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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Steubenville Matters

First of all, I would like to point out a misconception about Steubenville as a whole.  There ARE good, decent, hard-working people who live in Steubenville, Ohio who are unfortunately being labeled because of the abhorrent behavior by a handful of miscreants who continue to victim blame and shame Jane Doe on a regular basis.  These good people are also afraid to speak openly about this behavior for fear of retaliation against them or their families, and with good reason.  I have been the target of harassment for over a year by these people.  I can't say that I blame anyone local for not wanting to speak out against them because they have to live there among these people.  I have also been the subject of a lawsuit filed against my anonymous commenters and myself for speaking out about this case. (copy of lawsuit here)

I have said little publicly about this case for a long time.  I have ignored the insults and hate speech for longer than anyone else would have.  The families of those involved have threatened to sue me for what amounts to nothing more than internet butt hurt for the past year now.  I have been accused of being everyone on the internet that speaks out against them and they have harassed, targeted, intimidated and shit talked my family, innocent friends and myself for over a year.   Their hatred of me has become a very sick, unhealthy obsession. I am reminded of the question I asked myself on August 22, 2012 when I first read about this case:  Why would these kids act this way? The answer is very clear:  Look at the examples they have in their lives.  They have adult role models in their lives who bully, harass and intimidate others for speaking out, so why wouldn't these kids opt instead to do nothing but shame, blame and bully Jane Doe on social media?

I am not a US citizen.  I am a German immigrant who proudly lives in this country and loves everything about America.  I have been a staunch defender of the right to free speech and vehemently fought for the rights of my anonymous commenters to remain anonymous when we were sued by the family of Cody Saltsman with regard to the Steubenville rape case.  I could have had the attitude every man for himself when I was sued, but I didn't.  I rallied behind my John Doe defendants and ultimately was able to enlist the assistance of the ACLU to represent them so that anonymous speech was protected; and more importantly that their identities were protected.  Even as an immigrant, I am entitled to "unalienable rights" as afforded by the Constitution:  the protection of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".  Over the past year, I have been a target of hate speech; I have been hunted like an animal by individuals wishing to expose where I live, where I work or who I may have relationships with.  Why?  Because I wrote about a rape case involving their not so compassionate children.  I have purposely not disclosed where I live because these people are unhinged, and people with stalker obsessions are capable of doing bad things.  So, yes...I am in hiding.  NO ONE should have to live like this.  They are so hell bent on destroying me as a person that they have and continue to inhibit my right to earn a living and the right of those who may work for me to earn their living.  Because of their behavior and absolute intent on destroying or causing me physical harm, I am not even in a position to file a police report...because that would disclose my location and potentially put me in danger.

Connie Lulla, who used to be my best friend and who is also the wife of a Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Officer  instrumental in the Steubenville case went so far as to post my partial address on her twitter timeline.  Was Connie trying to intimidate me because she and her posse were able to stalk down my address?  A reasonable person would assume so.


...but these are not reasonable people.

The mother of my former best friend, Georgeann Tennant Allen, has wished me to die of AIDS and has made other innocuous threats about me being "in hiding". She has made threats openly on Twitter, and has wished my best friend who suffers from mental illness to just take something to end her suffering.  I would hope that I am not alone when I ask - WHO DOES THIS?



https://twitter.com/grannygeorge12/status/293766085889634305
My status as a legal permanent resident alien should have nothing to do with this case, but apparently among Mrs. Tennant-Allen and her friends - it makes my opinions or thoughts less important.  It also reveals a very dark side of this group:  their bigoted and misogynistic attitudes which feeds the hate and ignorance machine.




grannygeorge12











Even my deceased Vietnam Vet father was not off limits to these people.




