15-year-old girl raped and murdered: What saying no can mean

Raleigh, NC (TFC) – 15-year-old Karen Perez was found dead Monday night, May 30th, her body half naked and “stuffed in a cabinet” reports ABC13. Her boyfriend had threatened to kill her earlier that day if she didn’t skip school with him. The perpetrator, whose name is being withheld, is facing murder charges.

As this story has unfolded, prosecutors have told the media that the boyfriend’s phone captured Perez’s final moments alive. ABC13 reported that the audio revealed the boyfriend was raping her, and she can be heard telling him she didn’t want to have sex with him. He began choking her. Her last words recorded in the audio were, “I don’t want to die.” The boy was turned in by his father.

When we hear tragedies like this, as a society, what do we reflect on? When there’s another school shooting society erupts with talk of gun control (however dichotomous) and mental health (however misguidedly), safety in schools and security measures. When there’s another police shooting the racism and cover-ups are debated widely on Twitter and Facebook. Why is violence against women talked about as isolated incidents when 1 in 4 women will be the victims of domestic abuse?

Image Source: Twitter

Image Source: Twitter

Maybe we should be having the uncomfortable conversation, as a society, about the fact that an entire generation of youth has immediate and total access to violent pornography. That’s just a link to Google. Because you can Google it. About how this violence is presented as “pleasure”, part of a sexual game between men and women, and coined by liberal feminists (that are making headway in the national conversation) as “sex-positive”.

Perhaps we should be discussing domestic abuse, rates of rape, and more about male perpetrators. We could stop talking about the overwhelming problems of male violence as if they’re isolated incidents when sexual violence is glorified in our culture. We could talk about how violence and even death can result from saying “no” to a man, or even a boy.

This is the result of a culture which promotes rape and abuse of women on a capitalistic scale. The boy who perpetrated this crime is underage (15, reported by The Daily Mail), being tried in juvenile court with his name redacted from the media. Shouldn’t we be asking where this kind violence is coming from?

Charles Rae writes about violence against women, social justice, and power dynamics. For more women-centered news follow The Fem Column on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.