Today in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville at 12:15 p.m. flash mob participants will perform a nearly five-minute dance by Broadway choreographer Debbie Allen to the song “Break the Chain,” written by Teva Clark. One Billion Rising events will be held worldwide, including gatherings in Kent, Chardon, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Akron, John Carroll University and Notre Dame College.
Deb Lemire is the organizer of V-Day Akron and coordinated the flash mob to coincide with One Billion Rising, a global activist movement that brings attention to violence against women and girls. I have seen a lot of not so nice comments by some individuals in Steubenville who are claiming that outsiders have ruined the reputation of their town. I think it is awesome that outsiders continue to come to their town to bring attention to violence against women and girls. These people are making a difference. Perhaps those who are complaining could learn something from the “outsiders”.
Read more here.
I received this in an email the other day and was so touched by it that I wanted to share. I can tell you that while watching all of the rallies, I have been so incredibly moved by the outpouring of support for Jane Doe, but for all of those wonderfully compassionate and caring people who braved cold weather to let their voices be heard.
Third Wintery Weather Rally
(Thankful good people like Prinnie were willing to share the truth, hard as it was to hear).
Tying my hood a little tighter, as the wind sneaks through to my ears, shuffling my boots to dig deeper into the patch of snow and ice so I don’t slide off the curb where I’m standing to give myself a few extra inches of height…..looking at the crowd of speakers..at the Guy Fawkes masks, wondering which one is which…do the social media admins even come to these local protests? I am not as computer savvy as I’d like to be. I don’t tweet, I don’t even own a cell phone…refuse to be that assessable…always did hate phones. But, have been following these young Anon’s that have put up Facebook pages on her behalf. Most of them are probably not much older than she.
Been spending parts of days off of work going from one Facebook page to another, reading article after article, post after post, (I even found twitter on my iPad), searching, waiting, hoping that more will have the morals, values and character to do the right thing, to stand up and state, “I was there, this is what happened , this is what I did, and I am very very sorry”. But, the teens who attended these rape crew parties obviously have parents whose parenting skills are as rusty as the skeletal remains of the steel mills that lie dead on the shores of the Ohio.
So many involved and only two taking the fall for all. The posts from these deviants along with my intuition tells me there are other rapists who have been kept safe from the same fate.
Just one from the very large crowd of the apathetic ‘I didn’t help her’ guilty came forward to apologize to this young victim. Not only does no one else step up to apologize to the innocent students for the shame they brought upon their school, but many big fish in this small pond of a town are going to extreme measures to discredit the very people who are here for this little girl. Instead of honest, lets fix this mess and salvage our reputation, there is damage control. For many it is easier for this dying town to make excuses for and divert attention from the football team, involved students, coaches and school board members than to confront, acknowledge and amend. I am frustrated at the lack of empathy.
I am angry that the very citizens of this town did not call forth this rally to stand up for this victim and to state loud and clear, ‘Rape In My Town Is Unacceptable!’
But they didn’t, so here I stand with these strangers who did; old, tired and growing colder. Beating my gloved hands together to try for a little friction heat. I read the protest signs, lend my ear to the voices, smile at these vocal youth who are all heart, giving the only thing I can offer this young girl – my presence and support.
I stand in the middle of a group. Surrounded by local police who are keeping their crumbling city safe from this little old lady so bundled up she can barely move. A kind person passes out hand warmers and blue ribbons. This rally is young, old, man, woman, boy, girl, victim, survivor, neighbors of Ohio Valley near and far. We are masked and unmasked. We are a presence sharing our hope that she hears our voices saying, “we are so sorry sweetie, we are doing what we can to drown out their apathy , hoping our presence will bring enough attention to this case that as hard as they might try to stop it, you have a fair chance for justice”.
I tie my Steeler black and gold scarf a little tighter around my neck, carefully step off the icy curb to make my way across the river to home ….a little lighter in heart because these people braving this weather, speaking from their heart…. are something that is right in this world.
Last night a gentleman contacted me about two Weirton, WV families who were in dire need of supplies for their children. The families needed baby diapers (sizes 1, 5 and 6) and Similac with iron formula. The children range in ages from 2 to 10 years old. Through the use of social media we were able to get donations of food cards, gift cards and many people are sending the children much needed clothing.
While waiting for the mail to make its way to West Virginia, the kids are going to need to eat. I spoke with Rob at Fox’s Den Pizza in Weirton and he has agreed to take phone donations towards a gift card for pizza for the weekend. You can call (304) 723-3697 and ask for him. He will take your cc info towards gift certificate donation.
A very special thank you to everyone who has helped and to Kathi Eastham, owner of Fox’s Den for helping these families out!!
