August 30, 2007

J&K seethes with anger over rape of minors
Thursday, August 30, 2007 01:15 IST

Two girls are raped in five days in the valley
SRINAGAR: As Kashmir seethes in anger over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old on Friday, another minor was allegedly raped by a 60-year-old man in south Kashmir two days back.
According to police, the 11-year-old girl was raped by Mohammad Ayub Shah, a government employee, while she was working in her orchard in remote Kulgam village of south Kashmir.
"Fearing embarrassment, the girl lodged a complaint two days after the incident. Shah was arrested soon after her complaint and medical reports confirm her rape," Kulgam superintendent of police SP Pani, said.
In Srinagar, police have launched an extensive search operation after the rape and murder of eight-year-old Sabrina. Her bruised body was recovered from an abandoned house in Jawahar Nagar on Friday, a day after she went missing.
This is the third rape of a minor in Kashmir in the past two months. In July, an eight standard student from Handwara was allegedly raped and murdered by four people, including two migrant workers.
In another incident, a man has been arrested for having physical relationship with a class XII student, who delivered a baby a few days ago in Handwara.
"We have arrested Ajaz Ahmad under section 376 RPC because he had relationship with an unmarried girl. We have registered a case against a private nursing home where they had gone for abortion," said Haseeb Mughal, SP Handwara.
Students organised a protest march in Srinagar on Wednesday demanding action against rapists and killers, who have sparked a rein of terror among civilians in Kashmir.
"The police are not doing enough to curb the crime. Those arrested walk free because of police inaction," said Zareef Ahmad Zareef, chairman of the Valley Citizens Council.
He called the people to form committees at the Moholla level to keep an eye on criminals.

August 7, 2007

CSA from onset to adult life...

A Brief Synopsis of Child Sexual Abuse from Onset to Adult Life
Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

Sexual abuse often involves a manipulative process that entraps the child in a secret relationship designed only to provide for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator. The manipulation begins with the forming of a relationship that over time becomes more sexualized through either suggestion, exposure to sexual material and/or increased displays of affection leading to greater amounts of touching. With time the sexual nature of the grooming events become more overt and direct forms of exposure, voyeurism and/or sexual/genital contact occurs. Sexual contact may include digital-genital, oral-genital, genital-genital and even object-genital. Subtle or even not so subtle demands for secrecy increase. The demands for secrecy may include implied or direct threats, intimating that harm may or will come to the child, perpetrator or another family member. The threat may also include the loss of family members or family structures as in the situation of intervention requiring the removal of either victim or perpetrator.

Given that the grooming and manipulation often occurs subtly over time, and with a trusted figure, the child finds him or herself stuck in a situation without comprehending how they got there. They feel complicit in the now clearly abusive events and fearful for not only the threats that have been imposed, but that they will be blamed and held responsible too. Once this stage in the abusive relationship has occurred, the perpetrator has not only physically ensnared the child, but psychologically too. However, children in such situations continue to feel emotionally conflicted and as this emotional conflict escalates disruption in normative behaviour is observed. Seeking to avoid the emotional conflict, yet unable to disclose the abuse for any numerous fears of harm, blame or retribution, the child may act out their distress. This may be observed as poor school performance, truancy, conduct disorders, physical disorders with limited physiological basis (headaches, stomachaches, etc.) and other disorders such as attention deficit, depression, anxiety and disorders of eating. The outcome of sexual abuse is therefore often a deterioration of individual psycho-social functioning. In later adult life this often presents as inappropriate boundaries in interpersonal relationships, which may cause the person to withdraw from intimate relationship or alternately engage indiscriminatingly in intimate relationships or paradoxically, both. Further now as adult, the victim may suffer from depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders and personality disorders. Depending on the degree of severity, any of these disorders can impair functioning to the point of undermining interpersonal relationships and any role performance such as parent, spouse, worker, etc. The cascade effect is a deterioration in physical and mental health as well as social relationships and vocational performance.

