Men face charges over prolonged sexual assault of disabled man

justice

Two Tasmanian men, Adam Maxwell Cox, 34 and Mark Paul Phillips, 25, have been charged with committing several counts of aggravated sexual assault on an intellectually disabled man.

The sexual assaults were described by the Tasmanian Police as being “particularly serious and particularly nasty” assaults that took place over the course of several days.

With the first round of sexual assaults lasting for a period of eight hours.

The second over a period of 17 hours.

According to court documents, the nature of these aggravated attacks included, but were not limited to;

” sexually assaulting  him by penetrating his rectum with a broom handle and a glass beer bottle.”

“Assault by setting fire to the man’s body using flammable liquid and tying him to a punching bag.” 

“Assaulting the man by tying him to a pole for several hours and hitting him with a baseball bat, machete and fists”.

“Loading a double-barrel shotgun to his leg while he was tied to a pole.”

As a result of these attacks, the victim suffered severe internal injuries, particularly to his bowel, which required immediate surgery and will no doubt cause him significant ongoing health problems for the rest of his life.

Despite the heinous nature of the charges against them, both Cox and Phillips refused to enter a plea and were released on bail pending a future court date.

Given the vileness of the crimes that both Cox and Phillips have been charged with perpetrating against this trusting and vulnerable, disabled man, and the undeniable nature of his injuries, one has to wonder why it is, that although they were both charged with aggravated sexual assault, which to my mind should also include, “occasioning grievous bodily harm”, they were both released on bail and allowed to walk freely back into society.

Why are men like these, who have been charged by the police with committing such unforgivable and life altering acts, effectively being allowed to buy themselves a temporary reprieve from jail?

And why are we as a society constantly being expected to put up with the knowledge that the likes of such men are walking around our cities and towns, doing God knows what, to God knows who, just because the justice system needs time to set all of its wheels in motion?

Clearly whatever the bail limit was set at, it wasn’t high enough to prevent either of these perverts from being able to pay their way out of jail.

In instances such as these, one has to question why they were even given the option of bail in the first place.

Clearly the police found enough evidence to arrest and charge them with the crime, so why let them go?

On a more profoundly disturbing level, it also makes me wonder whether or not the fact that the victim was a disabled man and not (heaven forbid) a child or a woman, had anything to do with the rational for offering up bail as an option at all.

Were these maggots somehow viewed as being less of a threat to the community specifically because they had targeted a disabled man and not a woman or a child?

If that was the rational behind furnishing them with the option for bail, then it should be viewed as being an extremely flawed and precarious, one indeed.

For who among us in society could possibly be more vulnerable than the profoundly intellectually disabled?

Cases like this really make me question just how effective our so-called justice system can be seen to operate in either its role of metering out justice or protecting any of us from those who are known to cause harm.

Let alone protecting those who are already the most vulnerable within our society.

Quotes from  www.examiner.com.au/story/2097846/assault-leads-to-

This is what it is like to live with Chromosome 19 p13.13 and p13.12 Deletions.

mood

Deletions of chromosome 19 p13, in any form, are rare. Due to this, little is known about their effects on the human body within the scientific community.

Because there’s so little understanding of the effects of these deletions within the scientific community, there’s even less understanding, awareness and support for those who experience them, within the broader community.

My son has two chromosome 19 deletions which are found on the cytogenetic band p13.13 and p13.12.

This makes him a genetic rarity.

But my son would be the first to tell you that being rare is no fun at all when it comes at such a high physical and emotional price.

So this post is aimed at raising awareness of chromosome 19 p13 deletions within the broader community by providing information about their symptoms and the impacts they have for those, who like my son, live with their effects every day.

From the few studies that have been conducted on individuals with chromosome 19 p13.13 deletions, geneticists have been able to accumulate a list of conditions and symptoms that arise as a consequence of these deletions.

Known symptoms and conditions include nystagmus, vertigo/extreme dizziness, ataxia psychomotor delay, intellectual delay, gastrointestinal abdominal pain, vomiting, hypotonia, dyspraxia, epilepsy, and other neurological symptoms and a wide range of developmental and speech delays.

To put this list of symptoms into some form of context, my son has all these conditions.

