What About the Victim: The Steubenville Rape Victim’s Recovery

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JASON COHN / REUTERS

Two protesters hug after hearing the guilty verdict in the trial of Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond outside the juvenile court in Steubenville, Ohio, on March 17, 2013

How does public exposure affect recovery from a very private, traumatic experience?

The day after two Steubenville, Ohio, high school football players were found guilty in juvenile court of raping a 16-year-old girl, the victim faced a perilous new journey. Forced to confront her experience in public after photos and video of her on the night in question were circulated on social media, the 16-year-old is now being threatened by those siding with the athletes, who were part of the community’s beloved Big Red high school football team. Two girls made online threats to the victim via Twitter, menacing her with homicide and bodily harm for coming forward and launching the trial that led to the guilty verdicts for Ma’lik Richmond, 16, and Trent Mays, 17. The girls were arrested and taken to juvenile detention.

Both Mays and Richmond face at least one year in juvenile detention, with Mays potentially serving an extra year for taking and distributing images of the girl while she was naked.

But with so much attention focused on the lasting legacy the convictions will have on the boys, there seemingly hasn’t been as much concern for how the victim moves on from this very public exposure of a night she would rather put behind her. As the latest threats against her highlight, the fact that her experience unfolded in front of millions on social media may make her recovery all the more challenging. The social and emotional support that she does or does not receive now, experts say, could help determine whether she will be resilient or suffer lasting psychological damage.

(MORE: Steubenville Rape Case: Witness Says He Took Photos of Alleged Victim)

“We do know that the more severe the traumatic experience is, the more severe the reaction will be,” says Edna Foa, a professor of clinical psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and a leading expert on trauma. Rape, regardless of the level of physical force involved, is always traumatic, although, fortunately, the vast majority of people who suffer trauma do not develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

But in this case, the victim was betrayed by a young man she trusted. In texts sent before the girl became aware of the online photos and videos, Mays told her, “I’m going to get in trouble for something I should be getting thanked for taking care of you.” She later responded, “It’s on YouTube. I’m not stupid. Stop texting me,” the New York Times reported.

Two of her former best friends testified for the defense in the trial, claiming that it wasn’t unusual for her to get drunk and to lie. Such betrayals worsen trauma: traumatic experiences that involve disrupted relationships tend to be the most likely to cause lasting psychological harm because they undermine trust.

(MORE: Steubenville Authorities Launch Website to Dispel Controversy Around High School Rape Case)

In addition, social rejection and victim-blaming can potentially cancel out the resilience provided by support, according to Foa. “People saying things like ‘Get over it’ or ‘Maybe you had something to do with it’ — that we find to be a really negative predictor [of recovery],” she says.

Rape victims — and even those injured in less stigmatizing ways, such as during natural disasters or accidents — often feel shame and guilt over the experience and blame themselves for what happened. What may make recovery even more difficult for the Steubenville victim is the fact that evidence of the night’s events were widely distributed, including in a 12-minute video that mocked her inebriated and unconscious state. “We don’t have data on it, but I think it would add to severity,” says Foa. “It’s another dimension of the severity that she was so exposed.”

But there is a fine line between the harmful effects of such public exposure and the potential benefits of not having to hide or conceal emotions. When Jessica Stern, then 15, was raped at gunpoint in her home, along with her 14-year-old sister, in the late 1970s, the incident was kept quiet. Her widowed father didn’t even return home early from his business trip following the attack; the police questioned her as though she were covering up for having a secret boyfriend. And law enforcement did not inform the public; the man went on to rape least 42 other girls and women, as Stern later detailed in her book Denial.

(MORE: Viewpoint: Don’t Rush to Judge on Steubenville)

Stern, who is now a terrorism expert and a fellow in human rights at Harvard University, developed PTSD as a result of her unresolved response to her traumatic experience. She would frequently dissociate (become entirely disconnected emotionally from her surroundings) or be hypervigilant to the tiniest hints of threat or fear. While this gave her the ability to stay calm in and survive terrifying situations, like interviewing armed Al Qaeda members in the field, “I’m not sure my response was totally healthy,” she says.

In Stern’s case, sharing her experiences rather than bottling them up could have saved her from the personal turmoil that resulted from her heightened sensitivity to threats and her tendency to distance herself emotionally in relationships.

Indeed, Amy Vorenberg, who at age 13 was raped by Stern’s attacker, had a much more open recovery experience. Her parents immediately surrounded her with support: the day after the incident, a group of her friends from the neighborhood slept over to protect her. She slept in her mother’s bedroom for years (her parents were divorced), and all her classmates and teachers were aware of what had happened so that they could be sensitive to her needs. She was “frightened but felt held,” Stern writes in her book about Vorenberg, who is now a law professor and reported a much smoother path to recovery.

(MORE: Steubenville Teen Rape Case: Witness Pleads Fifth as Trial Continues)

“The most important thing anyone can do is to decrease the trauma survivor’s sense of shame,” says Rachel Yehuda, a professor of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine (formerly Mount Sinai) in New York. “Even in nonsexual traumatic events, there’s a certain sense of shame at being victimized, and that’s certainly true in the context of sexual abuse. The provision of social support is mostly to try to not judge the event or the victim’s role in the event.”

That’s the type of support Stern would like to see for the Steubenville victim. And, fortunately, the teen seems to have at least one powerful and understanding ally: her mother. Family support is especially important in overcoming trauma, and the victim’s mother has been a champion for her daughter throughout the ordeal. It was her mother who, along with other relatives, took her to the police several days after the incident and presented officers with a flash drive containing the images and social-media evidence they hoped would be enough to find and charge the perpetrators.

After the verdict, she told CNN that the result is “the start of a new beginning for my daughter.” “We need to stress the importance of helping those in need and to stand up for what is right. We hope that from this something good can arise,” she added, referring explicitly to helping others faced with the same situation. The verdict itself, as vindication of the victim’s side of the story, is a form of social support, notes Yehuda. “That might help,” she says.

