- I’m a survivor of female genital cutting and I’m speaking out – as others must too
- Replace female genital mutilation with new rites of passage, says UN chief
- Expert Details Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns
- Internet trolling: quarter of teenagers suffered online abuse last year
- Catholic church pays compensation over alleged abuse at UK school
- Keighley abuse: Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl
I’m a survivor of female genital cutting and I’m speaking out – as others must too
My aunt cut my genitals when I was seven years old. The culture of silence surrounding this FGM/C means laws alone won’t stop it
Monday 8 February 2016
Ifor a final, only half-listening to a fellow classmate describe her research project. “Female genital mutilation is the partial or total cutting of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons,” she mechanically described. “The procedure typically take places when the girl is seven years old. The process is usually carried out by an older female relative. And once the ritual takes place, it is almost never discussed.” As she spoke, goosebumps began to form and I sat paralysed in my seat. Memories I had suppressed since childhood came flooding to the foreground....
My aunt was a doctor. So when she led me downstairs to her clinic and instructed me to lie flat on my back on her operating table, I didn’t think to question her authority. With no anaesthetic and very little warning, she performed the ritualised cut. After it was over, we headed back to the party in silence....
When I confronted my parents, they were stunned. My aunt had carried out the ritual without their consent. My father felt a unique betrayal. This was the same little sister he encouraged to pursue medicine in the first place. He had no idea that female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) was even practised within the Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shia subsect from India’s coastal state of Gujarat....
Like other forms of gender-based violence, FGM/C is a manifestation of power and means of controlling the sexuality of women and girls. In recent years, many countries have passed laws to criminalise the practice of FGM/C. Yet, it is an extraordinarily difficult crime to prosecute. Laws alone are not enough. For there to be a sustainable end to this practice, there has to be a radical culture change from the ground up, that promotes zero tolerance to any and all forms of excision....
Replace female genital mutilation with new rites of passage, says UN chief
By Sebastien Malo Mon Feb 8, 2016
NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - New, unharmful rites of passage should replace female genital mutilation, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday after new data showed there were more victims of the custom than previously estimated.
The call by the U.N. Secretary-General was heard by diplomats, campaigners and survivors gathered at the U.N. headquarters in New York to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, which fell on Saturday.
"I am especially inspired by communities that find better ways to mark the rite of passage into womanhood," said Ban.
He gave the example of young girls in Kenya and Tanzania spending a week away from their families to learn life skills instead of being cut.
The U.N.'s children's agency UNICEF said on Friday more than 200 million girls and women globally have suffered genital mutilation, far higher than previously estimated....
Expert Details Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns
By JAMIE ROSS Friday, February 05, 2016 Courthouse News Service
PHOENIX (CN) - The Marshal's Office in two towns on the Arizona-Utah border failed to investigate claims of child abuse or timely complete reports, an expert witness for the Justice Department testified Thursday during a religious discrimination trial.
Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah are largely made up of followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Department of Justice sued the towns in 2012, accusing them of denying non-church members access to police protection, water and electricity. The sect's leader, Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison for sexually assaulting 12- and 15-year-old girls, whom he called his spiritual wives.
Joseph De Lopez, a former deputy superintendent for the Chicago Police Department hired to review policies of the Colorado City Marshal's Office, told the jury the towns' Marshal Office did not investigate reports that town members married underage girls.
"Not only should there be an Internal Affairs investigation if it involves an officer, but a criminal investigation," De Lopez testified.
On Wednesday, the towns' former Chief Marshal Helaman Barlow testified that the Marshal's Office ignored claims of underage marriages.
"If it was a church marriage, I as a church member saw it as a valid marriage," Barlow testified.
On Thursday, De Lopez said this was just one of the Marshal's Office's many "deficiencies" in investigating and documenting alleged crimes and failing to train its officers....
Internet trolling: quarter of teenagers suffered online abuse last year
Survey of 13- to 18-year-olds reveals teenagers with disabilities and those from minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to encounter cyberbullying
Four in five adolescents surveyed said they had recently seen or heard online hate.
Aisha Gani Monday 8 February 2016
One in four teenagers suffered hate incidents online last year, a figure described by experts as a “wake-up call” on the impact of internet trolling.
The survey of 13- to 18-year-olds found that 24% had been targeted due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability or transgender identity. One in 25 said they were singled out for abuse all or most of the time.
Will Gardner, chief executive of the charity Childnet and director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, which published the study, said: “It is a wake-up call for all of us to play our part in helping create a better internet for all, to ensure that everyone can benefit from the opportunities that technology provides for building mutual respect and dialogue, facilitating rights, and empowering everyone to be able to express themselves and be themselves online – whoever they are.”
The survey also found four in five adolescents had seen or heard online hate during the previous 12 months. Researchers defined such abuse as offensive, mean or threatening, and either targeted directly at a person or group or generally shared online.
Teenagers with disabilities and those from African, Caribbean, Asian, Middle Eastern and other minority ethnic groups were more likely to encounter cyberbullying, the report concluded.....
Keighley abuse: Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl
8 February 2016
Twelve men who sexually exploited a vulnerable teenage girl in West Yorkshire have received jail sentences of up to 20 years.
Eleven were jailed at Bradford Crown Court after being convicted of raping the girl in Keighley from the age of 13.
Another man was sentenced for sexual activity with the same girl.
The trial heard how the teenager was repeatedly attacked over a period of 13 months, between 2011 and 2012....
Catholic church pays compensation over alleged abuse at UK school
Leslie Turner was paid £17,000 compensation after claiming two members of Christian Brothers abused him at school in Sunderland in 1960s
Jenny Kleeman and Helen Pidd
Leslie Turner: ‘The abuse was so common it became normal’
Wednesday 3 February 2016
The Catholic church continues to quietly pay out compensation to victims of alleged sex abuse at Catholic schools in Britain while refusing to accept liability.
Leslie Turner, a retired primary headteacher, was paid £17,000 in compensation by the Irish Christian Brothers in 2014, after claiming two members of the Catholic order sexually abused him at school in Sunderland in the 1960s.
Turner, now 66, has waived his anonymity in a film for the Guardian to allege he was molested from the age of 12 by two teachers at St Aidan’s Roman Catholic grammar school in Sunderland between 1961 and 1967. Both are long dead, but he sued after being diagnosed with delayed onset post-traumatic stress disorder in 2012 as a result of what he says he suffered as a child.
“After the abuse stopped was actually worse than when the abuse was taking place,” Turner told the Guardian. “I tried to become invisible. It never occurred to me to tell anybody. When the headteacher has been abusing you, who do you tell? I put it into a cupboard in my head and I shut the cupboard door.”
Turner is speaking out as the film Spotlight, is released in UK cinemas, which tells the story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Boston in 2002. The Globe’s investigation helped unveil a pattern of abuse by Catholic priests on a global scale.....