November 10, 2005

"Abuse Ruins Life Of Girl"

Via Canadianna, a Toronto Sun item that raised my hackles. Abuse ruins life of girl, 7

- An Oshawa trucker was sentenced to 17 months in jail yesterday for ruining a young girl's life with "despicable" sexual abuse....

How dare they?

When is society going to stand up and demand an end to this reprehensible behavior?

When are we going to demand that people stop declaring to young victims of sexually based crime that their lives are ruined before they begin?

"So sorry dear - you're spoiled goods. Going to be a long 80 years...."

A few years ago a friend revealed, almost matter-of-factly, that as a young teenager she had been the victim of a gang rape. She jumped through the counselling hoops of conventional psychological wisdom until the day she realized that she was still wallowing in the event, stretching a brief trauma into an extended one. She decided instead to accept what happened, put it behind her and get on with her life. She never looked back.

While not everyone has that type of strength, her story does tell us something. If we want to help victims of sexual crimes regain normalcy, it's time that society and the justice system stop sending mixed messages. We claim there is no shame in being a victim of sexually based crime, then try the cases in courts that "protect" identities and ban publication of testimony. We applaud their courage, then use "fate worse than" hyperbole equating rape with murder, as though the truly couragous victim would have choosen death over submission.

We tell small children that the crime is "not their fault" - but that their lives are ruined and childhoods at an end, placing before them the additional hurdle of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Sexual assault is a heinous, traumatic crime that deserves the full force of the law - additionally so, because of the predatory nature of offenders and the threat they pose to others.

It often requires a good deal of medical and emotional support for survivors to recover their health and their lives - but this is also true of drunk driving victims, those who survive beatings or robbery, survivors of spousal abuse - all of whom we expect to pick up the pieces and move on. Elevating the victim of sex crime to special status as the ruined perpetual "survivor" may be as damaging a societal response - perhaps more so - than that of 50 years ago, when they were told to shut up and get on with their lives in silence.

Posted by Kate at November 10, 2005 11:04 AM

Live and let live from Tart Cider
Kate McMillan has a tremendous post this morning that beautifully articulates a suspicion I've always had (and thankfully never had to test) — that society's hysteria over child sexual abuse compounds victims' trauma: If we want to help victims of... [Read More]

Tracked on November 10, 2005 9:35 PM

More Links from Rempelia Prime
This is quite simply one of the best posts on a blog I have read, ever. There is a reason that Kate is popular, and there’s more to it then her enviable ability to push the buttons of those on the left. Read it. — Crawl Across the Ocean... [Read More]

Tracked on November 11, 2005 12:07 AM

When "help" is actually "extended harm" from Quotulatiousness
Kate, at SDA has a brilliant post up about the dangers of modern psychological "help": A few years ago a friend revealed, almost matter-of-factly, that as a young teenager she had been the victim of a gang rape. She jumped... [Read More]

Tracked on November 11, 2005 4:18 PM


Great comments, Kate!

Another problem is the prevalence of anti-male, lesbian feminist ideology in the "helping" professions (counselling, social work, psychology) that so many victims are turned on to.

How in the world is it helpful to teach a rape victim, for example, by teaching them that all men are potential rapists, the system is stacked against you, have you thought about dating women, etc. that groups like Vancouver's WAVAW 'trauma counselling' service offer?

Posted by: evilprinceweasel at November 10, 2005 11:32 AM

Many years ago in rural Alberta a grandmother and her 6 year old grand daughter she was babysitting at the time were both raped by a piece of shit scum. Around the same time, not ten miles down the road from where the rapes took place, another low life stuck up a gas station and stole $200 in cash.

What happened? Both perps were caught, robber got 9 years, rapist got club med at "Alberta Hospital" (psych. facility)

Thank you Pierre Trudeau and every subsequent sissy government for sitting with their collective thumbs up their bums while our children are being destroyed.

Posted by: Eskimo at November 10, 2005 11:43 AM

Well it's no more surprising than beyond borders a group that supposidly wants to stop the sex trade etc having anita Neville as a member.

I only bring that up because a few weeks ago she voted against raising the legal age of consent.

