Category Archives: Family Secrets

Sister’s new friend is Sister kidnapped 17 years earlier

Child kidnapped
Celeste Nurse, Mother of kidnapped Daughter

South African teen kidnapped at birth found at same school as biological sister.

JOHANNESBURG – A newborn was kidnapped from a Cape Town hospital in 1997 but her parents never gave up hope and now, 17 years later, they have found her.

The family had always celebrated their missing daughter’s birthday on April 28, and following her remarkable discovery the girls’ biological family is planning a festive celebration for her first birthday with them.

“We have to plan something very big,” the girl’s aunt told South Africa’s Cape Talk radio station after it reported that DNA tests confirmed she was the child kidnapped from the Groote Schuur Hospital.

A 50-year-old woman was arrested and appeared in court Friday on charges of kidnapping and fraudulently pretending to the child’s biological mother, police spokesman Andre Traut said. The woman will again appear in court on March 6, after she has gone through an identity parade, according to the South African Press Association.

The girl, who turns 18 in April, was raised by the arrested woman and her husband as their only child. She was living just a couple of miles (kilometers) from her biological parents but, as the Cape Argus newspaper reports, the amazing discovery happened by chance when she became friends with her younger biological sister, when they attended the same school.

In her final year of high school, friends told her about a new student who had an uncanny resemblance to her, her biological aunt said. The two girls met and bonded instantly, despite the four-year age difference.

“There was just an incredible connection,” her aunt told the radio station.

The younger daughter told her parents about her new friend who looked just like her. Still hopeful, the family invited the girl to their home for coffee, the Cape Argus reported. After seeing her, the father immediately contacted the police who revived their investigation into the kidnapping, the newspaper reported.

The police found that the couple claiming to be the teenager’s parents could not prove she was their biological daughter, and DNA tests were carried out, the Cape Argus reported.

Biological mother and daughter were reunited for the first time on Thursday, the mother weeping, the child’s elated aunt told the Cape Talk radio station.

“When she saw (her) yesterday, she knew, ‘This is my child.’ She said DNA wasn’t necessary, she just knew,” the child’s aunt told the radio station. The child’s biological mother, Celeste Nurse, has given a number of interviews in the years since the kidnapping, often when other babies were snatched.

Recovering from the birth of her first child 17 years ago, Nurse woke up to find a woman dressed as a hospital nurse sitting by her hospital bed, her newborn baby still in the cot, she told the Cape Times in 2011. She drifted off, groggy from the cesarean section operation.

“When I woke up there was a nurse saying my child is gone. You can’t imagine the feeling,” Nurse told the newspaper. “I just hope one day someone will realize something or see something and bring her back to us.”

The Nurses had three other children, but continued their search for their eldest daughter, never giving up hope.

“I’ll never, ever give up hope. I can feel it in my gut — my daughter is out there and she is going to come home,” biological father Morne Nurse told the Weekend Argus newspaper five years ago. The family threw a birthday party for their kidnapped daughter each year, her siblings blowing out the candles on her cake.

The girl has not been identified by The Associated Press because she is a minor and a judge has ruled that the press should not publish the name under which she was raised. She is still in the custody of social services, according to police, but as soon as she is home, her newly found family plan to celebrate her birthday with her for the first time.

Woman traded sexually as child by mother for drugs

A 13-year-old girl was given to her mother’s drug dealer in 1988 to pay for her mother’s habit. For the next two years, the drug dealer used the teenager to make money in the sex trafficking industry.

Amanda Dobyns, 39, said her mother “had a pretty severe drug habit all her life.”

One day, her mother came home and told her she was going to go “with him,” her mother’s drug dealer, Dobyns said. Dobyns ended up staying a week at his home.

“I just thought that it would mean that I would clean his house and never dreamed that he would use me for sex and have other men come in and have sex with me,” she said.

Dobyns can’t remember how many men raped her that week.
After that, the school year began and she was first traded once a week, then twice a week to the dealer to pay for her mother’s drugs. Then, she began spending the weekends at his house.
“Probably 20 or so men would come during the weekend,” she said.

To this day she can’t be around the smell of beer and cigarettes, because it’s a trigger. When exposed to those smells “I pretty much almost have a panic attack and it brings back flashbacks,” Dobyns said.

Her mother would leave Dobyns and her two sisters, five and seven years younger, for weeks at a time while on a drug binge.
“I was taking care of them like I was their mom,” she said.

Dobyns was threatened in order to remain compliant.  “I was a straight ‘A’ student, and they threatened that if I didn’t keep my grades up at a ‘B’ or higher, then my mother would be beaten,” Dobyns said.

She was also told that if she said anything to her grandparents that they would her hurt her sisters.

Those threatening the harm were not only the drug dealer, but also her mother, she said.

“I definitely thought about killing her (mother) at times, especially when I was being raped,” Dobyns said.

She learned how to disassociate herself from what was happening by “thinking about my sisters and anything else that was happening.”

There was one opportunity that could have rescued Dobyns from her nightmare.

