Why Emergency Contraception Should Be Readily Available to Minors
Pious moralizing that any form of contraception or abortion should be restricted from minors (and other women) ignores several social conditions the minor females face. Here I will focus on one: the Barbaric Male Behaviors (BMB) imposed upon minor females, and occasionally male minors. BMB's are so ubiquitous, most don't attract the attention of reporters, newspaper editors, or community advocates. Here I will post a few I have written about.
Children at Risk
On December 1, Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes announced a 21-year sentence for Frank Ryer, 49, who raped and impregnated his 12-year-old stepdaughter. The rape occurred between May 15 and June 15, 2007, while Ryer was visiting the girl at her grandmother's Brownsville home, where the victim lived. The victim was afraid to tell anyone about the attack, but several months later, when her grandmother realized the victim was pregnant – and took her to see a doctor – they alerted the police. DNA testing confirmed that Ryer had fathered the victim's baby.
Ryer's conviction and sentencing is one of many sex abuse cases handled by the Brooklyn DA's office – 19 cases so far this year. In the past 6 years, the DA's Sex Crimes Bureau has obtained 1st degree rape convictions in 103 cases. The Sex Crimes Bureau handles rape cases in which victims are 11-years and older.
Cases involving the rape and sexual abuse of children younger than 11 years are handled by the DA's Crimes Against Children Bureau. Since 2003, the the Crimes Against Children Bureau has obtained convictions in 8 cases involving victims under age 11. “We have very aggressive Bureaus – Crimes Against Children and Sex Crimes – that these cases very seriously,” said DA Hynes.
The cases vary, but the common denominator is aggression inflicted on unsuspecting children.
In August, the DA's office announced the sentencing of Bernard Mutterperl, 21, to 10 years, for attempting to kidnap an 11-year-old girl in 2007. The girl was returning home from purchasing a Mother's Day gift for her mother. Mutterperl followed her into a building and up several flights of stairs, and attempted to take her back outside. She fought him off in the lobby and alerted neighbors, who caught Mutterperl down the street. The case was prosecuted by the Crimes Against Children Bureau.
This past September, Yona Weinberg, 31, was sentenced to 13 months in prison for sexually abusing two boys. The victims were ages 12 and 13 at the time. One was one of Weinberg's students, from the Khai Beth Abraham synagogue, where Weinberg gave Bar Mitzvah lessons. The other was a client from Weinberg's work as a licensed social worker for the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services.
In June 2008, Dienvais Surin, 72, a pastor in the Original Church of God of Prophesy, was convicted of multiple counts for repeatedly sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl in 1998 and 1999. Surin sexually abused the girl, a parishioner in the church, forcing her to perform sex acts on him in his apartment, the church basement, and in his van.
DA Hynes said, “The rape of a child is as heinous a crime as can be, and we prosecute with the full weight of our office.”
Originally published in Our Time Press December 10, 2009
Here are two cases that were not published in that article:
In May, 2009, Naasir Mehmood, a religious studies teacher was sentenced to 29 years in prison for sexually abusing three students. Mehmood, 46, abused the victims, all siblings, including two girls and a boy, now ages 16, 13, and 8, respectively. The abuse occurred in his home, their home, and his van between 2003 and 2005. Mahmood was hired by the victims' parents to tutor their children in religious studies.
John Garrison was another abuser sentenced in May. Garrison, 37, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the October 2007 rape of a 13-year old girl. That October evening, the girl was running an errand to a nearby store. As she walked down Glenwood Road in East Flatbush, Garrison was standing in an alley with his penis exposed and tried to engage the victim in conversation. He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into the alley between two houses, where he raped her. The girl eventually managed to run to a friend's house where she told her friend what happened. They went back to the victim's home where the girl's father called the police. During the investigation, police found some of Garrison's DNA on the victim's jeans which led to his arrest. He was a registered sex offender and was found through a DNA database because he had numerous previous convictions for public lewdness.
For readers who are prepared to call me a shill for DA Hynes, go right ahead. The Brooklyn District Attorney's office has been responsive to the impact BMB has on minors.
