Friday, June 30, 2006
By no means all sexual perversions avert normal (healthy) people. Some of them are simply funny. Below we give a list of four funniest sexual perversions. Yet if something from this list excites you – forget about sex you musn’t reproduce.
Among English exhibitionists, flashers and just extreme sex amateurs a new sexual flame is booming. “Doggerty” is sex in public parks or cars in presence of passer-bys or together with them. “Doggerty” has received its name over the reason that people arrested for this extreme pleasure usually explained their behavior saying that they “were walking with a dog”.
Girls and mud-stuck-cars
Men loose their ground seeing a woman in trouble. They also love women in and without underwear. Some English websites have united these two male foibles: for 77 dollars you will get a DVD disk with seminude girls of easy virtue trying to pull their luxurious cars out of mud. Some men get excited of such a sight.
It’s an orgy, which even nuns can take part in. For three hours you can touch whoever and wherever, yet you mustn’t lay off. The cost of such a pleasure is just 30 dollars. In other words, you will spend several hours squeezed between some nice granny and aged broker from Wall Street. Officially such parties are called “practical training on the opposite sex nonsexual touching sensuality".
The holders of colorful wigs and false hair are also not devoid of imagination. For 25 dollars you can buy a DVD porno-movie, with key actors being clowns: heterosexual and lesbian. The movie starts with erotic orgy and ends with clown incest. We don’t advise you to watch this movie; otherwise you’ll experience orgasm as soon as you see balloons and rubber toys.
Best sex toys store
Thursday, June 29, 2006
To reel in the women, college student and Super Free leader Shinichiro Wada promised them the opportunity to meet pedigreed young men at Waseda University, the elite school he attended.
The highbrow mixing finally crashed to an end this summer, however, amid accusations of lurid games, drunken free-for-alls, and ruthless gang rapes by male members who turned the college-backed club into a hotbed of systematic sexual assault.
Women alleged to police that Wada and his cohorts would orchestrate boozing games, then cull the most inebriated girls and quietly whisk them away to karaoke rooms, bathrooms or stairwells to be gang-raped.
When 28-year-old Wada and five other organizers were arrested on rape charges in late June, public outrage underlined how attitudes about sex crimes are changing in a society where victims traditionally suffered in silence.
But the affair also shows how much hasn't changed. It has triggered a boys-will-be-boys backlash that activists say only spotlights how ingrained sexist sentiment remains.
"To some men, rape is still a fantasy, rather than a crime," said Tamie Kaino, a professor at Tokyo's Ochanomizu University and an expert on campus sex crimes.
Sex crimes in Japan have surged in recent years, with rape cases jumping 40 percent to 2,228 in 2001, from around 1,600 four years earlier, according to the National Police Agency. Offenses such as groping and obscenity tripled to 9,326 cases in 2001 from a decade ago.
The increase is due at least in part to a greater inclination by women to report attacks to police. Since the Super Free scandal broke, more of its alleged victims have come forward.
But most assaulted women in Japan still stay silent, said Shoichi Kodama, a National Police Agency investigator. Often, they are accused of having invited trouble, especially in the summer when women wear light clothes. And rapists sometimes photograph the assault, threatening to release the prints if the victims seek help.
Media reports also have a blame-the-victim flavor. Many of the women attending the Super Free parties were depicted as rural bumpkins of about 20 or a bit younger looking for city boys at brand-name universities. Some commentators said they were simply out of their league and lost control during the drinking games.
During a Parliament debate, lawmaker Seiichi Ota, a 57-year-old former Cabinet minister, got a laugh when he quipped: "At least gang rapists are still vigorous. Isn't that at least a little closer to normal?"
A few days later, a weekly magazine said Yasuo Fukuda, the Cabinet's chief spokesman, told reporters at an off-the-record briefing that women were partly to blame in the case of gang rape.
"The problem is that there are lots of women dressed provocatively," he was quoted as saying. Fukuda, who is also the minister of gender equality, said his comment was taken out of context. "I meant something completely different," he said, but didn't elaborate.
Yoko Yoshida, a staff member at the Tokyo Rape Crisis Center, said the wink-and-nudge attitude is grounded in a popular culture that often depicts rape as an act of passion, not violence, and that women who resist don't really mean it.
Myths are perpetuated by an underground pop culture in which rape is a common genre.
Rape-themed videos account for about a fifth of the porno offerings at chain rental stores, with titles like "Idol Rape Crime File" ranking among the top five in weekly X-rated sales. Popular comic books and video games often depict rape fantasies where teenage girls, nurses and housewives willingly submit to rapes and other sex assaults from relatives, neighbors or even police. A 17-year-old high school student arrested in June for allegedly raping 31 women reportedly told police he was trying to re-enact scenes he saw in porno books and magazines.
"I'm afraid some men think rape is forgivable," Yoshida said. "When something happens, women — the victims — take the blame."
Still, Yoshida said things are slowly changing. Police now show more sensitivity to rape victims, and Yoshida thinks the Super Free affair may accelerate the change.
"The case got a lot of attention, and I hope this will raise awareness even more," she said.
Tokyo's staid Waseda University is already reacting. It has since dissolved Super Free and before the summer break issued a warning to students: "All sex without consent is considered rape, and it's a serious crime. Don't be fooled by stereotypical rape scenes in dramas, comic books and videos!"
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Paul Blackwood broke down the door of the woman's house and tried to have sex with her before leaving her on the floor, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
Mr Blackwood, of Parliament Street, West Bromwich, denies attempted rape.
Williams Davies QC, prosecuting, said the accused returned to try and rub evidence off the carpet with his shoe.
The prosecution said DNA collected from the carpet "precisely" matched that of the defendant after the attack on 30 November last year.
Mr Davies said the woman, who is now 102, was awoken by a banging noise in the night and assumed it was a porch door.
He said: "The banging had been the noise of the breaking open of the front door. Just as she got back to where her bed was the door of her bedroom smashed open."
The intruder pushed the woman to the floor and pulled off some of her clothes, the court was told.
The case continues.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The Home Office study also states that cases of human trafficking have risen over the last two to three years.
But Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker says demand for sex with trafficked women is falling.
He told MPs that adverts telling men they could be charged with rape if they pay for sex with a woman working under duress was increasing awareness.
Police behind Operation Pentameter, a four-month crackdown which saved 84 trafficked women from prostitution, have written to men's magazines and distributed leaflets to people going to the World Cup in Germany.
Mr Coaker told Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights there was evidence that demand for sex with trafficked women had fallen as a result.
"We think there is evidence of the fact that the punters, on the various websites, that their behaviour has been influenced by these messages that have been going out," he said.
"We know that we need to do more with respect to many of these things. We know there are challenges that we have to meet.
"This is a new area of work - it's something that five, 10 years ago perhaps, people very rarely talked of.
"But it's a major challenge for us and we're determined to do what we can to beat it."
Monday, June 26, 2006
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 25, 2006 12:00 AM There is sex and there is sex.
On one hand there is the Hollywood version, all titillation and emptiness; on the other there is the sex that is the single genetic reason for existence, mysterious and gravid.
This is the sex that ripens in Mexican artist Flor Garduño's photographs, on view in the show "Inner Light" at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
The show comprises 61 photographs, mostly of women and most of whom are nude. But they are not the standard nude women we recognize from most such photography.