In 1998, The Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) studied investigations by child welfare service providers. Their study found that in 44% of substantiated sexual abuse cases the perpetrator was a non-parent family member whereas in 8% of cases the perpetrator was the biological father and in another 8%, the perpetrator was the stepfather. US data from the Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-3) in 1993 suggests that 3.2 children per 1000 are sexually abused but admits this is likely an underestimate of the numbers. Further though, no differences were found on the basis of race or social class. Sexual abuse cuts across race and economic status.

To say that sexual abuse is a crime is an understatement. Rather it is an insidious process that seriously undermines the psychological, emotional and social well-being of the abused. The impact can have immediate and lifelong consequences on the abused.

Persons who have been sexually abused can be helped to recover and reverse deleterious effects. Regardless of age, recovery begins with the belief in the disclosure, immediate provision of safety from the perpetrator and then counseling with a trained professional.

In the absence of disclosure, but the presence of disruptive behaviour, psychiatric disturbance, poor social performance or difficulties in interpersonal behaviour, it is reasonable to explore and determine if sexual abuse is a contributing factor. Many persons who present with such problems may be quite unaware of the connection between sexual abuse and problematic functioning.
'Rape conviction sans medical proof valid'29 Jul 2007, 0053 hrs IST , Dhananjay Mahapatra , TNN

NEW DELHI: A recent Supreme Court judgment convicting a rape accused relying solely on the victim's testimony despite the medical evidence not proving intercourse may have startled many.

Would such reliance on the victim's testimony lead to abuse of the law and miscarriage of justice? Legal experts feel that is not necessarily the case.

The key for them is that the testimony of the victim should be "cogent, convincing and trustworthy". And they feel that was the case when the apex court upheld the charge against the accused.

They also sought to drew attention to the process of cross-examination. In the course of this, the experts claimed that it can be determined whether the charge is false and motivated or not. They added that in most cases medical evidence has a bearing; only in exceptional cases are they overlooked in view of more weighty evidence that might come out in the course of the victim's testimony.

The Supreme Court's judgment last week is similar to a rape case judgment of US in 2000. A 19-year-old student of the University of Denver was convicted of rape under the Colorado law solely on the basis of the testimony from the victim, despite a defence witness adversely commenting on her mental state of affair.

Senior advocate K T S Tulsi said any departure from this rule of attaching weight to the victim's statement would put women in a more vulnerable position.

If, for instance, a married woman, who is habituated to sex, is raped, there is a possibility that medical examination may not be able to show sexual assault. Should the victim then be disbelieved only for lack of medical evidence, asks Tulsi.

Advocate Aparna Bhat, who heads the Rape Crisis Cell for the Delhi government, says there is little chance of men getting convicted on false charges on the basis of the apex court judgment.

The lack of semen stains on the undergarments is no basis to presume innocence of a rape accused, she says. In case of a pre-planned assault on a woman, if the rapist either does not ejaculate or use a condom, there would be no semen marks on his or the victim's undergarments, she says.

Bhat, however, does not rule out the possibility of a small number of women trying to harass men by levelling false rape charges as they know that the law as well as the sentiments of the judge would be in their favour.

Of the 600-odd cases being handled by the 'Rape Crisis Cell', only 25 to 30 fall in this category, which also includes police pursuing false rape charges against men to save them of tedious investigation to catch the real culprit, she said.

In the Safdarjung rape case of November 2005, the police immediately arrested a person to take credit of expeditiously solving the case. During the test identification parade, the victim was categoric that he was not the aggressor. Despite this, the police pursued the case in the court, which acquitted the man as the victim reiterated her statement, she said

August 6, 2007

newspaper report on INCEST...EUROPE

Forbidden love of the brother and sister...

