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Because it is different?

Updated on May 30, 2011

I don't know where this subject falls on the "o.k. to write about" meter for hubpages. I think it is important enough to write about. I hope that hubpages agrees. It is not my intention to offend anyone. It IS my intention to find an answer to a question I have posed to many, with so very few answering. I am still pondering with in myself, why?

 A month ago, the paper wrote about a child, 7 years old, to be exact, that had been "molested" by an adult. I will not take the time to detail the who or where. It is not relevant to my thoughts here. Before I go further, let me give you two definitions.

mo·lest (mə lest, mō-)

transitive verb

  1. to annoy, interfere with, or meddle with so as to trouble or harm, or with intent to trouble or harm
  2. ☆ to make improper advances to, esp. of a sexual nature
  3. to assault or attack (esp. a child) sexually
rape 1 (rp) n. 1. The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse. 2. The act of seizing and carrying off by force; abduction. 3. Abusive or improper treatment; violation: a rape of justice.

 What I find interesting and disturbing, is that there is no mention of a child under the definition of rape. They are only mentioned in the word Molest. Thus, the reason for my writing today. The paper said that a man had "molested" a child, forcing her to do "acts sexually." That sounds very much like "rape" to me. And yet, we call it "molesting" when it is a child. Even when a person over 18 has sex with a teen, it is called statutory "rape". But on the sheets displayed in the post office, if it is a child, it says "molested."

 Why is the word changed when it involves a child? Why isn't it called rape? I wonder about this and try to find the answer. The word rape is a harsh word no doubt, that causes many to turn away. The sheer thought of the act is frightening and we often tend to step back when we hear of it. Is the "act" less when it is a child? Is the crime not even worse and more frightening when it involves a child? I say it is tremendously more horrible than an adult attack. That child has little to no chance of fighting back nor understanding what happened.

 Are we, as a society, so sickened and scared by the thought of a child being "raped", we called it something that sounds less menacing? Did we seek out and find a word that was easier for us to say? When someone says "molested a child", does it go down easier than to say that child was "raped?" That IS in fact what happened. that is exactly what was done to that child. When it is presented to the courts, people hear the word Molested and they react. They react as they should, with disgust and sadness and fear. But when the word molest is replaced with rape, it becomes something deeper, more frightening.

  I think that the word molest needs to be replaced by rape, especially when we are talking about a child. I Want the people to gasp. I want to see them become enraged. this act, against a child, needs to be seen as just as horrible as it truly is. We, as adults, need to make sure that the "act" is seen as horrific and that the punishment fits the crime. What is taken from that child can not ever be given back. Their lives will be forever altered and the path they take will be influenced hugely by what happened to them.

 Change the postings to say "raped a child." Make it BE as bad as it IS. We are the only buffer between children and predators that fed on children. It is our duty as adults and parents to make certain that the impact is felt and treated the way it should be treated. We Are our children's guardians and we need to quit lessening the acts taken against children. Can a change of wording or a different name really have such an impact on our thoughts? Well, if Not, then why did we choose to call them Molesters, instead of what they are? Rapists. I am still searching for the answers.   

Are we lessening the blow?

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    • Dday50627 profile imageAUTHOR

      Darrel Day 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      Thank you for reading this. I understood, before publishing, that the content was going to be of a delicate matter. I wasn't sure that I would get too many readers. Reading your profile, I see that you have dedicated your life to children and I see myself in your growing years, as I too was always deeply involved with the church's children, some not much younger than me at times.

      I wrote this, even knowing the sensitivity of the writing because I feel it IS important. I may seek avenues to present this to the legal system. thank you for the suggestion. And once again, I do thank youi for reading this.

    • mothercristina profile image

      mothercristina 

      7 years ago

      This is a very valid point. You should consider submitting this point to the legal system for review.

    • Dday50627 profile imageAUTHOR

      Darrel Day 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      I will be gathering that info too. thank you for reading and for your comment. I think it is time we truly took a stand and called and Ace an Ace. Thank you again.

    • fatgrammy profile image

      fatgrammy 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent post my friend. I do think that a person who rapes a child should be called what they are. A child raper, someone who rapes a child. When I hear the word molest the images are so much weaker, there is the thought of inappropriate touching. The word molestation does not bring to mind rape. Very interesting and something we as a society should address. I would like to know the difference in sentencing, between the two acts.

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