This case has been important for a few reasons.  It opened the world's eyes to the word "rape culture".  The content put online that night allowed the world a bird's eye view of rape culture in action, and also revealed the insensitivity of a group of entitled kids who believed they were immune from accountability - an idea that the adults online reinforce regularly.  It is also an important case because it empowered so many survivors of sexual violence who may never have been able to let the unspeakable pass their lips to do so and that there were people out there who were willing to stand up and do the right thing...regardless of the personal cost.

Attorney General Mike DeWine summed up the Steubenville situation very eloquently in his statement on The Cleveland Plain Dealer
But the lesson of Steubenville is not just that rape is a horrible crime of violence. While this began as a rape of a 16-year-old girl, it also represents blurred, stretched and distorted boundaries of right and wrong. It started out being about the kids, but it is just as much about the adults. How do you hold the kids accountable if you don’t hold the adults accountable?

A 14-member special grand jury convened after the rape trial. The members listened to 123 witnesses over a seven-month period. The grand jury has now indicted six adults, each presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial. The charges, in connection with the juvenile rape, range from obstruction of justice, falsification of statements, tampering with evidence, failure to report child abuse and neglect, and allowing underage drinking.
What is obvious to anyone following what happened in Steubenville is that a lot of adults failed a lot of kids. Grown-ups provided alcohol to minors. Grown-ups protected some kids at the expense of others. Grown-ups preserved an image over exposing reality.
As parents and as adults, we have an obligation to lead by example. We must teach our kids right from wrong and teach them basic standards of human decency. But in this age of social media and instant communication, a culture of “anything goes” has evolved. Act now, think later, and don’t worry about the consequences. We use our devices to communicate -- leaving an electronic barrier that divorces us from shame and from taking responsibility for actions and how those actions affect others.(Source: cleveland.com)


56 comments:

  1. Much more support for you than these few sick persons can imagine.

    I regret the abuse you have been subjected to on a regular basis from these same individuals. Their obsession is nothing short of sick and distorted.

    Stay safe. Semper Fi.

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    1. Thank you. I have MUCH more to write about.

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    2. It is disgusting, what I have seen on twitter from your detractors. What have on here is only the tip of the iceberg. The kids should not be trolling there parents twitter it should be the other way around. They've set the example for there kids on the National Stage now. It's sad that the kids will grow up thinking this is acceptable and worse that victim blaming is acceptable.

      The "rape culture" is alive and well in that town; so is the small town politics covering it up. Ever heard the golden rule: "Whoever has the gold makes the rules" it's unfortunate. The national spotlight hasn't even made these people stop and think who should actually be held accountable. If anything they should be holding there athletes to a higher standard of ethics. Sad, but true of the low standards athletes are held to look at some of the colleges.

      Steubenville, Maryville, and Henderson High School in East Texas are only a few cases and example of low standards kids as well as adults are held to in some small towns. It is sad that the National Spotlight is the only recourse for justice in these situations at Henderson High School she may never see justice.

      It is a shame we don't have an even more serious measure of justice when someone is found guilty of rape. They should take the part of the body that was used to rape. That penalty would be an example to everyone.

      Goddard I saw a post were they threated you with a lawsuit. I hope they do it so they can look even worse in the National Spotlight when they lose. I feel truly sorry for the kids in that town who go other places and get a hard reality check.

      Thank you for exposing a wrong that was performed. Don't let these detractors make you think differently there day is coming and when it does they will have nothing left. I see the people on twitter who defend you they are not afraid of these cowards who refuse to take responsibility for there kids actions and move on with life to fix them.

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    3. If they want to sue me, let them. I will continue to defend myself against their SLAPP suits.

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  2. Great article.I'm sorry you had to go through all of this, but damn I am really proud of you! You made a HUGE impact and change.

    Ter

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  3. Excellent article. Kept it classy..like always!

