Letters to the Editor

Call child rape what it is – and work to end it

It’s heinous, unthinkable, revolting and illegal in the United States. In Afghanistan it is called “Bacha bazi.”

In The Olympian’s Oct. 31 article by Adam Ashton, he described how men use boys as “sexual partners.” Partner?

A partner is “someone with whom one shares an intimate relationship; an associate, colleague” (Merriam Webster). Bacha bazi is child rape, sodomy, child sexual abuse and victimization. Force, coercion, exploitation, bribery and violence against children is never partnering.

Child sexual abuse can only be stopped when communities and countries become educated to recognize the problem, know what to do, and collaborate to make the world less safe for child molesters. Bland and misleading terminology like “partner” minimizes the complex long term mental and physical health toll child sexual abuse spawns.

Child sexual abuse is a global epidemic. We need to take the onus of defense off the defenseless child ( examples: “Say No”, safe/unsafe/confusing touch, and tell someone when...). Adults prevent, recognize, and react responsibly. More than eight out of 10 times, the molester is someone the child knows.

Molesters groom before raping kids: special attention or gifts; isolating the child; filling needs and roles within the family; treating the child as if they are older; and gradually cross physical boundaries, even in public.

Parents, dare to think the unthinkable. Be brave and do the right thing if you suspect abuse: call CPS or the police.

Journalists, call it what it is. Accurate journalism begets an informed society.