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14-Year-Old Pregnant Rape Victim Slut-Shamed in Indiana..UPDATE with more info

Posted by on Jun. 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM
  • 167 Replies
rape
Exactly. 

Photo by miker/Shutterstock

Anti-choicers love to wax poetic about how beautiful it is for teenage girls to "choose life," even when raped. Unfortunately, as a recent story out of Indiana shows, the reality is anything but beautiful. In the small town of Elwood, Ind., a 13-year-old girl was raped by a 17-year-old and impregnated. The victim opposes abortion, and while she briefly considered making an exception for herself in this case, she ultimately went ahead with the pregnancy. The result? She's become a target for abuse and harassment in Elwood, and the formerly outgoing young woman is now a recluse. The Indianapolis Star reports on some of the abuse she and her mother, Kristy Green, have endured: 

“I can’t walk out the door without someone calling me a whore or slut,” the girl said. “I used to have a lot of friends, or people I thought were my friends, but as soon as this happened I just isolated myself.”

The repeated vandalism incidents at the family’s home—including the words “whore” and “slut” scrawled on the garage doors—were reported to police. But Green said no charges were filed because there were no witnesses to the acts.

Her daughter also has been the target of mean-spirited rumors and speculation that her pregnancy is the result of promiscuous behavior.

This sort of thing reveals the inescapable contradiction at the heart of the anti-abortion movement: The very same sexual conservatism that gives rise to anti-abortion sentiment also produces slut-shaming and social ostracism of pregnant young and single women (not to mention rape victims). Avoiding the shame may actually drive a woman to get an abortion—not exactly the end result the anti-choicers want. For single pregnant women who are grown adults, this contradiction is finally collapsing under its own weight, contributing to the rise in single motherhood in red states. But for teenagers, the loving support for "choosing life" promised by the anti-abortion movement remains elusive. 

The girl and her mother are taking their story to the press, in part because they fear that the rapist—who was convicted of molesting three girls, one who was only 12 at the time of the crime—will get off with a slap on the wrist. (His sentencing is scheduled for this afternoon.) The publicity may help that cause, but sadly, it's probably not going to make life any easier for this family. As demonstrated by the events in Steubenville, Ohio;Cleveland, Texas; and Nova Scotia, being known as a rape victim doesn’t always get you much sympathy. 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/06/11/elwood_indiana_rape_case_14_year_old_pregnant_victim_speaks_out_about_the.htm


An Elwood girl became pregnant in a sexual assault at 13, her case illustrates a growing problem in Indiana

ELWOOD, IND. — UPDATE: Sentencing of the 17-year-old boy convicted in juvenile court of child molesting has been rescheduled from 1 p.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The young girl has felt the stares and endured the rumors running through this small town.

That uninformed reaction to a pregnancy at 13 is no real surprise. People here see a child having a child and are appalled.

What they don’t know is the back story: The pregnancy is the result of a sexual assault, a fact hidden behind the curtain of privacy that cloaks juvenile court proceedings in Indiana.

So the taunts, the gossip — and worse — continue.

Slurs scribbled on the garage doors at the girl’s home have been painted over, but their faint outlines — and the sting — still linger. They are remnants of repeated vandalism at the girl’s home after she told police that an older neighborhood boy had raped her.

The shadowy words peeking through fresh coats of white paint, however, are reminders of much more:

• A 13-year-old child’s innocence stolen as part of a disturbing trend in Indiana — the growing number of teens victimized by sexual assaults.

• A legal system — including a juvenile justice component focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment — that some advocates say lets down many victims of sex crimes.

• And, amid it all, a small-town family’s resilience in the face of life-changing adversity.

The young victim, now 14, is due to give birth to her baby son July 2. But an even more pressing deadline arrives Friday. That’s when the 17-year-old boy found guilty of molesting the girl — as well as two other victims, including one who was 12 at the time — will be sentenced for his crimes.

Kristy Green, the girl’s mother, is preparing for the worst. The Indianapolis Star typically does not name victims of sexual assaults and is not using the girl’s name in this story, but her mother volunteered to speak publicly about her daughter’s case.

The prosecutor said he will recommend the perpetrator be sentenced to the Indiana Department of Correction, but Green said she fears he might get only probation. Beyond that, she’s upset that he’s been free since he was charged in January — and even after being convicted on three child molesting charges in May.