When men photograph nude women, it is almost always to create images of desire. The women are looked upon with delectation. Garduño's women are images of identification: She sees her own life as a woman reflected in her models. What is more, it is her life as universal life, writ large as the model of all life. It contains multitudes.
In other words, this is not sex as men imagine it, but as women experience it. Not as a moment of temporary satisfaction, but as a process from birth to parenthood to death. This is sex not as entertainment, but as the central mystery of being alive.
It is the flower that is the single most potent cultural symbol of this process: from bud to blossom to fruit to seed. The flower dies, reborn in the next generation, a continuous process of nature, each generation growing out of the last like the tender shoots of grass growing out of the folded leaves below it.
This is a process seen in Garduño's photographs, not as some abstract idea but as the juicy, pulpy, sticky and delicious process it is.
The photographs feature a number of surprising female analogues. Among the forms of yoni included are a giant millstone with a hole in the center, a cacao pod in an oval bowl and a painting of a pear with a coin slot in its side.
Some, such as the flowers, are more obvious, but for Garduño, anything that folds open may be a metaphor for the female organ, even books, which appear twice, once floating on a pond like a water lily, and once as a funeral stone. In another, it is a hinged mold for making chocolate fish.
Many of the photographs are in pairs, such as the books, although they are displayed apart from each other, as if to prevent our seeing them as obvious diptychs. One is of a nude woman on a carved wooden jaguar; another of a pregnant woman on the same jaguar. They are both splayed over the carving like a Mayan sacrifice on a chac mool. (Chac mool is said to be Mayan for "red jaguar," and sex, in this light, is the sacrifice - men often forget that every time a woman has sex, she risks death in childbirth.)
Among the pairs is one photograph of a young girl in a metal-frame dress form, as if imprisoned by the shape she will grow into; another is of a grown woman inside the same cage form. One of a ripe pear with a wedge sliced out, leaving a yonic slit; another of a split pomegranate, its seed spilling out.
One cannot but recall D.H. Lawrence writing about the "wonderful moist conductivity towards the center," in his poem Figs.
Crows appear in duplicate, as do doves. Huge banana leaves, in the vulvar shape of the mandorla, abound, as do the jack-in-the-pulpit spadix and spathe - the not-so-subtle phallus and yoni - of the ceriman plant, or Monstera deliciosa, called piñanona in Mexico and titled such here.
There is a good deal of wit in these photos, and some genuine humor - a plate of nipple-ended lemons is a scream. And the wit helps dispel any fear of lingering New-Agey solemnity that might have made the show ponderous and preachy.
It is not; it is an example of the best sort of thing art can do: provide metaphors for the unavoidable processes of life, illuminating them and giving them a kind of mythic gravity.
But although you may smile at some of the images, the show is essentially serious: This is life, Garduño is saying, and we all participate.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
By Claire Osborn
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
A 14-year-old Travis County girl who said she was sexually assaulted by a Buda man she met on MySpace.com sued the popular social networking site Monday for $30 million, claiming that it fails to protect minors from adult sexual predators.
The lawsuit claims that the Web site does not require users to verify their age and calls the security measures aimed at preventing strangers from contacting users younger than 16 "utterly ineffective."
"MySpace is more concerned about making money than protecting children online," said Adam Loewy, who is representing the girl and her mother in the lawsuit against MySpace, parent company News Corp. and Pete Solis, the 19-year-old accused of sexually assaulting the girl.
Hemanshu Nigam, the chief security officer for MySpace.com, said in a written statement: "We take aggressive measures to protect our members. We encourage everyone on the Internet to engage in smart web practices and have open family dialogue about how to apply offline lessons in the online world."
Founded in 2003, MySpace has more than 80 million registered users worldwide and is the world's third most-viewed Web site, according to the lawsuit.
Loewy said the lawsuit is the first of its kind in the nation against MySpace.
Solis contacted the girl through her MySpace Web site in April, telling her that he was a high school senior who played on the football team, according to the lawsuit.
In May, after a series of e-mails and phone calls, he picked her up at school, took her out to eat and to a movie, then drove her to an apartment complex parking lot in South Austin, where he sexually assaulted her, police said. He was arrested May 19.
The lawsuit includes news reports of other assault cases in which girls were contacted through MySpace. They include a 22-year-old Wisconsin man charged with six counts of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl and a 27-year-old Connecticut man accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.
MySpace says on a "Tips for Parents" page that users must be 14 or older. The Web site does nothing to verify the age of the user, such as requiring a driver's license or credit card number, Loewy said.
To create an account, a MySpace user must list a name, an e-mail address, sex, country and date of birth.
"None of this has to be true," the lawsuit said.
Attorneys general from five states, including Texas, have asked MySpace.com to provide more security, the lawsuit said. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent a letter to the MySpace.com chief executive officer May 22, asking him to require users to verify their age and identity with a credit card or verified e-mail account.
Lauren Gelman, associate director of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, said she does not think MySpace is legally responsible for what happens away from its site.
"If you interact on MySpace, you are safe, but if a 13-year-old or 14-year-old goes out in person and meets someone she doesn't know, that is always an unsafe endeavor," Gelman said. "We need to teach our kids to be wary of strangers."
Loewy said he was confident about the lawsuit, which he said seeks damages worth 1 percent of the company's estimated worth.
"We feel that 1 percent of that is the bare minimum that they should compensate the girl for their failure to protect her online when they knew sexual predators were on that site," he said.
The dead were the guard and a U.S. Justice Department investigator, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. A prison employee helping with the arrest was hospitalized.
Six guards in all had been indicted Tuesday in an alleged sex-for-contraband scheme that authorities said went on for two years.
Officials did not release the gunman's identity. But lawyer Tim Jansen said the dead guard was Ralph Hill, his client. The slain Justice Department agent was identified as William "Buddy" Sentner, 44, who formerly worked for the Secret Service before joining the Inspector General's office in 2002. The identity of the survivor was not disclosed, but he was reported in stable condition.
The other five guards indicted were Alfred Barnes, Gregory Dixon, Vincent Johnson, Alan Moore and E. Lavon Spence.
The official said the guard fired with a personal weapon, wounding a Bureau of Prisons employee who was assisting with the arrest. Agents from the Justice Department's Inspector General's office returned fire, killing the guard, the official said, adding that a Justice Department agent was killed in the exchange. It was not immediately clear who fired the fatal shot.
This is the first time an Inspector General agent is believed to have been killed on duty, Justice Department officials said.
An investigation into security lapses at this prison is near certain, with the biggest question regarding the fact that the prison apparently does not screen its employees for guns or other weapons when they enter the facility, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Acosta.
"The community is safe. The institution is in lockdown status," federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Carla Wilson said.
The detention center houses mostly men who are being processed before entering the prison system and is part of the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution. A low-security prison for female inmates is next to the detention center. Together the men's and women's units house 1,445 inmates.
Guards are prohibited from bringing personal weapons into prisons but are not screened the way visitors are, Wilson said.
In addition to the sex charges, the guards were accused of threatening to plant contraband in inmates' belongings or have them sent to other institutions farther from their families if they reported the illegal activity.
According to the indictment, the guards showed inmates information about themselves and inmates on the prison computer system to prove that their threats were real. It said the guards switched assignments to arrange trysts with inmates.
