February 25, 2010

Times of India

Heart-to-heart? Not with parents, say youngsters

New Delhi: Are your children talking to you? It does not seem so. Fathers seem worse off when it comes to communicating with their children. Only 7% boys and 4% girls (aged 15-24) discuss “growing up’’ issues with their dad, a recently-concluded youth survey has revealed.
Mothers were equally bad when it came to their sons, with only 6% boys confiding and “discussing life’’ with them. In comparison, girls (77%) spoke more freely to their mothers, mostly about issues relating to menstruation The survey, conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences and Population Council and endorsed by the Union health ministry, covered nearly 51,000 married and unmarried young males and females from six states— Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. It found that school performance, a nonsensitive topic, was the most common area of discussion between kids and parents. In contrast, more touchy topics, such as romantic relationships and reproduction, were rarely discussed with either parent (only 2% of young men and 6% of young women did so). In fact, when it came to reproductive issues, children were equally secretive with both their parents.
The findings also suggest that parents controlled the social interactions of youngsters, particularly those involving members of the opposite sex. For example, 69% of young men and 84% of young women expected parental disapproval if they brought home a friend of the opposite sex.


Sympathy for one who raped a child? No

Mumbai: Rejecting the plea of inadequate defence owing to a poor legal aid counsel, a Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court last month stated no sympathy could be granted to an accused who raped a child.

The convict, Ganpat Nadekar, 60, wanted the 2007 case sent back to the trial court on grounds that he didn’t have “effective opportunity to be defended by an advocate of his own choice”. The Nagpur trial court in 2008 convicted Nadekar on charges of rape and kidnapping and sentenced him to 10 years in jail.
Nadekar, however, alleged that the legal aid counsel appointed by the court did not have time to go through the charge sheet and cross-examine witnesses effectively.
Considering the efforts made by the trial court judge to get Nadekar a lawyer, Justice AP Bhangale, in his judgment dated January 8 stated that there was “no adequate and sufficient or special reason warranting sympathy” to Nadekar.
Nadekar had raped a minor girl, studying in the Std VI, after luring her with money on May 5, 2007 in the jurisdiction of Jalalkheda police station, Nagpur district. The medical evidence also supported the prosecution.
As per the trial court records, at the time of framing of charges, Nadekar was offered legal aid. However, Nadekar refused it on grounds that he wanted to engage a private lawyer.
Justice Bhangale considered the records which indicated that Nadekar didn’t hire a lawyer despite being given ‘ample’ time to do so. Eventually, Nadekar accepted the legal aid counsel appointed by the court.
“It is not a case where the appellant had requested the trial court to be represented by a particular private lawyer of his choice and that such a prayer was rejected. Hence, there is no question of infringement of his fundamental right,” stated the judgment.
The judge also noted that courts are expected to deal with cases of sexual crime very sensitively and they need to be “dealt with sternly and severely”.

Times of India

Sex before 15, girls pip boys: Study

NEW DELHI: This could come as a shocker for those resisting introduction of sex education in Indian schools.Premarital sex has been found to be common among young men but
• a higher percentage of women aged 15-24 years have had sex before reaching the age of 15.

A large scale youth survey conducted under the aegis of the Union health ministry in the six states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu has thrown up some interesting findings.
• Around 15% of young men and 4% young women interviewed admitted to having pre-marital sex.
• Shockingly, 24% of the women had premarital sex for the first time before age 15 compared to 9% men.
• Premarital sex was also found to be more common in rural India. According to the report prepared by Population Council, Delhi, and International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai,
• youth in rural areas were also more likely than those in urban areas to have initiated a pre-marital romantic relationship at age 15 (29% compared to 17% among young men, and 46% compared to 31% among young women).
• Around 6% of rural youth compared to 1% of urban youth had their sexual debut before age 18.
• Over 26% of young men and 40% of young women reported that they had spent time alone with their first romantic partner at age 15 or below. Many of the pre-marital sexual experiences reported by the youth were risky.
• Around 25% of young men and 21% of young women reporting pre-marital sex had sex with more than one partner.
• Moreover, consistent condom use was limited only 13% of young men and 3% of young women reported condom use in all pre-marital encounters.

