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UPDATE: Link to donate to Suzan Delbene, Koster's opponent:  LINK

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Republican  Congressional candidate John Koster claimed incest is rare in his attempt to support his view that abortion should not be available for women raped by their family members.  I know many of you may have seen this already at this recommended diary by newyorkknewyork, but I felt I needed to respond personally to Mr. Koster.  Here's the audio of his statement:

 You see I know of many cases of incest, so it isn't rare to me.  For those with little stomach for the details of the women I describe below, all people I know, please read no further.

My first wife was a victim of incest as was her older sister.  Her father raped them anally so they would not get pregnant.  He was an alcoholic.  He was also the minister of the church my family attended, and no one knew, for he was universally admired because he was such a good preacher. The incest went on for years.

My great-grandfather, also a minister, and a butcher by trade during the week, had thirteen children, eleven who lived.  After his wife died in childbirth he began raping his daughters.  Most still at home left the farm where they lived as soon as possible.  My grandmother stayed behind.  She never admitted to us whether she was also a victim, but I have my suspicions.  My great aunts only told us of his rapes of them after he died.

I worked as a counselor for emotionally disturbed adolescents after I received my undergraduate degree.  I specifically worked at one place where six teenage girls resided together, the oldest 15 and the youngest twelve.  Four had been raped by relatives, either fathers or step-fathers.  One 12 year-old was pregnant at the time I worked there, as a result of rape by her father.  Twelve years old, Mr Koster.  And no, she wasn't permitted the choice to abort the child.  Her parents would not consent.

I know of another woman, a friend of mine, who was raped by her brother over a period of 3 years beginning at the age of nine.  As a result of the physical trauma she suffered, she cannot have children.  

I imagine I've known many other incest victims in my lifetime who did not reveal that they had been raped by relatives.  Incest is a highly under-reported crime.  However, the studies that have been done paint a picture that incest is far from an uncommon occurrence for women in the United States.  A 2006 study found a rate of child sexual abuse of 27.9% in two parent families of both black and white women.  Studies of incest rates of in the US as of 1991 found that:

[T]he studies report childhood memories of contact sexual molestation at rates ranging from 6 to 45 percent for women and from 3 to 30 percent for men.

The lower incidence figures in these studies turn out to be due to the method used in compiling them, As one moves from the lower to the higher figures, one discovers that the interview techniques begin to acknowledge the resistances of the respondents to such emotional questions. The lower figures are in response to written questionnaires or brief telephone calls, contacts that were considered intrusive by the respondent, while the higher figures, such as those of Wyatt and Russell (48) were the result of carefully structured face-to-face interviews lasting from one to eight hours.(49) [...]

Yet even these astonishingly high figures are only a portion of the hidden true incidence rates. Four additional factors raise the actual rates even higher:

   

  1. The groups interviewed do not include many people in the American population who have far higher than average sexual molestation experiences, including institutionalized criminals, prostitutes, juveniles in shelters and psychotics (52),   
  2. the studies only count admissions to the interviewer of abuse, and it is unlikely that no conscious memories were ever suppressed during the interviews,   
  3. a large percent of each study refused to be interviewed, and these may have been the most victimized of all,(53) and   
  4. most importantly, these studies include only clear conscious memories of events-unconscious memories, which are usually only uncovered during psychotherapy, would increase these rates.

So, Mr. Koster is talking out of his anal orifice.  Incest, based on my personal experience with the women who have shared their stories of incest, and based on the best available statistics we have on the matter, is not rare in the United States.  Tragically, it is a all too common experience.

  I understand Mr. Koster opposes a woman's right to choose to have an abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.  That is his right to hold and speak out about his views on the subject.  But to make such untrue, inaccurate and misleading statements regarding incest among women in order to support his claim that abortion should not be available for women is an insult to those who have suffered from incest or who know of and care about victims of incest.  The effects of incest last a lifetime.  

Mr Koster's party affiliation means nothing to me in this matter.  Any Democrats who hold the same views, and use the same "incest is rare" argument to promote their own social policy goals, also deserve our scorn.  We know from the scandals in the Catholic Church that many instances of childhood sexual abuse were covered up, or that the victims were too ashamed to come forward.  Imagine yourself, if you can as a child who is being sexually abused.  Who do you tell when your own family members are perpetrating these crimes.?  Who do you blame in these situations?  As an adult, to whom do you fell comfortable sharing these horrific intimate details of your life?  Most women never talk about what happened to them as children, of the sexual abuse by a father, brother, cousin or uncle because it is too painful, they feel too ashamed, they don't want to stir up trouble in their family or they simply don't want to re-live those painful experiences by revealing them to other people, even their partners and significant other.

Mr. Koster, I demand you apologize to everyone who has ever been sexually abused by a parent, sibling, or other relative.  Your ignorant, (at that being generous on my part) comments are beyond offensive.  They are a slur on every incest victim, and rub salt in psychological and physical wounds that will never truly heal.

Originally posted to Steven D on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS, Abortion, Rape and Domestic Violence, and Pro Choice.

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  •  Tip Jar (188+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Melanie in IA, dsb, politik, TriangleNC, LauraC, douc66, Philpm, progressivist, mamamorgaine, scotslass, Woody, CroneWit, CherryTheTart, ask, broths, glorificus, G2geek, gramofsam1, bluezen, boadicea, arizonablue, GreenMtnState, Oh Mary Oh, seishin, ontheleftcoast, political mutt, OhioNatureMom, Carol in San Antonio, FishOutofWater, Sylv, reddbierd, blueoasis, pixxer, Unit Zero, desert rain, northsylvania, Wee Mama, a2nite, rapala, dog in va, FG, means are the ends, StateofEuphoria, bluedust, LSophia, Cronesense, kurious, puzzled, Fe, blue aardvark, Thestral, oceanrain, Clyde the Cat, Assaf, ewmorr, Avilyn, fiddlingnero, Southern Lib, docterry, Yo Bubba, BluejayRN, certainot, davidincleveland, JDWolverton, swampyankee, Ubiquitous A, beth meacham, dmhlt 66, Damnit Janet, enufisenuf, operculum, Hastur, 4Freedom, johanus, jhb90277, antimony, howabout, No one gets out alive, California06, regis, Vatexia, annrose, newyorknewyork, eru, grayday101, NYWheeler, weck, Nashville fan, occams hatchet, Lorikeet, Kaina PDX, cosette, ApatheticNoMore1966, condorcet, markdd, luckydog, CayceP, bewild, Clytemnestra, LaFeminista, roses, Throw The Bums Out, Nulwee, snoopydawg, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, mikeconwell, gallimaufry, prettygirlxoxoxo, Ishmaelbychoice, lirtydies, Oye Sancho, Tool, trumpeter, Texknight, BeadLady, iconoclastic cat, sagansong, JayBat, Luma, La Gitane, appledown, PBen, rl en france, martini, athenap, greycat, Katie71, Denise Oliver Velez, Naranjadia, TruthFreedomKindness, Pandoras Box, Ice Blue, cherie clark, Belle Ame, dull knife, our better angels, threegoal, pioneer111, Zaq, Audri, Quicklund, Cassandra Waites, Liberal Granny, Amber6541, Joy of Fishes, Robynhood too, Angie in WA State, Catkin, RAST, j b norton, LeftArmed, MarkInSanFran, LucyandByron, Gentle Giant, greengemini, Involuntary Exile, exiledfromTN, bunsk, carver, DeadHead, Statusquomustgo, Gemina13, MadRuth, BlueOak, Les Common, cotterperson, molunkusmol, One Pissed Off Liberal, slowbutsure, farmerchuck, mofembot, Idaho07, sethtriggs, CharlieHipHop, pvasileff, MiddleClassMom, surfbird007, sb, elginblt, schnecke21, chimene, kurt, radarlady, NogodsnomastersMary, cany, Miss Jones, TexasLefty

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:11:48 AM PDT

  •  I am with you on this. I have been in groups where (78+ / 0-)

    over 2/3 were survivors. And it wasn't incest groups. Some were relatively mild cases and some were continual daily and with full knowledge of the other parent. I was told in my own therapy that the compliant and silent family members were either afraid of being treated the same (like with bullies and those who stand by) or in the case of the parental figures, had experienced the same.

