Ohio Rape: One of Alleged Rapists Lawyers is Blaming The Victim

This disgusting statement made by one of the alleged Ohio rapists lawyers was posted last week on CNN:

At an October hearing, attorney Walter Madison, who is representing Richmond, raised questions about the alleged victim’s actions that night, according to CNN affiliate WTOV.

The 16-year-old victim, whose name has been publicly withheld, is not only going through an incredibly traumatic and horrifying healing process, but has been accused of acting promiscuously, leading one of her alleged rapists lawyers in essentially rewording what he sees as a teenage girl who was really just asking to be raped. Sound familiar?

All too many times the victims of rape are blamed — while the rapists — released from taking any responsibility. Yes, it’s likely most victims who are raped have no witnesses — it’s usually just the victim(s) and the rapist(s), so evidence is not always easily obtainable. Despite this fact, letting as many rape cases go as we do in this country, as well as all over the world, is no excuse. And in an all too many of such cases, the victims “actions” are said to be the antecedent that leads to the rape — not the coercion or force that is so frequently utilized.

Many of you have already hopefully heard about this malicious event. The story is of two high school football players accused of allegedly assaulting a teenage girl at several different parties; they themselves took the girl to the various locations without her consent or knowledge — as the whole time she was unconscious. And photos of the two boys carrying her and holding her by her hands and feet, have been made public by a group calling themselves ‘Anonymous’, vowing to find and publicize all evidence, from video footage to photos of the alleged rape.

Also holding national attention is a video of a young, Ohio male student, joking extensively about the rape. And it seemed as though the rape was taking place even as these disparaging jokes about the victim were being made. For about 15 minutes this student painted a very vivid image of what was happening to the girl — even naming one of the people in whose homes part of the assault took place. His remarks were horrifying as he compared various famous deceased individuals to how “dead” the victim was. Although he was obviously drunk, as were others in the video, it’s disbelieving that there’s enough alcohol in the world to blame in causing such heartless statements to be made; even more-so that not a single one of the boys had the decency to put an end to the violence taking place. A couple of males present during the shooting of this video even made statements on the assault, saying very clearly the words “what if that was your daughter” and “it is rape”. The main male making comments responded with “but it’s not cuz she’s dead”. But despite the awful comments made — nobody other than the two football players have been charged thus far. And although investigation in the case is still pending, something tells me none of the other males present during the alleged rape will be charged — despite the fact that they had the power to put an end, or better yet even prevent the entire event. I recommend watching all that he had to say — its incredibly nauseating.

And in regard to the statement made by one of the accused rapists lawyers: Mr.Madison, what do the actions of the victim on the night of the event, have anything to do with the atrocious actions that had taken place that night? How dare you blame the victim. It’s understood, lawyers are to defend the person who is presumed innocent until proven guilty, without them too many innocent people would likely be thrown in prison. But with them, and their defending the accused, by using arbitrary gender stigmas in order to win their case they’re keeping society bound to stereotypical beliefs. They’re keeping alive these negative social constructs which are in need of some serious reform. And we’re not receiving it due to these lawyers, men and even women blaming the wrong person or people involved.

When other young girls and women are raped, will they have the will-power to tell someone? Or will they suffer in silence like so many others whose voices will forever stay mute due to their fear of being blamed? And fear of being looked at as the promiscuous one who made her own choice — or worst yet — said to have been asking for it due to the way she dressed or talked, or in this case: Questioning the victim’s “actions”.

Lets face the reality. The truth on the type of social institutions in which we have built for ourselves. Where men think women want it just as bad as they do and coercion is a social norm — not a rape. Where women hate on other women for their “ways”, which makes them seem like they’re just asking to get raped. These false misconceptions have constituted a lack of surprise as to why so many rapes never get reported. How can those whom have been violated receive justice when many women themselves are against each other? Rape is a reality — it really does happen. And it happens a lot more than legislators and the rest of society likes to believe — so we make excuses — such as blaming the innocent victim. Because our society refuses to acknowledge the reality in which we all live — society suffers.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Join the Conversation