Friday, June 26, 2009

In Today's News....

On June 25, America was shocked to hear of the deaths of two entertainers. Both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died on this day. While most reports say how saddened everyone is, there is the controversial talk of Mr. Jackson. Both of these people were in showbiz and made their money from the fans who supported their careers. Although Fawcett didn't garner as much controvery as Jackson, both of these people left this world having made an impact. You read about how loved and worsipped they both were and it is clear by the TV, radio, newspapers and internet reports.

Farrah Fawcett is best known for her one year gig on the show Charlies Angels and of course for the very popular "swimsuit poster" in which she posed in a red bathing suit. Her more memoriable work involved playing a battered woman in the fact based TV movie The Burning Bed, and as a would be rape victim in the play Extremities. She later made the movie of the same name and earned critical acclaim for her work. The Burning Bed was the first TV movie to provide a nationwide 800 number that offered help to victims of domestic violence. She then posed for Playboy at the age of 50. She was confident and beautiful and found freedom doing those portraits. She also opened up her life to the public by documenting her battle with cancer. You can't help but think of her as a strong, independent and fearless female who held her head high.

Michael Jackson rose to stardom at a young age. He exploded into his solo career and broke records. He was also considered "weird" and "eccentric". He filled the tabloids with speculations and questions in every area of his life. He claimed to have never had a childhood, and constantly tried to live out that life. As he got older, he spent more and more time defending his relationships with young boys and facing allegations of sexual abuse. He has never been found guilty, but has been plagued by doubt ever since. So was Mr. Jackson a talented performer who molested children and took advantage of his young, adoring fans? Someone who used his power and fortune to get himself out of trouble time and time again? Or, being an abused child as he has stated, was he just trying to capture that childhood dream and didn't know his boundaries? Was he someone who just loved being around kids, but because of his fame and money was accused of doing harm? Was he just an easy target? Someone who was used and abused by those around him or were the roles switched? He was cleared in a court of law but to some that means nothing, to others, all that matters.

Both of these icons will remain in the public interest for some time and live forever in their accomplishments and misfortunes. They both have families who face the tragedy of losing a loved one and the legacy that that person left behind, whatever that may be.

Beware at the Beach?

During the summer months, crime tends to go up. Schools are closed and people are outside more often and for longer hours. These kinds of things offer more opportunity for crimes to occur. One thing you don't think of is sexual assaults happening in broad daylight. There have been reports in numerous states involving young women being assaulted while they are in the water, or even just near it. Some of these women are swimming and being groped from behind by strangers, others are at public water parks being assaulted. In the summer, it's warm, you wear less clothing, and sometimes even a bathing suit. There is nothing inappropriate about that and yet, it seems to make you even more susceptible to predators. What makes these monsters think it's okay to fondle someone outside enjoying the sunshine?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jeffrey Epstein Case Back to Court

Jeffrey Epstein is a billionaire. He is also someone who preys on young girls by paying them for "massages" that turn sexual. Over the course of the last few years, Epstein has been in the news repeatedly for sexual assault. He has been found guilty of soliciting prostitution from underage girls and is currently serving a light sentence. Back in 2007, a woman came forward to say Epstein had had sex with her when she was just 16. The case was dismissed because of the statute of limitations. In 2008 a young woman said she was paid $200 to give the man a massage, but he ended up abusing her. As women kept coming forward, some as young as 13, Epstein was offered a plea deal and plead guilty to charges of soliciting prostitution from underage girls. He was sentenced to just 18 months in jail with one year of house arrest to follow. He will also be registered as a sex offender. Since his sentencing, even more girls have come forward. This year in June, three of the victims' lawyers have asked for Epstein's plea deal to get unsealed. They are calling it the "sweetheart deal" because of the leniency. For a man who is considered a billionaire and who brought most of these young women right into his home, do we really think he will not do this again once he is out of prison? Money equals power and keeps a lot of people from talking. He took advantage of these girls who saw dollar signs and easy cash. Most victims of sexual assault have reservations about coming forward with their story. What if you were a teenage girl who agreed to take money from an older man for a massage and then things went way to far? This is a scary situation for anyone, let alone a young girl who just a teenager.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Queen Latifah Speaks Out

Dana Owens who is also known as Queen Latifah, a Cover Girl spokeswoman and a successful rapper and actress, has spoken out about her sexual abuse in Essence Magazine. She was assaulted as a child by a babysitter and discusses how it has affected her into her adulthood. She also talks about telling her family and and seeking therapy to deal with the issues that stem from abuse. To come forward and speak out about abuse takes courage, and to share that with millions of readers in a magazine is admirable. Even our role models and those in the public eye struggle with past demons. It may be helpful to others who are trying to cope with abuse to know that they are not alone in their struggle and that it's okay to talk about it.