Targeting indifference: Extending “see something – say something” to gender-based violence

by Granate Sosnoff on 15th January, 2013
Michael Nodianos, 18, was intoxicated when he participated in a vile video in which he mocks the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl last August. The video resurfaced last week after a hacktivist group posted it on YouTube.

Michael Nodianos, 18, participated in a video in which he mocks the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl last August. The video resurfaced last week after a hacktivist group posted it on YouTube.

The good people of Steubenville, Ohio are in the middle of a modern-day gang rape case that is disheartening in a number of ways. What strikes me about the story are the displays of indifference to the drugging, dragging and public gang rape of the 16-year-old West Virginian girl this past August.

This guy (see image) should be replaced with another guy. The guy I want to read about is the guy who sends his video to the police the night of the event and calls and reports the crime.

The parents I want to read about are the parents who say, “yes, well, we raised him to be a responsible ally, it’s no wonder he did what he did.”

We need a better strategy to engage bystanders when it comes to sexual violence so that when they see something – they actually “say something.”

As the story deepens (see New Yorker article) we learn that this isn’t the first time something as cruel, vicious and illegal has happened around Steubenville High (or other schools for that matter).

“Peer pressure” is something we made fun of when I was a teen but it’s at the crux of indifference to violent crime and probably why, given the many people who had opportunities to intervene, they did nothing.

The enormously popular author, Stieg Larson, who wrote the “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series fell victim to it as a teen.

Mr. Larson witnessed the gang rape of a girl, a real-life Lisbeth, by his friends. He didn’t intervene, and according to his longtime friend, this inaction haunted him the rest of his days.

Given the long life of a story on the web, I can only imagine Michael Nodianos’s future regret.

He could have been a hero.

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