Sexual Harassment

Exposure of sexual harassment behaviors and violence against women is finally being discussed. I am delighted that Time Magazine chose Time Person of the Year as the Silence Breakers. The Voices that Launched a Movement.

After years of working in medicine I experienced many levels of harassment, as did most of the women I know, but this wasn’t only in the workplace. I was stalked by a bank teller, a car mechanic, and an apartment manager who entered my residence when I was asleep. I was passed over for advancement and paid less even though I had more education and experience than the chosen male. Women all have stories to tell, as well as some men.

In the past, many aggressive unwanted behaviors, touches, grabs, kisses and more, were tolerated and discounted. “Boys will be boys” or “he’s a jock” are no longer excuses for grown men who in positions of power coerce subordinates into unwanted undesirable destructive situations.

In this evolving atmosphere, bad behavior by men will be less likely hidden, but that is only part of the story. No one is talking about incest, one of the most destructive forms of sexual aggression against children, both males and females. The young victim is held captive by circumstances and cannot escape. The family often knows and does not report due to shame, financial dependency on the abuser, or status in the community.

When researching the true crime book (Eyes of a Pedophile) I wrote about a famous violent pedophile, and at book presentations, I frequently met people who divulged sexual abuse never before disclosed. The women I spoke with expressed a marked feeling of relief after talking about rapes that sometimes occurred decades earlier. The Twitter #MeToo has given victims the courage and confidence to talk about sexual violence they had hidden over a lifetime and begin recovery.

The Movement exposing harassers and rapists opens dialogue for men, women and children. Norms of behavior begin in childhood. What exactly is acceptable behavior? Children who learn violence in the home often mirror behaviors they see. Lack of respect, verbal harassment, physical violence and sexual violence are destructive at all ages. Those who have suffered abuse are often left with vulnerabilities and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that last a lifetime.

Eyes of a Pedophile Ebook is on a special discount for $3.99, available on Amazon. Extensively researched medical and psychological details explain what is known about child predators and shows how to recognize pedophile behavior and help protect children.

Betty Kuffel

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SEXUAL PREDATORS

Author Betty Kuffel,  MD

Sexual predators are men with a sense of entitlement who look for vulnerable victims and do everything they can to avoid apprehension. They may be patient and bide their time. Whether the predation occurs in the workplace or in a dark alley, the predator waits for the right victim, the right time, and in a place where they won’t be caught. Most sexual predators are males and often have many victims. They are serial rapists who cover their actions by lies and threats.

When sexual fantasies ignite and accelerate their desires, they prowl, looking for the victim that excites them and fits the person in their fantasies. Offenders want compliant victims who can’t defend themselves. Isolation, drugs and alcohol are common components to rape. Once the act occurs, the offender may use coercion, threats, blackmail or violence to prevent exposure of the act.

Sexual fantasies are only a part of assaultive behavior, a strong component of predation is a need for power and control. These men are often arrogant, objectify women and may be in a relationship or married. Most are attracted to adults and will prey on people in need. They may offer help, but in the process, force themselves into a woman’s life, cutting her off from friends, isolating and controlling her every move.

I grew up in a small town, in a loving protective family, naïve and complacent until repeated exposure to the criminal element through my work in emergency medicine. Over years, I was threatened, and became more cautious. Stalking episodes led me to marksmanship classes, carrying a weapon or pepper spray, and more recently to Krav Maga self-defense classes.

A great book teaching personal safety behaviors, providing scenarios and protective actions is The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. I purchased many copies, and have given them to relatives and friends. I highly recommend the book for all women. Men would benefit, too.

It wasn’t until many years later, after I began research for the book Eyes of a Pedophile that I learned three members of my family were raped by pedophiles. And, that my great grandfather was an incest perpetrator who impregnated his daughter and raised the offspring as one of her siblings.

Many women have told me of rapes that occurred years earlier, often decades earlier. An incident in the news recently stimulated me to write this blog and clarify how common it is that victims of rape and incest don’t tell.

