**TW: Sexual assault and rape**
Audrie & Daisy is an amazing Netflix documentary that follows, in particular, two teenagers who were sexually assaulted and raped (among other brave young women who also shared their stories).
If you haven’t watched the documentary, you need to do so immediately.
It’s similar to The Hunting Ground, and perhaps even more moving.
Unfortunately, Audrie’s story is presented via third person (mainly her parents), because she committed suicide soon after she was raped.
She was raped whilst unconscious, and the boys responsible took photos and shared them everywhere.
Audrie, like with most sexual assault and rape cases, was blamed.
She was the slut who should have known better.
It was too much for her; and she chose to end her life as a result.
However, whilst Daisy also attempted to take her life, she was unsuccessful and therefore able to share her story.
Daisy tells the story of her and her best friend, Paige, and how they were drinking one night in her bedroom, when her older brother’s friend messaged her, asking if she wanted to join him and his friends.
To Daisy, this seemed like a dream come true.
The girls were fourteen.
And older boys wanted to hang out with them.
The girls snuck out of Daisy’s house, drunk, and then they were plied with more alcohol.
Paige was sexually assaulted.
Daisy was raped, photographed, videoed and then dumped outside her parents’ house, and left to freeze overnight.
It was so cold her hair froze to the ground.
She was still unconscious when her mother found her the next morning.
Yet, despite all of this, this isn’t the most disturbing aspect of the case (that was originally never taken to court).
It was all the victim-blaming from both the sheriff and the media.
The sheriff, Darren White, despite being told by multiple people that there was video evidence of the crime, believed that they were lying. He felt this way despite the fact that the boys responsible for the rape admitted to the fact that they’d videotaped the assault.
“The phone was sent to the forensic laboratory in Kansas City. Their report came back, said that whatever was on that phone was deleted and that through the magic of Apple computers, when they say delete, they mean delete. It’s not like a regular computer or an Android phone, where you can go back … Where you can go back. [And] you can piece stuff back together on a hard drive. [All] the people saying that there’s a video out there, all the people saying they saw the video, there’s no way nice way to say it, they’re liars. You know, unfortunately, you have a lot of people involved in this that are running around and telling a lot of stories. Um, and you know, without pointing fingers, uh, it serves to benefit people’s causes by making things up that didn’t happen and really doesn’t exist. But don’t underestimate the need for attention. Especially young girls. There’s a lot of pressure on young girls in our society to be pretty, to be liked, to … be the popular one. All of those things.”
However, a quick Google search illustrates that this couldn’t be further from the truth: that a forensic laboratory should have been able to find a deleted video, as Apple Support alone can tell me how to recover deleted documents, videos and photos.
However, the conversation takes a turn when he states that, “Nothing that occurred that night ever, ever rose to the level of the elements of the crime of rape. [Forcible] compulsion is the primary component of the crime of rape. You know, it’s just not there.”
The interviewer, clearly surprised about the Sheriff’s statement, asked him directly how it could be consensual if one of the parties involved wasn’t conscious.
And if it couldn’t get any worse, the Sheriff continued later in the documentary, “As near as I can tell, the boys are the only ones that have decided that they wanna put this behind them, and try to move on with their lives, and try to make something of themselves. They … I think all of them, [are], um, going to college, and working and trying to do better. And this is one of our real fatal flaws of our society. Is that it’s always … it’s always the boys. It’s not always the boys. The girls … [have] as much culpability in this world as the boys do. So, you know, everybody has to take their part of it.”
The interviewer points out how the boys were responsible, and were the ones that committed the crime.
White’s response to this was to laugh and ask, “Were they?”
And this is the problem.
This is rape culture.
The Sheriff, who believes that Daisy wasn’t raped. The Sheriff, who believes that the boys should be rewarded for moving on after raping someone. The Sheriff, who decides that, because there was no video evidence on the one phone he checked, that everyone was lying about the video – including the boys who made the video.
The Fox News host, who said, “But what did she expect to happen at 1.00 o’clock in the morning, after sneaking out?”
Because, apparently, a fourteen-year-old should expect to be raped.
This is rape culture.
This desire to blame the victim and spare the rapist.
The idea that women are ‘asking for it’.
That the future of a boy is more important than the victim he raped.
It’s a culture we need to change.
Originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise.
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