START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Indiana Town Shames Rape Victim, Speculates About Her 'Promiscuous Behavior'


Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, crime, culture, dishonesty, education, ethics, government, police, politics, religion, rights, society, violence )

Kit
- 627 days ago - thinkprogress.org
"I can't walk out the door without someone calling me a whore or slut," the girl said. "I used to have a lot of friends, or people I thought were my friends, but as soon as this happened I just isolated myself."



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

Comments

Kit B. (276)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 5:24 am
Photo Credit: Change.org/


Several high-profile cases of sexual assault have shown the consequences of rape culture: From Rehtaeh Parsons’ suicide to the Steubenville rape trial, these girls were re-victimized by the harassment and public shaming that followed the sexual assault.

Now, a 14-year-old in Elwood, Indiana who is eight months pregnant faces ongoing harassment simply because her neighborhood sees her as a very young pregnant girl. But a reporter at the Indianapolis Star writes that her town does not know the full story of the 17-year-old boy who physically overpowered her after she told him “no.” On Tuesday, he faces sentencing for three counts of child molestation.

At the same time the girl has encountered vicious public shaming from her community, she and her mother Kristy Green have spoken out because they worry her assailant will walk free in juvenile court:

“I can’t walk out the door without someone calling me a whore or slut,” the girl said. “I used to have a lot of friends, or people I thought were my friends, but as soon as this happened I just isolated myself.”

The repeated vandalism incidents at the family’s home — including the words “whore” and “slut” scrawled on the garage doors — were reported to police. But Green said no charges were filed because there were no witnesses to the acts.

Her daughter also has been the target of mean-spirited rumors and speculation that her pregnancy is the result of promiscuous behavior.

This ordeal is all too common for victims of sexual assault — a reality that affects not just U.S. teens in school, but also pervades military and sports culture. The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board recently noted that “it’s still news when a rape victim stands in front of the cameras to state what ought to be obvious, which is that she has nothing to be ashamed of.”

But the people in Elwood — lacking the details of the rape due to privacy in the juvenile court system — reverted to alienating the teen for her pregnancy because they assumed she must have been “promiscuous.” That’s true for many teen moms across the country, who are often on the receiving end of this stigma precisely at the time they most need support. Public awareness campaigns attempting to prevent teen pregnancy often put inordinate focus on “slut-shaming” abstinence over comprehensive sexual health resources.
****

By Rebecca Leber | Think Progress |
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 8:35 am
Thanks for elevating this tragic story to our attention and the folly of jumping to conclusions about others and the harm that it does.
 

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 8:39 am
Thank you for the news. It reveals a great deal about the place of women in society in the U.S. (s, n, p, t)
 

Gene Jacobson (258)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 9:19 am
I think some group dedicated to civil rights might be justified in helping this family install a security system that would identify those who deface their property. It is obvious this young woman is far more adult than most of the adults in that silly town. Not that her story isn't played out everywhere in the country on a daily basis. Sadly, our Victorian beginnings have never been completely flushed out of the country's system. Judge not is a teaching that seems to be overlooked just about everywhere.
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 9:30 am

So much for the idyllic movie image of small town America.
 

Elle B. (82)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 9:35 am
Ty Kit...

The graphic is so genuine and apt. The young man's face and three words say it all. Heartbreaking that any humans completely waste their time on earth being so heartless and stupid.

"If you want to be safe, walk in the middle of the street. I’m not joking. You’ve been told to look both ways before crossing the street, and the sidewalk is your friend, right? Wrong. I’ve spent years walking sidewalks at night. I’ve looked around me when it was dark, when there were men following me, creeping out of alleyways, attempting to goad me into speaking to them and shouting obscenities at me when I wouldn’t, and I suddenly realised that the only place left to go was the middle of street. But why would I risk it? Because the odds are in my favour. In the States, someone is killed in a car accident on average every 12.5 minutes, while someone is raped on average every 2.5 minutes. Even when factoring in that, one, I am generously including ALL car-related accidents and not just those involving accidents, and two, that the vast majorities of rapes still go unreported […] And, thus, this is now the way I live my life: out in the open, in the middle of everything, because the middle of the street is actually the safest place to walk.” ― Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls

“Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.” ― Jessica Valenti, The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women
 

Angelika R. (144)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 9:55 am
Another tragic case in the light..with hundreds or thousands others in the dark. "Small town America" isn't even telling it all if you include the military. When will this perverted thinking in screwed minds end?!
And with perfect timing here comes Congressman Franks and House Republicans declaring "Rate of pregnancies from rape is 'very low"...voting to restrict women's rights again. ..
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 10:13 am

Another incarnation of the same limited thinking that brought us Todd Akin and Richard Murdock.

When men start talking about what rape is or how the female body responds to sexual attack, we should have a huge door that slams shut on them. Franks: "It is rare that pregnancy will come to full term from a rape." "Sure, rape is a crime, but abortion is worse". This the republican meme. Franks' bill has passed from committee, Cantor promises it will reach the floor for a vote.

