A 16-year-old schoolgirl violently gang raped in Londonderry during the summer holidays was left with extensive injuries on her body including bruises, scratches, bite marks and cigarette burns.
The girl’s mum has told the Derry Journal that her daughter was drugged at a house party before being raped by more than one person.
She also believes her daughter was later washed down to conceal any trace of her attackers’ DNA.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was speaking out to alert young people and their parents to what she described as this “deliberate targeting”.
The woman says her daughter is “learning to live with the trauma of that night, but she is withdrawn, tearful and never wants to leave the house”.
She says that, since the incident involving her daughter, she has spoken to five other sets of parents who have had similar experiences in recent months.
On the night in question, she says her daughter had gone out with friends but later became separated from them and ended up at a house party. Hours of frantic searching followed, with family and friends trying to trace the teenager.
It was the following afternoon before she turned up at her home “in an awful state”.
Her mum recalls: “She was dripping wet, with make-up running down her face and she was barely able to walk. She was incoherent and bleary. She begged to go to bed but we wanted to get an explanation for her totally out-of-character behaviour.
“She said she’d felt ill at the house where the party was and had lied down on a bed. When she woke up, she said she was being raped by a much older man. She refused to go to the police believing it was her fault for being drunk and agreeing to go back to the house. We took her to Altnagelvin Hospital A&E. After talking to her for a while, the doctor there called the police who arranged for her to be taken to a specialist rape unit in Antrim.
“My daughter’s injuries were extensive. She was bruised, scratched, bitten and had cigarette burns over her body. Doctors believe she was drugged and raped by more than one person. The reason she had been wet was possibly to get rid of DNA.”
The woman urged other teenagers to look out for each other on nights out.
“My daughter never thought it would happen to her and thought she had protected herself against this happening. Do not think you are too smart for this to happen to you - you’re just as vulnerable as the next person.”
A Foyle PSNI spokesperson said: “Police are investigating the report of a sexual assault of a female in the Londonderry area.”