Thursday, March 31, 2011

Post About 11-year-old Gang Rape Survivor

Some posts just write themselves, others I just struggle with.  This post is one of those that I am struggling with.  It is a continuation of the posts about the 11-year-old little girl who was gang raped in the town of Cleveland, Texas around Thanksgiving of 2010.  The rapists are still being arrested.  So far the number is up to 18.  One source that I read this week says that number may go up to 28.  The judge has placed a gage order upon the case.  The little girl has been taken from her home and placed in a foster home in another school district, for her protection.  She and her family had been receiving threatening phone calls.

Before I get into my feelings about this gang rape, I want to share two links with you. 

The first one is a link to RAINN which is the RAPE, ABUSE & INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK ( http://www.rainn.org/ ).  Be sure to check out the statistics about victims and sexual assault.  RAINN also has a page called "Reporting Rape" which answers several questions like, "Am I required to report to the police?", "How do I report the rape to the police.", "Is there a time limit on reporting to the police?" , "What if I need time to think about whether I want to pursue prosecution?" and other questions that face a rape victim within hours of the rape.  If you have been raped, please use this resource.

The second is a link to The Journey to Closure blog ( http://journeytoclosure.com/2011/03/08/recovering-from-sexual-abuse/ )  The title of this article is called "Recovering From Sexual Abuse."  It talks about adults recovering from sexual abuse and states that there are some differences for children who were abused.

At The Journey to Closure blog, you are asked "WHAT IS SEXUAL ABUSE?"
"Sexual abuse or assault occurs when one person forces any unwanted sexual contact onto another person.  It can involve a stranger, friend, partner, or acquaintance.  It can involve any type of unwanted sexual behavior."  This post is talking about sexual abuse or assault of an adult.  The Journey to Closure blog is a great resource if you are male or female and are dealing with sexual abuse.

Why don't we just call it RAPE.  That is what it was for the little girl from Cleveland, Texas but it wasn't just one person.  It was somewhere between 18 and 28.  No one is sure yet.  The police are still investigating.  Gang rape - I cannot imagine the physical and emotional pain, fear and humiliation that this child felt at the hands of her rapists.  It is said that some of these men raped her more than once.  They had the audacity to video record it on their phones and pass it around in their community.  This is how they were caught.  The little girl did not turn them in.  I can imagine how ashamed, fearful and hurt she felt.  The shame of being abused belongs to the rapists but is usually taken on by the victim of the rape.   The shame, which isn't even ours, is what usually keeps us from telling.

This week, I have been collecting newspaper articles online and blog posts that have been written about the 11-year-old little girl who was gang raped back in November of 2010 three days after Thanksgiving.  I have been following this story and sharing it here on my blog because I am so outraged by an article that was written by James C. McKinley, Jr. in the New York Times on March 8, 2011.  In his article, James McKinley, Jr. slanted his words toward blaming the 11-year-old for being where she shouldn't be (a poor part of town, in a car with a 19-year-old, on a playground with teenage boys), for drawing these boys into acts that they wouldn't do ordinarily, and for dressing older than her age.  McKinley, Jr. interviewed several women in the community whose words supported his slanted views of the gang rape away from the men who committed these horrendous acts of RAPE back to the child who was the victim.

In my first two posts about this gang rape, the ages of the rapists were described as middle-schoolers up to a 27-year-old man.   On my Facebook page where I posted about this topic, one person thought that even I was downplaying the ages of the boys/men and in effect protecting them.  If you read that into my other posts, please know that I am sorry for that.  That was never my intention.  These young men do not need protecting they are not the victims here.  They are the ones who should be held responsible for the gang rape of this child.  I finally found an article this week that told me that the youngest of the rapists was 14 years old.  "Middle school" age makes them sound a lot younger than they were.  From now on, I will call the entire group young men.  At my age (59), even 27 is young.  In my book, they are all men and should be tried as such in the courts.

I have found over 20 newspaper articles written about this topic and 5 blog posts.  Here I will share with you 4 of the blog posts.  I thank all 4 bloggers for writing about this topic.  More people need to be made aware of what happened so that we can stop it from happening again.  Stop blaming the victim and start blaming the rapists.

1.  from Tracie blog wrote "Rape is Not Funny" @
http://www.fromtracie.com/2011/03/rape-is-not-funny.html

2.  Dances With God wrote "Cleveland, Texas - Not all gang members wear their colors" @
http://danceswithgod.blogspot.com/2011/03/cleveland-texas-not-all-gang-members.html

3.  Evil Sits at the Dinner Table wrote "Does the New York Times Blame an Eleven Year-Old Girl For Being Gang-Raped?" @
http://ordinaryevil.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/does-the-new-york-times-blame-an-eleven-year-old-girl-for-being-gang-raped/

4.  My Brown Baby blog wrote "Gang Rape in Texas:  When Will We Stop Sacrificing Girls In Defense of Black Boys?" @
http://mybrownbaby.com/2011/03/gang-rape-of-11-year-old-in-texas
Near the beginning of this post, I told you that I would tell you how I feel about this whole gang rape situation, so here I go.

I am angry at Cleveland, Texas - at least at the women who spoke in McKinley, Jr.'s New York Times article.  I hurt for that little girl.  She is being revictimized by the community and the newspapers that I have read.  If I lived in Cleveland, I would be ashamed to call myself a citizen of a town that blames this little girl.  Again, I know that not the whole town feels this way but where are the citizens who should be speaking up for this little girl.  I only read one statement from a man that said that what happened was wrong. 