    One of my stepfathers most constant rationales for his behavior is that when he was in Korea and on leave in Japan, that the behavior was considered normal and righteously good for the children. Then again I grew up in farm country, specifically in the distric that voted in Bachman, where many I told just shrugged thier shoulders. It seems that ministers and even people living in families like this that the behavior is just accept as "it is what it is" and those who have power over dependents have the right to use them as they feel the impulse to. They really hate interference from the outside as to how they treat dependent children and even dependent elderly.

    The republicans are more disgusting every day. As for abortion, all this talk about rape and incest is really about the right to make laws forcing women (even the adolescent) to accept that anyone who has an interest can use her body as they want to. There are no comparable law making efforts to force men to accept penetration and long term usage of their bodies against thier will.

    How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:35:33 AM PDT

  •   (6+ / 0-)

    over 2/3 were survivors. And it wasn't incest groups. Some were relatively mild cases and some were continual daily and with full knowledge of the other parent. I was told in my own therapy that the compliant and silent family members were either afraid of being treated the same (like with bullies and those who stand by) or in the case of the parental figures, had experienced the same.

    One of my stepfathers most constant rationales for his behavior is that when he was in Korea and on leave in Japan, that the behavior was considered normal and righteously good for the children. Then again I grew up in farm country, specifically in the distric that voted in Bachman, where many I told just shrugged thier shoulders. It seems that ministers and even people living in families like this that the behavior is just accept as "it is what it is" and those who have power over dependents have the right to use them as they feel the impulse to. They really hate interference from the outside as to how they treat dependent children and even dependent elderly.

    The republicans are more disgusting every day. As for abortion, all this talk about rape and incest is really about the right to make laws forcing women (even the adolescent) to accept that anyone who has an interest can use her body as they want to. There are no comparable law making efforts to force men to accept penetration and long term usage of their bodies against thier will.

    How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:35:51 AM PDT

    •  WHY does it post twice sometimes? (14+ / 0-)

      How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:36:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just needs to be said again. (6+ / 0-)

        We are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  I know of 1 person who was abused.  And I am sure growing up that the reaction to your story would not be shrugged off.  

        Now, intellectually I know that I probably know quite a few people who have been abused and I will never know it.  But I would have a hard time believing the actual numbers are close to the high numbers in this diary.  But I think even the low end of the scale above makes incest a non-rare event.

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 06:57:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll guarantee you know more survivors (28+ / 0-)

          than you realize.  They just haven't spoken about it.  Everyone who knows me IRL knows a survivor, but only my closest friend knows it.  I haven't even told my husband.  

          The Girl Who Loved Stories
          I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

          by Avilyn on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:33:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I absolutely believe (6+ / 0-)

            I know more people who have been abused than I am aware.  But i think the closer you get to the 45% and 30% figures the more things would be openly known.  That equates to 40% of the population.  I would think at that rate the issue would be more known.  But frankly, that doesn't really matter.  IF only 1% of the population were subject to sexual abuse that makes it a non-rare enough event for me.

            "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

            by newfie on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:50:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They want to SAY it's rare (16+ / 0-)

              Because that somehow (in their mind) justifies them denying it in abortions.

              I mean, if it almost never happens, it's not much to worry about.

              Twisting the facts again for their own evangelical, right wing agenda.

            •  way more than 1%...at least 10x (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kurt

              I know that even anecdotally from my own life experience with circles and groups of women friends family

              I bet if we asked women the percentage they'd think it's much higher than what men think.

              women tend to share intimately with other women.

              •  Can you take a moment to (0+ / 0-)

                read what I write before you react?  I'm not putting any figure on it.  None.  That is my point.  It does not change anything IF incest is rare  or IF a person believes it is rare.  A person should be able to make a decision to have a legal procedure performed especially if the source of the pregnancy is incest or rape.  I really don't care how frequent or infrequent it is.  I've purposefully not attaching a guess to the figure.  

                But even then you seem not to realize that you agree with my premise - that the figure does not likely rise to 4-50% of the population.  Your guess is 10 to 20 (or so) percent.  I think that is a reasonable guess.  I think that you can have a common experience for 25 or 30% of people and still have enough feeling of stigma to have that experience suppressed.

                "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                by newfie on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 09:59:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You might want to take a minute and reread (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jplanner

                  what you wrote and realize you didn't do a very good job making your point.

                  "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                  by gustynpip on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 11:50:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not so sure. (0+ / 0-)

                    If my point is that it doesn't matter (in my opinion) whether the rate of sexual abuse is high or low then I think this statement kind of makes that point.

                    But frankly, that doesn't really matter. IF only 1% of the population were subject to sexual abuse that makes it a non-rare enough event for me.

                    "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                    by newfie on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:28:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Judging by the number of readers who were (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jplanner

                      offended by your post and reached the conclusion that you were defending the use of the term "rare" to describe it, I'd say you failed.  Not that it really matters a whole lot, but when you start taking umbrage that someone didn't understand what you meant, you should always first consider that perhaps it's because you didn't make yourself clear.  Responsibility for being understood is on the writer, not on the reader.

                      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                      by gustynpip on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:32:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  what I said doesn't detract or (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  newfie

                  argue against what you say

                  it's just so much more than 1% why mention that number?

                  if i HEAR it's 10% surely it's possible that there is much more...
                  I KNOW OF around 10% and it's such a personal subject it wouldn't be strange if in a group of women several more were silent but also were incest victims

                  no matter didn't mean to offend.

                  •  I mention it because (0+ / 0-)

                    my point is even if the number is much smaller it is irrelevant.  So for Koster to dismiss responding to allowing abortion in the case of incest because it is "rare" is nonsensical.  Particularly when he is very likely a great supporter of things like voter ID which combats non-existent issues.

                    I wasn't offended but thought you might be so I was asking you to take a moment to read so that you might better understand my point.  I think we are coming from basically the same place on the issue.

                    "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                    by newfie on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 05:11:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  In my lifetime of 72 years (4+ / 0-)

            I recall, when I was growing, many instances of incest abuse among girls I knew – in the 50's it wasn't a crime that was pursued (it's a family problem they need to work it out).  On top of that, any adolescent girl making accusations of incest would face the possibility of being stigmatized and demonized – only the brave few would risk that possibility.
            A colleague and very close friend of mine was anally raped by her father for 4 years (from 8 to 12 years old) but the only 4 people that know about it are her husband, my wife, me and a therapist she went to several years ago.

            Photobucket

                    KOSTER IN A RESEARCH SESSION

            "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. Isaac Asimov (8.25 / -5.64}

            by carver on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:18:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  are you male? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ckntfld, Steven D, schnecke21

          I ask because I'd be surprised if a woman posted this because it wouldn't be her experience, I think.

