Challenge media outlets that use "soft" language to describe rape!
This petition had 48 supporters
News media outlets frequently use watered-down language to describe sexual crimes. Phrases like "had sex with" to describe sexual exploitation of children is a common occurance, as are terms like "incest" to desribe rape or sexual assault that occurs within the family. Incest simply means "sex between two related people" and does not address the power imbalance inherent in cases involving children and others who are unable to escape the horrors of their perpetrators.
"Sex trafficking is another term that I believe need to be reframed as "Rape Trafficking." The media will not change the ways in which they describe these deplorable crimes unless we challenge these agencies that ultimately minimze the horror of rape and sexual assuault. The News shapes public opinion and even the courts when they sensationalize reports of sex crimes. They can ultimately harm the very victims that they report on (and others) by causing added stigma, apathy, and reduced penalties for the perpetrators.
Please consider calling the media to task whenever you read or hear language that minimizes rape and sexual assault. Call or write a letter to the editor and you'll make a real difference in how victims are unltimately treated.
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