(MORE: Steubenville Rape Guilty Verdict: The Case That Social Media Won)

Therapy can also be useful, if needed. “If after two to three weeks, she still feels as bad [as she did initially after the trauma] and you don’t see any natural recovery, that’s the time to go to treatment,” says Foa, who developed the trauma therapy known as prolonged exposure. It takes about eight to 15 sessions and involves discussing the trauma explicitly and helping victims to face situations and feelings that aren’t comfortable and that they want to avoid.

“The treatment helps you process the trauma by asking you to talk about it rather than avoid it,” says Foa, noting that many patients lives’ become so constricted by fear that they no longer go out of the house or engage in activities they used to enjoy. Another evidence-based treatment for trauma for youth is called trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy — and this also helps people make sense of trauma and interrupt the negative thought and behavior patterns it can produce.

Stern notes that while social media forced the Steubenville victim to face her experience even if she wasn’t ready or willing to do so, the richness of our social connections can also be turned around to help in her recovery. “I hope she will feel an army of women lifting her up,” Stern says, citing the recent cases in India and Somalia where women have begun to challenge cultures that condone rape after horrifying incidents became public. Seeing hope beyond the awful specifics of the attacks, Stern says, “I feel we’ve reached some sort of tipping point where rape victims all over the world are standing up and saying we’re not going to let ourselves be shamed into silence.”

“She had the courage — and it absolutely is courage — to come out against this violence,” says Niobe Way, a professor of psychology at NYU. “We need to be creating networks of support for her that can help her deal with this inevitable hostile response.” As Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said following the arrest of the two girls who threatened the Steubenville victim via Twitter after the guilty verdicts were announced: “Threatening a teenage rape victim will not be tolerated. If anyone makes a threat verbally or via the Internet, we will take it seriously, we will find you, and we will arrest you.” Those words were also a statement against a culture that minimizes or even glorifies violence against women and holds athletes to a different standard by which even criminal behavior is deemed acceptable.

It’s our ability to support rape victims and reject victim-blaming that will determine whether victims are helped or hindered in their recovery, say experts. And whether we successfully challenge cultural ideals that hold victims more responsible than the perpetrators. “We don’t want to believe we are a part of a culture that perpetuates these negative messages, but we are,” says Way.

MORE: Q&A with Terrorism Expert Jessica Stern on Her Own Experience of Terror and Trauma

282 comments
DavidFunnell
DavidFunnell

Or we can try this revolutionary Rape prevention measure....

"Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work"

1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.

2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.

3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to assault her.

4. If you are in a lift and a woman gets in, don’t assault her. You know what? Don’t even ogle her.

5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not assault her.

6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or assault her.

7. When you lurk in bushes and doorways with criminal intentions, always wear bright clothing, wave a flashlight, or play “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)” by the Raveonettes on a boombox really loud, so women in the vicinity will know where to aim their flamethrowers.

8. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from assaulting women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you when in public.

9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to assault a woman, you can hand the whistle to your buddy, so s/he can blow it to call for help.

10. Give your buddy a revolver, so that when indifferent passers-by either ignore the rape whistle, or gather round to enjoy the spectacle, s/he can pistol-whip you.

Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be assaulting her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.

ElaineSchloeder
ElaineSchloeder

The next time a boy or man is given strokes him for his displays of virility with the use of the title stud etc.  Please, you have to wonder what, if any messages we are giving or even could give our boys that have even the potential to be strong enough to neutralize the previous more common expressions in order to avoid these terrible tragedies.  Integrity does count.  Even past president Clinton should hang his head in shame and get out of the limelight, for his past hound-like behavior that trivializes that which should be such a private, marriage-protected act of love and engaged in with responsibility, care, and prior committment.  We are victimizing our little girls and young women with the lack of profound respect it is even affecting their own self-respect in thinking they should act and dress as sex objects. That this is what we actually accept and expect!!  How could we do this?!?!?  Do we have so little insight that we do not address this with the fervor it deserves, what has to happen that will inspire us or at least revolt us into action?!?!?  we should treat with the highest respect and adopt with insistence--responsible behaviors--sexual acts should only be done with great love and commitment.  Why do we want to encourage such treatment of our girls, how does all that trash talk in life and movies provide clear, positive messages for our young men.  Do we really wonder why there are so many rapes, rape-murders, abuses of women and now suicide as the result of such duplicitous messaging?  Does the blood of these innocent ones not cry out from the grave?  Do the babies that are the result from casual sex not cry out of their graves which in most cases are merely dumpsters in the back of abortion clinics!!!!  Why do we want our children and ourselves to be considered nothing more than animals, acting as we do, doing whatever we please, whenever we please with no concern for the possible tragic outcomes!!  Why not throw out all the God-less euphemisms that condone or give a seeming stamp-of-approval or by proxy a societal-sanctioned approval with the reference "consenting" adults as the threshold for participation in this behavior. 


Men were born to be LEADERS why not train and encourage them in the way REAL Leaders behave (not Clinton-style behavior)and stop this madness!! If you can teach a male child to zip up his fly before leaving the bathroom, you can teach him how to keep it zipped and not undo it for just any event he feels so inclined and to resist the mixed messages that the society and peers may foist on him.  Instill values and morals, what is the problem--are we such disinterested parents?    We don't know how many young boys we have "taught" to behave irresponsibly by allowing the only voice they here is pressure to conform from peers!! Fathers watch your trash talk please, so your sons don't pick it up and unwittingly disseminate it to susceptible friends and contacts!!

Self-control and respect are not bad words, they are a few of the words that truly matter if we want to live together in harmony in a decent society.  But if we want to cheapen the value of all life keep acting as though every act has no consequence and demands no forethought and responsibility and may be downright excusable, heck in most cases in the schools and homes, even laudable for our sons to behave in such a despicable manner or there would be no reason for the bragging and chest thumping that goes on!!  Every girl, woman, and child is someone's baby girl with hopes and dreams of their own--they should be treasured and protected not used and abused.  Is no one aware of the sex slave trade that consists of CHILDREN both little boys and little girls!!  But chastity and abstaining from sex until marriage is too extreme to teach in our schools, too hard a goal--so don't try, how low do you want to set the bar?-- really?!? 

