Steubenville Rape, Traci Lords ... and Silence

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio—What's sad is that the story isn't too unusual: A 16-year-old high school girl attends a party, allegedly at the house of one of the local football heroes, gets drunk, and two of the "heroes" attending the party allegedly rape the girl, then record themselves joking about it with friends; the video goes viral and leads to the teammates getting charged with rape. Not only that, but one of the participants in the joking video (though not in the rape itself) then creates his own video, apologizing for being such an asshole during the post-rape video.

And apparently, that's something former porn star Traci Lords can relate to.

According to an article posted on The Daily Beast, Lords, a Steubenville native, was also a rape victim when she lived there, at age 10—as was Traci's mother.

"Lords was on her way home from school that day, she said, when she cut through a piece of property with a 'big grassy green field in it,'" wrote Winston Ross, based on an interview with Lords. "The sun felt good, she said, and she decided to lie there. What happened next is best described in a song Lords later wrote about her experience that she titled Father’s Field."

Without subjecting AVN readers to the full lyrics, it seems that Traci had fallen asleep in that field and woke up to find some "older boy" on top of her, looking her in the eyes and caressing her hair like her mom used to—but the enjoyment quickly went sour when the guy wouldn't let her up and started ripping her clothes off. Despite her screaming, he raped her while she "just drifted away," as so many rape victims do when faced with the horror of the act—and told no one about it for at least a decade, until it came up in therapy.

But Traci traces her decision to do porn back to that violation.

"There’s no doubt in my mind that that experience really set the stage for me to go into porn and do all those things," she said. "These are not things you start doing because everything is OK. ... I think it’s trying to turn it around, like 'I'm tired of being fucked. Now I’ll fuck you.' You don’t want to be the victim anymore."

Of course, each adult performer has his/her reasons for getting into the genre, most of whom not because they were molested as children, but that wasn't the point of Ross's article.

"There are many lessons from the case making modern-day headlines, Lords told [Ross]. The most important one is this: the time for silence about rape has passed."

"We need to shine the brightest light on this," she said. "The daylight is really the best disinfectant."