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Amira

s/o What is sexual assault

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1 minute ago, SKL said:

Actually, it was stated that non-consensual touching by a minor on a minor one time should be dealt with ASAP and not brought up decades later.

 

I can agree with that, but I can't agree with it when force was used. I'm not saying make a court case, but by 17, this isn't a one-off, its a buy-in to to the use of force to get what one wants without the consent of the other, and its a knowing use, one that indicates a rejection of criminal law in the country one resides in. Its no surprise, likely this is the culture the male is being brought up in, similar to  the events in Germany. 

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3 hours ago, Katy said:

I think this is the central question to the Kavanaugh issue. I honestly believe that every Republican on the judiciary committee believed Dr Ford, if none of the other allegations, and no matter what they openly said. But if you look at it through his lens rather than hers, it was groping, not rape or attempted rape, and who gets out of high school without getting groped at least once? Especially 35 years ago.  I doubt Kavanaugh would even remember it, it wasn't important to him and it wasn't a big deal. To her though, who was sure she was going to get raped and possibly killed, it was a VERY big deal. I honestly think the people who voted to confirm him didn't think groping a girl 35 years ago was grounds to keep him out of the court. What was acceptable then has obviously changed, but I suspect the entitled behavior that would lead someone to grope a woman then is a character defect that will remain.

I'm under the impression that in some states sexual assault = rape or something akin to rape, but in other states assault = something much less, rape is a more serious charge.

 

Years ago, I was wondering about this distinction as well.

CA law:

  • Rape is any form of unwanted penetration including anal, vaginal or oral.
  • Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact. This can refer to molestation and fondling, but also includes rape.

 

California, as a state, prohibits any unwanted touching of another person’s intimate parts with their sexual assault laws. These “intimate parts” cold be the victim’s sexual organ, anus, groin, buttocks of any person, and the breasts of a female. When the sexual assault further includes nonconsensual intercourse, it is charged as rape. Rape, therefore, is an aggravated crime of sexual assault where sexual intercourse has occurred without consent through the use of force, violence, threats or deceit.

Edited by Liz CA
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4 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Several times it was mentioned in the other thread that grinding on someone without consent, grabbing them, etc was just how boys were in high school and not something worth getting upset about. 

 

I didn't participate in the other threads because I was scared away by all the hate toward each other.  Also, because I actually believe that we agree on far more than we realize.

But, what you say is absolutely true.  That is what I, myself, thought in high school.  That was in the 70's.  We just grew up thinking that (some) boys were like that.  You went to parties, you drank a little, and some boys became "a little forward."  No one actually thought it was outright wrong.   It just was the way it was, and even seemed quite normal.

I imagine this was the scenario that Kavanaugh and Ford grew up in.  It is easily a scenario that someone like BK could have completely dismissed and forgotten.  

We've come a long way since then.  It's really a completely different time.  Now we understand that it was very wrong.  Boys are taught differently now.  Wow, sometimes I wish I could do high school again today.  I'd have such a different attitude.  As shocking as it seems, we truly just didn't know.

Edited by J-rap
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1 hour ago, Amy in NH said:

 

Fight or flight aren't the only two adrenal responses to a perceived danger. 

It is often called:

fight, flight, freeze, or fawn

OR

fight, flight, freeze, or appease

I think a lot of us have the freeze or appease response, which sets us up for accusations of consent because we didn't fight or flee.

I think this is really useful and something we should talk to our daughters about.

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2 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

I also would point out that not feeling traumatized by a rape or sexual assault doesn’t make someone strong and feeling traumatized doesn’t make someone weak. Not feeling traumatized may just mean someone is compartmentalizing or rationalizing what happened.  Or that someone has been deeply traumatized in other ways.  In my situation I vacillated between attempting to convince myself that what had happened had not happened (despite knowing full well it had) and denying that it impacted me to the degree that it did.  I tried to frame myself as not a victim.  

...

One of the ways cycles of sexual violence in families are perpetuated is when people try move past it like nothing ever happened.  

  

 

2 hours ago, livetoread said:

The damage done wasn’t apparent at the time, but the concept that men have access to my body was reinforced in a damaging way even though I didn’t recognize it. 

We may think we weren’t really affected by some of these more minor violations, but we were. That doesn’t mean we need to file police reports now or do anything, but I don’t think we should deny that they reinforced unhealthy ideas about male access to our bodies.

 

1 hour ago, Amy in NH said:

fight, flight, freeze, or appease

I think a lot of us have the freeze or appease response, which sets us up for accusations of consent because we didn't fight or flee.