The five other guards entered not-guilty pleas in federal court and were scheduled for a bail hearing Thursday.
©MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc.
A stepsister of a 22-year-old Filipina allegedly raped by four US marines testified Friday that the complainant had appeared drunk as she partied with one of the suspects before the alleged assault.
Anna Lisa Franco testified that her half-sister "Nicole" could not stand up straight after consuming several rounds of alcoholic drinks, including half a pitcher of a concoction called a "bullfrog," while being cheered on by three US servicemen.
The rape allegedly occurred in a van after one of the four accused carried the complainant out of a bar after a night of partying at the former US naval base of Subic Bay on Nov. 1, 2005.
The complainant said she and her stepsister had been invited to Subic Bay by another US serviceman who had paid their hotel bills and given them cash to go shopping, visit the zoo and gamble at a casino.
Chad Carpentier, Dominic Duplantis, Daniel Smith and Keith Silkwood have each pleaded not guilty to a charge of rape. If convicted, they face up to 40 years in jail.
Before the trial, they told US investigators that one of them had consensual sex with the woman. Prosecutors said consent is absent if the victim is drunk.
Franco said she saw her stepsister dancing with Smith, who she identified in court by tapping his shoulder, after the complainant had been drinking alcohol.
"They danced for about 10 to 15 minutes," the witness added.
On Tuesday US navyman Christopher James Mills testified that he invited the two women to Subic Bay after meeting them at their mother's restaurant in Zamboanga.
He met the two women again at Subic in late October when his ship, the USNS Stockholm, was on a stopover.
Mills said he and Franco found the alleged victim in a hospital a few hours after the drinking and dancing session. He told the court the woman said she could not remember what had happened to her.
On Thursday’s hearing an investigator from Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority's Intelligence and Investigation Office said a police report found no semen on the condom allegedly used in the crime.
During his cross examination, Ramon Paje testified that a police crime laboratory report showed no semen stains on the condom and underwear recovered from the complainant. The report was submitted before the court.
Defense lawyers said Paje’s testimony bolstered their claim that no sexual contact took place between the complainant and Smith.
Private prosecutor Evalyn Ursua, however, said ejaculation is not necessary for rape to be committed. She said slightest penetration is already considered “consummated rape.”
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The concern was raised as researchers discussed The Future of Sex at an unprecedented summit near Santa Fe, New Mexico, late last week.
"The de-interaction of sex is something I worry about," said Julia Heiman, director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. "If we go too much in the direction of virtual sex, what's left out? How you get along in a personal sphere is getting short shrift," Heiman said in a conference call with reporters.
While cyber-sex fuelled by drugs such as Viagra might be tempting, it is "built for disappointment "because real life can seldom compete with fantasies, panelists said. "The breakneck speed of technology development allows one to create one's own erotic ideal and a multi-sensory experience of virtual sex," said Heiman. "If young people are learning in this fashion, what about the very personal aspect of sex in which you have to interact with the other person?"
A compounding factor will likely be pharmaceutical companies eagerly expanding the array of drugs that enhance sexual activity, Heiman said. Erection-stimulating drugs such as Viagra could exacerbate the "individualisation" of sex, said professor John Gagnon of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. "The other part of the couple may not be consenting to the erection," Gagnon said. "The assumption is the woman will be happy if the fellow arrives with one."
Technology and Viagra-type medicine combine to push people out of social relationships and reduce their capacity to relate to each other, according to Gagnon. "Like one simulates a bombing run," Gagnon said. "It distances you from the person being hit by the bomb."
Another potentially disturbing ingredient in the mix is that the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States and ensuing "war on terror" are inuring society to violence, Heiman said.
"The tolerance of violence may be making a comeback," Heiman said. "And when that happens, sexual violence will be tolerated."
Technology is pushing people apart just as online dating services bring others together, according to panelists.
The Internet is increasingly a place for people with shared interests to form online communities and for people to seek dates or mates, said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington.
"Every country, no matter how undeveloped, has dating sites," Schwartz said. "My experience is people want to get offline as quick as possible. People are looking for partners, looking for love."
The Internet could also serve as a trove of information dispelling misconceptions about sexual lifestyles, health and trends, according to panelists.
The researchers, who joined about 100 peers for the three-day conference, hoped the coming decade would see more research into the roles of race, medicine, age, technology and political conservatism on sexuality.
"When one gets into the predicting the future business," Gagnon said jokingly, "one gets into a situation where you are mostly wrong."
Brazil showed that you can't always get what you want: 74 percent of men told researchers that sex was important to them but only 59 percent said the sex they were having was very or extremely pleasurable.
But perhaps most troubling was the gap between men and women: in every country except Algeria and Malaysia men were far more likely to report that they were happy with their sex lives.
One reason why women are so dissatisfied - and also disinterested - is that "evolution hasn't caught up with us," said lead researcher Edward Laumann, a sociology professor at the University of Chicago.
"Women are very sensitive to the quality of a relationship and when those things aren't in good order they're not interested," he said in a telephone interview. "It's a way of regulating (pregnancy) and protecting the children."
Another reason for lower levels of sexual satisfaction among women is a lack of foreplay, which is particularly problematic in male-dominated cultures in Asia and the Middle East, Laumann said.
"On entry it takes four minutes (for men) to ejaculate on average. Women need 11 minutes. That's why foreplay is so important," he said.
"In 75 percent of the cases the men report always having an orgasm. With women only 26 percent say they always have one, although 45 percent of men believe their partners always have an orgasm."
Researchers analysed survey data from 29 countries including:
Korea China Japan Indonesia Thailand South Africa Brazil Mexico Algeria Turkey Egypt Morocco Israel United States Canada Australia New Zealand and Much of Western Europe.
It's the most comprehensive study of its kind and shows much about how cultural attitudes affect sexual gratification which can help with overall health and happiness and improving the quality of life, Laumann said.
About 60 to 80 percent of people living in countries that had "gender equality" - essentially Western countries - said they were having good sex.
In Austria 80 percent of men and 63 percent of women said they were having extremely or very satisfying sex while 73 percent of men and 68 percent of Spanish women said they were having good sex.
In South Africa, 61 percent of men say sex is good, as against 47 percent of women. On the question of whether sex is important, 55 percent of men agree, while only 26 percent of women think its important.
In "male-centered sexual regimes" like the Middle East, Brazil, Italy and parts of Asia sexual satisfaction rates fell to the 40 to 50 percent range although the importance of sex in a person's life was often higher, particularly among men.
Muslim respondents reported a higher rate of importance for sex because sexuality in marriage is highly valued by both men and women.
In China, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan less than a quarter of respondents said their sex was either extremely or very pleasurable. Japan ranked last with just 18 percent of men and 10 percent of women saying they had good sex.
Sex also wasn't important to most respondents and women in particular. In Taiwan only seven percent of women said sex was very or extremely important to them.
One interesting finding was that women in eastern Asia who smoke are far more likely to enjoy sex.
"It's not a feminine thing to do so it's a sign of liberality," Laumann said.
Another thing which makes the study unique is that it focuses on people aged 40 to 80.
"People in these age ranges are in fact engaged in a significant amount of sex," Laumann said. "It should be a surprise to people in this age range but it will be to their children."