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  4. Always stand up for what you believe in. Today I am as proud as I was in Aug 2012. These hate Filled.individuals are a drop in the bucket compared to those that respect you and support you.
    This shows the readers why many of the Steubenville residents do not /did not comment under their real names. Because their life's would be made hell like they have made yours. I am sad that can not even see you for fear you would be found.
    Jud, Connie, Aron , Grannygeorge all have said horrible things about you, me the rest of the family. I do know this would your father be alive this would have stopped long ago.
    Just for an FYI for the pretend Immigration Attorney. A Permanent resident is just that and the ONLY difference between a US CITIZENS and a PERMANENT RESIDENT is a permanent resident has the same rights as US Citizens however they can not vote that is all Jud so back off.
    Keep standing tall and ignore them as you have been. They are going to get a visit from Karma or they are going to be dumber then they have been and cross the line more. Either way it will all work out.

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  5. As someone outside looking in, if you ever stated something that turned out to be false, did you ever admit your mistakes

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    1. I really didn't comment a lot, and if there were things that were proven to be to be rumor, yes I did post that information. People discuss rumors or what they have heard on any case. No one knew for sure but LE and the prosecutor what was fact and what was fiction. However, why didn't the prosecutor's office, the mayor, the city officials, police or ANYONE in the know do something to calm the rumor mill in the two weeks before I ever wrote about this case and posted the tweets?

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    2. Oh I don't know but I'll take a wild guess...their pockets are being lined...

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  6. wow i didnt know all this existed these people are pissing me off. im going to there twitters and saying my piece...

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  7. You're welcome in my home any time. ♥
    @Misspell

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  8. Thanks again, this valley resident remains appalled by the hideous behaviors of the above mentioned adults, who clearly shame all the decent people who are residents of Jefferson Cnty. Their horrific antics on twitter in the past yr, followed by many, have been and remain an outrage. Adults carrying on like this because of the disruption in the cozy little fantasyland worlds is just plain inexplicable. 99% of locals and I am sure of those elsewhere who followed the story knew it was about a bunch of privileged little punks who got caught enaging in the unthinkable, RAPE, and then took pics and joked about it all over SM. We all know that this select group of disgusting adult IDIOTS have identified themselves as the VICTIMS, if you can believe it, because you, the evil blogger opened a window in their dark world and that of their kids. Again, this writer remains grateful for all that you did for JD and all the JDs out there. Yes, there is a rape culture throughout the western world, in High Schools, Colleges, military, NFL, you name it. It's been going on for a long time and you did a lot to open the eyes of those who were to afraid to acknowledge the truth of how we have gone so wrong in society, despite all the "so called advancements" in our brave new world.
    Glad to see you are back and thank you again for all your positive efforts.
    As for your former "friends," their words say all anyone needs to know about who and what they are. Maybe our kind and forgiving Lord will somehow sink into their darkened souls, because they have shut out any humans who have tried to explain the gross "error" in their truly crazed belief system. ( That was the kindest and safest way I can describe their twisted ways.)

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    1. Thank you. I hate that everyone in Steubenville is labeled because of these few. This story is FAR from over, and when all is told...heads are going to spin.

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    2. Looking forward to it. Do not worry about the rest of the town, we know who we are and do not share the shame these people brought to the town. Everybody I have encountered was stunned, but glad you exposed the truth. Those not involved did not suffer, we were jd's supporters and your supporters throughout. We want the town cleaned of the filth that has invaded & from the mentality of the BigRedMothers from Hell.
      You are correct, was never safe to identify ourselves here, but it is WE who are LEGION. glad you are back. God Bless You.

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  9. you have been there from the beginning and I hope you stay there!!! SOME people just don't realize the hurt they have caused and thanks to you it is out in the open and only thanks to you was it pursued You go Girl!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. I'm not going anywhere. Hopefully by the end of the week, prinniefied.com will be back up and it is hosted offshore for a reason. :)

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  10. Alexandria, I have been a big fan of yours since the beginning. So very sorry that you even have to deal with this ignorance. There's no hope for the children when these are the adults in charge.

