Fixed It: sexually abusing a child is not a “sexual relationship”

The NZ Dominion Post reported that a 46 year old teacher was convicted of grooming and sexually abusing a 14 year old girl.

He did not have “sex” with her. They did not have a “sexual relationship”. He did not make “advances” and she did not “reciprocate”. He was a man in his 40s and she was a child. He groomed her and sexually abused her, she is not responsible for any part of this crime. 

Children cannot consent to “sex” and sex without consent is rape. 

Claiming she “reciprocated his advances” is the language of turgid romance not crime reporting. Victim blaming is always disgusting but it’s particularly obscene when journalists imply children who have been groomed for sexual abuse participated in the crime an adult man chose to commit against them. 

Apart from just being a person and therefore having a moral obligation to not abuse and damage children, he was also a teacher with an additional duty of care to children, even children who were not his students. Reporting it as a “relationship” abrogates his responsibility for the premeditated crime he committed against a child. 

The man was not charged with rape, which might prevent journalists reporting it as such, but what he did to her was repellent and criminal. Surely it’s not asking too much to expect journalists to report it accurately?

(as always, if you’re reading this on social media, links are in the OP at www.patreon.com/JaneGilmore )

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

If you would like to know more about how and why the media’s erasure of men’s violence against women occurs, the Fixed It book is out now! Buy your copy here or at any good bookstore. Extracts available on why Fixed It started inThe Guardian, rape and other violence myths in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald and the Good Guy trope on my website.

1800 RESPECT
Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
Ph: 1800 737 732
www.1800respect.org.au 

Djirra – Aboriginal Family Violence Response & Support Service
9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday
Ph: 1800 105 303
djirra.org.au 

Suicide Call Back Service
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Ph: 1300 659 467
www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Kids Helpline
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Phone: 1800 55 1800
www.kidshelp.com.au

MensLine Australia
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Phone: 1300 78 99 78
www.mensline.org.au

Men’s Referral Service
Monday – Friday – 8am-9pm
Weekends – 9am-6pm
Ph: 1300 766 491
www.ntv.org.au/get-help