Of those I interviewed, all of them were afraid. Each circumstance was different, but they did not report due to shame, fear of retribution and fear of not being believed.

All of them carried anxiety and shame that impacted their personal lives. Exposing the truth at a safe time in their lives was beneficial, a weight was lifted. Of the three in my family, one rapist was a church camp counselor, the other two were prominent citizens, well-known in the small community and friends of the family. If the victims had come forward, I doubt that they would have been believed.

Now is the time to report sexual abuse and incest.

Now is a time for healing.

Years later, after the statutes of limitations have run out, prosecution is not possible, but retribution and shaming of the perpetrator, not the victim, can occur.

Rape must be reported. Properly performed rape evaluations can provide DNA evidence and make conviction more likely. After a sexual assault, important treatment for sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy prevention must be considered. My recent booklet on contraception, contains essential information for men and women. It contains a section on prevention of STDs, treatment of infection and how to reduce the risk of sexual assault.

Be safe.

 

Amazon link

Contraception, STDs, Rape reporting

A sexual assault hotline is: 1-800-799-HOPE

Or online information: https://rainn.org/

RAINN is the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network

A valuable source of information is from Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress.

https://depts.washington.edu/hcsats/PDF/infobrochures/sexual_offenders.pdf

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PEDOPHILE BEHAVIOR

Pedophiles are hunters in camouflage who prey on children.

Sexual predators usually seek an individual of particular sex, age and appearance, such as blond young women, or dark haired eleven-year-old boys.

In the case of pedophiles, they target children of a preferential age and appearance for sexual gratification.

Sex offenders are not psychotic. They don’t hear voices or see things the rest of us don’t see. They carry no psychiatric diagnosis, except perhaps, a personality disorder. They are evil, act without remorse and enjoy the power they have over their victims.

Child rapists exist throughout the world in all professions and all levels of society. They are relatives, teenagers, youth leaders, religious leaders, cops, teachers, fitness and athletic coaches. You trust them. They are everywhere – in your schools, churches and homes. The sexual predators gain your confidence before molesting your children and then silencing them.

20% OF CHILDREN ARE ASSAULTED

1:3 girls and 1:4 boys

 ¼ of the victimization occurs before age 5

In 2015, Children’s Advocacy Centers in the U.S. intervened in 311,000 cases of child abuse. Two-thirds of these, 205,438 children were sexually abused, and 90% of abusers were related to the child.

We tell children not to talk to strangers, and to scream and fight if they are snatched, but what if they are victimized by people they know and trust?

Pedophiles are invisible unless you know what to watch for. These are some of the traits:

  • Target vulnerable children who are lonely, neglected, learning disabled and fatherless
  • Befriend single mothers with children of the age they desire
  • Adept at lying
  • Seek systematic prolonged access to children through, jobs, sports and volunteer work
  • Save souvenirs from encounters such as a video, photo, a hair clipping, clothing
  • Church affiliations that bring them closer to children
  • Excessive friendliness to parents
  • Collect child attractants such as toys, trains

These behaviors appear normal on the surface. However, if the person has a number of these traits, your child should never be left alone with him.

For additional information, download fact sheets https://tinyurl.com/y7gvl9jx

or read Eyes of a Pedophile. This true crime book allows you to peer inside the mid of violent child molester Nathanael Bar-Jonah. Personal coded writings, life-long behaviors and victim testimony reveal how he operated and the difficulties law enforcement experienced stopping him.

Researchers have found children who experience sexual abuse may develop anxiety attacks or post-traumatic stress disorder from being placed in a situation where they are trapped, from which there is no escape. If your child’s behavior has changed, if the child avoids certain people including family members, watch for a collection of the traits.

Sexual predators must be reported both to police and child protective agencies to be sure the case thoroughly investigated. Pedophiles victimize children over a lifetime. They never stop.

