What About the Little Boy Victims?
In our supposedly enlightened era about sex crimes against children there continues to be one glaring blind spot. Yes, there is more discussion now than ever before about the types of predators who target our children, the cyclical nature of these crimes and how to keep our children safe. And, yes, society does a pretty good job of gathering around to help the little girls who have fallen prey to pedophiles. Not so with little boys.
Discussion about the plight of sexually victimized boys and young male teens has been virtually absent from the national conversation. We all understand the horror and lifelong scars a rape can cause to, say, a 12-year-old female. But there remains this idea that if it happens to a 12-year-old boy they are somehow more able to handle it, less psychologically damaged by the victimization.
Some of the ill-informed even believe the boy is “lucky” to have been introduced to the joys of sex so early. Nothing could be further from the truth. [click to continue…]
Mr. and Mrs. Gavin Arvizo
I went to a wedding this past week-end and while you may not immediately recognize the name of the groom I’ll bet you know of him.
Despite a lifetime of obstacles, Gavin Arvizo — once at the center of a sensational child sex abuse scandal — has worked his way through to a triumphant life. At 13, Gavin accused Michael Jackson of molesting him and the superstar was arrested.
It seemed life was stacked against this kid from the very beginning.
As a youngster he lived in a one room apartment in East Los Angeles with two siblings and his parents. Poverty and domestic abuse was a way of life. [click to continue…]
The Calm Act – How Effective Is It Really?
Don’t look now but we have another new law on the books. This one has the soothing acronym “The Calm Act.” That’s short for The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. In layman’s terms it requires TV stations, cable operators, purveyors of satellite TV and other providers to make sure TV commercials aren’t so darned loud! The Calm Act requires commercials be no louder than the surrounding program in which they are shown.
I always figured TV ads were extra loud so you could still hear them from other parts of the house – like the kitchen or bathroom – if you stepped away during the commercial break. My husband, the audiophile, maintains that commercials are really no higher in volume than the accompanying program and that it is just, “The dynamic mid-range of sound advertisers use to get our attention,” – things like swelling music and explosions along with the announcers. I nod my head as if I understand what he’s talking about but I really don’t. To me loud is loud. [click to continue…]
Let’s Take Away Congress’s Red Ink Pen
Sometimes a columnist touches a raw nerve. I did that last week with my call for a citizen’s “Revolution in Thinking” about how we allow our politicians to operate.
Using lyrics from Les Miserable, the movie about the French Revolution, I wrote about the anger of so many Americans who want better for this country. They want the rivers of red-ink to stop flowing. They want political leaders to lead and to stop throwing up partisan barricades in a political war that does no one any good.
No sooner was the column published than my e-mail box exploded! [click to continue…]
Some Schoolyard Bullies Never Change
Nobody likes a bully – especially me.
But what if it is the United States Government that is the bully? What if certain people in Washington decide to target a citizen and then use all the resources available to them to crush that person?
I must tell you about a story I researched recently because millions of your tax dollars were used to wage an eight year war against Robert Lorsch a successful California businessman and philanthropist who loves animals. I mean, this guy gets all weepy when he talks about helping animals and he and his wife, Kira, have donated astounding amounts of money to animal causes – like the 36 acre Wildlife WayStation refuge in Topanga Canyon, California. [click to continue…]
What Road Will The New Year Take?
Time for New Year resolutions. Mine take the form of wishes and hopes focused on how to make our crime and justice system safer, saner and more evenhanded for all.
I know some of my wishes are unlikely to come true. But I also know many of them could if we were all determined to make society work better.
I hope that the coach Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State University gives strength and solace to the millions of victims of child sexual abuse everywhere, no matter how old they are now. May each of them understand that society condemns every person who preys on children and that the shame isn’t theirs, it rests solely on the molester. [click to continue…]
A Jury Says He Killed Michael Jackson
You may not have been the least bit interested in the recent trial of Dr. Conrad Murray who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of entertainer Michael Jackson. He has now been sentenced to the maximum – four years behind bars for giving Jackson the hospital-only anesthesia Propofol in his home every night for at least two months.
Here’s why the case is important.
The case riveted doctors across the nation. Especially doctors in celebrity studded areas of the country like Los Angeles and New York, Aspen and Nashville, Atlanta and New Mexico where concerts and movie shoots attract some of the biggest divas in the entertainment business.
As the old Hollywood saying goes, “Where there’s a star there are drugs.” [click to continue…]
Best Way to Curb Youth Crime - Get to 'Em Early
o often in this space I write about terrible things being done to – and sometimes by – the children of America. From sex trafficking to bullying, it is easy for a crime and justice writer to get mired in the all the negative surrounding our kids.
This time let’s concentrate on the positive.
Any child psychologist will tell you young people crave attention, structure and discipline. Any cop on the beat will tell you there are plenty of kids who just don’t get it at home. Their parents are either too busy working to pay the bills or their parents can’t pass it on because they never got it themselves. [click to continue…]