I guess it's real important that the prime minister have the legal right to be able to have sex with 14 year olds.

I think societies message is clear you gots to take matters in your own hands, dig a deep hole,...

Posted by: DrWright at November 10, 2005 11:48 AM

The 'victim' and 'survivor' mentalities at work. I ran into them myself years back (I had a nasty childhood as well).

Posted by: Sean at November 10, 2005 11:56 AM

It fits right in with the 14 year age of consent and 3 out of 4 political parties that simply see no reason to raise it. Along with a brave, openly gay ex-soon-to-be-future MP who wants it lowered to 12.

12!! So paedophilia is only when the victim is 11 or below.

(Blood pressure meds time.)

Posted by: greenmamba at November 10, 2005 12:12 PM

Possibly the most important thing I have ever read on your blog, Kate. Your point is one most illustrative of the uselessness of the 'left' 'right' and 'centrist' labels.

As a father, and a husband, thank you for saying what you said.

Posted by: Shaken at November 10, 2005 12:18 PM

I prefer the term "survivor" to "victim." Particularly if the rape is for a period of time, as mine was (over 6 years or so), it's apt. Surviving was all I did for a time, then I overcame it. No, it didn't ruin my life. But it easily could have.

Posted by: carson at November 10, 2005 12:22 PM

Absolutely... without a doubt. Nothing 'ruins' someone more effectively than the mindset of ruination! Traumatic, yes, wrong, yes, not to be denied or trivialized, yes, but for the victim there is nothing more important than moving on.

Posted by: Nanster at November 10, 2005 12:25 PM

Let's blame Bush for it.

Posted by: george at November 10, 2005 1:07 PM

Kate; I share your disgust. I too had a nasty childhood. Speaking as a 'dependant' child it is very difficult to speak up when you are afraid it is your word against 'theirs' and you might be stuck in that horrible enviroment with some-one who will take out their anger.
First: I think we need to teach children there is a better way than to merely 'survive'.
Second: Give police the power to do whatever they need to stop people who prey on kids and back it up with tough laws. How about castration? Look at this guy who adopted the child from Russia(?) and abused her, took photos and put them on the web. That was excellent police work finding her, but what will the guy get? What have millions of other perverts gained from HIS sleaze sharing? Take the decision making out of the hands of politicians and un-elected judges and put it in the hands of the victims and the police and social workers who see it all. That reminds me of another point: Put more into child/protective services, I know that many of these people are seriously overworked and are frustrated that there are not enough bodies to do a thorough job. There are many cases of abusive behaviour falling through the cracks. I get so steamed when I think of the money wasted on the gun registry and adscam. Now Martin wants to spend $50 million to toughen gun laws the Liberal way? Arghhhhh!

Posted by: Cheri at November 10, 2005 1:11 PM

While I agree with your point, I believe you miss the bigger issue. How in the hell does a sick pervert like this get 17 months in jail for this sick crime? I never thought I would be embarrassed to be Canadian, but when you see sentences like this, you have to wonder about the people around you who repeatedly vote the same people into office. The people that pass laws that allow lenient sentences such as this to become the rule, not the exception. The average citizen of this country feigns outrage at a headline like this, never gives it another thought, and votes liberal in the next election. I suppose this is just better than the alternative.

Posted by: steelersmurf at November 10, 2005 1:12 PM

"Along with a brave, openly gay ex-soon-to-be-future MP who wants it lowered to 12.

12!! So paedophilia is only when the victim is 11 or below."

Indeed! What was it I read not too long ago on a Canadian blog about a statement included in Nova Scotia curriculum on sex education that "12 years old is a good time to start having sex..."?
Anyone else see that? If the legal age now is still 14 (which I cry over that already!), then governmental educational sources advocating sex at such a young age seem to be, by definition, criminal.

Posted by: Peggy Snow Cahill at November 10, 2005 1:24 PM

I have worked for many years on the street and for probations. I have had regular contact with evil in the form of psychopaths and sexual criminals of all ages and sex. My view- you have a chance at rehabilitation if they are younger than 14 years, but after will never happen. It can't: none can be rehabilitated, since they cannot return to a state that never existed.

