How the media further victimizes the victim

Lauren Bana/Contributing Writer

 

Some of us might have heard about the Steubenville, Ohio rape cases involving two of the local high school’s star football players, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond. There have been numerous accounts where newscasts have portrayed these underage rapists as the victims of bad timing, and personally, I am completely enraged and repulsed by the resonating tones of remorse fluctuating through the media towards these boys.

 

CNN, ABC News, NBC News, and USA Today have all been making excuses for the boys, and stressing the drunkenness of the girl.

 

It seems as though the media want to extract sympathy from society for these boys.

 

When CNN broadcasted the news of the boys’ guilty sentences, the reporter seemed sorry for

them because of their “promising futures.”

 

Unfortunately, for the rape victim, the broadcast made her out to appear as an irresponsible girl, who ruined the lives of these two boys. They don’t take into consideration the years of mental turmoil that she will have to undergo, and now, especially, under the ridicule of an entire nation.

 

The footage also covered the actual trial, revealing the boys in their devastated state.

 

Both were crying hysterically and apologizing to the victim’s family, but to no avail. The reporter kept reminding her viewers of how the “courtroom became filled with emotion,” and that they should really take into account the amount of alcohol that fueled this very serious crime.

 

They made it a point to stress her drinking because they wanted to show that she was “too drunk.”

 

USA Today also emphasized the drunkenness of the rape victim as well.

 

The last line in an article on USA Today said, “Both Weaver and Anile [former friends of the victim] testified that they were upset with the victim the night of the party because she was drinking heavily. They both said she has a history of drinking and has lied about things in the past.”

 

After reading the entire article, it became clear that they were deliberately trying to plant

the thought in their readers’ heads that maybe she was drinking too much. The way these news sources have handled sexual abuse cases like this one is absolutely repulsive.

 

For instance, a similar rape case occurred in Connecticut, involving two high school football players raping several 13-year-old girls.

 

Their case was not as highly recognized as the Ohio case, but the media have very similarly regarded them with higher esteem than should be given to sexual assaulters.

 

Many people want to rule out the possibility of a ‘rape culture’ brewing in our society, but after watching that CNN broadcast, I was completely convinced.

 

The media are only further fueling this ‘rape culture’ with their attempts at squeezing out sympathy from their viewers and readers. News stations are subtly teaching society that it is okay to rape, sexually abuse and publically humiliate people as long as you don’t get caught or as long as the blame can go elsewhere.

 

Sexual assault, abuse, public humiliation is not okay, ever. That is what these boys will have to learn the hard way.

The fact of the matter is that Mays and Richmond, with their “promising futures,” raped a 16-year-old girl, and defiled her by posting photos of her naked body on various social networks. The boys, these media outlets and these “former friends”  are trying to make it as though she deserved it for allowing herself to become too drunk, but rape is rape, and not one person on Earth deserves to be violated in such a way.