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Justice, Social Media, and the Steubenville Nightmare


In an alcohol fueled daze last August, the city of Steubenville, Ohio had no idea that it was about to be thrust into the national spotlight and become deeply divided as a court case tore it apart. A 16-year-old girl accused two of the town’s high school football players of raping her after a night of pre-season partying. The small town is split between blaming the victim and blaming the perpetrators, which is sad to see. Trenton Mays and Ma’lik Richmond are being tried as juveniles, which is more leniency than they deserve, given what they are caught saying on tape. It is only through social media such as KnightSec and blogging that this case caught national attention. Regardless of anyone’s state of mind, it is imperative that justice be served, and now the nation is up in arms about it.

Pre-season football partying is any small town’s joy and pride, and Steubenville was no exception. However, when this young girl passed out drunk, things went way too far. Firstly, whenever someone is that intoxicated, it is never okay to keep going – they simply aren’t in a state of mind to consent. Secondly, she was unconscious, and unable to consent in one way or another. As if her allegations weren’t bad enough, a video tape surfaced that shows the boys on the night of the alleged incident joking about raping her, and saying things like “They raped her harder than that cop raped Marcellus Wallace in ‘Pulp Fiction’” and “She is so raped right now” (Dahl). If that doesn’t show that they didn’t care that they knowingly just raped this girl, I’m not sure what would. Undoubtedly, they were partying as well. Drunk? High? Probably. Does it excuse this or call for leniency? Absolutely not. Some people are even going as far as to hold the girl accountable for what happened to her that night, claiming that she made up the story in order to account for her drunkenness. Sadly, this type of thing happens far too often when people are intoxicated.

College parties and high school parties are breeding grounds for this type of danger. Anywhere that there is a high mix of intoxication, hormones, and low inhibition, there is an increased probability for danger. People do insane, dangerous, harmful, violent things when they are intoxicated.  After all, 90 percent of all campus rapes occur while intoxicated and 40% of men who think that a drinking woman is a willing sex partner believe that is acceptable to force sex on an intoxicated partner. These facts only go to back up the likeliness of what happened that dark night in August. Intoxication is never an excuse. It may be an explanation, backed by statistics, time, and facts, but it certainly doesn’t justify behavior.

These boys were violent criminals, regardless of their blood alcohol content. They joked about a young girl being dead, made vile rape comments, and urinated on her. They are being backed by a town who blame a girl because she accused their prized football team. Thankfully, social media’s widespread influence has allowed us as a nation to see the nature of this horrific crime and stand up for justice. Hopefully it will be served, because there is the strength of millions of people behind it. Drugs and alcohol may fuel horrific behavior, but there is no excusing, explaining away, or hiding actions like this. It will come to light, and we as a people are responsible for taking action.


Works Cited:

BBCNews. Steubenville football players rape trial begins. 13 March 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/. 13 March 2013.

College Campuses and Rape. n.d. http://www.crisisconnectioninc.org. 13 March 2013.

Dahl, Julia. Video depicts teens laughing about alleged sexual assault victim: “She is so raped right now”. n.d. www.cbsnews.com8301-504083_162_57561909_504083?video-depicts-teens-laughing-about-alleged-sexual-assault-victim-she-is-so-raped-right-now/. 13 March 2013.

Gwynne, Kristen. How Anonymous Hacking Exposed Steubenville High School Rape Case. 12 January 2013. http://truth-out.org/news/item/. 13 March 2013.

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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Alcohol and Drugs, Featured, Latest News, Substance Abuse · Tags: alcohol, crime, Football, intoxication, justice, rape, social media, victim

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