Several, like vertigo, nystagmus, ataxia, dyspraxia, and abdominal pain, he experiences on a daily basis

Others, such as Migraines, vomiting and other neurological symptoms, he experiences weekly or even monthly.

All of these conditions, with the exception of epilepsy, which ceased affecting his life at the age of 7 for no apparent reason, are expected to affect him for the rest of his life.

In other words, his chromosome 19 deletions create health conditions for him that will never go away.

Which is why it’s vitally important that our society as a whole begin to develop an understanding of the way in which these deletions impact on the lives of all those who carry them.

Yet, I have found, that despite being able to list his symptoms and provide verification of their existence, trying to get others to understand and support my son in his daily life, is another matter entirely.

So, in order to try and increase awareness and understanding, here’s my attempt at providing a few hopefully, easily relatable examples of what it’s like to live a life with chromosome 19 p13 deletions.

Okay, here we go.

Have you ever tried to watch a movie or a TV show when the image keeps jumping up and down on the screen?

It usually ends up making you feel like you have motion sickness, right?

So you either turn the movie off, or fix the tracking so that you can see it clearly.

But, what if it’s not the tracking on the screen that’s the problem but the inability of your own eyes to accurately track everything you see?

What then?

How would you turn your tracking problem off?

Well, you could try closing your eyes and choosing never to look at anything ever again.

Apart from that, there’s absolutely nothing what so ever you can do to try and turn your tracking problem off because although nystagmus affects the eyes, it’s actually a neurological condition.

So, short of wearing a blindfold, you’ll have to accept that no matter what you do, or how much you want it to stop, your life will always be flicking before your very eyes.

This is what it’s like for my son to live with vertical nystagmus.

His world quite literally jumps about on him.

On a bad day, his rapid eye movements cause him a great deal of pain and he’ll often press his fingertips into his eyes until they pop, just to try to relieve the sense of pressure and pain it causes him.

Moving on.

Have you ever had that awful sensation of ‘light headedness’ that you get sometimes when you stand up too quickly and the world seems to swim and spin beneath you?

You know, the kind of dizzyingly disorienting sensation that makes you have to stop what you are doing for a few minutes, close your eyes, and wait until the feeling passes before you can go about your day?

Well for my son, that feeling of dizzy, light headedness or vertigo never goes away.

So on any given day, his vision is impaired; he’s dizzy, feeling light-headed and perhaps just a bit nauseous.

Then there’s the ataxia. The inability to control fine and gross motor muscle coordination.

So now, if you’re trying to imagine what it’s like to be my son, – you can’t see straight, you’re dizzy, feeling light-headed, nauseous and you can’t control your limbs.

If you’ve imagined yourself experiencing all of those things, then you’ll now have some idea of how the first triad of conditions, listed as being symptoms of p13.13 deletions, affect my son every day of his life.

Now imagine how difficult the combination of these symptoms make carrying out, even the simplest of tasks, for him?

Some mornings his vertigo and ataxia are so extreme that he cannot even manage to coordinate his limbs well enough to feed himself.

Given this, maybe you can also begin to imagine how much of a challenge attending college is for him.

The amount of effort and determination required just to be able to walk, talk, navigate and participate in college classes, while feeling this way, is enormous.

Yet every day he says that he wants to go to college.

Even though he gets growled at by staff and laughed at by other students for having to lean against the walls just to get from class to class.

Can you imagine how it must feel for him to be growled at for doing the best that he can?

Can you imagine how it must feel to know that no matter how hard you try, sometimes you just can’t do what’s being asked of you by your teachers because your body simply won’t let allow your limbs to coordinate themselves enough to even pick up a pen, let alone write anything down?

Then imagine what it would feel like if, while experiencing all of these things , instead of being offered any form of compassion, understanding or support, you’re told to go and sit outside, alone, in the corridor, until you feel better?

Great, now perhaps you can imagine exactly how frustrated, confused and let down my son feels every time his teachers respond to his difficulties in this way.

Not only does he have to deal with all of his health conditions, he also has to deal with ridiculous levels of ignorance and intolerance, from those who are supposed to be supporting him.

Yet it’s not just his teachers who show him such a lack of compassion and support.

