Do you even know what happened in Steubenville, Ohio, late last summer? You might not because it hasn’t gotten much coverage in the media. In fact, hardly any. I took a mini-media break over the Christmas break and I heard all about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West having a baby and buying a house. (Seriously people, we’ve got to stop encouraging the Kardashians. I am begging you to stop watching and letting them be relevant!) I’ve seen a million weight-loss articles.
But no one wants to talk about Steubenville. This article lays it out nicely, but I’ll sum it up for us. A young girl went to a party, got drunk, and was raped repeatedly while male and female party goers watched, filmed, and tweeted about her debasement. She was carried from party to party by her rapists–members of the football team, peed on, and raped. They had the courtesy to drive her home, where they dumped her, unconscious, on her front porch.
As seems to be par for the course, she is being blamed. She was a slut, what did she expect? She was drunk, what did she expect? She has a bad reputation, what did she expect?
And the rapists? So far two boys have been charged, with the local sheriff saying others couldn’t be identified. I mean, it’s not like you couldn’t read twitter feeds or watch videos to get an idea of the identity of the rapists. It’s not like you couldn’t interrogate the girl’s fellow party-goers who chose to stand by and watch while she was violated. Also, the local sheriff was filmed saying, it’s not a crime to not report a crime.
In the second video included in the link above, a young man makes joke after joke about the “dead” girl and what she got. I was only able to watch for a few minutes because it was like a Jay Leno monologue in hell. He compares the victim to OJ’s dead wife among other dead people.
Why hasn’t this caused more uproar in the girl’s own community? Why aren’t the parents of all the local young women and girls demanding justice? Why aren’t people rallying around the victim?
Who knows. But this quote from local high school football coach Nate Hubbard gives us some insight:
“The rape was just an excuse, I think. What else are you going to tell your parents when you come home drunk like that and after a night like that? She had to make up something. Now people are trying to blow up our football program because of it.”
Once again sports over people in America. Who would have guessed.
Mothers. Fathers. Men. Women. We need to take action. We need to demand justice for this young woman, football players be damned. Please consider signing this petition from WeAreUltraViolet.org: http://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/steubenville
Next week: Why rape needs a place in our discussions of sex with our children.