What about the girl?

Stuck in traffic this evening, listening to the news on Radio 4. A young girl of eight has been raped by two ten-year-old boys. The case was taken to the Crown Court and the boys have been let off with a severe warning and custodial sentence of two years. The boys, one a model pupil, will be offered help and counselling. The parents of the boys will be made to take parenting classes for a year. They too will be offered help in coming to terms with what their boys have done, because it must be awful for them. There was much made of the fact that this case should never have come to the Crown Court but should have been dealt with in a Junior Court, or whatever it is called.

You might have heard me screaming in that line of traffic. For not one word was said about the girl who was raped and what help she would be offered. Not one word.

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9 thoughts on “What about the girl?

  1. I agree with you about the effect on the girl, there was no comment about any counselling she and her family I hope have been offered.

    A few corrections to your posting – the boys were convicted of attempted rape and given three year supervision orders.

    However the girl said she had made up the story in court. If the attempted rape took place she will be traumatised for a very long time to come. If she has lied – as it is reported she said in court – then it will on her concious for the rest of her life.

    This is a sad case. I was in London around the time of the trial and there was extensive coverage in the local media at the time.

    I have tried to find some of the articles about the case, linked below:

    BBC News – Girl, eight, ‘raped by two 10-year-old boys’ in London

    Evening Standard – Boys aged 10 and 11 guilty of trying to rape 8-year-old girl

    Evening Standard – Mother tells of her shock as daughter, 8, made rape claim

    BBC News – Girl, eight, says 10-year-old boys ‘did not rape her’

    Evening Standard – 11-year-old boys sentenced for trying to rape of girl, eight

  2. you know it made the news all the way out here, and again not a word about the girl… think the response of the BBC was universal.. sad sad

  3. Thanks Stewart. Another justification for my decision long ago never to trust newspapers or the press. Look at all those different headlines – which one is true?

    But whether the girl was raped or not, it does not justify reporting on the case purely from the boys’ and their parents’ point of view.

  4. Could be Andrew, but they didn’t have to name her. Just acknowledge her. But perhaps there is not help for the victims after – only the perpetrators.

  5. I do not know anything at all about this case and cannot comment.

    However I do know somebody who was allegedly the victim of a crime and who was put in touch with Victim Support and who did indeed receive lengthy and uncritical support from them. They encouraged her, in a situation which was actually one of endless tit-for-tat, to see herself as wholly innocent, and very much a victim, while the other party were wholly black sheep and very very evil. The result was a situation which deteriorated markedly, with the ‘victim’ feeling fully justified in ever more aggressive and manipulative behaviour. I was not left impressed by the consequences of that way of supporting victims.

  6. Today’s Metro reported the Judge as saying he hoped the girl and her family would get the support they deserved.
    So hopefully this is more a case of bias on the part of the press than the court.

  7. Rosemary, I think there is a move with some groups to think of people as survivors rather than victims for that very reason.

    Kirstine, maybe its just the BBC then that are at fault. Which was what I was getting at really.

  8. It is very hard – on the one hand one wants to acknowledge evil done. On the other, there is sometimes wrong on both sides. I knew the case of which I wrote very very well, and beyond doubt it was not a simple case of an innocent party and a guilty one. It was one of those occasions where both sides were guilty of endless provocation. If one has a home and it is broken into – that is simple. Cases where two parties know each other are not always so. In this instance, the ‘survivor’ had done much to bring about the situation in question. This is quite often so. The survivor had the skill to manipulate the authorities so that the perpetrators appeared wholly in the wrong.

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