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The Silver Lining in the Steubenville Cloud

With all the depressing aspect of the horrifying Steubenville, Ohio rape case, here’s a bit of good news. The victim’s attorney has asked people to donate to the Madden House, which provides services to victims of domestic and family violence. And the response has been overwhelming:

The results, says Patricia Flanigan, Program Director for Family Violence Prevention Programs there, have been staggering.

“It’s very touching. And it’s all over the world,” she told ThinkProgress. “It’s not just from the United States. We’re having correspondence all over the world — Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany. I can just go on and on. Ireland. Some are coming in as donations and some are just offering support and saying keep up the good work.”…

The donations will fund a wide array of services: Round-the-clock staff at Madden House, a 24-hotline, supportive services including court advocacy to help victims file protection orders or go through other legal processes, teen violence prevention programs in schools, transitional housing to women and children for up to 24 months rent and utility free, and employment advocates to help women find jobs.

Bravo. And you can still donate if you’d like.

Comments

  1. says

    It also came with yet another well-intended but probably useless White House petition– to make instruction on consent a mandatory part of sex education. I say “probably useless” because I don’t think the federal government has any ability to tell states what their sex education standards must entail, but I might be wrong about that.

    Aside from that, though, it’s an excellent idea– if sex education programs are not hammering home an understanding of what sexual consent is and how to know if you have it, they should be.

  2. slc1 says

    Re Gretchen @ #1

    Consent was not an issue in the Steubenville case as the victim was 13 years old. This was statutory rape in which the victim is considered too young to make an informed decision to consent to sex. However, including instruction as to what constitutes consent seems like a good addition to a course on sex education. As to whether it would actually reduce the incidence of rape is problematical. Might have some effect on cases of “date rape” but would probably have no effect on stranger rape.

  3. machintelligence says

    Gretchen @ 1
    But consent is incompatible with abstinence based sex education. Everyone is supposed to be saying “NO” all of the time.

  4. says

    Slc1:

    I think you’re confusing the Steubenville case with another case.

    The girl was passed out drunk. There was no way for her to have given consent even if she weren’t a minor and consent was a major issue during the trial. She’s also a 16-year old high school student, so she was older than 13. The two defendants were convicted rape*, not statutory rape.

    * Rape rape, as Whoopee Goldberg would describe it, or to republicans, “forceable rape”.

  5. says

    slc1 said:

    However, including instruction as to what constitutes consent seems like a good addition to a course on sex education. As to whether it would actually reduce the incidence of rape is problematical.

    It’s hard to imagine how it could not reduce the incidence of rape, given that there are so many people who are unclear on rape is (because they don’t understand what consent is, and how to recognize when it isn’t present), and those people are presumably much more likely to rape.

    Might have some effect on cases of “date rape” but would probably have no effect on stranger rape.

    Given that the majority of rape is acquaintance rape (a better term than “date rape,” I think) that seems like a pretty big deal.

  6. Trebuchet says

    d.c. wilson beat me to it, glad I updated before posting. The age of consent in Ohio is 16, so statutory rape was never an issue.

  7. raven says

    It also came with yet another well-intended but probably useless White House petition– to make instruction on consent a mandatory part of sex education.

    That is a good and obvious idea.

    Here is another one.

    No Woman Left Behind – One Student
    onestudent. org/ programs/no-woman-left-behind/

    No Woman Left Behind (NWLB) is a bystander intervention program created by women for women and the men who care about them. It was established to …

    Some years ago, a woman passed out and was gang raped by the De Anza college soccer team. Which shows I guess that sports builds character.

    If you or anyone sees someone mentally absent and about to be raped, do something. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. And they don’t let them get raped while passed out cold.

    Another one is to watch out for acute alcohol poisoning. At my old university, every few years some kid drinks too much and promptly dies of acute alcohol poisoning. The numbers run around 100 nationwide a year. They do have a program to prevent this and it has worked. Among other things, they encourage people to take comatose people to the ER for observation.

  8. slc1 says

    Re d.c. wilson @ #4

    I stand corrected. I had read somewhere that she was 13 but obviously that report was seriously in error. However, is 16 the age of consent in Ohio? It’s 18 in California for instance.

  9. slc1 says

    Re d. c. wilson @ $4

    Trebuchet @ #6 answered the question. 16 is indeed the age of consent in Ohio.

  10. Ben P says

    Consent was not an issue in the Steubenville case as the victim was 13 years old. This was statutory rape in which the victim is considered too young to make an informed decision to consent to sex.

    I don’t really watch TV news and I haven’t looked to see whether Ohio law is this particular item is a part of Ohio law or not, but many states structure their statutory rape laws as “A person over the age of consent, engaging in sexual intercourse with a person under the age of consent.” i.e. that two juveniles engaging in relations is not statutory rape.

