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16 Year Old For Rape, Is He Criminally Responsible? (Part 1)

Straight Talk
by Nimfa L. Estrellado

In a 9 Year Old in court for rape, a judge will have to decide if a 9 year old is competent to stand trial for the rape of an 8 year old. The teacher of the child reported that he wore the same clothes for months, came to school smelling bad, was often hungry, and did not do well in school. We do not know if the teacher reported the boy’s maltreatment to the child protective services. After this period of alleged neglect of his basic needs (clean clothes and adequate food), he and several other boys were accused of raping an 8 year old girl. Both what it is alleged that he did and what it is alleged was done to him were wrong. Should the children be held accountable for their actions, but should the parents be held accountable, as well?

We know that violence is related to having a childhood background of trauma and not receiving sufficient services to heal from the trauma and gain appropriate coping skills. We also know that children’s brains and skills are still developing, so if we want them to ever have the ability to function well in society, they need treatment to reduce their problems. Without treatment, they will have severe problems for a lifetime. So how and when do we provide needed services to maltreated children so they do not start mistreating others.

At a recent rape case, there has been an explicit video of four grade 12 boys gang raping a 15-year old girl from Tarlac. Some accounts say that they have been drinking before the incident. Some say that they had been under the influence of drugs. Whatever the reason may be behind this heinous crime, to have this happen to someone so young, and have its video recording spread online is unjustifiable. It doesn’t stop there. With the video becoming viral and passed around, the persistence of other people to ask for the link to the video makes everything worse. The replies to those posts are evidence enough of such degradation.

Children that grow up in violent homes tend to perpetrate violence as they grow older. They come to believe it is their survival and the “norm.” Consequently, they “float” in and out of the two systems depending on circumstances.

How can the child protection system keep these children from entering the juvenile justice and then the criminal justice systems?