Local film student on rape case: 'I could no longer be silent'

Local film student on rape case: 'I could no longer be silent'
Samantha Stendal explains her motivation for making the public service announcement video.
SEATTLE - The rape case and conviction of two Ohio high school football stars last week captured national attention - and now a counter message is grabbing plenty of attention.

The young Oregon film student behind the message says she felt compelled to take a stand on this issue. So she wrote, cast and directed what she calls a response video with a powerful message.

Moved deeply by the outcome of the Steubenville rape case, University of Oregon sophomore Samantha Stendal gathered some friends and made a public service announcement.

In that case, two high school football players were convicted a week ago of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl in Steubenville last summer after an alcohol-fueled party. One was sentenced to a minimum of one year in juvenile detention, the other to two years.

Stendal, a Sammamish native and cinema studies major, says she was outraged about the rape. She hopes her message is heard through the words and actions of this short response video.

"I had been reading a lot of the Steubenville rape case and seeing all the rape culture that was going on online and seeing the victim blaming -and I just realized that I could no longer be silent," she says.

Stendal posted the video on YouTube on Thursday. It now has more than 700,000 hits.

"I'm really surprised at how many views this video has gotten," Stendal says."It makes me really happy that people are seeing it and that the message is getting out there."

The video sharing website upworthy.com has posted the PSA on its site and Facebook page, which has more than 1 million followers.

They're helping Stendal get her message out.