It surrounds him virtually everywhere he goes.

His classmates accuse him of “bunging it on” to try and get out of school work.

His friends get angry with him for being “dizzy” all the time and ruining their fun.

Strangers stare and glare at him as if he’s doing something criminally wrong whenever he can’t walk a straight line and has to hold my arm for support.

Yet worst of all for him, is the level of constant negation that he experiences at the hands of health care professionals, who know nothing at all about chromosome 19 deletions, let alone understand the severity of the migraines he experiences or comprehend just how draining it is for him to suffer constant abdominal pains, for which, in their ignorance, they can find no cause for.

He cannot understand why the doctors aren’t helping him.

He cannot understand why his eye doctor can’t find any reason for his eye pain, let alone treat it.

He cannot understand why he’s being told that they can’t find a reason for his abdominal pain, when he knows for a fact that his abdomen hurts.

Some days a lot.

He cannot understand why, when he has so many health conditions to contend with, he see’s other people, with lesser issues, getting the help, support, understanding and acknowledgement for their issues, when he gets none.

He gets upset when he see’s reports on TV about children with rare conditions because he wants to know why no one cares about him and his rare condition.

And I, for my part, have no answers to give him.

All I can do is console him and remind him that I am doing my best to help others understand his needs.

But I’m just one person and so far, I’m not making much of a dent in the wall of ignorance, which surrounds his condition.

I am doing my best but progress is slow.

I know that my son is growing ever so tired of constantly feeling like he’s the only one.

So maybe, just maybe, this will help, a little.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you or anyone that you love or know, has a chromosome 19 p13.13 or p13.12 deletion, then please feel free to make contact.

Mae

Changes to Disability Support Payments in Australia

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Recently Tony Abbott announced changes to the Disability Support Pension that included differentiating between those who experience a permanent, lifelong condition and those who experience a temporary disabling condition. Personally, as much as I detest many of his policies, I’d have to say that I applaud this one.

I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve known who are still claiming the DSP for conditions that they no longer have. I grew up with an uncle who, from the age of 30, was on a DSP for a temporary back injury that cleared up over time. Yet even though the injury no longer affected him, (in fact, he used to cut and sell firewood on the side), he still collected his DSP every fortnight. And to the best of my knowledge, all these years later, is still doing so.

Even closer to home the woman down the road, in her 40’s has been on DSP for the last 7 or so years, similarly for a back injury, and yet she can push a lawn mower, work from dusk til dawn in her garden, lug groceries and great armfuls of firewood in winter. Now I’m not saying that she doesn’t suffer pain at times, because she may well do, but what I am saying is, that if she can do all of those things, then she, like my uncle, clearly suffers no permanent disability.

My son, on the other hand,who has several genuine and life long health conditions ( including Autism), which are considered to be permanent disabilities, has to jump through umpteen hoops just to try and qualify for that which I routinely see others receiving for no reason other than the fact that nobody has bothered to check to see if the initial condition, which qualified them for the DSP in the first place,  is still preventing them from working years later.

So I’m all for reviewing and changing the DSP if it means that those, who once may have genuinely required those payments, but no longer do, end up being reassessed for the legitimacy of their payments.

I’m all for supporting people in genuine need and for genuine reasons, but in reality, claiming a Disability Support Payment when you do not indeed have a disabling condition, is FRAUD and it should be acknowledged as being so.

 

What would finding a cause for Autism really mean?

Artwork by Jeffery Smith

Artwork by Jeffery Smith

Over the years, the concept that there could have been a cluster of causally based attributes that triggered Autism in an individual, has become increasingly frowned upon.

Many individuals with Autism themselves feel that the mere act of searching for a cause denotes societies inability to accept them as people for both who and how they are.

Many view the search for a cause as being akin to the search for a cure.

Therefore the search for either a cause or a cure is being seen as a direct way of saying to individuals with Autism that they, as people, are ‘abnormal’, ‘unwanted’, ‘diseased’ or ‘un-natural beings’ whose ‘different ways of being’ in this world, are a drain on society that require, at the very least extreme ‘alteration’, or at the very worst, ‘eradication’.

