By now I’m sure everyone’s heard about the incident in Steubenville, Ohio where a teen was given alcohol, then carried from party to party to be raped and urinated on. While this in itself is a horrible thing, what disturbs me more is the fact that other teens were sharing the event on their social network pages rather than doing anything to stop it and help the victim.
What is wrong with our society when kids feel it’s appropriate to laugh about a rape and post it to social networks for the world to see? Why didn’t they step in and make it stop? Why didn’t they help a fellow student who was being abused and violated? How could their minds possibly think that it was okay to treat it like it was some form of entertainment?
It sickens me. Rape is horrible, and I hope every male who touched her goes to jail for a very long time. However, I think there should be punishment issued to every single person who texted, posted, or in any way shared the event rather than helping, especially the person who recorded and posted video of the attack. They are accessories to that attack, and they should be punished for what they did. Not only did they not stop a crime, they added to the pain of the victim by ensuring her public humiliation.
How did it come to this? It’s a two-part problem. One: The media is desensitizing kids to violence, even making movies sensationalizing drunken parties and reckless behavior. Two: There isn’t significant education happening at home or in the schools. Parents aren’t teaching their kids to be responsible, to care for others, or how to act when they witness a crime. The schools aren’t teaching students to respect each other and protect each other in social situations, or what to do when they see something bad happening. Kids are left to their own devices, with the negative influences of other socially ill-prepared kids and the media to lead them.
I hope that this case sets a strong precedent in prosecuting bystanders and participants in a crime. I believe that everyone who shared on social media about the rape participated in it. Everyone who didn’t call the police or step up allowed it to happen. They are all guilty and they should pay for their part in the event. Unfortunately, it looks like they’ll get off with a slap on the wrist. Not even any education on how their actions were wrong and what they should have done.
I keep going off on bad parenting and lack of education, and for good reason. It’s those things that cause so many of the problems we’re facing right now. Better parenting and better school surroundings would help kids to grow up right. Peer pressure be damned, a kid with good parents and enough knowledge will do the right thing. We have to train them to be good people, strong people, who know what they should do in various situations. They need to understand right from wrong, and face consequences for their actions regardless of age.