‘My girl came running and hugged me crying’, says mother of gang rape victim at school

“My 13-year-old daughter was abused inside the classroom, during a break. Another girl called at the back desks and said she would tell a secret. Then four students approached asking what it was, saying they wanted to know, surrounding her. Two of them took her by the arms and, at the same time, began to stroke her, cursed, hit, covered her mouth. They touched my daughter’s breasts and private parts, put her hand on their genitals. One horrible scene to imagine, you know?

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It all lasted about three minutes, they only stopped because another boy warned that someone was coming. When saying my daughter’s name on roll call, the teacher looked over and saw that she was crying a lot. He asked what happened, and immediately noticed a strange movement among these students. The direction ended up being activated, and the four, at first, received a one-day suspension.

My daughter went home and told her grandmother, very superficially, what had happened. She sent me a message, and I remember that I looked at my oldest son, who works with me, and I said, still amazed: ‘Listen to this audio, I think your sister was abused inside the school’. I came back right away, and when I turned the corner from my house, she came running, distressed, and hugged me in tears. It was a very painful moment. To see my daughter, such a sweet girl, desperate like that.

She told me that on her way home, after going through the principal’s office, the boys caught up with her and made several threats, saying that if she opened her mouth, they would make things even worse. I myself didn’t really know what to do, but I decided that I would go to the police, even though several people had advised me against doing so. ‘They will think that she gave confidence, that she is naughty’, they said. Where have you seen yourself? Just because we’re from the community, do others have the right to do something like that to my girl? And inside a municipal school, on top of everything else!

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Thank God we were very well received at the police station. It was only there that I could understand exactly what had happened. With the sensitivity of the delegate, who knew how to ask with care and affection, my daughter opened up even more. And there were things that she heard and that were done that, until then, out of shame, my daughter had not even been able to describe’. She’s a girl who doesn’t even swear, so you can imagine what it’s like for her to describe all that…

After the case went to the police, the four were expelled from school. And the investigation is ongoing, but two months later, I still haven’t heard of any developments. As I’ve lived in the same neighborhood since I was born, the drug lord came to look for me when he found out, asking if we wanted him to ‘give a correction’ to them. I said no, no way. I don’t want to have this blood on my hands. I prefer to trust the work of the police and justice, because it cannot go unpunished.

Mother's pain: administrative assistant's daughter was raped by four classmates at a municipal school in the West Zone
Mother’s pain: daughter of administrative assistant was raped by four classmates at a municipal school in the West Zone Photo: Ana Branco

In one of the meetings with those involved in the school, I heard the mother of one of them say that ‘if her son did this, it’s because she opened up something’. The other believed it was all just a TikTok prank. But the truth is that I learned that they all come from broken families. One lives with the father’s aggression against the mother. The other saw his father burn the house down with everyone inside. Of course, this does not lessen our pain, much less the need for punishment, but it is clear that this problem is the result of larger issues. How can people think, in the middle of 2022, that such a thing is nonsense?

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Even my daughter said that, at first, she thought it was all a joke. It took her a while to understand what was happening, even because she didn’t have any experience even like it. In another conversation, in which it was just the two of us and the school principal, she said: ‘I thought they were my friends’. The director herself was very moved by that report and cried, in front of us.

I wanted to change my daughter’s school, but when I tried to take her to the unit where her sister is already studying, who is also nearby, I learned that one of the aggressors had been transferred there. They ended up telling me that I would only get a place in a much further away school. In other words, whoever attacked my daughter had priority when deciding where to continue studying. This revolted me a lot, but it was the teachers who convinced us to continue in the same school. She is an excellent student, with excellent grades, and very well liked by all the staff. So we’re trying.

But it hasn’t been easy, not even close. She comes home and is locked in her room, in the dark. One day, two months after the abuse, I insisted that she talk to me, try to open up. And suddenly, she started crying desperately, saying that she couldn’t take any more pretending that everything was fine. She said that she was already bullied before the episode, but that it got much worse afterwards. ‘People despise me, but it’s not my fault,’ she said. Imagine a mother hearing this from her own daughter?

She is undergoing psychological follow-up at a Family Clinic, where she was referred with the report from the Legal Medical Institute (IML). But it’s only one consultation per month, I think it’s too little for her to get a more concrete evolution. She likes the psychologist, she came back from the two appointments happier, saying that she had managed to talk a little more. But I feel that shortly after she ends up regressing all over again. Now, we are trying to make a private psychological treatment possible, with more sessions, but it is not such a simple thing.

For me, as a mother, it was also very difficult. And it still is. I’m going to work and I don’t know if my daughter is okay. To be honest, it even affects my life with my partner, because it’s painful to think about sex since all this happened. And what parents would want a girl to have that kind of discovery in this way? The first thing her father, my ex-husband, asked me was, ‘Did they take my little girl’s virginity?’ I answered no, but that didn’t make the trauma any less. It’s something that will definitely be marked on her, unfortunately. It remains for us to welcome and try to support.”

Below, see the full note sent by the municipal secretary of education about the case:

“The Municipal Education Department is against any type of abuse inside or outside school spaces. The case is still being investigated by the police, but it is a serious suspicion of sexual abuse committed by four teenagers against a student during school hours. Immediately after the incident, the unit’s management summoned those responsible for the minors to a meeting and took action. At the meeting, it was agreed between the parties that the four suspected students would be transferred to other units, in order to ensure the aggressors were removed. of the young woman and preserve the student’s permanence in the unit, who showed interest in continuing in the same school at the time. Another measure, also welcomed at the time, was the transfer of the girl’s class, aiming to offer a new environment for young people within the unit. measure taken in relation to the four suspected students is part of the guidelines contained in Resolution SME nº 1074 of April 14, 2010, which provides for the Basic School Regulation of Elementary Education of the Public Network of the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro.

Due to the severity of the occurrence, the School Unit called PROINAPE (Interdisciplinary School Support Program), which immediately made contact with the reference Health Unit in the School Unit’s territory in order to guarantee psychological care for the student. Since then, she has been receiving psychological support at a Family Health Clinic in the region.

On May 31, the student’s guardian expressed the desire to transfer the student to another school in the region. Considering that one of the students involved in the incident was transferred in March (shortly after the incident) to the unit in question, the mother did not effect the change of school. The Regional Education Coordination continues to act in the case of the young woman in order to support her in everything necessary, including the search for a solution for the transfer of the student. The young woman will be prioritized in all situations. One of the possibilities is that the unit exchange is carried out during the school recess, which begins on July 11, so that the continuity of education is not harmed.

Once again, the secretary reinforces that it is against any kind of abuse inside or outside school spaces. Immediately after the incident, the unit’s management worked with the students directly involved in the case, as well as with the other students in the class. The case was registered with the police, representatives of the school unit have already been to the police unit and are collaborating in whatever is necessary for the investigation and elucidation of the case. The Special Secretariat for Policies and Promotion of Women will also support the reception of the young woman. The Secretary of Education reinforces that, in order to preserve the student, it cannot inform the name of the student, teaching unit or region where she studies, nor even more details about the case, which could lead to a possible identification of the minors.”

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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