Tag Archives: #justice

When are kids “at-risk” for becoming psychopaths?

kids amended

First- we need to examine what a psychopath actually is…

by Sweet-Babboo
by Sweet-Babboo

According to Dr. Robert Hare in his highly acclaimed book, Without Conscience, not all psychopaths are the blood-thirsty ghouls we expect them to be. They don’t conduct themselves in ways that are obvious, like breathing fire out of their arm-pits. While they are evil at their core, for the most part, there are no blatant, tell-tale, physical signs.

I’ve heard people say they can tell a psychopath by their stare. But in the exposure I’ve had to individuals I believe are psychopathic, there was no fixed gaze to give them away.

Simply put, a psychopath is a person with the character disorder in which they lack emotional empathy, and therefore, they don’t develop a conscience. As a result, they can commit harmful acts against others with no degree of caring, concern, or remorse.

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist measures their level of harmfullness. But just because they don’t score at the top of the range, does not mean they’re not a psychopath.

Upbringing, not conscience, can deter them from ghoulish behavior. A character disordered child who is abused is more likely to become a heinous deviant than one who is raised in a more supportive environment. A child from an otherwise normal upbringing, is more likely to become a white-collar criminal who lies and cheats, rather than one who conducts unspeakable violence.

Psychopaths often go undetected because their early family life provided them sufficient knowledge about societal expectations to enable them to fit-in.  But they are not guided by morality, virtue, or concern for their fellow man. Instead, they are only reigned-in by their fear of discovery or consequences.

How did they get that way?

PrisonersSince prison settings provide access to a seemingly large volume of psychopaths, their populations are often the subjects for research. But this approach gives us a skewed sense of the frequency of encountering psychopaths in our daily lives.

The rough estimate of the ratio of psychopaths is approximately 4% of the population. But they conduct themselves in a serial fashion and; therefore, harm far more than 4% of mankind.

Modern mental health professionals suspect a genetic link to a pre-disposition to psychopathy. Its existence does not equate to every child of a psychopath becoming a psychopath. Rather, the child of a psychopath is “at-risk” for becoming a psychopath.

What passes along in DNA?

downloadOur brain chemistry makes mankind trusting and caring. The principal neurotransmitter that serves as a foundation for conscience is thought to be, (according to Dr. Paul Zak in The Moral Molecule,) oxytocin. Our genes control our levels of oxytocin and our reaction to it can be shaped through early childhood development.

With normally functioning oxytocin receptors, we experience early bonding and develop emotional empathy, the knee-jerk reaction to the welfare of others. Without oxytocin, or with early developed negativity toward oxytocin, our ability to bond and feel concern for another person’s welfare becomes compromised.

How can we tell whether our child has empathy or not?

If your six year old or older child:

  • is indifferent to the pain or problems another person exhibits, including their siblings, or you,
  • throws tantrums when they don’t get their way
  • puts the safety of others or animals at risk,
  • is a bully,
  • is continuously bullied,
  • exhibits oppositional/defiant behavior
  • is excessively impulsive,
  • experiences phobias,
  • has a love affair with weapons
  • commits bodily harm against themselves or others

…..they may be showing early signs of character disorder.

Mental health professionals don’t label children “psychopathic.” Instead, they use the terms, “conduct disorder,” “behavior disorder,” or “emotionally disturbed.” Any of these diagnoses could signal development into character disorder as an adult.

What can I do to correct the problem? 

toddlerLook seriously at the signs you see from your toddler. Don’t overlook them! They are unlikely to go away on their own! At this stage, you could make a difference.

Are they responsive to cuddling, caring and warmth? Are your attempts at boundary setting conveying love or making them fearful?

According to Dr. Liane Leedom in her ground-breaking book, Just Like His Father, children who are at-risk of becoming psychopaths need an extremely nurturing environment with significant levels of parental warmth. Devote time laughing and being joyous with your at-risk child. Keep as much acrimony from affecting them as possible, and try to reduce the level of stress in your home environment. Abandonment of an at-risk child, by either parent, can have a devastating affect on their development.

