– by Sophie James
Recently released on Netflix, the documentary Audrie and Daisy is about two teenage girls who have unfortunately been victims of sexual assault.
Audrie’s story is first: a girl who is friends with everyone but still has her own insecurities. Audrie and her friends go to a party, where she becomes unconscious and gets sexually assaulted. She is humiliated as boys she thought were her friends draw all over her. Over the next week she gets bullied at school until one day she can’t take it anymore and ends her life at the age of 15.
Infuriatingly, Audrie’s abusers got to graduate high school and they weren’t convicted because they were juveniles. Furthermore, when the police officer asked one of the abusers what he has learnt from this situation, he said, “that girls are gossips and boys are more laid back.” Not once did that coward say, ‘I’ve learnt to respect women more, I learnt about the law and the consequences, I learnt that if I ever have a daughter I would never want this to happen to her.’ To top it off, another abuser said, “it’s really affected my life.” What about the life of the 15-year-old that committed suicide because of what you did to her while she was unconscious?
We then learn about Daisy, a sweet 14-year-old. She and her friend Paige were drinking at Daisy’s house when her older brother’s friends messaged her to ask if they wanted to come over and hang out. Daisy thought ‘sure, we wanted to be cool.’ As a little sister myself, I understand how she would’ve assumed her brother’s friends would look after her. In this case, they ended up hurting her instead. They sexually abused her, then left her outside her house in outrageous weather conditions, where she nearly froze to death on her front lawn.
A 17-year-old did admit to having sex with Daisy and many charges were laid against the boys. However, the charges were all dropped. Why? Because the boys were well known within the town and one of the boy’s family members worked in the law enforcement industry. After the boys were released, many people turned on Daisy, attacking her family and their home. Even the police officer makes it seem like it’s the girls fault. It’s horrible to think that the people who are supposed to protect the girls don’t believe them even with medical documents.
This thoughtful documentary shows that it is not just Audrie and Daisy, it’s other girls all around the world. It’s the girls that don’t say anything and the girls that do but nobody believes them. They may be your sister, your daughter, your friend, your neighbour or the girl you pass in the school hallway.
If you or anyone you know needs help, visit 1800Respect or call 1800 737 732.
Photo credits: The Triangle Review, Netflix US & Canada, Slate