Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Donald Trump’s Rape Metaphor Says More About Him Than About Rape by @schemaly

Last night, just days after appearing before what seemed to be an actual heap of heap of trash, Donald Trump compared the effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on America to rape. The TPP, he explained, is “...pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just a continuing rape of our country — that’s what it is too, it’s a harsh word.”  In case listeners didn’t get it the first time, he continued, “It’s a rape of our country.” Trump used similar language in May when he said “we can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.”

Using rape to describe competition and defeat is common, but ubiquity doesn’t make the metaphor any less repugnant or harmful. The meaning of the word and the impact of the human rights violation it represents are lost when “rape” is abstracted like this. The violence and damage are erased in favor of sloppy sexism and, almost inevitably, racism. Using the word the way Trump does, in an environment already saturated with rape myths and misunderstandings, does real damage to victims and a disservice to public understanding.


Inspired by our participation with the Write to End Violence Against Women awards organised by Zero Tolerance, we are now collecting examples of good journalism about domestic and sexual violence and abuse to make it clear that it is possible to write about DSVA without resorting to myths, misrepresentations, minimisation and victim blaming.

This article was first published in the Huffington Post on 29.6.16. You can find the full article here. 

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