Had it stopped at an appropriate point, the story of Patrick Stuebing and Susan Karolewski could have been poignant and moving.
Separated by adoption in their native East Germany, the siblings met for the first time in 2000 when Patrick tracked down his birth mother and the younger sister he had never met.
If their mother, Ana Marie, were alive today, however, she would, in all likelihood, be wishing her estranged son had never found his way home.

Boy's murder suspect in dramatic suicide bid .............
Because for the past seven years, brother and sister have been lovers. In that time they have had four children together - two of whom are mentally and physically disabled and all of whom are now in care.
And despite the fact that 29-year-old Stuebing, an unemployed locksmith, has already served two jail sentences for committing incest with his sister, now aged 22, the couple defiantly refuse to give each other up.
The disturbing story of their twisted relationship emerged this week as the pair announced plans to take their case to Germany's highest legal body, the Constitutional Court, in a bid to legalise their shocking union.
Astonishingly, they are doing so despite the fact that two of their children can barely walk or talk. Experts believe that such birth defects are caused by inbreeding.
But in a case that could have ramifications across Europe, and which has been presented by liberal sympathisers as a romantic battle against oppression, the pair argue that they are being denied the right to sexual freedom.
"We do not feel guilty about what has happened between us," they announced in a statement. "We want the law which makes incest a crime to be abolished."
To most people, this would seem to be an open and shut case. And yet, because Germany's laws on incest were introduced by the Nazis, they are an easy target for Left-wing groups who can conveniently argue that they are nothing more than an extension of the Third Reich's Aryan racial hygiene laws.
Such groups argue that the laws should be overturned in favour of freedom of choice and sexual determination. Or, as the couple's lawyer, Endrik Wilhelm, puts it: "Everyone should be able to do what he wants as long as it doesn't harm others."
But many say the practice of incest does harm others. Children born as a result of incest are at an increased risk of developing severe mental and physical disabilities. Incest laws are seen as a deterrent and help prevent children being born with the disabilities that result from genetic defects and inbreeding.
Back in Germany, the story has provoked moral and scientific outrage.
"When siblings have a child together, there is only a 50 per cent chance that it will be healthy when it is born," Jurgen Kunze, professor of human genetics at Berlin's Charite hospital, told one newspaper.
German newspapers mockingly call them the "forbidden lovers of the Fatherland" but, clutching each other on the sofa at their home in the small village of Grossdalzig near Leipzig, the pair insist they couldn't help themselves.
"We didn't know each other in childhood," says Susan. "It's not the same for us. We fell in love as adults and our love is real. There is nothing we could do about it. We were both attracted to each other and then nature took over from us. It was that simple. What else could we do? We followed our instincts and our hearts."
In fact, as the Mail has discovered, the details of the relationship make uncomfortable reading. Stuebing was the third of eight children born into a poor, uneducated, dysfunctional family. His violent father, now dead, attacked him with a knife when he was three and he was made a ward of court and then adopted. Susan was born into the same unhappy family - on the same day her parents' divorce was finalised.
Her childhood was unspeakably deprived. Her chain-smoking, unemployed mother often left her at home alone, or entertained lovers while she was there. Poorly educated and barely able to write, even today, Susan remembers being unloved and a burden to her mother.
Six other brothers and sisters, some of whom were born with disabilities, died in childhood. One was run over and killed age seven.
Another mentally handicapped sister died age eight. Susan was close to one of her disabled brothers, Andre, but he died in the same year as her mother.
When Stuebing was 18 he decided to find his biological parents. Four years later he tracked down his mother and discovered Susan. He moved in, and, astonishingly, Ana Marie allowed him to share her young daughter's bedroom.
"We both stayed up late into the night to talk to each other about our hopes and dreams," he says.
Six months later, Ana Marie died of a heart attack. Susan was relying more and more on her brother. It is not hard to see how she might have confused such dependency on her brother with love as she struggled to cope without her mother.
In her own words: "Trust grew into a different type of love when our mother died six months later."
Taking into account her lack of education, it is perhaps not surprising. She left school at 15 with no formal qualifications. A reporter who visited her at her home spoke of her obsessive nail biting and the simple way in which she spoke.
The bond appeared to develop out of dependency on Susan's part and perhaps a need to be respected and in charge on Stuebing's.
He says: "I became head of the family and I had to protect my sister. She is very sensitive but we helped each other during this very difficult period and eventually that relationship became physical."
