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.”
But the school district denied every one of the girl’s allegations, as well as responsibility for the attack, the same way they denied her rape.
In one of the most brazen examples of “blaming the victim” in recent memory, a school in Springfield, Missouri, has, according to a lawsuit, not only dismissed the rape claims of a seventh grade special education student, but also forced the girl to write and hand-deliver an apology letter to her alleged attacker. The lawsuit claims that the same student later raped her again. The school and other defendants have denied all charges.
According to the lawsuit, after the second attack, a rape kit was administered and the boy pleaded guilty to unspecified charges in juvenile court. But the school still refused to take the girl seriously — and even suspended her again, this time for “Disrespectful Conduct” and “Public Display of Affection.” The seventh grader reported her rape in the spring of 2009, and even though school officials are required by law to report such incidents to the authorities, Republic Middle School failed to do so:
The lawsuit alleges that school officials told her they didn’t believe her, and after “multiple intimidating interrogations,” she recanted. The lawsuit also notes that a school psychological report said the girl “would forego her own needs and wishes to satisfy the request of others around so that she can be accepted,” meaning she might have been especially susceptible to pressure to change her story.
But the pressure allegedly didn’t end there. The girl says she was made to write an apology note to her attacker and hand-deliver it to him. She was also expelled for the remainder of the school year.
When she came back the following year, the school allegedly refused her mother’s request for extra monitoring and did not separate her from her alleged attacker. In February 2010, the lawsuit says he “was able to hunt [her] down, drag her to the back of the school library, and again forcibly rape her.” She and her mother reported this rape to the police, and a rape kit tested positive for her attacker’s semen — he plead guilty to charges in juvenile court.
The lawsuit claims that the school forced the girl to write this apology letter without seeking her mother’s permission, and then expelled her for filing a false report. When the same student began harassing and assaulting her again when she came back to school, she did not tell school officials because she was afraid they would accuse her of lying and kick her out again. The victim’s family is seeking punitive damages “to deter School Officials and others from similar conduct in the future.”
[TW FOR RAPE AND VICTIM-BLAMING]
It was a couple of weeks after she reported being attacked in the early hours of a cold January morning in 2009 that Layla Ibrahim, then 21, noticed a change in the attitude of the police. Yes, the police had documented the injuries to the back of her head and breasts, the black eye, the bleeding from her vagina. They had listened closely as she described the two strangers who attacked her, how the main perpetrator had worn a Nike hoodie, how she thought she had temporarily lost consciousness after being knocked to the ground, how she had felt a “thud” in her vagina but had no clear recollection of what had happened.
The police had seemed sympathetic as she explained how she tried to fend off her attackers with a pair of blunt scissors, and how the second assailant grabbed hold of them and started cutting her hair. Layla told them how eventually she had made her way home, running and bawling, almost feral with fear. The case quickly became high profile, as the local newspaper reported that the police had set up an incident room staffed by 30-40 officers and described it as “one of the city’s biggest manhunts”.
But a couple of weeks later it was as if the police were investigating an entirely different case, one in which the suspect was Layla herself.
“We know of 30 women jailed for so-called false allegations of rape in the past 12 months,” says Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape. “Such prosecutions must be stopped. It is a galling diversion for women to be jailed when the vast majority of rapists are not – 90% of rapes are never reported and only 6.7% of those that are reach conviction on a full charge of rape. The prosecution of women and the disproportionate media coverage they get are putting rape victims off reporting and leaving all of us more vulnerable to attack. Is that what they want?”
I feel ill after reading this…
Your hands easy
weight, teasing the bees
hived in my hair, your smile at the
slope of my cheek. On the
occasion, you press
above me, glowing, spouting
readiness, mystery rapes
When you have withdrawn
your self and the magic, when
only the smell of your
love lingers between
my breasts, then, only
then, can I greedily consume
There’s no way around it, college rape statistics are disturbing.
- One in four college women will be sexually assaulted on a college campus.
- One in eight women will be raped while in college.
- College women are most vulnerable to rape during the first few weeks of the freshman and sophomore years.
- 78% of the men identified (as rapists) were an acquaintance, friend or boyfriend of the victims.
- 51 – 60% of college men report they would rape a woman if they were certain that they could get away with it.
(College rape statistics source source 2)
Since we believe that there are steps you can proactively take to prevent becoming a victim of sexual assault while in college, this blog is dedicated to sharing back to school tips on how to stay safe in college.
- Take a self defense class. Learn how to defend yourself from someone who tries to attack you. Carry pepper spray and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Watch your drink at parties. The unfortunate reality is that there are rapists who drug college girls’ drinks to prevent you from fighting back. To stay safe, avoid the punch bowl, don’t leave your drink alone, and take care in accepting drinks from strangers.
- Avoid excessive drinking. We all know that alcohol can impair our judgment. Drinking too much can place you in a very vulnerable situation where your ability to resist sexual advances is limited.
- Have a buddy system. Having someone to look out for you at a party will help improve your chances of safety. Keep them in your line of sight.
- If you feel unsafe, leave. Always trust your gut. If you’re at a party and start feeling unsafe, call a friend or a taxi and leave.
- Report the crime. Unfortunately only 10% of college women who are raped actually report the crime to the authorities. Since many sexual predators rape more than one woman, reporting them to the authorities will help prevent them from hurting anyone else. If you have been a victim of a sexual assault, bring a supportive friend with you to the police station to report the crime.
[TW FOR feministstfu IN GENERAL—THIS IS NOT AN “ANTI-FEMINIST” BLOG AS THE NAME INDICATES. IT’S STRAIGHT UP MISOGYNY AND HAS A SIMULATED RAPE SCENE ON THE FIRST PAGE.]
Actually, 60% of rapes are unreported. Of the 40% that are, 8%-10% of rape reports are “unfounded” which means basically anything, like the victim didn’t try to fight off the rapist, the victim wasn’t physically injured, the victim and the rapist shared a prior relationship, there is no physical evidence to go on, etc.
So if you have 100 rapes, 40 are reported. A maximum of 4 of these are unfounded, which again, does not mean false. 36 accurately reported rapes. Four unfounded. DOES NOT EQUAL 50%.