    However, there is nothing about “statutory rape” laws that preclude rape charges where the facts meet the appropriate standards.

  11. iknklast says

    If you or anyone sees someone mentally absent and about to be raped, do something. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. And they don’t let them get raped while passed out cold.

    This is good advice; but sometimes impractical. For instance, I would want to intervene, but I cannot possibly stop a single football player (or other strong young man), let alone a group of them, from doing what he wants. I would probably end up raped or injured, and nothing would change except the number of victims. I also rarely carry a cell phone because I hate phones in general, but there are almost certainly a lot of people at a party like that who could easily call the police. This wouldn’t stop the rape, unfortunately, unless the young men heard the call being made and took it seriously.

  12. slc1 says

    Re Ben P @ #10

    In some states (e.g. California) if the age difference between the parties is less then 3 years and the younger is under 18, I’s misdemeanor statutory rape. If the age difference between the parties is greater then or equal to 3 years and the younger is under 18, its felony statutory rape. This came up during a woman’s accusation that pop star Justin Bieber was the father of her child. Since she was 19 at the time and he was 16 (she was born earlier in the year then he was), it was pointed out to her that if a DNA test proved him to be the father, she could be charged with misdemeanor statutory rape, which would require her registering as a sex offender for 10 years, even if she got a suspended sentence or probation. Fortunately, for her, the DNA test proved negative.

  13. raven says

    This is good advice; but sometimes impractical. For instance, I would want to intervene, but I cannot possibly stop a single football player (or other strong young man), let alone a group of them, from doing what he wants.

    True.

    But rape is a serious crime, a felony.

    Just being there and objecting can be a deterrent. As well as picking up the woman and carrying her out to a car.

    Which BTW, I’ve done before. It’s not easy because comatose people are floppy and you really want a few people to do it. We took this one to the ER because she looked like she was in danger of dying of an overdose. Which, as it turned out, she was and without intervention, might have.

  14. davidworthington says

    @11–Of course you are correct, many folks can’t/shouldn’t physically get involved, but on the other hand, you don’t have to physically intervene: call the cops, call other people, make a bunch of noise, pull a fire alarm, sit in a car and lean on a horn; sometimes, saying the word “rape” can have an effect.

    Dave

  15. says

    Vancouver is where the police officer famously gave a talk to women on how to be safe which included the instruction “Don’t dress like a slut,” which gave birth to Slut Walk, right?

  16. davidbrown says

    Gretchen @16

    No, actually that was a Toronto police officer speaking to York University students in 2011. Vancouver has its own set of problems, but being Toronto is not one of them. (Toronto, the Canadian city that Canadians love to hate.)

  17. slc1 says

    Re davidbrown

    Is that like Washington, D.C. the American city that Americans love to hate?

  18. davidbrown says

    slc1 @18

    No, Washington is the capital city and, so far as I can tell, people hate it as the centre of political power. (Our centre of political power is in Ottawa, which I once believed was the world’s second coldest capital city, after Ulaan Bator. Turns out it’s really only about seventh. Which is still too damn cold.) Toronto on the other hand is simply the biggest, smuggest, most diverse city in Canada, and it has Bay Street, our version of Wall Street.

    Perhaps Radio Free Vestibule (from Montreal, of course), can explain it better than I: “I Don’t Want to Go to Toronto”.

  19. says

    I donated to my local YWCA to try to replicate the impact. I’m hoping this further escalates into a rush of donations to a variety of different groups to protect the innocent from scumbags nationwide.

  20. slc1 says

    Re davidbrown @ #19

    Sounds like a combination of New York City and Los Angeles (aka Tinseltown). Almost everybody in the US hates one or the other. Although folks in the South don’t much like San Francisco.

  21. carter says

    #7 Raven: “Some years ago, a woman passed out and was gang raped by the De Anza college soccer team.” see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Anza_rape_case

    This is also apropos to #11 & #13 about deterrent behavior. The rape (at a party) was by members of the men’s baseball team, while three women from the soccer team intervened and took the victim to the hospital.

  22. raven says

    This is also apropos to #11 & #13 about deterrent behavior. The rape (at a party) was by members of the men’s baseball team, while three women from the soccer team intervened and took the victim to the hospital.

    Oh.

    Thanks for correcting my faulty memory. I did look it up on Google and saw something about soccer and didn’t dig any further.

    The best thing to do if someone, especially a girl/woman passes out is to get them out of there and somewhere safe. They can be in danger of more than sexual assault. They can die of promblems due to acute alcohol poisoning, which, IIRC, is what killed Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

    And it isn’t easy because they are floppy. It takes a few people or more.

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