[TW for discussion of rape, rape culture and victim blaming.]

A 7th grader with special needs [PDF] in Missouri endured harrassment, multiple assaults and two rapes from a classmate, compounded with the worst sort of victim-blaming and dismissal from the people who should have protected her, before her family was forced to take legal action.

"After the mother notified the school, the girl described the rape and "multiple sexual assaults" she'd experienced at school that year to [the school principal, counselor and resource officer]. They then told the mother that they thought that her daughter made it all up."

Emphasis mine.

These administrators then made the girl write a note of apology to her rapist and deliver it in person.

She was then expelled for the rest of the school year.

Upon her return the next year, she was raped again by the same boy.

School administrators said they'd "been through this" already, and suspended the girl.

The girl's family then took it to the police, and then the courts. Predictably, the defense denies everything, is calling them liars and gold-diggers, and saying that the girl didn't do enough to protect herself from the "conduct of third parties over whom the District Defendants had neither control nor the right to control." [PDF]

The enormity of my sadness and empathy for the victim and her family is cavernous. The enormity of my disgust and contempt towards the school administrators who allowed the behavior to happen regularly and without punishment for the actual rapist, and instead punished the victim, is equally cavernous.

The greatest of my contempt is reserved for the counselor.

It says no little thing about the influence of rape culture that a counselor, someone specifically trained to be an advocate for victims, would commit such atrocities against a child in her care.