Despite already having experienced a normal relationship with a woman, he insists: "We didn't even know we were doing anything wrong when we started sleeping together. We didn't think about using a condom. We didn't know it was illegal to sleep together.
"Our mother would not have approved, but the only ones who should judge us now is us."
In October 2001, aged just 16, Susan gave birth to a baby boy, Erik. He was taken into care and now - aged five and living with foster parents in Potsdam - can hardly walk or speak properly.
Sarah, now four, was born in 2003 and suffers similar disabilities. She was also taken into care, as was Nancy, nearly three, who appears to be normal. Sophia, now two, was born while Stuebing was in prison.
Under the care of German social services, Susan tried to hide the pregnancy by wearing baggy clothes. She gave birth alone in the bath. Stuebing has since been sterilised in the mistaken belief that if he has no more children with his sister, he will evade jail. And yet both are apparently in denial about their children's disabilities, despite expert opinion.
"Two of our children are disabled," says Stuebing. "But that is not necessarily anything to do with the fact that we are siblings. There are other disabled people in our family. We had six brothers and sisters who did not survive in some cases because they were disabled."
The pair were tried for incest in 2002. The district court in Leipzig heard how from January 2001 until August 2001, Stuebing "had sexual intercourse with his sister 16 times. Only at the beginning did the accused bother using condoms".
Stuebing received a year's suspended jail term after being found guilty on all counts. Susan, then 17, was treated as a juvenile and placed into the care of youth services.
But after the birth of two more children, the court was not so lenient. Stuebing was eventually sentenced to ten months in prison.
They found themselves in court again in 2005 on account of their other daughters and Stuebing was sentenced to two and a half years for re-committing incest.
When he was taken to jail, a tearful Susan told German newspapers she could not live without him. Stuebing threatened to commit suicide. Yet while the brother was locked up, the sister conceived a fifth child by another man.
Even so, upon Stuebing's release, she gushed to German reporters: "I'm so happy Patrick is here and that I have him again. I need him."
Stuebing in turn told the cameras: "I am doing well. I will always be there for Susan and the children."
They have been living together, but he has one year and five months of his sentence still open, and as he is openly back with his sister, he will be jailed again and again unless he can overturn German law.
"We are challenging this law because we do not want to be separated ever again," he says from the two-bedroom council flat where they live with Susan's latest child and a dog called Tyson.
Incredibly, the couple even argue that they might not have had so many children if the first hadn't been taken away. Stuebing says: "The younger children might not have been born had they not taken the first one from us. We just want to make sure that we don't lose everything again."
He and his sister visit their son Erik in care. He adds: "When you see your child being looked after by someone else when they should be with you, that's hard for any parent to bear. So if he is handicapped, well, that is all the more reason we should be able to look after him."
They also talk about wanting their oldest daughter Sarah back with them, but are happy for the others to remain with foster parents. "It would all be too much and we do not have enough room," says Susan, adding with unwitting irony. "We want to do what is best for them."
It is clear she is still utterly dependent on her brother. At home, she likes to read teenage magazines and watch Germany's version of Big Brother.
"When I go to the shops in the village, all the little boys call me rude names," she says. "But I can bear it all as long as Patrick is with me."
Stuebing admits he underwent a vasectomy in the hope it would mean he could live with his sister without fear of further prosecution.
"There is no reason for them to jail me now," he says. "I do not want to go back to jail and I know we will never voluntarily leave each other. If anyone doubts our love they should just see we will not be kept apart."
Few people would see this as a compelling argument to keep him out of prison. But while incest is one of the few remaining sexual taboos, in legal terms, at least, Europe remains divided. France's incest laws were abolished in 1810 by Napoleon. It is also not illegal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal or Turkey.
But in Britain, incest remains forbidden. The law was extended in 2002 to cover not just blood relatives but also step parents and children and cases of adoption.
If ever there was an argument for retaining incest laws, the story of Patrick Stuebing and his sister Susan Karolewski is surely it.
It is almost inevitable that when Germany's highest court decides on this case in around six weeks time, it will uphold its incest laws and send Stuebing back to jail.
It is a prospect Susan is distraught about. "We want our children back to raise them as a proper family," she says. "We love each other," she adds naively. "Surely that is all that matters?"
In the end, of course, the unfortunate children who have resulted from this twisted union matter far more. Whatever happens, they will have to live with the stigma of their parentage for the rest of their lives.

