Target: Judge Thomas Lipps
Goal: Thank Judge Thomas Lipps for finding two teenage rapists guilty
In 2012, two local football stars raped and dragged an unconscious teenage girl to several parties in Steubenville, Ohio and almost got away with it. Not only was the girl assaulted, the players urinated on her and took pictures of the assault then posted them on several social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram. In a small town that had little else to claim besides its high school football team, the community idolized its football players to such an extreme that several sources in the town tried to silence the rape victim when she spoke out about her abuse. Local authorities did not attempt to investigate fully when the victim first reported the rape, the head coach of the football team knew of his players’ indiscretions yet did nothing and many in the community stated that the victim was “asking for it” by being drunk in the first place.
Unfortunately the Steubenville rape case is not unique. In any town across America, across the globe in fact, one can find a story of a woman being raped then blamed for the assault because “she was asking for it.” The various ways a woman can “ask for it” include her choice in clothing, the time of day she out of her house, drinking alcohol and flirting with men, to name only a few. The list of reasons for why a woman might be raped is endless and tiresome.
There is absolutely no justification for rape. There are complicating factors, various sides of the story but simply zero justification for rape. Judge Thomas Lipps decided he believed that truth when he ruled that the two small-town stars were in fact guilty of rape, sentenced them to a juvenile detention center and required that they register as sex offenders until after their release.
Judge Thomas Lipps’s ruling was a judgment for justice. His ruling is a step forward for every small, conservative town in American that idolizes its sports teams and blames female victims for their assaults. Justice was served to this victim in Steubenville, the beginning of many. Sign this petition to thank Judge Thomas Lipps for his ruling and take a step forward for stifled rape victims across America and the world.
Dear Honorable Thomas Lipps,
Thank you for your recent ruling for the rape victim in the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. For too long rapes all over the country have been covered up or excused. Sexual violence is a crime that cannot go unpunished. In small towns across America, football stars are sometimes idolized like celebrities. In rape cases like the Steubenville case the victim is often blamed for her rape by being drunk or wearing provocative clothing and therefore “asking for it.” Also in many cases in small, close-knit communities rape victims are urged to “keep the peace” and stay quiet about their abuse. In Steubenville, local authorities did not investigate fully at first, the football coach did nothing with the knowledge of players’ abuses, and community members vilified the brave teenage girl for speaking out against the two football stars.
Your ruling framed these two teenage boys not as victims but as attackers. Some community members of Steubenville, local authorities, even national news media outlets, sympathized with these boys when protection and sympathy should have been given to the victim. With your ruling, justice has been served against these two rapists and the victim has received amends. Thank you for your rectitude in this matter.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alvin Pak Chung Khay via Deviant Art