The study did, however, find a high level of sexual dysfunction.
"Premature ejaculation is the biggie for men - one in four worldwide report it," Laumann said.
"But the interesting thing is it doesn't have an adverse impact (on their rating of sexual pleasure) because it doesn't matter to them, though it may to their partner."
About a third of women worldwide do not experience sexual desire, although the rate is much higher in the Middle East and eastern Asia.
Only about 10 to 15 percent of respondents said they would go to a doctor to discuss their sexual problems but a majority of respondents said they would like their doctors to ask about their sex lives.
The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Archives of Sexual Behaviour. - Sapa-AFP
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006; Page A01
The number of rapes per capita in the United States has plunged by more than 85 percent since the 1970s, and reported rape fell last year even while other violent offenses increased, according to federal crime data.
This seemingly stunning reduction in sexual violence has been so consistent over the past two decades that some experts say they have started to believe it is accurate, even if they cannot fully explain why it is occurring.
In 1979, according to a Justice Department estimate based on a wide-ranging public survey, there were 2.8 rapes for every 1,000 people. In 2004, the same survey found that the rate had decreased to 0.4 per thousand.
Many criminologists and victims' advocates say that these numbers could be a statistical mirage, because rape is still underreported and poorly understood. But others say they have been convinced that there is real improvement and that a devastating crime has been receding from American life.
"Overall, there has clearly been a decline over the last 10 to 20 years," said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. "It's very liberating for women, in terms of now being able to be more free and more safe."
By all accounts, rape is still one of the most underreported crimes. Several decades after the establishment of rape crisis hotlines, greater sensitivity toward rape victims by police and prosecutors, adoption of policies by news organizations to not identify victims and limitations on how much a victim's sexual history can be placed in evidence during trial, the Justice Department estimates that 61 percent of rapes and sexual assaults are still not reported. But that is down from 69 percent in 1996, and experts say the trend remains downward.
Not everyone is convinced that things are getting that much better. Many who work with rape victims say they do not believe there has been a widespread decline in the number of attacks. Instead -- despite the years of attempted outreach to rape victims -- they say the crime may be as hidden now as ever.
"If there's been a change, it's been a very small change," said Dean Kilpatrick, director of the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center in Charleston, S.C. He said that recent high-profile rape cases such as those involving Duke University lacrosse players and basketball star Kobe Bryant may have persuaded rape victims to stay silent because of public scrutiny of the accusers' private lives and sexual history.
Some experts say that the dispute over numbers has made rape an especially difficult crime to study or try to fix.
"When the conversation gets bogged down around, 'How prevalent is this problem?' you can't even get to the next steps, of 'Now, what are we going to do about it?' " said Jennifer Pollitt Hill, executive director of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, an Arnold-based umbrella group for victims' assistance groups statewide.
Now, though, some experts are saying they have been won over by decades of data showing the same encouraging thing: Rape in America is receding, and rapidly.
One measure is the Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey, which asks thousands of respondents 12 and older about crimes that have happened to them. This survey, which is meant to capture offenses that weren't reported to police, is the one that depicted the 85 percent decline in the per-capita rape rate since 1979.
Another way to track rape's apparent decline is through the nation's police reports, which are aggregated every year by the FBI. Their reports, dating to the mid-1980s, show that rape reached a peak in about 1992, with 0.4 rapes reported to police per 1,000 people.
Since then, reported rape declined about 25 percent by 2004, the most recent year for which data were available. In that year, the rate was about 0.3 reported rapes per 1,000. Besides the fact that not all rapes were being reported, the two studies' differ because the FBI reports define rape more narrowly, excluding instances involving male victims. Both classify attempted rapes as "rape."
Last week, the FBI released its preliminary crime data for 2005, which showed that reports of rape had again fallen slightly -- even as other violent crimes such as murder and robbery ticked worrisomely upward.
"The decline has been steady and consistent, which gives us a lot of confidence that it's a real occurrence, not a statistical anomaly," said Scott Berkowitz, president of the Washington-based Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
One school of thought holds that rape has declined for the same reasons that other violent offenses have: a reduction in the lawlessness associated with crack cocaine, a shrinking population of young people and an increased number of criminals in jail.
Rapists "tend to commit other crimes," said Richard Felson, a professor at Pennsylvania State University. "The way we say it in criminology is that offenders tend to be versatile." By this logic, locking up robbers, killers and drug dealers reduces the pool of potential rapists out on the street.
Another, more hopeful, explanation is that Americans have actually changed the way they think about sexual assault: Women have been taught to avoid unsafe situations, and both boys and girls have been drilled to understand the rules of consent.
"They're far more aware that 'no' means no," than previous generations, Berkowitz said.
In the Washington area last week, local officials said they had seen little evidence of a vast decline in rape. Last year, the District's total rapes fell 24 percent; at the same time, reports of rape increased in several suburban jurisdictions.
Because the recent federal report on crime statistics counts only cities, statistics on other local jurisdictions were not included.
"I think we're steady in Prince George's County," said State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey. He said county authorities have seen new and disturbing trends in sexual assault, including a spate of attacks by juveniles and a few assaults committed at school-day "skip parties." Ivey recalled one recent skip party at which a girl was allegedly surprised and attacked by eight or nine men as a kind of gang initiation.
"I just don't recall seeing things like that 10 or 15 years ago," Ivey said.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV), caused by a bacteria that is part of the chlamydia family, is normally confined to the tropics of Africa, South America, Asia and the Caribbean. By the end of 2005 there were 30 recorded cases of LGV in Toronto.
"This is a new thing," said Dr. Robert Remis, a University of Toronto HIV/AIDS researcher. "It's hard to diagnose and it's a rather painful condition."The city is already in the grip of a syphilis outbreak, and both diseases are associated with an increased risk for HIV and AIDS.
Dr. Kelly MacDonald, chair of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, said the two outbreaks are a serious concern. "It's a marker for high-risk sex and partner change," she said. "In every study with explosive rates of HIV you see syphilis."And LGV is a "tropical disease we shouldn't see" in Toronto, she added. "It means the rate of partner change is extremely high. Things like syphilis and LGV should be the first things we get under control," said MacDonald, a microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital.
LGV symptoms appear three to 30 days after exposure. It starts with a painless sore on the vagina, penis, rectum or oral cavity. The condition can be cured with three weeks of antibiotics, but left untreated it can cause scarring, deformity and, in rare cases, hepatitis and meningoencephalitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord tissues).
In Toronto, all but one of the 30 cases were found in gay or bisexual men, said Dr. Rita Shahin, associate medical officer of health. Cases of LGV have been recently reported in gay men in the Netherlands and other European countries.The current syphilis outbreak started in May 2002, mostly in gay or bisexual men, and peaked in 2004 with 368 cases. Last year there were 241."It's a true epidemic and related to an increasing rate of unsafe sexual behaviour," said Remis.Most gay men practise safe sex, but some still don't wear condoms. Just as condoms can prevent the transmission of HIV, they can also lower the chances of getting syphilis and LGV.
The odds of getting HIV/AIDS are increased by three to five times if you already have syphilis, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Thirty to 40 per cent of the new cases of syphilis since 2002 were seen in men co-infected with HIV, according to Remis. Almost all of the men with LGV were HIV-positive.An estimated 55,000 people in Canada live with HIV/AIDS. In Toronto, 15,300 people have the sexually transmitted disease; 10,700 of those are men.
