Inner-City Oakland Youth Suffering From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In the inner city, a health problem is making it harder for young people to learn. inner-city kids suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Youth living in inner cities show a higher prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder than soldiers,” according to Howard Spivak M.D., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Violence Prevention.

Spivak presented research at a congressional briefing in April 2012 showing that children are essentially living in combat zones. Unlike soldiers, children in the inner city never leave the combat zone and often experience trauma repeatedly.

One local expert says national data suggests one in three urban youth have mild to severe PTSD. “You could take anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, and the things we are currently emphasizing in school will fall off their radar. Because frankly it does not matter in our biology if we don’t survive the walk home,” said Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D. of San Francisco State University.

In 2013, there were 47 recorded lockdowns in Oakland public schools – again, almost all in East and West Oakland.

Students at Fremont High showed where one classmate was shot.

“If someone got shot that they knew or that they cared about… they’re going to be numb,” one student said. “If someone else in their family got shot and killed they will be sad, they will be isolated because I have been through that.”

Gun violence is only one of the traumas or stressors in concentrated areas of deep poverty.

“Its kids are unsafe, they’re not well fed,” Duncan-Andrade said. “And when you start stacking those kids of stressors on top of each other, that’s when you get these kinds of negative health outcomes that seriously disrupt school performance.”

Duncan-Andrade said doctors at Harvard’s School of Public Health have come up with a new diagnosis of complex PTSD, describing people who are repeatedly re-exposed to trauma, which Duncan-Andrade said, would include many inner-city youth.

In Oakland, about two-thirds of the murders last year were actually clustered in East Oakland, where 59 people were killed.

Teachers and administrators who graduated from Fremont High School in East Oakland and have gone back to work there spoke with KPIX 5.

“These cards that (students) are suddenly wearing around their neck that say ‘Rest in peace.’ You have some kids that are walking around with six of them. Laminated cards that are tributes to their slain friends,” said teacher Jasmene Miranda.

Jaliza Collins, also a teacher at Fremont, said, “It’s depression, it’s stress, it’s withdrawal, it’s denial. It’s so many things that is encompassed and embodied in them. And when somebody pushes that one button where it can be like, ‘please go have a seat,’ and that can be the one thing that just sets them off.”

Even the slang nickname for the condition, “Hood Disease,” itself causes pain, and ignites debate among community leaders, as they say the term pejoratively refers to impoverished areas, and distances the research and medical community from the issue.

“People from afar call it ‘Hood Disease,’ – it’s what academics call it,” said Olis Simmons, CEO of Youth UpRising working in what she describes as the epicenter of the issue: East Oakland.

She said the term minimizes the pain that her community faces, and fails to capture the impact this has on the larger community.

“In the real world where this affects real lives, people are suffering from a chronic level of trauma that doesn’t have a chance to heal because they’re effectively living in a war zone within your town,” said Simmons.

“Terms like ‘hood disease’ mean it’s someone else’s problem, but it’s not. That’s a lie. It’s a collective problem, and the question is what are we prepared to do about it?”

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Inner-City Oakland Youth Suffering From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Hawaii police stripped of legal right to have sex with prostitutes

Hawaii legislators in both chambers agreed that police should no longer have legal permission to have sex with prostitutes in the course of their duties.

Hawaii was the only US state that permitted officers to engage in such activity with sex workers during investigations.

House and Senate members are still thrashing out the details of House Bill 1926, which they will subsequently send to the governor. But they agree that the crime bill should revoke an unusual exemption that permits police in Hawaii to have sex with prostitutes in the course of their duties.

Originally, the bill cracking down on prostitution would have deleted the exemption, but last month, after lobbying efforts by Hawaii police officers, the exemption was made.

Honolulu police said vice officers needed the legal protection for their undercover work to prevent pimps and prostitutes from knowing the limits of police methods. They also added that the provision is needed to protect the integrity of investigations.

The bill was amended as it passed out of the chamber’s Judicial Committee. Rep. Karl Rhoads, the Democratic chairman of the Judicial Committee, clarified that he corrected the bill to allow the exclusion because of the police testimony. However, experts and sex worker advocates say that this permission is no help and, in fact, even makes things worse.

“It doesn’t help your case, and at worst you further traumatize someone. And do you think he or she is going to trust a cop again?” Derek Marsh, an expert on human trafficking who trains police officers how to handle extraordinary cases, earlier told AP.

Rhoads said now he wants to remove the prostitution exemption for police, and limit police from engaging in sex or sadomasochistic acts with prostitutes.

The House and Senate members are settling on a final version, but once they vote on it, Gov. Neil Abercrombie must sign it into official law.

Thanks to Dr. Lutter for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Zurich launches drive-in prostitution plan


A series of wooden sheds have been constructed in Zurich, Switzerland as part of an initiative to regulate prostitution.

They look like garages or shelters but are being called by the locals ‘drive-in sex boxes’.

The idea is that men wanting to pay for sex can drive into one of the sheds having picked up a prostitute from an approved area.

Project director Michael Herzig said the boxes should improve security for sex workers.

“We’ve had a problem here which has been getting worse over the last few years, especially regarding Roma women, some of whom were being forced into prostitution. This was a degrading situation which we really had to stop.”

It is hoped the sex boxes will persuade prostitutes to sell their services away from residential areas, in a safe environment – the sheds are all equipped with alarms.

“This solution has several advantages: the support service for the women is better because we are directly here on site. The infrastructure is better. The women can come to us and use the shower and the toilets. We can talk to them without other people listening and the area is closed and observable,” said Ursula Kocher, of the Flora Dora centre for women:

The million euro project was approved by voters in Zurich last year in a referendum. The site is only open to drivers of cars and will operate from early evening until 5am each day.