          I think some, perhaps many or most, males may not get emotionally close/truly intimate with nearly as large a number of women as many females do. Many if not most women have a circle of intimate women friends (and in some places even not intimate) who share even this most personal thing...so may have a sense in their own lives how frequent incest is. Men may not hear it.  

          Or at least, more women feel comfortable talking about incest experiences with other women than with men so they might be emotionally close to a man but not tell him.

          I don't work in social work. I have been in support/personal growth groups for women, book groups of women.

          of a group of women there are always a few who had incest in their families.

          In my circle of close women friends and family it seems to be about 20% have incest in their family.

          I think the statistic is that 1 in 4 women are raped in their lifetime but I bet most people in a room of women don't think that "1/4 of you will or have been raped".

          It's not stuff people talk about easily as it is. I am alway floored when people think their perception based on limited data (like the pol in the diary) is correct. They don't question if they have enough information or why they might not.

          •  No - I think you misunderstand. (0+ / 0-)

            In my experience (Oh and yes I am a man) my contact with incest survivors is negligible.  It doesn't even come close to the low end above. Your experience is 20% - less than half of the high water mark listed about.  I wouldn't be surprised at that figure. I wouldn't be surprised if it was somewhat higher than that.  I did state that I understand that a probably know quite a few more survivors than I am aware.  I just have my doubts that it reaches as high as nearly 1 in 2 people.  At some point an occurrence is so common that it breaks the restraints that hold it secret.  If you had a 50% chance that a person you share your story with also has been abused you'd be more likely to share. At that point - when every other person is a survivor - incest is common.  It becomes a good deal easier to discuss.

            But so what?  If it happens to less than 45-50% of people?  Less than 20%?  Less than 5%?  Dismissing incest because it doesn't happen frequently is nonsense.

            "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

            by newfie on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 09:50:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please reread that portion of the diary. It does (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gentle Giant, jplanner

              NOT say 45% of women experienced incest.  It says that many have memories of some type of touching molestation from their childhood.  That would include instances such as the man who offered to teach me how to swim, and the lesson included a nice boner being pushed against me.  That's not incest.  That is molestation.

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 11:53:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  you don't know (0+ / 0-)

              really if your "contact with incest survivors is negligible"
              because
              you would be in contact with many and like most of us not know it.
              Most women would not tell you unless they are very close to you particularly because you are a man.

              I have known women intimately for years before I find out they are survivors. I am sure I have incest survivors around me who I do not know are survivors just like you do.

              If I KNOW that 10-20 percent of women around me are survivors...that is just the known ones. How many more of my friends have not told me?

              it could easily be double.

        •  Half a dozen therapists, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D, Gentle Giant

          other survivor group members, my ex and current spouses, my sister and the perps know about my incest. Not even close friends.

          "I'm grateful for my job - truly, but still...ugh." CityLightsLover

          by Audri on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 11:11:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do the actual numbers really matter? Sure, if (5+ / 0-)

          it was actually "rare", it might make a difference.  Except, of course, for the person suffering from it.

          The issue is not really how "rare" it is; it's that it's inhumane to demand that a woman spend nine months pregnant with a child resulting from rape or incest, regardless of how frequent or infrequent the incidence of it is.

          And you better believe you know more than one person who was abused.  It's not exactly something people readily share upon meeting someone - or after knowing them for years - or even when they're "best" friends.  

          You might just be misreading the numbers also.  The diary doesn't say 48% of people have fathers or brothers that raped them.  That figure covers many more types of abuse than that.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 11:48:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That has been my point. (0+ / 0-)

            I was sharing that my experience could not be more different than Boophus.  And my belief that those I grew up would not shrug of  someone else's experience of molestation - as though it were something common and not a big deal.  And I did state that I understood intellectually (as opposed to being from experience) that quite a few more people I know were likely abused.

            And finally, I stated that even if the actual figures are on the low end of the scale, it is significant enough.

            Bottom line of none of that really matters.  It's ludicrous to dismiss a topic because you (Koster) doesn't feel it is widespread enough to warrant discussion.  Same kind of person ( I am sure) who is 100% behind voter ID and the absolute need to address that but refuses to even consider those impregnated through incest as being worthy.

            "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

            by newfie on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:42:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Incest is about as rare (47+ / 0-)

    as every other fact of our society these folks deny (rape, poverty, racism, unemployment, income inequality, etc).

    That's probably not a coincidence. It's hard to fight fires when half of the fire department is busy denying fires exist.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by progressivist on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:43:21 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for writing this (15+ / 0-)

    I appreciate your giving us some numbers/percentages, as well as your expression of heartfelt umbrage.  I had expected to see something like a 'one out of every three women', but your 'up to 45%' just blows my mind.

    Actually, Mitt, I AM entitled to food.

    by CroneWit on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:54:38 AM PDT

    •  what that number suggests is: (24+ / 0-)

      Assume that the perpetrator needs to have access to a female child: either his own daughter, or a niece, for example.  Without doing the arithmetic it seems to me that this has to be going on in somewhere between 25% - 50% of families nationwide.  

      If we assume every possible skeptical hypothesis (such as various factors that can distort memories) and take the lower of those two numbers, we still have a pandemic and a crime wave of unimaginably enormous proportions.  

      One thing we absolutely need is an "everyone is a mandatory reporter" bill.  Any adult who hears from a child that they have been abused, sexually or otherwise, should be required to report it to the police: and there should be NO "spousal privilege" against incriminating one's spouse.

      Another thing we need is federal jurisdiction over all crimes against children.  This could be done simply by amending the federal kidnapping statutes to include the point that sexual abuse by a parent or guardian constitutes a form of kidnapping.  Since kidnapping is automatically a federal crime with federal jurisdiction, putting CSA under that header will accomplish the goal.

      Thus if local authorities are incapable or unwilling, the FBI steps in.  And in case anyone here doesn't know this, child sexual abuse is one of the top items on every FBI agent's list of priorities: not because it's policy, but because it's personal.  So if the feds step in, they will get results.

      Lastly we need to fix the "age of consent to marriage" laws, with a uniform national age of 18, and a singular exception carved out for 17-year-olds where either partner is in the military and may be assigned to a location far from the other partner.  A uniform age of consent at 18 with that one exception, will address the chronic problem of girls as young as 14 being coerced into arranged marriages that are nothing more than a form of sexual exploitation.

      And then we need to enforce all of those laws in the manner that has been shown to have the strongest deterrent effect:  swift detection of the crime, swift arrest and prosecution of the perpetrator, and swift imposition of the prison sentence.  

      Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

      by G2geek on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 06:32:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Would 33% be okay? I know you didn't mean to (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, Avilyn, Stwriley, gustynpip, CroneWit

      say that, but even if the figures are at the lower end, it's still a serious problem. Arguing over whether we can have one law if it's 10% and another law if it's 50% makes no sense. It's playing into the hands of the people who want to deny it. We'll stop talking about what's just, fair and right and start talking about which studies are more accurate.

      •  They should be two separate issues. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, CroneWit

        What the law should be is an issue that must be driven by what is best to prevent and curtail this crime as much as we can (like any non-rational crime, we'll never eliminate it, but that doesn't mean we don't try.) Whatever the numbers are is irrelevant to this issue; any percentage is too many and needs proper action under the law to address it.

        That said, I have some serious doubts about the highest figures you cite above, particularly when (as you note) we're talking about admissions made during intensive "interviews" of several hours duration. This is the kind of thing police do to break down suspects and get them to make confessions. Do this to a mentally vulnerable person and you're likely to get them to say what they think you want to hear just so you'll stop/approve/sympathize. I do understand about resistance to revelation of abuse, but this does not seem like the way to overcome it.