While sexual relations were generally unsafe across all the six states, some notable state-level differences were found. For example, among young men,
• multiple partner relations were reported by 32% in five of the six states, but by relatively few (14%) in Rajasthan.

Releasing the study, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said young people in India face multiple risks associated with sexual and reproductive health that include pregnancy related morbidity and mortality, delayed abortion seeking, unmet contraceptive need and lack of knowledge to make informed decisions.

• "One-third of the total reported AIDS cases are below the age of 29 years. More than 8% of young people in the age group of 15-19 years have experimented with sex either before or outside marriage.
• And only 37% of young men and 45% of young women knew that a woman can get pregnant at first sex.

It is, therefore, of utmost importance that India addresses the challenges of youth effectively," Azad said. The surveyors spoke to nearly 51,000 married and unmarried young males and females for this youth study. The survey found that
• significant minorities of young men and women had made or received a proposal for a romantic relationship (23%) before marriage,
• with one in four such relationships progressing to becoming sexual.
• The first reported romantic partner was typically a neighbour or friend (reported by 33% of young men and women), a fellow student or colleague (reported by 30% of young men and 16% of young women) or an acquaintance from outside the village/neighbourhood (reported by 25% of young men and 19% of young women).
• Around 27% of young women compared to 9% of young men reported that their first pre-marital partner was a relative.
• As far as consensuality of first sex is concerned, a larger percentage of young men than young women reported that their first experience of pre-marital sex was mutually consensual (76% versus 66%).
• One in seven young women (14%) reported that their partner had forced them to have sex the first time.

February 23, 2010

Times of India

Rape victims claim not always true: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that a rape victims testimony cannot be considered the absolute truth, though its her statement that has to be relied upon in most cases.
A bench of Justice H S Bedi and Justice J M Panchal said while primacy had to be given to the victims statement, it could not be presumed that she was telling the ultimate truth as the charge had to be proved beyond reasonable doubt as in any other criminal case.
We know that in a rape case, the victims statement must be given primary consideration . But at the same time, the principle that the prosecution has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt applies equally to rape as any other criminal case and there can be no presumption that a prosecutrix would always tell the entire incident truthfully, the apex court said in an order.
The court passed the observation while acquitting one of the three accused , Abbas Ahmad Chowdhary, charged with raping a minor girl. The incident goes back to September 15, 1997, when the accused-appellants , Md Mizazul Haq, Abbas Ahmad Choudhury and Ranju Daswho is abscondingraped the victim after forcibly taking her to a tea estate in Jalalpur.


Sex for lure isn't consensual

Luring a young girl into having sex for a favour in return cannot be called sex by consent, the Bombay high court ruled on Wednesday.
Upholding the conviction of Sanjay Gondchar, a teacher from a school in Amravati, the Nagpur bench of the court observed, “The appellant exploited the prosecutrix’s mindset and allured her to sexual intercourse. Under these circumstances, her consent for the sexual intercourse with the appellant [Gondchar], who was her teacher, cannot be labeled as a free consent.”
Gondchar was convicted for committing rape on his 16-year-old student by promising to help her pass her examinations. Challenging his conviction and five-year jail sentence before the high court, Gondchar had contended that the sexual intercourse between him and the girl did not amount to rape, as the girl had consented to the affair.

However, in her statement before the trial court, the teenaged victim had said that Gondchar told her: “If you allow me to do this to you, I will pass you with good marks. Further in X standard also...I will get good marks for you.”

She said that in March 2006, Gondchar had sent a message through her friend and called her to his house. According to her statement, he had a sexual intercourse with her against the promise of good marks in her examination.

“One cannot be oblivious of the mindset of an adolescent girl,” justice AP Bhangale said in his order. He added, “The allurement by the appellant could be enough for her to entertain a dream of passing the examination with flying colours.”


