Rape is a global atrocity that permeates every culture around the globe. Most of the victims of rape are women (91%). The degree of tolerance for the crime is a commentary on the culture’s attitudes toward women. In recent example from India, a woman was gang raped on a bus by at least five men, and beaten. She died. Her male companion survived the attack but suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg. The five men have been charged with rape, kidnapping , and murder of the victim. The sad reality is that rape in India is so common that there were over 24,000 cases of reported rape in 2011 alone. It is estimated that those 24,000 cases are only a tenth of the actual cases, as most go unreported. Worse, of the cases that are reported in India, most never result in a conviction. Of the 600 cases of rape in Delhi last year, only one led to a conviction.
We would like to believe that America is immune from such atrocities. Sadly, we have much of which to be ashamed. From 15-20% of college women have reported being raped. One study found that an estimate 80,000 children in America are sexually abused every year. It is estimated that one is six women in America will be sexually assaulted during her life. In 2005 there were REPORTS of 191,670 victims of rape or sexual assault. In addition to the large number of rapes that go unreported, only 25% of the cases reported, result in an arrest.
The Stubenville, Ohio rape of a 16 year-old girl has made headline news, probably due to the video posted on line of a boy disparaging the victim. The video is more than 12 minutes long and it shows teens making jokes about the rape, and describes the victim as “deader than” Trayvon Martin.” He then goes on to say, “she is so raped her p**s is about as dry as the sun right now.” The 16 year old victim was allegedly transported, assaulted and photographed by athletes from local Steubenville High.
The video, which was allegedly posted to YouTube on the night of the incident, has been brought to the attention of local police.
Steubenville Police Chief McCafferty released the following statement :
“The newspaper wrote about the assault in detail, describing how the unresponsive and potentially unconscious girl was allegedly penetrated and violated, sometimes on camera.”
“Anonymous” is a group dedicated to exposing the corruption and criminals involved in this scandal. That organization has cited Twitter posts, videos, and photographs circulated by some of the people involved indicating that the unconscious girl had been sexually assaulted, over a several hour period, while some watched. There was also an indication that the victim may have been urinated on.
Steubenville police have fashioned a web site intended to provide information and calm outrage by the public. Among other things, that web site reports:
“-Nothing in Ohio’s criminal statutes makes it a crime for someone to ridicule a rape victim on a video or otherwise say horrible things about another person. Further, nothing in the law allows someone who says repugnant things on Twitter, Facebook, or other Internet sites to be criminally charged for such statements.
The failure of the prosecutor to aggressively pursue the maker of that offensive video is outrageous! There are laws that could be used to pursue the maker of the video. The young man who said such outrageous things, made the video, and published it on you tube, was clearly “encouraging” the crime. The aiding and abetting laws both at the state level, and federal level should be used to convict this vile creature. His act of encouraging the crime and publicizing it is as bad as the act itself.
Violence against women has happened before in America. In California a 15 year old girl was raped and beaten for two hours outside a high school’s homecoming dance by as many as 10 young men. Twenty people watched the rape and the beating, and did nothing. Some took photos and laughed.
This tolerance for abuse of women seems to rise to the highest levels of our government. When Shailey Tripp writes a graphic account of her recruitment and servitude as a prostitute for Todd Palin, nobody seems to notice.
When a disinterested blogger from Dallas Texas files an appropriate FOIA request asking for documents that could affirm Shailey Tripp’s story about the husband of a candidate for the position of Vice President of the United States, Homeland Security ignores the request for over 200 days. Homeland Security seems to have no accountability and no remorse for ignoring this request.
Rape and abuse of women occurs around the globe. Perhaps there is little that can be done to address the wrongs thousands of miles away in foreign countries. However we as Americans, both men and women, express our outrage at this culture of corruption and abuse of women in our country. If you are a woman it could happen to you. If you are a man, it could happen to your mother. Speak out today, and every day henceforth to let your voices be heard. We, as a country, can not, and will no longer tolerate this abuse of the largest segment of our society. It is an intolerable cruelty that no civilized country should allow.