Betty Kuffel, MD

Amazon link

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Hawaii – Mark Twain’s Thoughts

 

IMG_2738In 1866, the influential daily newspaper, The Sacramento Union, sent Mark Twain on assignment to live in the Hawaiian Islands for four months. He wrote a letter for publication each week and was paid $20 for each submission. Letters detailing adventures and mis-adventures made him famous. Surfing, swimming naked with Native Hawaiian women, and riding horseback to the summit of Kilauea watching it erupt, generated great interest in the beautiful islands.

Twain spent part of his time in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island where I am staying for nearly four weeks. Based on the below excerpt from one of his letters, I think he enjoyed his time here as much as I am.

Part of my time was with my ten-year-old granddaughter,  Jenna. She spent a week  swimming in the surf, watching tropical fish, exploring with me, her parents and maternal aunt, –and writing.

Jenna is a writer, a very good writer. Since returning home, she has sent me additional chapters to edit. She is a good typist, very quick with Word skills and uses dramatic action verbs. I am biased, but, she is terrific and today, turns ELEVEN!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JENNA!

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A Room with a View – In Paradise

 

For the first time in my life, I am on vacation with nothing to do, alone, in Kailua-Kona paradise on Hawaii. I can do anything I want to do, and what I am doing? I’m sipping Hazelnut-Vanilla coffee with cream, and writing like I do from my desk in Montana. Instead of looking out my window in at sunrise over the Rocky Mountains, I sit with my feet in warm surf and watch the sun come up over palm trees.

A king-tide brought super-high surf. Spectacular crashing waves splashed 30-feet above the seawall in my backyard. Birds I have never seen before, come to visit. A flock of noisy colorful Macaws often roost in a large nearby tree.

The waves and birdsong provide a continuous background of cacophony. I have probably taken a thousand photos. The waves are like watching fire, always changing. Surfers visit on their way to spend hours in bathtub-warm turquoise water. Large green sea turtles swim in the surf and eat seaweed from the lava rocks.

Papayas, mangos, star-fruit, dragon fruit, pineapple and fresh coconut fill my refrigerator. It’s easy to eat healthy here. I’m not inclined to eat much or go anywhere except to the beach. I bought two sundresses and wear them most of the time when I’m not in a swimsuit.

I look out at the surf in day while I write. At night, I listen to its crashing music and catch up on chaotic news from the Mainland on YouTube.

Aloha.

Thanks for stopping by.

More later.

 

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COMBAT CHILD ABDUCTION AND ASSAULT

May 25th – National Missing Children’s Day

May 25th is designated National Missing Children’s Day, as a reminder to keep children safer. When a child is missing, the fear, anguish and tears are endless. The photograph shows convicted pedophiles. They are everywhere, in every profession, in all social settings. Most victims are assaulted by people they know, not strangers.

In the past year, two perpetrators of high profile child abduction and murder finally came to justice. Their convictions took decades.

Six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared on May 25th, 1979, on his way to the school bus stop near his home in Manhattan. National Missing Children’s Day designates the anniversary of his abduction. Pedro Hernandez, a store clerk in the area, was a suspect at the time. But, it took decades and two trials before the Patz family saw him sentenced to life in prison.

In 1989, Jacob Wetterling was eleven-years-old when a man kidnapped him at gunpoint. Jacob was bicycling along a dirt road near his home in rural Minnesota with his brother and a friend. Danny Heinrich, who lived 30-minutes from Jacob’s home, was a person of interest at the time. Later that year Heinrich was arrested on an assault charge involving a juvenile male. He was released.

Authorities re-investigated the Wetterling case in 2015. They  noted similarities to the 1989 Heinrich case. DNA from the 1989 case matched Heinrich, prompting a search of his home. Binders filled with graphic images. He was charged with child pornography and ultimately confessed to Jacob Wetterling’s murder. Additional victims came forward. Heinrich was sentenced to 20-years in prison on a plea bargain and will likely never be released under Minnesota’s sex offender laws.

From the tragedies of these and other high profile cases of child abduction, many improvements in safety, education, prosecution and ways to rapidly locate missing children have occurred. The Code Adam alert was devised after the 6-year-old son of John Walsh (host of America’s Most Wanted) was abducted from a department store in Florida and later found murdered.

