Thursday, June 9, 2011

Save the Cheerleader

If you're an Anne Rice fan, as I am, you may have noticed a trend in her Facebook posts: the war on women. It's a travesty that's going on in our very own backyards. Planned Parenthood is losing funding, rape is being redefined by congress and even the church is turning its back on women in need if it doesn't suit their agenda.

But let's step away from the big picture for a moment and hone in on one girl in particular- Hillaire S.

Hillaire was a carefree Texan high school cheerleader who was raped by a basketball player from her school, with the help of one of his friends. They locked her in a bedroom at a post-game party and had their way with her while other party goers tried to enter in order to save her. The boys jumped out an open window and fled the scene, but one left an article of clothing behind. It was reported that the rapist, Rakheem Bolton, threatened to shoot the homeowner when they refused to hand over the evidence (his clothing).

Bolton is a piece of work, isn't he?! Well, the horror of this story doesn't end there.

Bolton pleaded to "misdemeanor assault" and was sentenced to one year in prison. That's hardly just, in my opinion, but get this: the judge reduced his sentence and let him off with a fine of $2,500 and 2 years probation.

How does that make you feel? Well, get ready to be infuriated some more.

You would think that a high school would take action against an athlete who committed a crime against one of their students, but no. They turned the other cheek and allowed him to stay on the team.

Crappy, right? Well, get this ...

The school then advised Hillaire stay out of the school's cafeteria and to steer clear of Homecoming! I'm actually surprised that they didn't give her a letterman jacket with a big scarlet letter.

And it gets even worse.

Hillaire was a cheerleader. It was her job to cheer for the team, which she did. But when her rapist was up for free-throws, she chose to cross her arms and step back rather than chant "Put it in" for him. And so the school kicked her off the squad the very next day.

Well, that doesn't sit well, does it? Hillaire didn't think so. She did what any victim would do; she sued. In actuality, her parents sued the school. The Supreme Court refused to hear her case.

Yes, you read correctly. Apparently, Hillaire has no rights. But guess what? It gets worse.

Because the poor (insert sarcasm, please) school had to hire defense attorneys, the Supreme Court is forcing Hillaire's family to pay $45,000 in legal fees.

So let's get this straight: teenage girl is raped by boy; boy flees the scene after leaving evidence behind and threatens lives to get said evidence back; boy goes to court and gets jail time; judge takes mercy on boy and lets him off; boy goes back to school unpunished; girl goes back to school and is stripped of her student rights and dignity; school tries to force girl to tell her rapist to "put it in"; girl says "no"; girl gets kicked off cheerleading squad; girl sues school; girl loses case; girl ends up $45,000 in debt.

End result: girl pays emotionally and financially for her rape. What a system we have. Is anyone else up for a disgusted round of applause?

And that would be that, except that there really are good people in the world! One of these people being Jason Ho, an illustrator who was just as sickened by this story as the rest of us. This lovely man offered sketch commissions in exchange for $20 donations to help ease Hillaire's $45,000 burden. He's quite talented, and was so inundated by commissions that he had to close requests. He raised just under $3,000, which is fantastic, but nowhere near the amount that Hillaire needs.

Hillaire keeps fighting because she believes that all rape victims have rights. I love her for this, and want to support her. You can support her, too. Please visit Help the Cheerleader to see how much money has been raised (there's a fun little meter to track the progress!). If you're able to donate even $1, they have an easy-as-pie Paypal button at the ready.

If you can't afford to to donate, please consider clicking the "Like" button below to share and raise awareness :) Let's rally behind this girl!


3 comments:

  1. Oh wow. I literally feel sick to my stomach.

    ReplyDelete
  2. American football fans are just fine with criminally violent athletes as long as they brutalize someone else's son or daughter.

    http://chickensoupfortheterroristsoul.blogspot.com/2011/07/chicken-soup-with-rapist-loving-victim.html

    ReplyDelete

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