Opening statements were made today in the Steubenville rape trial, and if you have teenagers, and aren’t familiar with the case; now would be the best time stop and educate yourselves. The twelve minute and twenty-eight second video at the center of the case is excruciating to watch and amazingly contains no actual footage of the rape. On the camera is an immature drunken teen making the corniest jokes about a crime taking place just feet away in another room. He describes the girl as being “dead” then proceeds to joke about “how dead she is”. It’s really not his description of the acts that he’s witnessed that truly disturbed me, but more so his reaction to the vial acts. The allegations are that a female child was picked up from her home for a party, given a laced drink after she got into the car, and after becoming unconscious was used as a party favor for a group of football players. It has also been implied that girl was even transported between parties as she was raped in several locations including in the home of the assistant football coach. Photo’s as well as videos uploaded to social media sites during the night still aren’t enough to bring all of her at1tackers to justice as only two people have been charged with a crime.
But more on the Steubenville Video obtained and released by the group Anonymous. The reason I am writing about this story is that I have been stressing to my readers the importance of speaking to your children about EVERYTHING. If a video like this of my son surfaced, I would have to question what kind of values I had instilled in him. Other children in the room seemed to catch on that what was happening was a crime and even questioned the drunk boy about his morals. I heard statements like, “That’s rape.” and “Those guys are going to jail.” Yet still this kid in the video and the guy shooting the video seem to think the situation is hilarious. I’d like to take a moment and thank the parents of the kids in the video background voicing protest over the situation. Kids with common sense make me proud. However, common sense is not contagious, it’s taught, so let’s have parents…. What are the possibilities that any of the children in this situation could be your child? We can speculate as to why the kids in the background never alerted authorities, but I really don’t have time to write a piece on peer pressure. In a football town like this I’m sure the phrase “Snitches get stitches” carries a lot of weight as it took a blogger to force the case into public view and demand prosecution to the fullest. And since we can’t focus on how to stop these situations, as parents, we can at least focus on prevention. I’m not happy that I now I have to teach my 15 year old daughter to open and never her leave her beverages unattended in group settings, but I guess this is just the world we live in. And the only way to change it, is through our children.