“He’s never been incarcerated. He’s been out the whole time, going on with his life like nothing happened,” Green said. “But my daughter’s life will never be the same. She’ll never get to be a teenager. And there are two other victims. It’s just not right.”

"I thought he was cute"

The petite, raven-haired victim’s carefree life was turned upside down after she was sexually assaulted in September.

In an interview with The Star, the teen victim said she was at first excited when the high school boy who lived down the street began showing an interest in her. She was 13 and had just started the eight grade.

The Star is not naming the youth convicted in the assault because he is being prosecuted and sentenced as a juvenile. A message left with his family was not returned and court officials, citing confidentiality rules governing juvenile cases, would not provide the name of the boy’s attorney.

“I thought he was cute,” she admitted. “At first, I thought it was cool that he noticed me. But I didn’t want to date him because he was so much older than me.”

Still, they occasionally talked at school or when he walked past her house on his way home.

Then on Sept. 30, the boy sent her a text message. He said he liked her and thought she was cute. The message also asked her to come outside to talk to him.

They met in the alley behind the girl’s home.

After some small talk, the boy suggested they get in his car because it was getting chilly. That’s when the boy’s actions turned criminal.

“He really started flirting and then kissing me,” the girl said, “and it just escalated from there.”

The victim said he pushed her to have sex. Hoping to dissuade him, she told the boy she was on her period. But that didn’t work. He kept pushing her, physically overpowering the 95-pound girl.

“I was telling him ‘no,’ ‘no,’ ” she said, “but he wouldn’t stop.”

The frightened girl kept quiet about the incident for more than a month. In hindsight, Green said, she had noticed some changes in her daughter’s demeanor during that time. But she chalked it up to the mood swings of a teenage girl.

Then in November, the girl came to her mother. She had taken a home pregnancy test.

The result: positive.

“I just freaked,” Green said, “and called the police.”

Exceptions don't apply

Following an investigation that turned up two other victims, the 17-year-old suspect was charged in juvenile court in January with three counts of child molesting.

In addition to the case involving Green’s daughter, the charges allege the teen molested the other two young girls.

Under Indiana law, the age of consent for sex is 16. There is a “Romeo and Juliet” provision for teens in a dating relationship. But even then, a child has to be at least 14 and there cannot be more than a four-year age difference between the partners.

This case didn’t fall into either of those exceptions. Green’s daughter was 13 and not in a dating relationship with the boy.

Legal experts say prosecutors and judges have significant leeway in dealing with juvenile offenders. That includes charging offenders as adults where their actions are especially egregious or they are close to 18.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings, whose office is handling the case, said the confidential nature of juvenile proceedings prohibit him from talking about details of the case, including why the 17-year-old was not charged as an adult.

At a hearing May 3, a Madison County juvenile court judge found the three child molesting charges to be “true.” That’s the juvenile court equivalent of a guilty verdict.

Green said a victim assistance advocate recently warned her the boy may be sentenced only to probation. It’s a possibility she has trouble accepting — in part because the boy has remained free since the day he was charged.

“The fact that a 17-year-old can walk the street and not serve any jail time, but yet has three counts of child molestation that he has been found guilty of, to me is absolutely asinine,” Green said.

“I’m just very, very upset that Madison County hasn’t done their job. I couldn’t be there to protect her, and they sure have not done anything to help protect her either.”

Cummings said the girl’s family has no reason to be upset — at least not yet. He added that sentencing is the sole responsibility of the judge.

“I don’t know how they can be upset about something they don’t know. They have no idea what the sentence is going to be,” the prosecutor said.

“I’m not saying once the case is disposed of they’re not going to be unhappy about what happened. I don’t really think anybody knows what way it is going yet.”

But Cummings said his office will ask the judge to send the perpetrator to the Department of Correction based on the current conviction and two earlier cases involving a gun and a beating. The recommendation is based, in part, on a presentencing report prepared by the Probation Department. Unlike adult cases, the prosecutor said a request for jail time in juvenile court does not seek a specific term.

The judge, however, can sentence the teen to anything from probation to being held by DOC until he turns 21.

The presentencing report — which is confidential in both juvenile and adult cases — also will include a recommended sentence from the Probation Department.

“Honestly, in this case, with this judge,” Cummings said, “the Probation Department’s sentence (recommendation) carries a lot of weight.”

The unsettling prospect of a sexual predator escaping jail time or other serious consequences is nothing new to Anita Carpenter, CEO of the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

“We’ve got some pretty good laws on the books to hold perpetrators accountable, but one of the flaws of our system is that we don’t always use them to their fullest,” she said.

