I’ve been amazed and impressed this week with the discussion about the Steubenville rape case.
Yes, there is all the judgment of how the media has handled this story. I’m not talking about that.
I read 2 articles this week that spoke about going “all the way back” to the source. How do we stop this kind of event, how do we teach kids to stick up for another person, how should we function as members in society.
The first I read was Henry Rollins post. I like, and appreciate, how he calls attention to the two convicted boys being Offenders. That is what they are, they aren’t victims, they are Offenders that are being tried and prosecuted as our society sees fit. Sure, some wanted more time, some wanted a hand slap. Me? I’m super glad they have to register as sex offenders. Still – those boys, ALL of them, need to come to grips with the reality behind them and what to do next. I can only hope (and pray) that they learned why what they did was so wrong. On EVERY level. Every action they took – the rape, the pictures, the social, the joking and condemnation of the girl – was a horrible, reprehensible, sad display of common sense and humanity.
The second was a post by a mom of boys. The post is named – I am so fucking sick of teaching our daughters not to get raped. I think it’s right on. As a mother of a girl, I will have to tell her all those warning signs and tips to keep herself safe. It’s a necessity. I honestly don’t remember my mom ever having that conversation with me. I do remember watching people in high school and learning a lot on my own. I like that this mom talks about how respect and No Means No needs to be ingrained in every person. And another person calling out that those boys are responsible and accountable for their actions. They don’t deserve our pity. They deserve our sense of injustice and anger that it happened. They need to learn why what this did was so wrong. So horribly and disgustingly wrong. So sad….
I’ve seen a handful of others posted by friends on Facebook. There is so much discussion. I’m glad there is so much discussion.
Then yesterday, one that’s so close to home….
I’m on an alert list for any sex offenders moving into a certain radius of our neighborhood. It’s a frightening aspect of parenthood that I would rather plug my ears and scream LaLalaLaLA!!!!!
But that isn’t reality.
The reality is there are NINE registered sex offenders within a TWO MILE radius of my house. NINE!!!!! Within a TWO MILE radius!!!
On a normal day, that makes me incredibly sick to my stomach.
Yesterday, I received an alert of a newly registered sex offender. I hate that I get new alerts. I hate clicking on these links to see a picture of their face. I hate reading what they were committed of, thinking about what did they actually DO in the first place?! (think about that one, does it occur to you that maybe the actual act was worse than the conviction? I do….and some law enforcement officials will tell you to think about that too)
I was shocked. So shocked. So sickened, to click the link and see a young boy’s face staring back at me. Seriously – a boy. A now 13 year old boy. Convicted of “Rape of a child in the first degree”. Do you know what that means exactly? I do now:
Rape of a child in the first degree.
(1) A person is guilty of rape of a child in the first degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is less than twelve years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least twenty-four months older than the victim.
(2) Rape of a child in the first degree is a class A felony.
Oh my fucking GOD! This (now) 13 year old had sex with another child who at the time was LESS THAN 12!! And 24 months younger than this boy!! (those are all ANDs, not ORs) So let’s say he was 12 when the rape happened. This other child was 10. TEN!!!! Even if he was 13 at the time, this other child is still ONLY 11.
Now – granted – it is not lost on me that this boy and the other child may have had what they considered consensual sex. They might have. It is just as likely that it wasn’t consensual.
I applaud the parents of the other child. To go through and press charges against this (now) 13 year old. I can only imagine how hard it would be for them – how that might impact their own child, admitting it happened in their family, backlash from the community, etc. etc. etc.
I think it is a timely and perfect example of telling society, this is NOT ok! I will NOT stand for this!
Now this 13 year old boy has to live with the consequences. Forever.
We should stand up and demand the change to make it better, change to stop us from having the conversation and debate in the first place…. It’s not extreme, it is what is required!