This, via a whole bunch of Shakers, though Elle was the first to send it to me late last night, is one of the most profoundly upsetting stories that's come across my desk, so to speak, in five years of blogging. I couldn't even get through reading the details of the case without sobbing.
The details are these [again, strong trigger warning]: A fifteen-year-old girl was brutally gang-raped for more than two hours by at least four assailants, each of whom committed multiple sexual assaults, while as many as 15 other young men stood and watched, and not a single one of them called police or in any way helped the victim.
The attack happened on school grounds during a high school Homecoming Dance, and as witnesses went back in, they would tell other young men, who went out to watch and/or participate. Police were called after someone overheard people who had attended the assault scene "reminiscing about the incident," and found the victim just before midnight, lying under a bench where her rapists had abandoned her, unconscious and in critical condition.
According to authorities, the victim was flown to an area hospital in critical condition. She was in stable condition Monday, police said.I really can't begin to sufficiently convey my profound compassion for the survivor of this inhuman assault, my sadness at thinking about what enormous work her recovery will be, my grief, my anguish, my terror that no one helped her, my fervent wish for justice.
"This just gets worse and worse the more you dig into it," [Lt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond, CA police department] said. "It was like a horror movie after looking at the evidence. I can't believe not one person felt compelled to help her."
There's a lot to process; I know a lot of Shakers who've read this story want a safe space in which to talk about it and what they're feeling. So I'm just going to open it up without any real commentary, because I don't know what to say.