Therefore if we find the cause, we find the cure and if we find the cure well then, that’s the end of folks like you.

When viewed in this light, one can understand why it is that so many with Autism, who for so long have fought for acceptance within society as both viable and valuable human beings, are now so increasingly against the idea that Autism itself may be the resulting neurological manifestation of a condition that could potentially have an external cause.

The fear of finding an external cause can therefore be seen to center upon the associated and conflicting range of ideas that have been encapsulated within the Autism debate.

Ideas that have all too often come down to a binary set of attitudes that require one to either advocate for Autism acceptance or support the need for a cure, which serves only to further alienate those who are perceived as being different or ‘abnormal’.

Put simply, by marrying the two very different concepts of causation and acceptance together, the Autism debate has become one that is now stymied and ratified by the irrationality of insisting that any evidence of causation must therefore equate to the invalidation of the Autistic experience.

This overtly simplistic way of thinking about and viewing what Autism is, what it means to be Autistic, or how Autism is experienced and why it’s experienced in such highly variable, though for some odd reason, clearly identifiable ways, leads us forever down rabbit hole of dissent.

Meanwhile, while we’re all so busy arguing with each other over the merits of what Autism means and how it should be treated, we forget that despite decades of non-productive research, in which one set of findings often refutes the findings of another, we still know very little regarding either the origins of the mechanisms of Autism.

We have become so blinded by the politics of the Autism Movement, that we’ve not once stopped to ask ourselves why it is, that in all this time, no-one has been able to provide a clear and undisputed scientific explanation as to why and how a condition that affects so many people operates within the human body.

Instead, this lack of knowledge has induced many into blindly accept or adopt the ideal that Autism has no causation.

Autism therefore, must simply have always affected a subset of the population.

Yet still, we have no proof of that either.

The first documented cases of Autism were studied in 1943.

Since 1943 scientists have not only identified but clinically studied how a myriad of new diseases, cancers and other physiological disorders, affect the human body.

Henceforth they have been able to devise ways to effectively understand and treat a myriad of diseases.

Take Swine flu for example; in less than 6 months of its first outbreak, scientists had constructed a vaccine for it.

They were able to do this because they studied the way in which swine flu attacked the human body on a cellular level.

If scientists can study new and emerging diseases in such a way, then why is it taking them so long to define and agree on the etiology of Autism?

Alzheimer’s provides yet another example of the way in which medical science is able to research, define, understand and identify the pathways that cause the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Yet despite these many medical break throughs, still so little is either known or agreed upon, when it comes to Autism.

So why is there such a lack of clear scientific and medical insight when it comes to the origins of Autism?

If the symptoms and the ranges of behaviors that indicate Autism can be delineated clearly enough to create a criterion for the diagnosis of Autism, then why is there no accompanying scientific explanation as to how these particular symptoms are initiated within the human body?

In short, how is it possible that a sub-set of the population has been experiencing the symptoms of a neurological condition of an unknown origins for almost 80 years, without any scientific knowledge being gathered and agreed upon as to how this is happening, when in less than 6 months the cure for a new epidemic can be identified, understood and created?

So why do we not find it strange, that despite the fact that they’ve discovered a gene for breast cancer and that Down Syndrome and a whole host of other syndromes that were commonly thought of as being as mysterious as Autism, are caused by either an extra chromosome or the absence of a chromosome, yet the only point of scientific and medical agreement that can be found regarding Autism surrounds not what causes it, but what doesn’t cause it.

Autism, we are to believe, simply seems to be a scientific black hole.

It’s such a mysterious condition that no one, not even the scientific boffins, can get a hold on it.

Now realistically, how likely is it, given all that’s been achieved, that one of the oldest medical and scientific conundrums isn’t at the top of every boffins ‘must solve’ list ?

And if it is at the top of every boffins ‘must solve’ list, then why isn’t it being solved?

Why do we still hold so few answers in our hands?

And of the answers that we do hold, why are we constantly being told to dismiss them as being nothing more than mere happen-chance?

For example, one of the scientific facts that we do know is, that like it or not, if you look at the scientific data, there is a direct statistical correlation between the first documented cases of Autism and the introduction of en mass immunizations.

