Serena Williams Implies 16-Year-Old Rape Victim Should Take Some of the Blame: ‘Maybe She Wasn’t A Virgin.’

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Some interesting comments by tennis champion Serena Williams, have some fans and critics scratching their heads a bit. During a recent Rolling Stone interview she was asked about the Steubenville rape victim case. [Here’s the backstory about the case. A 16-year-old girl was raped and assaulted by two Steubenville (Ohio) High School football players. The girl says that she was drunk at the time and doesn’t remember the incident in its entirety. Later, a video surfaces of her being raped. There’s also a video of another teenager watching her being raped and joking about it. Click here to watch the shocking video. High school football players Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond were each sentenced to a year in juvenile detention in March for raping the intoxicated teen.]

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A blurred video image of the rape victim and accusers

In short, Serena’s comments about the case are a bit, ummm, questionable. She suggests that the victim

shouldn’t have put herself in that position

and described her as ‘lucky.’ Specifically, the interviewer, asks Serena if the sentencing that the two rape accusers received was fair. To this, Serena replied:

They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.

Serena, who recently won the French Open, has caught a ton of backlash about her comments. She’s yet to respond. What are YOUR thoughts on Serena’s comments? Were they taken out of context? And does Serena have a point that perhaps the rape victim may be to blame, for putting herself in that environment? 

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UPDATED: Wednesday morning, Serena released the following statement on her personal blog:

What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me. I was deeply saddened. For someone to be raped, and at only sixteen, is such a horrible tragedy! For both families involved – that of the rape victim and of the accused. I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article. What was written – what I supposedly said – is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame. I have fought all of my career for women’s equality, women’s equal rights, respect in their fields – anything I could do to support women I have done. My prayers and support always goes out to the rape victim. In this case, most especially, to an innocent sixteen year old child.


[Rolling Stone]