#OccupySteubenville had another great rally today. There were many times that I teared up listening to some of the various speakers. I applaud everyone who stood out in the cold to take part and show their support for ALL Jane Does. I noted that the topic that kept being repeated over and over today is this is not just a Steubenville problem. I do not believe that the world is hating on everyone in the city of Steubenville specifically. People are asking questions – not just about Steubenville, but perhaps about their own towns. Something magical has happened as a result of this case – rape culture is being acknowledged around the world as a real problem and people are addressing that problem. That is a good thing. Knowledge is power and education is key.
Repeatedly the speakers implored people to get involved. Start a group in your town. Ask questions – address issues. Be that voice. Talk to your children and teach them that we are all equal. Teach them that it is okay to be the one who stands up as the lone voice in the crowd. Teach them that is is okay to say NO or object to behavior of their peers. This incident shouldn’t be what divides the city, but rather should be utilized to create unity and bring the community together. Everyone wants justice for Jane Doe.
Rich Olivito left with some wise parting words. The law cannot change the hearts of man. It is up to the community to change and move forward from this in a positive manner. Rather than wasting energy on negativity and laying blame on perceived enemies; rise above it and be the one to elicit change.
We all realize that kids do stupid things. They are kids, but bring social media into the mix and it can have disastrous effects. I don’t think anyone here is going to argue about the long-lasting effects that social media can have on someone’s life. A 16-year old Stow, Ohio high school boy is facing a felony charge after he took a picture of himself and a female classmate engaged in a sex act and posted it to Twitter. According to a police report, the 16-year old student took a photo of himself while engaged in a sex act with a 14-year old female student. He texted the photo to three of his friends and then tweeted it. He removed it from Twitter approximately 10-15 minutes later, but by that time it was too late. Once it hit Twitter it was seen by countless people who circulated it around the school.
A student told a teacher about the photo that was circulating, and the school contacted police. The 16-year old is now facing a second degree felony for pandering obscenity involving a minor and a misdemeanor charge of telecommunications harassment. Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of having “that talk” with your kids about the use of social media and what is considered proper use of the internet.
Lay the blame where it belongs – with those who stood by and did NOTHING. Blame those who refused to cooperate with law enforcement and blame the parents who raised children without a moral compass, empathy or compassion.
There has been a lot of false information being disseminated regarding the dismissal of the defamation suit filed against myself and 25 unnamed John Doe Defendants and I wanted to take a moment to clear up some of those rumors. First and foremost, there was no settlement in terms of agreements not to discuss the case or even stop talking about Cody Saltsman. On or about December 20, the Plaintiffs approached us wishing to dismiss the defamation claim WITH PREJUDICE. They asked if Cody could post a statement on my blog, and I was glad to allow him to do so. I did not HAVE to do anything, nor was I forced to post anything about the case in return for a dismissal. I chose to provide a statement because many people were following the case and wanted to know what was going on.
I was not forced to stop talking about Cody or the case. If I wanted to call him a little booger eater…I could, but I won’t. What he did was really crappy and there is no excuse for it, but at least he made the attempt to right his wrongs. As part of the settlement we did not pay any money; we did not agree to retract any statements, nor did we agree to stop covering the case or discussing it. I was glad that Cody wanted to make a statement. In all honesty, whether people choose to believe him or not — he is the ONLY person thus far to have the testicular fortitude to stand before the public’s judging eyes and try to explain his actions or inaction that night. For that, I do give the kid MUCH credit. He has done more in that respect than any adults who have been implicated in this nightmare of a case. There were never any threats made to him or others on this site. People discussed this case much
When I first started writing about the Steubenville case, there was one thing that bothered me the absolute most. It was not that law enforcement did a shoddy job — I never claimed that, and will never make that claim. I know many of the officers at Steubenville PD and they are very fine and upstanding men. What bothered me greatly was the number of bystanders (as evidenced by social media) who stood by and did nothing. The complete and utter lack of empathy of anyone that night bothered me greatly.
To be quite clear, RAPE was mentioned on August 11th as it pertains to the events that unfolded that night. No one but those using social media to discuss what happened that night put those words on their keyboards. They tweeted about “rape“. It was they who initially identified what happened that night as rape, and later the prosecutor’s office defined the happenings that night as “rape” when charges were filed against the two juveniles now awaiting trial.
Since then there has also been a lot of blaming. There is blame laid at the defense attorneys who represent the accused. They are simply doing their jobs. I had occasion to meet Mr. Madison – I thought he was very polite and cordial. I met mothers of some Big Red students and have nothing but nice things to say about them and their children. Not all kids at Steubenville High School are bad because of an irresponsible, uncaring few.