but crumbled away when the courts and custody battles are placed under the microscope.

 


Notes

[1] ‘French paedophile ring case turns into judicial fiasco’ The Guardian, December 2, 2005.
[2] Ibid.
[3] ‘Outrage over innocent 13 jailed in sex abuse scandal’ The Times, January 20, 2006.
[4]  ‘Child abuse gang horrifies France’ By Sarah Shenker, BBC News, July 27, 2005.
[5] p.66; The Politics and Experience of Ritual Abuse: Beyond Disbelief By Sara Scott, 2001, published by Open University Press. | ISBN 0-335-20419-8.
[6] op. cit. Scott (p.67)
[7] Ibid.
[8] Systemic treatment of incest: A therapeutic handbook.T.S Trepper and M. J Barrett, New York: Brunner/Mazel. (1989).
[9] The Incest Loophole’ By Andrew Vachss, The New York Times Op-Ed, November 20, 2005.
[10] U. S. Department of Justice (1981). Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics-1981. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington, D. C. /U. S. Department of Justice (1989). Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics-1989. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington, D. C.
[11] US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, February 1997.
[12] ‘Female paedophiles more prevalent than conviction rates suggest, leading forensic psychologist says’ By David Lewis
28 Apr 2015. ABC News Australia.
[13] ‘Unspeakable Acts’, Trouble and Strife 2 I(Summer), I3 p. I5 by L. Kelly. 1991.
[14] Bridget Mary Nolan, a former Australian teacher was convicted in December 2005 of having sexual intercourse with an underage student at her school. She was sentenced on March 1, 2006 to two years and four months but which led to a suspended sentence after Nolan entered a $1,000, three-year good behaviour bond. The sentencing judge justified his decision not to hand down a jail sentence due to her showing “genuine remorse.” The Australian, January 2006, p. 5./ The Australian. 2 March 2006, p. 3.
[15] A woman told investigators that she was “…coaxed into raping her 6-year-old son when her husband threatened to leave will spend the next 16 years in prison….The woman’s 30-year-old husband was sentenced …to two concurrent life.” published in The Akron Beacon-Journal, October 5, 2002.
[16] ‘Breaking the last taboo: child sexual abuse by female perpetrators’ By Renee Koonin, Australian Social Work journal, Volume 30, No 2. May 1995.
[17]  ‘Police: Teen given to older man for sex.’ Associated Press, August 10, 2006.
[18] A paper: Child Sexual Abuse: New Theory and Research, ‘Women as Perpetrators,’ by D. Finkelhor, and D. Russell New York: Free Press. (1984).

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Crowd Control II: Mixed Messages (1)

“In all the interviews I have done, I cannot remember one offender who did not admit privately to more victims than those for whom he had been caught. On the contrary, most offenders had been charged with and/or convicted of from one to three victims. In the interviews I have done, they have admitted to roughly 10 to 1,250 victims. What was truly frightening was that all the offenders had been reported before by children, and the reports had been ignored.”

― Anna C. Salter, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders


If you’ve been following the trajectory of these posts you’ll have hopefully understood that we are dealing with a highly complex set of influences which make up the overall picture of child abuse, sex crime and our current expressions of sexuality.  None of these issues lend themselves to simplistic solutions. Aside from the activities which go on within institutions, the high profile but rare cases of violent sexual abuse and sometimes murder which have been committed in the lower income levels of society play a part in giving undue credence to such crimes, making them appear much more common than they are. [1]  

That doesn’t mean to say that such crimes are not a very big part of the European and American Establishment. They most certainly are. But many of these crimes often have pathways leading directly to government, banking, the church and other institutions whose initial ideological and political constructs have become something entirely different. They now offer sanctuary and protection to child rapists and other psychopaths by virtue of a Hive Mind tradition that has fused with conscienceless individuals.  They are able to stimulate the market for abuse at both the macro-social and micro social level while simultaneously hiding behind their political, religious or corporate mask. This has ultimately meant that these networks of child abusers are buffered and protected by the societal chaos encouraged through public “lone” paedophile trials, celebrity pederasts and intra-familial abuse cases, the latter of which often act as suppliers to the Elite.

