Posts Tagged ‘child abuse’

In her day job, Alliance Defense Fund lawyer provides free legal work for Christians working to thwart LGBT rights.  But her other job of producing child pornography just won her eight felony convictions.

Lisa Biron, 43, was accused of videotaping the girl (Her daughter) having sex with two men. Biron faced eight federal indictments on charges of child sexual exploitation, transporting a child across state lines to produce child pornography and possession of child pornography, and was convicted on all of them after the jury deliberated for less than an hour.

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As she was being led away to await her likely lengthy prison sentence, Biron was heard blaming her 14 year-old victim.

RELATED: The Alliance Defense Fund is continuing to scrubtheir Facebook page of mentions of their star attorney and is banning anybody who dares mention her name.

UDPATE: The identity of the victim in the case had been shielded ever since Lisa Biron was arrested as is the standard for victims of sexual abuse. The Associated Press isnow reporting that the victim was her daughter.


I am getting more and more upset by the constant flood of crap that is frothing out of Rick Santorum’s mouth on a regular basis. His ass must be getting jealous of the crap that mouth has seen. The worse comes when he speaks of “Gay Marriage.”

Now people tell me I should not get upset and that he has no chance of winning the nomination. I say BULL! He is giving voice to millions of Americans. Americans who will continue to harass, beat and kill gay men and woman because they are genetically different and they do not understand that difference.

First I have to say that I despise the term “Gay Marriage.” This past year, on our 18th anniversary, Ed and I got married in Washington DC where we first met at a political march. We did not get gay married any more than we had a gay lunch after the wedding and gay parked our gay car (ok it was a Chrysler Sebring but you get the point). We got married in Washington DC pursuant to the laws of the Federal District of Columbia and the rules of the United States Congress. It is Marriage, not gay marriage. We are fighting for Marriage Equality not something new and different.

Second, Santorum’s stump speech says that; “Marriage is not a right.” “It’s a privilege that is given to society by society for a reason…. We want to encourage what is the best for children.” That statement is wrong on so many levels when examined. First, Santorum and I were in law school about the same time. When I was in school, Creighton, a Jesuit Law School, We learned about a case called the Loving Case. (LOVING v. VIRGINIA, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)). Many states, including Florida, through the 1960’s had Anti-Miscegenation laws on the books outlawing interracial marriages. The Supreme Court declared that these laws were, “designed to maintain White supremacy”. The Court stated in no uncertain terms,
“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.” I am not sure where Santorum got his information but marriage is not a privilege and equality is not a privilege. It is a basic right.

He and his ilk, the evangelical Christians, talk about the sacredness of marriage. I will point out that government sanctions marriage. There is NOTHING that a government in this country can do, under the Constitution, that is “sacred.” The government issues a license to get married and to have certain benefits and obligations bestowed on two people. The government cannot issue a sacred document. It is at its’ base a contract between two people for mutual support. Marriage has not been between one man and one woman since time immemorial. Not until the very recent times did it morph into that. Before that it was between and man and his property. One man bought a daughter from another. The payment took the form of a dowry. As an attorney, I still deal with divorces of marriages performed in other countries that require the return of goats and such.

The last part of his statement is equally absurd. “We want to encourage what is the best for children.” Does that mean my brother and sister-in-law, married for over 20 years having no children, are not really married. The other possibility is even more absurd and point out why Christians find science to be the enemy. It is highly unlikely that a marriage of two people of the same gender will produce children. When I was in catholic school, in the sixth grade, I learned that it takes and x and y chromosome to produce a child and to get the right combination requires people of two different genders. Maybe they have discovered something new in genetics that I missed. As to the need to protect children, protect them from what? Priests? “Youth counselors?” Michelle Bachman’s husband? I will let Zach Wahls close for me. He is a 19-year-old University of Iowa engineering student and Eagle Scout whose parents are lesbians. Wahls gave a three-minute speech Tuesday before Iowa legislators urging them not to pass a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and civil unions.

His words went viral across the Internet and had nearly a half million hits on YouTube in a single day.

Recently I started to member my first swim classes at the Naval Base In Washington DC. As I thought more about it, I remembered having to swim nude. At the time we were told that the lint from the swimsuits were tough on the filter system. That is why girls had to wear swim caps. Men did not have long hair then, especially on a military base. I started wondering when things changed. I spoke with others about this and they too remember nude swimming as late as high school in the mid 1970’s. During a recent trip to Budapest the public baths were clothing optional during male only or female only times. As far back as the Romans the baths were public and nude. When did we determine that the body has to be hidden?