        So, while you are absolutely right to say that incest is hardly rare, I'm not so sure that some of this data isn't misleading us, even if it is very well-intentioned (and I believe it is.) Nevertheless, even the lowest figures should horrify us; 6% of girls and 3% of boys still represents a huge number of children (well over 3,000,000) being permanently damaged by this abuse. That's what we need to concentrate on, no matter how the numbers fall out in the end.

        Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

        by Stwriley on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:46:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps my comment wasn't clear. I wasn't (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluedust, Stwriley, Steven D, CroneWit

          promoting any particular figure. In fact, getting off track of the basic questions of justice to just the sort of discussion your talking about is what I'd like to avoid.

          In fact, there is something so incredibly mean and sadistic and truly twisted and perverted about these people who would like to make a young person undergo an unwanted pregnancy concieved in this way, including girls young enough that such a pregnancy has a high risk of damaging her physically and would almost certainly damage her emotionally, even beyond the abuse she's already suffered, that these people utterly and totally nauseate me. They are truly, truly sick. Horrible, sick, perverted, angry, bitter, mean and cruel. They're sicker than any slasher in a horror movie. They would be still be sick if they wanted to force this on one girl only than if they wanted to force it on a few hundred or a few thousand girls a year.

  •  Koster is running In Washington State (17+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, he would be representing me if he wins.  The thought of that literally makes me nauseated.

    My Brothers Keeper

    by Reetz on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:59:11 AM PDT

  •  Many people cannot imagine what they (22+ / 0-)

    themselves have not seen and/or heard. These are, unfortunately, the same people whose sensitivity to other people is minimal. They don't notice other people in distress.
    For some reason, the justice system has long been persuaded that the victims of abuse should be "protected" from public exposure, as if they didn't already know they'd been abused.
    I've never quite understood the support for secrecy from people whose good intentions are not in dispute. Perhaps it is a matter of not wanting to admit that human beings are routinely subject to abuse by their own kind, as if they were of no more value than other creatures whom we exploit to satisfy ourselves. It is embarrassing and perhaps even frightening to confront the reality that innocent and inoffensive people are subjected to deprivation for no good reason. It is very unsettling to think that nobody can be trusted to respect one's bodily integrity.  That may well account, as well, for the high incidences of unreported rape in the armed services. To admit that one's familiars are not to be trusted is to enter into an unbearably fearful situation. Perhaps denial is self-protective in permitting the individual to continue functioning. A person that is overwhelmed by fear can't do anything.

    In any event, abuse must be countered by an outside intervention, whether it is officially sanctioned by the Taliban or by the traditions of the mountain men.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 06:01:01 AM PDT

    •  Secrecy is often the problem. (9+ / 0-)

      You've laid out a very important point on this, hannah. Secrecy on matters of abuse can often create problems for the victims themselves. I've seen it in action.

      I'll tell a short story here, but I'll insert a trigger warning now for anyone whom incest might upset.

      I just finished a temporary assignment teaching middle school, a 6th grade class. One of the girls was as difficult and disruptive a student as I've ever had; constantly running around the classroom, shouting, extremely aggressive behavior to the boys in the class, refusal to follow almost any direction from me. None of the usual methods of correcting behavior seemed to work and as she was new to the school no one else knew anything about her that might get to the cause of these behaviors.

      The next natural step, as all teachers will tell you, is to call the parents. You don't do this immediately, in most cases, since it's better to establish the relationship with students independently, but in any difficult case it's always the second step. When I finally got a good number and reach her mother, I describe her aggressive behavior to boys (the worst problem) and she immediately tells me "Oh yes, she gets like that, she was raped two years ago by her uncle. She has problems with men and boys. I haven't told the school about this yet." I told her I'd put her in direct touch with our school psychologist and that we'd all work together to help get her daughter everything she needed, but as you can imagine I was stunned to have this dropped in my lap. But it also immediately made the puzzle of her behavior make sense. Now I knew how to approach and work with her in a way that could win her trust and not trigger problem behaviors.

      The situation did work out to help the girl in the end, but how much better if the school had been informed beforehand by professionals (the girls was already in counseling before she came to us)? By interacting with her properly, I got her calmed down enough to work and actually learn (though she still had problems, of course, that will not be fixed so easily or quickly.) That's the problem with too much secrecy, it can stand in the way of the victim themselves getting what they need. We need to be careful to think of them first, regardless of what we might like to wish never happened.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

      by Stwriley on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 09:09:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly true! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D
    •  We simply need to let the victim make the (2+ / 0-)

      decision.  Our society does not make it easy on the victim, and the consequences are too often much worse for the victim than for the perp.  

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 11:58:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  incest rare? don't stats say at least 1 in 3 (10+ / 0-)

    females are the victim of some form of incest in their life?

    sounds like koster went to the same school of lying mitt romney did.

    the r's are shameless.  ughh!

    •  I'd believe it (10+ / 0-)

      judging from the girls/women I've known. My friends might have been self selected, since people who have similar issues tent to cluster, but when I went to university, the women's dorm, selected by the college, had similar stats, no matter the class or family background, rural or urban. We had stories, my yes.

      "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

      by northsylvania on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 06:54:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think women talk about this to other women not (9+ / 0-)

        to men
        so maybe many men think it is more rare than women do

        my experience is like yours...groups of random women always a few had incest in their families or were victims themselves

        •  I also wonder if there are other indications (0+ / 0-)

          that people let drop that lets others know, at least subconsciously, that it's okay to talk about it. I've never had anyone tell me off-line about being a victim of incest. However, I have had people talk to me about sexual assaults. It's not exactly a sixth sense so much as picking up on a subtle statement here or there. It's been more obvious online where almost everything is based on words. So, I think that maybe I don't say things that indicate that I'd understand, so other women don't reveal that to me.

          The reason I'm aware that incest is more common than most people seem to think is because of things I've read. Also, my mother was a school social worker and it was a case of incest that made her quit. She would wake up with terrible nightmares because she couldn't help people.

        •  Sad but true (0+ / 0-)

          Today's headline from our local paper: "Couple's distress at bath tragedy". The story was about an 11 year old girl who was "found lifeless in a bath". Having known a few girls who had tried to accomplish the same result because of incest, my immediate reaction was that this was the cause.
          I discussed this with my spouse and, stating my experiences with similar stories including my own, his reaction was: who was it, when and how?
          The protagonists are dead and the change in his estimation of the participants would negatively impact the cohesiveness of our family. In cases like this, no wonder women are silent. When he bonds that ensure survival of a family are threatened, the persons involved will be circumspect. Quite frankly, I'm sorry that I spoke when I did.  

          "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

          by northsylvania on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 06:20:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Victims of sexual abuse (15+ / 0-)

      before turning 18.  The vast majority of those are from family members, since they have unquestioned access to children.

      As soon as I heard this disgusting speech, I donated to Koster's opponent, Suzan delBene.  I encourage anyone who opposes him (and who can afford) to do the same.

      http://www.delbeneforcongress.com/

      Also, while we're at it, perhaps we should start a campaign to the Seattle Times to retract their endorsement of him?  It's infuriating that we are the one of the most socially progressive states in the country, yet our principal newspaper endorses this...  I can't think of a word that describes him.

      Letters to the Editor: opinion@seattletimes.com
      Phone:  206-464-2111

      We really need to get people like him out of the public sphere.