If your child reaches the age of six, and their morality is stuck at self-centered, get professional help for them. Involve them in activities that promote sharing and caring like volunteering, helping others, and by providing religious supports. If you are single, spend time with couples who embody cooperation, respect and a loving relationship.

When will I know the results? 

Most parents find the teen years trying. But even teenagers will express respect for their parents. Character disordered kids will believe that rules are made to be broken. Teenaged impulsivity can take the form of drugs or alcohol abuse, fighting, truancy, promiscuity and juvenile delinquency. Usually, by their mid twenties, with independence, permanent character becomes obvious.

Your child’s development into psychopathy is impacted by genetics and experiences that can be totally out of your control. But knowing that a child is at-risk, understanding the genetic link to the disorder, can help you create the most supportive environment to deter them from violence. Nothing will impart a conscience to a psychopath.

If you are the unfortunate parent of a character disordered son or daughter, hopefully, you can find peace in knowing you did the best you could with the resources and knowledge you had at the time.

 

 

 

 

Distinguishing Between Rape by Fraud vs Emotional Rape

There seems to be a very large misconception about what rape by fraud is, and what emotional rape is. And often they take place together. When this occurs, it’s hard for the victim to separate which is which.

Rape by Fraud image

Emotional Rape:

Tricking a person to steal their love

and involve them in a relationship.

Rape by Fraud:

Tricking a person to steal sex

How emotional rape works

Being pranked for a relationship is emotional rape. The term does not denote a “sexual act” Rather, it describes the sense of having your highest emotion, which is love, stolen from you.

In emotional rape, a person creates a hoax about their character, or what their intentions are, and perpetuates that hoax over time. The unknowing victim provides love and caring that is undeserved and will feel violated when they learn the truth. Cases of emotional rape can lead to engagement and marriage with a partner who is not what they pretend to be.

When the victim discovers the truth, they may not react as society expects. People with high levels of morality and the brain chemistry that induces attachments will continue to feel bound by the bond of love that was established. They’ll experience the toxic glue of a Trauma Bond, also known as a Betrayal Bond, that keeps them feeling the chemical ties created by the neurotransmitters in their brain, enabling our species to “couple.” Please use this link to determine if a Betrayal Bond is affecting you. And refer to Dr. Patrick Carnes’ book, Betrayal Bond, Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships for further information.

Separating from an emotional predator can take considerable time and toxic interaction in the relationship. Often victims will defend their mate even though society will see their behavior as misguided. People without a deep-rooted sense of bonding will have an easier time breaking off the relationship. They’ll react more immediately to the realization of their situation. Victims who were previously abused, or whose moral code of conduct creates a sense of unconditional love, will be more forgiving.

How rape by fraud works

Rape by fraud is an actual, physical act of rape. Sexual assault or sexual contact takes place when a person is engaged in an act of sexually penetration without their freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement…. consent. Defrauding a person of the physical act of sex vitiates their “consent” for sex, and is therefore punishable in some states. Tennessee and Alabama have the most direct laws in dealing with offenders who defraud victims for acts of sexual penetration.

Model penal code states that “consent is INEFFECTIVE if induced by force, duress or deception.” Therefore, a person who is sexually penetrated as a result of deception, is being physically raped.

This form of rape is similar in trauma to being drugged or intoxicated to vitiate consent. Violence did not occur to overwhelm the victim in any of these forms of sexual assault. Instead the victim was outwitted.

Other forms of criminal “outwitting.”

car theftIf an offender beat a man as he approached his car, took his keys and drove away, we’d readily recognize his actions as auto theft.

If the offender pretended to be the valet in front of a restaurant, took the man’s keys and drove off with his car, we would also recognize the act as auto theft; even though the man willingly handed over his keys and didn’t realize he was being robbed in the moment.

The first act was theft accomplished by violence. The second was theft accomplished by fraud. The offender would be charged differently for the violent act and sentenced more harshly, but both are criminal offenses.

