Wordplay: when “victims” become “accusers” you know the world’s in trouble deep

This is reposted from HollabackATLANTA.

Huffpo reports that:

“A Republican state legislator in Georgia doesn’t like the term rape “victim.” In fact, he has introduced a bill mandating that state criminal codes refer to these people as, simply, “accusers” — until there’s a conviction in the matter.”

Thankfully, there is some actual common sense in the Democrats’ rebuttal:

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee writes, “To diminish a victim’s ordeal by branding him/her an accuser essentially questions whether the crime committed against the victim is a crime at all. Robbery, assault, and fraud are all real crimes with real victims, the Republican asserts with this bill.

Ironically, renaming from victim to accuser would probably be a more appropriate name for the way the system and our culture treats survivors of rape. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), only 60% of all rapes are reported in the first place, and there’s been recent buzz about a surprising number of rape kits not being tested. So, with all of this working against rape victims, Representative Bobby Franklin wants to add another strike against justice for those who experience rape by implying that a crime never occurred — if one of the foundational rules of our country’s legal system is “Innocent until proven guilty,” then we need to apply this philosophy to our rape victims too.

Stay tuned for a way that you can take actions against this renaming!

3 responses to “Wordplay: when “victims” become “accusers” you know the world’s in trouble deep

  1. the only way that Republican legislator is going to understand is if he himself is assaulted and rape… or is called “victimize”… let him call 911 and scream “I have become an accuser” instead of “I’m a victim of rape”.
    I will demand an IQ test from that legislator A.S.A.P.

  2. I’m not a republican, or even remotely right wing, but in my thinking I don’t necessarily think removing the term “victim” from our justice system lexicon would be a bad thing. not just for rape, but all crimes. to identify oneself as a victim is dis-empowering, and doesn’t promote healing and growth. maybe “accuser” is the wrong term, but I think “victim” is equally as harmful and yes, sometimes even technically incorrect.

  3. The problem is not the label, it’s the separate treatment that rape gets. If, in an otherwise similar context, you call a robbery accuser a “victim” and a rape victim an “accuser”, you’re saying that one is victimized while the other is not. Removing “victim” from the lexicon until conviction is light years from what this guy is trying to do.

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