An 11-year-old girl was raped in Cleveland, TX back in November. The only reason charges are being filed now against the 18 men--yes 18--aged 14-27, who have been identified thus far is because of videos taken and saved on cell phones. Had it not been for these videos, this crime would go unpunished. Really?! This is what we've come to? This type of behavior is ok and justified in people's minds because, "Some residents told reporters that the girl hung out with older boys at the playground, liked to dress older than her age and wore makeup.". WHAT?! Are you kidding me?! No way! NEVER! This is why so often rape goes unreported. It is a crime where the victim is under as much scrutiny-if not more-than the offenders.
Community activist Linda Morales has it right, "This was an 11-year-old child. And no matter what she did, did not do, how she dressed, how she talked, how she acted does not matter," Morales said. "This was a brutal and savage rape." This child has had something stolen from her. Something she can never get back. She will not feel safe again. She will become disconnected and despondent. Human touch may revolt her even though it is within our basic human needs to desire such contact. My heart breaks for this young girl. I pray for her healing. I pray for her to know she is beautiful and loved and precious. She is not dirty, or wanton, or asking for what she got. She was barely out of her childhood. And now her childhood is lost to her. Why? Because boys and men all felt that their needs were more important than hers?
I am appalled and disgusted. The act of gang raping a girl is heinous enough, but compound it with apathy toward the victim or assigning blame where none is due makes me angry. What if she were your daughter? Your sister? Your mother? Would the same apply? Probably not. Rape is NEVER a choice. It is never asked for. Taking something without permission and in a violent, self-indulgent manner is just plain wrong. Additionally, at a minimum, this girl is a minor. It is non-consensual sex. Statutory rape. That alone makes it illegal. The brutal and repeated nature of her rape makes it 18 times worse. It is something that will flash in snippets and replay in this child's mind. Her childhood is lost to her. God be with her and her family and may these men all get the harshest of punishments for their CRIME because it is a crime.