If we do not demonstrate kindness and speak honorably and applaud decency in front of our children, I assure you we will not get it.  Purity is a wonderful goal.  No one has to get pregnant in order to get a husband, there should be no undue pressure from either side and this would solve it.  There should never be allowed such disparagement as with movie titles like the "40-year old Virgin", if someone is not married that should be expected and encouraged not poked fun at as some how emasculated version of a man and an unlovable indictment for a boy or a man. 

If you are not yet convinced and need something that will enrage you and propel you into action, please watch this news video and ask yourself if NOW is not the time to stand up and do something, then when?!?  How many have to die? Are not millions of babies tossed into our landfills not enough?!?  And women aferwards sent back out into the world without support from society and the protection of modesty to damage themselves even more with willing-and-able, foolishly trying to prove their "manhood",  unbridled men who care no more than to have a few minutes of satisfaction without a thought to the possible life destroying events that will follow or that they may even insist on to protect themselves from having to take responsibilty and have evidence of their despicable behavior!?! And then the chutzpah they demonstrate by backing away and dismissing it all with a "well she chose to have an abortion, I didn't."  Murderers! Leaving a woman pregnant to fend for herself in a world that is difficult for even the most sophisticated and physically capable people to negotiate is double murder?  Why do we not portray the sexually-active, irresponsible man as the potential murderers that they are???  Do they not even know the meaning and purpose of a family anymore??!?!  Do we not warn our girls with all gravity where submitting to these sexual requests without benefit of a real relationship with concrete commitments before they consent!! Why haven't we told them, why???
http://video.foxnews.com/v/2296946954001/15-year-old-kills-herself-after-rape-photos-go-viral/?intcmp=obnetwork

LB270593
LB270593

I don't know if anyone has said this and I don't care. You were 16 I was 14 and violation despite the differences in our situation, I know feels the same. Despite the difference,s I know you will struggle with the same things I have. I want to let you know, I don't know your name, I don't need to but I love you and I sympathise with you and I understand. I know how hard it will be to trust and I know how hard it is to walk through the vicitimisation that is about to come your way, I want to let you know that there is hope. It's not gonna be easy and it sure as hell is gonna be hard but one day the sun will shine again  and many a thing and a person will smile on your life. You have friends and supporters more than you know. Most of us are afraid are scared to speak out but we are here, and we admire you and respect you and love you so hard for saying the things and being the person we could never be. I want to thank you personally, because this time of year is hard for me and hearing about your case filled me with such anger and frustration that it enabled me to speak freely about what happened to me and finally make the  steps to move on. You've inspired someone many years your senior and many miles away from where you are with your story, so thank you. You're incredible and I hope every single message of hope out there reaches your ears before all the ones of hate, and if it doesn't close your ears and only listen to the people telling you how incredible you are because they are the only messages you need to hear. You are incredible and I thank you. 

JGwar
JGwar

Another comment for reporting to police to add: 

"WaytoGoDorner

9 days ago

 @ChristineAdams @ThomasJones And the girl deserves a bullet in the brain for making every woman think that all you have to do to become a national hero is get drunk and have sex with a guy.Hopefully someone makes her pay."

JGwar
JGwar

Collecting 'names' of commentors who want her harmed or dead.

WaytoGoDorner

10 days ago

 @JonGibsonShe may still be murdered.We can only hope that every teen girl in America doesn't start seeing getting really drunk and naked with high school boys as a way to get idolized by society.I don't buy for a second she didn't consent and wasn't conscious.Nobody is responsible for how much another person drinks but the drinker alone.

 WaytoGoDorner

10 days ago

 I'm not particularly worried.All I've said is that she deserves to die for what she's done.She's taken two lives as a result of her failure to take responsibility for her actions and rounded up a lynch mob in the process.

WaytoGoDorner

7 days ago

 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @JonGibson I would expect my child to know not to get in the intersection.She doesn't deserve to be rewarded for this.She has not been punished at all, and she's not traumatized.She's a fake, a liar, a criminal, and street trash.Hopefully someone puts her down.

 WaytoGoDorner

7 days ago

 @Brian_Jones @JonGibson She deserves to be hurt.She destroyed two lives by her actions.She ought to be killed.

WaytoGoDorner

10 days ago

 @pjbf @WaytoGoDorner She stated herself she was conscious in the car.If she was uncomfortable with sexual activity in the car, she should have asked to go home or left or something other than just stayed there.She got exactly what she consented to.Nobody is responsible for how much you drink except you and only you.

 Hopefully someone kills her before every teen girl in America thinks she'll be made a hero if she gets really drunk and gets naked with the high school football team.

 WaytoGoDorner

11 days ago

 @21stcentury It's because people who don't troll to get raped don't have sympathy for people who do.Hopefully she gets shanked.

WaytoGoDorner

10 days ago

 @tab @WaytoGoDorner @cferrey1@hotmail.com @cmf Really?You don't think that huh?Unlike you, I've studied CIA mind control history (peer-reviewed) and you'd be an idiot to not believe that.

 I think she should get her throat cut, so there's rooms for differing opinions.

