It happens once every two minutes in the United States.
That means there are an average of 207,754 victims of rape and sexual assault each year.
Maybe it’s happened to someone you know.
Maybe it’s happened to you.
It happened one day last summer, and now two members of a celebrated high school football team in Steubenville, Ohio, have been found guilty of committing the horrendous crime.
We’re sure you’re familiar with the case by now. As The Associated Press has reported, two of Steubenville High School’s football players were charged with raping a drunken 16-year-old girl, first in the back seat of a moving car after a mostly underage drinking party last summer, and then in the basement of a house.
Prosecutors argued that the victim was so intoxicated she couldn’t consent to sex that night, while the defense contended the girl realized what she was doing and was known to lie.
The victim, a resident of West Virginia, testified that she couldn’t recall what happened but woke up naked in a strange house after drinking at a party.
“It was really scary,” she said. “I honestly did not know what to think because I could not remember anything.”
The case brought national attention to the city of 18,000 and led to allegations of a cover-up to protect the Steubenville football team, and the crime shocked many in Steubenville because of the seeming callousness with which other students took out their cellphones to record the attack and gossiped about it online.
Rape itself is ugly. It’s disgusting. Anyone who commits it should be punished to the full extent of the law.
But young people witnessing it happening and, instead of trying to stop it or report it to the police, capturing the images on their cellphones? There are no words to adequately describe that heinous behavior.
We understand that cellphones and the ability to be instantly connected to their friends is a way of life for most teenagers. We realize they love documenting their every waking moment online.
But we also sincerely hope that those same teens know the difference between right and wrong.
So make sure this message is made clear to your kids and grandkids: Rape is rape.
It doesn’t matter what the victim is wearing.
It doesn’t matter if the victim is drunk or under the influence of drugs.
It doesn’t matter if the person committing the rape is well-known in the community or has a promising future.
Rape is rape.
It isn’t something that should go unreported.
It isn’t something that should be joked or gossiped about via social media websites.
It isn’t something that should be ignored.
Rape is rape.
Although the two young men in Steubenville were found guilty, the case might not be over.
The Ohio attorney general has said he will be continuing his investigation and might consider charges against anyone who failed to speak up after the attack last August. That could include other teens, parents, school officials and coaches for the high school football team.
The victim in the Steubenville case described waking up naked in a strange house as “really scary.” She probably faced a range of emotions unlike any that a person who hasn’t been the victim of rape can understand.
We hope Sunday’s verdict gives her some form of closure, especially if the case continues to play out over the coming weeks and months.
We hope it will cause other victims to report similar crimes that were committed against them.
Ultimately, we hope their unified voices help decrease the number of rapes and sexual assaults committed in this country.
Rape is rape, and one victim is one too many.
It happens once every two minutes in the United States.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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