It will NOT be signed into a law. It would be struck down, the Supreme Court has already ruled on this issue. The Congressional Republicans know this, the press knows this, and yet, rather than do the task at hand with their limited budgets, the Kool-Aid Republicans can find nothing better to do with their time.

With the never ending assault on very personal and private issues, our Congress has proven itself to be unable to self regulate their own time or to separate personal issues from the task of governing.
These irrepressible ideas, filter down to towns and cities across the United States and the result being that victims, those least able defend themselves are treated not with compassion but are reviled.

Shame on the people who dare to consider themselves the judge and jury of others.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 10:45 am
Unfortunately, in idyllic small tow America, football is the most important thing. I am guessing the boy is a sports player,

 

Joanne Dixon (40)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 2:51 pm
Perhaps someone should break it to Todd Franks that, even assuming he is correct, which I don't, "very low" is not good enough. "None" would be about right.

Nancy M, the story indicates they managed to get a conviction - you don't "face sentencing" unless you are convicted. I am not familiar with Indiana law but I am betting that three counts of child molestation can get a person put away for a long time. It will be interesting to see what does happen.
 

Jae A. (321)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 3:11 pm
Seems that nothing has changed since I was a young lad growing up in a 'very small ' Texas town....

You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

As for the toads in Congress...It's all about let'n the clock run out so the Republicans can go on another paid vacation..with benifits, without having done anything other than 'obstruct' the needs of the nation and the will of the people....and waste more tax payers dollars during their few 'job' related days a year.
 

Yvonne White (232)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 3:22 pm
It's small town INDIANA.. when I graduated 8th grade in Illinois there were 3 pregnant girls in my class - people May have wondered about that, but Nobody I know of called names or dared harass them. I don't know if they were promiscuous, it wasn't MY business! I do know girls who were, but even they weren't called names by me or my friends - I was friends with a few too.. and my parents knew about them & didn't try to prevent friendship just because the girls were "that way".. I know girls who had abortions because they were under-age & some who gave babies up for adoption, either way back then the parents made the arrangements. But NO Where did I see vandalism & the hate talk that seems to be SO pervasive in RepubliCON states!
 

Mike M. (56)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 3:53 pm
America is not the America I grew up in and I wonder what kind of kool-aid were these people given
 

Vicky P. (465)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 4:28 pm
disgusting how people always blame the victim, wonder if it's a hatred for women since the victim is almost always female in these cases.
 

greenplanet e. (157)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 6:14 pm
It's really, really awful that this sort of thing still happens.

What century are we in again? The 21st! Gee, you'd think it was the Middle Ages.

People in small towns and probably bigger towns can really be mean and ignorant.

I agree with the guy in the pic; rape culture needs to stop.

Why are boys allowed to be promiscuous, sleazy, abusive in fact, while girls who are raped and abused
are harassed and talked about nastily?
 

greenplanet e. (157)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 6:15 pm
So what if the people in the town "lack the details" of what happened?

It's none of their business.
 

Natasha Salgado (593)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 6:24 pm
Appalling comes to mind here...it's the 21st century but it sure has a similar feel at times to an earlier time in life where women barely existed---they were simply breeding machines without a voice. A victim is just that regardless of their gender. People can be so very disappointing...thanks Kit.
 

pam w. (191)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 6:32 pm
I'm surprised they haven't put her in STOCKS!

 

Mitchell D. (132)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 6:37 pm
Can't argue with stupid...or closed minds. Oops, somewhat redundant.
Jackasses!
 

holly masih (69)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 7:11 pm
Let us just say,for the sake of argument,(even though many times,it is not true),but let us just say the sake of argument that she is the biggest slut in the world,she is promiscuous,she is-whatever.That still does not excuse rape.Or any other abuse.Ever.
 

Veronica C. (47)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 9:29 pm
When will this crap end??
 

Esther Z. (96)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 9:44 pm
This small mind mentality is what the GOP considers the ideal society; where rapists run free, and the rape victim is perpetually victimized by the village idiots!
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (290)
Thursday June 13, 2013, 11:07 pm
Morons !!!
 

Irene S. (66)
Friday June 14, 2013, 5:07 am
Wich century are they living in?
 

Gene Jacobson (258)
Friday June 14, 2013, 5:23 am
Kit? "So much for the idyllic movie image of small town America."

