Man Who Tweeted Alleged Rape Instead of Helping Victim Has Disturbing Explanation

This Just In 27

crime sceneIt's just about the last move anyone expected from the members of the crowd that live-tweeted about an alleged rape, then walked away instead of helping the rape victim. A man who took a photo of a couple engaging in a public sex act near the campus of Ohio State University, then uploaded the photo to Twitter, has come out to talk about why he did it. And Vance Blanc's reasoning for his callous move is almost as chilling as the rape itself.

The woman in the photo has reported her assault to campus police, but 19-year-old Blanc, one of a large crowd that is getting flack for not intervening on the girl's behalf, told the university's student-run paper that he didn't know she was being raped

Said Blanc to the Post:

It was obvious that both the man and woman were very, very drunk. I guess the thing that put everyone there at ease was that she never said stop, she never struggled and she never asked for help. She put her hand on the back of his head. She seemed like she was enjoying it, so I guess for everyone there it was like ‘OK, it’s not assault. It’s not rape.’

Where to begin! There are some very dangerous assumptions about what does and what doesn't qualify as rape in that statement.

She didn't say no, so it couldn't have been rape? She wasn't physically resisting, so it wasn't rape? Both of these are myths, disturbing, despicable, and dangerous myths about rape.

Not to mention, he denoted her obviously drunkeness -- which would indicate diminished capacity and an inability to provide adequate consent -- and yet no one identified the incident as rape and stepped in.

This is not all on Blanc, as he was just one of the many people in the crowd, albeit one of the few brave enough to come forward. Nor is he responsible for the rape itself.

I want to make that clear because at the moment, he is a bystander. They were all bystanders (or so it seems -- cops are still investigating this whole case). 

But bystanders with such an unclear understanding of what does and does not qualify as rape are bystanders who stand to be rapists and or victims in the future.

Think about it: if you don't know what IS rape, then how do you know not to commit rape? How do you know when you've been assaulted ... and know that you have the right to have your rapist brought to justice?

The Ohio State University incident is a tragedy first and foremost for the girl who was raped.

It's also a disquieting picture of society as a whole. By Blanc's own estimate, there were 20 to 30 people who witnessed the attack and could not identify the crime going on before their very eyes. Based on their proximity to the college campus, one would assume these people were at least somewhat educated.

And yet none of them were educated enough on what qualifies as a sexual assault?

This is why rape continues to be an issue in America -- because too many people, even educated people, are not aware of their own rights and those of others around them.

So long as people do not know WHAT rape is, there will be rape. Plain and simple.

If you'd been in that crowd, what would you have done?


Image via Ocean/Corbis

crime, sex crime


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nonmember avatar Sally

It sounded more like the kid was attempting to say that they did not realize at the time that the woman was being raped, not that he didn't think what had happened was rape in retrospect. It's not cool that no one bothered to ask the girl if she was alright, however, stuff like that happened a lot at parties when I was in school so it's easy to get desensitized and assume that both parties are willing. I don't condone the fact that no one bothered to check on the girl, but I have a feeling that most of the witnesses feel pretty atrocious about their actions (or lack thereof)

Einyn Einyn

This is not rape. Being drunk and engaging in oral sex in public is not rape. Christ. She's ruining some guys life now because she's embarrassed. This is a slap in the face to rape victims.

nonmember avatar singer825

I'm really struggling with this. I'm very hesitant to jump on the bandwagon shaming witnesses for not knowing that what they were seeing is rape. If both people were truly drunk, how is it rape on only one person's part? Maybe she coerced him or maybe he coerced her. IF they were BOTH drunk, who knows? I've heard that she was smiling during it. I've heard that they both took pictures with witnesses after they were done. This particular situation is just too grey. At this point, the only thing I'm willing to shame the witnesses over is not calling the police because at the very least what they were witnessing was public indecency. I truly hope that the truth comes out and no one is punished that shouldn't be.

sylph... sylph_ironlight

This isn't rape. They were BOTH drunk and went too far at a party. He wasn't sober and taking advantage of her inebriated state. If I'd been in the crowd and saw them, I maybe would have told them to get a room, but probably not much else. If they both look like they're enjoying it, why the hell would I ask if they're ok and need help?

nonmember avatar Kristi

Had I been in the crowd I would say I would have done nothing given the information I have. It totally sounds like it appeared they were just a couple drunks gettin busy. If there is a crowd around you and you don't say ANYTHING to alert them that you are not a willing participant what do you expect?

Elaine Archambault Carabajal

they were both drunk this writers words are making it seam like that all watch while she got drug into the bushes kicking and screaming. they were both drunk they both made bad decision's. that girls just embarrassed that's why she filed a report rape is when a person if forced against there will not judgment. that girl is going to ruin that young mans life for a mistake they both made TOGETHER. 

lobus lobus

This article is so skewed. I agree with the previous posters. It wasn't rape. It was two drunk college kids being gross and stupid. Now she's embarrassed and ruining his life.

nonmember avatar mel

Yeah how come they are BOTH drunk as skunks and SHE is the victim? What if she coerced him into doing it there and took advantage of HIS drunken state? Why is he to blame if he was just as drunk if her excuse is she was so drunk she didn't stop him or say no ? Maybe he didn't want it to happen as much as she 'didnt' and he just didn't say no either ? ( okay yeah I know that's ridiculous but still I'm making a point more so) I don't see how he is expected to know she is too drunk when he was too drunk. What a b*#$!!! She had to save face though. I bet her parents didn't like the truth.

nonmember avatar J

Irresponsible article. Period. So if 2 totally drunk people willingly have sex, admit they willingly had sex but were both too drunk to give consent then they raped each other? Every time you are too drunk to give consent it is rape??? Damn, my husband has raped me before...he's gunna love finding out that you would consider him a rapist.

jkp-buff jkp-buff

If you're drunk and you drive, you're still held responsible if you get in an accident or get pulled over with a DUI. Being drunk doesn't absolve you of accountibility for anything else you might do while drunk. If you actually consent to sex while drunk, and then regret it later when you're sober, that doesn't make it rape.

That's totally different from passing out drunk and having someone take advantage of you while you're unconscious. That's rape. Or if you're unknowingly drugged and taken advantage of after you're incapacited. Or if you're drunk and saying no stop and they force you anyway.

Just being drunk alone is not enough to make it rape. Especially because they were both drunk.

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