Sex with adult stepdaughter still incest, rules US court
[ 3 Mar, 2007 0040hrs IST AGENCIES ]

OHIO: Ohio's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a state law barring incest applied even when the victim was the perpetrator's willing 22-year-old stepdaughter.

Attorneys appealing a man's 120-day sentence said the sex was consensual and argued the law was designed to protect children, not adults. The court disagreed.

"The plain language (in the law) clearly prohibits sexual conduct with one's stepchild while the stepparent-stepchild relationship exists.

It makes no exception for consent of the stepchild or the stepchild's age," judge Judith Lanzinger wrote.

If the man had divorced his wife and was no longer the daughter's stepfather, the statute would not apply, she added. Defence lawyers said they might appeal.

This case in the US comes amidst a pair of siblings, who have had four children together, challenging Germany's laws banning incest.

The story of Patrick Stuebing and Susan Karolewski has taken the whole of Europe by storm. Separated by adoption in their native East Germany, the siblings met for the first time in 2000 when Patrick tracked down his birth mother and the younger sister he had never met. For the past seven years, brother and sister have been lovers. In that time they have had four children together.

Need of the hour!

CBSE moots helpline for girls
(Sonia Sarkar)

Alarmed by the rising sexual harassment cases among school children,
CBSE has asked schools to create a helpline for women and girl
students. Nodal offices and committees will be constituted to act as a
redressal cell, adopted preventive measures and also initiate
immediate administrative action against the guilty.

The schools have been asked to distribute printed information about
such committees in the form of booklets and brochures free of cost to
the target group, said a senior CBSE official, He added: "The
redressal of complaints should be done in three months, after which
the administration should be answerable to the committee explaining
the delay."

The board has directed schools to act tough with the guilty as far as
a nature of punishment for concerned. "The punishment should be
decided upon the guilty of the offence and taking complaint's
viewpoint into consideration," the circular issued to the schools
stated. It also said that the name of the harasser and the action
taken against him should be made public by putting it up on notice
boards. Realising that mere definition of sexual harassment will not
help the girls to understand the meaning and intensity of it, the
board stated that the students should be given education by various
means not only about the physical and biological growth and related
aspects, but also about how to discern for themselves, the right
and wrong behaviour of the opposite sex.

"We have also given a policy paper about adolescent sexuality ˆ the
developmental problems, menstruation, masturbation, teenage pregnancy,
sexually-transmitted diseases, child sexual abuse, sudden bevioural
and physical changes in children-like anxiety, depression, low
self-esteem, hostility, irritability and changes in appetite," said
the official.

To handle such cases, the board has advised the teachers to take
special care of the victimised children. The circular stated that the
teachers should not scold the victim or create panic, rather they
should believe him or her and try to remain calm. The child's privacy
should be respected and teachers should not discuss the incident in
front of others, it emphasised. Teachers are also asked to behave
responsibly and arrange for medical checkup for the victim, if needed.
Source: Times of India. 16 august, 2006.p.7