I have to add my two cents to the many, many articles and blogs I’ve read in the last two days regarding the guilty verdict in the Steubenville rape case. I was relieved when the guilty verdict was returned, as I have followed this case ever since the beginning.
That being said, I was dismayed at the media coverage that I have seen. And even more so at the comments by readers that followed this coverage. Overwhelmingly, the media coverage seemed to dwell on the “promising careers” of the young men involved and the lasting impacts that this decision will have on their lives. I have read many articles on many mainstream news sources, and I have yet to see more than a mere mention of the victim and the lasting impact this event will have on her life.
Yes, these boys will go to jail. Yes, these boys will be registered sex offenders. Yes, this will impact their futures in terms of college and employment. And it should! These boys are rapists. Where are the mainstream news articles and broadcasts explaining the life-long ramifications for the victim? The flashbacks, the PTSD, the social effects of having this plastered all over the internet? The detrimental effects it will have on her future relationships with men?
I haven’t seen this. Please share links if you have seen any. It may restore my faith in the media. The comments (which I always promise myself I will never read, but do anyway) are even worse. The trolls and rape apologists are everywhere–blaming the victim (“she was asking for it and they gave it to her, then she has the nerve to call it rape”), the alcohol (“those boys were drunk and didn’t know what they were doing”, “that girl was drunk and should have known better”–double standard, anyone????), and the parents (“what kind of parents would let a young girl stay out all night drinking?”). Not where it belongs, on the rapists.
Where I have seen many, many people voicing their concern and support for this poor girl is here, in the blogosphere, from the myriad of rape survivors who are out here sharing their stories. For her sake, I hope this young woman finds those words and finds support from them.