“I actually talked to a ninth-grade school counselor and told her about the drugs and physical abuse,” Dobyns said. “She turned around and called my mother and told her what I had said. I probably got the worst beating that I’d ever gotten when I got home.”

“After that, I never spoke out again,” she said.

Four times during her two-year enslavement Dobyns attempted suicide. The last time was when she was 15 when she overdosed on pills.

“The trigger for that was that one of my friends told me that I was just like my mom. I couldn’t see being like her, so I tried to kill myself,” Dobyns said.

The abuse stopped when she was 15 years old.  “My best friend’s mom found out that my mother was leaving us weeks at a time and reported my mom to the police for neglect and abandonment,” she said.

The police found out from Dobyns that her mother had not been home for three weeks and contacted her grandfather. They told him to take the children “and not let us live with my mother again or we would be put into state custody,” she said.

When her mother returned two weeks later she found out she had lost custody of all three children. Her mother died in 2003.

After the abuse stopped, Dobyns became very promiscuous and got pregnant at 17 with her daughter, she said. She gave birth a month before graduating from high school.

“By the grace of God I was not exposed to STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases),” Dobyns said. “I don’t know how. I never ever had STD’s from the sexual trafficking or the promiscuity I did later on.”

Dobyns married her husband, Devan, 12 years ago. Two years into her marriage she told her husband about the physical, mental and emotional abuse by her mother. But it wasn’t until another seven years passed that she finally told him about her involvement in sex trafficking.

Coming from a two-parent family, her husband couldn’t understand how a parent could treat their children that way, Dobyns said.
“Devan didn’t even know what sex trafficking was and was in disbelief that it could happen,” she said. But “he’s been very, very supportive.”

She is working on her bachelor’s degree in social work. She is a junior at the Northeastern State University’s Broken Arrow campus, where she is carrying a 4.0 grade point average.
Previously, she graduated with honors from Tulsa Community College with an associate degree in social work. She’s absolutely certain that there is an association between her abusive history and her degree, she said.

“I want to work with human trafficking survivors and abused children and find a way to help their parents be parents,” Dobyns said. “I don’t want to have the kids taken away (from their parents), but at the same time you don’t want to be too late.”

Because of her bad experience with a school counselor she believes all counselors and teachers should be trained in human trafficking and what to look for.

As for her abusers, she’s forgiven all of them, even the man who forced her into sex trafficking.

Her act of forgiveness is possible because of her belief in God, she said.  “Just knowing that God was able to forgive me of my sins, take care of me and forgive me, then I don’t have any right not to forgive them,” she said.

Dobyns is a member of Christians Against Trafficking, which meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Tulsa.

“They afford me the opportunity to meet with people who support me and allow me to work raising awareness of sex trafficking in Tulsa and the outlying areas,” Dobyns said.

Will the U.S. Government Stand Alone in Rejecting Children’s Rights?

Sun Feb 08, 2015 at 05:56 PM PS
by Lawrence S Wittner

Within a matter of months, the U.S. government seems likely to become the only nation in the world still rejecting the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sometimes called “the most ratified human rights treaty in history,” the Convention has been ratified by 195 nations, leaving the United States and South Sudan as the only holdouts. South Sudan is expected to move forward with ratification later this year. But there is no indication that the United States will approve this children’s defense treaty.

In the words of Human Rights Watch, the Convention establishes “global standards to ensure the protection, survival, and development of all children, without discrimination. Countries that ratify the treaty pledge to protect children from economic and sexual exploitation, violence, and other forms of abuse, and to advance the rights of children to education, health care, and a decent standard of living.”

It is hard to imagine why the U.S. government, which often lectures other countries about their human rights violations, should object to these humane standards for the protection of children. The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush played an important role in drafting the treaty, which was signed by the U.S. government in 1995. Although the U.S. Senate has never ratified (or even considered ratifying) the pact, U.S. ratification is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of University Women, the American Baptist Churches, the American Bar Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Child Welfare League of America, Church Women United, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Kiwanis, the National Education Association, the United Food & Commercial Workers, the United Methodist Church, and about a hundred other organizations.

What, then, is the problem? The problem is that treaty ratification requires support from two-thirds of the U.S. Senate―a level of support that has been lacking thanks to Republican Party opposition and, especially, the fierce hostility of the conservative Republican base, including groups like the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the John Birch Society.

A key allegation of conservatives is that the Convention “poses a serious threat to parental rights.” In fact, though, as Human Rights Watch observes, the treaty “refers repeatedly to the rights and responsibilities of parents to raise and provide guidance for their children.” Indeed, 19 articles of the treaty explicitly recognize the importance of parents and family in children’s lives.

