Quote of the Day

[Trigger warning for sexual assault.]

"The teen was not hurt in the incident."—The final line of a news story on ABC's Boston affiliate, about a man charged with assault after approaching a 16-year-old girl on a train, reaching out and pulling her shirt down, exposing her breast, before running from the train.

What they mean to convey, of course, is that the girl was not physically injured. But saying she "was not hurt" is a piss-poor way of saying that, especially since two of the key narratives of the rape culture are: 1. Sexual violence isn't real violence; and 2. Sexual assault only counts as a serious trauma if a survivor is left with physical injury.

Neither of those are true.

Which is not to suggest that every woman who was assaulted in the manner described above would be traumatized or have lingering effects. But that's just the point: Every survivor of sexual assault reacts differently. "Hurt" is an emotional description as well; I daresay the survivor hasn't even quite processed yet whether she is hurt, or hurt how, yet.

It's not the media's job to decide that for her.

[H/T to Shaker Phlebotnum.]

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