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  11. OMG … I've followed you and this case from the beginning … just because of the exposure you gave of the 'culture' that aided and abetted it.
    A lowly Houston housewife that couldn't agree with you more, and who knows this society needs more of you (many more) to record and publish things like this, loves what you do.
    Did I say I love ANONYMOUS too!!

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  12. Had a old classmate threaten to beat me up at a class reunion because I spoke out about this case. Sad state of affairs

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  13. I too am a local and would like to thank you for sticking it out through all the threats and bullshit slung at you on a daily basis. Kudos for acting like a sensible adult as well. You never tried to shove your scenarios down naysayers throats. I never seen you acting like an unruly teenager having a temper tantrum because you were being picked on etc.
    You have held your head high through all of this and I would be proud to have you at my table and in my home any day.
    I am so sick of seeing Jud and her pack of bullies trying to shove their fantasies down all the naysayers throats here in Steubenville and around the globe. What part of 'Jane Doe has no memories of this night' do they not understand? What part of 'these unruly teenagers had 2 weeks to alter, destroy evidence, get their stories straight' do they not get?
    I feel we will never know the true extent of the humilities and travesties that this young girl suffered at the hands of these privileged delinquents. I pray that she never remembers, for her sake.
    Thank you again for helping to bring these travesties to light and for being you!

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    1. Wow! You are so intelligent with your one word mantra. Hate much do you?

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  14. this world needs more people like you. the people who act this way will eventually get their own. they might band together now out of a sick hate, but in reality it will make them miserable. their lives will be consumed by misery and hate, and all that they enjoyed will lose it luster. all they love will shy away or be tainted. their beloved children will grow into adults and will be just as hateful to them as they are to others, and will cease to be under their thumb. it might take years or even decades, but their actions will forever leave a wake of ruin on the surface of their soul. they will betray one another, seeking only for the self. in the end, they will have nothing but themselves, and be entirely alone.
    this case, the people, and the outcome are very much like hundreds of cases the same way. and is like hundreds more that never make it to fruition-the rape victim's voice is squelched before it ever reaches someone to help. this wont stop until people stand up against it, just like every other ugly human behavior. it starts with the few, but will turn into many. and then, the people who demand a change will outnumber the ones acting like animals.

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  15. Several people in Champaign, IL at a Big Ten school where that disgusting attitude demonstrated by your stalkers still lives and thrives, want you to keep your chin up and keep exposing them. It's pretty ridiculous, and if it wasn't so deadly serious, it might even be funny, the depths to which these few people have sunk, and their extremely limited world view. You are in no way in the wrong, nor should you continue to be harassed by these people. We hope you are able to keep moving forward, despite their small-minded obsession.

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  16. So disgusted by the hate in the Ohio Valley, glad i moved from there.

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  17. Thank you Alexandria Goddard for all you have done and continue to do. I have followed you since the beginning and I agree with the other commentors, the world needs more people like you. People who are not afraid to stand up for basic human rights and dignity. Thank You !

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  18. To be honest, it's none of your business to keep writing blogs about Steubenville, if you didn't want all the hate that you're getting you could have stayed out of it seeing as you're just as irrelevant as all of the people who support you. Goodbye.

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    1. This is QUITE certainly my business, and Steubenville became my business when people obviously such as yourself and others stood by and did nothing.

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    2. Alex,
      I don't believe a victim can be healed emotionally to a decent degree until they get justice. I believe that is the way God wired us. A young lady will know healing that she would have otherwise not known if not for what you did. Plus, I must also believe that other young girls have been spared due to your actions. Little aristocrats ruled by their lusts and parent-fed egos will now think twice before they act this way.

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    3. So it's no one's business that a 16 year got raped and harassed in school after for 2 weeks? Law enforcement in the town did nothing until media spotlight got put on the town. Unlike you Goodard showed high ethical character. Your comment stinks of no ethics. I have a real name Anonymous what’s yours

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  19. I just wanted to let you know you're bravery is greatly appreciated. It's wonderful to see someone who stood up for Jane Doe in that area. These people are an embarrassment to society and I'm sorry you have to deal with their bullying. Stay strong and keep your head up high!

