Dear Jane Doe In Steubenville, Ohio

by Emma Bush on January 6, 2013

Dear Jane Doe,

A month ago my home was broken into and robbed.

Assholes came into my home, uninvited, and went through my things while I wasn’t there, shuffled through my belongings, my life, my stuff, my safe spot, and they took from me like it was a game, a joke, something funny. I was left to feel the fool. I’d been had.

I felt so violated.

Dear Jane Doe. I am so sorry these things happened to you. I am sorry that peers, boys you would hope would have expected to protect you chose to instead violate you and laugh about it. All while you were were “not home” and “unconscious.”

I would think they would protect you.

I would want them to protect you.

I’d like to say that, my son, my son would would have stood up and done something to help you.

There is such a HUGE PROBLEM in our world that the adults meant to protect you downplay and belittle your experience with such heartless and ignorant words as Man O War, the schools web administrator’s “enough with the hyperbole, how can she be “scarred for life” if she supposedly can’t remember anything?” …Are we really that heartless as a society?

Something is wrong…

I was at work last year when a coworker was watching the news and said, “What’s rape anymore? You can’t stick your finger in someone without it being rape.” THIS IS NOT OK. Jane Doe. I work on an ambulance. These are the men that come with lights and sirens to help you… IT IS NOT OK.

Jane Doe. I do not know you. You are sixteen, I am 34. You are in Ohio and I’m in Washington State. But Jane Doe, I am with you. You are not alone. You are stronger than you know. Right now you are Jane Doe to the world, some day you will stand up and be a proud YOU in front of the world and you will have an entire country behind you, supporting you. You are not alone. What happened to you was wrong and horrible, that it has been dismissed or belittled is an outrage, that these boys can make such adult decisions and then get tried as juveniles? Its unacceptable.

I hope that every last hand that touched your body that night and every person that did not do something to intervene and help is SHAMED AND EXPOSED. THEY are the ones that need to feel violated and exposed, Jane Doe, not you. Expose THEM. To those that were there or that chose to turn a blind eye, that is cowardice that I quite proudly know I do not have in me. I look down at your pathetic-ness, and extend my hand to you, its not too late to redeem yourself. Do what’s right. Not what’s easy.

And to everyone who says, “Well my son would never do something like that,” take a look at the society we are raising our children in, where you can buy coffee from bikini baristas, women wearing nothing more than tassels from their breasts, and then later you can go catch the lingerie football game and watch women tackle one another in their underwear because for some reason when men tackle one another they need protective clothing but when women do, all they need is underwear. Where our sons are playing video games like Grand Theft Auto and getting awarded points for buying and killing prostitutes. Music. Lyrics. What is he saying? What am I singing along to?

Jane Doe. You are not alone. I am with you, women nationwide are holding hands in solidarity to support you. Women who have felt your shame and who have shared your fear and who have experienced your trauma. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Quite frankly you are a badass survivor, and I wish I could hug you. I am sorry this happened to you. I am with you. I support you. You are not alone.

To those who think that giving such unsavory things attention is counterproductive, GROW UP. Be OUTRAGED. Ignoring the cancer doesn’t make it go away.

Jane Doe,

My heart is is with you.

Emma

PS- A note to parents in Steubenville, Ohio:  I’ve heard through the grapevine that you feel like you are being attacked.  You are NOT!  You did nothing wrong.  I’ve heard through the grapevine that you feel like you are being blamed!  You are not!  You were not there!  Parents of boys and girls alike in Steubenville, Ohio, rape is NOT COOL.  It is NOT FUNNY.  You know this.  You know that it is not something to blow over or forget about.  Its something that needs to be spotlighted and evaluated.  Why did they believe that it was OK to do these things?  I do not know?  Why is it funny to carry a “dead girl” around from party to party?  I don’t know…Because its not funny.  Maybe you should ask them, if they thought it was funny, or if they didn’t.  If they saw it, how that made them feel, how they reacted and why did they do nothing?  AND WHAT CAN THEY DO NOW?  Society shames us into believing that if its not pretty its not cool.  I disagree.  If its not pretty its most likely REAL.  And REAL IS TRUTH, and just like my homeboy Jesus once said, THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

melissa January 23, 2013 at 1:26 AM

Jane Doe you are not alone…all my best wishes for justice!

Melissa from Italy

Lisa January 23, 2013 at 2:49 AM

Jane Doe, you are not alone. Blessings upon you.

Helena January 23, 2013 at 3:05 AM

Jane Doe and all other rape victims may it be a women, a man a boy or a girl – we must raise our children with respect and kindness so they grow up showing respect and kindness to the world. Courage to speak out when something is not ok. I can not imagine the damage they have done to you but I do hope you have strong support around you to fight and to one day be a strong and beautifull person not beaten down by those who thought they had the right to use and abuse you.

Leigh January 23, 2013 at 6:38 AM

Jane Doe, I stand with you and all of the other women who have been violated. We are all supporting you and are outraged that this happened to you.

teri culbert January 23, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Dear Jane, I was assaulted when I was 13, by boys I knew in the little town I grew up in. My heart breaks for you, & me still. But it will get better, get therapy now if you can, & take any action you can against these creeps now. I wish I had the support to do that then, 44 years ago because I still can’t go there without a weapon & I still wonder how many times they did this. You are not alone like I was. Millions of women like me are watching. We love you.

yo

Sue Henderson January 23, 2013 at 7:43 AM

Here in the UK we’re with you too, Jane Doe. I was stunned when I heard what had happened and especially that no-one even so much as hid in the bathroom at one of those houses to call the police on their cell. You’re a survivor and you have your whole life ahead of you. I hope you can make it a good one and put your attackers’ sorry asses behind bars. Much love from across the Pond.

