Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

Have you got something in common with these wildly successful people?

An article in today's Huff Post touts words of wisdom from 8 mega-successes on what they wished they'd done differently. As I read through each one, I'm reminded of my New Year's resolutions each year to make time for what's really important. We've all heard it, but reading the same message over and over creates an eerie echo that makes me want to go home right when the office closes (not 2 hours later), bake focaccia bread and pasta with homemade pomodoro sauce, then spend the night playing Scattergories with my family. What about you? And if your regrets center on someone who has passed, take comfort in John Lennon's mother's words to, "Let it be."

Thank Heaven for Little Girls

You've probably heard Maurice Chevalier singing Thank Heaven for Little Girls... it's a favorite for  the father/daughter dance at weddings. The French singer croons about how delightful little girls so quickly grow into beguiling women who will bat their eyes and break your heart. Yup they do grow up fast, but little girls aren't women... they're children and shouldn't be prematurely 'womanized'.

A few days ago, in my blog post Misleading Lolita, I discussed how we're closing the gap between childhood and womanhood by sexualizing little girls.  I'm not the only one concerned about this trend. Today I read that the French Senate has voted to ban beauty pageants for girls under 16... anyone violating this rule could face stiff fines and up to 2 years in prison. The legislation has not yet been adopted, but the proposal sends a clear message about exploitation of girls. The bills author, legislator Chantal Jouanno states this is a women's rights issue.

While entering children in beauty pageants, dressed in makeup, high heels, and pageant clothing, may not seem like a global concern, it speaks to the larger issue of child exploitation. Certainly worldwide, the sexualization of young girls results in abhorrent practices such as rape, trafficking, and  child brides.

I applaud the French for the courage to take a stand on this women's rights issue.  They're not demonizing beauty pageants; but they are sending a message that these events should be age appropriate and the participants should be old enough that they can  understand and consent to whether or not they wish to participate. It will be interesting to see what happens with the proposed legislation.

Thank Heaven for Little Girls

You've probably heard Maurice Chevalier singing Thank Heaven for Little Girls... it's a favorite for  the father/daughter dance at weddings. The French singer croons about how delightful little girls so quickly grow into beguiling women who will bat their eyes and break your heart. Yup they do grow up fast, but little girls aren't women... they're children and shouldn't be prematurely 'womanized'.

A few days ago, in my blog post Misleading Lolita, I discussed how we're closing the gap between childhood and womanhood by sexualizing little girls.  I'm not the only one concerned about this trend. Today I read that the French Senate has voted to ban beauty pageants for girls under 16... anyone violating this rule could face stiff fines and up to 2 years in prison. The legislation has not yet been adopted, but the proposal sends a clear message about exploitation of girls. The bills author, legislator Chantal Jouanno states this is a women's rights issue.

While entering children in beauty pageants, dressed in makeup, high heels, and pageant clothing, may not seem like a global concern, it speaks to the larger issue of child exploitation. Certainly worldwide, the sexualization of young girls results in abhorrent practices such as rape, trafficking, and  child brides.

I applaud the French for the courage to take a stand on this women's rights issue.  They're not demonizing beauty pageants; but they are sending a message that these events should be age appropriate and the participants should be old enough that they can  understand and consent to whether or not they wish to participate. It will be interesting to see what happens with the proposed legislation.

All I want for Christmas

What might an 8 year old boy want  for Christmas? A toy helicopter? A remote control car? Sounds right.

But for one boy there was something he wanted even more... for schoolmates to stop bullying his sister. As often happens, the twins' mom wasn't aware of the extent of the bullying until reading her son's letter to Santa. Sometimes as adults it's hard to relate to how much bullying can devastate a child. Reading the boy's letter to Santa makes me realize how powerless a kid can feel when faced with bullying. 

How big a problem is bullying? The statistics are startling:

  • 56% of students have witnessed a bullying crime while in school.
  • 71% of kids report bullying is an ongoing problem.
  • 10% of students drop out of school because of bullying.
  • There's a strong correlation between bullying and suicide.


All I want for Christmas

What might an 8 year old boy want  for Christmas? A toy helicopter? A remote control car? Sounds right.

But for one boy there was something he wanted even more... for schoolmates to stop bullying his sister. As often happens, the twins' mom wasn't aware of the extent of the bullying until reading her son's letter to Santa. Sometimes as adults it's hard to relate to how much bullying can devastate a child. Reading the boy's letter to Santa makes me realize how powerless a kid can feel when faced with bullying. 

How big a problem is bullying? The statistics are startling:

  • 56% of students have witnessed a bullying crime while in school.
  • 71% of kids report bullying is an ongoing problem.
  • 10% of students drop out of school because of bullying.
  • There's a strong correlation between bullying and suicide.


Your kids…what’s in their text messages?

"She was absolutely terrorized on social media." That's what the NBC news report said of a 12 year old girl who committed suicide. Other girls in her class were texting continual messages like, "No one likes you.' and 'You should kill yourself.', and Go die.'

As an adult, I can't even imagine how tortuous it would be to be taunted and humiliated not only in person, but also everywhere I went via social media. But as an adult I would have the options to pick up and move away. Kids don't have that option.

If you think  bullying is just a typical part of growing up, watch the video. Technology has given bullies power and access never before seen.  This is a serious problem...and often we don't know about it until it's too late.  12 years old is too young to feel such pain that death is the only escape.

Parents- want to know more? The Center for Disease Control created a tip sheet to help parents recognize and talk to their kids about electronic aggression. It's worth a read.

Your kids…what’s in their text messages?

"She was absolutely terrorized on social media." That's what the NBC news report said of a 12 year old girl who committed suicide. Other girls in her class were texting continual messages like, "No one likes you.' and 'You should kill yourself.', and Go die.'