Code Adam is rapid response designed to stop a child abduction in progress. If a child is reported missing, a Code Adam alert results in an immediate lock-down. It is broadly used in malls and public buildings.

The tireless work of parents of abducted children stimulated the U.S. Congress to pass a law mandating registration of sex offenders to alert neighbors about their residential locations.

Studies show finding an abducted child quickly is prime for a safe return. Hundreds of children have been recovered since the development of the AMBER ALERT system.

Amber Hagerman was a nine-year-old Texas girl who was abducted and murdered. This alert named for her results in rapid dissemination of information about missing children. Call 9-1-1 to report a child abduction and trigger an Amber Alert. Describe the child, perpetrator, incident, location, vehicle and license number. If the missing child is thought to be in imminent danger, law enforcement issues the Amber Alert, interrupting radio and television broadcasts with details. Electronic billboards along highways, the Internet and smart phones flash the information.

The FBI Crimes Against Children program merged with the Innocence Lost National Initiative to form the Violent Crimes Against Children program in the FBI Criminal Investigative Division. The programs provide coordination on a local, state, national and international scope. They provide resources to combat child prostitution, child abduction and child sex tourism.

Comprehensive FBI site: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/cac

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) (Includes Amber Alerts, Cyber tip line, Search Missing: http://www.missingkids.com/behereforkids http://www.take25.org

Talk to your children about safety but especially on May 25th . Try using discussion scenarios like “What if…What would you do?”  Walk through the neighborhood with your kids and show them safe homes to seek refuge in an emergency. Teach crowd safety. Point out situations of potential danger. Tell your kids to avoid traveling alone and if grabbed, scream, kick and try to escape.

May 25th is a reminder day for what caregivers should do all year long to keep children safer. Check online at www.sexoffenders.com to learn addresses of convicted sex offenders near you -particularly the more violent Level 3 offenders. One may be living next door.

Dr. Kuffel is author of Eyes of a Pedophile: Detecting Child Predators, available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BI6SW8

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ACTIVISM IN AMERICA

Activism for me began on a freezing day in January, the day following Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. My friend Gina and I drove two hundred miles to march for human rights. We joined 10,000 women, men, and children of all ages, color, gender, and faiths in solidarity against abuses we feared would come with the new president.

It was called the Women’s March, but turned out to be so much more. Started by a woman and spread throughout the world by social media, it energized people to stand up against abuse of power and abuse of human rights.

Before that day, I felt powerless and depressed by the Trump’s campaign rhetoric and win. How could he be our president? He’s not my president.

What happened to America?

Trump’s followers cheered when he led chants to “Build the wall” and when Lt. Gen. Flynn led chants to “Lock her Up.” Trump promised to place someone in the Supreme Court who would be “his judge” to overturn Roe v. Wade after Mitch McConnell blocked President Obama’s nomination for the vacant seat. What happened to separation of church and state? What happened to the Separation of Powers?

What happened to America?

Trump’s cabinet choices appear poised to destroy the agencies they head. Obama regulations to protect people, schools, science, humanities, the poor, the old, the disabled, public lands, our water, our air and the list goes on, are all at risk. Almost every day since his inauguration Trump has failed to fulfill his promises, such as to “drain the swamp.” Instead, he surrounded himself with alligators and top staff with close ties to Russia.

Now, with Flynn fired and Russian connections made public, Flynn may be the one who is locked up. Smoke-screens and stonewalling by the White House and Republican congressional members related to investigation into Russian connections to the Trump campaign may be history is repeating itself. I still have a newspaper with Nixon’s impeachment on the front page. Hopefully, I will be able to add a Trump’s impeachment report to the collection.

Marches of millions in solidarity around the world have energized people to fight back. I hope the people of France choose a centrist leader and do not find them in the same turmoil generated by the right that the United States is experiencing. President Donald Trump has destabilized our country and the world.

