NYC Plans To Grill 9-Year-Old Homeless Rape Victim About The Brutal Attack That Almost Killed Her
According to both The New York Post and The New York Daily News, the city of New York is planning to force a traumatized 9-year-old girl to testify about being brutally raped by a 14-year-old boy in a homeless shelter last year. As both a formerly homeless parent and a survivor of rape and sexual abuse, reading this story made me literally shake with rage. The assault occurred after the unnamed victim and her family were placed in a Brooklyn shelter with no security and a history of violence, which is why her mother is suing the city.
According to The Post:
“City attorney John Orcutt sent a letter to Steven Popkin, the lawyer for the girl, demanding that she testify at a pre-trial hearing Tuesday, the document states.
The city is preparing to defend itself after the child’s mom submitted a notice of claim saying she planned to sue, arguing that the city shouldn’t have placed them in a shelter with no security and with a history of violent crime.
As someone who spent time in a NYC homeless shelter, I can tell you that the situation is often wrought with fear and danger. The shelter my family and I were placed in was also known for crime and also had little to no security. Between the aggressive cat callers and the drug dealers, walking home from work at night was terrifying.
As The Daily News explains, part of the process of suing the city involved hearings before a complain can be filed. The mother has already been questioned, but the victim herself is said to suffer from “significant sadness, anxiety, frequent nightmares and fears of strangers.”
The attack was so vicious that doctors were forced to remove an ovary. .
Popkin is asking that the victim be interviewed after the suit itself has been filed, which would mean she would be a bit older and :
“would presumably be better equipped mentally to handle the psychological and emotional stress of being required to relive the assault and its aftermath.”
Lawyers for the city, however, have no intention on backing down. A spokesperson for New York’s law department had this to say:
“This case raises sensitive questions. As the family has filed a claim, the city needs to get a clearer understanding of what occurred.”
Make no mistake. This child was raped. That isn’t in question. She was attacked so brutally that she lost an internal organ, and is most likely scarred for life. The city placed her and her family in that building, and in my opinion they should take responsibility for that. Homeless families come to the city as a last ditch effort to avoid the streets. They are at their most vulnerable. This should never have happened on the city’s watch. The least they can do is have some compassion for the victim and giver her the time she needs to heal before talking about it.
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