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    1. Anon,
      I second that, and would like to mention that these cowards are probably somewhat fueled by the fact that Alex is a single woman. But hey, none of the men in Steubenville stood up, so what can one say?

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  20. Alexandra, thank you for having the courage to stand up to the bullies and to endure the threats and the SLAPP suits, in order to speak truth and have it heard. In reply to a comment above, this situation in Steubenville is not just your business, it is everyone's business. Our daughters, sisters, friends, nieces, cousins - they all deserve to be treated better than this girl was, and to be safe from rape, victim blaming, crimes against them being shared on social media, and from a culture where misogyny is alive and well. I am Canadian, but we are no less culpable here, we have the Retaeh Parsons case that ended in the suicide of a young woman due to the legal and cultural nightmare that her case brought down upon her. Thank you for raising your voice.

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  21. You are an incredibly brave woman; I deeply admire your courage and convictions. The rape culture is alive and well in America but people like you are going to change it.

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  22. Alexandra, you have said so many lies about my daughter and her husband and the police department of Steubenville. You were a part of the city for years, but because you were jolted by a man you want to slam my hometown..well back at you...you do not talk about everyone in the town and how bad they are and think all are going to believe you. You have not gone after other young football playing rapists in other small or large towns. WHY because you just wanted Steubenville to be in the news with all the negativity. And yes, you not being a citizen of these United States means you cannot be a free speaking American. I have several members of my family that have fought hard for this country and did not do it for aliens to come in and bash our towns.

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    1. Georgeann, just an FYI:

      The Bill of Rights does not grant foreigners the right to enter the United States, but once here, immigrants are entitled to certain broad constitutional protections. Due Process — the right to be treated fairly, whether in a deportation hearing or a criminal court proceeding — applies to every person within U.S. borders. And Equal Protection prohibits discrimination based on race or national origin. An alien's rights to free speech and religious freedom are protected under the First Amendment. The Refugee Act of 1980 gives certain aliens the right to political asylum in the U.S.
      http://www.aclu-nj.org/theissues/immigrantrights/

      You're welcome. ;)

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    2. I have also served and fought for this country and I find your comments about Goddard disgusting she has abided by our laws like everyone who has a green card should. It is Law Enforcements fault that for 2 weeks they got no letters of preservation to twitter or subpoenas when the boys were brought in. She didn't slam your town she slammed the bad element in your town. She stood up for a raped 16 year old when no one else did. If your daughter and husband did something wrong why didn’t you stand up and tell them to stop? Others small towns are on the news for trying to cover up a crime look at Maryville; look at some of the college football teams.

      As an immigrant who is here legally she is afforded certain rights under the laws of this country. People who are not citizens serve in our armed forces to, I dare you to tell them they don't rate freedom of speech. How dare you speak of citizenship or the military when obviously have no clue of what it means to be an American. I hope your family members who served are disgusted by your comments. My American flag is disgusted by your comments and you are beneath its contempt. Go back to school and read our history books and figure out what it means to be a citizen before you spew your ignorance ever again.

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    3. Wow Crazylady, you sure are nucking futz! The ignorance that spews from a select few is the reason I am embarrassed to say I live in the area. Crazy, you make the majority of us look bad with your vile, disgusting and skewed view of this whole situation. And to think many wonder why the surrounding areas have called this town Stupidville for as long as I can remember. It was your 'golden boys' who brought disgrace to our town, not Prinnie. Look in the mirror Crazy, It all started with you and parents like you.They say ignorance is bliss. I call bullshit on that because you, and those like you, are clearly miserable.

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    4. Don't be too shocked by what "CrazyLady" has said here. This is the same woman who has also said this on twitter ....

      BigRedForever ‏@grannygeorge12 9 Jan 2013
      @SharonR69171334 PRINNIE IS A LOSER AND HAS NO LIFE
      HOPE SHE AND HER FRIENDS AND YOU AND ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS GET AIDS AND DIE A SLOW DEATH

      https://twitter.com/grannygeorge12/status/289062883663417344

      Can you even imagine how her son who is a BCI agent feels when he has to explain to his co-workers his mother's hate filled rants?

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    5. If i was as hate filled as you Georgeann I would post some pictures of your Daughter on twitter . When taken they may have been very innocent yet they could tell a very different story. This is exactly what you are doing to my Daughter. I suggest you stop while you are ahead because I know that Alex and i both have nothing but respect for your son-in-law.
      Sadly it is you and your Daughter thaht show your ignorance and hate.
      Secondly, her father served this Country and is burried in a National Cemetery and was a decorated Veteran. Georgeann you are the embarrassment to this Country and those whom served/serve not Alex

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  23. Crazy is right.someone run to the school and get granny a history book
    She's in need of it.

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  24. I don't know what to say! To Alexandra, I am so sorry for all you have endured and keep going through. To people like the crazylady-well, there is standing up for your family but this is beyond anything I have ever seen. To be so cruel and so ignorant-it just boggles the mind. I will pray for everyone involved in this horrible situation. Support for those who need it and the appearance of clarity, peace and goodwill in the others.

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  25. Alexandria, thank you for standing up for a young woman who has been wronged. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. once said: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The world needs more people to stand up for what's right, not what's easy and convenient. I am an author, speaker, activist and girls' empowerment coach who supports you all the way from South Africa.

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  26. As someone who has lived in Steubenville for over 20 years I am saddened at the hatred and ignorance that fill peoples lives. Instead of bashing and condemning go be part of the solution NOT part of the problem. I was raped in this town---and I WAS NOT a TERRIFIED young girl-- and NEVER reported it. WHY ? The SAME reasons many do not. Slut shaming, ridicule, not being believed, etc. This media attention to the "dirty" little secrets that are hid behind closed doors COULD and CAN be ANYTOWN USA. Don't BLAME Alexandra or Anonymous for having the tenacity --the quality of being determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose --for bringing it to light, most people just wouldn't care.

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  27. As i am a part of the Maryville rape case, I can totally relate. I am thankful for people like you who are willing to stand up and do the right thing. Otherwise, our freedom here in the USA has no purpose.

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  28. Hi, Alexandra! I wanted to find a way to reach you after you retweeted one of my tweets about the Harmonium Project. I live in Steubenville, and I really want to thank you for separating the rape case from the people of Steubenville and for being kind enough to support a Steubenville grassroots community effort to help make the generations better in our town. This is a very difficult place to live for a lot of reasons, but it is also a wonderful community. Thank you for doing your little part to bring hope to our town :)

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    1. Teresa, you're welcome. I wish you the best of luck with your project. I think it's awesome and hope it is very successful. You're right - it is difficult in many ways, but there are some WONDERFUL hard-working folks there.

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  29. Teresa, w/o knowing you & your friends, thank you so much for your wonderful efforts at bringing light to our community which certainly does have it's share of serious problems. But you are very correct in acknowledging there are a great many, very good people here who are more that ready to see this valley blossom yet again.
    Again, thank you, and thanks to Alex who many believe did the town a service by reporting that which was hidden from us. And yes, we appreciate you separating the dark from the light in this 'tale of two cities.'

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  30. Why aren't you reporting these tweets to twitter and get them suspended?
    You do know how to report a tweet PROPERLY, right?
    Some think by tweeting twitter will do it. No.
    I will stop back in the next few days. These tweets are against twitters TOS. And you can have these bastards suspended.
    Reply to my comment if you need help doing so. This is unacceptable.

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  31. My main issue is what is that kid doing playing football. That was irresponsible to let him back on the team and a slap in the face of decency.

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