Times of India

Most women blame victims for rape, says British survey

LONDON: More than half of women believe that the rape victims are more responsible for the attack on them than the rapists, according to a new British survey.
The survey of 1,000 adults found 54% of women — mostly those aged between 18 and 24 years — believe rape victims should be held accountable for the attacks. Over 24% of this age group said wearing a short skirt, accepting a drink or having conversation with the rapist made victims partly responsible.
Nearly a fifth of women thought the victim was at fault if she went back to the attacker’s house, while more than one in ten — 13% — said dancing provocatively or flirting made them partly responsible. According to sexual assault clinics that carried out the poll, this blame culture is deterring victims from reporting the crime.
The ‘Wake Up To Rape’ report also found that 14% of women believe most rape claims were made up. Alarmingly, the survey also found that one in three men claimed they didn’t think it was rape if they made their partner have sex when they didn’t want to, the Daily Mail reported. The poll also found one in five women wouldn’t report a rape to the police, with half of these saying they would be ashamed.



My daughter went through mental agony: German rape victim's mother

Panaji: The German minor girl who was allegedly sexually abused by a Goa minister’s son went through mental agony and had to be referred for psychiatric care after the incident, her mother said. One day I prevented my daughter from going out so that she should not remain out late night, she assaulted me with a knife, I recollect this unfortunate incident of assault on me by my daughter took place on the very next day of filing my complaint on October 2, 2008," the mother told the court.
The infamous German rape case involving state education minister Atanasio Monserratte’s son, Rohit, came up for hearing before the children’s court this week. The mother was cross examined by senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, who represented Rohit in this case, which had hit headlines in 2008.

She said that on the next day, when complaint was filed, the 14-year-old victim broke many things from the house in anger and assaulted me again because I went to the police station to file a complaint against Rohit. "She was accusing me of destroying her friendship not with the accused but with friends in general," the mother said.

The deposition before the court revealed that the victim had to be referred to Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour (IPHB) from September 17, 2008 to September 23, 2008, when the victim started behaving violently and even tried slitting her wrist. The mother, according to her deposition, for the first time saw lewd messages sent from Rohit’s number on her daughter’s cell during her stay in IPHB. I had an opportunity to read the messages received on the mobilephone of my daughter and some of the messages were regarding sex and were rather obscene," she said.

The mother had lodged police complaint on October 2, 2008 but was registered only on October 14, 2008 after intense media pressure.

February 9, 2010


For Australian students, oral sex 'has become the new kissing

Melbourne: Teachers at a primary school in Tasmania, Australia are worried over students talking about having oral sex.
Roz Madsen from the Australian Education Union said that the teachers are increasingly overhearing kids in grades as low as 4 and 5 boast about having oral sex, using explicit language.
Madsen added that teachers "felt helpless" at how to deal with the problem, The Mercury reported.
"The students are talking about what they have done on the weekend, sexual experiences that they are having. It seems to be happening at earlier ages," News.com.au quoted her as saying.
She added: "They are talking about oral sex and saying they are doing it. Who knows if they are or are just boasting, I hope they are not.
"And the language as well, it's quite explicit, nothing is left to the imagination."
Also, Family Planning Tasmania's chief executive Sue Williams, said: "Oral sex has become the new kissing. It's easy and you don't get pregnant."
Family Planning, the AEU and other groups including Parents and Friends and Relationships Australia will voice for sex and relationship education to be part of the