You might want to call me a shill for Tony Herbert, too. Though he knows I disagree with stances he takes on some issues, I must say Tony has developed an action formula that has been successful in finding young girls under the influence of BMB, and returns them home.
I posted this one here:
Tony Herbert Worked With Community to Find Missing 12-Year-Old Girl
Twelve-year-old Diamond Johnson, a resident of Brownsville, Brooklyn, was missing for a week and 2 days. On Thursday, Tony Herbert partnered with Diamond's family, community residents, members of several SUV clubs, and police to conduct a door-to-door search for the girl. A dazed Diamond was found Friday and returned home. (more...)
13-Year-Old, Missing for 8 Days, Comes Home
No Amber Alert Issued
The green and yellow flyers can still be seen in the parks and at intersections near Utica Avenue and Ave D. The flyers, a plea from a heart-broken family for the return of Niamani Charran missing since March 27, states “If you know the whereabouts of this child or any information, please call her mom who is very worried about her safety.” After a week of frantic searching, with help from family, friends, community activist Tony Herbert, and the Police, Niamani came home early on Monday, April 5.
Niamani, a 13-year-old honor student and Girl Scout, left home headed to dance class a little more than a week ago. When she did not return home, her parents, Denise Schliefer and Chris Charran, became concerned. Niamani is enrolled is a private school in Manhattan, and has been on the honor roll her whole academic career. According to the family, “she has spent a lot time lately on the Internet and it is suspected that therein lies the problem.” The family's greatest fear was that she was being held against her will. Recently she has spent a lot time lately on the Internet. Oddly, Niamani has left her cell phone at home.
Denise Schiefler, Niamani's mother stated "that her daughter is not known to be and has never been a runaway, not a trouble kid nor had any disciplinary issues in school or at home."
The family contacted a local police precinct and got what they felt was an insufficient response. No Amber Alert was issued. (Police officials were asked department protocol regarding the issuing of an Amber Alert when a child goes missing; no response was received by press deadline.)
The family then contacted Tony Herbert, who has a history of working with the community to help find missing children. (Last year, Herbert was instrumental in applying community activism which led to the safe return home of 12-year-old Diamond Johnson, who was missing more than a week.) Herbert contacted the 67th Precinct Commanding officer who committed to getting his staff involved. Local press assisted to bring awareness to Niamani's plight. The family also worked with employees of MTA, who plastered flyers all over the subway system.
A woman passerby who was given a flyer about the missing teen claimed she had seen Niamani a week earlier before her disappearance when her niece called out to her in passing on Utica Ave, as Niamani was standing with an older man that is known to hang around young girls in the neighborhood not that far from her home.
Niamani returned home with bumps and bruises. At Herbert's suggestion, she was immediately taken her to a local emergency room for an examination and in addition notified the NYPD as to her return for further investigation.
After Niamani safely returned home, her mom thanked everyone who assisted the family during their ordeal, including all who helped “get the word out. I am sure that's what helped bring her home. We are thankful to have her back.” Without going into detail, Niamani's mom said, “She went through some things, but she is safe.”
Herbert said “This speaks to a bigger issue of a lot of kids in our community who are not at home right now, who have been missing for not only 8 days, but for months. The family is joining me in this effort to speak to this issue of those who have been abducted, manipulated, run-aways, and throw-aways.”
Schiefler is working with her daughter to determine where she was and who she was with for 8 days. Mom spoke regarding the risk to little girls of adult men who prey on them. “I think that is a big problem today. The children have computers. There are so many people who can get hold of them and manipulate them. They could be right in your home and you don't think they are doing anything wrong. The cell phones, the iPods. The girls are accessible to to these things and makes the predators be able to outreach to them. It's really scary – not just for the girls, but the boys as well. We have to protect our youth. Our community has to come together and protect our youth from these predators.”
During Niamani's time away from her family, her mom said, “She wouldn't have the street smarts to defend herself. That was what I was most afraid of.”
