When Maryville teenager Daisy Coleman came forward about her alleged rape on CNN and in xoJane, we took it as a sign that social media had changed the way rape trials are covered. Where newspapers had previously agreed to keep accusers’ names out of the press (many victims liken the publicity to being raped all over again), startlingly, young women are now going public with their stories.
The latest is 16-year-old Jada, from Houston. She told area news channel KHOU how her rape investigation unfolded after photos of her — passed out and naked at a party — started to show up on social media. If Jada or Daisy had any expectation of privacy surrounding their assaults, it had already been violated on social media long before news broke. In both cases, the bystanders’ cell-phone photos first used for run-of-the-mill social-media slut-shaming later became evidence that the young women had been sexually assaulted.“There’s no point in hiding,” Jada told KHOU. “Everybody has already seen my face and my body, but that’s not what I am and who I am.”