Steubenville rape convictions

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Steubenville rape convictions
7
Mon, 03-18-2013 - 9:55pm

I had not heard of this case until the Sunday evening news. I just finished reading the Fox and CNN web accounts.

I found the lack of parental supervision and involvement to be stunning. Where were the parents? What parent of a girl doesn’t inquire about where their daughter is going, who she is going with, set a reasonable time for her to be back home, and check with the adults who will be chaperoning the party? What parent of a boy doesn’t discuss with him the fine points of consensual sex and the inability of a drugged or highly intoxicated girl to give that consent? Who lets several dozen teens float around from drinking party house to drinking party house? What parents either host the drinking party or abdicate their duty by being away. What type of homes produce teens who stand around and let other teens assault a classmate who is by all indications nearly comatose? At least one of the boys present at the assault, but not charged, took photographs of the assault and deleted them the next morning. What kind of teens photograph the assault happening and then act like it is no big deal, just something to post on the web? And a jillion other questions?

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Fri, 03-22-2013 - 4:59pm

There are soooo many things wrong in this case. I told my 15 year old ds that he has to be careful and use common sense. As soon as people start drinking, just leave, no good ever comes from teens and booze. We are not anti -alcohol. I can't imagine having my kids running around at all hours, we have strict cerfews at our house.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 03-20-2013 - 4:39pm

Kimmy, your questions are ones that I used to think about a lot when my kids were teens. I was sometimes amazed by what other parents allowed. My dd knew a boy whose parents hosted a 15th birthday party for him, providing the alcohol and allowing pot smoking. The father was an attorney so you'd think he would know better than most the liability issues, if not the ethical issues. A mom we knew said that as long as her HS kids maintained A's in school and were on track to get into good colleges that she didn't care what they did on the weekends. She drank as a HS student and figured her kids would too, so why fight it? Last June I read about a woman arrested in our county for hosting a HS end-of-year party with alcohol. She provided the booze and was home during the party, was told kids were vomiting and passing out but didn't call 911. Some of the kids took their unconscious friend to the ER which is how the police found out about the party. Evidently some 17yos have more common sense than a 50yo. Its just amazing...

However, I have to give a pass to parents regarding not always knowing where their kids are. Teens can be very clever at hiding what they are doing and pulling the wool over their parents' eyes. Its likely that some of the kids at that party convinced their parents that they were doing something acceptable that night. And one parent's idea of "supervision" may not be the same as yours or mine, as we found out the hard way. My dd pulled some fast ones on me, and made some impressive attempts that I ended up catching. 

Why kids stand by and allow, or even photograph, an assault? I have no answer for that. As for the comment made by the mother of the raped girl, that compassion is not taught: I disagree. Its taught through words and actions just like the other values we want our kids to learn. In that town, and hopefully towns all across North America, there are a lot of topics that parents need to be discussing with their kids tonight.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 03-20-2013 - 2:09pm

 But I think the combination of intoxication and going along with the group causes these horrible situations to happen.  You also see it when a kid has had so much to drink that they pass out but then instead of calling 911 or someone's parents, they leave the kid alone and sometimes they end up dead.  I'm sure if you had asked those same boys individually before this happened "do you think it would be ok to assault an unconscious girl?" they would have said no. 

I'm sure you're right about that.  When young people get drunk, they do a lot of things they know they shouldn't do.  The drinking age was 18 when I was 18, and I remember a friend of mine lying down in the middle of a 4-lane road, saying "The wind is too strong for me, I have to lie down."  Most of us are lucky nothing worse happened to us than what did happen, which was a lot.  That included date rape for me - and I was always taught by my parents, growing up around & in NYC, to be safe, stay in control, avoid dangerous situations, avoid people you don't think are sane, etc.  Did I listen when I was 18 & a drunk freshman?  Of course not.  Alcohol makes young people make stupid, stupid choices.

I was possibly most disturbed by the girl's testimony that she thought someone might have drugged her because she'd never passed out like that before when she was drunk.  At 16, she's been drunk so often that she knows what is *usually* feels like?  Where ARE her parents?!