“There really isn’t enough accountability in the system for juveniles or adults. We see 18-year-olds sentenced for marijuana do more time than sex offenders. That speaks volumes about the need for more public awareness and outcry.”

Carpenter said a 2005 study that looked at sex crimes in all Indiana counties, except for Lake and Marion, found that of the 9,000 charges filed in a one-year period, only 9 percent resulted in a sex crime conviction.

We can’t continue,” she said, “to minimize and dismiss the crimes these sex offenders commit.”

Carpenter said the perceived lack of consequences may be one reason Indiana ranked second in the rate of high school females reporting they have been victims of sexual assault, according to a 2010 study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Statistics reveal one in six girls will become the victim of a sexual assault during their lifetime, she explained, and the risk is highest for teen girls.

The impact on teen victims and their families, Carpenter added, also can be the most dramatic.

“It is a hard circumstance for anyone to go through,” she said. “There will be a lifelong impact on that young girl. Who knows what kind of mental health challenges this child is going to face bringing a baby into the world and knowing it is the product of a rape.”

Keeping to herself

A former self-proclaimed “social bug” — she was a cheerleader and athlete — the young victim has become reclusive since learning she was pregnant.

“I can’t walk out the door without someone calling me a whore or slut,” the girl said. “I used to have a lot of friends, or people I thought were my friends, but as soon as this happened I just isolated myself.”

The repeated vandalism incidents at the family’s home — including the words “whore” and “slut” scrawled on the garage doors — were reported to police. But Green said no charges were filed because there were no witnesses to the acts.

Her daughter also has been the target of mean-spirited rumors and speculation that her pregnancy is the result of promiscuous behavior.

Green said she and her daughter were both opposed to abortion, but the topic came up after she learned her “baby girl” was pregnant.

“Under these circumstance,” Green said, “it would have been easier.”

But after a two-hour heart-to-heart conversation, her daughter held firm to her convictions.

“I just looked at my mom,” the girl recalled, “and told her I wanted to keep the baby.”

It is a decision, the girl acknowledged, that means she will never get to enjoy typical teenage activities and pursuits.

She already has scaled back her goal of attending the University of Michigan and studying to become a veterinarian.

Now, she’s hoping to attend an alternative school to earn her high school diploma, then possibly study to work in child care or as a hair stylist.

Green said she and the rest of her family have committed to helping with the baby but stressed that her daughter will be the mother.

It is a role the young victim says she is ready to accept, although it remains a daunting idea to grasp.

“I would not say I’m ready, because I’m terrified out of my mind, but I am getting used to the idea I’m going to be a mom,” the girl said.

“I still have some episodes where I think, ‘Why did this have to happen to me?’ and just go to my room and cry into the pillow.”

http://www.indystar.com/article/20130605/NEWS/306050112/An-Elwood-girl-became-pregnant-sexual-assault-13-Her-story-illustrates-growing-problem-Indiana-?gcheck=1

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by on Jun. 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

BUMP!

MeAndTommyLee
by Gold Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Since when is a 13 year old a young woman?  Young lady, sure..

She was raped.  I need to read this entire story void of emotionally charged bias.

lifeforchrist
by on Jun. 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM
4 moms liked this

I don't think peoples stupidity is warrant enough to kill a baby.

LucyMom08
by Gold Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM
3 moms liked this

 That's sad...and it makes me angry that she is being harassed for what that monster did to her...

I can't stand this mindset that many people have...how is it ever ok to shame a child for something like this?

 

LucyMom08
by Gold Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM
6 moms liked this

 What stupidity?

Quoting lifeforchrist:

I don't think peoples stupidity is warrant enough to kill a baby.

 

Arroree
by Ruby Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM
1 mom liked this

That poor girl :(

gigis1
by Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM
That poor girl. How can people be such assholes
Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 3:04 PM
5 moms liked this
So she is being victimized twice. I wonder if her pregnancy has anything to do with the slut shaming? Are people mad because the 17 year old is charged with rape, and if course blame the victim.

I'm glad she chose what feels right for her.
gigis1
by Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 3:04 PM
9 moms liked this
I believe the word You're looking for is " fetus"

Quoting lifeforchrist:

I don't think peoples stupidity is warrant enough to kill a baby.

Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM
1 mom liked this
She chose not to abort. This is about slut shaming.

Quoting lifeforchrist:

I don't think peoples stupidity is warrant enough to kill a baby.

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