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Dear Steubenville Victim, You Matter
March 18, 2013

Dear Steubenville Victim,

Because of the protection afforded to victims of sexual assaults, most of us don't even know your name, but I want you to know that you matter.

Though it may be true that various media outlets lament your rapists' loss of "promising futures," while largely ignoring what you've lost, I want you to know that the media doesn't speak for us. We know what you've lost. You matter.

While cretins on Twitter or facebook or your town call you names and try to blame you for the horrors visited on you, I want you to know that we know it's not true. You aren't to blame. Your alcohol consumption isn't to blame. You matter.

Plenty of us who you will never meet, never know are enraged on your behalf. We aren't going to stop fighting and we aren't going to let rapists win. Because you matter.

What you're going through and what you will continue to go through is a horrible nightmare that only few and yet too many can even comprehend. You matter.

Don't lose hope that you will come through this. Don't lose sight of a life that you deserve to have beyond this. You matter.

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Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic