Thursday, September 8, 2016
Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law Is Being Used to Defend Child Abuse and Other Crimes, Sexual and Ritual Abuse Conference
- How Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law Is Being Used to Defend Child Abuse and Other Crimes
- Victims of sexual abuse find comfort at conference 18th annual sexual and ritual abuse conference
How Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law Is Being Used to Defend Child Abuse and Other Crimes
Josh Sanburn September 8, 2016
Some Indiana residents say their religious beliefs conflict with state laws
In February, Kin Park Thaing—a Burmese refugee living in Indianapolis—was charged with two counts of child abuse after allegedly striking her 7-year-old son multiple times with a plastic hanger.
According to court documents, Thaing found her son and 3-year-old daughter engaging in behavior she believed inappropriate before she allegedly struck her son, leaving multiple bruises, spanked her daughter, and then told them to pray to ask God for forgiveness.
Her defense is Indiana’s religious freedom law.
Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act—signed into law in 2015 by Republican Gov. Mike Pence—was initially viewed by some as a counterweight to the legalization of same-sex marriage across the U.S. because it would’ve allowed businesses in the state to deny goods and services to same-sex couples based on employees’ religious objections. That is no longer an issue since the law was amended to bar discriminatory behavior—but the act has since taken on an unexpected new life: as a defense for criminal conduct like child abuse and drug use. So far, at least four people in Indiana have used the law to argue that their religion excuses them from actions that would otherwise be considered crimes—and legal experts expect more cases to follow.
The latest involves Thaing, whose son was found with 36 bruises on his body, according to court documents, when he was examined by a doctor after his teacher discovered red marks and bruising on the child’s back, arm, and head.
The state filed criminal charges against Thaing in February. But in court documents, her attorney Greg Bowes argued that the RFRA protected her from prosecution and said that Thaing’s Christian beliefs were the “guiding values” that led to the February incident. The RFRA states that the government cannot limit someone’s religious liberty unless it can prove a compelling interest in doing so while using the least restrictive means possible.....
Victims of sexual abuse find comfort at conference 18th annual sexual and ritual abuse conference
18th Annual Sexual and Ritual abuse conference was held Sunday. Severe sexual abuse and torture victims from all over the world gathered to learn how to deal with their trauma. Survivor and organizer Neil Brick told "This is a conference to educate people."
The conference is a safe haven for victims. "It validates their experience and unifies survivors," said Brick. He went on to tell "A lot of people suffer child abuse, that's unfortunate that people do. So people can talk to others and realize they're not alone. They can learn about resources on the internet and books that can help them."
Some victims have endured severe abuse at the hands of cults and family members. Some were even victims of sex trafficking http://wwlp.com/2016/08/14/victims-of-sexual-abuse-find-comfort-at-conference/
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In 1995, Neil Brick founded the SMART newsletter. In 1996, SMART was on the Internet and in 1998 SMART started having ritual abuse conferences.
Neil Brick (@Neil_Brick) | Twitter
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In 1995, Neil Brick founded the SMART newsletter. In 1996, SMART was on the Internet
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