Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The "Riot Rape"

The Daily Mail reported this as "the most depraved incident to emerge from the riots" and I am inclined to agree. On the 13th August, a 15 year old boy from south London appeared before Camberwell Green magistrates’ court charged with robbing a 13 year old girl of her BlackBerry mobile phone and then raping her. The Daily Mail mistakenly reported that the incident took place during the day on the 8th August, amidst the Woolwich riots. The Guardian then reported correctly that the perpetrator attacked his victim at around 21:00 on the 9th August - many hours after the riots had died down... Thus not a "riot rape," just a rape. Right?


Of course the details of where and when the assault happened are key to the assailant's conviction and yes, the Daily Mail's article was inaccurate, but that aside I don't think their take on events was entirely misleading. The Guardian argues that the Daily Mail wrongfully linked this heinous crime to the riots adding a much more sinister and alarming edge to the capital's disorder. In a sense, the Daily Mail allocated partial responsibility of the rape to the anarchy caused by the rioters, looters and vandals in our community. I partially agree - the only separation between the rape and the riot was the assailant's intelligence to wait until the police had left the area to avoid being caught. In my opinion the blatant display of disrespect, mass thuggery and animalism seen in the riots was enough to incite further unlawfulness in this individual. The general air of hysteria, aggravation and the authorities' distraction could have provided some sort of encouragement to an opportunistic sexual predator.

The feral mob rule on the streets, the rage, boredom and immorality of our youths was crushing to witness last week. The sickness of our society reached a climax that will undoubtedly be seen again. That same sickness was in the eyes of the 15 year old boy when he forced himself onto an innocent minor. The pedantic deliberation of how to label this crime is somewhat irrelevant - the raping of the teenage girl WAS "the most depraved incident to emerge from the riots."

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