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Editorial: Rape of unconscious girl troubling on many levels

The reported rape of a Valley High School student who was drugged unconscious and assaulted during a private party in November, based on pictures and a video posted on Instagram, is troubling on several levels.

The assault is horrible enough, but consider the response by others at the party. Instead of calling police or intervening even verbally on the victim’s behalf, at least one partier chose to record the attack in a video that appears to pick up his despicable and degrading thoughts about the helpless girl. It would appear no male or female there who may have known about the attack had the substance to stand up for someone who had been incapacitated.

But the disturbing behavior does not stop there. Someone then posted the video online, apparently thinking of it as a source of entertainment or pride.

The shamelessness of the victim’s peers continued when the girl returned to school and reported being taunted in the halls. One of her close friends said the victim tried to commit suicide and briefly was hospitalized.

An Albuquerque Public Schools official says one student was disciplined, but won’t disclose the reason. Could the school have done more in a way that might help to protect future victims?

Albuquerque police are investigating, but they have not acted quickly enough for the victim’s friend who posted a screen shot taken from the video in an attempt to put pressure on investigators.

Maybe “Lord of the Flies” isn’t required reading anymore, but perhaps it should be if peer pressure is such that young people appear to willingly accept animalistic group behavior they know is wrong – and then ridicule the victim.

Rape isn’t a new problem, so it’s hard to fathom that some people need to be told that they have a role in stopping it. Anyone can call 911. If nothing else, they should remember that they could be the victim next time.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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