Lost Youth

Think of you when you were 16, imagine that at home waiting for you are unwarranted beatings and sexual abuse. You have no family that can help you, because those abusing you are your parents. No one to run to because the last time you went to the police they turned you right back to the abusers. The same people that have abused you over and over have the law at their side to continue the abuse. Imagine that you see no way out; that the abuse has reached the level that you are actually willing to take someone’s life… one of your parent’s live.

I actually have a very close friend to me that was sexually abused by a step brother. Not only was the abuse ignored, the victim was the one that ended up in the foster system and group homes to be further damaged by a society that was supposed to protect him. It enrages me that there are so many people that turn a blind eye to this kind of abuse and will do nothing to stop it. It infuriates me even more when these people are the ones whose job is to serve and protect. Just think of what your reaction would be if you are abused over and over. How far can someone be pushed before they snap?

Nathan Ybanez was 16 when he killed his mother; a mother that started sexually abusing him at age 12. His father started sexually abusing him even at an earlier age and through his whole life he beat him just when the mood struck. I know some of you are thinking what I was thinking when I read the story, why didn’t he run away… the answer is simple, he tried, but every time the police brought him back to his parents.

You see, boys are thought to be able to take care of themselves. It is reminds me of the double standard of those that believe that a husband cannot be the victim of domestic abuse. Males are not protected the way they should be and in Colorado the sport of convicting children as adults has already claimed 15 youths. Rehabilitation is not an option; the only answer is life in prison without parole.

In no way am I trying to downplay the severity of what a female rape victim goes through, but a that a boy that is raped has less recourse than a girl. Boys are supposed to take care of themselves and the system literally turns its back on them. In this disposable society are the male victims of sexual abuse simply throw a ways?

Nathan did not have a fair trail. The lawyer was paid by his father and did not even mention the abuse Nathan suffered through the trial. The defense attorney even went as far as saying that Nathan had a “hole” in his soul. What chance did this 16 year old have? Did the system work for him?

He was convicted as an adult at age 16 and put in jail with rapist and murderers, you do the math. Even though this crime was something he committed, he did not deserve to be processed and charged as an adult and have a chance at rehabilitation. He lost his youth to the system. Just like the West Memphis Tree, our society continues letting our system make jails a business instead of the rehabilitation places they are supposed to be. When are we going to wake up and realize this as a society? The more we lose our youth to war and to the system, the worse the future looks for our kids.

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10 Responses to Lost Youth

  1. Check this stat out: One in every 32 American adults — were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, according to the Justice Department.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061130/ap_on_re_us/prison_population

  2. I can never imagine a parent who could ever do that to any child. It breaks myt heart.

  3. Woner when the “Free Nathan Ybanez” shirts will be sold? I may have to pick one of those up too.

    My “Free the West Memphis Three” shirt gets a lot of stops when I wear it.

  4. With as many people who turn the other cheek, there are also people who want to lend a helping hand. Blogging about stuff like this helps a lot, and shows people how bad things can get. Together, we can make a difference.

  5. I have to agree with April. Things like this have to be talked about, discussed, out loud! Maybe it’s idealistic to think that we can make a difference, but if the people of a country don’t raise their voice, they will never be heard.

    You know what’s sad? That this is only one story in millions. As I type this, there must be a child being abused somewhere in this city, when I’m peacefully sitting here reading about what a sick, sick world we live in.

  6. I think you’re absolutely right on the double-standard of men vs. women. THis is no where near as serious or as sad, but somewhat illustrates the point of society having empathy for men. The Today Show did a segment on manners and if people are still helpful. In LA, they had a man and a woman fall down while roller blading to see if anyone would help them up. The woman was helped five out of six times and no one even bothered to help the guy, much less even ask if he was okay.

  7. I don’t claim to know how the system works but my questions are these:

    From the statement “the victim was the one that ended up in the foster system and group homes to be further damaged by a society that was supposed to protect him”

    Why does the foster system damage them furthur? Aren’t most foster parents people that willingly take care of these kids? Was this kid taken from his parents and sent to a foster home? Seems like if he reported the abuse to the police when they picked him up they either didn’t believe him and he was sent back to his parents or he was sent to a foster home and would have been out of the abusive environment of his parents.

    Lastly, how incompetent was his defense attorney if he never even mentioned the abuse? Was that testimony thrown out for some reason?? Strange. Hopefully the kid will get an appeal.

  8. Mark, unfortunately, not all foster parents are good, responsible people. I don’t think it’s that difficult to become a foster parent because there are so many needed. I’m not citing any statistics, but this is the impression I get from hearing and reading about these stories. Some people become foster parents for the extra income.

    Also, as logtar mentioned, it was the father who paid for the defense attorney, and since the father also abused the son, it seems obvious that he wouldn’t disclose the whole scenario.

    logtar, hope you don’t mind me stepping in and answering someone else’s questions! :)

    April and Bea are right–the more these things are discussed, the more people will know about them. With this post, you’ve given Nathan a voice.

  9. What a heart-breaking story. Hopefully with the story in Rolling Stone someone with money will come to Nate’s defense.

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