One of the posts that I read this week on the computer came from Reporter Kristine Galvan on my Fox 26 News, Houston.  Ms Galvan visited Cleveland and interviewed Anita Ellis Hancock, the mother of  19-year-old Timothy Ellis who according to his mother was the only one who turned himself in for the rape. 

Hancock asked the question, where was the little girl's mother when the rape was happening?  Isn't turn around fair play?  I want to ask Hancock, where were you when your son was raping this child?  Why did you not teach your son to respect girls and women?  Where did you fail?  That is my anger speaking.  The reality is that Timothy Ellis is responsible for his rape of this child.  Blaming the mothers is another way of shifting the blame away from the rapists.

I was so angry at what Hancock said about the little girl lying about her age of 11.  According to Hancock the only thing that her son did wrong was to not ask for identification to show that the girl was not 17 as he claims the child says she was.  Again, who cares how old that child ( C-H-I-L-D ) was.  Anybody that lives in a small town knows how old every child in that town is, or at least in their neighborhood is.  They believed she was 17 because they wanted to.  The last time that I heard the legal age of becoming an adult was 18, not 17.  Even if the child was 17, she would still be considered a
C-H-I-L-D.    Do you think if I made the letters bigger they would get the message that this little girl is a child, not an adult.  But guess what, even if she was 18 and an adult, gang rape is still rape.

I got so angry at Anita Ellis Hancock during her interview that I was yelling at her on my computer.  Just reading the interview, which you will find here - New Developments in Cleveland Gang Rape Case, has me wanting to do violence of my own to this woman.  This woman cares nothing for the fact that her son was responsible for raping a little girl.  All she is angry about is that her son didn't ask for identification.  Where is her heart?  Where is her compassion for this little girl who her son Timothy raped along with 17 others?

Here is one more blog post that I want to share with you.  If you don't read any of the other blog article that I have posted here, please read this one.  Here is the link to "Little Girl Loved:  A Letter For the Cleveland, Texas Child---From a Black Father Who Cares

@ http://mybrownbaby.com/2011/03/black-father-kicks-off-a-love-letter-campaign-in-support-of-the-11-year-old-gang-rape-victim-in-cleveland-texas/ . 

Thank you Denene@MyBrownBaby for posting this letter on your blog.  Thank you Mr. Nick Chiles for writing this wonderful letter to this hurting child.  Yes, there are black men who protect and love their little girls and who raise their young black men to respect girls and women.  Thank you for reminding us of this.

By the way, something that I didn't find out until a few days ago, the little girl is a Latino and the rapists were all black men.  Does that make a difference? Not to me.  I hope it doesn't to you.  Should it make a difference?  No, rape is rape and rapists are rapists, no matter what color or nationality or what country they are from.  I will leave you with one more question:  Have you taught your children to respect all human beings?  We teach respect by being respectful to others.  Children need to be taught respect for themselves and for others.  If more children were taught this, then rapes and bullying would never happen.
Patricia

Related articles:

Roxane Gay On The Rumpus.net Writes "The Careless Language of Sexual Violence" @
http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2011/03/roxane-gay-on-rumpusnet-writes-careless.html

NY Times Article - James C. McKinley, Jr. Writes "Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town" @
http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2011/03/ny-times-article-james-c-mckinley-jr.html

12 comments:

Denene said...

I absolutely love this post and agree with the sentiment: This is a child, her attackers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and we as a society need to really step up our protection and compassion for all victims of rape. Thank you for linking to my humble blog and for using your courageous voice.

Patricia Singleton said...

Denene, Thank you and you are very welcome for the link to your blog. I hope that others who read both of our blogs will continue to speak out about this little girl.

From Tracie said...

I was absolutely horrified to see the mom of one of the rapists being interviewed and saying it was the victim's mom's fault because she wasn't with her daughter. So ridiculous!

And you are absolutely correct, rape is rape....even if she was an adult!

I cried and cried reading that letter from Nick Chiles. So moving and powerful.

I didn't know about the race of the girl or her attackers at first, either. But now that I do know...it doesn't change the way I feel about the situation at all.

Respect is key!!

Thank you for linking to my post...and for continuing to spread the word about this situation!!

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie,you are very welcome for the link back to your post. I am glad that you wrote about this little girl as well.

The Nick Chiles letter was powerful. I was rereading everything yesterday and I got angry all over again. I hope that is everyone's reaction and that others will continue to speak out for this little girl. She still has long days ahead of her as the whole thing goes to trial.

Colleen said...

Thanks for writing about this. We cannot remain silent about child sexual abuse and rape any more. This story makes me very angry.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, you are very welcome. It made me angry enough that I have written 3 blog posts about the gang rape. We cannot remain silent and let this continue to happen.

From Tracie said...

Reading through this again.....I'm thankful for your voice speaking out for survivors who have been silenced, who have been bashed and criticized, who are not able to speak out for themselves. Thank you.

Thank you for sharing this with the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse!

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie, you are very welcome. When will be Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse be posted for April? I looked for it earlier and didn't find it up yet.

Gail O'Keeffe said...

Being a victim of rape as a child myself...reading this makes me sad and very angry!

Patricia Singleton said...

Gail, my feelings exactly when I read the newspaper articles about the way this child was treated.

From Tracie said...

It is up now! I'm hosting....I had some issues with my computer last night, so it was a day late.

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie, thank you. My computer and/or Facebook have been acting strange for me the past few days. Will check out your blog post and write up on featuring the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse over the next few days.