Syphilis — which usually begins with a painless ulcer on the genitals — is easy to treat with a single, intramuscular shot of penicillin. But if the ulcer is small or hidden inside the vagina, throat or anus, it can be missed.As the syphilis progresses from a sore to its secondary phase, a rash develops on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It usually clears up on its own and the syphilis becomes latent, making its appearance 10 to 30 years later. When it comes back, the lesions can appear anywhere, including the heart, liver and brain. But if you have HIV or AIDS, syphilis can progress at an intensely rapid pace, infecting the brain and major organs in a year.
Health officials are trying to get the word out about syphilis, which can be easily transmitted during oral sex, by educating and encouraging testing in bathhouses and in the gay community.High-risk sexual behaviour among gay and bisexual men and an associated increase in HIV rates has been seen in New York City and Miami."Now we have people making decisions not to use condoms because they don't think the risk is that great and the outcome isn't that bad," said MacDonald.The popularity of recreational drugs could play a role. So could the lack of "fresh" messages teaching the public about the dangers of sexually transmitted infections, said Shahin.
The next night they offered two girls, aged 15 and 16, free US holidays, clothes and perfume, and asked one to dance in their room for money.
Jessica Kornacki told the inquest she met the men at a pyjama party in the nightclub of the Pacific Sky on the second evening of the cruise, about 14 hours after Mrs Brimble was found dead in their cabin.
The man who did most of the talking called himself Peter. He was yesterday identified by Ms Kornacki's friend, Amy Mudge, as Letterio Peter Silvestri, one of the eight men named as persons of interest in the inquest.
Ms Kornacki said he was wearing only a towel, and was with a man she identified as Mark Robin Wilhelm.
"He ("Peter") came across to me as a bit sleazy, and I didn't want anything to do with him," Ms Kornacki told the inquest.
"He said if I liked I could come back to his room and he would pay me to dance to the music videos" (on the ship's pay television).
The men also offered her and Amy Mudge, 16, cigarettes and drinks. Ms Kornacki told the inquest she thought the men were drug dealers, but that they had denied this, although Mr Silvestri had said he took cocaine and ecstasy socially.
She told the court she later heard a rumour that Mr Silvestri had drugged and raped a woman who then died on the cruise.
The inquest has previously heard that Mrs Brimble died naked on the floor of the cabin occupied by Mr Wilhelm, Mr Silvestri and two others. Mr Wilhelm has told police he had consensual sex with her before she had oral sex with Mr Silvestri.
Mrs Brimble died of toxic levels of alcohol and gamma hydroxybutyrate.
The two men are part of a group of eight Adelaide men who are persons of interest in the inquest. The inquest also heard four of the men barged into a room of four girls on the first night of the cruise, just hours before Mrs Brimble died.
Tiffany McDonald, then aged 16, told the court she was about to leave the room with two other teenage girls when four men entered, closing the door behind them. She identified them as Mr Wilhelm, Dragan Losic, Petar Pantic, and "maybe" Mr Silvestri. The men asked their names and kissed their hands, she said.
Her mother, Lee-Ann McDonald, told the court she heard a female voice in the room next to hers, where Mrs Brimble was later found dead, saying "Leo" - Mr Letterio's nickname - on the first night.
She said there was a lot of "commotion" in the room and the corridor all night, but she was too frightened to investigate.
The ship's magician, Stephen Hart, who has testified he was asked three times by P&O staff to shut up when he wanted to talk about Mrs Brimble's death, was yesterday accused of being so drunk that night he was refused further drinks by bar staff.
Barrister for P&O Philip Biggins suggested to Mr Hart his memory of the events was severely affected by alcohol, and that he was never told to "shut your mouth" by staff.
Mr Hart admitted he was affected by alcohol, but stood by his story. He said he was so frightened by the warnings, he did not speak to police on the cruise.
He said he had wanted to tell staff about his suspicions about a man he had seen with Mrs Brimble but was told the suspicions were unfounded; the man was a family friend travelling with her.
The inquest continues.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
The 31-year-old Wellington man was charged with one count of sexual violation and one count of rape following his first meeting with the woman at her Palmerston North home on June 9 last year.
The pair met on NZDating.com at the beginning of June last year, swapping sexually explicit email, chat room and text messages before arranging to meet at the woman's home on June 9.
The man was introduced to the woman's flatmate and sister before spending an hour-and-a-half alone together in the woman's bedroom. The woman told the court during this time the man forced himself on her, sexually violating then raping her. She said she was not restrained, did not call out for help and "gave in" to the man's demands.
He told police the pair kissed and engaged in foreplay before having consensual sex. The man said when the woman told him she felt uncomfortable because she had feelings for someone else, they stopped and he left soon afterwards. Soon after leaving the man sent her a text message that read: "I feel bad, sorry for raping you."
The jury took three hours to reach its verdict after retiring at 2.45pm yesterday.
Earlier in the day, defence counsel Val Nisbet called the man's psychiatrist to give evidence.
Christopher Roman met with the accused regularly since his arrest and explained to the court why he may have sent the incriminating text message.
"He tends to apologise profusely and take responsibility for things that are not of his own doing," Dr Roman said. He said the man avoided conflict and took responsibility for awkward situations as a "coping strategy".
Dr Roman said he once tested his observation by accusing the man of being late for an appointment when he was, in fact, on time. He said the man apologised and said it wouldn't happen again even though he knew he was not late. Under cross examination from Crown prosecutor Andru Isac Dr Roman accepted there was a big difference between admitting being half-an-hour late and admitting to raping someone.
In his closing argument, Mr Isac told the jury despite what communications the pair had leading up to the meeting, the woman made it clear she did not want to have sex. Mr Isac said the text message the man sent after the incident was an admission of what he had done.
"That's not sarcasm. That's not a fanciful personality characteristic of apologising for things he hadn't done.
"It's probably the most honest thing he's said because he knew full well what he'd done. He knew full well he did not have consent to do those things."
In his closing argument, Mr Nisbet said the woman regretted having sex with his client but what happened in her bedroom that night was consensual.
"You are not guilty of rape because a woman reluctantly acquiesces. She consented and when she said stop and when she said no, it stopped."
Mr Nisbet said the woman sent explicit messages to the accused, even describing how she wanted to have sex with him.
"She had sex, may have been reluctant to do so, and then regretted it afterwards. It doesn't make it rape."
West had said she was drunkenly dancing to the Shania Twain song Man!I feel like a woman when she slammed the double-barrel weapon on to the floor while taking a bow and shot her husband Gregory West, 45, in the chest, killing him instantly.
The prosecution said the couple, who had been married for nine weeks, argued and West loaded the faulty shotgun and deliberately murdered her husband at their flat in Southampton in May lat year. After the verdict was given by the jury foreman members of West's family shouted at the jury: "That's a fucking disgrace". Judge Guy Boney, QC, adjourned the case for sentencing. AP
Michelle Kosilek, who was Robert Kosilek when he was convicted of killing his wife, Cheryl, in 1990, is suing to force the state to pay for the surgery.
Kosilek, who wore make-up and a woman's jumper to court on Thursday, described growing up feeling like a "circus freak" trapped in the wrong body. Kosilek broke down and sobbed when asked what would happen if state prison officials refused to allow the sex-change operation.
