Cara rightfully points out that calling what those teens did as having sex with a girl as she was dying is worthy of a rant.
This story hits close to home for me because it could have been my story and so many other girls' and women's stories. I suffered from alcohol poisoning at 16 and if it weren't for the actions of 2 guys who choose my life over the opportunity to rape me while I had no defenses I likely would have died that night.
The choice they made not to commit rape and to get me medical attention should be the choice everyone makes yet it is not. I don't know if I was raped before I was dumped in a public park by those who poured alcohol down my throat. That night is the only night I've ever blacked out and my last memory is of having hard liquor pushed on me after I stopped willingly drinking.
The 2 guys who likely saved my life risked being blamed for my alcohol poisoning and if I had died they might have been wrongfully charged in my death. As it turned out the only person who faced any criminal charges was me for underage drinking.
The only reason I'd started seeking alcohol was that it was the only thing that helped me cope with the aftermath of being raped the year before by my then boyfriend. In the mandatory alcohol awareness classes I attended the cause of my drinking wasn't included in the listed causes of heavy drinking. I assumed after that class ended that I was an alcoholic when I was no such thing.
I repeatedly hear people warn girls and women about their drinking as rape prevention, yet many of those who will lecture girls and women are silent or worse when it comes to boys and men about their use of alcohol and their treatment of girls and women who are incapacitated by alcohol.
Sexual violence against those who are drunk or completely incapacitated has been normalized in our society. Many people see rape as the normal action for a man to take when he comes across an unconscious woman when it is only too common.
Studies have found that a significant number of potential jurors are reluctant to convict those who rape the intoxicated. This is likely because of the view that these rapes are self-inflicted when they are no such thing. Pervasive attitudes enable rapists to use alcohol as a weapon and then as an excuse. This happened in the De Anza gang rape case where 3 women interrupted a gang rape of an unconscious girl and yet nobody was charged.
The number of rapes like this one are unknown because when someone dies of alcohol poisoning any evidence of sexual contact is excused as consensual.
The story about this crime doesn't begin by focusing on the actions of 2 teen boys which should have resulted in manslaughter charges as well as rape charges, it begins by focusing on the victim's life as if the actions of those 2 teen boys was just a normal part of life's turbulence.
Kierra Johnson, 15, lived a turbulent life that ended in a haze of alcohol and sexual violence on the afternoon of March 7, 2008. Yesterday, the second young man involved in her death by alcohol poisoning quietly pleaded guilty in a Philadelphia courtroom, as his co-defendant had done in February.
This introduction falsely positions the crimes committed against this girl as being the result of her choices and not just those made the day she died. Her history of giving birth at 14 and being expelled for having sex at school is irrelevant when it comes the causation of her death. Girls who go out drinking for the very first time can be given fatal dosages of alcohol and then can be raped as they are dying.
It doesn't matter if this girl would have consented to having sex with these 2 boys if she had chosen to do so when she was capable of giving consent. When people claim it does matter they are enabling rape and they are enabling it against those who are dying of alcohol poisoning.
This girl's death was the result of those 2 teenage boys choices once this girl was overcome by the level of alcohol in her bloodstream from consumption which they both witnessed. Instead of rape they should have chosen to call 911.
All those who excuse these boys and others whose victims don't die contribute to crimes like this one and are not truly decent human beings even if they themselves wouldn't commit rapes such as this. People who are truly decent do not enable rape under any circumstance or against anybody.