, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
If you are a reporter (or any other human), don't EVER refer to child sexual abuse or any form of sexual violence as a "relationship" or "affair." I don't want to amplify the original article because it was so disgusting & has been corrected, but it was callous & harmful

THREAD
A 41-year-old man does not have a 15-year-old girlfriend (this was in a CNN headline). Adults do not have sexual relationships or affairs with children. It is not misconduct. It is not inappropriate. It is not a scandal. CALL IT WHAT IT IS instead of using euphemisms 2/
When you refer to child sexual abuse as a consensual relationship between peers, you are echoing the same language used by pedophiles who are abusing & grooming victims. 3/
My perpetrator groomed me by pretending his sexual abuse was a wholesome, normal relationship. I was SEVEN. My experience is not uncommon. This is what perpetrators do. When you say "relationship" instead of "abuse" or "crime," you are talking like a perpetrator. 4/
So, if you are trying to be discrete, "balanced," "neutral," or appropriate, keep in mind that any language that implies consent and erases the power imbalance is not neutral. It is anti-child/survivor and pro-perpetrator. 5/
And, you aren't just harming the victim/survivor in your story/ conversation, you are harming all victims-- past, present, and future by adopting, normalizing, and promulgating predators' talking points. 6/
There are a lot of resources put out by places like @Poynter and the @CDCgov that can help you use more accurate language that won't inadvertently support the mission of child predators 7/

vetoviolence.cdc.gov/sites/all/them…
And while the focus of this thread has been child sexual abuse since that was the headline that bothered me so much, it also applies to sexual violence involving adults and peers. 8/
Perpetrators of sexual violence cause lifelong harm-- minimizing and sanitizing this kind of violence makes it easier to ignore & dismiss when survivors do come forward. 9/
If you talk or write about sexual violence, especially in public or for the public, please use accurate, intentional language.

Here is a resource from @DartCenter that covers more than I can begin to cover here. It is worth checking out. END

dartcenter.org/resources?topi…
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