For eight months, the family of Audrie Potts struggled to figure out what happened to their soccer loving, artistic, horse crazy daughter, whose smile and shining eyes were inconsistent with their 15 year old daughter who committed suicide.
|And then on Thursday, seven months after the tragedy, a Northern California sheriff’s office arrested three 16-year-old boys on charges of sexual battery.
Audrie had been “… savagely assaulted by her fellow high school students while she lay on a bed completely unconscious.”
Disgusting. Alarming. But these incidents keep happening.
Now there is another young woman, media referred to the story as the Canadian Steubenville, who was sexually assaulted at age 15 and the four teenage boys were not prosecuted.
“Leah Parsons said she took her 17-year-old daughter, Rehtaeh, off life-support Sunday after she hanged herself last week…”*
Photos of Rehtaeh also went viral and instead of the four boys being bullied or harassed, the viewers of such evil turned on Rehtaeh, bullying, shunning and blaming the victim.
About 44% of rape victims are under the age of 18 and 93% of the rape victims age 18 and under knew the rapist. It is common for rape victims to suffer from the depression-untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide. About 33% of rape victims have suicidal thought.
No doubt there are thousands of more cases in many communities, never reported or publicized. If this happened to you at 12, 15, 17, 19, any age, would you get help? Would you know where to turn?
Those who are sexually assaulted,need to know there is someone to call. Find out if the schools, coffee shops, movie theaters, or places of worship in your community have the phone numbers and websites of local, state, or national rape or suicide hotlines posted in conspicuous areas.
This is how we can help. We can help throw out a life line to those who need someone to talk to in confidence, someone trained to help in crisis intervention.
I was tired of feeling hopeless and powerless about this area so I joined RAINN in a fundraiser. Help fund the hotline and educate people about sexual violence and recovery.
There are only 5 days left to achieve my goal. During April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) all donations will be matched. They are on RAINN’s secure website (it is cited as one of the 10 best charities by Marie Claire and Worth magazine). You will receive a tax deductible receipt.
On April 20, via a random drawing, an RAINN bracelet will be given to someone who donates to my fundraiser.
Be the change you want to see.
The Hotline phone # is 877-995-5247. The online helpline. Thank you for listening.