Remember the young women whom all non-Internet media sources— well, and many of them too — have seemingly forgot? The 16-year-old girl whose life and reputation have been shredded by those too blinded by rape culture and misogyny to see that she, who never chose for any of the events leading up to this trial to happen, is the real victim? Yeah, that Jane Doe exists, and while there’s never been any question as to whether or not she’s a better human being than Ma’lik Richmond or Trent Mays (raping somebody makes you a bad person, okay? Okay.), she’s continuing to prove that through her reactions to the donations pouring in for her.

Since it’s hard to know how to react when something as horrible as a sexual assault (and subsequent media assault) occurs, empathizers from all over the country have been looking for ways to help Jane Doe on her path to recovery.

Yesterday, I watched a Twitter fight between three people ensue because one speculated that sending money to Jane Doe for college might be a good way to help her get on track, while another replied that it would be “rewarding crime victims” that would “set a dangerous precedent.” While I disagree with the latter opinion, I’m pretty sure entirely f’ing positive that nobody is going to choose being raped over having to pay tuition. Regardless, that issue isn’t an issue, as Jane Doe has requested that all donations for herself and her legal expenses be sent to the YWCA Wheeling battered women’s shelter.

Her attorney, Bob Fitzsimmons, had already announced a few months ago that he was doing the case pro-bono, so donations for a legal team were to go towards the Madden House in Wheeling. In fact, they even have a little place where you can leave messages for Jane Doe when you donate.

For those looking for a place to turn with good intentions and a bit of extra money, this is a great option. And it really is incredible that even after all of this horrible publicity and the cruelty she’s faced from the public, Jane Doe still wants to contribute something positive to the conversation and to the world.

Photo: YWCA Wheeling