Furious Australians are threatening potentially violent retribution in the wake of an alleged sickening attack on a teenage girl this month.
Queensland Police confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that three girls had been charged over the incident, which involved the 13-year-old alleged victim allegedly being tied up, knifed, burnt and hit with bottles in horrifying footage shared on social media.
The alleged victim’s mother said the girl’s face was “unrecognisable” after the alleged attack, which occurred during a sleepover at a home in Tewantin in Queensland earlier in March.
The injured girl was forced to spend a week in the hospital, suffering from a stab wound to the knee, a fractured wrist and severe swelling.
Dozens of social media accounts have since emerged, amassing thousands of followers and identifying the accused, their family members, their workplaces, and even their home addresses.
It’s an offence to identify minors being dealt with under Queensland’s Youth Justice Act.
Alarmingly, many posts have suggested and even encouraged violent revenge attacks.
Dozens of social media accounts have emerged, which are working to identifying the accused, their families, their workplaces, and addresses.
One shows photos of the three accused and reads: “So everyone can memories ur faces bfr and after (sic).”
The social media accounts of the girl’s parents are also shared with captions like “Do your job ladies and gentlemen” and “don’t ever feel sorry for what u (sic) will say”.
Other vile posts have also encouraged the alleged attackers to carry out acts of self-harm.
Meanwhile, the organisation Youth Against Violence has organised a peaceful protest on April 2 in the alleged victim’s honour.
“This protest is to highlight the urgent changes needed to curb escalating rates of youth violence and knife crime,” organisers said.
“Young people deserve to speak up about matters that are impacting them. It’s time for young people to deliver their own statement.”
Youth Against Violence is not linked to the aforementioned social media pages.
A hellish sleepover
The alleged torture and assault of the 13-year-old sent shockwaves across the nation this week as she was filmed being allegedly threatened with a knife and beaten over the course of four hours.
A photo shortly after the incident and another from a hospital bed show the teenager’s face bruised, inflamed and unrecognisable.
Three girls have been charged by Queensland Police this week over the disturbing incident at the ill-fated sleepover.
Footage that was shared online, seen by news.com.au, appears to show the alleged victim being punched, tied up, knifed, burnt, and having her hair pulled and hit with bottles.
In one, the alleged victim begs, “please don’t” as the girls allegedly continue the assault.
At one point, it appears she attempts to leave the room before being pulled back by the hair and struck by the knife.
The alleged teenage victim has received support from thousands and a public demonstration is planned.
The young alleged victim spoke out about the alleged incident this week, detailing the physical and mental scars it had left behind.
“I (allegedly) got tortured for hours by 3 girls. I got bottles smashed on my head, stuff thrown at me, drinks poured on me, stomped on, punched, stabbed, tied up all because they wanted some fun,” she posted to social media.
“I have no problem walking into any police station and telling them that (names redacted) [allegedly] like to torture me for fun.”
In a moving interview with 7 NEWS, the young victim detailed her mental and physical anguish.
“I (didn’t) care what (they’d) done to me. I just wanted to go home and see my little brother and see my mum,” the girl said, adding that she “wasn’t even thinking” properly during her ordeal.
“It was traumatic, really. It will take me a long time to recover from this.”
Is ‘online terror’ trending?
Speaking to the Courier Mail in general terms, Dr Renee Zahnow, a researcher at the University of Queensland’s School of Social science, expressed concern over the use of social media to broadcast violent offences such as torture and grievous bodily harm for entertainment value.
She likened the infamy gained by perpetrators of such offences to that of a serial killer and has called for limits for early teens and pre-teens.
Youth Against Violence has organised a peaceful protest to highlight the urgent changes needed to curb escalating rates of youth violence and knife crime.
“This is online terror … essentially, they are terrorising this girl and continuing to do so through their access to social media,” she said.
“What this really signals is missed opportunities. This perpetuation of the ‘this is funny, this is entertainment’ … that idea is being distributed to other people.”
According to Dr Zahnow, these sorts of videos often have the largest audience within the first 24 hours of posting.
The victim’s mother has set up a GoFundMe account to provide financial assistance to her daughter following the alleged vicious attack by three individuals that lasted for several hours. The fundraiser has already amassed over $50,000.
The mother explained in her statement, “My daughter has been through a lot recently, as I’m sure you’re all aware.
The alleged victim’s mother has set up a GoFundMe account which has raised over $50,000 to provide financial assistance for her daughter’s recovery.
She was (allegedly) viciously attacked by three people over hours of time, and was placed into hospital for recovery.”
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“This has not only been physically traumatising, but mentally as well.”
Expressing her gratitude for the outpouring of support, the mother said: “The kind words my daughter is receiving from you all is so much appreciated and we’re so very grateful to each and every one of you.”
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