Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Incestuous Marriages and Child Marriages - Good Grief!

Oklahoma mother jailed for marrying her daughter 10 years after marrying her son

An Oklahoma mother has been sentenced to two years in prison for marrying her daughter. 

Misty Spann and her pathetic Mom

Astonishingly, it is not the first time Patricia Ann Spann has tied the knot with of her children. She previously married her son in 2008.

Spann was convicted of incest on Tuesday. Once her two-year term is served, the 45-year-old mother will spend another eight years on probation, according to The Oklahoman newspaper. She will also have to register as a sex offender.

Patricia Spann had lost custody of her children years before being reunited with her daughter, Misty Velvet Dawn Spann, in 2014. Spann then said the pair “hit it off” and decided to get married. Some 17 months after same-sex marriage was legalized in Oklahoma, the couple were hitched in March 2016. However, the union was annulled in October of that year after the marriage was discovered by the Department of Human Services.

Misty Spann claimed that her mother said she had “consulted with three separate attorneys who advised there would be no problems with the marriage.” Upon annulling the marriage, the judge concluded that Patricia had induced her daughter to enter the marriage “by fraud.”

Despite being Misty’s biological mother, Patricia told investigators that she believed the marriage to be legal because her name no longer appeared on her daughters birth certificate.

Over the course of the investigation, police discovered that Patricia Spann had married her then-18-year-old son 10 years ago. That marriage was annulled two years later, at the son's behest, however, no charges resulted from the incident.





Incestous parents officially named on child’s birth certificate in France

A half-brother and sister have been legally recognized as the parents of their child after a legal battle in France.

Rose-Marie and Hervé didn’t know they were half-siblings until they went to get their child’s birth certificate. It was then they found out they shared the same mother. The half-siblings had been separated as children and raised in different foster homes in the Aube region in northeastern France.

They met in 2006 and their daughter was born in 2009. The couple broke up shortly before the child was born and she was raised by her mother.

According to French Civil Code Article 310-2, only one parent of a child born in an incestuous relationship can be named the parent.

A Cherbourg judge ruled in 2016 that the mother’s relationship to the child should be annulled, saying, “The child's incestuous origin should not be known to everyone,” Le Point reports. Hervé had made a paternity recognition request a few weeks before Océane was born, ahead of Rose-Marie, and so the judge ruled he should be the named parent.

The court ruled that the child be granted a new birth certificate which would name only her father as parent.

Rose-Marie appealed the decision. In June, the Court of Appeal of Caen overturned the earlier judgement, finding Rose-Marie’s name should remain on the birth certificate, Le Point reports.

It made its decision based on the “superior right of the child” under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. 

"Eight-year-old Océane has lived with her mother since birth,” the judges said. “The father does not contest the mother’s parenthood and he does not appear to have kept any particularly close relationship with his daughter."

"Annulling the mother's official recognition as a parent would have harmful consequences for the child," they said.

"It's a happy decision for Océane,” Herve’s lawyer Catherine Besson told Le Parisien. “Hervé, the father, was the first to say that if a parental tie were to go, it had to be his. He did not raise this child."

The public prosecutor has not decided whether or not to contest the Caen court’s decision. "We are confronted with two contradictory interests: that of the child and public order," the prosecutor's office told Le Parisien.





Malawi Chief fights to end child marriages and educate girls

In Malawi, one in two girls is subject to arranged marriage before the age of 18. As a high-ranking woman in a man's world, Chief Theresa Kachindamoto is on a mission to empower girls.
by ABIGAIL HAWORTH


Senior Chief Theresa Kachindamoto, tribal ruler of the Dedza District in central Malawi, emerges from the car wearing electric-blue ceremonial robes. The 100 or so inhabitants of the village of Tseka, huddled on reed mats, fall into tense silence. Chickens, dogs, and small children scatter as the chief walks solemnly toward a seating area outside the headman’s hut. This is not a social visit, and everyone knows it. Kachindamoto, a woman of towering repute, has come to perform what she considers her most crucial official duty: to end the illegal marriage of an underage girl and send her back to school.

Beatrice Kapito, a tiny 16-year-old in a pink T-shirt, sits at Kachindamoto’s feet. Kapito was married at 13 and has a toddler son named Moses, who squirms on her lap. Her husband sits beside them with his head bowed.

As a powerful female member of tribal royalty in Malawi, a poor, landlocked country of 18 million people in Southeast Africa, the 59-year-old chief is fighting a zero-tolerance war against the endemic practice of child marriage. And despite obstacles, such as death threats from hard-line traditionalists, she is winning. In 2017 alone, the chief annulled some 200 child marriages in her district. During her 14-year reign, she has terminated the marriages of roughly 2,600 child brides and helped the girls finish their education, often by subsidizing their schooling. She also ensures that any offspring like Moses are taken care of by grandparents or other family members while their young mothers attend class. Today it is Kapito’s turn. “I am nervous but excited,” the teenager says in a hushed voice before the proceedings begin. “I can start my life all over again.”


