Protestors took to the streets of Rio de Janiero, Brazil on Friday, May 27, following the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl. They carried bouquets of flowers, signs, and a message: end the culture of rape that allows such atrocities to take place.
According to CNN, a 38-second clip of the girl—naked, bloody and, unconscious—was posted to Twitter last week. In it, a man can be heard saying that “at least 30″ men had had sex with her. Since it was posted, the young girl has been flooded with messages accusing her of deserving what had happened, that it was her fault, or that nothing had happened at all. Along with the accusations have come violent threats—some even against the girl’s life.
“I can’t leave home,” she told a local news show over the weekend, her face pixelated to protect her identity. “On Facebook, I had 900,000 messages. They said if I went to some community or other, I was going to die.”
As the girl described in an interview with a CNN affiliate: “I fell asleep and woke up in a completely different place, with a man under me, one on top of me and two holding me down, on my hands. Many people laughing at me, and I was drugged, out of it. Many people with guns, boys laughing and talking.”
Despite the video evidence and the girl’s testimony, local police seem hesitant to say anything happened for sure. “The investigation has to be a little more technical to determine whether there was really a rape,” police chief Alessandro Thiers said in a press conference on Friday.
This is exactly what the protestors in Rio de Janiero are seeking to bring attention to: the lack of response by police and the horrible backlash the girl—the victim—has been forced to endure. “This case has served to show how Brazilians are extremely chauvinistic as to fabricate horrible comments and blame the victim,” Laura Nunes, one of the protest’s organizers, told dw.com. “This is absurd. Nothing, nothing justifies rape.”
“If I have to wait for the justice system, they’ve already shown that nothing is going to happen,” said the victim. “I am waiting for the justice of God. That might be late but it never fails.”