Excerpt from article published in Our Time Press April 8, 2010
And yet a third:
Tony Herbert Assists Return of Missing 11-year-old Girl
Sahara Boyd, age 11, went missing from her Bronx home on Tuesday September 14. She had been gone for a week. Dawud McKelvin, age 30, was arrested for sending Sahara pictures of his genitalia to her grandmother's cell phone while Sahara was missing. Community activist Tony Herbert stepped forward to assist the family's request that Sahara be returned home. Sahara was found in Brooklyn near Chauncey and Broadway on Monday.
Herbert got involved with Sahara's plight when he got a phone call from a member of one of the SUV clubs in the Bronx who had read published reports (including Our Time Press) of Herbert's work helping to return missing young girls to their home. The Dough Boys SUV Club president printed out the articles, took them to Sahara's family, who in turn, called Herbert.
Herbert went to the family and guided them through the process of organizing a community vigil. They then put alerts on MySpace and Facebook and circulated a Blackberry Messenger chain letter. (No Amber Alert was issued.) People began to tell where they had seen Sahara. Herbert, the family and concerned community members in the Bronx when to the location where Sahara had been seen – 2250 Pelham Parkway. Ironically, the area where Sahara was seen was the same area McKelvin's family lived.
The grandmother was custodial caretaker of her daughter's three children, including Sahara.
Sahara was placed into a foster home, where she came into contact with McKelvin.
While in foster care, Sahara ran away to be with McKelvin. She came back, then ran away again. After McKelvin was arrested, Sahara was seen with him again, in the same development. She was also seen walking around with another adult male in the Pelham Parkway Houses. Herbert and the family flooded the complex with posters. After walking through with a bullhorn calling for the return of Sahara, more people stepped forward to say they had seen just her. They walked around the community following the trail to 955 Waring Ave., where McKelvin's family lives.
At one am, Sahara called her grandmother saying she was in Brooklyn, near Chauncey and Broadway, a known street prostitution location. The grandmother called detectives, who arrived while the grandmother was on the phone with Sahara. The detectives directed the grandmother to coax Sahara outside so that she could identify where she was. Sahara could not pronounce the street names, but was able to spell them. Sahara was instructed to get in a cab, they would pay for it. She was taken to a location where she was safely placed into police custody.
Sahara was taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation, and is now back in foster care. Three adult males have been arrested in connection with Sahara.
Herbert began working with families of missing young girls two years ago, when his developmentally disabled 21-year-old niece was held against her will for five days in Brownsville by a Bloods gang member. The older male manipulated her and took her money. Through a series of events, Herbert's family worked with NYPD and tracked the location where his niece was being held across the street from the Howard Houses on Mother Gaston Blvd. Herbert said adult males manipulate young girls into thinking the male is her boyfriend, while planning to groom to girl in preparation to having her strip and have sex with other males for money. Herbert got wind that was the plan for his niece. From that experience, Herbert decided to challenge the targeting of young girls by adult males, and be an advocate to stop the practice of adult males having sex with young girls then putting them on the streets to prostitute with other adult males.
Herbert's sense of responsibility comes from being a father: he has a 21-year-old daughter, and 15- and 13-year-old sons. Herbert said a campaign needs to be launched sending the message to adult males that soliciting young girls is not appropriate. “These guys need to understand,” Herbert said, “how would they like someone to do that to their young child? There needs to be a 'guilting' campaign. But, some of these guys just don't care.”
Excerpt from article published in Our Time Press September 30, 2010
These incidents happened to get media attention. There are many, many more that do not. Adult males preying on young girls is so common, many people – occassionally including family members – do not see it as a problem to be addressed by law enforcement. It has almost become a cultural norm. Female voices are not encouraged, and at times actively suppressed, hence this response from many males: “We can't [host a march, rally, etc. against the sexual solicitation of minors] because it would be divisive.”
Whether or not law enforcement gets involved and labels these type of incidents rape, assault, etc., emergency contraception should be readily available to the minor. The minor should be made aware of the availability of emergency contraceptives, and if she wants it she should have it, even if that means without parental consent.
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