Laurie A. Couture on Attachment Parenting, Unschooling, Social Justice and The Planet

In the Aftermath of the Elliot Rodger Tragedy, Society is Still Ignoring the Real Causes of Youth Violence

01 June 2014 Categories: child abuse, Uncategorized

“I was so overwhelmed by the brutality of the world that I just didn’t care anymore.” -Elliot Rodger, describing how he felt in 9th grade

It can’t be stated any clearer: Until we as a society address and remedy the neglectful, abusive and inhumane ways that our society treats children, violent tragedies will continue as the most disturbed of these children lash out their pain on society. How many more tragedies will it take before our society addresses the real causes of violence?

Two weeks ago, a 22 year old young man, Elliot Rodger, stabbed three young men and then went on a shooting rampage outside of the University of California, Santa Barbara, murdering two young women and a young man and injuring at least 13 others. Elliot had left behind numerous YouTube videos as well as a 141 page “manifesto”. In his manifesto, Elliot documents the emotional abuse and neglect he suffered by his family as well as the chronic peer rejection and severe peer bullying he endured. There is some speculation that he was on the Autism spectrum, which would explain his struggles with social skills, his struggle to process emotions and his rigid and obsessional thinking patterns. Elliot writes with painful detail about the angst he suffered during his life and the overwhelming loneliness and neediness that led to him developing severe psychological pathology and a fantastical hatred of stereotyped groups of people that personified those who rejected him. His hatred and violent speech leading up to the murders are chilling to read. However, what is even more chilling is realizing that this youth had been screaming out for connection and comfort for years, enduring what he perceived as crushing and overwhelming emotional pain, yet this message has been completely ignored, overshadowed and missed by the mass media and their viewers. [...]

Read the full article 3 Comments

Want to Teach Your Son Not to Rape? Protect HIM from Rape and Sexual Violence!

25 March 2013 Categories: child abuse, children's rights

Our society is being swept up in an intensifying wave of ignorance and disinformation about rape. That ignorance and disinformation is putting the public’s safety at risk. It is causing harm to everyone’s children- including to YOUR children.

The Ohio rape, like any other rape of a girl, boy, man or woman, is a chilling tragedy. The media’s viral coverage of the story incited people to go into a frenzy of typing, posting, tweeting, sharing, ranting and blogging. Unfortunately, people have been lapping up any status, graphic, statistic, quote or rant that has shown up in their newsfeeds without stopping to question the source or the media frenzy they are perpetuating. This media frenzy is less focused on the victim and is instead focused on spreading more violence in the form of pushing political agendas, spreading disinformation about sexual violence and its causes, vilifying males and promoting demonization of the boys who committed the rape. The ignorance has reached such a pathological level that one blog post I saw was equating a two year old boy hugging a girl without her consent as being a precursor to rape!

Everywhere I look, I see posts about “teaching” boys not to rape, as if girls and women don’t rape… And as if boys are born to rape and it must be “taught” and shamed out of them. Sound familiar? Remember the macabre Puritanical beliefs of centuries long ago that poisoned our culture with the belief that children were born “evil” and the “evil” needed to be beaten out of them? Centuries of brutal child abuse and cultural violence can be traced back to that psychotic belief. Most intelligent, thinking people have now caught up to the brain science that shows us that children are born to love and be loved; to be peaceful and benevolent. Most intelligent people have now caught up to the brain science that shows that violence is learned when children are its victims; that childhood trauma, abuse and violence permanently alters neurological and psychological development and can cause the very tragedy we saw in Ohio.

Or maybe people really haven’t caught up to the brain science about children at all.

This painful Ohio story has lead me to believe that our culture is still centuries behind the brain science, steeped in icy religious tradition and cold modern political theory that dares whisper that some children are just bad. Or, more bluntly to what is being currently perpetuated, boys are bad.

Let me put these facts about boys and “the rape culture” bluntly:

If you don’t want your son to rape, then don’t rape HIM.

Don’t allow ANYONE, woman, man, boy, girl, teacher, family member or babysitter to rape or sexually assault HIM. [...]

Read the full article 9 Comments

Male Genital Mutilation: American Academy of Pediatrics Says OK!

01 September 2012 Categories: child abuse, children's rights

AAP = No Ethics Campaign photo by The EPICoutures for The WHOLE Network

On August 27, 2012, the human rights of children and gender equality for boys took a devastating and shameful blow: The American Academy of Pediatrics released a position statement sanctioning the outmoded, ancient practice of genital cutting of male children. Their new statement shockingly reversed their former position of discouraging male circumcision which had already fallen short of promoting genital integrity. The community of children’s rights activists known as “Intactivisits”, was shocked to the core. This community of Intactivisits includes scientists, doctors, nurses, mental health counselors, human rights activists, parents and victims who have worked tirelessly for years to educate the public about the dangers, trauma and suffering caused to boys and men of Male Genital Mutilation. It seems almost surreal; nightmarish, in fact- that a physicians organization as powerful and influential as The American Academy of Pediatrics would support legalized sexual assault, torture and permanent penile mutilation of boys under 18. [...]

Read the full article 19 Comments

Pain Infliction to Punish or Control Traumatizes Children

28 November 2011 Categories: child abuse

I am deeply concerned about the recent surge in violence towards children in the name of “Christian” values, religion, parental rights and school “discipline”.  Pain infliction on children seems to have a hold on the cultural beliefs of Americans like an ugly memory that won’t fade. Pain infliction on children in this article refers to “spanking” and other forms of  “corporal punishment”, including smacking, paddling, grabbing, yanking, squeezing, shaking, not allowing children to eliminate bodily waste, or to hydrate or to eat when they have the need. Pain infliction also includes, but is not limited to, forcing exercise or fixed body positions as punishment.

