Wednesday, August 17, 2011

7th-grader raped – and punished for it by school officials – twice

| »
Chart: 10% of rape victims report crime; if one woman in ten reports her rape and another woman makes a false accusation, then by that logic, 50% of rape claims are false (because the other 90% of rape victims stay silent)
The logic behind rape statistics
[full size (380×320)]

Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get up in the morning and then realize that incompetent assholes like the school officials in this atrocious report are allowed to remain in their position of power over anybody, much less children:

The first time she was raped, school officials told her she was lying. They even demanded she write and hand-deliver an apology letter to her attacker. Twisting the knife a little deeper, the school expelled her for the rest of the year. The devastating sequence of events that followed suggests that school officials may actually have wanted the girl to have been attacked, or punished for speaking-out, once more She was raped by the same boy in the library the following year.

According to the Springfield News-Leader, the 7th grade special education student at Republic Middle School in Springfield, MO reported her rape in the spring of 2009. School officials refused to believe her, and after suffering through "multiple intimidating interrogations," she recanted the claim. What's more, a school psychologist's report said the girl "would forego her own needs and wishes to satisfy the request of others around so that she can be accepted." In other words, the already victimized twelve-year-old might have taken back her statement after school officials demonized her for being raped.

When she returned to school the following year, the school refused her mother's request for extra monitoring and did not separate her from her rapist who, thanks to the apology letter, knew she had told. If the school wanted the girl to be victimized a third time, they got their wish. In February 2010, the lawsuit says her attacker "was able to hunt [her] down, drag her to the back of the school library, and again forcibly rape her." This time, she and her mother reported the rape to the police, and a rape kit tested positive for her attacker's semen. He plead guilty to charges in juvenile court.

The school's next move made it clear that it was not lack of evidence fueling officials' accusation that she was lying, but a deep-seeded hatred for women: Incredibly, the twelve-year-old rape victim was suspended for for "Disrespectful Conduct" and "Public Display of Affection" - two absolutely disgusting ways to categorize rape. The school had victimized the girl a fourth time, slut-shaming a rape victim for an attack that happened on school property, and one her mother sought to prevent by requesting their separation.

Her lawsuit requests damages for medical expenses, emotional distress, and attorneys' fees, in addition to "punitive damages to deter School Officials and others from similar conduct in the future."

Rape culture: Not just for adults.

And the best part is that people still find a way to deny that the suppression of rape victims even exists. (See the graphic in the top corner of this post. See it long and hard.) That’s probably the most sickening thing about all this, in my view. It’s bad enough that these horrible acts are committed, and it’s even worse that no-one seems to care beyond the occasional glance at newspaper headlines or passing, “Oh, that’s terrible,” but the fact that a majority of people are so quick to deny that these things even happen at all – and in many cases, will actively fight to preserve this blissful yet damaging delusion – is surely an indicator that for all the pontification about equality and justice under the law, there is still an undeniable rotten core of patriarchal sexism at the heart of our society.