Wednesday, November 4, 2009

They Just Watched


Due to the serious nature of domestic and dating violence, this posts contains language that is considered graphic.

Last week, a young girl’s life was changed forever. Looking forward to a fun time at a school dance, she probably took her time getting ready wanting to make sure everything was perfect. Maybe she did her hair and put on some make-up. Took a glance (or several) in the mirror to make sure her dress and shoes were just right. Leaving her house, she probably told somebody goodbye, not realizing how significant those words would really be. Then she went to the dance. Probably saw some friends; maybe even danced. And when she left, nothing would be the same.

A 15-year-old was gang raped by at least five guys. For over two hours. Five, ten minutes in a scary situation can leave a mark. What does 120 minutes do to a person when they’re being torn to shreds, physically, mentally, emotionally? I wish no one would ever have to find out.

And it doesn’t end there. Others stood around and watched as this happened. They WATCHED. Maybe they laughed as they cheered the rapists on. Still others heard what was happening and what did they do? Did they call? Not exactly. They stopped by to see for themselves. Some even jumped in. For over TWO HOURS a young girl was RAPED by SEVERAL others. And they just watched. Not until the news fell on one person who understood the horror of it all, did it finally end. Of course, it doesn’t end there for the young girl who lived through it. Her experience of it is only beginning.

Over the past week, people, experts have been trying to make sense of it all. Why did no one say a thing? Why didn’t the witnesses make it stop? But the bottom line is there are no reasons. There is no excuse to do such a thing to someone. There is no excuse not to do something about it. You don’t just ignore it. You don’t just watch.

I wish I could say that this won’t happen again; that it’s the last time a young girl will be hurt in this way. But, sadly, violence against women is happening. A lot. Never be a spectator or just a witness to such a horrible crime. Find a safe way to get help. Find a safe way to speak up.

Learn more about sexual assault and what you can do to help.