June 13, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
It’s a tale of two countries and how each treats sexual abuse of boys by women. More to the point, it’s a tale of the parental rights and duties each country accords boys and women when the rape of a boy by a woman results in a child.
This article out of New Zealand is a remarkably informative and sensitive toward a boy in Auckland who was repeatedly molested over several months by a friend’s mother (New Zealand Herald, 6/15/13). It’s a year old, but it’s utterly pertinent to today’s issues. He was 11 when the abuse began and she was 36.
The Weekend Herald was told that the contact between the boy and the woman began about April last year, when the boy was aged 11. The woman’s son took a day off school and encouraged his friend to do likewise, spending the day at his home.
During the course of the day, the woman gave the boy beer to drink and then later took part in a sexual encounter with him.
The sexual contact continued for a number of months after the initial encounter, the Weekend Herald was told. The boy had turned 12 by the time the child was born.
If the same had occurred in the United States, at least in most states, the boy would be required to pay child support to his abuser. But not in New Zealand. There, apparently, the boy may, if he wishes, go to court and establish paternity and gain parental rights. But he needn’t do so if he doesn’t want to be a parent. Obviously this boy is too young to be a parent, but the law applies to older juveniles who might be more ready to care for a child.
But he’s under no obligation to pay child support.
Manukau-based family lawyer Jeremy Sutton said under the law the boy would not have rights to the child unless he was present at the birth. He said he would have to make a case for access. He also said there were exemptions from child support for victims of sexual offending.
That strikes me as about the way the law ought to treat boys who are assaulted by women. The decision is theirs and theirs alone whether to play the role of father or not. And no one is going to ruin the life of a child by making him pay child support just because he wasn’t successful at avoiding the depredations of an adult woman.
And, the article makes it clear that this woman is in hot legal water. In New Zealand, she can’t be charged with rape because, in a remarkably sexist aspect of the law, only men who coerce sex can be charged with that crime. Women who do are charged with sexual violation.
Present legislation stipulates the crime of rape applies only when men force sex. In contrast, women who force an unwilling partner to have sex face charges of sexual violation. Both carry a maximum sentence of 20 years but only men can be charged with rape.
So she’s looking at a possible 20-year bit behind bars, regardless of what the law calls her crime. Still, I’m sympathetic toward those who want the law changed to allow women to be charged with rape. The main reason being that, particularly with radical feminists raising the cry of rape and “rape culture” at every opportunity, the word has taken on a power it might not otherwise have had. So yes, when an adult woman has sex with an underage boy, we should call it rape. When any woman forces or coerces a male of any age into sex, we should call it rape. We need to admit that, if rape is not to occur, both parties need to consent to sex. The idea that all men always consent to sex if the woman does is (a) factually incorrect and (b) an artifact of bygone ages. If we want a gender-equal society, these are the types of things we need to do.
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse manager Ken Clearwater said if the case were proved, the woman should be held accountable for her actions. Making charges able to be brought dependent on the gender of the offender was wrong and the law should be changed. "It is a huge issue for us."
He said male victims of sex abuse carried out by women were equally as damaged as any other victim of rape.
"As a male you’re supposed to enjoy it but we don’t say that about young girls. Males are not seen as victims. The psychological damage is huge – and they carry extra shale because it’s a woman and you’re supposed to enjoy it."…
Mr Clearwater said the psychological impact would expose the boy to added risk of alcohol and drug abuse, relationship problems, anger and other mental health issues.
The executive director of Rape Prevention Education, Dr Kim McGregor, said male survivors of sexual offending by women often felt the abuse they suffered was minimised by society. "Just because sexual violence has been perpetrated by a female doesn’t make it any less violent."
So, good for the New Zealand Herald for giving real information about the crime of rape as perpetrated by women against boys. Good for the writer for quoting an activist for male victims of sexual abuse. And good for them for having the awareness and sensitivity to notice this:
The boy approached him in his office about two-thirds of the way through the 2012 school year and told the principal he had a disclosure to make.
"You won’t be very happy with me," he recalled the boy saying. He said he had been having sex with his friend’s mother "and it needs to stop".
Yes, the boy blamed himself. But both the adults involved and the paper reporting the crime noticed how distorted that was and how it reflects our distorted mores on the sexual abuse of boys by women.
Mr Clearwater said most abuse of the sort in this case was not reported. He said the way the boy disclosed to the principal underscored the way in which the abuse was perceived. By saying "you won’t be very happy with me", Mr Clearwater said the boy appeared to believe he was the one who had acted wrongly.
Both the laws of New Zealand and the way this shameful incident was reported should be lessons for us in the United States. That’ll be the subject of my next piece.
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