It should be a time for the victim in the highly publicized Steubenville rape case to breathe a sigh of relief. Her rapists, Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, were found guilty. Justice is hers. But America, we have failed this young girl. This child. This rape victim.
This week, a 16-year-old girl who was brutally raped had her name reported over the airwaves to the masses by several major networks. This week, two teenage girls were arrested and charged with menacing for allegedly threatening the teenage rape victim on Twitter and Facebook.
America, we allowed this to happen. We built this culture where two teenage boys garner sympathy over their "ruined futures" when they're sentenced for raping an innocent girl.
We built a culture where the folks at CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, trained journalists all, would be so careless that a rape victim's name would be "accidentally" aired as a clip of one of her attackers apologizing to her is played. Was it an accident? Perhaps. But redacting a rape victim's name is journalism 101. It should have been the highest priority for the people working on the story. That it wasn't says more about society than it does how this one story has been reported.
We built a culture where the victim has gotten lost.
We built a culture where a teenage girl would bully her cousin's rape victim for making him "cry." She made HIM cry? We can only imagine what he did to her.
We should be raising our kids with more respect for victims than that shown by her alleged bullies. We should be thinking about this young girl, about what her life is like now and will be like from now on.
We should be working to change the world for this girl and the more than 200,000 Americans sexually assaulted every year.
They deserve better than what they are getting. They deserve our sympathy and our outrage. They deserve our shoulders to cry on and our hands to pull them up. They deserve justice.
But as long as we allow victims to be victimized again and again and again, justice is hollow.
What do you think of the way this rape victim has been treated? Is there any way to make it better?
Listen to Fox News talk about the victim (with the name of the girl since redacted):