Kachindamoto presiding over Kapito’s annulment ceremony in the village of Tseka.
Charlie Shoemaker

Each year, 15 million girls worldwide, or 28 every minute, become underage brides. It is against the law in Malawi for anyone under the age of 18 to marry, yet, due to the persistence of outdated customs, the country has one of the world’s highest rates of child marriage. Almost one in two girls is a bride before her 18th birthday, and some are wed before the age of 15, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Extreme poverty, gender inequality, and lack of education make the problem particularly acute in Malawi.

Kachindamoto accepts no excuses. Ruling over almost 1 million people in the Dedza District, she has fired male subchiefs who refused to ban child marriage and built up a large network of female informers, known as “secret mothers,” across the district’s 545 villages to ensure her rules are obeyed. “The chief has created a genius system for tackling child marriage from the ground up,” says Habiba Osman, a program specialist at the UN Women’s Malawi office in the capital, Lilongwe. “It works because she has involved the entire community.”

“YOU WILL NEVER IMPROVE YOUR LIVES UNLESS YOU EDUCATE YOUR DAUGHTERS.”

Kapito grew up with five brothers and sisters in Tseka village. Her parents made bricks for as little as $1 a day, roughly the average wage in Malawi’s rural agricultural areas. “When I was 12, my mother said she couldn’t afford to feed me and told me to find a husband,” she says. While many girls are married off to much older men—it is common for parents to offer their daughters as brides to pay off debts—Kapito married an 18-year-old neighbor, Mikiyasi Mkuthe, who is now 22. “Mikiyasi had just moved out of his family home, and he wanted a wife to help him in the house. He promised to give me food.” After the wedding, Kapito dropped out in the eighth grade and became pregnant with Moses, now 3. As a new mother, she soon realized that her husband, who was also a school dropout, couldn’t support them.“He did some piecemeal work for cash, but it was never enough,” Kapito says. “I had to sell barbecued mice on the roadside to survive.”

Kachindamoto heard about Kapito through one of her secret-mother informers; she has at least one in every village, in most cases, a female elder who quietly observes local activities and reports back to her. It took time for Kapito’s marriage to come to light, however, because her parents and other locals in Tseka tried to hide it. When Kachindamoto starts to address the assembled villagers, her fury is palpable. “You are fools. What were you thinking?” she rails, raising her arms so that her robes fan out like the wings of a giant bird. “This girl is far too young to be a mother. You will never improve your lives unless you educate your daughters.”

A member of Kanchindmoto’s women’s group, who helps her rescue girls from child marriages.
Charlie Shoemaker

Keeping girls in school, the chief believes, is the single most important factor in breaking the cycle of rural poverty and preventing lifelong problems for women—a view supported by the UN and other global bodies. In Malawi, an estimated 46 percent of girls leave school before the eighth grade, mostly due to early marriage and teen pregnancy. According to a World Bank report in June 2017, every year of secondary schooling completed increases an individual girl’s future earning power by 18 percent, and ending child marriage worldwide could add $500 billion per year to the global economy. Educating girls has “a multiplier effect,” the report says, not only increasing the health and wealth of women, but benefiting the lives of their children and boosting entire communities.

Kachindamoto turns to Kapito and tells her that she is now officially divorced.“From this moment, you are married to the classroom,” she says. “If you study hard, you could become a doctor, a teacher, or a policewoman. You must have a vision for your future.” If the girls can’t afford the full costs of tuition, fees, books, and uniform, which amount to $60 per year, the chief often makes up the shortfall from her own pocket. In a calm but stern voice, she then orders Kapito’s mother to babysit Moses on weekdays (and asks how she can afford to wear nice clothes but not feed her own daughter), and says now ex-husband Mkuthe must “rise to the challenge of finding regular work” so he can help support the child. Kapito, tearful and overwhelmed, thanks the chief and promises to do her best. “I can’t wait to go back to school and be with all my friends again,” she says.

Back at her own village of Mtakataka, a 70-minute drive from Tseka over dirt tracks, Kachindamoto changes into her ordinary clothes—a multicolored African tunic and a Malawian sarong called a chitenje—and sits in her office to talk. She is more relaxed without her regal finery. Her eyes are kind and she has a gap-toothed smile. Half of her office, a small brick room with a concrete floor, is occupied by a stack of mattresses for a new schoolgirls’ dormitory that she has helped fund. Her desk is squashed in one corner, piled high with papers and photos. Only her wooden chief ’s chair, carved in the shape of a huge sea eagle clutching a fish in its talons, alludes to her formidable status.

“My opponents here say I am defying our traditional culture,” she says. “But in my view we are redefining it.” Her ultimate goal is not to terminate existing child marriages; it is to prevent them in the first place. After five years of political lobbying, Kachindamoto and other campaigners succeeded in getting Malawi’s parliament to pass a bill in 2015 setting the minimum marriage age for both sexes at 18. Such efforts earned the chief the admiration of actress Emma Watson, who visited Mtakataka in October 2016 in her role as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. In March 2017, Kachindamoto also received a Global Leadership Award in Washington, D.C., at a ceremony attended by Hillary Clinton, from the international women’s advocacy organization Vital Voices. “It is good that the law is on our side now, but enforcing it remains a big challenge,” Kachindamoto says.“In many areas people still believe a girl is ready to have sex and babies when she reaches puberty. We have to eradicate these old ways of thinking.”