Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Steubenville Rape Of The Victim

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime  ( http://www.victimsofcrime.org/ )

1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused by age 18

1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by age 18

90,000 cases are reported in the U. S. each year

90 percent of the time, the child knows the perpetrator of the abuse

117 victims a child molester will have assaulted before being caught


Trigger Warning added to this post. Read at your own risk. I am angry. I am horrified and I want you to be too. Everyone should be furious about this incident and the resulting court case.

Steubenville, Ohio has a young teenage girl that is in the 90% who knows her perpetrators of rape.  If you aren't familiar with the case, I will be posting links to some of the articles that were written about the rape. You are going to see the word rape and victim in this article a lot because I want everyone to see what was done to this child and I want it to be real for my readers as it was real for her. I don't want you to distance yourself from your feelings. I want you to feel everything this girl felt the morning after as she was told what happened to her the night before. As the newspapers and attorneys keep pointing out, she was drunk, so drunk that she didn't remember the events until friends told her the next day.

Warning: Disturbing Photo: Here is the link to the first article that I read about the event:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/highschool--first-day-of-steubenville-rape-trial-focuses-on-key-photo-034736500.html

My husband was listening to the TV a day or two after this news article was posted and the reporter said it did not look good for the victim. The reporter thought that the two high school football players were going to get away with their crime of raping this drunken girl. The football players weren't being tried by the reporters, the victim was. The important question to the court case had to do with whether the girl gave consent or whether she was too drunk to give consent. At 16, should it matter? At the very least, it was statutory rape. If she wasn't passed out drunk, she was still not thinking clearly by the time that the rape happened.

What teenaged girl do you know that would give consent to being raped digitally and orally on camera? What teenaged girl do you know would give consent to be humiliated by having her picture taken while her two rapists are picking her partially naked body up by her feet and arms because she wasn't conscious enough to walk with them? I don't know any and I'll bet you don't either.

The boys say she was conscious. Does she look conscious to you in that blurred photo in the news article? By the way, this photo, not blurry, was sent out by cell phones and even made it to the internet to who knows how many people. Why didn't any of the people standing around watching this part of the incident, stop these football players? Where is their responsibility in this? Some were given immunity for testifying against the two football players. Later articles questioned whether the witnesses were actually given immunity. I hope they were not. Anyone who watched this rape and did nothing is guilty too.

That photo brings up lots of feelings for me. Anger, even fury, hopelessness, shame, fear from my inner children, disgust with the rapists and the news reporters, knots in my stomach because of my own experience with the childhood rapes from incest. Those feelings of mine are why it has taken me awhile to write this article. I still shy away from very strong feelings like these.

According to Yahoo! News in the article "Computer expert testifies at Ohio rape trial" at the following link

http://news.yahoo.com/computer-expert-testifies-ohio-rape-trial-165529118.html

17 cellphones took pictures of the rape victim being help by her arms and feet by her rapists. How many friends do you think those images went out to and how many more times do you think those were sent out? How many people saw that photo? How many of them looked at that picture and said, "This is wrong! I have to do something about this?"

The two football players, Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond, according to the above article, were charged with  the digital penetration of the victim in a car and later in the basement of a house that they moved her to.

Another link: "Steubenville rape suspects' teammates testify they saw them commit sex acts"

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/15/17330245-steubenville-rape-suspects-teammates-testify-they-saw-them-commit-sex-acts?lite

These witnesses were granted immunity so they would testify. They saw and they did not stop this crime of rape from happening to this girl. I am horrified. I pray that my son or grandsons would never just stand there and watch when a crime like this is happening. Where was their moral outrage? Where was their compassion for this girl? Are football players in our country just given free reign to do anything that they want to because they are football players? This is so wrong.

Mark Cole, Anthony Craig, and Evan Westlake were named as some of those witnesses who did nothing to prevent the rape of this victim. In my eyes, they are just as guilty but they were given immunity for their testimony. Mark Cole is the person who video taped the sexual acts in the car but he later on deleted it from his camera. Photos and video images were posted online the night of the rape.

Did you wonder when the victim would start being blamed for her own rape and when the fact that she was drunk would be brought up as a cause for the rape? The question of the victim's honesty was brought into the court room. Having four shots of vodka and two beers does not make you a target for rape. It might make you incapacitated but it does not give someone else the right to rape you. Neither does saying that you like one of the boys and would like to have sex with them. Saying and doing are two different things, especially when you aren't thinking clearly because of alcohol.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/16/17341154-procecution-defense-rest-their-cases-in-steubenville-rape-trial?lite

Many of the comments that I have read online fully support the two football players and blame the victim because she was drunk. What these people don't get is that people get drunk every night but that doesn't make them rape victims. Women can wear short skirts, low-cut blouses, push-up bras, whatever, that does not mean they are asking to be raped. Nothing you can wear makes you open game for a rapist. Saying you like someone does not give that person the right to rape you. Is the rape culture so strong in our country that it is easier to blame the victim than to put the responsibility where it belongs with the rapist?

There is so much more I can say and probably will in another article. I am tired and drained by writing this one. By the way, the two football players were found guilty. I will write about my feelings about that in the second article. Thank you for going along with me on this sometimes painful journey.
Patricia







4 comments:

Mary said...

Patricia, thank you for this wonderful article that you wrote...You said how I feel also..How could anyone think that because she was drunk that she deserved to be raped??? How could they stand around and take pictures and not stop it? It sickens me...I am so angry also...Thank you again for saying what I would say also...Hugs and Love to you my friend..<3

Patricia Singleton said...

Mary, you are very welcome. (((Hugs))) to you too.

CRUISEROO said...

Well said Patricia and your outrage is justified. To my mind there is no "right" about rape under any circumstances. And the fact that someone shoots pictures and videos of this to share with others shows a complete disregard for another human being. How low can they go!

Patricia Singleton said...

Cruieroo, Thank you. The disregard and lack of human kindness in so many people today is a major worry of mine. Bullying happens because of this lack of feelings for other people.