Jill Ann January 23, 2013 at 7:55 AM

Jane Doe,
I am lost for words to express how sorry I am that this horrible act happened to you. I was raped a year ago, and it was surreal, like I couldn’t move or hit or do anything to stop it. His voice I can still hear in my ear. I wish this didn’t happen to you, that I can reverse time and make it never happen. You are a beautiful young lady who should not of been raped. I hope that you are going to therapy to talk it all out. Be around other survivors who understand and feel what happened to you. It helped me heal, slowly but heal day by day. I too was made the scapegoat for what happened to me. It was a married co-worker and another co-worker who did this to me after our company Christmas party. When I went to the police, and my other co-workers found out, thru the 2 who raped me, I was told I was a slut, whore, ruined a married mans life. Over 200 people in my building believed them and said I cried rape. Not until one of them admitted to a friend that “that b*tch is just like the other one, I did what I did”, did people finally realize I was telling the truth. He had another woman go to police before my rape, but she dropped charges from being intimidated. Keep strong, don’t let any of those adults in your community make you feel like the perpetrator , you are the victim and justice needs to be served. I am form Ohio and it saddens me that your community is full of ignorant self serving money hungry people. Always know that you are strong, you are doing the right thing and those who aren’t supporting you aren’t worth a second thought. I’m here for you and will always be thinking of you and your recovery. All my love to you and your family. Jill Ann

Marcie January 23, 2013 at 9:23 AM

We are with you, Ms Doe. You are not alone.

Tammy January 29, 2013 at 6:43 PM

My heart breaks for you. I was raped at 15 by my first boyfriend. The first boy who said he loved me. I had no one to turn to to tell me it wasn’t my fault. This isn’t your fault. I had no one to turn to to tell me that I was worthy of more. You are worthy of more. You count. You matter. You are beautiful. You are strong. Those boys were the weak ones. Don’t let them take your humanity from you. Don’t let them take you from you. You are not what they did to you. And nothing you did warranted these assholes to violate your body, your human rights, or your femininity. You are not alone. There is a whole nation standing behind you. You are not a cause. You are a person. A young woman. Who was hurt. Who didn’t ask for what was done to her. Be hurt. Cry. Be angry. Yell. Fight back! Don’t let anyone revictimize you and tell you not to. That is your right as a woman….as a human being. This is not your fault! We all know that what these boys did was wrong. They know that what they did was wrong. Don’t be ashamed. They are the ones who should be ashamed. I know it’s hard but I pray you find the strength to stand up and fight for you! You are not alone. There are thousands of women standing behind you, standing with you in spirit, praying for you. It doesn’t matter that you were drinking. That’s no reason for these boys to hurt you. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. This is not your fault. You matter. This is not your fault. You matter. This is not your fault. You matter. You count. You are beautiful. You are worthy. You are stronger than you know. It’s in you. Even though I don’t know you I know that it is. It was in me but I didn’t have anyone to tell me that it was. You have it in you. More strength than you know. This is not your fault. You matter so much. We share your tears. We share your pain. We share your fight. The fight that many of us have fought, in silence or out loud. You are not alone.

Guy Phillisophogus February 17, 2013 at 12:47 AM

“I’d like to say that, my son, my son would would have stood up and done something to help you.” LMFAO you are such a hypocrite

” And to everyone who says, “Well my son would never do something like that,” take a look at the society we are raising our children in, where you can buy coffee from bikini baristas, women wearing nothing more than tassels from their breasts, and then later you can go catch the lingerie football game and watch women tackle one another in their underwear because for some reason when men tackle one another they need protective clothing but when women do, all they need is underwear. Where our sons are playing video games like Grand Theft Auto and getting awarded points for buying and killing prostitutes. Music. Lyrics. What is he saying?”

TAKE YOUR OWN ADVISE

Guy Phillisophogus February 17, 2013 at 12:50 AM

Jane Doe you shouldnt have been out there in the first place EVERY guy wants a piece of a girl YES YOUR SON included he is not excempt from the “whoremones” going through his body, Jane Doe shouldve not even been there in the first place she shouldve been with her friends not OUT OF HER TOWN wtf she was asking for trouble.

Guy Phillisophogus February 17, 2013 at 12:53 AM

Oh and on another note Jesus was a false messiah i am not a jew i know jesus just wanted attention he was an attention whore.

Stephanie March 17, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Dear Jane Doe,
You are so strong and brave and I admire you for that. Yesterday you testified and I cannot imagine how hard and emotionally intense that must have been. I am glad these boys were found guilty for what they did to you. At least five women I know have been raped and none of them have seen justice because they were not taken seriously, or they did not report it because they felt they would not be believed. Thank you for being so courageous while dealing with a crime that was preventable (by the boys themselves and others in the room) and uncalled for. I am sorry for how the town treated you in the beginning by not standing behind you. I hope society can learn that vaginas should always be protected before sports programs. Also, the media reports said you only cried once while on the stand. You are strong. I found it ironic that they boys cried when their verdict was read. I want you to know that they didn’t have the right to cry. They weren’t the ones who had been violated in such a horrid manner. I hope you can move forward and please know that you are a powerful young woman. You challenged these boys and the town. I think that shows that you can do anything.
Much love and respect,
Stephanie

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