Now we may not like this correlation and we may not even want to acknowledge it, yet never the less, it is there and the fact that it is there has caused multiple problems for both Governments and pharmaceutical companies alike.

So many problems in fact that millions, if not billions of dollars have been spent on conducting ‘scientific’ research that seeks to “prove” that such a scientifically valid statistical correlation is nothing more than a mere anomaly, created by the mere coincidence of chance.

Yet this mere coincidence of chance seems to be the very anomaly that has created the black hole which sucks all scientific data on Autism, back in on itself.

It seems that the only way to move Autism research forward in a meaningful way, a way that doesn’t seek to threaten, belittle or devalue the experiences of those currently living with Autism, is for researchers and Autists alike, to punch through the black hole of happen-chance together.

We might not like what we find on the other side, but then again, we just might.

Because what if finding a ‘cause for Autism’ didn’t involve immunizations or heavy metals, what if there are no cover ups, what if there are only answers that don’t lead to the eradication of Autistic people but rather help ease the most debilitating symptoms that those with low functioning autism experience?

What would be the greater crime against humanity?

Ignoring the potential for a highly inconvenient, yet plausible explanation for the causation of Autism to be found that may lead to a greater level of understanding and support for those with Autism.

Or:

Potentially blindly allowing an environmentally based form of harm to continue, unabated, simply because we’ve been made to look and feel like fools for questioning why the answers never seem to be found.

People with Autism want real friends too.

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This is true however; friendships can turn out to be incredibly one-sided and eternally complex for girls with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Often girls with Asperger’s Syndrome feel as if they have to hide who they really are in order to fit in and be accepted by their peers.

As a consequence of this, they often find themselves enduring conversations and situations that they really, don’t want to be in.

This is how my daughter describes the sense of complexity that friendships create for her.

“I like being with my friends ….

Sometimes….

But sometimes being with my friends just means that….

I have to do my hair,

And put on clothes that aren’t all that comfortable….

Just to listen to them talk about boring things…..

Or do things that I don’t really want to do…..

In places I don’t want to be….

Just to fit in….

Sometimes…..

I’d really like it if my friends could just come to my house,

Where I can wear my comfy clothes,

And do the things with me,

That I want to do,

I wish they’d just simply try,

Letting me be who I am,

How I am…..

Without judging me for being different……

So yeah, sometimes….

I like being with my friends…..

But I guess sometimes….

I just get so tired of always having to try,

Not being me,

Just to fit in.

I wish that they could see how boring fitting in,

Is to me.

Someday ….

I hope I have friends that want to fit in with me,

Instead of it always being the other way round.

That’d be really nice.”

 

 

Are all men Pedophiles?

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This is the question posed in a 60 minute piece of propaganda documentary by JW Productions that attempts to persuade it’s viewers that an adult male’s level of increased sexual attraction toward much younger females, is an evolutionary and therefore natural process that all adult males experience.

This documentary states, that from an evolutionary perspective, it has been preferable for older males to find much younger females (teens and tweens) sexually attractive because their appearances indicate to men, that on some primal level ,that young and developing girls are at their prime breeding age.

Hence forth the older male should be excused for having lustful thoughts and feelings towards teenage girls as they are only obeying their primal instincts by doing so.

The makers of this documentary then take this particular line of rational despicably one step further by making the claim that it’s also a natural evolutionary and biological process for younger females (teens and tweens) to deliberately seek out and desire the sexual attention of older males.

As evidence of this they cite the rising levels of young girls taking naked or sexually suggestive “selfies” and sending them to boys or posting them online to garner male attention.

They then state that across globe “there is no standard definition for pedophilia because the world cannot agree on the legal definition of the age of consent. The legal age at which a heterosexual person is considered legal for sexual acts varies from nine years to twenty years.”

Due to the lack of legal agreement as to the age of consent, the presumption is them made that the age at which one is considered to be an adult, in western countries, is an arbitrary one that is based more on the needs of our economic and educational systems, than it is based on a young person’s actual levels of physical and mental maturity.

Thus, because girls mature physically faster than males of their own age, they are also presumed to mature mentally and sexually faster as well.

So fast in fact that under age girls are (supposedly) routinely seeking out and willingly engaging in sexual encounters with much older men.