Sensationalising the issue increases the “fear factor” and a parental paranoia that is leading to restrictions on natural child development. The erosion of childhood has led to “a drastic decline in children’s outdoor activity and unsupervised play…” [2] This is due to technology and the so-called litigation and “claims culture” which has produced so much alienation and social fragmentation in America and Europe. We are now living in a world where parents and adults alike are becoming increasingly wary of even talking to children that are not their own or tending to a minor injury in the school-ground lest they be accused of inappropriate “touching.” [3] The well promoted obsession with lone child molesters is out of all proportion to the cases reported.  All of which benefits the Establishment where the most serious child rapists reside.

lone-predator

© infraskhun

So, while we know that child abuse is serious problem let’s also take a look at the other side of the coin, and how an abuse paranoia is currently manifesting in the UK.  To this into perspective for a moment, last year over 100 children in the UK alone were killed on the roads, more than 6,000 were injured and 1,000 seriously, leaving them disfigured or disabled for life. How many children in the UK have been killed by the lone child molester in a comparable time scale? Seven.[4]  Over 40,000 children ran away from home while the British government still insists that the traditional “family values” should be maintained without providing the support that families need. Britain also has one of the worst records of child poverty in Europe. Among 100,000 and 200,000 people under eighteen, experience homelessness each year.

A UK Home Office report from 1999 became yet another research study to be added to the growing body of respected research confirming the real risk comes from sexual abuse not from isolated child molesters but from relatives, family friends and siblings. The research also found that: “… only one in five men jailed for molesting children was likely to be caught re-offending, compared with reconviction figures of 50 percent for non-sexual offenders within two years of the original crime.” [5]

While the lone child molester and “stranger danger” meme gets enormous coverage in the press, the less sensationalist trend is the incidence of abuse that occurs within the family unit suggesting a hidden pathology afters years of ponerisation. Economic deprivation, the rise in narcissism and the materialism from which it is sourced is a large factor in the presence of abuse within the family. This serves as another reminder that sexual crime can always provide an infinite variety of scapegoats while ignoring the core reasons for why these offences take place. We might equally say that recognised offenders were expert in covering up their crime coupled with the fact that the age of the victim invariably ensures that the molestation is not reported adding difficulties in provision of definitive data.

According to Mary Marsh director for the National Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC): “Over the last 30 years, hundreds of children have been beaten, starved, burned, suffocated, poisoned, shaken, strangled or stabbed to death by their parents” [6] She believed the child abuse killings were a “national disgrace,” her belief drawn from the statistics which suggest that more children die in the home than in the street. Yet still, the lone child molester threat continues to pervade popular culture holding parental sensibilities to ransom with 63 percent of parents believing most child murders occur outside the home. [7]  Meanwhile, massive advertising from child charities  targeting children in the family to report on signs of abuse to the organisation, further fuelling the idea of the family as a den of corruption, already under severe socio-econommic pressures. It’s a rock and a hard place.

While the NSPCC’s had some dubious methods for raising awareness of this problem, the collected data and conclusions found were pertinent. One NSPCC poll found that 70 percent of parents were “more concerned for their children’s safety after the deaths of Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.” [8] Cases such as these allow newspapers to milk the fears of all parents who in turn campaign for legislation that adds to the overreaction for a predator that is statistically already within the home and more importantly, as an indirect result of individuals  found in the top echelons of our social systems and thus shaping it toward a singular psychological worldview. Perception management ensures that this is a “natural” consequence of people’s nature and the evolution of modern culture. Yet so far it seems, neglect, physical violence (and in some statistics rape) represent an overall increase far above sexual abuse. More than three children are said to die each day in America as a result of child abuse or neglect. [9]

2013-07-12 20.26.14

© infrakshun

While statistics need to be viewed with a suitably sceptical but open mind, sufficient studies over several decades have confirmed that there is a much higher incidence of physical abuse as opposed to sexual abuse, closely followed by neglect which is seven times more prevalent than the former. Indeed, it seems the younger the child the greater the risk of murder (infanticide) for those aged under five. The US fairs no better. The number of homicides of children under age 5 has increased over the past two decades, albeit with a modest decline in the last few years, according to government figures. The number of infanticides of children age 1 and younger is also increasing since the 1990s. Infant sexual abuse (nepiophilia) is also a rising problem within the family. The effects of sexual abuse on those of pre-verbal age are relatively unknown.

