Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gang Rape. I Never Want to Talk About It, But I Have To

Erin Kotecki Vest has posted at BlogHer.com on the tragic and horrific story of a 15-year-old girl gang raped during a homecoming dance. This story becomes even more horrifying when you learn a crowd watched and did nothing. (Updated WSATA post, Homecoming gang rape sparks outrage on BlogHer and beyond. Includes video on arrests in this case.)

CNN has an article on the incident as well:
A California high school student who police said was gang raped in a two-and-a-half-hour assault outside a homecoming dance remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday, two days after she was flown from the attack scene in critical condition. ... As of late Monday, two suspects had been arrested in the case and a third was being questioned. (CNN)
Specifically the reported incident took place in Richmond, Ca. Erin is outraged as am I and innumerable others. We expect our children to be safe at school functions, and most of us cannot grasp that teenage boys could rape a teenage girl, that some stand around watching and no one helps. Yet, I've heard this story in my personal life. It happened to a friend of mine when she was young, and it happened to the daughter of another friend perhaps a decade ago.

One was lured to a house by a boy she knew and found herself locked in a room with friends who became animals in an instant. The other was pulled into a car by boys from her high school. One never reported the incident. The other did and the boys were arrested, later convicted.

I sometimes avoid writing anything in-depth about such stories because they rattle me in ways I can't explain. They leave me with swollen eyes and a heavy heart. For instance, this past summer, I mentioned the rape of an 8-year-old girl by young boys at the end of a post about other issues in the news. I tacked it on because I had seen the story and couldn't ignore it, but wrote few lines because what can you say?

The reality is that even when we have no words for this kind of violence we must find words and speak out. We want our children safe. We want our women safe. We want our girls safe. We want to learn what we may be doing to create an environment where this kind of violence happens so easily and what we're teaching our men-children that makes them think it's okay.

Related, 10/28/09: Homecoming gang rape sparks outrage on BlogHer.com and beyond.


underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hi Nordette,

I have no words that explain the depravity that inflicts such pain on another human. I do know it is indiscriminate.


eastpaw said...

This story leaves me with a terrible mixture of sadness and rage. How anyone could commit a crime like this I do not understand.

I agree with you that the indifference of the bystanders is horrifying in its own right. How it must have crushed the poor girl to realise that the potential rescuers all about were not actually going to do anything to help her.

What is wrong with people today that they are able to condone such bestiality played out before their eyes? If the women were afraid of being themselves attacked, the men should at least have done something.