Last year, Savannah Dietrich, 17, was sexually assaulted. Two teenage boys attacked her while she was unconscious, bragged about it, and circulated photos of the assault. Lock them up and throw away the key, right? Not so much. The court gave the two offenders a lenient punishment. So Dietrich thought she'd dole out her own kind of justice: She tweeted the names of her juvenile assailants for all the world to see.
The little jerks deserved it.
The problem is, Dietrich's tweet violated a court order to keep the two juveniles names confidential. And so, the victim of a heinous crime was facing contempt of court charges for which SHE could be thrown in jail.
Fortunately the boys' attorneys wised up and the charges were withdrawn. But what the heck were they thinking? Something is severely wrong when we start holding the victim to a higher standard of criminal justice than the animals who attacked her.
Was what she did illegal? Hell yeah. Was she in contempt of court? Legally, she probably was. But would we hold a father in contempt of court for punching the molester who ruined his child’s life? Would we hold a mother who bitch-slapped her daughter’s rapist in contempt of court? How about the dad who called the murderer of his only son a murder when it was still “alleged”? How could we even consider holding a girl in contempt of court for outing her attackers on Twitter when she felt she wasn’t getting justice any place else?
If Dietrich were my daughter, I'd be all for her decision to tweet her attackers’ names. There comes a point when you see your child hurting so much that you allow them to do whatever they need to survive the pain to a point. Not only would I have condoned my daughter’s legally fuzzy tweeting of her assaulters' names, I would have retweeted it to infinity, Facebooked it, and Stumbled those assholes' names. Pinned their faces on Pinterest and announced to the entire world via every single social media avenue I had that these boys were sexually assaulting monsters that should be kept away from everyone’s daughters.
How is it that anyone could ever consider punishing the victim while giving her attackers a slap on the wrist?
Would you support your child's decision to violate a court order to tweet out the names of her attackers if it meant she could possibly end up in jail herself?
Image via DonkeyHotey/Flickr