(local) News Roundup

Here are some relevant news stories from the last few days; unfortunately there’s been a lot of (seemingly) domestic violence and sexual assault stories..

First, UH is being called out for poor protection for sexual assault victims:

“We have been told when there’s an allegation or investigation of sexual assault involving two students that live in the same dorm, the perpetrator is removed immediately from that dorm for the purposes of the investigation. We found out that’s not true,” she said.

She said a number of women contacted her about their cases.

But UH security chief Wayne Ogino said the accusations are unfounded.

“They’re alleging that sexual assaults occurred and that perpetrators are allowed to live in the same building. That’s definitely not true,” he said.

He said if an alleged perpetrator is identified, they are separated from their accuser.

But a former dormitory resident advisor, who requested their identity be hidden because they work with UH housing, said the university doesn’t ensure alleged assailants and victims are kept apart.

“Oftentimes the perpetrator will have access to the building where their survivor is staying or have access to means of getting in,” she said.

When, on a national scale, we are constantly hearing stories about college campuses not protecting women from sexual assault, and when At least 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of a sexual assault during her academic career (Hirsch, Kathleen (1990)”Fraternities of Fear: Gang Rape, Male Bonding, and the Silencing of Women.” Ms., 1(2) 52-56.), who are we going to believe in this case?  Those in power who have something to lose if it comes to light that they aren’t doing their job, or victims and other women who don’t want to be another statistic.  But according to Mr. Ogino women need to protect themselves:

Ogino insists students are protected. But he said they become vulnerable if they ignore warnings about date rape and acquaintance rape.

Because if you don’t ignore these warnings you’ll be safe (insert sarcasm here). At least Take Back the Night is tonight at UH Manoa, 5-8pm! Be there!

Second, police are investigating an attempted homicide that sounds like DV from the little information given:

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) – Honolulu police have opened an attempted murder case in Kailua after an elderly woman was found in a Kailua home with suspicious head injuries.

Investigators were called to the home at around 10 a.m. Saturday to a home on Kawainui Street. The woman was hospitalized in serious condition. Police said the suspect is an elderly man who apparently stabbed himself. He was last reported in critical condition.

Third, a man living in Hawaii is being charged for theft from Nordtrom has a history of illegal activities, including possibly murdering his wife while they were living in San Diego:

The mystery begins with a rocky marriage between Anthony Simoneau and Fumiko Simoneau.  According to the San Diego police affidavit Anthony filed for divorce in 2002.  But Fumiko inherited a significant amount of money and he didn’t want a divorce anymore.  Instead he went on a spending spree buying four land rovers, a hummer, four boats, a motorcycle and two other vehicles.

But in 2006 he started pawning things like ladies jewelry.  On January 4, 2007 he pawned a gold engagement ring.  That was also the last day he claimed to see her.

Then on January 20 her body is found buried in a desert outside San Diego, however she was not identified.  Instead the San Diego Sheriff’s Department concluded the body was a border crosser who was buried by members of her group.

Meanwhile, the affidavit says Simoneau continued to tell people lies like Fumiko was back in Japan caring for a relative. He told others she was in Hawaii working on their new home….

….Over the years records show he’s stolen from other Japanese nationals he met on the “Japan Cupid” dating website and had a child with one of them.

Women have posted warnings about Simoneau on the Dating Psycho’s website calling him a psychotic freak and warning women not to believe his lies.

San Diego detectives are waiting on a search warrant to check a life insurance policy on Fumiko worth more than half a million dollars and want to know when the policy was started and stopped, as he could not make a claim without admitting knowledge of his wife’s death.

and lastly, a man was arrested in Hilo for attempted kidnapping and sexual assault of a young girl:

HILO (HawaiiNewsNow) – Big Island police arrested a man they say tried to kidnap and sexually assault a young girl in a bathroom at Hilo Union Elementary school Tuesday morning.

Police say 35-year-old Samson Moses Kahumoku was arrested at 9:50 a.m. on suspicion of fourth-degree sexual assault, attempted kidnapping and attempted first-degree sexual assault.

I always find the comments section of stories like this interesting.  There are generally calls for violence to be done to the (alleged) perpetrator (“Cut off his LAHO’S”).  Generally there are references to perpetrators like this as pedophiles (“That’s good they caught this pedophile. He better not drop the soap!”).  It’s important that we separate out different kinds of child sexual offenders; pedophilia has very distinct markers and not everyone who offends, or tries to, is a pedophile.  This is particularly important when discussing incest perpetrators, as there is a very strong correlation between that and DV.  One comment on this article was supposedly from a family member:

… He is my relative and I am one to say that Samson had a rough childhood, experienced things he never should have. That probably no one, not you or I could even imagine going through within our lifetime or the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. No movie could ever depict what he endured, and what turned him into who he is today. For that, that is “sad”. He is someone who was done wrong by society, by the state, by his parents. No one protected him from what he endured. Think of the most horrible “abuse”, physical, mental, emotional and sexual movie you have ever watched and times that by 10, this is what Samson has lived through. He needs help and perhaps even medication. It dosen’t make it right what allegedly might have happened to this little girl. Just remember there might be an explanation to why a person is the way he is.

Obviously people need to be held accountable for their actions, and having a traumatic past by no means excuses individuals for violence they perpetrate against others.  In my mind it does call into question the ways we as a society help those who have been traumatized – and not just so they won’t hurt others (though it is a positive outcome), but because they are human and deserve to be healed.


About dvamhawaii

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is in October. Here you can find news, articles, stats, updates on DVAM events in your area, and more!

Posted on September 21, 2011, in DV news. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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