Some Steubenville Parents Are Scared To Speak Out Due To Fear Of Their Neighbors
I have cried a lot about Steubenville. I cried when I watched the Nodianos video, which took me about an entire day to get through because it was too awful to watch in one sitting. I cried when I watched 20/20 last night and a text was revealed where the 16-year-old rape victim said:
Why were my clothes off? You took a picture of me naked with come and piss on me. I was passed out there is no possible way I had a conversation with you and I was “just fine” because if I was “just fine” I would remember it. You lying will only piss me off about it when I know the truth.
And a text where someone who had received a photograph of the victim naked replied:
‘You should’ve moved her around and got a better angle.’
I’m not the only one who has shed tears about this whole Steubenville thing, because there are many parents who live there who are appalled by the case. Yet to do so in public would be met with scorn and ostracization from their friends, co-workers, family members, and employers who don’t share their belief that this rape wasn’t a rape at all.
After the court trial, it’s pretty easy to see that the convicted rapists in this case, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, are morally bankrupt sex offenders. But what about the rest of these kids, who just stood around and watched these crimes take place, who took photos of the victim, vomiting in the streets, barely able to walk, and who did nothing but gleefully insult her on social media, making fun of her, making fun of her rape? Where are their parents?
I still don’t fully understand Steubenville. I don’t understand why these teenagers, not a single one, had the intellect and ability to call an adult to come help. I don’t understand why the owner of the home where the first party took place, the assistant football coach, broke up the party and sent drunk teens to their cars to drive around. I don’t understand why at the last house of that evening, no adults realized that there were drunk kids in their basement raping a girl.
I have yet to see a single Steubenville parent come forward and say that they had a kid attend one of these parties and even though they were not convicted of a crime, they were grounded by their parents or received some sort of other punishment. I have yet to see a Steubenville parent come forward who had a kid at one of these parties say “We support the rape victim and want to help teens in our community do the right thing.”
The only noise I have seen coming from Steubenville are parents who will email me in secret, and say even though their kids weren’t at the parties, and even though they support the rape victim and pray for her that they are terrified of going public with their support due to the victim-blaming and the “Football is everything” culture of their city. I don’t live in Steubenville. I don’t know what it’s like to be there in the aftermath of this trial, before the honorable and noble Attorney General Mike DeWine has had the moral fortitude and “do the right thing” attitude of conducting a grand jury investigation. I don’t know what it’s like to live with a teen who witnessed the girl vomiting in the street with her top off and didn’t call me. But I do know, if one of my kids were one of these creeps who did nothing I would be outraged. Outraged at my own kid, furious about the boys who raped her, and vocally supporting the victim. Where are the parents in Steubenville demanding alcohol and rape awareness classes for their youth to partake in? They are scared to speak out. They aren’t scared of Anonymous, who are vocal about wanting rape awareness programs in Steubenville. They aren’t scared of activists in the area, women who speak about their own rapes who grew up in Steubenville. They are scared of those among them who are their neighbors, who attend church with them, who have kids who go to school together who have the attitude that “the victim was asking for it.”
On twitter there are some Steubenville natives who do nothing but sit around all day, arguing with anyone who dares suggest that adults who live there should have been present and aware of what their kids were doing on the night of August 11th and the early morning of August 12th. This small group of Steubenville people attack Alexandria Goddard, call her a “Fat sweaty pig” and other heinous things. And the other day when I made a tweet that people interested in honoring the victim can make a donation to the YWCA in Wheeling, one of these fine Steubenville residents tweeted that “All people are doing by talking about Steubenville is re-victimizing Jane Doe.” There are many good people in Steubenville. It’s just a lot of them are scared of their own neighbors.
What victimized Jane Doe to begin with was the fact no one helped her. What victimized her was silence.
If interested, you can make a donation to the 16-year-old rape victim here.
(Photo: ABC NEWS)