Cape Coral Police investigate social media trend promoting sexual assault
CONTENT WARNING- SEXUAL VIOLENCE
FORT MYERS, Fla.– April 24th may not mean much to you but dark corners of social media have dubbed this Saturday “National Rape Day.”
The social media posts aren’t to bring awareness to the heinous crime, they’re advocating for it.
According to a Cape Coral Police Department incident report, someone in Cape Coral received a threatening text message from an unknown number Monday that read, “April 24. National rape day. Watch your back.”
When CCPD arrived, they quickly determined this was part of a larger social media trend seen by millions.
“Come to find out, it’s some sort of ill advised internet trend right now where people get assaulted,” said Cpl. Phil Mullen.
Many are warning women to be careful on Saturday the 24th after some say they saw a social media video circulating encouraging people to sexually assault others. Some say they saw the men in the video offering tips on how to do it as well.
Student Kiki Andre says she’s well aware of the social media trend. She doesn’t believe anyone will actually take action in accordance with the post but she hasn’t ruled it out.
“Being a woman, there’s that small fear it might actually be real,” said Andre.
Dr. Yaro Garcia with the Counseling Department at Florida Gulf Coast University said the alleged aggressive posts are probably for attention, it can be scarring for victims of sexual assault.
“What we’re seeing with this is turning into a trend that’s more physiologically and mentally dangerous than physically dangerous,” said Garcia. “It taps into the fear that is a pretty natural fear that many women carry.”
A Tik Tok spokesperson said in a statement they don’t condone the trend and they’ve found no evidence of a video with that rhetoric trending on the platform.
They said it is a violation of their guidelines and they would remove the content from their platform if it was found.
CCPD stresses if you feel unsafe or threatened, call them.
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