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16-Year-Old’s Rape Goes Viral on Social Media: ‘No Human Being Deserved This’

16-Year-Old’s Rape Goes Viral on Social Media: ‘No Human Being Deserved This’

Written by Tara Culp-Ressler

In an incident that shares several elements with the infamous Steubenville rape case that made national headlines last year, a 16-year-old girl from Texas says that photos of her unconscious body went viral online after she was drugged and raped at a party with her fellow high schoolers. But the victim isn’t backing down. She’s speaking out about what happened to her, telling her story to local press and asking to be identified as Jada.

After other teens started mocking her online — sharing images of themselves splayed out on the floor in the same pose as Jada’s unconscious body under the hashtag #jadapose — the victim decided to speak out. She sat down with local outlet KHOU 11 to tell her side. “I’m just angry,” Jada said.

According to Jada, she was invited to a party at a fellow high schooler’s house. The boy who was hosting the party gave her a drink that she believes was spiked with a drug that made her lose consciousness. She passed out and doesn’t remember what happened next. But then she started seeing evidence of her sexual assault circulated online, and some of her peers started texting her to ask her if she was okay.

Then, #jadapose started turning her rape into a joke. When the Houston Press reached out to one of the individuals who shared a popular #jadapose photo, he said that he didn’t personally know Jada and was simply “bored at 1 a.m. and decided to wake up my (Twitter timeline).”

Jada decided to share her name and her story with the press because she has nothing to hide anymore. “Everybody has already seen my face and my body,” she said, “but that’s not what I am and who I am.” Nonetheless, the social media firestorm has taken a toll on her. She says she now wants to be homeschooled.

“No one’s daughter deserved this,” her mother, who asked not to be identified by name, told KHOU 11 News. “No human being deserved this.”

Like Jada, the Steubenville rape victim found out about her assault on social media, after images of her peers dragging her unconscious body were posted on Instagram and Twitter. A video of her attackers laughing and joking about her victimization — saying she was “deader than Trayvon Martin” — horrified people across the nation who wondered why these boys thought violating someone’s consent was so funny. After the internet hacktivist group Anonymous got involved in the case, and started demanding justice for the Steubenville victim, much of the country started paying attention to the criminal proceedings in the tiny Ohio town.

But, while Steubenville certainly helped spark a national conversation about issues related to rape culture, it’s worth remembering that it’s hardly the only egregious example of sexual assault, victimization, and cyberbullying. The increased awareness to the subject at the time didn’t change the fact that the majority of teens still don’t learn anything about healthy relationships or sexual consent, and most young girls actually think of sexual violence as normal. Cases like Jada’s are happening all across the country, often exacerbated by kids who think it’s funny to post about it on social media.

The Houston police is currently investigating Jada’s allegations, and no arrests have yet been made. The alleged perpetrator has denied that a sexual assault occurred, referring to Jada as a “hoe” who “snitched.”

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress

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Photo Credit: KHOU 11 News screenshot

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178 comments

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10:28AM PDT on Jul 25, 2014

How many of her good friends at this party stood around and did nothing.

1:30PM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

I think it would be interesting if the boys involved in this rape suffered through the same thing with some pedophile. Bet they'd be singing a different tune? Of course rape in any form is repugnant, but for these poor girls to be mocked is simply reprehensible. If I were the parent of ANY of them doing that - they'd never see the outside of their room till they moved out!

12:48AM PDT on Jul 18, 2014

Thank you for sharing!

11:31PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Again, I say: PENECTOMIES for RAPISTS. Remove their weapons.

11:20AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

poor girl

8:49AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

If I were Jada, I'd be focusing my anger not only on the rapists, but also the other party-goers...as no one usually goes to a party alone, I'm willing to bet she had gone with her girlfriends, or at the very least, knew other teens there. What were these people doing when all this was happening? Was EVERYONE laughing and taking photos? If that's the case, that in itself is greatly disturbing. We need to teach our kids that standing around and doing nothing when something like this occurs makes them just as guilty as the actual perpetrators.

8:08AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Brave girl. I pray she gets justice.

2:24AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

noted,thank you

10:48PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

I hope she gets real justice out of all this. That is some really sick behavior on the part of those making fun and those that did this to her. WTF is the matter with people today! What is wrong with the youth of today. Bless Jada for being so strong.

1:37PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

Jada and a young woman named Anna were on the news last night. Both are incredibly brave. The way the rapes are being handled are a discredit to our law enforcement and judicial processes and colleges and universities.
Jada’s story is above. Anna was raped by a football player on campus at Hobart & William Smith.
The online cruelty is unbelievable. People are posting photos of themselves in what they call “the Jada pose”. Would they do the same if Jada had been brutally murdered?
Anna’s accused rapist is still on campus, still a student. Because he’s a “jock”, he gets special treatment. I saw it when I was in college, and it’s prevalent today. Sports bring money to colleges, so anything the jocks do is downplayed and swept under the rug.
Jada and Anna are incredibly brave to speak out, and it’s wonderful to see people standing with them.
How many other rapists are being treated with leniency while the victims continue to be harassed and bullied? How many other institutions of higher learning (not necessarily “higher intelligence”) classify rape as “not so bad” or “the victim’s fault”?
The message has to be said loud and clear: NO MEANS NO! If you sexually assault someone—male or female—you deserve the harshest punishment. Before you rape, be prepared to live with the consequences of your actions.

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Kathleen J. Kathleen is currently the Activism Coordinator at Care2. more
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