It’s recently come to light that Rita Ora was a victim of child abuse. Whether or not she’s ready to come to terms with that is another matter.
According to a recently discovered interview reported in an unauthorized autobiography, Rita admitted to having a relationship with an older man when she was a teenager. “I was 14 when I started, when I got my first relationship with a guy,” she told Lifetime TV in a 2013 sit-down. “I would say [he was] about 26. And you have to remember I hadn’t had a relationship before then at all. It’s child abuse, really, isn’t it?”
Yes, Rita it is. The definition of statutory rape is as follows: “Minors and physically and mentally incapacitated persons are deemed incapable of consenting to sex under rape statutes in all states. These persons are considered deserving of special protection because they are especially vulnerable due to their youth or condition.”
When I read this about the singer, I was heartbroken. It’s a stab to the heart every time I hear someone reveal that they’ve been a victim of such a terrible crime. However, this feeling of sadness grew when I saw her deny the wrong that was inflicted on her.
She went on to say that the guy, AKA the perpetrator, always made her feel “great.”
“I don’t want to say that I suffered it, because I wanted it,” she quickly added. “I don’t want to say that I was forced to do it. I don’t want people to think that I was forced to do it. I don’t want people to think I was abused as a kid, but I was definitely more mature than I should have been at 14.”
Millions of people have read this interview by now, and undoubtedly some are victims of childhood sexual abuse. By recanting her thoughts, Rita will make those who have gone through similar trauma question whether they are truly victims at all. I wasn’t forced into anything. And I was mature for my age. It was my choice. I did this. These thoughts will continue to swirl in the minds of the victims, while the criminals continue to roam free.
These types of thoughts also encourage victim blaming. Well, she wanted it. She said it herself, the criminal can say. Sounds an awful lot like “She was asking for it,” doesn’t it? These thoughts also make victims believe that they caused the assault, and that it was their own fault. Many victims may think that they were in control of the situation all along and knew exactly what they were doing. This is an unfortunate failure to realize the misdeed done to them. Why, you ask? It’s because they were “immature” and “inexperienced” youths who didn’t know any better. Their perpetrators, of course, knew this and used this to their sick advantages.
I’m sure that Rita’s intention was merely to clarify her statement and not to set off a social media firestorm. However, if she was truly clear, she would’ve known that she said nothing wrong in the first place.
The fact of the matter is that Rita was a minor at the time, which made her “vulnerable due to her youth.” So she was most definitely a victim of child abuse. Hopefully, the victims of this crime will continue to see this, whether Rita sees this at this very moment or not. Understanding this simple fact will stop giving criminals free passes for violating their innocent victims.
Nevertheless, I’m sorry this happened to you Rita. It never should have.