Drive-in Sex Booths to Open in Zurich

zurichsex booth


Zurich city officials hope to have new sex booths, similar to those pictured above that are currently used in Germany, by August

There will be enough booths constructed on the outskirts of the city to accommodate around 30 prostitutes.

City officials hope the booths, which will come with inbuilt panic alarms, will be ready for launch in August.

An on-site counsellor will also be provided in the taxpayer funded scheme.

It is hoped the move will help make the sex industry much safer and more regulated, ABC News reported.

Prostitution will be banned in certain parts of the city and confined to the booths and two other zones after they open in August.

Michael Herzig, spokesperson for Zurich Social Welfare Department, said: ‘The big difference is that until now prostitution is in a public space.

‘Now we are going to change this, transfer it from the street, from a public to a private space to an old industrial area which belongs to the city that give us the possibility to define the rules of prostitution in this space.

‘The women will be better protected from attack, and it will also mean better business for them.

‘With the women right by the sex boxes there is no “travel time” so they can deal with more customers. It’s a better business model than standing on the street.’

Prostitutes will also have to apply for a £26 licence, register with a health insurer and buy a ticket each night for about £3 before they begin soliciting customers from January onwards.

Social Welfare Department officials said the plan is ‘progressing’ and is ready to enter into full-force in the New Year.

Mega-brothel to open in Austria


An Austrian entrepreneur has announced plans to open Europe’s biggest brothel, with a complex boasting a 147 rooms and valet parking.

When opened in 2014 the giant brothel, officially dubbed the “FunMotel”, will have capacity for 1,000 “guests” a day with around 150 sex workers employed in the £12 million project. Along with room for buses it will also have 350 parking spaces and a three-metre high perimeter wall to ensure privacy.

Peter Laskaris, the businessman behind the project who already operates a brothel in Vienna, said that the glitzy bordello’s “four-star hotel” facilities will be the sex industry’s shift from “grocer to supermarket”.

The FunMotel will offer “swinger parties, gangbangs” and “porn stars” along with more mundane hotel attractions such as restaurants, beauty salon and gym. But 8Quadrat Developers, the Vienna-based company developing the project, claim that “the number of females” and the “affordable prices” will “ensure absolute satisfaction for male customers”.

The brothel will be built at a still undisclosed location in the north-eastern state of Lower Austria, which surrounds the Austrian capital.

“We’ve deliberately spread false information about the location to avoid trouble before we had the authorisation to go ahead,” Mr Laskaris told the Austrian newspaper Der Standard. “But it will be situated in a location that doesn’t bother anyone.” Werner Schmuck, a shareholder in the project, explained that new Viennese regulations requiring brothels to have official permits made locating the FunMotel in the capital an impractical option. The Austrian press reported that local authorities and the police have already given their consent to the project.

News of the mega-brothel has so far elicited a mixed reaction in a country where prostitution is both legal and regulated.

Sandra Frauenberger, councillor for women’s issues on Vienna town council, told Der Standard that moving prostitution “indoors was a priority because off the streets work is safe work.” But Birgit Hebeim, social affairs spokeswoman for the Vienna’s Green Party, said that she did not believe that “the women and their problems dissolve into thin air because they are no longer seen”.

Brazilian woman sells virginity for $780,000

A 20-year-old Brazilian woman has sold her virginity for $780,000 in an online auction to a Japanese man known simply as Natsu.

Catarina Migliorini’s virginity auction was organized by Virgins Wanted, the project of Australian filmmaker Justin Sisely.

Both Migliorini and a young male virgin, Alexander Stepanov, hocked their virginity online. Stepanov’s first time went to a buy identified as Nene B. from Brazil for a mere $3,000 US.

The auction had been live since Sept. 17, but until Wednesday – the last day of bidding – the highest bid for Migliorini had been $150,000. Natsu beat out five other high rollers who all bid in excess of $600,000 for the chance to bed the virgin.

Under the rules of the auction, Migliorini will be examined by a gynecologist and will “provide the winning bidder with medical evidence of her virginity.” Stepanov’s virginity cannot be medically proven, so he and two of his family members will give “statutory declarations to support his claim.”

Speaking last month with the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Migliorini said she got involved with the project two years ago when she saw a story about an Australian filmmaker who was looking for a virgin. She claims she wants to open an NGO with her winnings and invest in a public-housing project for poor families in Santa Catarina, where she was born. But speaking with the Huffington Post recently, Sisely said he was skeptical of Migliorini’s purported good intentions.

“I was surprised she said that because in all my dealings with her, she made it clear that it was a business decision for her,” he said. “Now, given how big this story is in Brazil, she’s trapped. If she doesn’t give any money to charity, she’s going to look bad.”

The winning bidders must submit to a medical examination and a police check, and cannot be intoxicated during their time with the virgins. No kissing or fellatio is allowed, and although the virgins and the winners are to agree about the length and duration of the sex, “the minimum consummation time is one hour,” the rules state.

Migliorini, who said she doesn’t think of it as prostitution, said the sex will happen in a private airplane.

The Virgins Wanted website said only that “the sexual act will take place where it is not illegal.”


Science-Fiction Themed Brothel to Open in Nevada

Nevada is the only state that allows legal prostitution, and there are two dozen licensed brothels in the state, but none are sci fi-themed, yet. Nevada businessman and documentary star Dennis Hof just bought a run-down brothel 90 miles from Las Vegas and is planning on turning it into his newest business venture: Alien Cathouse. The brothel will feature girls from around the galaxy for men willing to pay. Hof’s interplanetary vision doesn’t end at the cathouse door, though. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he is looking to transform not only the brothel, but the entire plot of land into an Area 51-themed tourist destination.Read more: