What Happened To Dexter (And Other Shopping Horrors)

I’m uncertain as to how to properly trigger warn the story to which I refer in this post. Aggressive anti-gay sentiment and action on the part of a burly stranger against a toddler, and it could be so much worse but there is a hint of violence. I’m glad that I read it but I am seething and also going to take a clonazepam and fantasize about justified homicide for a bit. Sorry—I don’t like chocolate, so that’s how I make myself feel better.

I read this story, by Katie Vyktoriah. It is well-written, and describes her wonderful son, Dexter, and a frightening and haunting outing that they took just a few days ago.

I’m not going to go through the story itself because it is a good idea if you read it. There are wretched people in this world.

This story could be a lot worse. Most upsetting stores-and-children anecdotes involve a parent abusing a child or a situation in which the parent is clearly abusive. Those are the stories that reinforce the suspicions that plague me at all times. Those are the stories that keep me up at night because that child, and millions like him or her, are trapped in homes like that, in legal systems too restrained by the democratic process and sickening cowardice to do anything about it—or allow anyone to do anything about it.

I’ll be honest, one of the many reasons for which I hate going to stores such as grocery stores during the daylight is that there are children there. I don’t dislike children—I’m good with kids and I’ve worked with children. But I always suspect parents of being bad parents—and, specifically, abusive—until proven otherwise. Every time that I see a child with a parent, I’m (usually subconsciously) looking for sharp looks or frightened expressions that might be clues that domestic violence is a part of their life. It’s not like on television, where victims of domestic abuse have inexplicably broken arms and black eyes and have fathers who look like drill sergeants. For every scenario like that, there are countless more situations of domestic abuse in which marks are rarely, if ever, left on the victim. Monsters who rule their homes through terror and violence.

And I am never surprised by them. Ever.

Do you watch Game Of Thrones? During the tense moments when Sansa is at Joffrey’s mercy, do you find yourself tensing up, holding your breath, waiting for what cruel thing he will say or what capricious act of violence he will order?

I do, too. But I feel like that many, many other times.

That level of apprehension is how I feel when a parent whom I do not yet trust is interacting with a child. Always. I become incredibly anxious, to the point where I’ll avoid watching a television show. And to the point where that is one of the reasons for which I am more comfortable doing my grocery shopping as close to midnight as I can manage (though there are endless benefits to this).

When I have friends whose parents I know were never violent, that’s great. It’s a relief.

And then I have friends who had violent parents. And I know that there are millions more out there, as confirmed by surveys and common sense. In many of these cases, the abuse goes unnoticed or unreported. In so many others, people are uncertain if it was even a crime.

Most articles about child-abuse will get someone or another defending the abuser or the abuse itself, excuses ranging from “well she’d had a long day” or “that child needed discipline.” There are people out there who are willing to give a voice to defend this horrifying evil that has been a reality for billions of humans—likely for as long as humans have existed.

I know that not every child whom I see experiences some form of violence at home. There’s a chance that as many of half do not. I am well-aware that both my natural tendency to consider various possibilities and my PTSD are tremendous factors in how I experience the world. That does not make child-abuse any less evil, or any less a nightmarishly widespread part of reality.

I can honestly say that that story really struck a chord with me, because I am so accustomed to suspecting wrongdoing on the part of the parents (and so often that suspicion is reinforced by confirmation), one usually thinks of strangers as a threat for child-abduction.

I am pleased that Dexter has a mother who (from what I gather) is a good mother. She certainly acted appropriately in the situation that she describes in the article. Calling the police is something that I strongly recommend—if he could be identified from the security tapes at the store, he could at the very least have his life turned upside down for a while. He could be identified by the press. Most importantly, if that wretched creature has children of his own, charges of assault on a random toddler in a store should most certainly trigger an investigation.

Tragically, current US law will not allow for this man to be fed to sharks (even though Shark Week is only a few days away). But the toddler in question, Dexter, is not trapped at home with this man. Dexter’s story is distressing, but will not haunt my thoughts like so many other stories do.



