Wednesday, May 29, 2013



Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15

By Kathleen Hoy Foley


Elder abuse is what happens in shabby nursing homes at the hands of evil caregivers, or at the other end of a phone line when a lowlife bleeds an oldster’s bank account dry.  Once exposed, elder abuse gives rise to public fury and incites cries for political action and criminal prosecution.  There is something ugly to see when an elder’s arm is black and blue or when retirement savings have been siphoned away by a no-name loser and his computer.    

But what about elder abuse that is invisible to the eye?  What about elder abuse that is permitted?  Not only permitted, but encouraged and celebrated?  It is particularly sinister when abuse disguises itself as a noble cause and delivers its wounds from the shadows, especially to those unequipped to protect themselves.  Abuse, no matter what name it goes by or how it is concealed, always injures a body and damages a life. 

An elderly person subjected to abuse forgoes all hope for emotional recovery.  The impact is too great; the time to rebuild what has been destroyed too limited.  Abuse perpetuated against an elderly woman defines the rest of her life.  It is her final chapter.  For many of us, it was also our first chapter.

I am an old woman among thousands of old women across this country who, as juveniles, were brutally impregnated in a time when we did not own our own bodies, when sexual assault lacked description, and termination rights did not exist.  Rape was our offense.  And pregnancy was our punishment.  We hid out in maternity homes.  But the finger of public accusation found us anyway and pointed straight at our disgraced, swollen bellies.  Eventually we were rescued by the confidential adoption process that freed us from all connections to the assailant and returned us to our lives.  But we were permanently, catastrophically injured, and forever shamed.  We are shame—embodied and visceral.  Trauma is our permanent, screeching companion.    

Once again we stand accused.  We are elderly women hunted because of those secret, shameful pregnancies.  We are ghosts fabricated from delusions.  We are worn bodies hunted by younger aggressors manic with obsession, spewing anger the equivalent of road rage.  We are relics hunted for our names; our lineage; for the blood circulating in our veins.  We are fossils hunted for the bones and flesh that structure our images.  We are sideshow freaks hunted for our deformities and DNA.  We are little girls in wrinkled skin hunted to provide humiliating, ancient sexual details.  We were forced breeders, broodmares hunted now as mothers. 

We are invisible.  Young aggressors mock our trauma as fictional.  Yet we are in your family, among your friends.  We eat at your Thanksgiving table.  We are mute, unseen old women singed by the legacy of sexual violence.  Violence that never found justice or voice.  We could not seek justice because justice was not available to us.  We had no name for rape or sexual abuse.  No words for the unspeakable.  No reference for sexual violence committed by familiar faces.  Sexual assault was part of our lives.  It occurred in our homes.  In our schools.  In our churches.  At family gatherings.  We were invisible girls assaulted in plain sight.  It was what we endured and what we were blamed for.  It was a time when girls lived at the mercy of male aggressors—sexual predators who frolicked on wide-open playgrounds.  We were their free amusement. 

Now we are elderly women terrified of exposure.  We have protected our loved ones from our sordid pasts even as we live trembling in dark, secret hiding from its pursuit.  We know that our families cannot protect us.  Caregivers won’t protect us.  Nursing homes, like the archaic maternity homes where once we cowered, can’t protect us.  No cop with a gun strapped to his hip can protect us from abuse that is permitted. 

As the clamor to unseal confidential adoption records grows steadily louder and increasingly hostile and the public imagines fairytale “reunions,” elderly women are silently absorbing the blows and sucker punches landed by aggressors advancing toward them in revenge.  Lawmakers are swayed by ignoble rhetoric from aggressors disguising themselves as champions for adoption reform and retroactive justice.  The public is influenced by delusions of sentimental, made-for-television, “mommy” moments, as the mental health community remains stonewall silent on the living damage of past sexual trauma in the elderly.  All the while, traumatized old women remain targets of strangers hunting them—aggressors enjoying public and legal support as they claim entitlement to elderly women’s lives, their beloved families, and their cherished homes during their final, fleeting chapters.

June 15 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  Abusing an elderly woman by invading her life, destroying her privacy, and exposing her past sexual wounds is indefensible.  Perverting that abuse into a righteous cause and celebrating it as a victory is not only contemptible, it is a call for political action and criminal prosecution.

 We are the mute old women sitting at your dinner table.  We are elderly women terrified of the aggressors chasing us because of a catastrophic, confidential pregnancy. 

We need your help. 


Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Planned Parenthood Poster Child

Planned Parenthood Poster Child




Planned Parenthood Poster Old Lady


By Kathleen Hoy Foley


Planned Parenthood needs to thank me for single-handedly increasing their business significantly in the last two months.  I understand there’s been a rush for services since my story and book, Woman In Hiding, has gotten some press.  Evidently, no girl impregnated against her will wants to be me.  I guess there are better things to look forward to then contending with giant, irate fifty-year-old babies looking for revenge.  Sticking needles in your eyes comes to mind.   
So I am officially offering Planned Parenthood my old lady mug to use in all future campaigns hawking services.  I don’t come cheap.  This is not only because of my star power, but owing to my powerful power in general, which evidently is quite powerful.  I wasn’t aware of this until the hate mail.  I did not know I possessed the power to make people fat.  It’s good to be informed.  Knowing of my powerful power gives me the upper hand in salary negations.  Thank you, haters. 

