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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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3:45AM 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 ...

6:42AM PDT on Sep 25, 2014

"The Internet has a lot to answer for." -- Chris C., a friend of mine, who has been hurt by postings, along with some of the company's employees.

10:03AM PDT on Sep 24, 2014

This is the mentality of the teens who laughed at her unconscious body and called her a "ho who snitched" instead of feeling shame for letting this happen. What has happened to the parents of these kids? This apparently is a whole generation of kids who feel this way. Somewhere in the past, around the 1960's-1980's, parents decided to let their kids start raising themselves with the attitude of "as long as they don't hurt themselves, they can do what they want". I guess with all the drug culture going on, parents just checked out of parenting. They had the kids and then just said "go away". None of these kids were ever taught compassion for another person, or taught the difference between right and wrong. No one cared so they didn't either. The scary part is that within a few years, these kids will have children and don't know any different way of raising their kids than the way they were raised. We will have horrific people in about 20-30 years everywhere. If a comet or star doesn't fall on the earth and destroy it, these types of kids will destroy this earth in their lifetime.

12:03PM PDT on Sep 15, 2014

Seems to me that early life smacking should come back. The teaching of Mrs be Done by as you would should apply in many households. Parents are to blame.

4:43PM PDT on Sep 13, 2014

It takes a lot of fortitude for this young lady to endure what she has been through . I hope she is getting help from the right people and can overcome it and have a bright future . God Bless ...

9:43PM PDT on Sep 12, 2014

Rape is not a joke, what is wrong with people?!! Jada is very brave, bless her, No one deserves this abuse on top of abuse.

9:42PM PDT on Sep 12, 2014

Rape is not a joke, what is wrong with people?!! Jada is very brave, bless her, No one deserves this abuse on top of abuse.

9:25AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Jada is brave. What happened to her is reprehensible.

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