Another US college exposed by rape accusations and again the victim’s case finds no justice, so justice must be enforced by alternative means

Protesters took their voices out onto the streets of Ohio last week on behalf of a woman known to the media as ‘Jane Doe’, the codename for a woman who, according to a statement released by the global collective Anonymous, ‘had been viciously gang raped by at least five men at a party’ at Hocking College in Nelsonville. When traditional judiciary bodies failed her, the victim was forced to search for justice through other means, and in this case this meant reaching out to the autonomous decentralised internet vigilantes known to the world as Anonymous, a group with a record for supporting causes like WikiLeaks and ‘Free Tunisia’.

According to Truth Voice, ‘Ohio University students report that even in their own college, coaches are telling the players “not to talk to anyone about the rape” ’. Enter Anonymous, who have made a call to ‘reform the campus culture of rape and impunity’, and, addressing ‘the prosecutor and police’, said: ‘our demand is simple. Leave the protesters alone, and name and charge the men who attacked “Jane Doe”. If you refuse, we will name them for you and we will publish the evidence of their crimes for all the world to see. The choice is yours and it is simple, do your job – or we will’.

The fact that Anonymous now exists is telling of the issues with the US’ current legal system. The repeated problem of sexual assault on college campuses is, in many ways, a product of the rampant sexism present within the culture of college sport. Surely it is a sad state of affairs when the victim of a serious crime has to turn to Anonymous because our entrusted wardens of justice are silent on the matter. It would of course be a better world if groups like Anonymous didn’t have to be called upon, as this would in turn mean that our society is conducting itself in a fairer and more just way. The group’s existence shows how our incumbent governmental institutions have a lack of ability to deal with certain critical issues.

For-profit prisons, racist prosecutions, booming stop-and-search figures, trials being more focused on winning than achieving justice and the fact that public defenders in some states are having to work on approximately 1,000 felonies a year (which averaged out is around 3 per day), are but a handful of examples where the US’ legal system is having a bit of an off-day.

With a proclaimed ‘2.5 million allies in over 60 countries across the globe’, Anonymous is quite a force. Let’s make this a reason to reform the culture associated with college sports so we have no more victims being let down by the legal systems underpinning our lives.

There will also be what the Facebook event describes as a ‘peaceful protest’ outside Oakley Hall on the 30th of September, with the call being to remove Betty Young, ‘and her administration and the Hocking College Board of Trustees’.



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