Beauty guru Leslie Kenton was raped at 11 by her dad, says memoir

London, Jan 31 (IANS) Beauty guru Leslie Kenton has revealed in her new memoir “Love Affair” for the first time that she was raped by her own father when she was 11 and that the secret incest lasted until she was 13.
It was June, four years ago, when Kenton first contemplated writing about her childhood and “Love Affair” gives full extent of the horrors and the secret incest at its heart, dailymial.co.uk reports.
“My friend Gail Rebuck, who was my first editor and is now the chairman of Random House, told me, ‘You need to write a memoir.’ I said, ‘Gail, I can’t. No one would believe it, and the tabloids would go wild.’ And Gail said, ‘Who cares? This book will be the bridge between what you have done before and the work you will do afterwards.’”
For decades, there have been hints that the woman known as the high priestess of the real beauty movement – she advocated high-raw, high-vegetable diets and detoxifying way back in the 70s, created the Origins range and imported the skincare tablet Imedeen to Britain – had built her luminous present from a murkier past.
Talking about the book, Kenton said: “It ripped me to shreds”.
The book reveals that during the summer of 1952, Kenton met her father Stanley on tour, sharing his hotel room, sleeping back to back. While touring with his dance band, he was drinking heavily and Kenton who was just 10 was trying to police her dad. He was, in many ways, treating her as a substitute for his wife Violet. One night the final boundary was crossed and he raped his daughter. It was the beginning of an incestuous relationship that lasted until she was 13.
During visits, the days were as sunny as ever. They shared a unique exhilaration when together. Some nights he left her alone.
“I believe he tried his best to resist touching me. Then, drowning in a sea of alcohol, he would come to my bed, only to deny the next morning that he’d been there. This was not cynical. Stanley had become so skilled in keeping secrets he could hide his guiltiest one even from himself.
“He was born into guilt. As a child, he was taught by his mother, ‘There’s something wrong with you, Stanley.’ From talking to relatives, Leslie has learnt of a highly dysfunctional family with a history of manipulation, neglect and bizarre cult-like rituals.
“I do not know how to express the damage that a family like this does. This is a disease that’s passed on. Some people survive it and others are deeply damaged.”
Kenton thinks her father experienced a condition known as dissociative identity disorder, involving selective amnesia, which she also developed as she blocked out the incest.
While working on the book, Kenton retreated to her rambling house perched atop an extinct volcano on New Zealand’s South Island.
“Love Affair” is dedicated to her father – ‘For Stanley, with all my love’ – a tribute as startling as it is sincere.

DNA / Times of India

Victim of child porn goes after viewers for damages

When Amy was a little girl, her uncle made her famous in the worst way: as a star in the netherworld of child pornography. Photographs and videos
known as “the Misty series” depicting her abuse have circulated on the internet for more than 10 years, and often turn up in the collections of those arrested for possession of illegal images.

Now, with the help of an inventive lawyer, the young woman known as Amy — real name changed — is fighting back. She is demanding that everyone convicted of possessing even a single Misty image pay her damages until her total claim of $3.4 million has been met.

Some experts argue that forcing payment from people who do not produce such images but only possess them goes too far. The issue is part of a larger debate over fairness in sentencing sex offenders. For years, lawmakers have reasoned that virtually no punishment was too severe for such criminals; even statutory limits on sentencing were often exceeded.

Now some courts have begun to push back, saying these heavy sentences are improper, and a new emphasis has arisen on making sex offenders pay monetary damages for their crimes.

Amy’s uncle is now in prison, but she is regularly reminded of his abuse whenever the government notifies her that her photos have turned up in yet another prosecution. Over 800 of the notices have arrived at Amy’s home since 2005.

Those notices disturb Amy when they arrive, but Marsh saw an opportunity: he could demand restitution. He had Amy write a victim-impact statement and hired a psychologist to evaluate her. Economists developed a tally of damages and the total came to $3,367,854.

Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney general for the criminal division at the Justice Department urged judges not to let “practical and administrative challenges” to the restitution issue “drive a policy position that directly or indirectly suggests that possession of child porn is a victimless crime


One in four kids sends or receives porn via email

One in four children receives or sends explicit material over the Internet, says a survey.

The research by broadband provider TalkTalk found that out of 500 kids quizzed, one in 20, aged between six and 15, had contacted a stranger via webcam and one in 50 had met a stranger they first contacted online.
More than six out of 10 said they misled their parents into believing they were doing something else online and over half said they deleted the history of their visited websites to keep their family in the dark, reports The Telegraph.
Prof Tanya Byron, child psychologist and broadcaster, oversaw the TalkTalk research which also discovered that one in nine children had either bullied someone online or been bullied themselves.

Prof Byron said: "It's crucial that parents educate themselves about what's going on online and what their kids are doing there