Actually, Victims Are Made Brave By Anonymous ‘Bros’ Showing Them Support In Maryville

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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 [sic] 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)


  1. Ann B.

    October 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Oh thank god. Honestly. I truly thought with the case closed as it is, that there was no hope. That the best we could hope for is that any women who came into contact with those dudebros would google them before they married them. This is so much more than I hoped for.

  2. pixie

    October 16, 2013 at 10:54 am

    It’s toxic communities like Maryville that make me lose faith in humanity and people like those affiliated with Anonymous who try to stand up for victims of crimes who make me gain it back. I hope these girls and their families are very much aware that they aren’t alone, even if their community makes them feel like they are. I also hope justice will be served. I hate it when relatives of people in powerful positions think they are untouchable for any wrong they do, just because of their powerful relation.

  3. sonjahadad

    October 16, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I’m reposting this comment from reader to Adrian Chen of Gawker because I can’t say it better.

    “as a woman who is far more likely to be raped — well, as a woman who has been raped — than blown up by a terrorist, i must say that i am far more comfortable with private citizens investigating alleged rapists and their protectors than my government investigating citizens who are suspected of no crime whatsoever

    ideally, we would live in a land where actual, criminal behavior is taken seriously, even if the victim is female or a person of color, but we don’t … and if they aren’t going to fight them in the courtroom, we are going to have to fight them on the internet”

    • Eve Vawter

      October 16, 2013 at 10:59 am

      and I am sorry, but the comment section of Gawker is a rathole of misogynistic dudebros.

    • Ally

      October 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      How pathetic is it that we even NEEDED a group like Anonymous? I can’t even imagine being a freshman in high school who happens to get raped/assaulted and my realistic options are: tell the authorities and nothing/more bad things happen -OR- not tell anyone and nothing/more bad things happen.

  4. Michelle Pittman

    October 16, 2013 at 11:11 am

    the victim blaming in these cases just kills me…i would love to say to some of the blamers — ok, you know your 14-15 year old son? say he sneaks out of the house to meet up with older teammates to have some beers…he gets drunk and is basically passed out…one of the 18 year old men then decides to rape your drunken son…in the a$$ and record the “boys just being boys” act…but it’s cool right? you’re not going to press charges or anything? because you know, he totally deserved it for sneaking out & drinking w/older kids…he should have known better…

    • Eve Vawter

      October 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

      You saw yesterday when I was RTing some, it’s INSANE to me.

    • meteor_echo

      October 17, 2013 at 9:04 am

      I remember browsing some news article portal and one of the commenters made a similar point. Some of the replies were like “I’d disown my kid because rape would make him gay”.
      I, for one, started wishing that I could track people down by their IPs, so that I could hurl them into bioreactors. Motherfucking ultimate homophobic victim blamers.

  5. Rachel Sea

    October 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    How dare a a large group of men (but not women, because hacking is for boys) support rape victims. Actually doing something to combat rape, and speaking out on behalf of victims is no way to fight rape culture. /sarcasm

  6. pitbullgirl1965

    October 17, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Perfect is the enemy of good. She uses the insulting term “bro” and assumes Anon is all male.

    • Eve Vawter

      October 17, 2013 at 6:22 am

      Yeah I know quite a few women very annoyed by this.

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