Social media campaign combats vicious teen rape photos
JEFFERY L. BONEY | 7/25/2014, 9:11 p.m.
Houston Forward Times
(NNPA) – According to researchers, the most common form of drug facilitated sexual assault is alcohol-related, with the victim in most cases consuming the alcohol voluntarily.
Last month, at a house party in Southwest Houston, a 16-year-old African American female who identifies herself as Jada, became part of those statistics.
Jada, who is currently a high school student, said she went to the house party near Stafford, Texas, on June 1 with three of her friends and while there was taken upstairs by a friend. The last thing she remembers from that night is being offered a drink and then she blacked out.
According to Jada, she didn’t even realize she had been drugged and raped until pictures and videos of the incident started circulating on social media weeks later.
That’s when it got the attention of her mother and community activist Quanell X, who is calling on the Houston Police Department to take action against two teens believed to be behind the sexual assault. Jada filed a police report of the incident about three weeks after the party once she discovered the photos on social media.
Quanell X, Jada and her mother are all accusing HPD of not doing enough to investigate this crime and arrest the alleged perpetrators.
At a press conference in the driveway of the home where the party was held, Quanell X demanded to know why no one had been arrested for the rape of young Jada.
“What took place here is a criminal act,” Quanell X said. “I want to see law enforcement treat this case with the type of sensitivity and priority that it deserves.”
Quanell X said that a friend of Jada’s was also raped the same night and that the two young men who were involved, a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old, had been actively making social media posts. Quanell X also said that messaging by the older of the two young men indicated that he plans to leave the country.
According to HPD spokesperson Kese Smith, investigators have been working the case since it was first reported on June 22. Another HPD spokesperson, John Cannon, said that HPD’s Juvenile Sex Crimes Unit is investigating also and following up on some possible “strong leads” with information on possible suspects that could lead to arrests.
Dealing with the issue has become most disturbing because other teens have posted Jada’s explicit photos and videos on their social media pages and are mocking her horrific encounter. Recently, people have been mimicking her seemingly unconscious image and posting photos and videos re-enacting her position on the floor; similar to “Tebowing” or “Planking” crazes.
On top of that there is a trending #jadapose hashtag where social media users post pictures of themselves posed as a passed-out – some bottomless – as Jada was in the photos passed around by her alleged rapists.
Jada is now receiving counseling and trying to move forward with her life, but said it is difficult.
“My friends are getting harassed, and I’m getting harassed,” Jada said.