      •  wow. the newspaper endorsed him?? that sux. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avilyn, Steven D, 4Freedom, JoCoDem

        i believe we contributed to delbene's campaign thru act blue, but will check & if not, will do so  :)

      •  It's also possible to phone bank for DelBene (6+ / 0-)

        no matter where you live. If you're interested,
        email info@delbeneforcongress.com for joining the GOTV phone banking, with set days and times.

        Getting this slimebag out of office would be a real accomplishment.

        I'm seeking to organize DKos members in SE Michigan--roughly, from the Ohio line at Lake Erie NE to Port Huron, W to Flint and back S from there. If you'd like to join our new group, Motor City Kossacks (working title), please Kosmail me.

        by peregrine kate on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:27:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here is more contact information (3+ / 0-)

        courtesy of doingaheckofanutjob* in the other Koster diary last night:

        Kate Riley, Editorial Page Editor
        kriley@seattletimes.com
        206/464-2260

        I plan to e-mail Ms. Riley and encourage everyone else to do so as well.

        (*I hope I got your name right!)

      •  You have to understand something about. . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vatexia, Steven D

        . . .the Seattle Times.  The Blethens, who own the rag, are extremely angry because they have to pay estate taxes(read Republicans).  My God, they are really weird about it.  I do not trust their editorial page.  I cancelled their paper after 20 years. I now read the Everett Herald and the New York Times.  You should have seen them trying to get me back.

        LowMittcutus and Ryanotic of Borg. They will assimilate you.

        by waztec on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:18:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's a different statistic. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kaina PDX, lgmcp

      What you're thinking of is the number of women who report having been victims of sexual violence at some point in their lives. This is a pretty well establish statistic and isn't in any doubt. It's actually one of the reasons that I'm skeptical of the highest numbers cited in the diary, since they would represent a higher percentage of women than the 33% stat derived from much more extensive data. We have to be careful of conflating our disgust with a crime with figures that may or may not be accurate but appeal to our perfectly correct horror of the crime itself and the urgency of action to control it.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

      by Stwriley on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:01:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Informative and sensitively written (14+ / 0-)

    Thank you.

    Also very disturbing.  

    I wonder if Joe Biden is familiar with this information?  As author of the Violence Against Women Act he seems like a natural advocate.

    The Republican Party:  fetuses are sacred, but children are chattel.

    Note Freud made the same error of assumption.

    •  It is inseparable from Patriarchal culture, (8+ / 0-)

      of which Freud was a typical member of his time and place.

      In a hundred years, people will be amazed/offended by our patently wrongheaded and antediluvian current assumptions as well.

      Life is a school, love is the lesson.

      by means are the ends on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:35:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not entirely typical, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant

        as he at least tried to look outside of the box and examine the problems of society, but peeking into the box and ripping the lid off are very different things.

        We definitely have not yet evolved into a truly sapient species.

        One thing to consider - look at the number of common jokes about any subject, and that will tell you not only how common it is, but how well accepted.

        I have hears (mostly in my youth) way too many jokes about incest, which tells me it's something too common, and it's something a lot of people would rather laugh off than do something about.

        I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

        by trumpeter on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 10:00:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  All too true, I'm afraid, with one addition. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, means are the ends
      The Republican Party:  fetuses are sacred, but children are chattel.
      And women are subservient wombs.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

      by Stwriley on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:31:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CSA is a significant part of our health care (17+ / 0-)

    burden. Childhood sexual abuse greatly raises the risk of depression, generalized anxiety disorder and alcoholism, and is present in a large proportion of GI patients and people with somatization disorder. Doubtless there are other long term health impacts as well.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 06:55:45 AM PDT

  •  They can't care (20+ / 0-)

    There's a larger issue at play here in terms of how many conservatives view the entire world, and that is that they cannot feel sympathy. If it doesn't happen to them personally, it doesn't exist or isn't a problem worth addressing.

    Rich white Republicans have never been targets of racism. No one pulls them over for driving while white. No one follows them around a neighborhood convenience store to make sure they're not shoplifting. Therefore, racism doesn't exist in America.

    John McCain, almost alone in his party, opposes torture. But only because he experienced it. Nancy Reagan is pro-stem cell research, but only because she watched her late husband suffer from Alzheimer's. Dick Cheney, yes, even Dick Cheney, has recently said non-hateful things about gay rights...because he has a daughter who's directly affected.

    Democrats are happy to read about a problem that is happening elsewhere, to someone else's family, and suggest a solution. Republicans don't give a sh!t until it's personal. All we learn from Koster's position on this particular issue is that incest hasn't been an issue in his family, and that's great, obviously. But, and this is typical, he'll never understand what's at stake for other families because he's hard-wired not to care.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:11:36 AM PDT

    •  Honestly, we have no way of knowing incest (5+ / 0-)

      is NOT a problem in Koster's family.

      I'm seeking to organize DKos members in SE Michigan--roughly, from the Ohio line at Lake Erie NE to Port Huron, W to Flint and back S from there. If you'd like to join our new group, Motor City Kossacks (working title), please Kosmail me.

      by peregrine kate on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:29:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Repubs are incapable of empathy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant

      "Democrats are happy to read about a problem that is happening elsewhere, to someone else's family, and suggest a solution. Republicans don't give a sh!t until it's personal."

      I've noticed this among several repubs. Richard Brookhiser, editor of the National Review, is another one. He was against marijuana legalization... until HE got cancer. After his doctor told him how effective it was in his treatment, he did a Romney and is now all for it. To the great credit of NR founder Bill Buckley, I believe he was in favor of legalization, and he didn't have to get a disease to come to that conclusion.

  •  Two reporting problems (6+ / 0-)

    One, nobody asks and, two, family "secrets" are very common.

    I have had clients molested by same sex relatives, one whose father encouraged his children to have sex with each other (presumably while he observed), and am aware of another situation with a friend who was what I consider the victim of a "therapist" who persuaded her that she had a "repressed memory" of molestation by her father which I am morally certain never happened.

    Bottom line, all of this happens much more often than most of us want to admit.

    Mandatory reporting is problemmatic, though, for a lot of reasons-- one of which is vindictive "reporting" of things that never happened. When those people reported upon have no way of defending themselves-- How do you prove a negative of this sort?

    I was very lucky in one case that the judge had the common sense to realize a teenage boy would not molest a young boy on the lawn in front of a teenage girl in broad daylight!

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:12:47 AM PDT

  •  Among the working class, white, (10+ / 0-)

    WWII generation of Southern women who raised me, it was assumed that any stepfather, and any father of teenage, or pre-teenage girls, was likely to molest children.  My own mother always told us that if my father had died before we were grown, she was determined not to remarry until all of us were old enough to have left home.

    •  I have a 15-year-old daughter (10+ / 0-)

      and say that ALL THE TIME. I am a Southern middle class mom and aunt. I keep seeing girls in her class in their "blended families" start behaving so strangely. I know teenagers act weird, but when I hear about the demands and family requirements the step dads are putting on these girls I am very disturbed. Rigid religious rules, required alone time with step dad, required time with teenage step brothers, etc. These girls are going from sweet, lovely kids to Goth, emo, highly sexualized, pierced and tattooed cutters right before my eyes. Please understand, I'm a 50-year-old Metallica lover who would have been Goth if I were a teenager today. It's the extremity of the change under these family circumstances that creates such a haunting change in these children. No matter what, I would never bring a man to live in my house other than her dad. I can't imagine him ever abusing her, but I would not hesitate to act if I ever have an inkling. I feel my best course is to keep an open, honest, and nonjudgemental relationship with my daughter and reassure her constantly that I support her 100%, always, no matter what. And good for your Southern women relatives for being aware and vocal about this insidious problem.

