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Rape Victim Asks Community to Use Anger to Bring Change

Adding something positive to a very dark situation, the 15-year-old girl who was gang raped outside her homecoming dance in Northern California asked her supporters to channel their anger toward making sure nothing like this happens again. Speaking to a few hundred people gathered on campus, the victim's pastor read these words on her behalf:

"We realize people are angry about this. But let the anger cause change, change that is necessary to keep our children, our neighbors and our friends safe."

The school district is implementing tougher security following this incomprehensible act of violence. Sadly, the school had been pushing for tighter security measures but didn't have the funding to do so until now. Even still, some worry that fences and lighting won't be enough.

This story has deeply disturbed many of us, so I can only imagine how those in the community must feel not only angry, but scared and confused. After the news that some of the victim's peers are defending the alleged rapists on MySpace, it's comforting to see that there are also many people who support her. Why do you think it took a gang rape watched by 20 people for something to be done to protect young girls at the school?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Anon #6- I think you need to put yourself in the victim's shoes. Anybody can be at the wrong place at the wrong time - that does not make the victim at fault! That's like saying people who get shot by stray bullets at a drive by are partially at fault for being somewhere they could get shot. In essence, you are defending the perpetrators because you think she was at fault for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. That's so horrifying that there are people out there who could possibly find ways to lay the blame on this poor girl. The vast majority of people know someone who was the victim of rape, whether that person ever comes forth and lets it be known or not. Chances are anon, that someone you know (possibly even care about) was a victim of rape and just never broadcast the news.
JessRose JessRose 7 years
Hmmm... I thought the Good Samaritan law in CA was for anyone who full-on witnessed a crime against anyone of any age and didn't report it...
eastcoastgirl eastcoastgirl 7 years
I agree with lilkim! Anonymous should take a step back and really think about being younger and wanting to fit in and sometimes making the wrong choices. I mean who hasn't been there? I am sure she never imagined a "friend" from school would have turned on her like that. I remember being 15 and trusting and naive and just wanting to fit in. She may have even had a crush on the boy who invited her to hang out.Somewhere along the line things really got out of hand and not one of those individuals had the morals or character to call for help. Such a scary world we live in today.I pray she will heal and endure and overcome with love and support from her family and the world.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Anon, I don't see you as any different from the 20 or so people who watched this happen. Comments that blame survivors for their own rapes disgust me.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
Uhm anon, I think that was uncalled for. Calling her dumb as rocks is incredibly harsh, this girl didn't ASK to be raped! She's showing great strength by saying that people should turn their anger into something positive, and that is a damn sight more intelligent than tossing the blame about. Saying she was in the wrong place is wrong too, there would have been many girls at the event. A positive outcome from this terrible event would be the school being given the funding to tighten security even more on big events, so this sort of unpleasantness would never happen again.
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
Teensch - IIRC California law doesn't *require* people to report witnessed crimes. There is a law that requires people to report witnessed crimes against children, but it only applies to crimes against children 14 and below. So while these people are morally, ethically bankrupt for not reporting this absolutely appalling crime, legally they're in the clear.
teensch teensch 7 years
I'll climb on the soapbox with ya, Studio16. :) I totally agree about charging all those who callously stood/walked by (I can hardly even write those words, so horribly cruel are they) as being an accessory to the crime - are they doing that with any of them? And hypnoticmix, you're right on, too!
Studio16 Studio16 7 years
I was so angry when I heard about what happened. 20 people? It's not like they needed to put themselves in danger and save the girl, a simple call to 911 would have sufficed. I wish everyone who walked by and did nothing could get charged with accessory to a crime. Anyway. Soapbox. Getting off. This is heart breaking to say the least. A girl's been raped and ignored at that, and yet she's the one saying, "We need to channel this anger in a positive way." The world needs more people like her.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
The school is responding pretty much as much as the school can respond and should but what about the community. I think she is right in asking those who care what are you going to do with this anger? To many times we react in shock and then move on. Each time this happens it is our opportunity to collectively make change. But all to often we choose to trap ourselves behind more barriers rather than simultaneously address the real problem. All this does is provide a false sense of security. No amount of fencing or security lighting is going to effect change on a cultural dysfunction. IMO gang rape comes from a very different place psychologically than those perpetrated by an individual offender and culturally a much easier fix. Over the past couple of decades I've observed a society that has allowed its young men to forget what it means to be a gentlemen and treat women with respect. We've also slacked in teaching our young women in how to differentiate between a boy who is preoccupied with dysfunctionaly trying to prove he's a man and a young man who is secure and not preoccupied with his man hood. We need to be a community again and parents need to address parents who are slacking on that point. Now that doesn't necessarily mean point fingers. That means that if we're a community we reach out and offer help to a single parent or child who is struggling in school. That is what community is about and the stronger a community the safer it is, that is a fact.
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