Childrearing

Father Of Tarpon Springs Rape Victim Calls Out Rape Culture, Says We Need To Raise Our Sons Better

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tarpon springs rapeThe investigation into the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl in Tarpon Springs, Florida is still ongoing — despite whatever Dude Bro says about Tarpon Springs girls lying about their sexual assaults. But the father of the Jane Doe has sent a statement to Anonymous regarding his sentiments on what exactly happened to his daughter. And daddy is calling out the prevalence of rape culture as he sees it.

The unnamed father, whose identity is most likely be concealed to protect his daughter, specifically thanks the Tarpon Springs Police Department for their work. But he wastes no time in getting straight to the heart of victim-blaming:

I would like to be clear with the public and with all the accusers that have been wrongly calling my daughter out of her name; She is not having “next day” regrets. It wasn’t until the accused admitted to her what happened, that she fully realized the horrific reality of what happened that night. And now, since it has been brought to the light, it is in the state’s hands.

Contrary to “High School rumors and gossip”, my daughter was a virgin before this incident. THIS will be her memory for her 1st time! Unfortunately, this “rape culture” has become common place in the teen & young adult community of the US. This scene plays it’s self out over and over again across this country with varying conclusions. Sometimes it never sees the light of day, sometimes it haunts the girl for the rest of her life, but sometimes, like THIS time, the girl figures it out and finds the courage to talk to someone.

Daddy Doe also speaks to the commonality of this experience, for me evoking the now echoing adage about “Violence against women is as American as apple pie.” From Steubenville to Rehtaeh Parsons to Audrie Pott, Mr. Doe puts the spotlight squarely where it needs to be: on how we’re culturally failing our sons — not just our girls:

…we as a society have to be more vigilant and recognize situations like this and also teach our children how to react. Our SONS to be more respectful to women, Our DAUGHTERS to have more respect of themselves. But most of all, we need to teach them BOTH to not be BYSTANDERS to it all! Don’t be afraid to SPEAK UP, even if it’s a stranger.

And “speaking up” also speaks to the consistent failure of institutions — from Rehtaeh Parsons’s high school to Jerry Sandusky‘s employers ignoring his rape of young boys – institutions where people, administrators, staff members knew and chose to fail these children. Although he expresses disappointment in his daughter for her actions precluding her assault (i.e. underage drinking), he clarifies that this doesn’t mean she should be blamed for being assaulted. GO DAD:

My initial reaction was anger at my daughter for her deception. She has been raised to know better than to put herself in that position and I am very disappointed in her for the decisions she made leading up to her being violated. As parents, we try our best to give our children the best guidance possible, but ultimately it’s up to them to follow thru on it. Her lapse in judgement, however, does not condone the actions of the accused.

An Anonymous member behind the #OpStopShaming tells me that, at this time, Anonymous is staying out of the Tarpon Springs investigation, specifically because the Tarpon Springs Police Department is doing a bang up job, to his knowledge:

“I don’t believe that Anonymous is playing any part in the investigation. The Tarpon PD seem to be aggressively investigating. Our role has been to buffer the attacks coming at the alleged victim as part of OpStopShaming. Our message in this op is that victim shaming is unacceptable. The suspect has the right of innocence before guilt and she has the right to not be harassed and bullied,” they tell me.

Ditto, Daddy Doe.

(photo: Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock)