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Girl with autism raped while attending a Kansas City public school

This story does have adult themed topics and may not be appropriate for all ages.

Last week a thirteen year girl with autism was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital in pain and discomfort telling her parents that a boy at school had been raping her while another girl stood as the lookout. She also told that when she refused to follow their directions, she would be beaten until she completed the sexual acts. The young victim did not know the names of those hurting her, but knew what they looked like and could identify them. The boy is fourteen and the girl keeping watch is thirteen. Both have been charged with one count of rape and one count of sodomy. They are being held at a juvenile facility. Their pretrial will occur on April 16.

The young victim says this have been happening for months, but she didn't tell anyone. She was afraid that her dad would get into trouble for taking matters into his own hands. Her mother also explains that her daughter's autism keeps her from fully comprehending and communicating in the same ways as her peers.

This is not the first time this school (Southeast Early College Campus) has had students claim to have been sexual abused on campus by other students. How does this happen at a public school with video cameras and teachers and many other students? That is one question the Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Green intends to answer. According to the victim, the cameras in the area are broken. As to why no teachers and other students noticed what was happening, is still unknown. The principal and five other staff members from Southeast Early College Campus have been put on administrative leave and may be fired pending the investigation.

Whether a student has autism or not there are signs of sexual abuse that every parent and teacher should know.

  • Aversion to anything sexual
  • An unusual interest in sex compared to his/her peers
  • Sleeping problems or nightmares
  • Depression
  • Pulling away from friends and family
  • Lack of interest in social activities that he/she was previously a part of (church youth group, athletic teams/games, dances, fine arts activities, clubs)
  • Refusal to attend school
  • Secretive behavior
  • Seductive behavior
  • Unusual aggressiveness
  • Suicidal behaviors
  • Talking about his/her body as dirty or damaged

Some other behaviors are seen more often in boys than girls.

  • Drawings of sexual parts or people have sex
  • Playing sexual games
  • Having sexual fantasies (when it is not developmentally appropriate)

If you suspect that your child or student is being sexually abused, ask him/her in a calm and caring way. Let him/her know that you want to understand what is happening and that you want to help. If your child or student comes to you saying that he/she is being abused, listen and believe them. Take it seriously. Children's Mercy Hospital has a clinic that specializes in abuse and can be a support to both the child and his/her family. Do not hesitate to contact the police and/or child protective services, especially if you believe the child is in danger of the abuse continuing or hurting him/herself.

The victim mentioned earlier in this article was afraid to tell anyone what was happening to her. Most victims are. It is important to know the signs of sexual abuse and not be afraid to ask questions.