Nevertheless, research offers evidence that the foetus can be highly sensitive to external stimuli of a positive or negative nature so we can also surmise that the infant will be equally sensitised to the intent and physical effects of sexual abuse. A toddler’s brain has twice as many connections among its 100 billion neurons as the brain of a fully matured adult. [10] It is a crucial process of development within an intricate and complex system, housing neural circuits of learning that is highly almost exclusively dependent on external stimuli. The parents and the environment can directly affect whether or not the child inherits damaged circuits and the surfacing pathologies, however slight, or creative ones that lay down a healthy foundation for the future. Evidence from a recent report fro Reuters in December 2011 has even shown that: “Children exposed to family violence show the same pattern of activity in their brains as soldiers exposed to combat”.

When infants and children are exposed to unhealthy social encounters which include stress and anxiety, the brains do not wire themselves properly in the “emotional centres,” which leads to negative cognitive reactions which then become “hard-wired.” If we then take the trauma associated with infant abuse, we can imagine the damage inflicted on the neurology of a developing baby and the future generational line.

A leading expert in the field of sexual abuse of the infant child, Dr. Bruce Perry at the Baylor College of Medicine, believes the development of the cerebral cortex can be reduced by as much as 20 percent from the effects of abuse resulting in many brain structures remaining under-developed.  Instead of dense neural clusters as by-products of creative learning, there are effectively “holes” sourced from trauma, stress and anxiety. [11]

Perry indicates that the human brain has a variety of ways by which it can store or “recall” experience right across the board of motor, vestibular, emotional, social and cognitive applications. The body locks in these memories that, according to Perry, are non-cognitive and pre-verbal: “It is the experiences of early childhood that create the foundational organisation of neural systems that will be used for a lifetime.” [12] Of these neural patterns, instead of laying down stable and proper functional platforms for further learning, the imprinting shock of abuse lays down trauma and anxiety related to psychosexual development during the general mapping process. This then leads to a greater propensity for widespread damage in the biological life of an emerging infant with personality development prone to severe disruption.

With the long term effects of child abuse covering a wide range of fears, anxieties, depression, anger, hostility, inappropriate sexual behaviour, poor self-esteem, tendency toward substance abuse and difficulty with close relationships, we can tentatively conclude that the effects may be a form of emotional fall-out which not only has a very long legacy but offers a primary resource for the manipulation of the mass mind. When emotion, fear and trauma dominates, the mass mind is wide open to propaganda and perception management.

american-beauty

Promotional poster for “American Beauty” (1999) about the darker psycho-sexual and social tensions behind American suburbia which ultimately lead to redemption.

The 1999 multiple Oscar-winning film American Beauty portrayed middle-class suburban America as undergoing a reaction to the narcissism, sexual subversion and overall inversion of the American Dream. Themes explored included gender, maternal and paternal love, sexuality, beauty, materialism, alienation, self-liberation and redemption. Literary critic and author Wayne C. Booth described the film’s “elusive centre” and the talented mix of creative energy of all those involved that made the film so successful. Similarly, when art manages to make connections with the subconscious and speaks to underlying themes simmering below the surface there will inevitably some form of resonance.

The film explores the underlying connector as a materialist, consumer led “beauty” that has removed all possibilities for sense of the sacred and sanctity in American life. Beneath the struggle to adjust to impinging economic realities intolerance, fear and mental illness are descending upon middle America.  As such, beauty is still present in the unlikeliest of places from simple teenage eroticism to a plastic bag floating in the air currents of an urban alleyway. It shows how existential emptiness and the loss of meaning govern much of American and European daily life. These are the pathways by which sexual extremes and pathological deviancy may enter under cover of suburbia created from the norm of Establishment and institutional perceptions of reality.

Much of the youth in America and Europe are drowning in a sea of superficiality. There is an absence of proper role models and any form of integral education which is adding to the inevitable rise in gang-related crime. The pathological tendencies which have been allowed to gain a foothold in young social groupings are thus becoming gradually more fertile for subset-pathologies to be expressed. Indeed, it seems that the trend for children to be abused by their own age groups than by adults is also on the rise.

