In August 2012 a party took place in a small town called Steubenville located in Ohio. On that night a group of football players took advantage of an underage girl. She was sexually assaulted, drugged, and taken from party to party while unconscious. The town decided to protect the star football players and kept the entire event quiet. And so it remained until the famous group of hackers Anonymous could stand it no longer and decided to take matters into their hands. They hacked the Steubenville High School’s website and posted a video talking about the rape and they threatened to reveal personal information about people involved in the incident.
Around town nobody wanted to really talk about rape. Some justified it by saying the kids were drunk and stuff happens but we’re not bad people, we go to church.
But some took to the Internet and started using social media to spread the word that something had to be done. They searched for old tweets and old pictures and tagged as many organizations as they could in order to make the incident known and to bring attention to it. A rally was organized and many people attended to stand in solidarity. And then a video was released that was taken the night of the rape and all hell broke loose.
The town protested because they felt like they were being judged and condemned. They felt pressured into feeling shame and guilt over something they apparently didn’t think was such a big deal. But then at the second rally women started speaking up and sharing the stories of their own sexual assaults. And suddenly an entire town of good church-going people who refused to be seen as monsters was unmasked.