Today, very brave Russian citizens plan nationwide anti-Putin protests. The organization, Open Russia, has been banned and blacklisted as an undesirable organization. The Russian Attorney General said the organization threatens Russia’s “constitutional foundations” and “the security of the state.” I looked for information this morning online at RT, the Russian news organization arm of the Russian government. I found little information on the demonstrations. Is this media suppression like Donald Trump advocates?

As you may recall, RT paid Lt. Gen Flynn thousands of dollars to attend an event in Russia with Putin in December 2015, another of Flynn’s Russian contacts he failed to disclose. Flynn worked with the Trump campaign and was named top security advisor by Trump despite known Russian connections – maybe because of Russian connections.

Putin uses his power to destroy, imprison and kill those who oppose him. Open Russia is a threat to his power. Russians risk their lives to rally.

In the U.S., we still have the constitutional right to rally in peace. However, multiple Republican-controlled states are pushing legislation to discourage and criminalize nonviolent public demonstrations. In Minnesota, such a bill passed a Republican-controlled committee to sue protesters to collect money to pay for police forces required at a demonstration. Additional lawmakers in Minnesota and Michigan pushed legislation for fines and possible imprisonment against unions and protesters for picketing. What happened to America?

Many of us returned from the Women’s March with a plan and empowerment to make change. One way to make change is to have your voice heard. Run for office, write letters, contact your congressmen, defend your views, rally, march. Stand up for America.

Join a People’s Climate Mobilization March today near you. https://350.org or Join us today at the Climate Action Rally in Glacier National Park at Lake Mc Donald Lodge at 11:30 am.

RISE UP! We are the resistance.

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March Sunrise

It’s been a long winter. I’m just sure there are daffodils beneath the two feet of snow we have remaining. The Prius has been buried for months and is finally melting out from beneath the white layer. We have been driving the Highlander for many months. All wheel drive is helpful in this part of the country. I guess I shouldn’t complain, at least we don’t have a nor-easter threatening us. No significant snow is forecast, just warmer weather and a little rain.

I’ve been busy packing away heavy winter coats, but 40 degrees and melting isn’t warm enough for shorts and flip-flops.  I am looking forward to a terrific Hawaiian vacation in a few months. I am happy to say my neighborhood deer have survived the long winter days. A neighbor who boards horses shares their food, but at times I wanted to invite the deer inside to warm up. They often seek shelter beneath a backyard pine. I fell in love with “Baby Black Ears” and some of the others I came to recognize.

Here is a winter image of downtown Whitefish. The ski area has had a tremendous year with a total snowfall of 378 inches. The current settled base at the top is 124 inches, so there will be great spring skiing.

Below is a early morning photo of the ski area taken with my cell phone from my deck near downtown Whitefish and a telephoto of a view near the summit in the evening. The winters are beautiful but difficult for the wildlife. I’m ready for springtime sun and flowers.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

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GO RED FOR WOMEN

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GASLIGHTING

 Gaslighting? Have you heard this term recently and wondered about the meaning? For self-preservation, beware. If you are a writer and wanting to develop a sinister character, consider giving your antagonist skills in gaslighting his/her victim.

 Definition from Wikipedia: Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, hoping to make the target question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.

 gaslightIn Gas Light, a 1938 play and later a movie, the husband manipulates his wife by attempting to make her believe she is insane. He lies, tells her she is delusional, manipulates the environment (he dims the gaslights) and when she points out changes, he says she is mistaken. The efforts are aimed at manipulation of a person’s sense of reality. This technique is commonly used by charming sociopathic individuals, narcissists, abusive partners and bullies.

We see this in the media almost daily as Trump announces something and then later declares he did not make the statement. Now, Trump is calling the media liars when they point out facts.

We may all become victims of Donald Trump’s manipulation of the truth.

Knowledge is power. Stick to the facts.

CNN article detailing Gaslighting by Donald Trump: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/10/opinions/donald-trump-is-gaslighting-america-ghitis/index.html

BJK

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