A young woman and student at Ohio University reported a rape on Sunday after her alleged sexual assault was caught in photos and on video over the weekend.
Police in Athens, Ohio, are investigating the alleged rape and officers told the Ohio University Post that they have seen screenshots of the videos. The Post also explained that the university’s definition of consent excludes people who are “asleep or otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated, whether due to alcohol, drugs or some other condition.”
A university official told the Post the social media attention after the alleged assault was disturbing and that “there have been some real examples of some victim-blaming behavior.”
The videos spread like wildfire on social media with users writing comments like, “Holy Homecoming.” The images have since been scrubbed but BuzzFeed was able to capture them. They appear to depict a man performing oral sex on a woman on the street.
Allie Erwin, a senior at Ohio University and leader of student group F– Rape Culture, told Metro the incident has divided students on campus.
“Some of us are really angered and disappointed that no one intervened and they just filmed it,” she said. “Their first impulse was to share it on social media and make a mockery of something that was probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to her. There are other people who saw it as her asking for it and think it’s a joke. Basically they’re slut-shaming her for what happened.”
Erwin said it seems to her that more students are in the latter camp than the former. She also added, “The response on social media is kind of heartbreaking, how harsh and cruel people are being.”
The Twitter account @OU_Confessions, a popular account for Ohio University students sending anonymous confessions, has stopped tweeting after getting flooded with tweets about the incident. It posted a few submissions on Sunday, which ranged in sentiment toward the woman who reported the alleged assault.
“Everybody laughs when a guy gets head in the middle of a fest, but everybody raises hell when a dude eats the box on Court Street”
— OU Confessions (@OU_Confessions) Oct. 14
“To everyone who is posting pictures with the girl who got taken advantage of, you are a disgusting human being and you should be ashamed”
— OU Confessions (@OU_Confessions) Oct. 13