 

1 hour ago, MeghanL said:

I'd like to address this point because I do think that street/work harassment does in deed "train" women to NOT speak up. So, 1000 small sexual affronts and objectifications become the price of living in the world. So, when that line is crossed (often without witnesses) it makes it harder to say something at that point.

I agree 100% that  verbal sexual harassment and physical sexual assault aren't the same thing, so I'm not trying to argue that. Just that the daily/weekly/monthly smaller violations reinforce that 1) no one will ever care if you do speak up and 2) this is just the way the world is.

 

50 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

They are both domination routines, intended to put a woman in 'her place'...a second class person, to be used at the will of the dominant. 

 

So much wisdom in this thread!  Had to quote these for truth, and so I would remember them all!

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State law differs a lot as far as the terminology of sexual misbehavior.

As for then vs. now, I just don't think people thought in terms of "consent" back then (generally). 

Most men both then and now did not engage in predatory behavior - either they were too shy or respectful or it didn't occur to them.  I have always felt generally safe except for a few rare times when someone was giving me "that look" or a couple of times when an impulsive boy reached out and grabbed as if it was funny.  I mean, I don't think men/boys in general feel like women are theirs to touch as they please.  But for some, there is apparently some gray area.

I like "consent" because it kind of makes things black and white.  If it cools things down a bit in a mutual "heat of the moment," I have no problem with that.  I do believe it should be applied equally to both sexes.

Another thing I'll say about "then."  I was growing up during the sexual revolution when the media and other agents of cultural change were really encouraging girls to relax and let loose and be open or however you want to say it.  Movies, music, etc. made it clear that any boy who didn't "try" was an idiot, and even that girls were offended if they didn't try.  The people who tried to convince both boys and girls to wait were considered backward and even misogynist.  So that was a factor, and I would like to think the pendulum is swinging back.

Edited by SKL
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1 hour ago, MeghanL said:

I'd like to address this point because I do think that street/work harassment does in deed "train" women to NOT speak up. So, 1000 small sexual affronts and objectifications become the price of living in the world. So, when that line is crossed (often without witnesses) it makes it harder to say something at that point.

I agree 100% that  verbal sexual harassment and physical sexual assault aren't the same thing, so I'm not trying to argue that. Just that the daily/weekly/monthly smaller violations reinforce that 1) no one will ever care if you do speak up and 2) this is just the way the world is.

 

I agree that sexual harassment feeds the overall rape culture and enables assaults of all kinds.  Absolutely, no question.  

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1 hour ago, J-rap said:

My interpretation of that is that the different words -- molestation and sexual abuse -- imply that it is, if anything, even more horrific, not less.  I think it often implies an ongoing event as well, not a one-time event.  Maybe in different parts of the country this has different interpretations. 

 

I can see your point about abuse, on an ongoing basis especially.  Molestation however, not so much.  

Child molestation and molester sound quite different than child rape and rapist.  Molestation could be anything, yet assaults on women that we would call rape we call child molestation when the victim is a child instead of a grown woman.  

That’s my take on it anyways.  

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5 hours ago, Amira said:

Maybe this was already rehashed enough for some in the other thread, but it seems there are some significant differences of opinion on what sexual assault actually is and whether it’s a big deal. The US Department of Justice currently defines sexual assault as “any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.“ Do you agree with that definition?  If you don’t, what definition would be better?  A previous DOJ definition said sexual assault is “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”  Does this definition work?  

And when does sexual assault become a problem?  Only if the victim cares, or if they report it, or should it always be considered a problem?  

 

 

I think there is reasonable variation in the way people use the term, so sometimes you have to be willing to clarify what you are talking about or use another person's language.

Generally speaking, I think of it most as a legal definition, I think that is fairly simple and clear.  In line with local laws I tend to think of it as covering a variety of instances, up to and including rape of various kinds.  I think the definitions you quoted both make sense.

I don't think all sexual assault is the same or equal - some can be much more serious or significant than others.  I think this is pretty similar to the way we think about other sorts of crimes.  There are also varying degrees of effect on the victim and culpability by the perpetrator.  Perhaps in some cases criminal charges aren't the best approach - again, I pretty much think the same thing about all kinds of crime including violent crime.

It does become a bit more tricky in some ways to talk about assault in contexts where the law or approach is very different than ours - so in a place or in the past where the legal thinking was quite different, or the way people thought about things like consent.  So - the idea that marriage implied pretty much permanent consent - in the medical period we see people actually tae legal action against spouses for refusing sexual access - I tend to think it doesn't work to talk about that as sexual assault, even if it doesn't meet our understanding of bodily autonomy.    On the other hand in that same historical contexts other incidents might work to discuss it as assault.

I generally think we need to be very careful about calling other kinds of incidents assault.  Things like being nagged into a sexual encounter, or feeling pressured, I think there is a real of impaired consent which is very difficult to navigate but on one end doesn't meet the definition.  By lumping them together I think it makes it difficult to treat assault properly, and it makes people think of it as much less significant.  I especially don't think all touching should be considered either sexual in nature or assault - I think that is a very bad idea.

The question of whether we should care if the victim doesn't is an interesting one.  I think the only real answer is that it depends.  In general if crime is allowed to go on without being dealt with, it isn't good for the culture, and it lends itself to corruption in the law as well.  If it happens a lot that people don't feel assaulted, I suppose it could mean the definition needs rethinking, or somehow there is something important missing.  On the other hand it can be difficult to manage every kind of instance - I think there are things that go on in many marriages that in people who had just met would be considered assault.  Or with the historical question, if consent is seen to apply in a different framework, for example with the agreement to marry, that seems more of an ideological difference, and I can't really see it as incoherent or especially disrespectful in itself.  There is also a subjectivity inherent in the idea of consent, which means there is room for difference of perception in the observing and person involved.

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42 minutes ago, SKL said:

State law differs a lot as far as the terminology of sexual misbehavior.

As for then vs. now, I just don't think people thought in terms of "consent" back then (generally). 

Most men both then and now did not engage in predatory behavior - either they were too shy or respectful or it didn't occur to them.  I have always felt generally safe except for a few rare times when someone was giving me "that look" or a couple of times when an impulsive boy reached out and grabbed as if it was funny.  I mean, I don't think men/boys in general feel like women are theirs to touch as they please.  But for some, there is apparently some gray area.

I like "consent" because it kind of makes things black and white.  If it cools things down a bit in a mutual "heat of the moment," I have no problem with that.  I do believe it should be applied equally to both sexes.

Another thing I'll say about "then."  I was growing up during the sexual revolution when the media and other agents of cultural change were really encouraging girls to relax and let loose and be open or however you want to say it.  Movies, music, etc. made it clear that any boy who didn't "try" was an idiot, and even that girls were offended if they didn't try.  The people who tried to convince both boys and girls to wait were considered backward and even misogynist.  So that was a factor, and I would like to think the pendulum is swinging back.

 

I think that it is very true that there was a real shift in mores at the sexual revolution, that kind of left things very wide open for quite some time.  My mom learned the pre-revolution approach from her mom "it's up to a boy to try and the girl to deny".  Which is kind of yuck, but it did absolutely knowledge that the girl really might want to deny and was allowed to do so, in fact she should in order to preserve her virtue and not give away the milk for free and all the other cliches.

 Once you get to the sexual revolution all of a sudden there was a lot of pressure not to deny because that was square and not free.  And especially in a case where it was someone you really were interested in - all of a sudden there was no reason, no excuse, to say no - it was just a sign that you had sexual hang-ups, an oppressed sexuality, or an old fashioned belief that women are less sexual than men.  Even the excuse of avoiding pregnancy became less useful.  The mental or moral pressure seems to have become much greater.  But also I think in a weird way it added legitimacy to harassment and even assault - because all of a sudden even pretty intimate sexuality was no big deal.  If something is no big deal, it isn't something you get your knickers in a twist when someone does it, right?  The fact that a lot of young women felt like they should go along with things that made them uncomfortable, or some went along with things that were kind of degrading whether or not they consented, just made that much more of a confusing mess for all.

Now I think we are looking back and seeing a lot of that didn't work, but it's not necessarily easy to construct a new set of behavioural expectations.  Explicit verbal consent before touching is a good example, in the abstract I think a lot of people think it makes sense in newer relationships, but in practice I'm not sure it works as well because so many people don't seem to communicate about sex in a primarily verbal way. 

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45 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

 

I can see your point about abuse, on an ongoing basis especially.  Molestation however, not so much.  

Child molestation and molester sound quite different than child rape and rapist.  Molestation could be anything, yet assaults on women that we would call rape we call child molestation when the victim is a child instead of a grown woman.  

That’s my take on it anyways.  

 

Hmm, I would have said that a child molester might not be a rapist, but a child rapist would always be a child molester.  Child rape is always pretty horrific while molestation can vary a lot more in it's effects and seriousness, so I can see why it might seem minimizing to use the term molestation, but it would also be a larger category which is sometimes what you need for a description.