Distinctions in charging the offender with a rape crime

All forms of rape should be punished in every state. If the person were violently overwhelmed, their act of rape would warrant a more “aggravated” level of charge. The sexual assaults that do not involve violence to overwhelm the victim are a lesser offense. But all acts of rape, or sexual assault, should be punished.

Is emotional rape a crime?

Emotional rape is morally reprehensible. It steals a lifetime from the victim. It embroils them in marriages that are not what the victim perceives. When it generates offspring, those relationships exist for a lifetime, and often in a fashion that shatters lives. But is it a criminally punishable offense? Unfortunately, it is not penalized  in any state in the US. It could; however, become a civil matter if there were sufficient awareness of this pattern of wrong doing.

You will get a much clearer grasp of the distinction between emotional rape and rape by fraud by reading Carnal Abuse by Deceit, which accurately conveys these issues in a real-world setting.

Every act of physically and sexually penetrating a person without their freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA, is and should be punishable throughout the US!

Fight, Flight, or “Freeze” Tonic Immobility

A victim’s reaction to trauma

sad woman-2

You awake to a very large, strong man covering your mouth with one hand, making it difficult to breathe, let alone scream. In the other hand, he’s clenching a knife millimeters from your face. Terror seizes your entire body and you react…. but how?

Fight or flight is the response society expects in violent attacks. Your hypothalamus and pituitary take over, instantly flooding you with hormones to protect your sustainability.

  • Adrenalin arouses you to your circumstance.
  • Cortisol provides you with uncommon energy.
  • Opiods act like morphine to temporarily blind you to your pain.
  • Oxytocin attempts to stabilize your emotions.

Totally apart from your conscious control, you may be like millions of other sexual assault survivors who freeze.

It is estimated that 12 to 50% of rape victims will respond by freezing, and it is thought that the number is closer to 50% than 12%. Also, victims who experienced prior sexual trauma are more likely to experience this temporary paralysis.

The impacts on seeking justice

Policing is currently practiced under the misconception that victims will either fight with all their might to fend off brutality, or do everything in their power to free themselves. Absent evidence of doing either or both, they assume that the victim’s crime report is a lie. Approximately 86% of rapes, even those supported by a rape kit, do not make their way from the Patrolman to the Prosecutor for this reason. Yet data reported by the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women indicates only 2-8% of rape accusations are false.

A natural phenomenon

frog

Freezing, Tonic Immobility, also known as thanatosis, is an automatic response to rape as well as other forms of trauma in humans. But we are not the only animal that experiences this phenomenon.Opossum The most widely
known is the
opossum,which is why “playing dead” is also referred to as “playing opossum.” Mammals are wired with the option to look and appear dead to their attacker for protection. In sharks, rolling onto their back and becoming paralyzed enables mating.

Other impacts on the victim’s post-rape “affect”

During rape, the cocktail of hormones surging through the human body block the ability of the brain’s hippocampus to organize and store thought. Many rape victims, who are interrogated shortly after their trauma, have yet to recover cognition. Police, who don’t understand their behavior, suspect that the victim is inventing the story as they speak, when they are actually attempting to puzzle together disparate pieces that were blocked from encoding by their brain’s hormonal overload.

Their ‘affect” or appearance, may not seem emotionally charged as one would expect after a heinous assault. They could remain under the influence of those same opiods that deterred their reaction and dulled their senses during the crime.

Undermining self esteem

Victims who freeze struggle with an innate sense of guilt. Their response defied their own personal expectation that if something bad happened to them, they would fight to the death or flee. We go through life taking comfort in the concept that we are able to protect our mortality, and we respond to rape as a struggle for life. Most of society sees fight or flight as being brave, because we don’t understand that freezing is the same act of self-preservation. People who experience the trauma of rape by fraud are also plagued with similar self-blame.

How tonic immobility factors in rape by fraud

I recall vomiting and collapsing on the cold bathroom floor, immobile, when I first learned the initial lie that was used to defraud me into a sexual relationship. Little did I know, there were far more lies behind it.

