Every month, Netflix updates its movie collection, and ever since 2013, it has put out some new shows with each batch. Recently released was Audrie and Daisy, a documentary that caught my attention.
Released to Netflix on September 23rd, Audrie and Daisy tells the stories of two high school girls’ experiences with sexual assault.
The first girl, 16-year-old Audrie Pott, had gone to a high school party. She was black-out drunk when a group of three teenage boys sexually assaulted her. When she woke up the next morning, she was berated with hateful comments at school and online. It was only nine days later that she hung herself.
The second girl, Daisy Coleman, had a similar story. When she was fourteen, she and her best friend snuck out and went to a “party” in the basement of seventeen-year-old Matthew Barnett, grandson of a former state legislator. There, Coleman was pressured by Barnett and his friends to drink until she was in a coma-like state. When she was immobile and asleep, the boys continuously raped her for hours. She woke up frozen on her front lawn and was immediately rushed to the hospital. Even for almost 12 hours after, her blood alcohol level was a striking 0.1349 (the legal limit for Missouri adults is 0.08.) Immediately following her recovery, she was harassed online by kids at her school and even adults online.
When I heard their stories I was appalled by our society, even though these events happened nearly four years ago. I feel ashamed to live in a world where people who sexually assault others can walk away from a victim they just took something from, and not face any severe consequences. I feel ashamed to live in a society where victims are driven to suicide just so people will stop making their terrible memories even worse. I’m ashamed that grown adults join in on the childish gossiping and bullying.
News stories of these two rapes held a certain air to them. When Matthew Barnett was put on trial, the news anchors refused to say that Coleman had been raped. They would talk about how Barnett’s grandfather was a state legislator and how he would simply apologize to Coleman and be granted two years’ probation. He would walk free, while Coleman would always have to live with what he did to her. She would have to live with the constant criticism in her home town.
We should learn how to help victims of any crime, especially ones as sensitive as rape. We should learn to teach our children not to rape people. We should teach our children not to say things without thinking of the consequences.
Click here to read an interview with Daisy Coleman.