As an adult, I can't even imagine how tortuous it would be to be taunted and humiliated not only in person, but also everywhere I went via social media. But as an adult I would have the options to pick up and move away. Kids don't have that option.

If you think  bullying is just a typical part of growing up, watch the video. Technology has given bullies power and access never before seen.  This is a serious problem...and often we don't know about it until it's too late.  12 years old is too young to feel such pain that death is the only escape.

Parents- want to know more? The Center for Disease Control created a tip sheet to help parents recognize and talk to their kids about electronic aggression. It's worth a read.

Raped Again

"No wonder, considering what has happened since". those were the words Washington Post columnist, Ruth Marcus, used to describe why a US Naval Academy alleged rape victim was reluctant to cooperate in the investigation of the incident. The scene described is all too typical of so many sexual assaults...a party gone bad with alcohol-fueled decisions, pervasive sexual license, social media drama, morning-after realizations, and life-changing consequences for all involved persons. This incident involved military recruits, but the same scenario gets played out every week with college students, high school students, athletes and business associates.

We weren't present the night of the incident, so we don't know if the victim was forcibly raped, too incapacitated to consent, or a willing participant. Those decisions require more detailed facts than the news reports offer. Journalists protect the identity of this rape victim by not releasing her name but, without question. we've already formed our opinions of her. Consider:
  • the court process itself is invasive, publicly humiliating and re-traumatizing  for the victim. Many victims have said, "On the stand, I felt like l was being raped again." 
  • even before a verdict has been determined, there is often more judgment about the victim than the accused. 
From just the limited information in media coverage of the case, we're already forming opinions about the alleged victim. Consider:
  • all news stories indicate the victim was drinking excessively and the next morning had limited recollection the night before
  • during the hearing she was asked  whether she was wearing a bra or underwear, how wide she opens her mouth during oral sex, and if she had consensual sexual relations the next morning with another Academy football player in the same house where the alleged assault took place
  • new reports indicate she is being disciplined for underage drinking 
  • her credibility has been cast as questionable as she initially was reticent to cooperate  fully with the investigation, then later testified that a medical exam did not result in any diagnosis, and
  •  that she has been pressured and harassed in person and via social media since making the allegations.

Contrast this with what we know about the men accused of gang raping this woman:

  • their identities are not protected, thus we know their names. This is embarrassing, will follow them throughout life and is unquestionably career changing. But it also humanizes them. We've even seen their photos, clean shaven men in military dress uniform
  • they are football players
  • all 3 accused men are older than the victim, thus not guilty of underage drinking. The question of whether they provided alcohol to the inebriated underage victim, a criminal activity, has not been addressed
  • one of them had a previous 'casual sex' relationship with the alleged victim in the past and asked her to lie to his current girlfriend denying a sexual encounter on the night of the alleged rape.
  • all three men have denied any wrongdoing.
When I look at media coverage of sexual assaults, it disturbs me how the focus right from the start is often more on the victim and her character and decisions than on the accused. Even when a guilty verdict is rendered, so often it's the actions of victim that we recollect. It's no wonder victims are reluctant to report and cooperate in the prosecution. No wonder they feel "raped again."


Raped Again

"No wonder, considering what has happened since". those were the words Washington Post columnist, Ruth Marcus, used to describe why a US Naval Academy alleged rape victim was reluctant to cooperate in the investigation of the incident. The scene described is all too typical of so many sexual assaults...a party gone bad with alcohol-fueled decisions, pervasive sexual license, social media drama, morning-after realizations, and life-changing consequences for all involved persons. This incident involved military recruits, but the same scenario gets played out every week with college students, high school students, athletes and business associates.

We weren't present the night of the incident, so we don't know if the victim was forcibly raped, too incapacitated to consent, or a willing participant. Those decisions require more detailed facts than the news reports offer. Journalists protect the identity of this rape victim by not releasing her name but, without question. we've already formed our opinions of her. Consider:
  • the court process itself is invasive, publicly humiliating and re-traumatizing  for the victim. Many victims have said, "On the stand, I felt like l was being raped again." 
  • even before a verdict has been determined, there is often more judgment about the victim than the accused. 
From just the limited information in media coverage of the case, we're already forming opinions about the alleged victim. Consider:
  • all news stories indicate the victim was drinking excessively and the next morning had limited recollection the night before
  • during the hearing she was asked  whether she was wearing a bra or underwear, how wide she opens her mouth during oral sex, and if she had consensual sexual relations the next morning with another Academy football player in the same house where the alleged assault took place
  • new reports indicate she is being disciplined for underage drinking 
  • her credibility has been cast as questionable as she initially was reticent to cooperate  fully with the investigation, then later testified that a medical exam did not result in any diagnosis, and
  •  that she has been pressured and harassed in person and via social media since making the allegations.

Contrast this with what we know about the men accused of gang raping this woman:

  • their identities are not protected, thus we know their names. This is embarrassing, will follow them throughout life and is unquestionably career changing. But it also humanizes them. We've even seen their photos, clean shaven men in military dress uniform
  • they are football players
  • all 3 accused men are older than the victim, thus not guilty of underage drinking. The question of whether they provided alcohol to the inebriated underage victim, a criminal activity, has not been addressed
  • one of them had a previous 'casual sex' relationship with the alleged victim in the past and asked her to lie to his current girlfriend denying a sexual encounter on the night of the alleged rape.
  • all three men have denied any wrongdoing.
When I look at media coverage of sexual assaults, it disturbs me how the focus right from the start is often more on the victim and her character and decisions than on the accused. Even when a guilty verdict is rendered, so often it's the actions of victim that we recollect. It's no wonder victims are reluctant to report and cooperate in the prosecution. No wonder they feel "raped again."



X