It’s not child “porn”. It’s child rape.

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The loathsome comments of the former Crimewatch presenter, Nick Ross, coupled with earlier rape apologism, made at the Hay festival, that he would watch images of a child being raped out of “curiosity” are hard to fathom:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/10094749/Id-probably-watch-child-porn-admits-former-Crimwwatch-presenter-Nick-Ross.html

“We’re all inquisitive,” he said. “I had never seen, until I started working on Crimewatch, child pornography.

“I think if someone came to me and said: ‘Would you like to see what all the fuss is about?’, I’m sorry, I probably would say yes.”

What the fuss is about? A child being raped, you mean? And you would watch that to satisfy your curiosity?

(In the same piece, he is quoted as saying that West Indians are more likely to mug people because they are not very good at pickpocketing, which is a white crime).

OK, you say, so Nick Ross has followed the earlier rape apologism of his book by going the full David Icke, and what is one more loony ex-presenter?

The fact is, “child porn”, the common term, is utterly wrong. It is rape. “Child prostitution” is just as bad. It is rape. Women trafficked into brothels are not being trafficked into “prostitution” – they are being held for a life of daily, ongoing gang rape. “Forced marriage” is not forced marriage, it is forcible multiple rapes, day after day after day.

Not only the media gets this wrong, but also the government. In law in the United Kingdom, the law and even the UN and women’s organisations refer to “prostitution” when a woman or child has no choice.

This utterly minimizes the severity of the offence.

From the link below I give two examples “The pimps who bought her felt free to rape her whenever she was not working”.

This refers to a girl aged 15. Note the distinction made between rape and “working”, ie, being raped in the brothel. She was trafficked and enslaved, and whether the girl was being raped in one setting or another, she was always being raped.

Further down this government report is another instance (it’s full of them but I just pull out two):

While the sisters and one of their husbands were forcing each of their victims to work as prostitutes until they had paid off the £22,000 debt bondage, these three just grew richer.  It has been worked out that one victim would have had to have serviced in the region of 500 customers, costing £100 every time, before being able to raise the money. The Thailand-born sisters were sentenced to 17 and 9.5 years imprisonment, respectively. The Sri-Lankan born husband was sentenced to 4 years.”

Just get your heads around this. The Thai girls and women trafficked were forced to “work as prostitutes.” They were not “working”. This was not voluntary. They were being raped. They would not have to “service 500 customers”. They would have to be raped by 500 men. They had no “customers”. They had rapists. They were being raped.

They were being raped even if some of their rapists believed they were doing it consensually as their captors forced the victims to be quiet. The johns in such a case are not responsible for the rape – the traffickers are.

But because we have “worked in prostitution”, with its implications of consent and free commerce, working for a wage, look at the sentences.

The women were jailed for derisory terms. The husband their accomplice for four years. Out in two with good behaviour. This, for running the biggest Thai trafficking ring in Britain. Hundreds of women, raped thousands and thousands of times. Half a million rapes, possibly more.

For that, the male accomplice gets four years. Out in two.

Rape is rape. Sex without consent is rape. Children cannot consent. They don’t make porn. They are rape victims. Trafficked girls are not prostitutes. They are victims of rape. When a woman has been raped a hundred times, the UK’s justice system says “oh well, who’s counting” and hands out 15 year sentences and, er, four year sentences.

Each damned instance of rape should carry 15 years in prison without the possibility of early release, and more if there are any aggravating circumstances to worsen the already horrific crime.

The government must act on rape in all its forms. Call a spade a spade – and a rape a rape. And force the judiciary to punish its severity, if necessary (and it is necessary), by changing the law.

Theresa May should work with the Justice department to reclassify forced prostitution, filmed child abuse, child rape, and forced marriage as aggravated rape crimes and adjust prison sentences accordingly.

As a society we need to start taking rape seriously.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/191nCekHp9yGLJQoGEo0rz-lZ6uQ1XXCkKordimmcay8/edit?hl=en

13 comments

  1. louisemensch · June 3, 2013

    Update: @friedmanzone on Twitter, Patrick Friedman, made the excellent point – what distinguishes these people from Josef Fritzl, or from Ariel Castro?

    The women are locked up, raped and beaten. The difference is that they will sometimes be moved from place to place and that they are subjected to many other rapists too. In Fritzl’s case there was the aggravating terror of incest, but not in Castro’s.

    But when the world looks with horror at the victims of Castro (and quite rightly so) it does nothing more than yawn at the young women, 15, 14, sold into ongoing gang rape, calls it “prostitution” and gives the perpetrators 9 years or 4 years for the same crime perpetrated on hundreds of women and girls, not just three.

  2. flyingontherainbow · June 3, 2013

    Reblogged this on flyingontherainbow.

  3. Anita Debney · June 3, 2013

    Louise, yet again I thank you for speaking up and calling a spade a spade. You have put into words what I have been saying for years. I am so happy that you use your voice to speak honestly and sensibly from the heart. its so important to really make people think about what these women and children go through. I am appalled by Nick Ross and his ridiculous comments and attitude. It totally beggars belief. I want to re tweet and FB your piece and get people to really think about this. I so appreciate the passion and determination you show on important issues and if I hear anyone mention you and cosmetic surgery in the same sentence again I will redirect them to Unfashionista. You are amazing and we need more strong women like you to stop pussyfooting around and start making big changes.

    • louisemensch · June 3, 2013

      thank you so much Anita. I can’t fashion blog here anyway, platform doesn’t allow it, feminism and politics seem more important. that’s what I’m going to do here.

      It always killed me that “forced marriage” glossed over the rapes that happen in every forced marriage every time the husband has sex with the wife, and the sexual assault that happens each time he touches her, whether he uses physical force or not. The law ignores great swathes of rapes and reclassifies them as something else with minimal sentencing.

  4. Pingback: It’s not child “porn”. It’s child rape. | feimineach.com
  5. Aziz · June 3, 2013

    Was Nick Ross dropped on his head as a child?

  6. Amy Martin · June 3, 2013

    Reblogged this on no kidding.

  7. Juliet Oosthuysen · June 3, 2013

    This is an excellent piece. It’s great you wrote it.

  8. Anonymous · June 5, 2013

    Excellent piece which hits the nail on the head – found it from a blog I read: http://goldenphoenixgirl.tumblr.com/post/52062337298/its-not-child-porn-its-child-rape The author is a survivor of horrific child abuse and forced child prostitution, and uses her blog to educate others.

  9. Donna Navarro · June 5, 2013

    Great piece with some really valid points and highlights exactly my viewpoint. Children and trafficked girls simply can’t consent, therefore it is rape. Incorporate the offence of rape in with the already ‘legislated-for’ offences of trafficking and child pornography and give the perpetrators the longer sentences that would produce.

    I intend to re-blog this on my site http://www.lexiconlane.co.uk

  10. Pingback: OMG, I Agree With A Tory, and Other Traumas
  11. Anonymous · June 25, 2013

    Stupidest thing i have ever heard

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