“Local teenage girl attends a seemingly innocent high school party with no conception that later that evening, she would be drugged and subsequently raped by monstrous, morally debauched high school boys, or scorned and mocked by social-media-ridden photographs commemorating the horrific event.”
A tale that has become so commonplace, that it seems almost as unremarkable as the headline “Local Family Searches for Runaway Dog.” But thanks to 16 year old rape survivor Jada, hopefully this treatment of rape as an unremarkable occurrence among adolescents, will come to an end. Jada is bravely speaking out, reminding the world that she is much more than just an unconscious body. (Of course it is never the responsibility of the victim to speak out and those who choose not to do so are still completely in the right).
After photos and videos of Jada lying unconscious at a party began surfacing social media, some people had the audacity to tweet images of themselves mocking the flimsy position of her body in photos with the hashtag #jadapose. But Jada did not let this cruelty faze her, and came out with a hashtag of her own: #iamjada, accompanied by a picture of herself in a powerful Rosie-the-Riviter-esque pose that better encapsulates her true character. (Seen above).
In an interview with Ronan Farrow, 16 year old Jada speaks with eloquence and conviction, maintaining an unwavering stoic expression on her face, even while discussing emotionally taxing subject matters that left me in tears. She is unapologetic, does not allow for the blame to diffuse to anyone other than her attackers, and refuses to let her rape define her or take over her life, “the pictures that were posted is [sic] not how I am or who I am.” She said, “So I’d rather show them how I actually am.”
This strong fearless young woman is leading the way in a movement to change how our society deals with rape culture. As the spokesman for Jada’s family states, “it is important that we support victims, stand behind victims, and encourage them to speak out, because this culture of silence goes back for decades in this nation. While many women were molested in homes, one parent or aunt or uncle would say to keep it quiet, don’t speak out, don’t destroy the family, etc. This is a culture that is still prevalent in this nation, telling victims to ‘be quiet, don’t say anything you’re gonna be scorned, raked over the coals.’ We must create an environment that says to a victim, if you have been sexually assaulted you can stand up, you can speak out and those of us who love justice will stand with you and support you.”