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To The Boys of Steubenville

Joined: 1/1/2013
Posts: 16
*Author's Note: for those unfamiliar with this case, visit for an overview.*

To The Boys of Steubenville -

Every inch of my being wants me to tell you that you are terrible people, that I hope you are never forgiven for what you did, that there should be no mercy or pity for you because what you did was so utterly despicable.

But I won’t.

Every cell in my body wants to tell you that those of you who violated that poor girl and those of you who stood back and watched are equally guilty, that all of you should be rotting in jail, and that the world deserves to know the names not only of the direct perpetrators but also those who failed to use any basic sense of humanity and stop them.

But I won’t.

Instead I’ll tell you something incredibly difficult for me to say as a teenage girl: You are probably not a terrible person. You made a terrible choice. What you do next determines the difference.

Because whether you like it or not, the world is watching you. Whenever you have served your time and you are released from jail, the media will once again converge and ask if you have learned. You best say yes. Better yet, answer “Yes, and…” Make the story of Steubenville stop not at this trial but the triumphs of those found guilty after they have paid their price. You will have the extremely rare opportunity in which the world is eager to hear what you have to say.

I urge you to make sure it’s something worth listening to.

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Comment by michness

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 210
But they are terrible people, aren't they? They didn't smoke a joint in school or get caught shoplifting from Wal-Mart.

They are rapists. They raped a girl. They filmed the rape.

For some reason, the media has focused an inordinate amount of time on painting the rapists as victims--silly teenage boys, stars of the football team, who made a "bad choice." But rape is so much more than a bad choice. They violated this girl. They humiliated her. They stole her safety and peace of mind. I couldn't care less that she was drunk, and has been repeatedly drunk before. Being drunk does not warrant consent.

Why isn't the media focusing on how she is going to move on with her life, instead of making the trial a sob story about former hometown heroes crying in court?

If you were the victim in this situation, and I pray to your deity or whoever that you never have to experience such tragedy and pain, you wouldn't want these so-called men out on the streets again.

I agree that these rapists are given a rare chance to grow up and move on, and like you I hope they find some sort of advocacy in the horrible situation that is rape in America.

Also you're a really fabulous writer, keep on doing what you do!
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2013 1:11:34 PM
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Comment by MariaRose

Joined: 1/1/2013
Posts: 16
Michness -

I love your response. Three cheers for thoughtful comments! I completely and totally agree with you when you say you couldn't care less that the girl was drinking. We all shouldn't care at all. That was one of the aspects of the media coverage about this story that frustrated me so much...they seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time not only on the "star football players" angle but also on the fact she was drunk. That she was incapacitated by alcohol does not make what happened to her any less horrifying or any less of a crime. There is no excuse for discounting a victim for any reason -what she was wearing or implying or in this case, drinking.

p.s. Thanks for the compliment! I checked out a few of your essays, and I love the candor in them! It's a very refreshing honesty. I especially like the one about being an introvert and making friends. BEEN THERE!!
Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 3:27:04 AM
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