Today came the announcement that the 10 yes count them; 10, people who watched a high school student being ganged raped and beaten will not face any charges. What kind of society are we living in? Have we really desensitized our children to the point that they will watch a girl face that type of violence and humiliation and do nothing?
You hear so many people make fun of groups that are trying to have the entertainment industry to understand that they do have a sense of responsibility. There are video games that very young children play that have them committing acts of violence against woman and police officers. One video game you actually get extra points for beating up a “ho”.
I am not a person who advocates censorship. But, isn’t time that we admit that censorship and responsibility are two different things? Isn’t it time that families stand up say that we are not going to allow our children to witness acts of violence on a regular basis on television? How many more girls will have to be brutalized before we realize that we have let our children down? We, as a society, are to blame for what happened to this young woman.
The school security let the parents of this girl down. They sent their daughter, dressed up in her pretty purple gown, to a school sponsored dance thinking that they would have the proper security. The parents were told that not only would school security be on site, there would be additional security from the city’s police. Why wouldn’t these parents think that their daughter would be safe for a few short hours in the school gym?
Witnesses have claimed that the kids who committed this heinous act were seen by the vice principal of the school and he did nothing. Both the security and police never questioned them either. The young girl was somehow brought to dimly lit alley and was repeatedly raped; by multiple boys. Some of these boys are as young as 14. They took turns raping her, used foreign objects to further rape her, beat her into unconsciousness, then left her under a bench; presumably to die. All the while at least 10 people (and I use that term loosely) looked on and did nothing to help her. She is 15 years old.
If we can pass legislation that makes it a crime to think a certain way, we certainly should be able to prosecute people for watching young girls get repeatedly raped and doing nothing. They are just as guilty as the people who committed the act themselves; in some ways even more so. I don’t know how these 10 people will ever be able to look in a mirror again.
I have volunteered at rape centers. I have spoken to women of all ages after this has happened to them. I have gone to the hospital to be with them while the rape kits are done. I have told them that they will feel whole again, even though I know that isn’t entirely the truth. The road that this girl will have to walk to return to any sense of normalcy is a long and steep one. She will need extensive therapy to help her deal with the trauma. She is going to have problems with intimacy, she is going to have problems with trust, and she is going to suffer from nightmares for many, many years to come. And the people who watched this need to understand this. Maybe some time in jail will give them the time to realize what their inaction has done.
Her family and friends will need to be nurturing and understanding. She can get past this to live a full life if she gets the help that she is going to need. I did.