In Elwood, Indiana, there’s a 13-year-old girl who’s going to have a baby. While that’s shocking and sad in and of itself, what’s sadder is the rest of her story: she got pregnant as a victim of rape and now the people in her small town are harassing her.
The Indiana Star says the girl’s mother Kristy Green is furious at the treatment her daughter and the entire family is receiving. Friends have abandoned them and her home has been vandalized by graffiti reading “whore” and “slut”.
Green’s daughter reported her 17-year-old neighbor for raping her and the boy was charged in January. He has since been free, even though an investigation has found two other victims. He’s being prosecuted as a child but the girl’s lawyers hope to have him tried as an adult. The boy, whose name is being withheld because he was tried as a minor, will be sentenced this week. He has been found guilty of three counts of child molestation.
The victim, who weighed just 95 pounds, told the Star that she thought the older boy was cute. She was excited when he began paying attention to her. A chat outside the school turned into something much scarier once he invited her into his car. He insisted on sex and soon overpowered her. The girl didn’t reveal the crime until she realized she was pregnant a month afterward. Even if the defense was to argue that the act was consensual, the incident would still fall under statutory rape because the girl was 13 at the time.
This case has many upset at the possibility that the boy in the case will escape with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The Star says this possibility highlights, “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.”
Even at her young age, the girl has decided to carry the child to term and become a mother. She felt an abortion went against her beliefs, but standing up for this belief is a major part of what has led her to become ostracized. For Amanda Marcotte at Double X, it also highlights some of the hypocrisy held by many in the anti-abortion camp:
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.
We hope this young girl and her baby, who is due July 2 continue to get the support her family has promised to provide and her attacker’s crimes don’t go unpunished.