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Another Day in Obvious: Don’t Shake Babies

Definition: Shaken Baby Syndrome is a serious form of child abuse in which an adult violently shakes a baby or young child, leading to serious injury or death. Also known as Shaken Impact Syndrome.

SBS is an entirely preventable trauma. If no one physically shakes a child, then it will not incur the condition. Obviously. An estimated 1,200 to 1,400 children are injured or killed by shaking each year in the United States. That is a staggeringly large number.

In the past, the prevention method for SBS has always been creating public awareness. If you are upset because a baby will not stop crying, leave the room. It can continue to lay in it’s crib and cry. Leave the room and calm down instead of scrambling it’s rapidly forming brain. At least one in every four shaken babies will die from their injuries.

Be aware of what you are doing. Like Simon said, children are people, not property or accessories. Child abuse is a blatantly bad thing.

The majority of data suggests that most perpetrators of SBS are male. Why are men more likely to violently attack an infant? Are they less in control of their emotions or less nurturing?

In the past few years, data has suggested that women may be equally likely to abuse a child in such a manner. The discrepancy between such data is explained by attributing male abusers both greater strength and a greater tendency to confess. Physicians may even assume that a woman, with all of her stereotype attributed nurturing tendencies, to not have plausibly shaken her now upset baby.

Honestly, who really cares which gender is more of an abuser? It doesn’t have to be a male versus female issue. Men seem to be more likely to be serial killers. Men are also more likely to attempt suicide. There is no denying that plenty of violence happens at the hands of women, too.

Gender seems to play a large part in this abuse. I don’t find it feministic to point fingers, but rather to create a culture where both genders could be equally unlikely to do something horrendous.



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Abuse vs Art: Is There a Line?

Eva Ionesco is a French model and actress but she’s making headlines for something other than her career. When Eva was eleven, she made her American modeling debut—in Playboy. Eva is the youngest person to ever appear in the magazine. That’s not all of it; Ionesco’s mother, Irina Ionesco, took the pictures.

Irina Ionesco is a self-taught photographer who gained attention due to explicit images of her daughter. Many of the photos feature coquettish poses, fetishistic clothing, and nudity. Eva has sued her mother and won 10,000 Euro ($13,213) in damages, as well as the negatives of the many explicit photographs taken of her between the ages of four and 12 years old.

Eva has said the photos resulted in her “stolen childhood” and made a movie about life with her mother called, “My Little Princess”. This isn’t a new story to Americans, however—we’ve lived through this with Brooke Shields whose own mother set up a nude photo shoot for her then ten-year-old with the hopes of a Playboy spread as well.

Evan Rachel Wood is another star whose mother pushed her to act, learn French, and modeled her daughter after Jodie Foster. Evan is quoted as saying, “I actually got to sit down with Jodie and I thought, ‘Not that this is a bad thing, but you’ve haunted me my entire life. I don’t know whether to kiss you or punch you.”

In the age of Dakota and Elle Fanning, the Olsen Twins, and Honey Boo Boo, there will never be a shortage of stage mothers trying to live through their children, or trying to cash in on them for that matter. The real question is how much responsibility does society have in this?

Should Playboy also have been sued for publishing the nude photos of an underage girl? Should Brooke Sheilds mother have been prosecuted for sexualizing her daughter? Should the director and producer of Blue Lagoon have to stand trial for exposing her in that film?

There’s a celebrity culture in the country and we tend to forgive these people because they make more money and have a better life than we do. It’s all covered up by saying, “its art”. When does it cross the line from art to abuse?



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It’s Okay, Everyone – Courtney Stodden Just Has Daddy Issues

photo of sixteen year old courtney stodden pictures hot young gross married photos

Earlier this week, the interwebs were abuzz with the news that little-known character actor Doug Hutchison – who played small roles in The Green Mile, Lost and 24 – married a 16-year-old aspiring singer and beauty queen in Las Vegas.

At first, criticism all seemed to be levelled against Hutchison, since he happens to be 51 years old, but then it was discovered that his child bride, Courtney Stodden, had shot low-rent music videos of herself as some Ke$ha rip-off, had filmed anti-bullying PSAs and talking about how her boobs are real — or, as Courtney …

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