Given that the film makers have already argued that the age at which one becomes viewed as an adult is an ineffective and economically arbitrary one, the sick argument then follows that, if a girl is physically developed, regardless of her biological age, she should also be considered mentally mature enough to legally have sex.

In other words, if her breasts are developing and she’s begun menstruating, then a girl should effectively be considered an adult who is fair game able to engage in sex with older men.

In a further attempt to normalize pedophilia the documentary makers repeatedly make the assertion that the sexual actions that we consider to be acts of pedophilia are instead acts of Hebophilia which is defined as the state of adults being sexually attracted to adolescent children.

In this case an adolescent is described as a child between the ages of 12 to 16 years of age.

As opposed to pedophilia which is defined as an attraction to pre-pubescent children (12 years or younger)

Hebophilia, they argue, should be seen as something that is perfectly normal as it serves an evolutionary purpose and therefore should be accepted and if not legalized, then understood by society to be a lesser crime than that of pedophilia.

In order to further bolster this claim they then introduce the few cases of hebophilia around the world that have involved older women, usually teachers, engaging in consensual sexual acts with teenage males.

As if this fact somehow creates a level of predatory equality.

At no point within this documentary do they make the point that the vast majority of hebophilia is committed by males and that acts of pedophilia, sexual acts committed against children under the age of 12, are exclusively committed by males.

Only once do they mention the sea of damage and devastation caused to the many victims of pedophilia who are by no means willing participants in the process of their sexual abuse.

They do their best to make it sound as if all acts of hebophilia between younger women and older males are consensual acts, when in point of fact, statistically they are not.

Only once in this documentary is the word ‘rape’ mentioned and even then it’s only as a sound bite within a broader conversation.

They also fail to address the incredibly wide age range wherein acts of hebophilia, the kind of pedophilia that they say is okay and should be made forgivable, occur.

It’s one thing to claim that a 16-year-old gave her consent to engaging in a sexual encounter with an older male but another thing entirely to try and make that same claim regarding a 13-year-old child.

On the whole I’d have to say that this documentary sickened me to my very core and left me even more concerned for a world that could produce a documentary that seeks to promote and defend pedophilia / hebophilia in such way.

As much as I despised the messages contained within this documentary I think it’s worth making others aware of the kind of illogical bias and propaganda that those who are willing to defend pedophilia are spouting.

Free Community Library – Made by book lovers for book lovers

Books to read

Over the years, like many small towns,  the vacant spaces in our local shopping center have grown exponentially.

Leaving great gaping holes of emptiness that serve only to remind us that this once was a thriving mall. Filled with all the things that we as consumers could possibly need and many that we didn’t too.

To address the yawning gaps of desolation confronting shoppers,  a bright spark at the mall came up with the brilliant idea of turning one of the empty spaces into a community library.

The idea is that you leave a book of your own on the community shelf  for someone else to enjoy and in return you choose a book that someone else has left behind.

There are no sign up fees, no late fees and in fact there aren’t even any requirements for you to leave your name and details at all.

It is a system of book borrowing that is run purely on trust and it’s working brilliantly.

In the space of 8 weeks the community library has grown from having four shelves filled with books  to now having run out of places to house the many books donated.

It is quite literally over flowing with well-loved and good quality books and people too.

It’s become a space in which complete strangers can suddenly find themselves discussing their favorite authors and recommending books to each other.

Many people, like me, have donated entire boxes of their favorite books to the cause.

You know, the kind of books that you’ve loved so much that no matter how many times you’ve moved house, you’ve never had the heart to sell them in a garage sale or donate them to a charity where they’ll be stuck on a shelf and perhaps never loved again.

But then the community library comes along and suddenly you find that you are ready to pass your books on  because you know that you are passing them on to a place where other book lovers are sure to find and appreciate them.

Personally, as a book lover, I find this solution to the emptying out of the mall to be a truly beautiful one and one that shows that people can and will co-operate and share unselfishly with each other without the need for any form of  ‘organizational supervision’.

Lets face it, it’s a great idea.

So if you’re living in a town with a few too many empty shop spaces around you then why not give the idea of creating a community library a go.