WaytoGoDorner

10 days ago

 @takesforevers I agree - we should have absolutely no tolerance for what this girl did to these boys.She destroyed their lives because she decided to have sex with them while drunk.Hopefully someone will teach her a lesson.

failureofreality
failureofreality

The victim crossed state lines to commit a crime.  She engaged in underage drinking, which is a crime.  All the young people at the party committed a crime.  There are many questions left un-answered.  Where were the parents of the victim when the assault was being committed?  Why did the victim not go with her friends when she was urged to leave the assailants?  Where were the parents of the house where the assault was committed?

chrisbaker
chrisbaker

If this was my daughter I would be very upset. I would confront the parents of the boys that sexually assaulted her, sent the pictures,  and committed "digital rape."  They would need to be punished, do some community service, get some counseling - alcohol and sensitivity,  and issue a public apology. Then I would get my daughter straightened out. She would not be allowed the freedoms she had abused.  We would both need counseling. I would be completely ashamed for allowing her to even be in that situation and I would need to re-evaluate everything I had done as a parent. I would not care about pressing charges. I've heard people say these boys should be killed in the public square. Those people are insane. 

thewholetruth
thewholetruth

The Victim? Are you kidding, Not in this Sport Idol obsessed  generation 


1.We paint our faces and worship 15 year old Kids who can kick and throw a Ball

2. We Scream at a TV and root for (arrogant/Rich) Players because we want "Our" team to win..They are our Mini Gods. 

3. We are angry over a Football Match when our team loses But the Players go out and party

4. We are out of breath with Joy when they look at us or sign their name on a dirty piece of paper

Stop the Baseball, Football,Hockey, Soccer(football) obsession. Let's stop pampering arrogant players,

Here is an idea.... turn of the Sports and get your own Life..just a thought





BoredBoredBored
BoredBoredBored

"The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis." - Robert J. Lifton, M.D.

"Don't blame the victim."

chrisbaker
chrisbaker

I have not been following the this story as I was too busy at SXSW. Excuse my ignorance please but  can someone explain if she actually raped (like forced intercourse)? I saw something that said they committed "digital rape". I went to law school but I don't remember that term. 


JonGibson
JonGibson

Would the rape victim's parents be wrong if they told their daughter that they hoped she learned something from what happened?  If not, then no one else expressing that sentiment is wrong either, even if it isn't their place to say it.... 

Unless the victim was held down and force-fed alcohol until she passed out, she made herself a much easier victim than she might otherwise have been.

Both the victimizers and the victim are, by varying degrees, responsible for what happened.

BoredBoredBored
BoredBoredBored

@chrisbaker I agree with you.  If my daughter had made herself out to be a hero for getting plastered and falling asleep in two boys arms and then complaining she got groped, she'd be out of my life. 

misscandid
misscandid

@chrisbaker or you can get a life and stop spamming this page with your idiotic backwards misogynistic comments.

And stop thinking your opinion matters. 

Freya
Freya

@chrisbaker Testimony revealed that she was digitally penetrated by both males with fingers which equals rape.  Don't know how old you are but by the 90's at least rape was defined as the degree of violation of the victim, not the instrument with which an assailant violated or penetrated.  

JohnCarter
JohnCarter

@chrisbaker First, if you are too ignorant to even read the story you are asking about, be quiet.  Second, your introducing the term "forced intercourse" suggests your question is disingenuous anyway.  Guessing not at the top of your law class.

Brian_Jones
Brian_Jones

@JonGibsonAsking her if she 'learned something' would be superfluous and hurtful.  It would only function to make salient an imputed causal connection between the rape victims drinking and the rape.  This is fallacious because drinking heavily doesn't directly lead to rape.  The only thing that leads directly to rape--the  is a determined willingness to 'sexually penetrate' another with or without consent.  

While there are a number of other necessary factors such as a power differential--and her drinking did contribute to the power differential--but none of them necessarily lead to rape.  You might be physically capable of raping all the people in your immediate vicinity but from this it doesn't follow, all else being equal, that you will rape all the people in your immediate vicinity.  You might get stone drunk one night at a party but it doesn't follow, all else being equal, that you will necessarily be raped.  That's why we--when we're thinking rationally--give so much weight to intention in assigning moral responsibility. 

That she 'made herself an easier target' is irrelevant to the assignment of blame/responsibility for the crime of rape.  While we might decide that she's responsible for her underage drinking, that's another matter entirely.  

On moral blame.  When we assign blame on someone in regards to a crime, we are generally implying that they should be punished for it or that they should atone for it or in some way make amends.  By assigning responsibility to the victim, are you saying the same?  Should she be punished?  Should she apologize for being an 'easy victim?' 

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

would you tell your daughter that. no im sure you would, i got one better lets say you and i are hanging out drinking one night at your house and you being so trusting, pass out. now lets say the alcohol is starting to work some magic in my pants and to me your fat, pail, hairy ass is getting kinda tempting. if i tear off a piece in the middle of the night whose fault is it when you wake up with a sore hole and pregnant with a creamy terdcicle?

aleksandthedrummer
aleksandthedrummer

@JonGibson no, by increasing your chances for a crime to happen, you are not making yourself RESPONSIBLE. The person responsible is the perpetrator. If you forget to lock your back door, and someone comes and and rapes your girlfriend or your child, you are not responsible. What makes your life and recovery from the trauma more difficult, is the thought that you are responsible. In this situation, everyone would be telling you "it's not your fault". But in this case, everyone, including you, are telling this teenage VICTIM that it IS. 

BoredBoredBored
BoredBoredBored

@JonGibson You're right Jon.  Completely.  If it had been my daughter, I'd have testified for the defense and told people not to make her a hero for her stupidity.  However, my daughter would have been taught to respect herself and other people far more than this girl did.  The world likes to make heroes of girls who drink themselves stupid in the company of horny teenage boys that they've been following around all night.  I don't know what to make of that.

JonGibson
JonGibson

Out of the 3 of you who replied, Lydian was most respectful, thanks for that.  Maybe I should have asked if this victim's parents would have been wrong for asking if their daughter had learned anything from what happened instead of telling her they hope she did.

Claiming someone has done something doesn't meant they have done it.  I haven't ever defended any type of criminal, let alone one who has committed a crime directly against another person's well-being.

Instead of suggesting that I'm a 'rapist defender' maybe ask yourself if I've ever been victimized... empathy can help temper your comments, if you let it.  Telling a victim that they are a rapist defender pretty much makes you out to be exactly like you think I am.  YOU become the victimizer when you treat others badly.  Dehumanizing an individual is often a step in committing crimes against them...

People need to learn to comprehend what they read, instead of taking what someone writes or says and running away with it into whatever sick, empty, hateful place your lack of reading comprehension has obviously left in your education.