That, I don't think has ever been true. I grew up on a farm outside a small town where I went to high school, population 1200 or so. Even in the farming community, everyone knew everyone else's business. Though you could go on vacation, more likely a brief trip as farmers don't really get vacations what with it being a 24/7 job, leave your house unlocked and find everything where you left it when you came home, keys in the ignition of your car, nothing stolen ever. Except privacy. Same thing in small towns, they look idyllic but under the surface the torrent of gossip churns. And they were then VERY judgmental about things like this. My junior year, one of the seniors got one of the secretaries in the office pregnant, just a year older, but that was high scandal until the baby was born, he graduated and they married. In the city, it is much more private even though there are millions of people, no one knows their neighbors in apartments anymore, or often even on the block, or townhouse complex. Judgmentalism is confined to the letters to the editor page in the local paper. So it has always amused me, this irony that the smaller a place is, the more judgmental it is because people know each other and where they don't know each other, they are not as judgmental, at least vocally. :^)
 

Kit B. (276)
Friday June 14, 2013, 6:01 am

I grew up in San Antonio, the communities that make up the areas around schools are like a small town, and every one knew each persons business. I only knew of one student that left school reasons of pregnancy. She either went to the Edna Gladney Home for girls or the Methodist Home. Girls were not allowed to stay in school, they completed school in a home for pregnant girls and were out sight, out of mind.

That's like pretending no one in high school ever has sex or gets pregnant. No sex education was in school, no discussions about the normal growth or changes in the teenage body, no discussions about how raging hormones can take over good sense, absolutely no education about sexually transmitted diseases or how to avoid them. The word rape was never stated. Just a pretend life in LA LA Land.
 

Mary T. (324)
Friday June 14, 2013, 9:20 am
the victims are always blame for rapes, you would think in 2013 that finally someone would blame the person doing the rapes. very sad
 

John De Avalon (35)
Friday June 14, 2013, 9:53 am
Disgusting...
 

Pat A. (116)
Friday June 14, 2013, 9:54 am
Stars all over the place - thanks for this Kit; God send that poor girl and her family strength and resilience and real friends in this horrible ordeal - and I hope the boy is sentenced for a long, long, long time! As Nancy M suggests - I wonder if the boy is a football star - they are forgiven almost any transgression.
I wish I could say it was just 'small town America' that does this - but the trouble is that so many people the world over are just waiting to jump to the worst conclusions and be judgmental anywhere in the world. So very cruel.
 

Jeaneen A. (159)
Friday June 14, 2013, 11:01 am
thank you.
 

Ravenna C. (20)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 10:41 am
That poor little girl. Why is it always the "rights" of the perpetrator before the rights of the victim??? I am so sick of this kind of attitude.
 

Lois Jordan (58)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 5:15 pm
Noted...sadly. This "gang-up on the girl" mentality seems to be at a new peak. I, too, never saw this during my high school years back in the 70's. I don't remember seeing any pregnant girls at school, and those who were didn't hang around long enough to "show." They were sent off by their parents. Wondering if the new social connectedness through Facebook and Twitter that's making this explode. Of course, it could also be that abortion is harder to come by, with all the clinics being closed. This takes "bullying" to new and horrible heights.
 

Teresa M. (0)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 6:57 am
just a little FYI. this boy wasn't charged with rape because it wasn't. There are witnesses to prove it and one of them is her own sister. Also these two kids dated for a while and whats not being told is that she was having sex with another boy the same age. Whats going to happen if the DNA test shows its this other kids baby? Its a small town and obviously people know who this girl is if they are sprawling crap on the home. Not saying that these two kids having sex is right but she was sexually active before this whole thing happened. She got pregnant and now wants to play the victim.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 7:00 am
How would someone from Clay, NY know what is going on in small town Indiana?

And just what is the source of your information?

You may be right, you may be wrong.

That doesn't meant the whole town should be picking on a pregnant 14 year old kid. Whether she is a "victim" or was willing is not relevant.
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 7:38 am

Good points, Nancy. Probably just a troll but I did find an update about the coming trial:

ELWOOD, IND. — UPDATE: Sentencing of the 17-year-old boy convicted in juvenile court of child molesting has been rescheduled to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 25.

http://www.indystar.com/article/20130605/NEWS/306050112/An-Elwood-girl-became-pregnant-sexual-assault-13-her-case-illustrates-growing-problem-Indiana
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 7:49 am

Teresa M: Clay, NY, USA
female, age 46
Joined Jun 19, 2013

That's it no profile - just another unsubstantiated opinion and more "rumors" about this girl that has already endured too much gossip and degradation.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 3:00 pm


I do live now in Indiana though I am not from here. Yes, some different viewpoints on things. I got curious about this and just found this:

"ANDERSON, Ind. — Sentencing has been delayed again — the second time in a week — for a Madison County teen convicted of molesting three juveniles, including one that resulted in a 13-year-old girl becoming pregnant."

Three girls, not one. and at least they did bring charges against the guy. Yes, it says molestation not rape. a 13 yr old got pregnant. Where I grew up that would be called statutory rape at the very least.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013306110023
 

Jeanne Rogers (1005)
Sunday June 30, 2013, 7:37 pm
Very sad!!!
 

Austin Munn (1)
Monday July 29, 2013, 10:20 pm
This is very sad. This town has reached a new level of ignorance.
 
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story


Loading Noted By...Please Wait

 

 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.