This article I have kept on my PDA for many years:

"When it comes to sexual violence, the sum of our social and psychiatric knowledge adds up to this: Behavior is the truth

Chronic sexual predators have crossed an osmotic membrane. They can't step back to the other side--our side. And they don't want to. If we don't kill or release them, we have but one choice: Call them monsters and isolate them.

When it comes to the sexual sadist, psychiatric diagnoses won't protect us. Appeasement endangers us. Rehabilitation is a joke."

Sex Predators Can't Be Saved

Posted by: steve in bc at November 10, 2005 1:38 PM

Excellent post.

People are capable of extraordianry strengths, if only they allowed to exert the effort.

I recall reading about an extraordinary woman, who had 'Field Whore of The German Army' tattooed on her arm. She built a life, had a family and was much beloved by her community.

She refused to have her tattoo removed- because she wanted everyone to know she survived.

The human spirit, left alone by the agendistas, is capable of extraordinary achievement.

Posted by: sigmund, carl and alfred at November 10, 2005 2:28 PM

Peggy Snow Cahill: Nova Scotia curriculum...12 years old is a good time to start having sex...

Nothing would surprise me. My kids reported that sex ed was given by a city nurse who did not mention abstinence once. Fortunately the teacher did, after the nurse had left.

This was fortunate because the teachers also seem to be very "modern" judging by the garbage about politics they come up with.

Posted by: greenmamba at November 10, 2005 2:30 PM

"I prefer the term "survivor" to "victim." Particularly if the rape is for a period of time, as mine was (over 6 years or so), it's apt. Surviving was all I did for a time, then I overcame it. No, it didn't ruin my life. But it easily could have."

My sympathies -- sounds like we were in pretty much the same boat. :-(

The problem with 'surviving' is that you're just hanging on until something better comes along. At some point you have to stop surviving and start living again.

'Survivor' isn't one of my favorite words, either.

Posted by: Sean at November 10, 2005 3:16 PM

"robber got 9 years, rapist got club med at "Alberta Hospital" (psych. facility)"

Having had the misfortune of spending some time there (formal admission but not court-ordered, thank you), I'd like to point out that Alberta Hospital is anything but 'club med'. At least not the part I saw.

Given a choice, I would have taken the farm annex at Bowden Penitentiary. I've done some volunteer work with alkies imprisoned there, and they have it pretty damn good. Much better than the inmates in Ponoka could ask for, that's for sure.

Posted by: Sean at November 10, 2005 3:19 PM

A child's life is "ruined forever" and her rapist is given 17 months. Talk about justice!

Posted by: R.Jones at November 10, 2005 4:31 PM

another reason why we need PC government. let's get some real sentences. say 30 year minimum for rape and manslaughter, life minimum for murder, ideally capital punishment for rape and murder. The public supports it so why not run on it. Every single speech. Let the victims pull the trigger on the perps... much better therapy than all this talk BS.

Posted by: hey at November 10, 2005 5:21 PM

Cotler has been all over the news today talking about getting tough on crime--esp. gun crime in Toronto--what a load of hot air.
Below my email to Cotler

Mr. Cotler--getting guns off the street and getting 'tough on crime' are not the same thing.

When a law abiding person who fails to register their guns gets a longer sentence than a criminal who uses a gun in the commission of a crime--that is not tough on crime. When these same gun toting criminals are released back on to the street again and again, that is not being tough on crime.

Guns are inanimate objects--they need a criminal to pull the trigger while committing a crime. Blaming the gun, or the Americans, is a easy way to talk about getting tough on crime. Getting tough on crime means making the punishment fit the crime, not absolving the criminal by blaming something else--in this instance, guns. Using a gun in the commission of a crime so often sees the gun part of the charge being plea bargained away. Then the criminal is back out on the street where guns are readily available--not because they slip across the border on their little feet, but because they are traded back and forth right under the noses of our Customs Officials who are really there to collect taxes rather than protect our borders and our ports. Many of the borders and ports are even un-manned and mostly under-manned.

