The girl said she was shocked to find a digital creation of her avatar gang-raped by strangers online.
A girl wears a virtual reality (virtual reality) headset in an online immersive game. Although she was not physically harmed as it was an online game, The New York Post reported that the girl suffered emotional and psychological trauma as if she had been raped by someone in the ‘real world’.
Equally shocking to the real case
It is said that this will be the first virtual sexual assault case investigated by the police.
“This child also suffered mental trauma just like the victims of physical rape. The emotional and psychological impact on the victim lasts longer than any physical injuries,” said a senior officer privy to the case.
“Such cases cannot be settled under the existing laws. Thus, it has created a lot of challenges,” he said.
It is not yet clear what game the girl was playing when the alleged assault took place.
Confusion among police, lawyers
The investigation into this historic case has raised the question of whether the police should consider virtual crimes. When there is a huge pending trial of actual rape cases, there is a doubt whether the trial of such cases is effective.
But British Home Secretary James Cleverley, who defended the virtual reality rape investigation, said the child had been sexually traumatised. “I know it’s easy to dismiss this as not really happening. But this virtual environment is incredibly deep. It’s important to understand that when someone goes through something physically possible through a digital system, that child has to be saved from such trauma,” he said.