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

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. […]

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VAWA Must Be Renamed, Rewritten to be Gender Neutral

24 January 2013 Categories: children's rights

Brycen and L

Protect our vulnerable boys! Rename and rewrite VAWA so it is gender-neutral.

(Note: Although I appreciate the support, this is copyrighted material. This article may not be reposted to your blog without permission/payment, however a link is appreciated.)

This is an open letter to Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, who strongly supports reinstating the gender-biased Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). For the past 18 years, VAWA has been renewed without public debate. VAWA fails to support boys and men who are victims of sexual and domestic violence. It also fails to acknowledge that women perpetrate sexual and domestic violence against children and adults.

I mailed a hard copy of this letter to Nancy Pelosi, along with a list of studies and reports supporting my statements. I sent a similar letter to Governor Maggie Hassan of NH, who also supports VAWA. For this post, I included a partial listing of the resources. I also redacted my address and information personal to my family.

As a child advocate, I feel it is my duty as a professional to demand equality, compassion and fairness in laws that have the potential to help or harm children.

January 24, 2013

Office of the Democratic Leader
H-204, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Honorable Leader Nancy Pelosi,

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a children’s rights advocate and former social worker. I have worked with children of all ages and families in various roles for 20 years. I am a registered Democrat, a strong humanitarian and community activist. I am requesting that VAWA be renamed The Sexual And Domestic Violence Act and rewritten so that it is gender neutral.

I am writing to express my dismay at how politics have infected the fields of human services in the past several years, to the point where I am seeing a chronic lack of compassion and a dangerous apathy towards the suffering of male victims of sexual and domestic violence. […]

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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. […]

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Liberals, DO Homeschool Your Kids!

21 February 2012 Categories: public school

Laurie’s son, Brycen, involved in social justice work

Why allowing children to live and learn freely nurtures progressive values

The institution of forced school is in panic mode right now. More and more parents are taking action to protect their children from a largely unaccountable environment that is responsible for inflicting intensifying distress upon young lives. Increasing numbers of parents are opting for arts-based charter schools, child-centered private schools, democratic schools, homeschooling and the most natural choice, unschooling. The institution of public schooling has been responsible for child abuse, human rights violations, epidemic psychiatric drugging, health risks, violence, enforcing increasingly stressful time expectations, developmentally inappropriate curriculum, lack of play and physical activity, destroying creativity and dulling children’s interest in learning. The Slate article, Liberals, Don’t Homeschool Your Kids by Dana Goldstein seems to minimize many of these human rights concerns and instead begs progressive parents to do what is in the best interest of the public schools. As a progressive parent who is unschooling a happy, socially conscious, community-involved, socially adept and creative teen son, I am asking you to instead consider what is best for your children and what is in the best interests of children’s rights in our society. Does public school nurture or violate progressive values? […]

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Announcing My Second Book, Nurturing and Empowering Our Sons

23 January 2012 Categories: Attachment parenting, unschooling

It all started back in 1979, when I was around five years old. My next door neighbor, Toby, was my best friend at the time, and I recall a conversation he and I had on the long staircase leading up to his kitchen sliding glass door. We were having a serious discourse that both boys and girls could do and be whatever they wanted to be. We were trying to come up with some things that could disprove our theory, but we were coming up short. Suddenly, as he bit into his snack, Toby piped up, […]

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When No Presidential Candidate is for Children

09 January 2012 Categories: children's rights

The New Hampshire primaries are tomorrow and my son, Brycen is now just old enough to vote in his first election. Both of us, usually considering ourselves very progressive, face an ethical dilemma in 2012. The problem at hand is that NO candidate or side in any US Presidential election is for children’s rights, or for total compassion for all people and living things! Human and environmental rights have been co-opted into political “isms” and funding lobbies, with groups using propaganda and rhetoric to deceive people into believing they want equality for all, rights for all humans and respite for our planet. In actuality, they want funding for their narrow-minded political causes. Here I discuss each Party’s record on children’s rights and overall social and environmental justice. […]

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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 […]

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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.” […]

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