Defrauding someone of sex strips them of both fight and flight to defend their body. The victim could not react, because they did not know. Their behavior, throughout the time they were assaulted, which could span years, uproots their personal sense of being able to protect themselves. The recognition that a sexual assault by fraud took place can be a paralyzing trauma.

The victim’s failure to protect their personal sexual sanctity also obscures society’s recognition that a crime took place against them. And it undermines the victim’s self-esteem in much the same way having been immobilized does in violent cases. The victim suffers secondary victimization from society, family, friends, the authorities and themselves when dealing with rape by fraud. It’s little wonder that knowing you were deceived into sex is so terribly degrading for a victim, and why it is so difficult to heal.

Media should be paying far closer attention to Tonic Immobility, just as it should be identifying the heinous nature of rape by fraud and its impacts on victims.

Watch this TEDx Talk for the key to combating sexual assault!

Authors note:

Inspiration for this post came from information I received from a woman who comments under the name “Semi” on US Weekly. Unless otherwise linked, the source for the data and statistics is The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault, written and presented by Dr. Rebecca Campbell, Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to watch her scholarly presentation. 

 

PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Rape by Fraud

Why victims suffer this disabling anxiety condition

Army

PTSD is normally associated with warfare

My father fought in the Philippines during World War II. One hot, dark, buggy night, he woke up to find a Japanese soldier squatting over him, about to thrust a bayonet into his neck.  I knew better than to ever ask him the fate of that soldier. The fact that he came home to our family was all we needed to know.

Whenever my dad was aroused from sleep, he’d awaken with a start. I’m sure that was only a small example of how PTSD affected him. But it was visible to me, even as a small child.Today, society readily understands that combat soldiers can suffer from PTSD. It was a far less public discussion in my father’s time.

I never expected that I would encounter any type of danger that could create the disorder for me, but I was wrong.

The emotional causes of PTSD

Modern day health professionals have concluded that emotionally shattering experiences undermine our sense of invulnerability and cause PTSD. People naturally assume that life is both benevolent and meaningful. And we consider ourselves to be worthy beings. An encounter with rape by fraud can shred every vestige of our beliefs about both life and our place in it. It undermines our value system.

If this happened to you, depending on the length of time the hoax took place, you built expectations that were predictable. Learning that everything you valued was nothing more than a house of cards crushed your sense of safety and well-being. And the notion that you were used as an instrument of your own demise was especially crushing. It is why Socrates said that “sex by persuasion” as he called rape by fraud, is particularly compelling because it undermines the character of the victim. Recognition of the heinous nature of this behavior spans centuries. It’s nothing new.

While rape by fraud victims do not undergo the brutal torment of violence, the blow to their emotional makeup can be devastating. Their injuries are far more severe than the trifling stupidities that people hurl their way…. “Just get over it,” “So what,”  “Find a decent guy.” And even worse, “You just misunderstood.” In many ways, the lack of validation people hurl at victims serves to deepen their despair. They not only have to deal with the betrayal that affects them at their core, but also with the abandoning mindset of the very people they count on for support.

Some symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Memories that are triggered by daily events, making you tremendously sad.
  • Sleeplessness, the inability to turn off the record running through your brain
  • Loss of interest in your daily life.
  • Hermit behavior, unwillingness to go out and face possible reminders
  • Irritability and anger over small incidents.

Victims who experience rape by fraud should seek professional help to recover. Just as a soldier needs therapy to improve, no one should try to tackle PTSD on their own. If you can’t afford a private therapist, contact your local hospital and find out if they have a low cost mental health clinic that can help you. Reach out to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, for information and support.

“50 Brave Women” Campaign for change!

woman w flag

It’s not OK to exploit people for sex!

You can make a meaningful difference in the laws in your state! We need one person to step forward who’s been harmed by a romance scam in every jurisdiction.

Are you up for the challenge?

If so, please complete the simple form below, (which will not be published or seen on the blog,) with the following information:

  1. Write a short description of what happened to you, (please keep it under 5 paragraphs.)
  2. Send your contact information: name, phone, email, city and state (None of this information is made public.)
  3. Let me know if you’re acquainted with any of the legislators in your area, and if so, who.