I'm not saying I know everything that's going on with my kids - though the 18yo says she tells me everything, and 20yo DS says she doesn't tell him anything she hasn't already told me - but I do know my responsibilities as a parent.  The biggest one is to keep my kids safe.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 03-20-2013 - 12:07pm

"And then I read that when they were convicted, they were crying and saying "My life is ruined" because they have to go to jail--they are lucky they are juveniles and can't be sent away for that long--what about the girl who has to live with this forever?"

This is exactly what bothers me. A lot of the press I read focused on how the boys' lives "were ruined," and that use of the passive voice really offends me. Their lives weren't ruined as if something bad just happened to them: they ruined their own lives by their appalling choices. Just once, I'd like to hear one of them say, "I ruined my life and hers, and for this, I am sorry." Anything else is equivalent to saying, "Oh, poor me, I got caught and now have consequences." Even a sociopath can say that.

And yes, the girl was an idiot for getting so wasted, but just because she got drunk, she did not deserve to be raped. The natural consequences of teenage drunkenness are having to clean up some vomit, dealing with a hangover, and having a few legal problems, NOT being violated and publicly humiliated.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 03-19-2013 - 5:23pm

Yes, a lot of questions here.  I haven't read all the details, but I did read a story about the conviction.  You would just hope that kids who are supposed to be friends, even if they were drinking, would watch out more for each other.  Did no one say "hey, this isn't the right thing to do" or "It's probably not a good idea to take naked pictures of someone who doesn't know you are doing this & post them on line for everyone to see."  But I think the combination of intoxication and going along with the group causes these horrible situations to happen.  You also see it when a kid has had so much to drink that they pass out but then instead of calling 911 or someone's parents, they leave the kid alone and sometimes they end up dead.  I'm sure if you had asked those same boys individually before this happened "do you think it would be ok to assault an unconscious girl?" they would have said no.  And then I read that when they were convicted, they were crying and saying "My life is ruined" because they have to go to jail--they are lucky they are juveniles and can't be sent away for that long--what about the girl who has to live with this forever?

Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Tue, 03-19-2013 - 12:04pm

Wow, this is crazy. I just spent about 20-30 minutes actively searching for any information on the parents role in all of this. I put in search terms like "steubenville rape case lack of parental supervision" and "steubenville rape case victim's parents curfew"...and found VERY little. The most I found were two statements in this story, one from the girl's mother and one from one the father of one the boys: 

(From one the father of one of the boys) "I apologize to the world, not only my community, for the bad light that has been shined upon Steubenville and everybody else. I feel responsible for (Ma’Lik’s) actions. I’m gonna bear his pain with him. I’m sure Trent and Ma’Lik will learn a valuable lesson from this and become productive citizens in this world one day.”  And also "“Throughout my life, I’ve been through a lot of struggles," Nathaniel Richmond said. "I’m an ex-alcoholic. I haven’t had a drink in 12 years. I thank God for that, because when I drunk alcohol, it caused a lot of my problems. It destroyed my life. I understand alcohol played a big role in the decisions they made as kids. I’m sorry for what y’all had to go through. I hope somewhere in your hearts, that you can forgive Trent and Ma’Lik for the pain they have caused your daughter and put you through. I know that God can fix this, will give you that strength to forgive these two young men."

(From the girl's mother) "“It did not matter what school you went to, what city you lived in, or what sport you’ve played," the victim's mother said. "Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent. It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us. You displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code."

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/steubenville-high-school-football-players-found-guilty-rape-16-year-old-judge-article-1.1291087


 JMO, but there doesn't seem to be much acknowledegment or acceptance for their role in this.

Lisa 

Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Tue, 03-19-2013 - 11:15am

I couldn't agree more. All the focus has been on the teens themselves and I've heard or read practically nothing about the parents! I always had a curfew as a teen! I'm quite curious now- I'm going to see if I can actually find any kind of story that has been done on the parents.

Lisa