FixedIt: Children can’t have “sex” with adults, it’s abuse not sex

“Child sex offences”

Every. Single. Day.


Children cannot have sex with adults because sex requires consent. Children cannot give consent, so by definition it’s not sex, it is rape, child abuse, sexual abuse or some other term that accurately describes a crime.

Words matter, they express ideas and describe how we understand the things we are talking about. When we describe rape as sex we imply it was something both parties can or did participate in.

Children cannot and do not participate in abuse committed against them. The children in this case were victims of a crime of power and control, not participants in an act of sexual gratification. The injuries inflicted on children who are subjected to sexual abuse can be lifelong and life threatening.

The very least we can do for those children is to tell the truth about what happened to them. It was criminal abuse, it was rape, it was serious, traumatic and it was not their fault.

This one is from The Age, but they are far from the only offenders. I see variations of this headline every day, and if I am this disgusted and fed up with it, I can only imagine how it must make the victims of these crimes feel.

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

Suicide Call Back Service
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1300 659 467

Kids Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 55 1800

MensLine Australia
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1300 78 99 78

Child Wise National Abuse Helpline
Mon-Fri: 9 am – 5 pm
Ph: 1800 99 10 99