Let’s call these acts what they truly are:  Assaultive, hurtful, distressing, traumatizing and violence against children. These acts are cruel and considered acts of assault or even torture when inflicted upon adults. Despite that 31 countries have abolished the use of pain infliction to control or punish children, Americans continue to believe that controlling a child through pain infliction is acceptable. [...]

Read the full article 2 Comments

Women Who Commit Abuse, Sexual Assault or Murder Must Be Held Accountable

03 October 2011 Categories: child abuse

Recent headlines of women avoiding jail time after being charged with sexually assaulting children or being freed after being charged with murder are shocking to the conscience:

Knox Freed After Conviction Overturned http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44752948/ns/world_news-europe/#.TopOqnJVXYg

Casey Anthony Freed From Jail http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=14089837

Debra Lafave: Probation Ended for Florida Teacher Guilty of Student Sex Scandal http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/218521/20110922/debra-lafave-probation-ended-for-florida-teacher-guilty-of-student-sex-scandal.htm

Female Teacher Avoids Jail Time in Statutory Rape Case http://www.bostonsexualabuselawyer.com/2011/01/female-teacher-avoids-jail-tim.html [...]

Read the full article 1 Comment

Please Help Create Christian’s Law to Protect Abused Children

12 July 2011 Categories: child abuse, children's rights, Uncategorized

In 2009, 13 year old Christian Choate was beaten to death after years of physical and mental torture by his father and step mother. He was confined to a wire dog cage for the last year of his life, not being allowed to eat, hydrate, use the toilet, play or move around. He wrote pages of heart-wrenching accounts of his suffering, wondering when an adult would come to rescue him. After dying from blows to the head, his body was wrapped in trash bags, buried and encased in cement by his father and step mother. In July of 2011, his body was finally discovered by authorities.

For ten years prior to Christian’s death, child protective authorities investigated and visited the family, most of the time concluding that they found “no evidence” of abuse and neglect. The Indiana child protective (DCS) spokesperson, Anne Houseworth claimed, “We followed all state laws, all policies and procedures.” She added, “If we don’t see evidence of abuse, and no one admits anything is going on, there is nothing for us to do.” [...]

Read the full article 2 Comments

When Homeschooling is Blamed for Child Abuse

30 May 2011 Categories: child abuse, homeschooling

When children are hit, beaten, hurt, sexually exploited, sexually assaulted, emotionally and mentally tormented, physically and emotionally neglected or murdered at the hands of parents and caretakers, it is an egregious tragedy. When a tragic case of child abuse breaks into the media, if the parents labeled themselves as “homeschoolers”, the media often spins the story to insinuate that “homeschooling” (or what appeared to be homeschooling) is what caused the abuse or allowed the abuse to occur. This deeply saddens me. The majority of cases of child abuse occur in homes where children attend public or traditional school. I can testify to this as I have sadly been working with abused youth of all ages since the 1990′s. [...]

Read the full article 2 Comments

Spanking Traumatizes Children

06 December 2010 Categories: Blog, child abuse

It is almost the year 2011. A new year, one year into the new decade, 11 years into the new millennium.  It shocks me to the core and I take for granted the fact that mainstream society still holds onto corporal punishment like a tenacious toxic addiction that it just can’t release. It is egregious that in 2010, corporal punishment, “spanking” (or- let’s call it what it is- legalized child abuse), is still legal in children’s homes in all 50 US states and legal in schools in 20 states. Compare that to the fact that the same type of assault against an adult is illegal in all 50 states. While spouses, partners, parents, teachers, psychiatric patients, senior citizens, disabled adults, employees, soldiers, prisoners and all other adult citizens enjoy legal protection from assault, children under 18, our most vulnerable and developmentally fragile citizens, do not hold even this most basic human right.

Is it just ignorance or is there something more complicated going on that causes our society to view children as sub-human in status, not entitled to basic human rights protections enjoyed by fully grown people? [...]

Read the full article 18 Comments

Abuse/Neglect of Children is the Root of All of the World’s Problems; Punishment Won’t Heal, Only Attachment and Need-Meeting

09 December 2009 Categories: child abuse

The story of the Plaistow NH father who bruised, bit and broke the bones of his three newborn triplets while the mother stood by passively praying, not calling the police, is just horrifying beyond all belief- The torture these baby boys and baby girl have endured is shocking to the conscience; I imagine for the adults to behave in this manner the same or similar must have been done to them- I have worked with children severely tortured this way as infants and when they are older youth, people expect them to behave normally. When they display severely disturbed behavior, “professionals” label them and do not seem to make the obvious connection between the torment in infancy and their current behavior. People who can’t see the connection between childhood abuse (including spanking), neglect as well as poor parent-child attachment and later adult pathology are bound to be blind to the fact that the world’s problems are a result of generations of this cycle of abuse and neglect of childen’s basic needs. They are equally blind to the fact that healing the world won’t be accomplished by punishment and hatred, but by a return to human attachment, bonding and need-meeting.

Read the full article 0 Comments

Regarding the Phenomena of “Children Without a Conscience”

20 November 2009 Categories: child abuse

Regarding the phenomena of “children without a conscience”, conscience, or human moral/spiritual development, develops in the context of secure parent-child attachment or nurturing, loving caretakers. If a child has “no conscience” (total lack of empathy for the victim), they have had no sense of own their needs mattering to anyone or being met. These are the children of cold, indifferent, detached and often abusive parents. These children can be habilitated by loving, nurturing caretakers committing to them and showing strong leadership, firm sense of restitution and high expectations, as well as a huge amount of empathy, compassion, physical affection and care to the child’s emotional and physical needs. Brain scans of Romanian orphans deprived of human attachment actually show that conscience cannot develop in love-deprived children.

Read the full article 0 Comments