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Apologize for offensive use of word 'rape'

This petition had 114 supporters

In a recent American Association of University Women & League of Women Voter’s co-sponsored debate, State Representative Steve Smyk intentionally misused the word “rape” to make a political point.

To use the word “rape” outside of the context of sexual assault is callous and insulting to the thousands of Delaware women who have experienced the trauma of being sexually assaulted. Representative Steve Smyk’s background as a Delaware State Trooper should mean he is especially sensitive to victims of violent crime, especially considering he represents a community traumatized by a pediatrician sexually assaulting more than 100 young children.

When anyone misuses this word, especially people in positions of power, it contributes to the normalization of sexual violence and perpetuates a culture that diminishes the magnitude and trauma of rape. When 1 in 3 American women will be sexually abused in their lifetime, our choice of words matters.

Call on State Representative Steve Smyk to publicly apologize to the women of Delaware.

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