Victims of rape very often carry the scars of the assault for the remainder of their lives, and in extreme cases, shorten those lives considerably. In some cases, while the victims are blamed, the rapists are supported by their friend and communities . This is what happened in several high profile cases Rehtaeh Parsons from Cole Harbour NS, Audrie Pott Saratoga California, and the unnamed victim in Steubenville, Ohio.
In recent events in two cases, the perpetrators in the 2012 rape and subsequent suicide of Audrie Pott have named her parents and friends as responsible for her death. Her parents have filed a wrongful death suit against the families of three boys who were accused of sexually assaulting their daughter at a party. Ms. Pott apparently succumbed after enduring severe cyberbullying on social media. Philip Pereira, the lawyer for the plaintiffs is attempting to turn the tables on the family.
The Potts alleged in the wrongful death suit that Audrey killed herself because she became distraught over the incident at the party and the knowledge that the photos of her had been circulated.
In his answer, Pereira disputed the Potts’ allegations that the incidents at the party and afterwards alone led to Audrie’s suicide.
He claimed that other factors “were set in motion years before the events alleged” in the suit “and culminated immediately before the suicide with an altercation between Audrey Pott and two of her friends who are not named as defendants in this matter.”
Pereira, without providing specific details, claimed that there was “an intervening and supervening event not involving” his client “that led to Audrey Pott’s suicide immediately thereafter.”
I can’t comment on the legal validity of the claim of ‘wrongful death’ and lawyers often reach to provide the best possible defense for their clients. It is the concept of the claim that victims are responsible for their own calamity that I find disturbing. We’ll have to wait for the trial outcome to see how successful this claim is.
In Steubenville, one of the convicted rapists, Ma’lik Richmond, has been freed from prison after serving 9 months of his one year sentence. Mr. Richmond, along with the other attackers and enablers was strongly supported by the community, while the victim was vilified. The support reached all the way to ABC News, where the focus of a story was on how the events have destroyed Richmond’s life, with no mention of the consequences to the victim.
Upon his release last week, Richmond’s lawyer issued a statement that again emphasized the impact on Richmond while ignoring the victim.
“The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma’Lik and his extended family,” Madison said. “At sixteen years old, Ma’Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagine for any adult yet alone child. He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life.”
The rapists aren’t to blame for anything. If only those girls weren’t such sluts, their lives wouldn’t be affected at all. Poor fuckers.