Rape survivors should not be ‘on trial’

Shiva Mirzahaidar, Voice Editor

After a lengthy judicial process, jurors found two high school athletes to have sexually assaulted a peer guilty of raping a sixteen year old girl and distributing nude photos of her.

With the verdict, the courts have given the survivor closure in holding the two accountable, however, the case brought to light the injustices that the media can commit.

Pictures and videos of the crying rapists and headlines of their football careers being crushed are all that have been visible, even on major news sources that claim they to remain unbiased no matter what scandal.

However, little to no attention has been brought upon the sixteen year old girl.

The only detail about her that has surfaced is how drunk she was. Intoxicated or not, she deserves the right to her body, as it is and always will be hers.

Rather than teaching people not to drink at parties, there needs to be more guidelines set in place to tell people that rape is never acceptable.

Rape is a learned behavior, not something that you are born with.

Consent needs to be a priority. How many rape victims coming forth with their gruesome stories will it take before no means no?
Rape will always be around.

Unfortunately, this has not been the first instance of rape, and it will not be the last, but in order to combat this social epidemic, there needs to be more anti-rape education.

A staggering 44% of rape victims are under 18. These girls and boys need support, not headlines mentioning their drunkenness and rapists’ apologies.

Due to the number of rape convictions remaining low, along with the number of people coming forth about a rape case, the only thing that has been revealed about being brave enough to report such a horrific crime is that the victim will be blamed, no matter what.

With media coverage continuing to sympathize with the rapists’, these numbers will continue to go down until rape remains a topic hidden in the closet.

Although the rapists will face jail time, justice has not been served.

Survivors of this gruesome crime are allowed to get help. They deserve integrity, respect and the freedom to control their own body.

The survivor of the crime remains anonymous, yet even through the grotesque details of the case; she remains inherently valuable as a girl. She has vulnerabilities, hopes, dreams, and so much growing up to do.

Those who have been raped and those who believe in justice believe her and know that she is not alone.