"I would not want to continue existing like this," said Kosilek, who has twice attempted suicide. "The greatest loss is the dying I do inside a little bit every day."
Kosilek, 57, is serving a life sentence at an all-male prison in Massachusetts. Kosilek sued the state's Department of Correction in 2000, claiming its refusal to provide the surgery violated the Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.
In 2002 a US District Court judge ruled Kosilek was entitled to receive medical treatment for gender identity disorder, but stopped short of ordering a sex-change operation.
Since the ruling, Kosilek has received female hormone treatment, laser hair removal and psychotherapy. Kosilek has also been given some access to female undergarments and make-up. "Just the hormones and the make-up do not get rid of my suffering," Kosilek said.
Prison officials said allowing Kosilek to have the sex-change operation could create security risks. If Kosilek returned as a woman to the all-male prison, she could be targeted for assault by male inmates, they said.
If she was transferred to a women's prison, she could pose a risk to female inmates.
The woman, who was aged eight to 10 at the time, gave evidence she was repeatedly molested by the man and had clear memories of the four occasions in question. Judge Wally Tutt noted the woman had undergone a psychiatric examination that showed she suffered pos traumatic stress disorder. " The psychiatrist reported the woman believes her whole attitude towards life has been damaged in the sexual area, where she cannot enjoy what she has learned is normal sexual behavior between adult males and females", Judge Tutt said.
He said had the woman sued in civil court she would have got more than $20,000 maximum allowed by legislation at the time of the offence. Therefore he awarded her the maximum allowed of $20,000.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Brisbane, AU -- The jury was warned from the outset - this was one of the most bizarre rape cases they were likely to hear.
Toowoomba mechanical supervisor Darryl Kenneth Lotz, who was sleeping off a boozy night out at his mate's place, was accused of walking into the main bedroom, getting into the bed and raping his friend's girlfriend while the other man slept beside them. At first, the female victim went along with the sexual activity believing it was her partner.
It was only when she heard her boyfriend snoring on the other side of the bed that she turned around to find that the man she was having sex with was their overnight guest. She fled from the room in hysterics. Lotz's defense? He was sleepwalking.
His legal team, led by top silk Terry Martin, SC, told the Brisbane District Court jury about two previous incidents when Lotz had sleepwalked: once as a child and the second as an adult - in the second case, he got out of bed in the middle of the night and urinated on a bedroom floor. It was backed up by expert testimony from sleep physician Dr. Roger Allen, who examined the case and said it was "highly probable" the incident happened as a result of sleepwalking.
Dr Allen said that while the link between sex and sleepwalking was yet to be officially accepted there was a growing body of evidence that backed his diagnosis. He painted sex as routine, primal behavior - able to be performed without consciousness. In his final address to the jury, Mr Martin argued the strongest evidence that his client was completely unaware of what he was doing at the time of the rape was the fact he did it in a double bed occupied by both the woman and her boyfriend.
"What person in his right mind would be doing that, taking the risk he would be caught?" Mr Martin said.
A straight-talking Lotz took the stand on Wednesday and protested his innocence. The divorced father stated his only memory of the episode was waking up in his friend's bed. He accepted he must have had sex with the woman based on the conclusive DNA evidence in the case - but appeared befuddled why what had happened.
At the end, Mr. Lotz has been found guilty by a jury and was last week jailed for five years.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Leslie said she awoke in prison one night to find a man sitting on the end of her mattress, laughing and singing "Jiggyjig Missy Leslie. Bali holiday, Jiggyjig"
"I knew jiggyjig translated into having sex", she said. "He was saying "Australian model" and stroking my leg. I screamed - Get out of here!"
Leslie said she was aware another woman was being taken from her cell regularly for sex, and believed her fate would be the same is she did not act. "I decided to dress in the Muslim burqa. I chose to wear Muslim dress for one reason and one reason only - to protect myself," she said. When I put on the burqa, people were more respectful and I'm sorry if anyone was offended by that."
Leslie, 25, was convicted of drug possession in Bali in August after two ecstasy tablets were found in her handbag. She was sentenced in November to three months' jail, which covered the time spent in custody.
The sex sadist was due to be released from Ararat jail today after his 10-year maximum sentence expired.
Instead, he will be forced to pay rent and live in a "prison within a prison" inside the jail's walls.
The Adult Parole Board has imposed extraordinary restrictions on Fletcher under the terms of an extended supervision order granted by a Supreme Court judge.
Conditions of the five-year order mean Fletcher will be:
BANNED from leaving his new home inside the jail unless escorted by a Corrections officer.
BANNED from having access to the internet.
FORCED to wear an electronic ankle tag so his movements can be monitored.
BANNED from contact with other sex offenders.
FORCED to take part in treatment programs that he refused to do while serving his sentence.
PROHIBITED from engaging in community activities involving children.
BANNED from visiting certain areas, such as schools, playgrounds, public parks or childcare areas.
Corrections sources told the Herald Sun the only concessions to Fletcher's new status as a "free man" would be the right to wear his own clothes rather than prison uniform, and no requirement to work.
He will be able to receive visitors, but only if they have been approved and are under escort.
Fletcher's maximum sentence for sex offences ended at midnight.
He turned two 15-year-old girls into sex slaves in the name of witchcraft.
He lured them into sex using black magic and hypnotism and told them they were taking part in pagan rituals.
Fletcher was jailed in 1996 after pleading guilty to child prostitution, sexual penetration of a child under 16, indecent acts with a child and perverting the course of justice. He is believed to have been told last weekend he would not be leaving jail as expected. He was served with the extended supervision order yesterday by a Corrections officer, who explained the conditions. The parole board will speak to him by video link tomorrow.
Fletcher, a professed witch, is the sixth sex offender to be placed on an extended supervision order since the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act became law on July 1 last year. The State Government is believed to have received legal advice that forcing Fletcher to live within a jail after his sentence has finished is a lawful direction under the terms of the Act.
Fletcher, 49, was refused parole last January after sexually explicit letters were intercepted by staff at Ararat jail.
The letters convinced Corrections staff and forensic psychiatrists that Fletcher had not been rehabilitated and would almost certainly reoffend.
They were written to people in Ghana and encouraged them to adopt deviant sexual practices in pursuit of his form of religion.
The Herald Sun has learned Fletcher also has serious previous convictions in another name.
He was convicted in the County Court in 1984 of false imprisonment when he was known as Timothy Michael Ryan, believed to be his birth name.
He has also been convicted of indecent assault, managing a brothel and living off the earnings of prostitution.
Fletcher will live in a converted section of a building used for education programs inside Ararat jail.
Another notorious sex offender, Brian Keith Jones -- better known as Mr Baldy -- lives in a cottage outside the jail's gate.
Prison sources said the pair had a strained relationship and there was "some sort of bizarre rivalry between them".
Jones, who was the first released sex offender to be placed on an extended supervision order, was moved back to Ararat after a community uproar over his placement in a Housing Ministry house in Ascot Vale when he left jail last August.
Jones has to comply with 23 conditions, including an internet ban and electronic monitoring, under the terms of his order.
Applications for a supervision order are made to a judge in the court that sentenced the offender and can cover up to 15 years after release.