The fault of gun crimes rests solely with the Federal government and the Injustice System. Criminals are coddled and released back into society, a society that is totally unprotected. We are seen as dispensable, except when you want our vote. Until crime and criminals are treated accurately and efficiently, we will keep hearing about the dastardly gun causing crime. Remove guns and it will be knives, explosives etc--because the guns are not the problem--the criminals are.

I do not believe that you have any more intent to become tougher on criminals. Your government has had 12+ years to change the way criminals are handled, and you have seen fit to absolve the criminal and ignore the victim. Because an election is in the offing, you see fit to do what should have been done years ago. More posturing and empty words. Children will still be shot, molested and ignored--while your government trolls for votes. Actions are more important than words, and you and your government's actions have been sadly lacking --to the detriment of Canada and Canadians. It will take more than words over a 36 day period to fix 12 years of neglect.

Posted by: George at November 10, 2005 9:04 PM

For 40+ years successive Canadian (mostly Liberal) governments have fostered diminishing criminal sentencing. I guess the end result will be no punishment means NO crime, all is good in the world. Every few days I hear, on radio or TV, someone spewing the moronic viewpoint that sentencing has no impact upon crime prevention... I say B.S.
I also judge a society by how it treats it's children. And as far as crimes committed against children, from my viewpoint, the Canadian society has an awful lot to be ashamed of.

Posted by: Mike_RoA at November 10, 2005 10:19 PM

What you report is the opposite of what I read in the US papers. There the articles end with "the woman was not hurt."

I always wonder what part of rape didn't hurt? Certainly the prelude, however long or short that was, would hurt- terrify any sane person. Certainly the physical act, forced physicality, would hurt. Certainly the aftermath, the trauma of having to explain, repeat, be grilled, possibly testify, all that would hurt. Especially when you read in the paper that you "weren't hurt."

Obviously neither of these extremes is appropriate language. And language often makes meaning. Because of that we need appropriate language. I am sure "ruin" and "weren't hurt" are not the appropriate language. "Victim" and "survivor" might not be appropriate long term descriptors either.

I wish there were an easy way to describe "life changing, permanent trauma which is overcome by sheer grit and determinedness until the person manages to create a full life despite the differences."

Posted by: Suzi at November 11, 2005 12:14 AM

the only way to cure/reform a pedophile is CASTRATION It's very simple and you may get time off for good behaviour.

Posted by: kelly at November 11, 2005 12:14 AM

simple and effective

Posted by: kelly at November 11, 2005 12:38 AM

Castration has been proven useless many times.

I vote for a tatoo on their forehead. Cheap, and it will ruin their lives forever.

Just like the girl's.

Posted by: Joaquim at November 11, 2005 10:03 AM


"Such a "remedy" ignores reality. Sexual violence is not sex gone too far, it is violence with sex as its instrument. Rage, sadism and a desire to control or debase others are the driving forces. Castration can be reversed chemically with black-market hormones, and sex murders have been committed by physically castrated rapists. People have been raped by blunt objects. And how do you castrate female offenders?"

Posted by: steve at November 11, 2005 11:05 AM

"the only way to cure/reform a pedophile is CASTRATION It's very simple and you may get time off for good behaviour."

Pfft. What's to stop a sociopathic sex-offender from buying a strap-on to replace the missing equipment? It's the power and the torture that gives them the greatest pleasure, so I'm sure they can working around something incidental like missing genitals. And what do you plan to do with female offenders?

Posted by: Sean at November 11, 2005 1:13 PM

the death penalty for child rapists would solve the problem permanently and save taxpayers money.

Posted by: Meursault at November 11, 2005 2:35 PM

Very well done! (Too bad, that the people in Ottawa you addressed this to- are so sadly lacking in morals, ethics, dignity, and conscience, that they will pay no attention to you.)

Posted by: dave at November 11, 2005 2:39 PM

The SOB should be castrated with a rusty tuna fish can

Posted by: kado at November 11, 2005 9:37 PM

I agree. Castration for sure, but then he should be stripped naked and tossed into a cage with a horny mountain gorilla.

Posted by: Roxanna at November 12, 2005 7:24 PM