In addition, conservatives argue that the Convention, as an international treaty, would override the Constitution of the United States, as well as federal and state legislation, thereby destroying American sovereignty. And, in fairness to the critics, it must be acknowledged that some current American laws do clash with the Convention’s child protection features. For example, in the United States, children under the age of 18 can be jailed for life, with no possibility of parole. Also, as Human Rights Watch notes, “exemptions in U.S. child labor laws allow children as young as 12 to be put to work in agriculture for long hours and under dangerous conditions.” Moreover, the treaty prohibits cruel and degrading punishment of children―a possible source of challenge to the one-third of U.S. states that still allow corporal punishment in their schools. But most U.S. laws are thoroughly in line with the Convention.

Perhaps the underlying objection of conservatives is that the Convention calls for government action to promote the health, education, and welfare of children. And conservatives oppose such action for everyone, including children, often quite effectively. Thus, despite America’s vast wealth, it ranks near the bottom of industrialized nations in child poverty (one out of six children), the gap between rich and poor, low birth weight, infant mortality, child victims of gun violence, and the number of children in jail.

Given the conservative opposition to the Convention, it is ironic that, even if it were ratified by the U.S. Senate, it would have little immediate impact upon the United States. As Amnesty International points out, “the Convention contains no controlling language or mandates,” and “no treaty can `override’ our Constitution.” Any changes in U.S. law would be implemented through federal and state legislation in a timeframe determined by the U.S. legislative process. Nor would any changes in American laws necessarily occur, for the U.S. government generally ratifies human rights treaties with the qualification that they not override existing American laws. In addition, “the United States can reject or attach clarifying language to any specific provision of the Convention.”

Even so, U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child would have an important effect on the treatment of children in the United States, just as the ratification of the Convention has affected behavior in other lands, for it would establish agreed-upon guidelines. Like other human rights treaties, the Convention would set humane standards that can be invoked in calling for appropriate government action. Kul Chandra Gautam, a former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, has termed it “a moral compass, a framework of accountability against which all societies can assess their treatment of the new generations.”

Praising the treaty, Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director and a former White House National Security Advisor, stated recently: “The central message of the Convention is that every child deserves a fair start in life. What can be more important than that?”

Unfortunately, some Americans don’t think giving children “a fair start in life” is important at all.

Dr. Lawrence Wittner :
is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany. His latest book is a satirical novel about university corporatization and rebellion, What’s Going On at UAardvark?


Against Child Abuse

As I researched the obvious filtering of search engines, my faith was at least partially restored by BING.

Although the sadness in my heart had driven me deep within myself, to a place only one person knew existed, little did I know that my mood was soon to grow much darker.

Very seldom do I read the comments on news articles….

Jim said: Bad decisions by the convicted. Wisdom by the judges and prosecutors. Kudos to Alabama

Fred said: I don’t do criminal law so I’m hoping someone in Alabama can shed some light on this. Didn’t Lawrence v. Texas say laws against sodomy were unconstitutional? And didn’t the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals finally admit the same thing last June? So what exactly is the sodomy that this horrible woman was convicted of?

Devoran said: Pretty sure forcible sodomy is still against the law, just like other forms of forcible intercourse, age of consent notwithstanding. The curious thing about this is the 219 years. This is bad–really bad–but a life sentence for anything less than a brutal murder makes me think we may need to revisit what constitutes sensible sentencing.

I believe these 3 say enough….


Alabama Woman gets 219 years for Child Incest Ring

Child Sex Abuse and Incest
Wendy Holland

We first started following this story on November 02, 2014 when we ran this article:

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) — A judge sentenced an Alabama woman to 219 years in prison Thursday for her role in an incestuous sex ring accused of molesting children for years.

Wendy Holland, 35, showed no emotion as the judge condemned her to what amounts to a life sentence. She must serve at least 50 years in prison before parole consideration, a prosecutor said. Jurors convicted the woman of sodomy, sexual abuse and other charges last month.

Another defendant, William Brownlee, got a 20-year prison sentence. Brownlee, 50, was convicted of sodomy and sexual abuse in the fall.

The two were among 11 people charged with sex crimes following the disappearance in 2012 of a suspected victim of the ring, 19-year-old Brittney Wood. She remains missing and is presumed dead.

Baldwin Council Circuit Judge Jody Bishop gave both Holland and Brownlee the maximum sentence and said each deserved more time. Each still faces additional charges involving other alleged victims.

In a letter read in court, the underage female victim in both cases said years of abuse left her traumatized. She has a hard time trusting anyone, gets angry easily and rarely feels safe. “I was a little girl being held down and raped,” wrote the victim, who was in court.

Authorities said the two were part of a group of relatives and friends who sexually abused children and swapped their own kids for sex for years.

Holland is the widow of the alleged leader of the group, Donnie Holland, who was Brittney Wood’s uncle. The teen went missing around the time Holland was found with a gunshot to the head; his death was later ruled a suicide.

Even without Brittney Wood to testify, two of her uncles and an older brother already pleaded guilty to sex charges before juries convicted Wendy Holland and Brownlee.

In the letter read in court, the underage teen abused by both Holland, a relative, and Brownlee, a family friend, compared her youth to being lost in a maze. The teen said she felt like she was constantly looking into shadows around corners in fear of more sexual torture.