WHAT is common in the two incidents on the abuse of teenaged girls in a span of one week this month is that the perpetrators believe it was all for fun.
They were drinking alcohol, the girls in these two incidents apparently went with them for an evening of fun, then the assault happened. Boys involved in the gang rape of a girl and, in a separate incident, the sexual abuse of another could have been unaware that what they did was criminal.
That shows how these incidents of gang rape and molestation of teenaged girls demand action on several fronts—legal, police, educational and the community.
The boys and men behind these assaults have been identified, arrested or are the subject of an investigation.
In the first case, a 16-year-old girl was fooled into believing that the boy she was chatting with on social media was worth going on a date with, only to end up meeting a man with a police record and getting raped by him and four of his friends.
When arrested, one of the men said they only wanted to have fun with women willing to have sex with them. “Agi lang sa pagkabatan-on ba, trip-trip lang. Wa man mi laing bisyo. Babaye ra man,” he said. (It’s part of being young. It was all for fun. We do not have any vice except to have sex with women). He then admitted that they did the same to two other women.
In the other incident, a girl, also 16 years old, joined friends on a night of fun and drinking. Her male friends took advantage of her while drunk and unconscious that they took part in molesting her and taking a video of their act. That video was then posted on social media and shared.
She knew the suspects, including one who was her sister’s schoolmate. The three others were their friends.
The first thing authorities should do is to get these boys and men, prosecute them and let them face the consequences of their actions. Send them to jail so they will know these are criminal acts.
Schools should have lectures on the crimes of rape, sexual assault and molestation and know the penalties for these crimes. Let students go on jail visits to see how it is to spend time behind bars. Teach them to respect women and each other. Undertake a campaign against teenage drinking.
Police must work closely with bars, 24-hour convenience stores or places where minors can buy liquor. Demand that those who buy show proof of age.
For parents with teenaged children, do your part and inculcate in them the dangers of drinking alcohol, meeting strangers on social media and going out late at night. Tell them it is not cool or fun.
If no action is taken to educate the young, more of these abuses will happen. If they keep happening, there is the danger of young people getting desensitized into thinking this is fun and they can get away with it at the expense of friends or acquaintances.