One comprehensive report analysed data between 1976 and 1994 and estimated more than 37,000 children had been murdered. [13] In fact, during the same period, 1 in 5 child murders were committed by a family member and 1 in 5 child victims were known to be killed by another child. Children under 18 accounted for 11 percent of all murder victims in the US in 1994. Nearly half of these 2,660 child victims were between 15 and 17. In most murders of a young child, a family member killed the child, while in most murders of an older child, age 15 to 17, the perpetrator was an acquaintance to the victim or was unknown to law enforcement authorities. Keeping to the same statistical research we also find that in family murder of a child 10 percent of victims was age 15 – 17, while in murders by strangers 67 percent of victims were in this age category.

Since the mid-1980’s the increases in the number and the rate of murder among 15-17 year-olds, particularly among black youth in this age range, outpaced changes in murder in all other age groups. [14]  Since 1980, there has been a 15 percent annual average increase in the number of prisoners sentenced for violent sexual assault (other than rape) which is “faster [increase] than any other category of violent crime and faster than all other categories except drug trafficking.” [15 The majority of these prisoners are young men.

In another survey conducted by the US Nation Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA) the steady growth of child abuse over the last ten years was confirmed with the total number of reports across the US increasing by 45 percent since 1987 and the rate of child abuse fatalities similarly increasing by 39 percent since 1985.[16 Based on data from all three years, the survey found 82 percent of children were under the age of five while 42 percent were under the age of one at the time of their death. (See Crowd Control)

suburbanfamilyPhysical violence against children is more prevalent than sexual abuse yet they often they go together. Since the 1970s, the phenomenon of child abuse has been increasing and so too the limits of the extremes that surface. Regarding the instances of filicide (the killing of one’s own children) “Head trauma, strangulation and drowning were the most frequent methods of filicide (the killing of a person’s own child). Fathers tended to use more active methods, such as striking, squeezing or stabbing; mothers more often drowned, suffocated or gassed their victims.

In a study of child abuse in New York City the incidence of child abuse increased 1026 percent between 1964 and 1974 which ranged from neglect, physical violence, sexual molestation and assault to incest and emotional terrorism. [17] The US Department of Health, Education and Welfare stated: “An epidemic of child abuse is occurring in this country.” [18] Though fluctuating parallel to the number of cases investigated which has dipped of late, similar to the high incidence of missing persons, the increase was in part attributed to a growing awareness from the public and the willingness to report child abuse. Yet the number of total child maltreatment cases that were investigated by state agencies remained constant from 1986 to 1993 for example, but the percentage of cases investigated declined dramatically, suggesting a steady rise. Indeed, the instances of child abuse and neglect almost doubled in those seven years alone totalling more than 2.8 million children.[19]

Overwhelming statistical data analyses from the US Department of Health and Services (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families Division, confirm that since 2000 – 2007 a steady but fluctuating rise in the incidence of multiple forms of maltreatment overwhelmingly came from biological parents at 79.9 percent. [20]  Back in the UK, 1 in 14 children have been violently assaulted by their parents, and we’re not talking about a tap on the bottom here. Incidences of being kicked, punched, choked, burnt or threatened with a knife have been listed as the common attacks within the home. Broken bones, bruising, bites, burns and head injuries were some of the results, some of which were carried out by mothers at 52 percent and with fathers at 45 percent. It is almost a given that fathers are assumed to have been responsible for carrying out the vast majority of domestic abuse cases involving children yet many surveys and studies both in the UK and the US seem to prove that this is another myth. Most sexual abuse is carried out by step-fathers and siblings for example,[21]  with poverty and low income families most likely to harbour the abuse. [22]

One of the most common forms of sexual abuse is that of incest (or intra-familial abuse) remaining one of the most under-reported and least discussed crimes. This is due in part, to the lack of accurate statistics and information borne from the fear and secrecy inherent in such a crime not least the difficulty in gathering such highly sensitive information. Social and familial pressure maintains a strong taboo that is almost impenetrable. The coercion by the abuser and the feelings of guilt and shame further cement the wall of silence.

