March 18th, 2013
10:23 PM ET

Steubenville victim's mother speaks out

In an exclusive audio statement given to CNN, the mother of a 16-year-old girl raped in Steubenville, Ohio, talks about her daughter's future, the crime, and her message to other parents.

Here is what she told Poppy Harlow:

“My family and I are hopeful that we can put this whole ordeal behind us. We need and deserve to focus on our daughter's future. We hope that from this something good can arise. I feel I have an opportunity to bring an awareness to others, possibly change the mentality of a youth or help a parent to have more of an awareness to where their children are and what they are doing. The adults need to take responsibility and guide these children. I ask every person listening, what if this was your daughter, your sister or your friend?  We need to stress the importance of helping those in need and to stand up for what is right. We all have that option to choose. This is the start of a new beginning for my daughter. I ask that you all continue to pray for her and all victims and please respect our privacy as we help our family to heal. Thank you.”

For more on the case, read Steubenville, weary of investigation, faces new probe

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Karen S

    How about all parents knowing what their kids are doing. They were all underage and drinking... I DO NOT excuse the behavior of the boys. It was reprehensible, disgusting, with a total lack of regard for another person. I believe the boys should be punished as they have been. In saying that.... from what I understand about the party is there was A LOT of underage kids there and they were all drinking and drinking in excess... Parents, we need to know where our kids are and what they are doing.

    April 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Vanessa

      No, Karen. In stating that parents should "know what their kids are doing", you've condoned the behaviour of those boys. Yes, they were underage and drinking, however, alcohol is nicknamed 'liquid courage' for a reason: it allows you to follow-through with actions you wouldn't do while sober without considering the consequences. I'm implying that they would have attempted sexually assaulting someone even if alcohol was not involved, they simply had enough sense not to – likely for fear of suffering severe repercussions. Obviously not enough sense, because had these boys been properly taught to respect women and had a more firm moral compass, they could have been as wasted as they wanted to be and would not have raped the victim.

      April 12, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  2. Norm Martin

    No Mr. Cooper we do not know that your focus is always on the victim. When the report of the verdict was aired on CNN the focus was on how the lives of the rapists was changed. Not one word about how the life of that innnocent young was changed. Now here you are trying to cover you CNN's total disreguard for her. I have lost all respect for CNN.

    March 20, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Suz Wicks

      Good point, Norman. Those "poor" boys! Imagine their football careers cut short, what a shame. I hope the victim gets what she needs to get past this, put it behind her, and have a productive life.
      Having said that, I also hope these boys have a chance to turn their lives back on track.

      March 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm |

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