A rape case involving a teenager has shaken Brazil to its core. After a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by 33 men and broadcast on Twitter in the form of a 40-second video, people have taken to the streets. It’s another black eye for a country reeling from several crises while preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games in August.
On May 21, more than 30 men allegedly raped a 16-year-old high school student in Rio de Janeiro.
Credit: TV Record / CNN
The victim says she was drugged and fell asleep in one place, but woke up in another.
Credit: TV Record / CNN
“I fell asleep and woke up in a completely different place, with a man under me, one on top of me and two holding me down, on my hands,” the victim told TV Record. “Many people laughing at me, and I was drugged, out of it. Many people with guns, boys laughing and talking.”
Three days later, video and photos of the rape were shared on social media. Shortly thereafter, Brazilians took to the streets to demand justice and to condemn Brazil’s “macho culture.”
“Each and every woman is a victim,” said Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Carmen Lucia in a written statement, according to Newsweek. “Our bodies are tormented, our souls are trashed. That is what these criminals think and do, and they must quickly be held accountable.”
It’s not just the women who are upset over the gang rape.
— Lett (@stup1dl0v3) May 27, 2016
Credit: @stup1dl0v3 / Twitter
“Brazilian culture is very sexist and rape is part of that culture even if as a society we deny it,” said Luise Bello, member of the women’s advocacy group Think Olga, to the Associated Press. “Rape is not rare in Brazil, but what is really shocking is the fact that more than 30 men raped a minor, filmed it and then shared the images on the internet.”
At least seven suspects have been arrested so far, including a man named Raí de Souza. A photo of his capture quickly spread on social media.
Raí de Souza,suspeito de participar de estupro coletivo no RJ, é levado para a Cidade da Polícia.Fábio Motta/Estadão pic.twitter.com/cCKrDWvi5v
— Broadcast Imagem (@BroadcastImagem) May 30, 2016
Credit: @BroadcastImagem / Twitter
A rape test was performed on the victim, but it was conducted five days after the fact, well after the recommended 72-hour testing window. But video was more than enough evidence for Rio police officers to conduct two raids in neighborhoods searching for suspects connected to the rape.
The victim says she was reluctant to speak out, but is glad she did.
“I knew there would be no justice, that I would be ashamed. In the first moment, I didn’t even want to tell my mom,” she told TV Record. “Now I am sure that if I was going through this alone it would be much worse.”