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A woman passes graffiti of the Brazilian flag, in downtown Rio de Janeiro. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Never Again

Brazil shocked as video of “mass rape” of teenage girl surfaces on social media

By WITW Staff on May 27, 2016

Outrage has swept Brazil, as a video of the mass assault of a 16-year old girl in Rio De Janeiro surfaced on social media, presumably shared by her attackers. Several arrest warrants have been issued, as the police hunt for more than 30 men suspected of the assault — including the girl’s boyfriend. The victim told police that she had gone to her boyfriend’s house on Saturday, but woke up wounded and naked in a different house, surrounded by men, before making her way home. The girl believes she was doped after going to her boyfriend’s house. Days later, photos and videos of the attack surfaced on Twitter, shared by the alleged attackers, where they were seen by the girl and her family.  “I regretted watching it,” the victim’s grandmother told a local newspaper. “When we heard the story we didn’t believe what was happening. It’s a great affliction. It’s a depressing situation.” She added that her granddaughter was not well, and very confused.

While Brazilian media were initially slow to pick up on the story, it sparked a wave of outrage in Brazil with people responding on social media with the hashtag #EstuproNuncaMais (“rape never again”) and several protests have been planned. The incident has sparked a debate on the prevalence of “rape culture” in Brazil, spurred by the response to the video, where commenters have blamed the victim for being drunk or wearing a short skirt, and media have focused on her family background and reported drug use. Many rape cases in the country go unreported, as victims fear blame, shame or even retaliation. Famous Brazilian-Mexican actress Giselle Itie was one of several prominent voices contributing to the debate:  “The blame is on the media, who sexualize women in all their products,” she said. “The blame is on the newspaper that makes light of the many rapes that happen…Drunk, drugged, wearing a short skirt, naked, it doesn’t matter. It is never the victim’s fault.”

Read the full story at BBC.