Most people keep repeating the same old sh*t about how wrong the rapists were... really?  Seriously?  No sh!t???  I'd rather focus on empowering the victims, helping them to see what they can do to lessen the likelihood of becoming a victim again... and what they can do to fight back if it does happen.  I'd rather help those who haven't been victimized to possibly prevent it from ever happening to them.

For all you who think you know so much... calmly lay down your pitchforks and torches, do a google search on Rape Recovery, and learn what is taught about it.  Victims' re-empowerment is extremely important.  Understanding how victims can better defend themselves is also important... or hasn't anyone seen rape-support groups kicking the sh!t out of the Michelin Man while screaming NO!  Remember, laws don't protect people, .357 Magnums do.  Laws are only there to punish criminals IF they're caught.  It's not possible to write a bit of personal responsibility on the girl's part out of this particular episode because she put herself into a situation where others could, and did, take advantage of it.

Seriously folks... think a bit before translating posts you read - into something the original writer didn't intend to mean.


(This particular victim willingly gave away control over the situation she found herself in, and her rapists took advantage of it.  If she hadn't been drunk, would she have been raped?  Maybe.  If she had been sober, would she more likely have been able to at least attempt to defend herself?  Almost definitely.  In much the same way, a passenger in a car wreck isn't to blame for another car hitting them, of course not.  But that passenger isn't blameless if they go through the windshield, fly through the air, and land under a parked car..... all because they didn't wear their seatbelt.)


When you have a choice to maintain control of yourself or to give that control to someone else, what they do to you once you no longer have control is on THEM - but the chance for them to do it to you is on you.  Don't give anyone that chance.

Take care.


sweetnepenthe1
sweetnepenthe1

@JonGibson : No. The rapists are responsible for rape.

LydianDeVereYard
LydianDeVereYard

@JonGibson They would be utterly insensitive to point that out. Many victims of rape go through a great deal of self-blame and self-hatred during their recovery, so I don't think she needs that to be pointed out. I think she gets it. NONE of those kids should have been drinking the way that they were, and no doubt plenty of them passed out, but she is the only one we are aware of that got assaulted. Have YOU ever gotten drunk to the point of passing out? If someone had violated you while you were unconscious, would you want your loved ones to wag their fingers at you and say "I hope you learned your lesson."?

Certainly, everyone (not just women) should be careful about alcohol consumption, but she was certainly not alone at that party, and who knows whether or not somebody slipped her something.

I just finished reading "After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back" by Nancy Venable Raine. In her memoir, she tells the story of her rape. After moving into a new apartment in Boston, Ms. Raine took out her garbage, leaving her door unlocked. Some moments later after coming back inside, while she was distracted, a man attacked her from behind. He was wearing slippers, and she never heard him approach. She concludes that he must have sneaked into her ground floor apartment while she was outside.

Should she have locked the door and taken her keys with her? In retrospect, probably. But she didn't think anything about it. Would it have helped if her family or the police reprimanded her for leaving her door unlocked and being unaware? A big fat NO. Blaming the victim doesn't help. It took years and years for Ms. Raine to come to terms with her brutal assault in a way that she could live with it, and self-blaming and self-hatred were a part of her response to it.

It's sad that we live in a world where women have to think about what they're wearing, where they go, where they live, work, who they hang out with, etc. in terms of ever being sexually assaulted. I'm not a fan of drinking (esp. underage drinking) to the point of the loss of awareness and I think all young people need to be educated about the risks that can go along with that. 

I'm going to have to have serious talks with my daughters when they're old enough to understand, but I would NEVER reprimand them for making an unwise choice if something like what happened here happened to either of them, God forbid.

 We all make mistakes and do things that are not good for ourselves. What those boys did was inexcusable and they deserve to be punished for it, not the victim. She deserves your compassion, not your censure.

downteap2
downteap2

@JonGibson what's it like being a utter caveman, rapist defender. You are a typical loser man with no clue about what rate is about and who any victim is.

STFU and go back to your porn, creep.

chrisbaker
chrisbaker

@Freya@chrisbaker  Some states may have changed a long time ago I just don't know but here is the CURRENT Georgia Statute. It does not include digits.

16-6-1. Rape(a) A person commits the offense of rape when he has carnal knowledge of:

(1) A female forcibly and against her will; or

(2) A female who is less than ten years of age.

Carnal knowledge in rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. The fact that the person allegedly raped is the wife of the defendant shall not be a defense to a charge of rape.

(b) A person convicted of the offense of rape shall be punished by death, by imprisonment for life without parole, by imprisonment for life, or by a split sentence that is a term of imprisonment for not less than 25 years and not exceeding life imprisonment, followed by probation for life. Any person convicted under this Code section shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Sections 17-10-6.1 and 17-10-7.

(c) When evidence relating to an allegation of rape is collected in the course of a medical examination of the person who is the victim of the alleged crime, the Georgia Crime Victims Emergency Fund, as provided for in Chapter 15 of Title 17, shall be responsible for the cost of the medical examination to the extent that expense is incurred for the limited purpose of collecting evidence.

chrisbaker
chrisbaker

@Freya @chrisbaker I went to law school in the 80s . .Ahh thanks i didn't make the connection to digits of a hand.  Got it.


Woodgod
Woodgod

@JohnCarter @chrisbaker   "Be quiet?"  "Ignorant?"  How about answering someone's question with intelligence instead of infantile name calling and telling someone to "shut up?"  Frankly, I've heard more disgusting, bullying language from so called Jane Doe supporters than any of those who are daring to ask broader questions about this case.

chrisbaker
chrisbaker

@john yes and I read an article it said digital rape and I was confused. Sorry I have other things going on that I can't be an expert in what happened in Ohio. And you're right I was not the top of my class but in the top 1/4 of a national school. There are lots of things I could talk about in here that you'd have no clue about, this rape case isn't one of them. Sorry for trying to get information without meeting your PC standards.