It seems to me that this was the first time I saw a nude man and realized that as boys aged the bodies’ changed. All the bodies were different and with age they changed. Therefor when mine started to change I was not as insecure and “freaked” by the experience.  I truly believe this Victorian sense of modesty is partially responsible for the explosion of porn. Once we tell kids that the body is shameful and has to be hidden, the first instinct is to peak and see what and why. If families were more upfront about sex and the body the curiosity level would not be as desperate.

Clearly the body has not changed so we as a society have changed. Personally I hate wearing a swimsuit in the pool and don’t unless there are people around who would be clearly uncomfortable. If, as it appears, it changed in the 1960-70’s I am trying to understand why. That was the height of the sexual liberation movement. The body was celebrated! Why did the powers that be determine we need to be clothed?

The best answer I could come up with is a combination of causes. First the “Woman’s Liberation Movement” demanded gender equality and therefore separate swim times for men and women fell away for total co-ed swim facilities. Second I think, was the use by Richard Nixon of the “silent majority” myth. Nixon argued that the vast majority of the Americans wanted a return to the “high moral” standards of America past. The years of Joe McCarthy and “One Nation Under God”.

The strange thing about people who long for the “good ol’ days”, is that their vision of those days is seldom correct or complete. They long for a Norman Rockwell vision of the past. The present, and especially the future are too full of the unknown for their comfort level. As a result they try to impose an unlivable myth on the population at large. This is why so many conservative religious and republicans with repressed feelings and urges and found to be living hypocritical existences.

Another reason is that as America became more obese, people want more reasons to hide their body. Even body image is less of a problem for cultures that embrace the body openly and honestly. We recently went to Budapest where many of the public baths are still clothing optional. This despite the fact that many of the people bathing were not particularly attractive to me.

The other problem with repressing the body and sexuality is that it is ungodly! God, however you might define it, has created a body that is capable of so many fantastic feeling from just touch alone. One should not ignore it. Our body has evolved over the ages to be built for stimulation. To ignore it, to not explore it, would be to ignore gods work.

I would and will continue to argue that we need to become more like the rest of the civilized world. I hope that the scifi writers are correct and the future world will be beyond this issue.

Studies have shown that people with low self esteem suffer Floating hostility, irritability out in the open, always on the verge of exploding even for unimportant things; an attitude characteristic of somebody who feels bad about everything, who is disappointed or unsatisfied with everything. One way to help is to take the stress of a “shameful body” off kids as they mature. We need to stop all forms of sexual repression and deal with the body and sexuality honestly and openly. Much like the Europeans.  They have lower rape and incest rates that are a direct result of an attitude that sees the body in a more complete way. They also have lower violent crime rates due in part to a more securer self image in all people. I think much of that is due to their ability to accept their body for what it is and is not. We need to teach that the body is good in all its’ forms and not evil.

The more I listen to the coverage of the Penn State-Standusky the more upset I get. During a recent round table discussion that included Dan Rather, New York Magazine’s John Heilemann, the topic focused on why this scandal happened. Rather said that Penn State was so “money-conscious” and that the school’s concern with profits was an “indication of what has happened to the country.” Heilemann disagreed with Rather. Heliemann said the “institutional failure” stemmed from the school’s concern with protecting its “reputation, status, and the privilege and power of adults.” I have only seen one real article focused on the victims. It was written by of all people, a Wall Street Journal columnist. I am furious on two levels.

First, there has been no discussion on the impact of the victims. Just as with the Catholic Church scandal, the Penn State scandal coverage is focused on the accuser. The schadenfreude of watching the powerful fall. As a person who was raped several times in several circumstances I can say with all certainty that it is about pure arrogance.

The Catholic Church felt that they were above man’s law and untouchable. Penn State felt the same. Standusky felt the same as repeatedly violated his victims. His position in the community, like a priest or Michael Jackson, was beyond reproach. The brothers who  rapist must have had the same attitude. One set, being the children of a DC cop felt they were untouchable.

This is a scenario that plays out more times a day than the human brain can conceptualize. Research shows that one out of every three to five women, and one out of ever five to seven men are sexually abused by the time they reach their eighteenth birthday. Although women account for 20% of the [sexual] abuse of boys, approximately 60% of boys and 80% of girls who are sexually victimized are abused by someone known to the child or the child’s family. Rape is one of the most repeated crimes and most underreported crime. I am truly weakened when I read the coverage and see no reporting on the trauma of the victim.

