June 3, 2013
The author uses the Steubenville rape case as a primer for confronting the rape culture that grips the United States.
Update: A special grand jury convened in Steubenville returned indictments on November 25, 2013 against Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Mike McVey, elementary school principal, Lynett Gorman, Steubenville High School wrestling coach Seth Fluharty, and a former volunteer coach at Steubenville High School, Matthew Belardine. The charges against McVey include felony counts of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. Gorman and Fluharty were charged with failing to report possible child abuse. Bellardine was charged with making false statements and contributing to underage alcohol consumption.
Ohio Attoreny General Mike DeWine announced the indictments, saying, "How do you hold kids accountable if you don't hold the adults accountable?" DeWine said the special grand gury was created on March 17, 2013, the day a judge convicted two Steubenville High School football players of raping a girl after a party where alcohol was freely available in August of 2012 following a team scrimmage.
Previously, the grand jury charged the Steubenville school district's information direrctor with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.
The indictments against the school officials and a former assistant football coach stemmed not from the rape that led to the convictions of the football players, but from a previous rape of a 14-year-old student in April of 2012. Both rape cases are being handled by the Ohio attorney general.
by Avi McClelland-Cohen
"Young men need to be socialized in such a way that rape is as unthinkable to them as cannibalism" - Mary Pipher
Much of America is already aware of the Steubenville rape case, or at least one of the countless similar cases involving teenagers, alcohol, and sexual assault. Such stories have become almost commonplace of late, with many ending in the suicide of the victim, making the tale all the more heartbreaking.
What is lacking is a discussion of why rape is so prevalent or, more importantly, what can be done to reverse the trend. Regardless of political party or personal ideology, a society without rape is one almost everyone can agree we should work towards. So where is the anger? Where is the outrage and betrayal that seems only appropriate when our children are attacking each other in the most brutal of ways?