BoredBoredBored
BoredBoredBored

@Brian_Jones@JonGibson "That she 'made herself an easier target' is irrelevant to the assignment of blame/responsibility for the crime of rape.  While we might decide that she's responsible for her underage drinking, that's another matter entirely"

Is what you say.  Criminal law has never been about right and wrong, it is about what makes lawyers the most money and conglomerates the most power by playing off peoples' fear and hate.  There is no reason we should be breeding a society where women believe it is acceptable to do everything in their power to entice men.  It's like this Julian Assange crap where the women who decided that they were raped were willingly nude in bed with the man.  I'm sorry, but if you don't end up with bruises after trying to get away in such a situation, you weren't raped.

This woman and this woman alone is responsible for her choice to have sex while drunk.  If she didn't want to be there, she could have left at any time.  She chose not to.

Once you get your head out of the technicality of legal jargon, you will realize how unacceptable it is for women to actually go out of their way to put themselves in situations where consent is extremely ambiguous.


JonGibson
JonGibson

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@Who is responsible for her inability to even say 'no'?  Who is responsible for her inability to fight back?


JonGibson
JonGibson

@WaytoGoDorner @JonGibson Well... I'd feel pretty damned stupid if I'd put myself in the position she put herself into.  But if I were in her position, I wouldn't claim responsibility for what the boys chose to do, nor should she be blamed for their actions.  What they did was their choice, same as what she did was hers.  They committed a crime against another person, she only committed a crime against herself.  I hope she does learn from it, doesn't get too messed up in life over it, and is able to be a well-balanced adult at some point.  Had she done what she did in other circumstances, she may have become pregnant.  She might've been murdered...  As it is, she only has a bit of immature stupidity to grow out of, and hopefully she'll be the wiser.


Peace.

JonGibson
JonGibson

@sweetnepenthe1 Really?  How does it feel to type such a redundant fact?

Who is responsible for her inability to even say 'no'?  Who is responsible for her inability to fight back?  

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@LydianDeVereYard @JonGibson This woman wasn't attacked from behind.  This Ohio girl did absolutely every thing possible to ensure she was in a position where rape was likely to occur.  Women need to learn to take responsibility for their actions and choices in drinking.

This isn't leaving your door unlocked and having someone break into your house.  This is a girl who was hitting on boys all night, following them around, drinking herself to the point where she allegedly couldn't move, and being conscious during the first so-termed "sexual assault" in the car.  She deserves the full blame for her actions and nobody else.  Men are not responsible for how much you drink.  If you consent while drunk, you consent.  Period.

Woodgod
Woodgod

@downteap2 Real intelligent response. Since there's nothing he said that ISN'T true, you resort to the tired and disgusting tactic of calling him"pro rape" or a "rape apologist"in lieu of refuting a single thing he stated.

 What's hilarious (or tragic depending on your view) are your baseless and anti-male assertions that Jon is a "typical loser man" who would have "no clue about what rape is" or what it's like to be a victim of a sexual crime.


JonGibson
JonGibson

@downteap2 What makes you think I'm speaking from anything but personal experience?  Way to be a judgmental ass in public.

aleksandthedrummer
aleksandthedrummer

@chrisbaker @Freya So far the only thing they have evidence for is the "digital" rape, so it's very probable there was more, it's just they won't willingly admit to it if they can get away with hiding that bit, and witnesses are not "snitching" because they were all around when it was happening. That's what I gather.

Woodgod
Woodgod

@Freya @WaytoGoDorner @chrisbaker There is NO evidence Jane Doe was drugged. At the trial, she and her friends testified that she has ADHD and takes Adderall (among other prescription medications), which she had taken that night.

misscandid
misscandid

@WaytoGoDorner @Freya @chrisbakerHold on...you think a 16 year old girl can just "leave" when a few drunk football players made sexual advances at her? Take a health class. Google image some 16 year old girls. In your next family meeting say hi to your niece or cousin or whoever is around 16 in your family and ask her if she can make her way through a few football players when she is highly intoxicated with alcohol. Because it is that easy in this world for a woman to say no to a man. 


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@Freya @WaytoGoDorner @chrisbaker You have TWELVE MONTHS TO GET A DRUG TEST.  Hair shafts carry drugs in them which you've imbibed until you cut them.  She didn't get a drug test because she never was drugged.

Alcohol impairs judgement, but it is not an excuse to not be responsible for your choices while drunk.  If you chose to have sex with boys while drunk, stand up and take responsibility for that choice.  Nobody on the entire earth is responsible for how much you drink except you.  If you don't like the situation you're in, you should leave.

There are way too many people in this world who think women lose all choice while drunk.  They are not infants or mentally retarded by and large, and this girl is neither.  If she didn't like the boys she should have left when they started making sexual advances.  She did not leave.  Stop making excuses for people who don't attribute the capacity for choice to women.  If they held you down or drugged you, that's a different matter, but if you just make stupid decisions to have sex with thugs while you're drunk then you ought not waste everyone's time.

Freya
Freya

@WaytoGoDorner @chrisbaker You're way too extreme on this.  First, it's not clear how the girl got into the incapacitated state.  There is some evidence pointing to that she was drugged to some degree, which is not to imply that she was totally passed out upon leaving with the guys; she might have been somewhere in between but seriously compromised in judgment. For the rape there is overwhelming evidence she gave no consent.   

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@chrisbaker Don't talk to these people, they don't have common sense.  They're just a lynch mob complaining about how nobody helped a very very stupid alcoholic girl.  They're the kind of people who would sue a zoo if they got drunk and climbed in a tiger pit.