The impact long term differs considerable between boy and girls. Sexual assaults on boys tend to be more violent and are more likely to result in serious physical injury or death than those perpetrated on females. Men who were sexually abused as children are twice as likely to become substance abusers, commit suicide, be prone to illness, have problems in school, be antisocial or overly aggressive, and be verbally or physically abusive to their mates. Because of the culture that exists in much of the world, men have additional constraints that impede their ability to cope with the aftermath of sexual abuse. Because men are expected to be “macho,” or to be in control and not show any weakness, issues are raised that the victim refuses to deal with.

With these circumstances, men and boys who have been in any way sexually abused do not get the support and help that women have come to take for granted in the last two decades. Statistics published in 1992 and 1994 by the U.S. Department of Justice show that only 52% of rapes are reported, that one of two rape victims is under 18, and that one in six is under 12 years of age. There are a number of reasons we choose not to talk about our ordeal; a deep sense of shame, fear of revenge by the perpetrator and of ostracism by friends and family. The most common experience is dissociation. That is the minds desire or ability on the conscious level to escape an unavoidable and intolerably painful situation.

I have talked to several men recently who suffered abuse on one level or another. All of us saw ourselves, as coping with it and that it had no long-term effects. But after a deeper discussion we saw how it still affected the way we view or have sex or dealt with people in intimate relationships.

The reality of the Penn State/Catholic Church scandals is that society will focus on the failure of the powerful to police itself while ignoring the victim because in the face of the victim they will see an emotional intensity that will scare them.

Shock and sadness for whom?

As all the hand-wringing continues over the Sandusky continues I am left with so many thoughts. I have written and re-written this story a hundred times in my head. Yes, Sandusky and the staff at Penn State are, in the best possible light, scum. Are they really any different than the rest of America?
Sure it is easy to sit back with great indignation and pontificate over the moral lapses. But how many times have you ignored pain. The first time I was molested raped, I was 6 or 7. My babysitters’ oldest son lured me downstairs and force me to have oral sex. A few days later it was him and a friend and after that, him and a few friends. Russell Rowling, 17 at the time, of Hillcrest Heights used me to “entertain” his friends. Although never penetrated anally, it was scary and I was threatened with violence if I ever said anything. One time one of the boys hurt me. When Mrs Rowling asked why I was crying I told her that one of Russell’s friends hurt me. I did not say how or what else happened. She yelled at me for going downstairs and the next day Russell was gone. I never saw him again and nothing else happened. I was still to frightened to say anything.
A few years later I was caught in a similar situation when the older brothers (one was Johnny Tester) of a friend came over to play basketball. They had some other friends with them. After playing ball for a little bit someone announced that they had their dads porn. We all hoped over the back ball into the bushes. After seeing my first porn, one of the guys came up behind me rubbing his dick. Then one of the Tester boys grabbed me and I ended up being forced to service them. I was told that if I said anything I would be dead. Their father was a cop and I believed that he would protect them. They said it would be my word against theirs and there was more of them. These were all memories that were bottled up for years. But these stories are familiar to way to many people. In the Sandusky story, it appears that his wife should have known what was going on. In too many cases spouses and other family members stay silent in an effort to “protect”  and maintain the family.
As I grew older I have come to see that these kinds of thing are everyday occurrences in every town in America. The difference in Sandusky case and my raps was the age difference and the fact that no one involved in my rapes was famous. But lets jump forward a little. In the late 1970’s I saw up close and personal the life of the run-aways on the streets of DC. They were everywhere. Once you knew what to look for they were easy to spot. The boys and girls forced to live on the streets. They do what is necessary to make it through the day and night. Does it really make a difference that a person throws them a $20 when they are finished using them? Really? And where is the outcry over that? I tried to get the media interested in their plight. I even had Carole Simpson (back when she was just a reporter) from ABC driving around and showing her the what’s and where. She was only was interested in a story if it involved politicians or some other way to glamorize a scandal. Since clearly teenagers selling their bodies to stay alive was not a scandal itself to the american viewing audience. She wanted to do a story about it from the angle of a foreign agent trying to get dirt on politicians at the Chesapeake House Bar. A few years later the FBI arrested one of the people for spying for Israel. Even the gay media in DC tried to gloss over the story. That was 1979. Have thing really changed since? I volunteered as a Guardian ad Litem in Dependency Court. The stories replay themselves on a regular basis. Kinds suffering abuse at the hands of adults, usually family, and those that should tell, Don’t. Those that should protect, ignore.
The Sandusky story once again shows that as a society there is no empathy for the victims. Only the perverse joys of watching the famous go down in flames. That is the real tragedy of this story.