      •  It has been very gratifying, (5+ / 0-)

        through my adult years, to see my friends be wonderful mothers to their daughters.  Now that those daughters are becoming grown women themselves with children of their own, I can see the difference their great mothers have made, because I see them being confident, competent and happy.

        Good for you being as alert and caring as you are.  Every young girl who grows up to thrive because of mothers like you is a sweet success for all of us.

      •  A few decades ago, when I was single, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites

        I met a young woman in her early 20s who told me her stepfather used to dig through her laundry to check her panties for signs she'd had sex.

        The question that leapt to my mind but was never spoken must have presented itself in my eyes. She looked away quickly and shivered ever so slightly.

        I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

        by Gentle Giant on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:35:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's not just a Southern problem. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites

        I have several teachers in my family, and they have all told me similar things. I live in the intermountain west.

        I'm positive incest goes on everywhere, and is present in all social strata.

        Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

        by Idaho07 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 01:17:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have already voted for his opponent. . . . (7+ / 0-)

    . . .  Why? because Koster is hydro-cephalic.  How else can you describe his mental condition? My first wife was abused by her father.  One of the most  courageous things she did was to finally confront the a-h.  I remember sitting in a marriage Counselor's office when we were having one of our innumerable problems.  The therapist came close to the subject of her abuse.  (the therapist did not know) She folded into herself so tightly that I could have rolled her down the street.  I never saw a defensive reaction like that before.

    Incest is a cluster-&*$#.  Koster is also a cluster-%$#@.

    LowMittcutus and Ryanotic of Borg. They will assimilate you.

    by waztec on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:22:09 AM PDT

    •  I know people who are hydro-cephalic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trumpeter, Steven D, Gentle Giant

      not being pc
      it's hurtful to choose real medical issues as negative descriptors
      pls choose other words.

      stupid
      not that bright
      asshat
      etc

      I understand your upset though and thus groping for words to describe.

      hydrocephalus ruins the lives of kids and families and sometimes adults. It can be painful. people die. They are not always mentally diminished by the pressure of the fluid on the brain (if treated in time) but sometimes are. Seizures, balance problems, paralysis. Don't want someone with the disease in their family reading your words.

    •  waztec, (0+ / 0-)

      I had the exact same experience in the exact same situation, only the counselor/therapist noticed it and softly coaxed her to where she could help her.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:41:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Terminology (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    Rape by a family member is still rape.

    Does consentual incest often cause pregnancy?  

    I think that abortion should be rare but available.  However, we all need to keep our terminology clear.  If it is rape, call it rape, not incest.  Rape is a truly evil crime.  A child conceived through incest may have serious genetic problems, thus the prohibition against non-rape incest.

  •  GOPer men ignore incest, rape as ethnic cleansing, (9+ / 0-)

    and as a weapon of war, as well as rape as a tool to suppress women.

    It fits their agenda to minimize the real, widespread, and life-long trauma of the violent act of rape.  

    With every false (non) "expert" opinion that these men repeat, they prove yet again that they don't view women as equal human beings, deserving of full and equal human rights.  

    They continue to prove that to them women are property, and they assert their right determine the level of trauma experienced by other human beings.  

    They outrageously continue to pretend that they have some sort of divine right to control the lives of other people, while in fact, it is their own lives that are seriously morally bankrupt.

  •  ((((Steven D)))) (9+ / 0-)

    Thank you for your service.

    All this has been so ... triggering for me.  I've found myself in the car crying and having to call my best friend.  I can't sleep.  I'm back to locking and relocking the doors.  My body aches as I'm continuously stressed.

    I am trying to think of some action that we can do.  Something.

    I think maybe we should start calling the police or child protective services because these politicians who say these insane things, these politicians who are actually supporting the rape of women, young girls, the disabled, the elderly - are a menace to society and probably are predatory rapists themselves.

    Rape supporters like the GOP candidates MUST be rapists themselves.  How else can any sane person take their comments/stances and downright support of the torture and raping of women.

    Or maybe we could just have "Wanted" posters of these KNOWN SERIAL RAPIST SUPPORTERS. ?

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:06:10 AM PDT

    •  First step (6+ / 0-)

      is doing what we're doing now. Calling them out for it and getting the truth out there.

      Also, some have been writing letters, making calls, and some have donated to his opponents campaign.

      BTW, I started this with my diary last night so I'm sorry for the triggers. I truly am. It's not easy on me either. That's why the diary was rather short.

      But thankfully, others are taking over now and taking it to another level.

      We'll do this together. We won't let them get away with spewing these untruths to serve their agenda.

      •  No. You did not start this. (8+ / 0-)

        My journey back to Rapeyland was started with Nebraska and Kansas a few years back.  Napoli and Brownback to be precise.

        It restarted with this War on Women.

        But it's been brutal since Todd Aikin  and through this week.  

        This  week has been the hardest for some reason.  People are trying to either IGNORE the War on Women or they are trying to RATIONALIZE it or SHUT US UP.

        I feel stuck.  Normally I'm out shouting in the streets or something but this... right now all I can do cry, get angry and then feel exhausted.  

        I'm so fucking mad because the nightmares, the chills have returned.  It's been 25 years and all this Rapepublican crap has brought it to the forefront again.

        My story is not about rape.  My story is not about victim/surivor.  My story is not that I have a vagina.  

        There's more to me than that.  But these GOP see me as less than.  

        I've been trying to alter my life and be less reactionary.  Be less angry.  Inspire rather than consume.  And right now, I could honestly tell you that in my heart I would like to see all the Rapepublicans and their supporters get a swift kick in the teeth.

        Leave them by the side of the road like unwanted trash.   Their soul left to scurry at the mercy of the wind.  

        I'm nothing to them but mud and blood.  

        I'm spinning back to the need for vengence and that's not me.  I can't be that person.  

        I'm angry because no matter what it always boils down to the fucking fact that I was raped.  

        I'm more than that.

        "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

        by Damnit Janet on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:41:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand. And thoughtless comments (4+ / 0-)

          certainly don't help.

          Comments by men, by the way, who will never find themselves being pregnant and have to deal with it personally.

          I'd be willing to be that, no matter how much they love their God, if this could happen to them they might think differently.

          And that's what I don't get! Are they not able to put themselves in another person's shoes? Are they not capable of empathy???

          They don't see how statements like the ones they're making effect people like us either. They talk about this like they're ordering a coffee from Starbucks.

          •  Empathy. Putting themselves in another person's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Damnit Janet

            shoes/predicament. No, they can't- at least not very effectively.
            When your social and religious beliefs... when you embrace certain beliefs concerning gender, you are almost hard-wired with the inability to understand to the point of imagining you are a person other than yourself- to mentally see, hear and feel what someone different from yourself does. It isn't "in them" to do it.

            Progressives, Liberals, whatever, are all about society as a whole and in its individual parts. We lend ourselves to feel the joys and the sufferings of others. We want to feel, to understand. "Bleeding-Heart Liberal". I am one. Thank you for noticing.

            Conservatives belief in "cowboying-up", manning-up- the suppression of touchy-feely in favor of stoicism, of being tough or rugged. That kind of emotional constipation retards the soul. It is a weakness, not a strength.

            I thank God I came of age during so-called "Women's Lib". Because it didn't liberate women only. I was able to see through the societal role-playing bullshit and am a much happier human being for having dispensed with it.

