Home » Therapy » The Media and Reporting of Rape.

The Media and Reporting of Rape.

*Trigger Warning*- please be careful.


In general I avoid the news, but one story landed in my inbox this afternoon:

Max Clifford found guilty of eight indecent assaults.

I just skim read to be honest, mostly because I am struggling a great deal with triggers.

After reading this part:


“He later forced her to perform oral sex on him”


I knew I had to post.

I hate the way media reports rape. Perhaps this is just me, but as a survivor of rape, this kind of reporting fills me with rage. If I had my way, the word “sexual” would be taken out completely – but that is another rant.

Forced penetration of the mouth by a penis is classed as rape in the UK. This became part of the Crown Prosecution Services’ Policy in May 2004. 

Unfortunately, because this particular case took place prior to May 2004, I believe Max Clifford was tried for Indecent assault(s) not for rape (again, I have not looked into this too much as yet, so I am speculating a little). While this is frustrating in itself, it is not what bothered me the most.

What really made my blood boil was the BBC- and I am sure others, refer to this horrific rape as Max Clifford forcing the young girl (around 15 years old, I believe) to perform oral sex on him.

It was not sex! It has nothing to do with sex at all.

A victim of oral rape (and it was rape whether it took place before 2004 or not), or any rape for that matter does not engage in sexual activity. She or he was not forced into an act of sex. As far as I am concerned rape and sex are in no way the same.

Rape is an act of violence. To make the issue about sex rather than violence it is to downplay the crime. Furthermore, to relate rape to sex in any way is very likely to place a whole heap of shame onto the innocent victim.

Shame on you BBC  and  all the many other sources of media who continue to report rape (and personally I consider all acts of sexual VIOLENCE as rape) as “forced sex”.


This has to change if we are going to end the silence surrounding rape.

This has to change if we are going to put a stop to the victim blaming.

This has to change if there is ever going to be an end to the shame with which those who were once victims are so often burdened.




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