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"These things happen everywhere."

"These things happen everywhere."

Torrington, Connecticut. Two 18-year-old high school football stars raped a pair of 13-year-old girls. The response on Twitter was surprisingly nasty. The girls were called whores, sluts, and snitches by their peers and were accused of ruining the lives of the football players.

"If you look at crime statistics, these things happen everywhere," said Torrington High School Athletic Director, Mike McKenna, "We're not any different than any other community."

The rationale that this is a common occurrence, and therefore, is acceptable, is absurd and backwards.

The media coverage that feminism has achieved this year I felt, while pushing women's position in society to new limits, was brash. From letters to Miley Cyrus about her bum to Nigella's abuse case, the media seems to yell and thrash itself about in the name of women. I didn't feel that my chosen news story required that kind of attitude. Instead, I opted for a simpler visual solution.

My aim with this pen and watercolour series (originally 10 illustrations) was to demonstrate the sequence of events from the victim's perspective. Rape is a delicate subject matter that is often shown without subtlety or consideration for those involved. The series needed to raise awareness and also demand respect. Ideally, it would relate not only to one news story, but would speak to the hundreds of young men and women who are put in these situations and ask them to make better choices before becoming another one of Mike McKenna's crime statistics.

Torrington, Connecticut