My friends made sure my bad choices weren’t tragedies

The Steubenvile, Ohio, rape case is the most recent case to show how impersonal and hands off our society has become.

There is nothing about this case that gives me an okay feeling.

A girl made a mistake and drank too much. I’ve been there. Many times. It’s not a good place to be.

Her own “friends” left her hanging out to dry and didn’t a) watch over her to make sure she was okay that night and b) told law enforcement and attorneys that she typically drank too much and was a liar. In what world are these actually “friends.”

The boys not only took advantage of the girl, but videotaped it, photographed it and joked about it. Disgusting. No further remarks are necessary

NONE of the other kids at any of the parties or the houses helped her. In what civilized society do people allow this to happen?

What in the hell!?!?!?

I’m not proud of it, but let me be honest. I made plenty of bad party choices in college. But I had real friends who watched out for me. If they were the ones making bad choices, I watched out for them. We made it through college with few battle scars — only those that could be joked about later.

The people we were around had respect for others – even the ones we didn’t know. There was community.

I remember that one of the girls in my dorm OD’d on alcohol my freshman year. Other people got her help. She survived.

Community. Responsibility.

Where is it? Where was it in Steubenville? Not just at one party, but SEVERAL?

And, let’s be truthful here, we all know this isn’t an isolated incident. This is just the most recent high profile case. I am sure these kinds of things happen frequently and don’t always make the news.

What are we doing wrong as parents, as a society, that this generation of kids don’t have that sense of compassion, responsibility, empathy, community? I don’t understand.

I truly hope that this girl can recover. Although I’m sure it will be a horrible memory for the rest of her life.

I hope that every one of the other kids who were involved in any way — a bystander, received a text, saw a picture — is haunted for the rest of his/her life for standing by and doing nothing, just making things worse by playing a part.

I hope that this verdict is a lesson that this CANNOT continue to happen. There are repercussions to actions or lack of action. People need to get involved. Silence does truly give consent – by standing by, you are allowing things to happen. It’s not okay, it’s not good, it’s not acceptable.

To my friends and all the people I have known — a sincere thank you for never being THAT kind of person who would think nothing of taking advantage of someone who does not have control of all of their faculties. Thank you for making me feel safe no matter what.

I hope that my children will always have the kind of friends I have had.

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Patricia J Grace

Author of SHATTERED, a memoir of childhood sexual abuse

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