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Officials Defend Keeping Teen's Rape Secret
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 31, 2004

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND--The family of a 14-year-old girl with learning disabilities is upset because her school did not notify them that she had been raped, the Sunday Star-Times reported.

The school's decision not to report the assault to the parents is supported by the Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, and the Auckland District Health Board.

The girl said she was raped on March 6 by a 22-year-old man while another man held her down.

Because they threatened the girl with more violence, she kept silent about the attack until she started showing symptoms of an infection. She went to a school nurse and a school counselor, who referred her to a doctor. She told them all she did not want anyone else to know of the attack.

She was given medication to treat the infection, but failed to follow through because she did not understand the instructions.

Her mother found out about the assault when she went to withdraw her daughter in May because of behavior problems -- evidently brought on by the infection.

"She was very withdrawn and running away," her mother said. "She wasn't the same girl."

School and health officials defended the decision that was based on their codes of ethics which rely on the judgment of school and health care professionals when dealing with a 14-year-old, regardless of disability.

"Rape should stay a secret, says school" (Sunday Star-Times),2106,3017695a10,00.html

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