            I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

            by Gentle Giant on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:57:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I am so so sorry Janet. (4+ / 0-)

      maybe people like you need to write to them or their needs to be a petition.

      problem is when we are triggered it is the last thing we can spend our limited emotional energy on. I know from experience from having that going on with other things.

      Maybe someone has a loved one or ANYONE WITH EMOTIONAL ENERGY TO DO THIS who can go to that website that makes online petitions such as change.org

      and

      make a petition explaining rape and incest frequency frequency of pregnancy from rape and that rape does NOT decrease, biologically, the likelyhood of pregancy very much (with links) the emotional toll on the survivor how for MANY women carrying the pregnancy can be life ruining trauma EVEN THOUGH some women might be able to do it, and that
      the cavalere discussion by numerous right wing parties about rape and incest and abortion is triggering and abusive to women survivors and many non survivors who feel that if they are raped and get pregnant these poliicians think it is ok to be forced against their will to bear the rapist child.
      rape by government
      so much for persuit of happiness.

      CAN ANYONE DEVELOP THIS IDEA AND DO IT?
      (I can't having eath probs I can barely deal with with very little support).
       

    •  Hi Janet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant, Damnit Janet

      My heart goes out to you.

      I can't believe how moronic/sadistic/backward/inhumane - well I run out of adjectives - these Republicans in office and running for office are.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:04:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In a sane society (8+ / 0-)

    these politicians wouldn't be candidates they'd be outcasts.

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:07:02 AM PDT

  •  At one time (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, jplanner, Gentle Giant, Steven D

    when I was incredibly naive I would have agreed with him. But then there were 3 women patients on my ward who were incest victims at the same time.  They were different.  One was pregnant and in for an abortion, one had really terrible psychiatric problems and I think the 3rd had an STD.  So I began to read and research.  I would really like to have a conversation with this man.  But then there are so many Repugs who are so off base and are either ignorant (and shouldn't be elected to anything) or lying and the same applies.

    You can fool "some" of the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln was right.

    by regis on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:23:38 AM PDT

  •  Incest is horrifically common in India (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, LucyandByron

    According to BBC, 40 % of children are molested by a relative.  A friend of mine who'd worked as a Peace Corps volunteer, assured me that 6 % of all children born alive are the product of parent-child or sibling incest, which is quite prevalent.

    Sadly, statistics are easier to find over there than here for the USA, but in any case, it is not rare in America.

  •  Aw sh$t Steven D............. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Steven D

    One of my friends had the exact same situation as you described......................

    As of 02/22/2012 in Washington State pharmacists can exercise their "religious freedom" by denying women access to Plan B because the judge thinks there aren't any bigots in this state.

    by FlamingoGrrl on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:54:46 AM PDT

  •  I almost had the pleasure of voting against (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant, Steven D

    this b**tard twice in this election.  (old CD-1, new CD-2).  He has signs in both districts, I'm to the point of vandalism against them.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 09:00:20 AM PDT

  •  i don't have a ton of close women friends (6+ / 0-)

    nor family.
    But the ones I have i am close to.
    Emotionally intimate with.

    I've known MANY women who had incest in their families (brothers, uncles as well as fathers) and have been themselves victims

    I have a cousin and a friend who were raped by older brothers and another friend who's uncle molested her. That's like 20% of the women in my immediate life right now! And these women all are very different people, successful in their lives. I don't think i am "attracted" to a "damaged" type.

    Maybe men don't hear the stories women hear. Most women I know KNOW that incest is quite common. Maybe women don't tell their male friends and family as readily that their dad raped them as the tell their intimate women friends and family?

    So men like this pol go through life thinking because THEY don't hear of it much it must be very rare.

    thats my theory
    one thing I notice in Republicans that I hate is that they tend to think THEIR perceptions and life experience ARE reality.
    They often lack ability to crawl into other's shoes.

    listening to this pol, he sounds misinformed of the facts. Sounds ignorant about incest frequency.

    sounds COMLETELY ingnorant of the emotional costs of carrying a rape baby for many women DESPITE the experience of ONE woman he knows

    of course the reporter didn't inform him and let that pass.

    •  I'd presume also that women within a family (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant, Steven D, schnecke21

      are more likely to tell each other Don't Let Your Kid Near Cousin Bob At Thanksgiving/Christmas/The Reunion Without Multiple Witnesses Present stories than the men, given the still-present societal expectation that women are the ones who look out for the children even in whole-family events.

      Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

      by Cassandra Waites on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 11:42:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When my nephew and niece became parents, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LSophia, Cassandra Waites

        I DID warn them about one of their other uncles. Their disbelief put me in a situation where I had to violate the trust of one of their other relatives to drive the point home. Upshot is, it took a while, but I was forgiven for the violation of trust when she considered the reason, but most importantly, the uncle in question is never alone with the little ones and never will be. Fortunately, he lives thousands of miles away now, so access is very rare and discreet prevention is easily accomplished.

        I felt like a total scumbag violating that trust, but I knew she'd never give permission and that they'd never believe me any other way. It was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. But the clincher was I would have cut off my own arm if it would prevent that son of a bitch from ever having the chance to hurt those children.

        I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

        by Gentle Giant on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 01:09:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You did the right thing (0+ / 0-)

          Nothing matters more than protecting the innocent. Nothing.

          Ideally, you would have gone with her while she told them - but if she wasn't willing to do that, or to give you permission...  well, you saved those children from a lifetime of trauma.

  •  Tragically, it is all too common. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, LSophia

    My mother and two of my very best friends were victims of incest for years.  One of my friends had to face her attacker (her Uncle) in court.

  •  Incest is much more common than believed. (6+ / 0-)

    While in our culture incest is typically perceived as a father-child (and usually daughter) occurrence, in Japan it's actually mother-son.  I'm not kidding.

    Anyone who thinks incest is rare doesn't know much about human nature (and these people are often identified by the prevalence with which they make proclamations about how "any father" or "any mother" wouldn't do such horrible things. Yeah, right) let alone human history.  

    In the history of Japan, brother-sister incest was actually celebrated within the Imperial household.  That might be an extreme, until you remember that incest stories are super prevalent through the mythologies and royal histories of the world.  And that traditionally, there was no prohibition on marrying cousins, and that such practices continue in Asia today.

    Human nature doesn't suddenly disappear because of iPhones and contemporary religion and laws.  If anything, it encourages the out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality that makes it insidious.

    Keep in mind that we're talking about incest, not about familial rape.  There are plenty of instances where a child could be conceived without rape.  A child conceived through consent via incest is still at risk for genetic disorders that the child would be through rape.  However, the risk is often exaggerated.

    At any rate, I have no time for people who wish to live in delusions about what humans are.  We are animals, highly evolved animals, with the delusional belief that we have escaped ecology and animal behavior permanently.  We have some nice padding around what is essentially primitive brain tissue.  Our most complex emotions are still rooted in the base, largely dark urges that evolved to help keep us alive.

    Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

    by Nulwee on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 09:19:30 AM PDT

    •  We are animals - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia, Nulwee

      You have voiced what I was considering as a post.  The veneer of civilization we wear is about as thick as an onion skin.  What I see in these Republican figures is a denial of that, and an acceptance that men should be able to take whatever they want regardless of the consequences on others.  Whether it is using another person's body against their wishes, or amassing great wealth with disregard to the diminishing of the quality of life for your employees and the country (world) in general, it is a basic selfishness.  Their own individual
      satisfaction is the only thing that is matters.

      A rising tide lifts all yachts. But rowboats get swamped.

      by oddmike on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:02:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Incest is not rare by my experience (6+ / 0-)

    My wife waited until we had been married for over seven years before she told me about her father and what he did to her.
    Come to find out, he had also raped his other daughter, all four of his sisters and a cousin. Basically any female relative that he could get his grimy paws onto.

