A lot has been said regarding the verdict in the Steubenville rape case, but not really has it centered on the actual victim. According to an Akron Beacon Journal article, the victim couldn't quite recall the attack. Circumstances withstanding, no one can't really disagree she was raped. But, rape culture will not make you feel sorry for her at all, as media outlets all across the country have been talking about her rapists' lives being altered and ruined. There have been prayer circles and other signs of community support for her rapists, and not the victim. In fact, rape culture barely considers the victim at all, focusing on the rapists rather than the person who was raped.
In 1988, a film was made that puts some perspective into this dark side of humanity- The Accused. The film stars Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis. The film starts off at a bar. Sarah Tobias(Foster) is having a fun night out with her girlfriend Sally Fraser( Ann Hearn), and she is fairly drunk. Cut to her trying to hail a cab outside of the bar, with her sleeve torn off. At the hospital, she is examined the extent of her injuries, seeing how she was gang raped by several men at the bar. Kathryn Murphy (McGillis) enters the room, and Sarah asks her if she is going to examine her. Kathryn tells her she is a lawyer and she is going to be hers for this rape case. Sarah recalls the incident the best she can, having remembered her environment of her rape. Kathryn listens, but she wants the case to close fast. Through her boss, D. A. Paul Rudolph (Carmen Argenziano), Kathryn wants to take the case to court, and after a heated argument, where she is defending the need to go to court, The D.A. instead demands that she make a plea bargain to which Sarah's rapists will serve jail time. After the bargain gets made, Kathryn goes on with her life and doesn't tell Sarah at all. Sarah finds out about the deal in the paper and barges in on a dinner party Kathryn throws yelling at her for taking it and saying she wanted a chance to speak in court. All the while Sarah's life continues to crumble as she kicks her boyfriend out for not respecting her right to not be intimate, to encountering a bar patron at the record store who egged the rapists on, who tries to solicit her, calling her "Sexy Sadi." Sarah then rams her car into his, and goes to the hospital, wherein Kathryn comes to her and Sarah asks her why she wasn't on her side. Kathryn decides to prosecute those who cheered the rape on, with Sarah getting a chance to have her say in court. You will have to see the film to find out how it ends.
The film shows a great deal what it is like from the victim's perspective, and how she does feel alone, like its her fault, even though it isn't. The film analyzes how our rape culture protects the guilty, and not the innocent, as it shows how Sarah is demeaned after the rape and how her rapists and those encouraging her look at the way she was dressed, how much she drank, and how she danced, and shows how usually our rape culture makes it seem like she was the one seducing and "asking for it" from these "upstanding" men. The film asks us and reminds us to pay attention to the actual victim of rape, the person who actually was raped and not those who did the raping. The film asks us to seriously consider the actual victim of rape, and how her life was ruined and altered, and how her life will forever be haunted by the negative actions of individuals who committed an act of sexual violence towards another human being. The film reminds us to support the raped and not the rapists, and to pray for the day where sexual violence isn't a reality.