PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Imagine a young girl going through the horrific crime of rape, and then imagine that because she came forward and reported it, she is now receiving death threats for it. This is the sad reality for the 16-year-old rape victim where two Steubenville High School football players were identified as her assailants, and now people in the community are mad at her for exposing what these popular players did.
“She is the pariah of the town, and it should be the other way around,” says Allison Hall, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Action Against Rape. “It’s really sad.”
PAAR is a local rape prevention group, helping victims find assistance and counseling with dealing with rape. KDKA-AM’s Larry Richert talks to Hall about what is happening in Steubenville. She says that what is happening there is not uncommon.
Listen to the interview here:
“Teens and their peers are a tough dynamic, says Hall. “You have someone who comes forward, and now she is being persecuted for it.”
Hall says that more often than not, victims believe that no one will believe them, especially if the assailant is well-known. And rape is the costliest crime in America since there is counseling involved, which also deters victims.
Part of the problem, says Hall, is that parents don’t teach their children about how not to be sex victims, or the effects of alcohol.
“If you are too drunk not to hear content, as in the case of a boy, parents should tell their kids ‘do not have sex with a girl if you’re that drunk,'” says Hall. “And teach them to be good bystanders.”
Hall says that she hopes more victims would come forward when they’re raped, but she understands why they don’t.
“We hope victims would want to prosecute and want to go through the legal system but not all do,” says Hall. “Looking at this case, you can see why someone would be shy to do that.”
Listen to Bill Rehkopf’s interview with Allison Hall here:
If you are a victim of rape or need more information, call PAAR at 1-866-END-RAPE.