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Undercovered: Outrage in Brazil Following Mass Rape Video Appearing on Social Media

Welcome to Undercovered: our new daily feature bringing attention to excellent reporting and stories we feel deserve a larger audience.

Police are looking for more than 30 men suspected of raping a teenage girl in Rio de Janeiro, after images of the assault appeared online, sparking a national outrage and social media campaign to bring attention to rape culture in Brazil.

BBC reports that a 16-year-old girl was allegedly doped after going to her boyfriend’s house and waking up in a different house, naked, wounded, surrounded by men.

Days later she found out that a 40-second-video was being passed around on social media. In response to the initial wave of misogynistic comments, several came out in support of the victim under the banner of the hashtag #EstuproNaoECulpaDaVitima (Rape is Not the Victim’s Fault).

In a message posted on Facebook, the victim said she was thankful for the support and added: “I really thought I was going to be badly judged.”

She later said: “All of us can go through this one day. It does not hurt the uterus but the soul because there are cruel people not being punished!! Thanks for the support.”

The incident has also thrown into focus the Brazilian media’s slow response to stories about rape and sexual assault, which critics say has become “normalized” to the extent that the media scarcely covers it.

The debate largely stems from initial comments on the video, which included “she was drunk” and “she was wearing a short skirt”.

The media have also been accused of victim-blaming. One of the first articles on the story by media giant O Globo gave prominence to the girl’s background and the fact that she was known to be a drug-user.

“Undercovered” is a new daily feature from Mediaite, bringing attention to stories that warrant more attention. If you have an idea or a tip, please email us at [email protected]

[image: Victor Teizeira via Twitter]

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