 As the official Planned Parenthood Poster Old Lady, I expect Planned Parenthood to fork over additional incentives for all the weaving and ducking I’ll have to do while promoting their services.  It’s a pain to constantly dodge giant babies chucking turds.  That’s tough, nasty work, right there.  Sure it comes with the job but, come on now, I have needs and entitlements besides cash.  Dry cleaning, for instance.  Plus massages; manicures; hair and makeup.  Botox to keep my smile frozen in place.

 Recently, Planned Parenthood has fallen into lethargy.  I’m disappointed about this.  I can’t be the only one doing their bidding.  They need a reality show.  Something like,

Un-Planned Parenthood, Damn It.  Drag out all the old ladies from the pre Roe v Wade days—the crones with live, buried bodies in their pasts—and pit them against giant adult babies wearing extra large diapers looking for mama.  Picture Grandma Moses battling Sumo wrestlers sporting huge Onesies. 

Using hand knitted shawls as masks to protect their identities, the old ladies will try to fend off the advancing giant adult babies with nothing but aluminum walkers and the occasional slice of homemade apple pie tossed into the bloodthirsty mob as a diversion.  Naturally, this will not deter the giant adult babies, but it will drum up business for Planned Parenthood.  Once a few sound bites hit You Tube, we’re talking going viral.  Do I have to think of everything?

Being the Planned Parenthood Poster Old Lady is a dream I never aspired to.  That proves my personal failing of shortsightedness.  All along I could have been exploiting the spectacle of my reproductive nightmare, conniving and scheming my way to the pinnacle of tawdry enterprise, for which I would have been very well paid.  Seedy is wasted on trailer parks and rent-by-the-week rooms in motels that believe sheets ruin the appearance of stained mattresses.  Tabloid TV would’ve made me rich white trash.  The sleaze is endless… 

I’m not just talking giant adult babies here.  I’m talking bashful teenage girls and run-of-the-mill housewives taken out by corrupt adoption agencies, diabolical social workers, and malicious, ob-gyn nurses.  I’m talking light-bulb-over-head style interrogations; smarmy detectives; stalking; and surveillance of invalids in nursing homes.  Throw in the questionable politicians and the jackbooted nuns...(sigh)…I could’ve been somebody.  Alas, it’s too late for regrets.      
But life does have its rewards.  I’ve proven that I have the power and the talent to drive new business right through the double doors of Planned Parenthood offices.  It is only fair then that Planned Parenthood upgrades my unofficial status and formally endorses me as THE Planned Parenthood Poster Old Lady.  I demand recognition and appropriate compensation, plus future employment as a reality TV icon. 

Call me, Planned Parenthood.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Convicted Sexual Offenders Have a Lobby

By Philip Foley

Convicted sexual offenders have a lobby: Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL). Groups are working to change the way penalties are imposed on sexual offenders. While they argue that the criminal justice system per se may not be at fault, they claim it is the 'time served' after the actual time is served that presents the problem. In essence, public punishment continues well after a convicted sex offender is released from prison.

No such lobby exists for aging and elderly women who as juneviles were victims of sexual assault that resulted in catastrophic, confidential pregnancies. These women are in hiding from a society and culture that punishes them for the violence perpetrated against them all those years ago, while holding them accountable to the second generation aggressors hunting them via breached sealed adoption and other confidential records.

The trauma and guilt victims suffer from sexual assault imposes a "LIFE" sentence. Profound trauma makes it impossible for victims to speak for themselves. The criminal and civil legal system forces them to appear in person to fight for the right to protect themselves from unwanted intrusion into their personal and family lives. Many elderly women are not equipped to understand the violence they were subjected to as junviles and the protections the law could provide, if it was accessible to them, when that violence re-asserts itself in their elder years.

We have federally required ramps and doorways for physically disabled persons to gain access to the legal system.

We need to create access for elderly women disabled by past sexual trauma who are trying to cope alone with its resurgence into their lives.

Elderly women enduring stalking and abuse as a result of a confidential, catastrophic pregnancy must be permitted to have "champions." Persons who can appear for them; persons who can adequately represent them through the civil and criminal justice system. Emotional and psychological safety is paramount to a trauma victim. Elders require prospective on the trauma they endured and they need to be informed about what protections the legal system can offer them and their families.

Most trauma victims are unable to articulate their needs to an attorney; most are unable to describe their ordeal to anyone they do not completely trust. Trauma victims survive by adapting to whatever the situation requires them to be or to say.

Convicted sexual offenders enjoy a lobby. Unless society permits them equal access via champions, elderly women re-victimized by past sexual assault will never be so fortunate.

Contact your legislators and insist that elder women re-traumatized by sexual violence through information gained from confidential sources be granted this basic civil right.