The story of Daisy Coleman is enough to turn one’s blood cold. Raped and left for dead in the cold of the Missouri winter, the fourteen year old was found unconscious in the bitter winds and snow. With charges dropped against her alleged rapist, her family the target of numerous threats and violent actions and with no end to her nightmare in sight, Daisy recently attempted suicide, undoubtedly feeling there were no other options.
But now, from the depths of the internet and around the world, the hacktivist group Anonymous is stepping up to offer support for the victim and her family and managed to bring her story to all corners of the globe by way of an organized twitterstorm, in which thousands of people participated to show the young lady that she is loved and that despite the recent horrors, she is not alone.
Matthew Barnett, who is the grandson of a local Republican political figure, was the primary suspect in the case until charges were dropped by the prosecutor claiming a lack of evidence and the supposed refusal of the Coleman family to cooperate with investigators.
With numerous parallels being drawn between this and the Steubenville rape case, the situation for poor Daisy only seemed to get worse from there. Following the dismissal of charges against her alleged rapist, the town itself largely turned on the family, with everything from threats and harassment from area residents, to the family’s home being burned to the ground by an arsonist.
The family has since had to flee, and recently, following another spate of heartless bullying by locals, Daisy attempted to take her own life. She is presently recovering and undergoing evaluation at an area hospital. It was following this attempted suicide that Daisy’s mother Melinda thought to reach out to Anonymous via Facebook, in a sincere plea for help.
[box type=”shadow”]”Where is anonymous now? My daughter has been terrorized to the point she tried to kill herself last night. She may never be ok. Where are you and your super hacking skills and internet help now…….we really need them.”[/box]
Following this, the global loose-knit hacktivist group mobilized, flooding twitter with messages of support and solidarity with the victimized and persecuted teen and her family.
Though not expected to change much in regards to the victim shaming and abhorrent behavior by town officials and area residents, many of whom seemed disgustingly eager to attack the teen following her assault, the flood of tweets and social media messages using the hashtag #WeLoveYouDaisy took twitter by storm yesterday, just one day after Melinda’s plea went out.
In light of this increased attention and scrutiny on the case, a special prosecutor announced today plans to file misdemeanor child endangerment charges against Barnett, the alleged rapist, who if convicted could face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to a thousand dollars.
Though a paltry punishment for what is an unspeakable crime, some are hoping that perhaps this small token of justice and remuneration may work to at least somewhat satisfy what is an increasingly widespread call for action against this latest incident of a popular local athlete getting off scot-free after raping a teenage girl at a party.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of the article stated that the attack on Daisy Coleman took place in Montana. The attack in fact happened in Missouri and the article has been amended to reflect that.