Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 5.29.39 AM__1381919242_74.134.205.46I’ve been covering the story of the Maryville rapes for a few days now and I have been awed by the strength and bravery of Daisy and Melinda Coleman who have been telling their story to the press and appearing on national television. Now the other victim in the case, Paige Parkhurst, along with her mom Robin Bourland, have appeared on Aljazeera America to tell their story. Watching the video you are really struck how young Paige is, she is really just a baby. As a mom of a young girl I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for these parents to watch their daughters go through this. In the interview she discusses how the night of the attacks went down.

And we got there, and they just started handing her drink after drink after drink. And they had separated us as soon as we got there. And another boy that was there with me, had taken me into another room, and had sexually assaulted me, after me telling him no, pushing him away. And after he was done, he made me go back out into the living room with him, and we sat and waited until Matt was done with Daisy. And I had walked into Matt’s room, and she was incoherent. She couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk, and just was talking like a baby pretty much.

… I was intoxicated before we left the house. She

[Daisy]

was also, but they gave her even more when she got there. They drug

her out of his bedroom window, drug

[sic]

her to the car, and then they were going to drop us off, but they were freaking out, trying to think of how they were going to drop us off without any of her brothers waking up. And they took her and carried her to the back corner of her house and left her there. And they told me to go inside, that all she needed to do was to sober up, and that she would be okay, and they were gonna be there and watch her.

It was very scary. I was really confused and didn’t understand what was fully going on. I was in shock and really worried about my friend. It was freezing out. I don’t know. There was just a lot of things going through my mind.

Yesterday the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, Peter Kinder, called for a grand jury investigation into the case. I’d like to think that a lot of this is due to the attention this case has received because of the original article in the Kansas City Star and the efforts of Anonymous and activist groups, who have been working hard to arrange a protest for the victims and spread the news of the case online. Not everyone is so thrilled about the efforts of Anonymous to shed light on this case and support the victims, as Gawker‘s Adrien Chen wrote yesterday:

Anonymous certainly helped bring attention to Steubenville, which may have influenced the decision to convene a new grand jury which just indicted a Steubenville high school IT guy for allegedly helping football players cover up that case. But it’s hard to see how a bunch of anonymous bros swooping in from the internet and avenging random rape victims is sustainable way to fight rape culture. Maybe they’ll be more careful this time, but given the early chatter, I doubt it.

Considering the world is crawling with bros unaffiliated with Anonymous who do nothing but rape and spread rape culture, I’m at least grateful that actual Anonymous bros (and the thousands of women affiliated with Anonymous, and by Chen using a term like
“bro” which is sort of universal code for “douchebag” well, that’s pretty offensive anyway) are doing something to try and make a difference regarding how we treat rape victims and view sexual assault.  When other victims who are terrified of telling their stories see groups like Anonymous supporting rape victims it may give them the bravery to come forward. I don’t believe hackers should harass random people they think are involved in the case but here’s the deal, the majority of people affiliated with Anonymous don’t either.There will always be random people in the world who go about things the wrong way but the majority of people I know affiliated with Anonymous want nothing but justice to be served in cases like this and the victims in cases like this to heal and feel that they weren’t all alone when they have been the victims of a horrific crime like rape.

Would Daisy and Paige feel as brave coming forward and being as public with their story as they have since Anonymous got involved? Maybe. But after the original article appeared in the Kansas City Star I can’t help but feel knowing thousands of Anonymous bros (and I guess she-bros? Lady-bros? ) being on their sides makes these young ladies feel a tiny bit braver.

(Image: Aljazeera Video)