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@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @JonGibson I would expect my child to know not to get in the intersection.  She doesn't deserve to be rewarded for this.  She has not been punished at all, and she's not traumatized.  She's a fake, a liar, a criminal, and street trash.  Hopefully someone puts her down.

sweetnepenthe1
sweetnepenthe1

@JonGibson @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ you finallly got it? Perhaps you have always been a slow learner.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
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@JonGibson @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@  you are right lets teach our kids about cars by kicking them into an intersection. like i said she was stupid for putting herself in that position but her actions didn't harm anyone. sexual offenders need to be punished end of story. the girl probably wont compromise her safety as much and other kids will learn from what happened to her but it should not have happened. she suffered her punishment 1000 times over when all she did was drink too much at 16. how many kids at that age know how to control their drinking? none of them and for 99.99 percent of kids that drink too much just wake up feeling sick not with a video of football players tag-teaming your lifeless body in front of a crowd on youtube

JonGibson
JonGibson

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @JonGibson thanks for answering.  restating, like everyone posting online, that the boys are to blame, finally clarifies it for me.  o.O

Why bother teaching children how to be careful about anything?  Rhetorical.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

@JonGibsonlike i said earlier, do you limit your drinking in case you might get raped? there is a basic code of conduct amongst decent people and no one should be expected to act in fear of anyone. yes, it is a bad idea to go down that dark ally but if you do and get shot the  police dont say it was your fault. you did nothing wrong and that ally is public property so even if it was a bad idea to go there you still had every right. she could have passed out butt naked in the living room, spread eagle in front of everyone, and i would still say what those two pieces of trash did was completely unforgivable.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/03/20/what-about-the-victim-the-steubenville-rape-victims-recovery/#ixzz2OM14bGOh

MarkedForTruth
MarkedForTruth

@JonGibson @aleksandthedrummer The default answer is always no. Being unable to fight back doesn't make a person responsible; it's not your responsibility to fight off a sexual attack.

Consent cannot be given while intoxicated. 

Aside from the undeniable legality of that statement, this can be a really hard pillow to swallow. But have you ever made a choice you would not have made if you'd been sober? I know I certainly have. Calling an ex-girlfriend I hated vehemently may pale in comparison, but it illustrates a basic point: we make choices without the rational ability to make them. 

You might have sex while drunk with your significant other and wake up the next morning, knowing you would have ended up in bed with her had the night been booze-free. That doesn't mean you were capable of giving consent. That means you coincidentally made the same decision you would have sober.

marsaili2007
marsaili2007

@WaytoGoDorner @JonGibson Where are you getting this information?  I live in Ohio and I haven't heard anything that you've reported here---she was not planning on going to that party---her friends convinced her to go.  She didn't want to go initially.  And since she was drugged fairly soon into the evening, she wasn't even that drunk before she was out of it.  Those "friends" of hers were not really friends, they were working with the guys to get her to that party---this was all planned in advance as retaliation for breaking up with one of the football players.  Every thing you posted about this was a lie.

GoNico
GoNico

@WaytoGoDorner @JonGibson 
"Made fun of her"? This is just one example of your downplaying or relabeling what occurred. Publicly posting pictures of a girl, naked and unconscious, a girl you've claimed to be "taking care of" should not be downplayed as 'making fun of' her. Why would you make that choice of words? 

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BoredBoredBored

Not only was she conscious in the car, she remembered it after she apparently got so drunk she remembers almost nothing of the night.  This girl knows that the system can be played to take revenge on boys that publicly disgraced her, so she played it for her revenge. 

Freya
Freya

@JonGibson @WaytoGoDorner Do you have any source for your assertion that she actually claims to have been conscious to any degree in the car?

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BoredBoredBored

@JonGibson @WaytoGoDorner Except bragging about their imagined sexual prowess isn't what they were convicted for. 

You're fortunate that you've never ended up with nutcase women.  I've been targeted by a pornography ring in my town and didn't discover until I was about 25 that from the ages of 18-25 almost 80% of the women who had ever independently hit on me or dated me without me having initialize flirting came from the exact same local porn site which just happened to be run by a man who was from the same church that I was molested in.

Some stories are as old as Samson and Delilah.  After studying Operation Midnight Climax from peer reviewed books and Feminist Theory in college, I don't think I'll ever fully believe any of these situations where it's a "he said/she said I was too drunk to consent" case.  It's just too easy to get drunk and have sex with a guy and then send him to jail.

Football coaches will put bounties on opposing players that their team is expected to try to injure and/or otherwise take out of the game.  There's a sex war going on in this country, and only the women know it.

BoredBoredBored
BoredBoredBored

@JonGibson @WaytoGoDorner Allegedly.  I think she's full of nonsense.  She didn't find it bizarre enough to wake up in the morning naked in a stranger's home to go get a drug test or rape kit.  I think for most women that such things were not a usual occurrence, they would probably try to go get some help.  She didn't complain until they publicly humiliated her.  I don't think that's appropriate in 99% of circumstances - the one exception being an Operation Midnight Climax-like scenario where the male is the intentional target of one of several groups of women working to eliminate political dissidents through sexual coercion and manipulation..

JonGibson
JonGibson

@WaytoGoDorner Dude, the guys took video and pictures of their actions, she didn't take their future, they gave it away on the internet while stupidly thinking it would somehow be cool to do so, only to regret it later.  None of them deserve to die for anything that happened.  

I have never, and won't ever have any sexual issues with women, I simply don't swing that way.  In fact, the older I get, the more asexual I get.

BoredBoredBored
BoredBoredBored

I'm not particularly worried.  All I've said is that she deserves to die for what she's done.  She's taken two lives as a result of her failure to take responsibility for her actions and rounded up a lynch mob in the process.  It certainly is no threat as I have much better things to do than try to dish out street justice.  And, more importantly, it's nothing that hasn't been said about the defendants in the case either.  But women aren't stupid, remember the KBR woman who tried to sue for 106 million dollars because of her night of binge drinking?  I'm tired of these women getting away with having sex then claiming that they were too drunk to be responsible for what they chose to do.  It's stupid and anyone who pays attention to the number of cases like this ought to be sick of it as well and realize that either women are incredibly stupid or they're just having sex with guys while drunk and claiming rape to get attention that they're not getting elsewhere or, and I think is more likely, connected to other women who have vendettas against the guys in question because the guys connected to these cases are admittedly pigs for the most part, and therefore having their girlfriends get drunk and sleep with the guys and then claim rape just out of revenge.