Conditions can include curfews, bans on contact with children, residential and job restrictions, random checks and compulsory treatment programs.
An offender can be sent back to jail for up to five years for breaching any conditions.
The Government is believed to have already decided to apply for another five-year supervision order against Fletcher when the order granted a fortnight ago expires in 2011.
Judge Vincent Gaughan said there was no "overarching interest" in banning the videotape - which shows the singer allegedly having sex with an underage girl - from being shown to the media and public in his child pornography court case.
He said: "This is the whole crux and linchpin of the case. If there was no tape, we wouldn't have a case."
The "I Believe I Can Fly" singer has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of child pornography.
Prosecutors claim the videotape was made sometime between January 1998 and October 2000 - so the alleged victim may have been only 13 when the incident took place.
Both the prosecution and defence had asked the judge to allow the tape to only be seen by jurors, attorneys and the judge himself to avoid further shame to the girl who is now 21.
The Cook State Attorney has said the girl will not be called as a witness in the trial.
A trial date for the case, which will be heard in Chicago, has not yet been set.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Batwoman - real name Kathy Kane - will appear in 52, a year-long DC Comics publication that began this month.
In her latest incarnation, she is a rich socialite who has a romantic history with another 52 character, ex-police detective Renee Montoya.
52 will be published in the UK as a graphic novel by Titan Books in 2007.
The series is set in a world in which established superheroes Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman do not play a part.
The new-look Batwoman is just one of a wave of ethnically and sexually diverse characters entering the DC Comics universe.
Others include Mexican teenager Blue Beetle - who replaces the character's previous white incarnation - and the Great Ten, a government-sponsored team of Chinese superheroes.
Regular characters Firestorm and The Atom, meanwhile, have been reinvented as black and Asian heroes respectively.
The characters are part of a wider effort to broaden the make-up of comic-book creations in line with society as a whole.
Batwoman, who first appeared in July 1956, has not been seen since September 1979 when she was killed by the League of Assassins and the Bronze Tiger.
The archdiocese's independent sexual abuse investigator barrister Peter O'Callaghan QC, described the details of the ritualised murder and sexual abuse provided by the victim as "extraordinary...but I have no reason or justification for doubting his credibility," Mr O'Callaghan said in a letter to the victim's lawyers in 2000.
The Melbourne Archdioceses vicar General, Monsignor Les Tomlinson, said that Mr O'Callaghan told Victorian police about the allegations when he first learned of them in 1999. He was told that the victim had already notified police that he had been sexually abused and was a witness to murder. In a sworn statement given to the archdiocese, the victim said he was first abused by the priest in Melbourne in the early 1960s when he was serving as and altar boy at the Sacred Hearth Church in Sandringham and attending a Catholic School. The abuse continued for three years. The priest has since died.
In his statement the 56-year old victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave details of at least three deaths - a young woman, a young man and a child - that occurred during satanic rituals over a number of years. Two victims had their throats cut and third was killed with an axe. Animals were also killed during the ceremonies.
The police advised that inquiries had been made with the homicide squad and their missing persons records and intelligence were unable to confirm the allegations and that there was no current investigation into the matter.
Jerry Buck Inman, 35, was arrested late Tuesday night in Dandridge, Tenn., where he said he lived with his mother. DNA from the victim's apartment led authorities to him.
"He's made admissions" of an attempted rape in Rainsville, Ala., and a rape in Sevierville, Tenn., both a few days before the Clemson killing, said David Davenport, sheriff of Jefferson County, Tenn. "He said he was out and driving around."
Inman faced charges Wednesday in South Carolina, where 20-year-old Tiffany Marie Souers was raped and killed in her off-campus apartment. Souers, a civil engineering student, was wearing only a bra when found on the bedroom floor May 26. The bikini top was around her neck. Her wrists and ankles were bound.
Inman's DNA matched samples taken from the crime scene, said Robert Stewart, head of South Carolina's Law Enforcement Division. He said a car of the same model and year of one owned by Inman was spotted trying to get money from an ATM near the apartment.
Inman told a judge in Tennessee Wednesday that he wouldn't fight extradition to South Carolina to face charges in Souers' death.
Davenport said South Carolina police called him Tuesday because Inman had registered as a sex offender in Dandridge after his September 2005 release from a Florida prison where he served 18 years for sex offenses. Inman is also a registered offender in Florida and North Carolina.
All states have online registries of sex offenders but more than 100,000 offenders nationwide fail to register or update their addresses, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In Souers' case, the registries did not prevent her murder but helped law enforcement catch a suspect quickly and possibly avoid further killings, said David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.
Repeat sex offenders who attack adults often target strangers who fit into a fantasy they've created, said Fred Berlin, associate professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. They have powerful cravings that sometimes can be controlled but never go away, Berlin said.
Inman's mother, Vera McArthur, told The GreenvilleNews her son is bipolar and often suicidal. She could not be reached for comment.
Davenport said Inman appeared to know right from wrong. "He knew what he was doing."
Contributing: The Associated Press
Thursday, June 08, 2006
The Crown Prosecution Service said foreign women were being sold as sex workers as soon as they arrived, and police are appealing to men who frequent brothels to contact them in confidence if they believe the prostitutes may be there against their will.
In one instance a slave auction took place outside a coffee shop in the arrivals hall of London-Gatwick airport, and it is believed similar auctions have taken place at airports across the country.
The arrivals-lounge auction was one of several "airport crimes" due to be examined at a Crown Prosecution Service conference yesterday. Others include children abandoned in baggage reclaim areas with no identity papers, "distraction" thefts and pick-pocketing by criminals working in teams, and burglaries by criminals who read the addresses on baggage labels and break in on the likelihood that homes will be empty.
A Home Office report five years ago estimated that the number of victims of human trafficking in Britain was 1400. But the present figure could be double that, said Tim Brain, the chief constable of Gloucestershire, who heads Operation Pentameter, a multi-agency task force set up in February to combat trafficking.
The prosecution service conference coincides with criticisms levelled at the Government by children's charities, who believe its response to the trafficking of children is "completely inadequate". "There is no co-ordination of trafficking crime units. There is an ad hoc approach across the country," said Christine Beddoe, the director of a coalition of children's charities called End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking. "There is a total inadequacy in social services support … no guidance and training for health workers in knowing how to identify a trafficked child."
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Carins, AU -- Attorney General Linda Lavarch is considering and appeal after a man caught with 20,000 child pornography images was given a suspended jail sentence.
Self-employed steel fabricator Dieter Ressl, 64, pleaded guilty in the Cairns District Court to downloading thousands of pictures and videos from the internet showing children in sexually explicit acts. Crown prosecutor, Kila Pedder, in recommending Ressl be jailed, said the amount and content of images "put this in the most serious category of material which shows the exploitation of children".
Judge Kerry O'Brien convicted Ressl and ordered he serve 12 months' jail, suspended for three years. In handling down his sentence, judge said there was no indication the images were download for payment or were intended for distribution. For that reason, he said, there was little need for deterrent sentence. New child protection laws updated in April 2005 set the maximum penalty at five years jail.
Mrs. Lavarch told The Sunday Mail she would seek advice from the Department of Public Prosecutions as to whether the sentence was appropriate. " It's people such as this who fuel the trade in child pornography." she said.
