8-Year-Old Girl Raped in Phoenix, Police Say Parents Blame the Girl

An 8-year-old Phoenix girl was raped by four boys, and according to police and the media, the parents are blaming their daughter for the attack. Since I don’t trust the police or the media, I will withhold judgement until more information is provided.

It’s clear from the video that the father is not a native English speaker. I wonder how much (if any) miscommunication came from both language barrier issues and cultural differences. The family moved to the US five years ago from West Africa.

The girl was removed from her home and placed in Child Protective Services because the police didn’t like the way the parents handled the situation.

This story is shocking and a bit difficult to comprehend. The boys range in ages between 9 and 14. It’s hard for me to accept that kids that young would be involved in something like this.

Twitter is already buzzin’ with people making smart-ass condescending remarks about immigrants and their native culture – particularly cultural norms that we don’t understand here in the morally superior United States.

Update: July 24 – 10:20am

A fellow Tweeter just posted a link to an MSNBC story that addresses West Africa’s shame-based culture:

“It’s a shame-based culture, so the crime is not as important as protecting the family name and the name of the community,” said Tony Weedor, a Liberian refugee in Littleton, Colo., and co-founder of the CenterPoint International Foundation, which helps Liberians resettle in the United States.

“I just feel so sorry for this little girl,” he said. “Some of these people will not care about the trauma she’s going through — they’re more concerned about the shame she brought on the family.”

In recent years, Liberia has made efforts to combat rape under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who has sought to dispel the stigma associated with sexual assault by publicly acknowledging that she was herself the victim of attempted rape during the country’s civil war.

The girl’s healing process will be particularly difficult, said Paul Penzone of Childhelp, which aids young victims of crime. Authorities said the victim was in the care of Child Protective Services.

If you know of any great commentary on this issue, please add a link to the comments section

6 comments

  1. Tavi Greiner says:

    I suspect that the father fears some retribution if he holds the perpetrators accountable. However, misunderstood cultural norms and language barriers, or not, the first concern should be the young victim's well-being. While people should reserve judgement of the parents until more is learned, I do believe that local officials absolutely should act on the side of caution in the girl's best interest.

    Ultimately, our greatest outrage should be with the perpetrators – not with the parents and not with ignorant remarks.

  2. SistersTalk says:

    I agree. Police and Child Protective Services should act on the side of caution. BUT, do the police need to hold press conferences and point the finger at the parents because they don't like the way the parents are handling the situation? If the parents had given the boys permission to rape their daughter, I would be appalled. But that's not the case.

    I wonder where those boys got the idea that rape was ok. It's scarey that kids that young are behaving that way.

  3. Dale says:

    I agree it's hard to believe the Media and the Police I hope more details come out soon about this case.It is clearly a language barrier , I'm just like you I will choose to hold my Judgment until more details come out . Thanks so much for Posting this story .

  4. You are right something about this does not smell right. He said very clearly that he needed her and that he wanted her back. If he truly thought so little of her I doubt he would say that.
    As for the boys who raped her, I cannot believe that children so young could commit such an evil crime.

  5. nicole says:

    Oh baloney!!!! The father WOULD say he wanted the girl if in THIS culture he perceived that he was being looked down on for emotionally abandoning his little girl. Cultural norms aside–how can a parent do that to a child he or she "loves." I feel like I want to throw up!

  6. Cool site, love the info.

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