- Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N.
- Turkey child rape protests: Thousands take to streets against law that would let men off if they marry victim
- Growing up with The Family: inside Anne Hamilton-Byrne’s sinister cult
Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N.
By Umberto Bacchi Mon Nov 21, 2016
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A bill that could allow men accused of sexually abusing girls in Turkey to avoid punishment if they marry their victim would create a climate of impunity for child abuse in the country, U.N. agencies warned on Monday.
The Turkish parliament gave preliminary backing to the controversial proposal put forward by the ruling AK Party last week.
MPs are due resume the debate on Tuesday before a second and final vote.
Several U.N. agencies criticized the legislation, which they said was akin to an amnesty for child abusers and could expose victims to further suffering at the hands of their abusers.
"Any forms of sexual violence against children are crimes which should be punished as such," the U.N. children's agency UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, U.N. Women and the U.N. Development Programme in Turkey said in a joint statement on Monday.
"We call on all Members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly to do their utmost in ensuring that all girls and boys in Turkey are better protected from all forms of sexual abuse."...
Turkey child rape protests: Thousands take to streets against law that would let men off if they marry victim
‘We will not shut up. We will not obey. Withdraw the bill immediately,’ chant protesters
Harriet Agerholm Sunday 20 November 2016
Thousands have taken to the streets of Istanbul and other cities in Turkey to protest against a bill that would allow child rapists to walk free if they marry their victims.
The country’s government insists the law would help resolve legal challenges caused by widespread child marriage in the country, yet critics argue the bill legitimises rape.
In Istanbul, protesters clapped and chanted: “We will not shut up. We will not obey. Withdraw the bill immediately.”
About 3,000 people gathered in Istanbul’s Kadikoy square, many waving placards that said: “Rape cannot be legitimised,” and “AKP, take your hands off my body” – in reference to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that proposed the bill.
Similar demonstrations were held in other cities, including Ankara, Izmir and Trabzon.
If the law passes, men who sexually abuse girls under 18 without “force, threat or any restriction on consent” and marry them could have their convictions quashed or avoid prosecution....
The proposed change would apply to cases between 2005 and 16 November 2016.
Growing up with The Family: inside Anne Hamilton-Byrne’s sinister cult
Cruel and charismatic, Anne Hamilton-Byrne was the Australian leader of a doomsday cult who thought she was the Messiah. Abigail Haworth on the woman behind The Family
Abigail Haworth Sunday 20 November 2016
Anne Hamilton-Byrne...leader of The Family, the Australian doomsday cult she founded in the 1960s, she claimed to be Jesus reborn as a woman.
....One of the few female cult leaders in history – and apparently one of the cruellest – Hamilton-Byrne operated in almost total secrecy over two decades. Hidden away in the countryside outside Melbourne, The Family’s motto was “Unseen, unknown, unheard”. The police, acting on information from two child escapees, raided the cult in 1987. It emerged that over the years Hamilton-Byrne had collected 28 children through bogus adoptions and “gifts” from followers, dressing them in identical clothes and bleaching their hair platinum. To keep her eerie brood under her control, they say she subjected them to vicious beatings, starvation and emotional torture.
“Anne wasn’t giving love,” says Parker, whose young son was one of Hamilton-Byrne’s victims. “She was offering it and then taking it back. She broke people’s spirit.”
The glamorous guru used the same tactic on her adult followers, handpicking them from Melbourne’s wealthy professional elite with promises of spiritual fulfilment in the 1960s and 70s when new age seeking was all the rage. “I’ve been waiting for you,” she’d say on first meeting a potential recruit. “You are special
Preaching a mishmash of Christianity, eastern mysticism and apocalyptic prophecy, she allegedly forced followers, including children, to take dangerous amounts of LSD and other hallucinogenics as part of prolonged initiation rites. Once they had submitted, she’d dictate every aspect of their lives. “There was only one rule: do absolutely everything she said,” says David Whitaker, a former child survivor. “That included what to think, what to wear, what to eat, who to marry, who not to marry. Total obedience.”
The children were initiated with ‘huge, relentless doses of LSD’ in trips that lasted for days...
By the time of the police raid, Hamilton-Byrne had broken up families, destroyed marriages and left her child victims with lifelong psychological scars. A number of followers tried to kill themselves, either during their time in The Family or after they escaped. Tragically, some succeeded. The cult leader amassed an estimated AU$150m (£90m) through property, land and cash donated by followers. She hid overseas and was eventually arrested in 1993 on relatively minor fraud charges....
Child Abuse Research
Articles by Neil Brick