My friend David wrote this article on March 2, 2013 on his site Together We Heal. David’s point of view as a survivor himself gives much to think about. He makes some valid points so I wanted to share and get your opinion. Check out David’s site at first chance, he doing big things to help others.

I was sitting on the patio having my morning Coca-Cola, when I came across the most disturbing article title, “Is it Rape or Incest? Giving Abuse a Politically Acceptable Name”. I didn’t think I’d ever heard of a politically acceptable name for abuse. Have you?

I was compelled to read on. The author went on to say, “RAPE. In any other realm outside of a family member would be referred to by its justified name, rape. My daughter was raped at age 3. I don’t call it incest, I call it what it is, rape. Because it was done by a very trusted family member doesn’t change what happened. The act is the same. Whether it was a family member or complete stranger, rape is still rape. Being raped by someone in your family doesn’t make it less of a crime.”

Being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, this got me to thinking about the other monikers associated with—any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person—as defined by Webster’s as Rape. Some of the names we associate with it are, “Date-Rape”, “Molestation”, “Statutory Rape”, “Despoilment”, and I even used one when describing what happened to me as a little boy, “Abuse”.

What makes us want to alter the name depending on the circumstances of the act? Is it to make us, as the victims of crime, feel less ashamed or dirty? Good luck with that. I can tell you that won’t work. Is it to make us as individuals feel less threatened as we consider “what happens elsewhere, NIMBY”? Or is it to make us as a society feel less of a failure for not protecting our most precious resource, our children.

Whatever the rationale, none of it matters because none of it works or is justified. As the author of the article and I discussed on her blog, Rape is Rape. Period. And just because no penetration occurs, if someone takes away the sexual innocence of a child, it is still and also rape. As I said in response to her post and she agreed, we must quit calling things by what is “socially acceptable” and call a spade a spade. Shouldn’t we cease from labelling these crimes as date-rape, statutory rape or any other watered-down version of the harsh reality? It’s ALL rape. Shouldn’t we do all we can to prevent rape in the first place and to support all survivors of all sorts of this criminal act.

Ah, therein lies the rub. To DO something by its definition requires ACTION. And that’s a tough pill to swallow, especially with our busy schedules. Breakfast and lunches to fix for multiple kids, soccer practices and piano lessons, conference calls to Europe and Asia, and on and on…where on earth will we find the time? Want to know when? When, God forbid, it happens to one of ours. It seems as only then do we realize how important raising awareness is, because “if we had only known; and we sure don’t want anyone else to go through this”. Here’s an idea from a really smart guy. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” – Frederick Douglass said that some time ago, and it’s still true today. Let’s prevent rape before it happens.

Don’t know how? Take a look online and see how many groups out there for survivors of Rape, Domestic Violence, Childhood Sexual Abuse there are…trust me when I say, there is no end to the lists of organizations. Join one and help be a part of the solution.

That’s just one man’s opinion.


  1. “And just because no penetration occurs, if someone takes away the sexual innocence of a child, it is still and also rape.” This sentence. Yes. I feel like sometimes people want to devalue what happens to a child by qualifying what makes it a bad experience. Like saying there wasn’t penetration so it doesn’t count. I like that this author is making a point to say that it’s all inappropriate and hard on children. I think if more people felt that way about ANY kind of sexual abuse, it would get people thinking about just how damaging it ALL is and start to change things more.

  2. I love the “smack it right between the eyes”, call a spade a spade. So right let us all shout it out. Enough namby pambying and being politcally correct, why should we be corralled? Rape, in all it’s “forms”, is ugly and evil, why should we, the victims, pretend otherwise just to make those who hear about feel less uncomfortable? Go sister, am right behind you.

    1. Thank you, Amanda. If victims continue to speak loud enough and write our words enough, things will change. I pray I live to see the day that the world is not about how much money you have or who you know but rather a justice system that believes and fights for justices verses a way to protect the criminals or the world and punish the innocent. I love you, girl.

      1. Love you right back! Cogitating about writing explicitly about my experiences, although very mild in comparison to most, maybe it will encourage more to speak about the horrendous stuff they have been through. Just writing about it is cathartic!

      2. Yes, writing is very cathartic. I found myself doing it a lot in my season of healing. If you care to read any of it, it can be found under the tab titled Journal Entries | Healing Kerri – Spirit to Bone. I goes back to 2005. I’d love to read some of your testimony. If you don’t mind but dont want to post it, feel free to email it to me. I won’t share it with anyone.

      3. I will certainly read it Kerri, thank you. As for my own, when I have written it I will certainly share it! Thank you for assuring me of your confidentiality, not necessary, I already know you are completely trustworthy. Sending love.

  3. I thought about how the media always calls it rape when soldiers rape women, or men rape women in India, or gangs rape people in Somalia, or…
    I already agree with you completely, but that thought got me really riled. Sin is sin, not moral faux pas!!

  4. Kerri… another great article. I can wholeheartedly agree with this one… incest is still rape.

    I think one of the reasons we avoid the word ‘rape’ is because it is a ‘hard’ word… it’s an ugly sounding word, it snaps out of the mouth with the viciousness of a viper, and other words are softer on the ear and in the images they evoke. The word ‘rape’ is quick, short, and to the point, and does not dissemble nor bow to ‘political correctness’, and our world is determined to hide its ugliness behind ‘pretty’ sounding words, ‘racist’ becomes ‘culturally insensitive’, ‘rape’ becomes ‘incest’, and the list goes on.

    Great job for getting this topic out in the open and on the discussion table!

    As a side note, you may be interested in my post this a.m., I have a feeling you will like it. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Krafted, I love what you said here. We need to stop sugar coating words and facts and tell it like it is. I look forward to reading your article. 🙂 I will check out your site as soon as I finish some editing work in the studio for Coffee & Christ.

Why hello, friend! Thanks for sharing your comments. Should you have a question, please feel free to ask it here and I'll do my best to reply promptly. Thanks for stopping by! xo Kerri