Most of us have heard about the rape case that took place at the University of Virginia campus. Well, for those of you who have not, here’s a quick news coverage story of the event:
Pretty messed up right? In class, we talked about the importance and urgency for Americans to feel comfortable addressing such issues as rape or sexual violence. Jackie’s account of her gang rape had, yes, started people talking about the issue and realize the urgency to address rape and sexual violence on college campuses. However, upon the police later finding holes in her testimony, the case was dropped and has now left a scar created by negative attitudes about Jackie, the University of Virginia, all Greek life at the University of Virginia, poor journalist practices, and, most importantly, it cast doubt on the truthfulness of all rape victims known and unknown.
Now, five months later, the popular crime drama “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” has created an episode storyline that one could say was taken straight from the University of Virginia rape frenzy with only the adjustments of being set in New York at a New York university. Don’t believe me? Take a look:
Now, I could be wrong, but the purpose of shows like Law and Order SVU is to raise awareness on issues like sex crimes and other related crimes. The news coverage surrounding Jackie’s false story created enough negativity and now the crime drama is only adding to the feelings of negativity creating an environment of doubt and uncertainty surrounding the stories of rape victims. A follower of the television series Facebook page wrote, “While I love this show, it would have been great not to have a show that undermines the epidemic of rape on colleges. Why would they do a show that discredits rape on campus[?] [T]his instead is continuing its perpetuation that all women lie about it.” Well that’s a good point! Victims are already horrified of what they just experienced, now the media reporting on the UVA rape case and the Law and Order SVU television episode have the potential to scare future victims into hiding out of fear of being ridiculed for what they themselves know to be true.