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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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3:16AM PDT on Mar 30, 2015

We have to trust that the legal system will sort out whether the alleged victim or the alleged perpetrator is telling the truth.
Regardless of whether the rape occurred or not, I'm dismayed by the reaction on social media.
Such cruelty. Such lack of compassion and kindness.

12:48PM PST on Nov 22, 2014

The type of behaviour confirm to me that 'Social Media' will only continue to grow a sadistic culture - as pointed out above by Terry M, what sort of people parent these cruel and seriously sick individuals
As a Grand-mother to two beautiful young women I certainly have my thoughts on what would be in my humble opinion 'punishment' for this disgusting group of perpetrators - where were her friends I ask?
An extremely brave young woman who most certainly deserves all the support possible and to see these perpetrators held accountable.

9:16AM PST on Nov 3, 2014

Appalling young man referring to Jada in such despicable terms. I hope he and his friends who perpetrated this assault are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Let's see how they like being someone's 'hoe' in detention.

8:47AM PDT on Nov 1, 2014

There's never been any doubt in mind that ALL schools should provide good sex and relationships education, which emphasises that respect and consent are non-negotiable components of ALL sexual encounters and that those who oppose such measures have a lot to answer for. We have to tackle this head on and at a young age.

9:37PM PDT on Oct 27, 2014

Live long and prosper

9:04PM PDT on Oct 27, 2014

Very strong girl. Very sorry that happened to her.

5:58PM PDT on Oct 23, 2014

She is a brave young lady! I hope she will stay strong,even if it doesn't look like she would get any help from Police.
I am wondering what kind of people are the parents of these young men??? Are they just turning a blind eye on this disgusting behavior? Rape is crime and very cruel and violent one! More than this,what kind of men will these young men grow up to be??
Good husbands and fathers??-maybe for some sweet innocent daughters??
Guys what goes around,comes around...thinking,that this kind of crime will go away,just laughing for it??? You will have some serious surprises during your adult life! Trust me!

3:45AM PDT on Oct 8, 2014

This young woman deserves better. Kids and teenagers can be incredibly cruel. Witness what can happen in school playgrounds. . .

11:48AM PDT on Oct 1, 2014

I agree with Joan M. about the social media as a window that reflects the decline of civilization. It does seem as if people are becoming more horrible than they once were. People are very mean to each other and they don't seem to have empathy, sympathy or compassion for one another anymore. I don't know what will happen to this world but it doesn't seem to be going in a positive direction.

7:12AM PDT on Sep 25, 2014

PS: Doesn't compare to what Jada's been through, of course, but the overarching point remains ...

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