Research indicates that 46 percent of children who are raped are victims of family members. Incest is traditionally defined as “sexual intercourse between persons too closely related to marry (as between a parent and a child)” yet here too the definition has been expanded to include sexual abuse by anyone who has “authority or power over the child.” [23] The perpetrators of incest may include immediate or extended family members, babysitters, school teachers, scout masters, and priests.

The study of a nationally representative sample of state prisoners serving time for violent crime in 1991 revealed that 20 percent of their crimes were committed against children, and three out of four prisoners who victimized a child reported the crime took place in their own home or in the victim’s home. [24]  While intra-familial abuse often seems to cross over into ritual abuse there are cases that are inter-generational and “poly-incestuous” cases involving parents, grand-parents, aunts and uncles. Sometimes this can extend to over three or four generations or more.[25] Deprived neighbourhoods with poor unemployment and a history of economic hardships also featured in a variety of studies. The “infection” naturally draws in “friends of the family” further increasing the perpetuation of abuse and the likelihood of psychopaths participating, further increasing the severity of the effects.


Notes

[1] There is evidence that child abductions are on the rise in England and Wales: From The Independent, May 2006, ‘Indypedia’: 1985 – 102, 1990 – 208, 1995 – 355. This also includes family kidnappings and not necessarily those by strangers. 2000/01 – 546  2005/06 – 1,028.
[2] ‘Play on’ By Jenny Cunningham, January 3, 2002, spiked-online.com
[3] ‘Protection risks doing more harm than good.’ By Sandra Dick, January 18, 2005, The Scotsman.
[4] Research and Development Statistics (RDS) Home Office UK, http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/
[5] ‘Home Office Report says: Most child sex attacks committed by relatives, family friends.’ Agence France Presse, 1999. BBC News, 13 October, 2002.
[6] ‘NSPCC steps up campaign on child abuse killings’ 14 October 2002, nspcc.co.uk/ The “fear-mongering” methods by which organizations like NSPCC alert the public to these dangers is also under scrutiny by some commentators, something we will look at in following posts.
[7] Child murder rate ‘a national disgrace’ BBC News, October 13, 2002.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Nation Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA) 1996 Annual Fifty State Survey: […] 25 states provided the following breakdown for reported cases: 62per cent involved neglect, 25per cent physical abuse, 7 per cent sexual abuse, 3per cent emotional maltreatment and 4per cent other. For substantiated cases, 31 states gave the following breakdowns: 60per cent neglect, 23 per cent physical, 9per cent sexual, 4per cent emotional maltreatment and 5per cent other.
[10] ‘The Long Term Neurological and Developmental Effects of Sexual Abuse on Infant Children’ Mike Earl-Taylor and Lindsay Thomas, March 2003 (quoted from science in Africa.co.za )
[11] Trauma, Violence, and Abuse: A Review Journal. January 2000, by Bruce Perry Vol. 1, Number 1. Sage Publications, Inc.
[12] Ibid.
[13] US Department of Justice · Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime and Victims Statistics 1998.
[14] Statistical data from Yesican.org/
[15] US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, February 1997.
[16] Nation Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA) 2000 Annual Fifty State Survey.
[17] Quoted from ‘Child Abuse in America: Slaughter of the Innocents’ By James W. Prescott, Ph.D.From Hustler, October 1977
[18] Ibid.
[19] Survey shows Dramatic Increase in Child Abuse and Neglect 1986-1993 Wednesday, Sept. 18, 1996, Michael Kharfen, US Depart. Of Health and Services, http://www.acf.dhhs.gov.
[20] Chapter 4, Perpetrator sex Child Abuse stastics, Child Maltreatment, DHHS report 2007.
[21] ‘Revealed: The Truth about Child Sex Abuse in Britain’s Families’ by Jeremy Laurance, The Independent, November 2000.
[22] “‘One in 14’ children attacked,” BBC News, 19 November, 2000.
[23] Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and Its After effects in Women, by Sue E. Blume, 1990, published by  John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.
[24] The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) ncvc.org.
[25] ‘Poly-Incestuous Families: an exploratory study’, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, By K.C. Faller, 1987.