By now you’ve heard or read about the two teens on trial in Steubenville, Ohio charged with rape of a comatose intoxicated 16 year-old West Virginia girl. A party last August in the small steel mill town has captivated the nation and brought this little town into the spotlight. As the trial continues into the weekend, more damning testimonies are expected about what these two young men did to a girl so drunk, she reportedly still doesn’t remember the details of the night. But thanks to social media, everyone knows what happened. At least everyone believe they know what happened. There’s no disputing these two young men sexually violated and degraded this girl, but that’s not the only problem with this story or with what happened that August night.
Hundreds of people wearing masks have been protesting outside the courthouse of the injustice of sexual abuse victims, and how the Steubenville police were to slow to investigate this case because the two boys were members of the “powerful” Steubenville high school football team. However, this story isn’t about football or privileged student athletes. It’s about the lack of basic human compassion and decency. An even greater injustice occurred in Steubenville; it’s called indifference.
Let’s begin with the lack of accountability on the parts of the adults that August night. These kids were not drinking soda or even beer. They had access to lethal alcohol that only an adult could have provided. These kids didn’t have that insane party on the street or in a park. That party took place inside a home. So the question is: are there no adults in Steubenville? Unfortunately on hat night, the voice of wisdom, discipline and decency was nonexistent.
It is the job of not just parents but every adult to protect children from others and themselves. It’s easy now to point fingers at two teenage boys on trial. But where were the grownups in Steubenville? They bare as much if not more responsibility for what happened that night to that girl than those two boys on trial. You don’t provide kids liquor and a house to have a “sex party” and walk away without any culpability.
The indifference and lack of compassion of those Steubenville teens who attended the party and those who saw pics online and thought it was funny is extremely disheartening and frightening. Instead of helping the victim, they took more pictures and videos. Guys, girls, no one stepped in to help this victim so intoxicated she laid half naked in the street puking before being taken to another location to endure further sexual assault and denigration. The state of Ohio can prosecute two teen boys but an entire community of adults are equally culpable for this crime.