If you ever have a woman repeatedly beg you to bruise her during sex (which I've had, and refused because I find violence and sex to be incompatible), you'll question the reality of some of these charges as well.

JonGibson
JonGibson

@WaytoGoDorner @JonGibson I clicked on your post alert because what popped up visible was, "She may still be murdered.  We can only hope." and Lord what a comment that woulda been, whew!

She claims she was assaulted while conscious in the car, and then stayed with whoever assaulted her, so they could continue doing it?

Seriously?

BoredBoredBored
BoredBoredBored

@JonGibson  She may still be murdered.  We can only hope that every teen girl in America doesn't start seeing getting really drunk and naked with high school boys as a way to get idolized by society.  I don't buy for a second she didn't consent and wasn't conscious.  Nobody is responsible for how much another person drinks but the drinker alone.  She was with the boys all night, she was holding hands with them, she claimed she was awake in the car when the first so-called "assault" occurred.  I don't think anyone should be excusing her behavior in this.  The majority of women don't avidly try to get in a position where they may be assaulted - and I'm not talking about "oh, she was scantly clad in a dark alley."  This woman avidly tried, against all advice of everyone with her.  I take the word of the girls who testified against her.  She's the kind of girl that derives pleasure from attention, no matter what kind.  She followed the boys around all night according to the witnesses and failed to leave when she was conscious in the car.  At some point there is a pattern of behavior by the supposed victim that makes her somewhat culpable in her alleged victimhood.  This girl was avidly interested in the boys and didn't even think it was weird she woke up naked in a stranger's house.  She waited until she found out the boys were making fun of her to report a supposed rape.

I think if you got really drunk and climbed in bed with a woman and had sex with her, you ought to respect the fact that you consented to that the next morning, even if you don't remember it.

JonGibson
JonGibson

@katebly @JonGibson @sweetnepenthe1 Who said or implied that her being drunk made anything OK?  What is wrong with your reading comprehension?  It's not a fair way to have a conversation when you imply people have said things they haven't said.  It's dishonest, and in debates it's called misdirection, possibly even a strawman argument.

katebly
katebly

@JonGibson @sweetnepenthe1 Even if she were sober, her ability to fight back would be limited with one guy, let alone multiple. Why does her being drunk make it OK?

katebly
katebly

@WaytoGoDorner@LydianDeVereYard@JonGibsonI pray you don't have any daughters, lest any woman grow up thinking if you drink around a man, he's allowed to do what he likes with you despite your consent (or lackof). "She deserves the full blame for her actions and nobody else." Don't those boys, also? Isn't it hypocritical to expect responsible choices from a 16-year-old girl, then condone what those boys did? "Men are not responsible for how much you drink." No, they're not, but those boys are responsible for their own actions and are being held accountable as such.


"... to ensure she was in a position where rape was likely to occur." ARE YOU KIDDING? Why are we willing to live in a society when rape is EVER likely to occur? She wasn't making poor choices in a prison yard full of convicted rapists, she made poor choices around people she thought were her friends -- who were also drinking. I don't care if a woman walks down the street naked, SHE IS NEVER ASKING FOR OR DESERVING TO BE RAPED.

marsaili2007
marsaili2007

@WaytoGoDorner @Freya @LydianDeVereYard @JonGibson  it doesn't matter what you do to yourself---no one has the right to touch you.  Period.  What is so difficult to understand about that?  You keep trying to put this on the victim---but even if she was passed out drunk and not drugged----those boys had no right to touch her.  There is nothing more to be said about it---they were totally in the wrong here.

BoredBoredBored
BoredBoredBored

@Freya @WaytoGoDorner @LydianDeVereYard @JonGibson She dated the guy who took the picture of her while being carried by the guys for ten months.  It doesn't matter whether you have prior knowledge as to whether the guys are jerks.  YOU and ONLY YOU are responsible for YOUR CHOICES while drunk.  If you don't like the situation USE YOUR LEGS AND LEAVE.

Freya
Freya

@WaytoGoDorner @LydianDeVereYard @JonGibson Where is your evidence for saying she was hitting on boys all night?  All evidence indicates she did NOT consent to sexual contact and certainly not penetration.  You're missing the nuances of responsibility and you come off as absurd as the people saying all rape is the exact same and that no women ever have any degree of responsibility whatsoever.  I only find fault in Jane Doe's choice of boyfriends.  Unlike the victim above, she had prior knowledge that these guys were lowlifes and continued to hang out with them.  To what degree she fully knew how gross they were I don't know, but she should have exercised better judgment and her pick of boyfriends does say something about her issues and character.

Woodgod
Woodgod

@sweetnepenthe1 Who's to say he didn't?  Please.  Nice try with the whole "He's saying it was Jane Doe's fault, so I'll say it was HIS fault" trickery, but the analogy is ridiculous, and a pathetic attempt at 'gotcha' reasoning.

sweetnepenthe1
sweetnepenthe1

@WaytoGoDorner : per some of your earlier comments--why didn't you tell somebody. Why didn't you leave. You had legs. You didn't leave.

aleksandthedrummer
aleksandthedrummer

@WaytoGoDorner @JonGibson @downteap2 What is typical of a lynch mob is a lynching, and nobody is getting lynched here, just criticized. now this Jon Gibson is more of a victim than the rape victim? After your brain transplant, get  heart transplant

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BoredBoredBored

And, FYI, I was raped and molested by a gang of pedophiles posing as ministers for over a year in my pre-teens.  Since the aforementioned woman doesn't seem to think you have any clue what "rape is about."

BoredBoredBored
BoredBoredBored

@JonGibson @downteap2 Don't even bother with that person - she doesn't have a coherent thought in her head.  Every post ends with a barrage of ad hominem nonsense.  She is exhibiting the typical behavior of an ignorant member of a lynch mob where any thought which slightly deviates from the established Pavlovian violence of the group is viciously attacked and silenced.  It's a childish display of her own ignorance likely bred by watching a great deal of prime time television.