You’re a 15-year-old boy. You’re sent a video message by a mate. And you open it.
Inside lies an atrocity: incoherent footage of a young boy forcing himself upon a young girl too intoxicated to utter the word ‘no’.
What do you do?
This is the question 50 teenagers were forced to ask themselves during the aftermath of a party held on the eve of Mardi Gras, in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. And of the 50 teenagers who asked themselves that question, each and every one of them made the wrong decision.
The party was one of many; a binge-drinking, 100-strong ruckus of stress-ridden teens letting their collective hair down on a night of celebration. Nothing new.
Partially, it was a nod to marriage equality. But mostly, it was an excuse to get blind-drunk; to medicate the self-conscious teenage monkey mind with Smirnoff, probably sipped from plastic water bottles.
I’m only 19 myself. I would know.
Listen: Mia Freedman, Monique Bowley and Holly Wainwright discuss the horrific aftermath of this party, on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after audio…
It’s not unusual for things to get out-of-hand at these parties. Alcohol is a fun new toy and the consensus seems to be the more you drink, the funner you are.
Boundaries are breached. Risks are taken. Dignity is lost.
In that sense, this party was like any other.
It differs, however, because on this night, a 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 15-year-old boy.
Allegedly, it was filmed. On a phone. By a friend of the 15-year-old a boy. And allegedly, that footage was distributed to the phones of “at least” 50 other teenagers – some of whom were at the party, others who weren’t.