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.


  1. I think so many people have become desensitized and it's obvious that children are not being taught to be do what's right. This story is just sad on so many levels.

  2. Hi Penny,

    Thanks for commenting on our post. This tragic event brings up several issues beyond the (gang)rape of a young teenage girl. Why didn't the spectators say/do something; what role does the school/community play in addressing the role of the bystander; what about parents? So many things to deal with. Very sad, indeed.

  3. That is so horrible. I can't believe everybody just stood there!! What kind of sick bastardes are these people.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I think it's odd that on a website that calls itself a "safe space" there is no warning before entering into a fairly graphic description of rape.

    For people who have gone through something like this it is a wrenching experience to stumble upon

    Well, you understand. I think in the future, since people trying to seek support might stumble onto here, it might be good to cut for triggers.

  6. Dear Anonymous:

    We sincerely apologize if you, or anyone else, found our blog particularly upsetting, discomforting or inappropriate. It is neither our practice nor our intent to use these types of events or experiences merely as shock value or as a way to cause a reaction in readers. We also do not believe in sensationalizing events in order to raise awareness; we simply hope to educate others about how devastating violence can be to young people. On the other hand, because we are an organization whose mission it is to educate the community about the severity of youth violence, in particular domestic violence, it is also not our position to shy away from or diminish the seriousness of this issue.

    For this reason we have added a disclaimer to our blog spot and to this individual blog, to inform readers of the nature of its content.

    Thank you for following The Safe Space and for sharing your thoughts, comments and concerns with us.

    Break the Cycle

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