Girl, 14, 'kills herself after being gang-raped in Belgian cemetery by five boys who posted pics of attack online’
FIVE teenagers have been arrested in Belgium over the alleged gang rape of a 14-year-old girl who killed herself days after the attack.
Images of the assault in the city of Ghent were shared online, Belgian media reports.
The teenage victim, from Gavere, went to meet a friend in the Westerbegraafplaats cemetery in Ghent on May 15.
But four other people lay in wait and allegedly gang-raped her before sharing photos and videos online.
A vigil is being held this evening which is being attended by the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.
The alleged perpetrators took pictures and videos of themselves while raping the victim and posted them on social media, 7sur7 reported.
Four days later, the teenage victim killed herself.
Her father told Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: "The images were the last straw for her… her entire world collapsed.”
Her family were later told about the gang-rape by one of the girl's friends.
Police identified the five alleged offenders after analysing the social media images.
The suspects are three minors aged 14 and 15 and two adults aged 18 and 19.
Two of the minors are reportedly brothers.
The images were the last straw for her… her entire world collapsed
The five alleged attackers are all believed to be from Ghent have reportedly been arrested by police for rape, indecent assault and the taking and dissemination of photographs likely to constitute an attack on the integrity of a person.
Mayor of Gavere Denis Dierick said he knew the victim “very well' and described her death as 'pure horror' and 'an inhuman tragedy”.
Some of the suspects are believed to have already been known to police.
The prosecution have only confirmed that the five young people are suspected of 'events that occurred shortly before the victim's death'.
A prosecutors' spokesperson added: “Three minors were placed in a closed institution by the juvenile judge in Ghent and two adults (both 18 years old) were arrested by the investigating judge in Ghent for offences that would have occurred shortly before the death of the victim.
“The council chamber in Ghent decided today that the detention of the two adults will be extended by one month.”
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, where you call 999 and press ‘55’ if you can’t safely speak.
- Always keep some money or a bank card on you, including change in case you need a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to move towards an exit if you are inside the house and get your phone in case you need to call for help.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other potential weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available every day from 10am-6pm or email [email protected]
SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
The two young people aged 18 and 19 will today appear in court, which will consider if there was an aggravating circumstance that led to the victim's death.
Justice Minister Vincent van Quikernborn took to Twitter to promise that those responsible would be punished and called on victims of sexual violence to file complaints and seek help.
Mr van Quikernborn added: “Hateful, there are no words to describe it. My thoughts are with the family and friends.
“Suspects have been arrested and the investigation is ongoing. Justice must be concerned about justice.”
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.
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