Brisbane, AU -- The Court of Appeal yesterday sent a strong message to internet child pornographers when it dismissed the appeal of man jailed for possessing 16000 child exploitation images. It was the first time any of the nine people sentenced under Queensland new internet child pornography law had taken his case to the Court of Appeal.
The Courier Mail highlighted last week the new laws had resulted in only three jailings in its first year, with majority of offenders walking out of court. Of nine men sentenced under the new law, only three have been ordered to serve actual jail time. One of those, Paul Christopher Plunkett, 39, was jailed for 18 months to be suspended after three months. A conviction was recorder.
Barrister Chris Wilson, for Plunkett, argued while his client (no previous convictions) was found with 16,000 images of girls aged 10 to 16 years, they were not near the worst kind of such material. He said in many cases the girls were fully clothed and there was no violence or sexual acts with adults on the images.
Health officials say backpackers are part of the reason the north accounted for nearly half of the notifications of gonorrhoea and syphilis and a quarter of chlamydia cases reported last year. Across Queensland in 2005, there were 9726 cases of chlamydia, 1443 of gonorrhoea and 135 of syphilis. North Queensland accounted for 2529 cases of chlamydia, 632 of gonorrhoea and 63 of syphilis. Rate of chlamydia infection have increased over the past five years, but gonorrhoea and syphilis have dropped in the north.
Cairns Base Hospital director of sexual health Darren Russell said the large number of backpackers visiting the north was part of the reason for the high infection rate. Dr. Russell said: "We need more doctors, nurses, health workers, and educators to go out to communities and spread the message and arrange for testing and treatment."
French-Canadian backpackers Marie and Karine said they were aware of the dangers. "Herpes seems to be a real problem in Australia," said Karine. "You can kiss someone in a nightclub and get it very easily." Both women, who recently arrived in Townsville from Airlie Beach, said they would never put themselves at risk from STD.
The Courier Mail
On the eve of the World Cup in Germany, the State Department's big concern is not over whether the US soccer team has a prayer of getting past the Czech Republic and Italy, but rather over the flood of prostitutes expected into Germany from Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
The US, in its annual report on forced labor and trafficking in persons, called Germany, which has legalized prostitution, "a source, transit and destination country" for sex workers, the more so during the soccer tournament.
"Due to the sheer size of the event, the potential for human trafficking surrounding the games remains a concern," the State Department said in its report.
It called on the German government to increase police enforcement during the games.
The warning to Germany was a rare slap at a close US ally.
The report did not include Germany in a list of 14 more serious offenders that the State Department says make little effort to control serious problems with trafficking in persons.
Some groups criticized the report, noting that most of the countries cited as the worst offenders -- which can lead to economic sanctions -- are not US allies. They include Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, Sudan, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba and Zimbabwe. The only countries on the list that are close US allies are Saudi Arabia and Belize.
India, Mexico and China were on a separate "watch list" for the second year, prompting complaints that the State Department was trying not to alienate them.
"What we want is for the United States to implement this law without any political considerations at play," said Jessica Neuwirth, president of Equality Now, an international women's rights organization.
In 2000, Congress passed the Trafficking Victim Protection Act, which set out new penalties for slave traffickers and required the State Department to publish an annual report on slave trafficking worldwide. The sanctions are subject to the president's discretion.
Germany legalized prostitution in 2002, and German brothels have been gearing up for the confluence of legal sex and the World Cup, which is expected to bring 3.5 million tourists to the country for the tournament, which begins Friday. Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg have all expanded their red light districts and sex-trade entrepreneurs have opened mobile brothels.
German officials, while defending the country's policy of legalized prostitution, say they nonetheless do not condone human trafficking, and have intensified efforts to rein in the flow of prostitutes into their country in advance of the Cup.
The report says that between 600,000 and 800,000 people, most of them women and children, are trafficked across international borders every year.
Researchers found that among 279 teenage girls they interviewed, many said they'd given in to unwanted sex at some point because they were afraid their boyfriend would get angry.
The findings, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, indicate that may teenagers - both female and male - need help in negotiating their relationships.
"We need to give guidance to teens on how to communicate with each other," said lead study author Dr Margaret J. Blythe, a pediatrician at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis.
That means helping girls to take more control over their sexual activity, and boys to understand what constitutes pressure, according to Blythe.
The importance of educating boys, she said, "is often the untalked-about part."
The study included girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who were seen at urban health clinics in Indianapolis. Over about two years, the girls were periodically interviewed about their current relationships, including any instances of unwanted sex over the past three months. Specific questions included: "Would he break up with you unless you had sex?" and "Would he get mad if you didn't want to have sex?"
In all, 41 percent said they'd had unwanted sex at some point. The most common reason was fear that their boyfriend would become angry. Ten percent, though, said their partner forced them have sex when they didn't want to. About 5 percent said they'd had sex after being offered money or gifts.
Girls who reported unwanted sex also reported less condom use, a poorer relationship quality and a higher rate of pregnancy than their peers, the study found.
Other research has shown that unwanted sex, particularly in cases of rape, can lead to depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. The current findings, Blythe and her colleagues say, point to sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy as additional serious consequences.
Most of the girls in the study were black and lower-income, and it's not clear how representative the findings are of the general population. But the results are similar to those of some past studies, according to Blythe and her colleagues.
For example, girls who reported unwanted sex were more likely than their peers to have a partner who smoked marijuana, and other studies have linked drug and alcohol use to forced or unwanted sex.
Substance use can blur the line between consensual and non-consensual sex, the researchers write, and boys who use drugs or alcohol may become "less sensitive" to what their partners want or don't want.
Friday, June 02, 2006
"There is so much bad porn out there. A lot of it is really, really bad -- not just sexist but racist, too," organizer Chanelle Gallant told AFP by telephone from Toronto.
"We wanted to celebrate filmmakers who are making really great porn, the kind that makes us feel good about sex, makes us feel good about our bodies and treats sex as something fun and good," she said.
Some 300 guests from the United States and Canada are expected to attend the awards ceremony at a chic century-old hotel on Toronto's west side, including the so-called leading lady of female erotica, Candida Royalle, and producers Tristan Taormino -- whom organizers described as the "gonzo butt queen" -- Dana Dane, Abiola Adams and Jen Bowers.
Eleven awards will be handed out in three categories: porn flicks that depict "genuine female pleasure" or "women having a good time", films that were produced or directed by women, and adult movies that "expand the range of pleasure for women", Gallant said.
There will also be a naughty poetry reading, sneak previews of upcoming porn titles, a roundtable discussion with directors and a burlesque show.
"It's only for North America right now, because I don't know the overseas industries well enough, but we hope to branch out in the future," Gallant said.
It will have no rides, but thousands of visitors are expected through its seven sectors, including the Pleasure and Orgasm areas. They will be treated to tactile display of life sized silicone models designed to stimulate interest in erogenous zones.
The aim of the $17.6 AUD million pleasure centre was to "separate fact from myth in the world of sex and educate everyone into being better lovers", said director of exhibits Dr. Sarah Brewer. Both sexes will have the chance to learn how best to kiss and how to talk more sexily. But if these prove ineffective, visitors will be able to build their ideal partner from a series of body parts.
The theme park is expected to appeal mainly to the under 25s. No one under 18 will be admitted.
Agence France - Presse