When it Comes to Abuse, Silence is Not Golden
By Fransi Weinstein
I’ll be very honest with you. When I was asked to write this article my immediate gut reaction was to run and hide. Which is exactly the response predators count on. That fear or revulsion or disbelief will keep us quiet; and they’ll get away with their heinous acts. An unfortunate truth Jerry Sandusky’s young victims, and countless others, know all too well.
Not one to turn my back on injustice it took about a nano second for me to agree. This Martin Luther King Jr. quote sums it up far more eloquently than I ever could: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Well, animal sexual abuse matters. All sexual abuse matters, but animals really are the most helpless of the helpless.
There’s a name for this kind of deviant behavior
Bestiality. I knew that.
But what I would never have guessed is that those who are sexually attracted to animals generally start by the time they’re 13. And they only stop when they’re no longer sexually competent. In other words, this is not a phase to be outgrown, not that it would be acceptable if it was.
Equally unsettling is the fact that it’s been going on for thousands of years, on foreign soil and right in our own backyards. It’s rare that cases are reported, but they do occur, in just about every state of the U.S. and in Canada, as well.
The stats are troubling.
On pet-abuse.com, I found 77 reported cases (which sadly means there could be many more) between 2009 and 2013, in 32 U.S. states, involving dogs, puppies, cats, horses, foals, miniature horses, goats, pigs, show hogs, lambs, cows and mice. Yes, mice, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. In some cases children and even a baby were involved. And that is something else I didn’t know.
Nearly 40% of animal sexual abuse-related cases also involve child sexual assault, abuse or exploitation1. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse. It reminds me of a line in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy is talking to Toto and says: “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” My eyes sure have been opened.
The news, however, is not all bad.
Chandler Edwards, the only organization of its kind, trains enforcement officers, prosecutors, veterinarians and social workers on, among other things, how to spot signs of sexual abuse in animals.