Last October, 14-year-old Abigail Hernandez was walking home from school when she was allegedly abducted by 34-year-old Nathaniel E. Kibby. Kibby was ordered held on $1 million cash bail after his arraignment this week in a New Hampshire courtroom. $1 million cash bail. I guess we can hope now that the rumors swirling around her disappearance will disappear. Probably not though. For some reason, girls are always a suspect in their own crimes.
It’s unfathomable to me that a young girl can go missing for nine months, show up back at home pale, thin and scared – and so many people jump to a conclusion that she somehow happily went along with a creepy, introverted, 34-year-old man.
“She was very thin,” her mother said. “She lost a lot of weight, very pale. She had a look in her eyes I’ve never ever seen before, and that’s something that’s haunting me and I think will haunt me the rest of my life.”
That her mother even had to respond to pregnancy rumors a week after her daughter’s return casts a real disturbing light on what we think of young women. “The majority of people somehow believe that she was pregnant,” Zenya Hernandez told NBC’s Today Show. “She was not. She did not run away. I firmly believe that.”
Hernandez returned home wearing the same clothes she was wearing when she went missing. Little by little, disturbing details are emerging from the case – the newest that she may have been held in a soundproof shipping container on Kibby’s property. Neighbors describe Kibby as a loner, some saying they told their children to stay away from him. “He’s been called crazy Nate. I don’t know too much about him, he’s pretty much a loner. But I always told the girls stay away from that trailer,” said neighbor Debbie Demers.
No matter about any of these details, the internet thinks she’s a liar. Because victimized women, even when they are 14-year-old girls, always manage to become suspects in their own crimes. The number of people insisting she was pregnant because she was missing for nine months is unbelievable. Really internet idiots? Is that how you think this works? You get pregnant, go away for nine months – and poof! You come back as if nothing has happened? Some of these comments make me seriously doubt humanity:
One blogger wrote:
“Yea so….am I an asshole for pointing out that this girl was obviously pregnant? I mean, come on people. Give me a break here. First of all she was 14 when she “disappeared.” Newsflash – 14 year old girls don’t survive on their own for nine months. She was obviously with someone. You know who was looking for you girl? The F-B-I. And she just magically avoided detection for nearly a full calendar year? She never came out of her bunker? She never went into town? A 14 year old girl was perfectly content sitting alone in some log cabin for nine months? She’s a regular Whitey Bulger isn’t she?”
I guess the only way to get a pass from the general public is if you are found dead.
This family went through hell for nine months looking for their chid. Abigail Hernandez is alive and had the courage to face her alleged captor in court yesterday. More details will emerge – and maybe those people insisting she had a hand in her own disappearance will finally shut up. But the damage is already done. Why must we insist, time and time again, on letting victims know that we just don’t believe them?