Target: Fox News
Goal: Demand an apology for comments aired on national television, which suggested that a rape was the victim’s fault.
Attorney Joseph DiBenedetto recently appeared on Fox News to discuss the rape case of 14 year old Daisy Coleman from Maryville, MO. Throughout his guest appearance, he made several offensive remarks that suggest the rape victim was somehow asking to be raped.
He began his argument with “I’m not saying she deserved to get raped, but…” and cited several arguments suggesting that the rape was Daisy’s own fault. He argued that nobody forced Daisy to drink that night, and the whole undertone of his argument suggested that she deserved the rape for sneaking out of her house in the middle of the night.
DiBenedetto’s argument is senseless and unfair to this victim and all victims of rape. He said that it was her own fault for drinking, but agreeing to drink and agreeing to consent to sex are two entirely different subjects. In fact, Daisy’s blood alcohol content was so high that under Missouri law, she was not capable of consenting to sex.
Perhaps the most offensive statement that Dibenedetto shared was, “What did she expect to happen at 1am after sneaking out?” When a 14 year old girl sneaks out she is more than likely expecting to spend a fun night with her friends; not to get raped. Especially at such a young age when many early teenagers are not yet sexually active, it is hard to imagine that Daisy even considered the possibility of being raped.
These statements by DiBenedetto are ignorant and unfair. Fox News needs to apologize for broadcasting a speaker with such an offensive point of view. This apology especially needs to go to Daisy Coleman, a young rape victim being shamed and discredited on national television.
Please sign the petition below to insist the news network apologize for sharing such offensive and sexist remarks against a young rape victim.
Dear Fox News,
Your recent hosting of attorney Joseph DiBenedetto, who discussed the rape case of Daisy Colman, was sexist and offensive and an apology needs to be given.
DiBenedetto’s entire argument seemed to suggest that he thought the rape was the victim’s own fault. He used phrases such as “I’m not saying she deserved to get raped, but…” and “What did she expect to happen at 1am after sneaking out?” He also blamed Daisy by saying that she is the one who chose to drink.
It is evident that DiBenedetto is suggesting that choosing to sneak out and drink is somehow the same as choosing to consent to sex, and because she took those actions she should have expected to get raped. These views are ignorant and offensive, especially to Daisy Coleman. It should not be okay for such a young rape victim to be shamed on television as she was.
On behalf of Daisy Coleman and her family, we insist that you make a public apology for the remarks made by a guest that you asked to appear on your network.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ario_ via Flickr