FixedIt: Sexual assault is not being a “pest” it’s being a criminal

August 16, 2018by Jane Gilmore

Sunraysia Daily reported that a man was jailed for more than two years for sexually assaulting a woman who offered to shelter him when he was homeless. According to the report, the man had previous convictions for sexually abusing children.

The headline labelled him a “sex pest”. Pests are annoying or irksome. Cane toads, rabbits and that guy who interrupts every time you speak are pests. A man who commits sexual assault is a criminal and his crime is not “sex” it is assault. His actions were criminal, dangerous, serious and have long term effects on his victims. Labelling him a “pest” diminishes his crimes and devalues the suffering of his victims.

Also, it might be true that he is an alcoholic but alcoholism does not cause sexual assault. It is an addiction that requires medical and/or psychological intervention, but it’s not criminal and it’s not relevant to a conviction for sexual violence.

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

Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.
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© Jane Gilmore 2014