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There is a website that I dig. It’s called Sevenly (Sevenly.org, to be exact). Every week, it designs a shirt in honor of a charity that you can purchase (so that some of the proceeds will go to it). Well, this past week, the charity was The Mocha Club which is an organization that provides food and education to children in African communities. One of the T-shirt designs features the African Proverb “It Takes a Village”. The rest of that saying was left off but it’s “…to raise a child.”
I thought about that, a lot actually, as I read a recent news story that basically made my stomach turn. Some of you might be familiar with it. A 16-year-old girl in Houston, went to a party, drank something that was handed to her and then passed out. Following, she discovered that she had been sexually assaulted.
How? First it was because there was a video and picture of her alleged assault posted on social media (I know, right?) And then people---mostly teenagers---started mimicking her passed out position following her alleged rape and posting it the internet as well with a hashtag that had her name followed by the word “pose”.
As if that’s not horrific enough, her alleged rapist decided to mock her as well with statements like “How’s it rape? You had two months to say something but you ain’t say s—it until it’s exposed” and “The hoe forced, snitched, and still look like a fiend from deadend.”
Wow. Where do we begin?
Can someone tell that child---the alleged rapist, I mean---that people get arrested everyday by incriminating themselves on social media? Then can someone track down all of those other children who were mimicking the rape position and let them know that rape is not sex, it’s a crime and there’s nothing funny about it (can you also tell them that taking their own naked picture will result in their own nudity being on the internet for far long than this news story will last)? And then can someone tell the victim’s mom that if her daughter is bold and strong enough to speak up, she should be courageous enough to show her own face and be by her daughter’s side?
Honestly, what got to me the most about this story (aside from the fact that it reminds me of what 2 Timothy 3 says about the last days and a part of it is that people will be unholy, unloving and brutal) is that it reminded me of when I was a teen mom director for the local chapter of a national non-profit. I say that because, unfortunately, the story that I just shared is disturbing but it’s not rare.
So many questions…
What kind of party was going on where there was alcohol being served to minors and so little supervision that a child could even be sexually assaulted?
What kind of upbringing did the alleged rapist have that he felt the need to take to Twitter and basically badger his own victim?
What is going on, globally, that other children (CHILDREN) would mimic what I consider to be a crime scene by (some of them) taking off their own clothes, getting in the same position as the victim, taking a picture and posting it themselves?
And let me say this: If anyone is tempted to think that is only “worldly children”, a lot of the highly-sexually active, porn-addicted, broken and in-way-over-their-heads kids that I dealt with were in church every weekend.
There’s not nearly enough time or space to get into all of this in one blog post but for now, I just want to plant that seed. As my godchild’s mother and I were discussing this story, we both sighed as she said “These are the kids that Grace will be growing up with.” Being that my godchild is only three, I interjected and said “No. Grace will have to deal with those kids’ kids.”
And honestly, that’s a sobering thought. Scary, if you think about it too long.
Love, sex, self-respect---these are not things that any of us automatically understand. (Tweet This!) They have to be taught and (eh hem, adults) modeled. Not just by parents but by all people that children and teenagers see.
Yeah. That T-shirt speaks volumes.
It really does take a village to raise a child.
And newsflash: Many of our villages are crumbling.
Bigger newsflash: We have a lot (MILLENIUMS WORTH) of work to do.
It Truly Does Take a Village by XXXchurch.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.