Audrie Pott could have been your daughter, sister or best friend, except that this 15-year-old girl has taken her own life due to cyberbullying after an alleged rape that occurred when she was drugged at another youth’s party. And three juvenile males have been arrested for allegedly sexually battering her while she was unconscious, according to CBS News.
Just like the Steubenville rape case in Ohio, Audrie’s rape was forever memorialized through digital photos taken and shared by students who were present, making it that much harder to overcome the labels and ridicule she received following the alleged attacks on Sept. 2. She stated as much on Facebook, calling it the “worst day of her life,” according to Mercury News.
A mere eight days after her alleged rape last year, the intense cyberbullying from the photos going viral would be so bad she would opt to leave this life rather than endure the torment if she stayed in it. And that’s something her family doesn’t want to see happen to anyone else, sharing her story in the media now in order to gain support for a new law they hope will be called Audrie’s Law.
“There are two common elements here that are being repeated across the country–sexual assault by an adolescent and the cyberbullying that follows,” Robert Allard, the attorney for the family said. And Audrie’s family wants both to stop. And they should, as sharing or posting digital photos of an alleged attack is raping the victim all over again; this time in the media. And that is an almost unbearable thing for an adult, much less a young girl still growing and maturing.
In the Steubenville rape case in Ohio both juvenile defendants were found guilty and sentenced, but since they were tried as juveniles that only means they have to stay incarcerated until they are 21 years of age. The female victim in that case must face their release from justice a lot sooner than some adult women would of their assailants, and so might Audrie Pott’s family if the three juveniles arrested for raping their loved one are tried as juveniles and sentenced as such. And that’s like being victimized all over again, as the punishment should fit the crime, not the age of the perpetrator.
And where are these males’ parents in all this? Don’t they monitor their teens cell phone accounts at all? The boys do still live at home, right?
Photo courtesy of the family via Mercury News