Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Anonymous Brings High School Rape Case into Social-Media Spotlight

Chances are, until a few days ago, you may not have heard about the rape and kidnapping of a 16 year old girl from Steubenville, OH. The story behind this case is appalling and is an excellent example of how misogyny is still rampant in small-town America.

On August 11, 2012, some members of the Steubenville High football team set out for a few celebratory parties. Early in the night, several members of the team ran into an extremely intoxicated 16 year old girl. She was from a neighboring town and, more than likely, did not know many of the teenagers attending the party. With her speech slurred and unable to walk, the taunting and bullying began. One witness would later testify that many students were daring others to urinate on her and several of the students began using social media to further humiliate her. 

The girl was then carried like a corpse to several other parties where she was berated around like a piece of meat. To add to the kidnapping, she was also raped by two of the Steubenville High football team. During all of this, other students took pictures and videos of the crimes in progress. No one had the testicular fortitude to stand up for this helpless girl. 

The NY Times did a lengthy piece on this story. You can read the entire piece here but the point is, in the end, only the two boys who actually participated in the rape are being charged. The students who took and posted the pictures and tweets have not been charged nor punished by the school. Many of the townspeople think that the girl brought it on herself by getting too intoxicated and some think she made it up as an excuse to her parents for drinking too much. Regardless of what clothes she wears or her state of mind, no female deserves to be raped. No one. 

With the parents and coaches associated with the football team siding with the two young boys and police not pursuing charges against the students behind the camera, Anonymous has taken a stand for the victim. The hacktivist group recently hacked into a website associated with the SHS football team, leaving behind this message:  

Since releasing this message, Cody Saltsman has issued a public apology via Twitter. However, #OProllredroll is still active for other perpetrators and faculty members of the school. This call to action is forcing everyone involved to face their crimes and inaction. 

Anonymous has given the victim a megaphone to shout her story and I feel safer knowing that we live in a world where people like the hacktivist group are looking out for the common good of mankind. 

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