More information has come to light regarding the sexual abuse of a fifteen-year-old Brazilian girl who, in October, was placed in a jail cell with 30 some-odd men in the northeastern Brazilian state of Para. For those not familiar with the case, the teenager (pictured and flanked by family members) was arrested on suspicion of petty theft and then incarcerated for 26 days, during which time she was raped, tortured, and forced to barter sex for food. The police officers at the jail were complicit in her torture, and went so far as to shave her head with a knife to make her look like a boy. (The girl is under five feet tall and weighs about 80 pounds). Federal human rights official and lawyer Márcia Soares has taken on the young woman's case, and she tells the New York Times: "When I first saw her I thought she was 12, not 15."
Reports the Times:
Within her first two days in jail, a man raped her in the bathroom. Inmates rely on visiting relatives to bring food. With no such visits, extreme hunger soon overtook the girl and she began trading sex for food, investigators said. Other men, however, simply raped her when they wanted to, and tortured her for amusement, investigators said. Some placed crumpled papers between her toes as she slept and lighted them.
Though people who lived in close proximity to the jail heard the girl's screams, no one came forward. Her plight was discovered because someone sent an anonymous note to child protective services.
In other horrific women's news, the case of the young Aboriginal girl who was gang-raped is inspiring swift action. Following international outrage over the leniency of the original sentences handed down, the 10-year-old's assailants are going to be retried on January 30. Unfortunately, the judge who presided over the original trail, Sarah Bradley, is being defended by Queensland Law Society President Megan Mahon. "Personal attacks on any member of the judiciary are utterly intolerable and should be rejected completely," Mahon said in a public statement. "Neither the media nor any community group, however sincere and well-meaning their motives might be in this matter, should try and supplant the due process of our justice system which is a robust one with inbuilt checks and balances."
Rape of Girl, 15, Exposes Abuses in Brazil Prison System [NY Times]
Aborigine rape official suspended [BBC]
Gang rape appeal to be heard 'swiftly' [The Australian]
Attack on rape case judge condemned [Sydney Morning Herald]
Rape case underlines plight of Aborigines [IHT]
Intervention may cross border [Sydney Morning Herald]