ABC News reported that a 33 year old man pled guilty to the crime of persistent sexual exploitation of a child.
What they should have reported is that this crime is NOT a relationship, it is sexual abuse. The victim is NOT a “teen waitress”, she is a child.
This headline is all the more inexplicable because it happened in South Australia, where the wording of the legislation is very specific – “persistent sexual exploitation of a child” – for exactly this reason. So it cannot be called a relationship, which implies a mutual choice. Sexual exploitation is not mutual. It is a decision an adult makes to victimise a child and it is a crime because a child cannot give consent.
Queensland still has the term “maintaining a sexual relationship with a child” in its legislation, which does make it difficult for journalists who want to report sexual abuse of children accurately in that state.
Tasmania also used that term before it was changed after Nina Funnel’s #LetHerSpeak campaign.
But this has never been the case in South Australia, so there is no justification for calling sexual abuse and exploitation a “relationship”. It is a dangerous, misleading, ignorant and unjustifiable minimisation of a man’s crime against a child.
Links to the report and other sources are in the OP on my Patreon patreon.com/JaneGilmore
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