This just makes me want to vomit:

Victoria Lindsey, a 16-year-old cheerleader in Lakeland, FL, was beaten by 6 female schoolmates inside the home of one girl, while two male schoolmates kept watch outside the home.

There are links all over the place about Lindsey, so I’m not going to spend a huge amount of time summarizing. There is also video of the footage available online, though I warn you: though it’s not terribly “gory,” it’s still difficult to watch.

Here are the basic details, as I gathered from various news sources, blogs, and by watching the video for myself:

  • These 6 girls wanted to post a violent video to YouTube and MySpace.
  • They formulated a plan to get Lindsey to the home of one of the girls where the fight would take place. Their plan was to instigate a fight and videotape a portion of it so that it would look like two girls fighting, though they planned to start taping after the fight was in progress so that there’d be no way to determine who started the fight. It appears they used some MySpace smack-talk as fodder for the fight, along with, “Why don’t you like my friends? Why did you say this particular thing about this particular person?”
  • The beating took place over a period of 35 minutes, although the video circulated online is only about 3 minutes long.
  • According to one news source, Lindsey was beat until she lost consciousness. When she awoke, the girls started the beating again, this time on video.
  • At one point during the video, Lindsey attempts to leave the house, but is blocked from doing so by two girls. She is then literally cornered.
  • Lindsey sustained a concussion, loss of hearing and visual impairment.
  • Lindsey never fought back.

I don’t understand where the impulse for violence comes from. Sure, I get angry with people for the things they say and do, but never enough to advocate harming those people. It doesn’t surprise me too much, though, that no one spoke up and said, “Hey, maybe this isn’t that smart.” I do understand that mob mentality is a powerful thing. It’s also a fairly handy excuse: “Well, they beat the shit out of Victoria. I didn’t want to get beat up too.”

What frustrates me most about this, I think, is the comments I’ve seen online in reference to Lindsey’s lack of reaction. She mostly cried, attempted to cover herself, and attempted to remove herself from the situation. She did not strike out at the girls, and during the video, you can mostly hear her trying to reason her way out of the situation. A few people, on blogs and news postings, have said things like, “Dumb bitch didn’t fight back.”

It’s more than a little reminiscent of the kind of victim-blaming that takes place in instances of sexual assault. Somehow it’s now Lindsey’s fault for not defending herself physically. Which, really, is nuts: the fight-or-flight response is instinctual, and when faced with 6 adversaries, I think the human body knows its own limits. Victoria Lindsey’s body demonstrated hers. While I understand the importance of self-defense, there are situations where it’s just not going to work.

Plus, you know, violence doesn’t actually solve anything. It generally makes more problems. Just ask Victoria Lindsey, and the six girls who have now been charged as adults with felony assault.

If they are convicted, they will pretty much be screwed in terms of future plans.
I mean, 14 is pretty young to have a felony assault conviction.

Sheesh.

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