    He was, and still is, a minister in a church. I informed the church but they are independent of any denomination so there is basically no oversight of them.

    Those who think it is not common are probably surrounded by people who could tell you stories that would make your skin crawl.

    I was incredibly naive about the subject until my wife told me her story. I was shocked and decided to learn what I could on the subject from her and from reading. It is everywhere and it frequently goes unreported.

    "Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals." Mark Twain

    by southern and liberal on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 09:40:29 AM PDT

    •  It was minutes after I proposed that mine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia, Cassandra Waites

      told me about her brother. Her doing so at that particular moment told me she knew, no matter how much she might protest otherwise, that there were lasting effects of that rape and wanted me to know lest I should feel the impulse to flee.
      I see my brother-in-law very rarely. It is only my wife's wishes that cause me to be at all cordial. From his behavior, I believe he knows that I know.

      You know, as I do, how her history colors are marriage, our relationship. Thankfully, we value our marriage enough to have fought to preserve it for our nearly three decades together. My love for her has fueled a volcano of righteous anger in me around not only incest and rape issues, but women's issues and all civil rights issues in which any people are oppressed.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 01:29:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your wife is so brave (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant

        She was lucky to have found you, lucky that you believed her.  She was also incredibly brave to tell you her story.  I know some women who have told their stories and not been believed - or, worse yet, have had them used against them later on (shudder).

        Men like you are the way our society is going to be transformed - one conversation at a time, one stance at a time, one vote at a time.

        Women can't fix this alone. We need allies.

  •  A friend who I've known for 30 years (4+ / 0-)

    was molested (along with his sister and two brothers) by the youth minister at his church. This was a huge, influential church in a very wealthy suburb, and he ran rampant for decades. He was finally arrested and convicted about five years ago. My friend's parents were too frightened of the social consequences, so they did nothing. A short while ago, my friend's mother committed suicide, and the consensus was that her guilt had driven her into a deep depression.

    I imagine there are dozens of other families that bastard ravaged.

  •  Can we add the link to donate to the diary? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Steven D

    http://www.delbeneforcongress.com/

    I just donated a little bit to her and Jay Inslee (WA governor, super tight race). Lets carry them over the top and keep WA blue.

  •  Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts. (4+ / 0-)

    This is one of those posts that touches people deeply. I learned a lot. As the son of a rape victim, I know how wide the effects can be, but she managed to regain her humanity. Best of luck to everyone, especially those who are still struggling. Someone stole a part of your life, but please don't allow them to keep it from you.

  •  I worked for 12 years with Dependants of the (4+ / 0-)

    Juvenile Court in Los Angeles County.  These were children who were Dependants through no fault of their own.  The were abused abandoned or neglected.  The incidence of incest was very high.  The victims came from all social strata.  Incest is much more common than one would think.

    You rarely find a story that says two stoners beat each other up outside of a bar.

    by jparnell on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 11:49:12 AM PDT

  •  I am very close to a woman who was raped (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, LSophia, schnecke21

    repeatedly by an older brother for most of her childhood- from age 5 until she entered puberty, about the same time he was drafted into Viet Nam, but it stopped upon his return.
    She'd told her mother, who told her it wasn't nice to say such nasty things about her brother. She told an older sister, who read her brother the riot act, but it still went on.
    She was also accosted, though unsuccessfully, by an uncle, her mother's older brother. I have to wonder about her mother's history with him when they were children.

    Over the years, I've learned from this woman what the long-term and ingrained effects are of childhood incestual rape. Trust issues, jealousy, lack of self-esteem, profound shyness... She learned to navigate everyday life to give all appearances of normalcy, but every once in a while, she bubbles over and the emotions flood through her and out. I've been there to catch her when this happens.

    I've also learned to read the signs in others during particular kinds of conversation. To see the same reactions and hear particular responses given by someone who deals with such things. Plus, I am a particularly gentle giant, so many people feel safe confiding in me. As a result, I've learned of a few other women who are victims of incestual rape.
    In the Navy, my roommate, a guy, told me of the molestation he'd endured a handful of times in his pre-adolescence at the hand of his mother's best friend. When he confided it to his mother in his late teens, she had a very emotional reaction that ran from disbelief, incredulity, to the realization someone she loved and trusted since her own childhood had betrayed that love and trust in a most insidious way. The friendship ended without a word ever being spoken by either and, interestingly enough, never questioned by the mother's friend.

    It does happen and, no, it isn't rare. We human beings are capable of greatness- acts of genius in the Arts, great acts of selflessness, sacrifice and bravery- profound acts of kindness and love. The dichotomy is that we as a species are also capable of terrible acts of depravity, evil and harm to our most innocent and vulnerable. People are wonderful, and people suck. Sometimes, both occur in the same people.
    And the trust that people put in their authority figures, their family patriarchs and matriarchs, and their religious leaders affords those trusted people more opportunity for exploitation, for indulgence of their darkest whims. We really must look after our most vulnerable, guard them closely and ensure everyone knows we do so, especially others in their lives that hold their and our, trust. The risk of being found out has to be too great.

    But even then, you can't be with the vulnerable and innocent every minute of every day, and some would-be assailants are too sick to care about being caught and/or very clever at picking their victims and intimidating them into silence.
    It is a huge problem that is a malignancy in our societies and communities. It is not easily detected or removed. Vigilance is mandatory, but luck plays a part.

    Rape is as bad as murder and in some cases, is much worse. The penalties should be as severe.

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 12:07:38 PM PDT

  •  all too common (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant, LSophia

      I was fondled by two different family members and a family friend as a child. I was warned to never be caught alone with an uncle who raped his adopted daughter regularly over years.  Another uncle from the other side raped his daughter repeatedly.  My mother fought off rape by her brother-in-law as a young girl.  Those are just the ones I know about.   Ours is a "nice" ordinary family.

  •  It stands to reason (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant, LSophia

    that incest, if anything, may well be more common now than in past generations due to the complexity of our family relationships these days.
    Men and women marry, have children, divorce and re-marry serially and most often the number of children brought into relationships increase as they go on over the years.

    Step fathers and mothers do not always treat the kids who are biologically not theirs equally, for sure, and I'm sure that couples who have both had children from multiple relationships in the past become aggressors and victims of incest.
    I know several women who have had children from as many as 5 different fathers; a man who gets into a relationship with this scenario may not have any emotional investment in any of those kids. There are no built-in emotional bonds there.

    This is not to say at all that incest is the rule. I do not believe it is; I know many men and women who have taken on someone else's brood and has loved and raised them with as much full love and respect as they gave their biological offspring. But at the same time, I also know there are a lot of selfish and cruel people in the world who only serve their needs with no considerations for any others.

    it's a very hard subject to talk about objectively, but I remember veiled conversations about incest I've heard off and on all my life from my parents, school friends, acquaintances, and circulated rumors. There are a couple of local families that have been notoriously talked about for generations here.

    Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

    by Idaho07 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 01:06:25 PM PDT

    •  I wouldn't say it's more common, per capita, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia, Cassandra Waites, Idaho07

      than at any time in human history. But we hear about it more now due to changes in our society that decrease the personal stigma and increase the amount of reporting. In other words, we as a society are much less prone now to restrict ourselves to what is known as "polite conversation".

      I, for one, applaud these changes, for the most part. It also enabled a depressing shitload of "reality" cable tv shows.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 01:41:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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