So, there's a lot of stuff going on in the youtube community right now. Here's the low down from Laci Green because she can say it much better than I could. Make sure to check out some of the links in the video.
This issue is very real. Obviously, it's not just isolated to Sam Pepper because it happens a lot. You may say, "No, this would never happen in my area. People where I live are kind and would never do a thing like that!" To which, I shake my head. People like Sam Pepper don't look like monsters. They're don't have green skin covered in boils or sharp teeth. They look normal and the affect they have when they abuse someone is, sadly, real.
I recently finished reading a zombie book (just stay with me, I promise this will all make sense in the end). I'm not going to give you the name or the author of the book because honestly, it's full of plot holes and laughable moments. Towards the end two characters were introduced: an older man and a fourteen year old girl. Pages later, the man was caught raping the young girl.
After, what happened to her was barely talked about. We didn't see her recovery and we didn't get to see her as anything else but a rape victim. This is horrible on so many levels. It not only minimalized her as a person but it also minimalized what happened to her. It made it so, later in the book, her being raped (many times) could be compared to someone's father dying. This is sickening because they are two completely different things. The death of a parent is sad but abuse is a terrible thing to live with that can affect the person, and their family, for very long time.
The thing I found most disturbing was that it was only added it to create tension and to push the characters into doing something (hunting zombies). Mainly though, it seems like it was put in there to make the book edgy just like the death and gore in the book.
This is one of worst moves an author can make. I can tell you now that I won't be reading another one of this author's books. Abuse, depression, self-harm and similar issues should not be used to make a book edgy or to create tension. As we know from cases like Sam Pepper it's very serious and not to be taken lightly. This is something that is happening to people a lot and to throw it in a book to make it "edgy" completely minimizes the issue and turns it into a plot device.
I'm not saying you can't put these situations into a book. They should be talked about, but they should be taken seriously. An author should research an issue like this widely and this should include accounts from real people. This could include the victims and the people who abuse. Know your stuff so you don't make the same mistake as so many authors who have tackled issues like this and failed. People who go through abuse, depression, self harm (and so many other issues like this) deserve to have their stories told properly. They deserve to not be used as a plot device. They deserve a voice.
Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org