By Jeffery L. Boney
Special to the NNPA from Houston Forward Times
(Houston Forward Times) — According to researchers, the most common form of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA) is alcohol-related, with the victim in most cases consuming the alcohol voluntarily.
Last month, at a house party in southwest Houston, a 16-year-old African American female who identifies herself as Jada, found this out in the most embarrassing and despicable way.
Jada, who is currently a high school student, says she went to the house party near Stafford, Texas, on June 1 with three of her friends and while there was taken upstairs by a friend. The last thing she remembers from that night is being offered a drink and then she blacked out.
According to Jada, she didn’t even realize she had been drugged and raped until pictures and videos of the incident starting circulating on social media weeks later.
That’s when it got the attention of her mother and community activist Quanell X, who is calling on the Houston Police Department (HPD) to take action against two teens believed to be behind the sexual assault. Jada filed a police report of the incident about three weeks after the party, once she discovered the photos on social media.
Quanell X, Jada and her mother are all accusing HPD of not doing enough to investigate this crime and arrest the alleged perpetrators.
At a press conference in the driveway of the home where the party was held, Quanell X demanded to know why no one had been arrested for the rape of young Jada.
“What took place here is a criminal act,” said Quanell X. “I want to see law enforcement treat this case with the type of sensitivity and priority that it deserves.”
Quanell X said that a friend of Jada’s was also raped the same night and that the two young men who were involved, a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old had been actively making social media posts. Quanell X also says that messaging by the older of the two young men indicated that he plans to leave the country.
According to HPD spokesperson Kese Smith, investigators have been working the case since it was first reported on June 22. Another HPD spokesperson, John Cannon, said that HPD’s Juvenile Sex Crimes Unit is investigating also and following up on some possible “strong leads” with information on possible suspects that could lead to arrests.
Dealing with the issue has become most disturbing because other teens have posted Jada’s explicit photos and videos on their social media pages and are mocking her horrific encounter. Recently, people have been mimicking her seemingly unconscious image and posting photos and videos re-enacting her position on the floor; similar to “Tebowing” or “Planking” crazes.
On top of that there has been this trending #jadapose hashtag; a sick trend where social media users would post pictures of themselves bottomless and posed as a passed-out Jada was in the photos passed around by her alleged rapists.
Jada is receiving counseling and trying to move forward with her life, but it is difficult.
“My friends are getting harassed, and I’m getting harassed,” said Jada.
Jada appeared on the program, “The View” along with Quanell X to talk about the incident, where she told the ladies that she felt “lost” after the pictures surfaced.
In an exclusive interview on MSNBC with Ronan Farrow, Jada’s mother, Sukieda, and Quanell X gave further details in the case, revealing there were more young ladies victimized like Jada. Farrow began the interview by sharing his own family’s history with sexual violence and victim shaming before asking Jada’s mother what she said to her when she found out what happened.
“There was nothing I could say,” said Sukieda. “All I could do was just hold her.”
Alcohol is said to be used in the majority of sexual assaults and many assailants use alcohol as their weapon of choice because their victims often willingly partake in it.
Sex with an unconscious victim is considered rape in most, if not all jurisdictions, and some assailants have committed what is called “rapes of convenience” whereby they have assaulted a victim after he or she had become unconscious from drinking too much.
In Jada’s case, this appears to be deliberate and she is actively working with HPD and Quanell X to bring forth some arrests.
For those who are seeking to offset the insensitive and despicable #jadapose, supporters for Jada and other rape victims have gone online and started using #IAmJada.
The Houston Forward Times will keep our readers up to date on the latest surrounding this case.