The newest headline on June 4, regarding alleged rapist Jourdyn Rawlins, read “Alleged rape victim testifies at hearing for LSHS honor student.” Let me correct this for you, The Lima News (and media in general): Alleged Rapist in court as the accusing victim testifies.
See how easy that was to not highlight this accused felon’s sports and grade highlights? We aren’t reviewing resumes or track & field accomplishments here.
This was the second article written about his athletic accomplishments. You are reporting on the rape case of a teenage girl — actually multiple. This article could also make the headline, “Rawlins is facing a separate charge of rape in juvenile court and a third victim is being investigated as well,” with the suggestion that there may be more victims” — quoted directly from the article (highlighting this outstanding Lima Senior student).
I think it’s time we quit normalizing rape and dismissing and minimizing claims. These articles are perfect examples of the rape culture we live in (I will link an educational piece in case readers are not familiar with what “rape culture” is — it also addresses the myths of false reporting) and ask people to think about how articles like this can discourage rape victims from coming forward and getting the help, advocacy, and healing they deserve. https://www.marshall.edu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/
Rape Culture - Women’s & Gender Center - Marshall
What is the “Rape Culture?” Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.