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Thank you for the bit about "freeze or appease". I knew about freeze, but hadn't heard the appease one. It really clarifies a lot of my own experiences, and those of my friends. The need to just do whatever it takes to get it over with as fast as possible, as safely as possible. 

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9 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Hmm, I would have said that a child molester might not be a rapist, but a child rapist would always be a child molester.  Child rape is always pretty horrific while molestation can vary a lot more in it's effects and seriousness, so I can see why it might seem minimizing to use the term molestation, but it would also be a larger category which is sometimes what you need for a description.

 

Psst,  I’m not denying that it’s a larger category.  However, I have first hand experience here and feel strongly we minimize child sexual abuse in pretty much every form.  People want to talk a good game in this regard but we overwhelmingly focus on lower risks (stranger abduction by registered sex offenders) than higher risks (people in your life you know and think you can trust) and a great number of child rape survivors are either not believed or are blamed even when they do report.  Children are also highly susceptible to be coerced into secrecy about it.  

I think we use the somewhat more sanitized term molestation so much more often than rape precisely because the phrase child rape is gut wrenchingly horrible. We’d really like to pretend it doesn’t exist to the extent that it does. I think we do this because as a culture who wants to admit that we have failed to protect our children?  

 

Edited by LucyStoner
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1 minute ago, LucyStoner said:

 

Psst,  I’m not denying that it’s a larger category.  However, I have first hand experience here and feel strongly we minimize child sexual abuse.  People want to talk a good game in this regard but we  focus on lower risks (stranger abduction by registered sex offenders) than higher risks (people in your life you know and think you can trust).  I think we do this because as a culture who wants to admit that we have failed to protect our children?  

I think we use the somewhat more sanitized term molestation so much more often than rape precisely because the phrase child rape is gut wrenchingly horrible. We’d really like to pretend it doesn’t exist to the extent that it does. 

 

 

I'm wondering a bit how you are seeing it used - I don't know that I actually see the term child molester a lot.  I tend to see "pedophile" or "convicted pedophile".  I know I don't see "child rapist" much but I think the reason is that there are fewer child rapists than people who assault kids, and the ones that are rapists have also assaulted kids without raping them.  My impression in the media is they often use terms to be as inclusive as possible.

I do think we concentrate on things we perceive as more scary but which often are much less common - this seems to happen in a lot of risk perception scenarios.  I do think there is a kind of weird psychological transference going on, but I'm not sure it's about minimizing exactly - l sometimes think it's about creating ritual scapegoats.

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That definition needs to be more specific to say what a sexual act is and what non consent is. There are the obvious cases of sexual assault, so I don't need to repeat those here, but then I hear cases of..being called sexual assault..where someone does something and later changes their mind, that would be sexual assault. Some say coercion constitutes sexual assault. But then we would need a definition to say what the difference is between coercion and convincing. Some say only a woman can be sexually assault. Some say if both parties to the act were incapacitated, then only the man has committed a crime and the woman is a victim. How does one then address actions between two people of the same gender? Using those standards, if it is female on female or male on male.....can it still be sexual assault? And then there is the question of what actions make it sexual vs non sexual assault. If someone is shoved on to a bed....is that sexual or not? If their body is pressed against..is that sexual or not? Does it take sexual overtones or the touching of an actual sexual body part? Since assault does require actual touching, it would make sense that sexual assault would make to mean actually touching a sex body part. Or would it be touching but in a sexual nature?

 

I don't have all the answers. But the very few points I have opinions on are....laws should be applied equally to both genders. Men and woman can both be assaulted. They should be held to the same exact standards regardless of gender. Also, one changing their mind should not be held as a standard for calling something sexual assault. Someone incapacitating themselves knowing they will be having sex and then having sex is not the same as someone ending up incapacitated and then someone having sex with them. For example, if I get drunk with my husband and then we have sex, no crime has happened. But, if I go out and get drunk and some guy has sex with me, that would be sexual assault (rape in that case actually). My husband knows I was drinking with the intent to consent and that guy knows not. For the record, I do not drink at all so none of this will ever be an issue, I was just trying to think of an example to use. It might not be the best one to use, but trying here. 

 

One puzzlement though..if both people are incapacitated and then have sex.......either both should be charged with rape or neither. It should not be the male gets charged and the female is a victim. And when women rape, they should receive as much punishment as men do. The laws should always be applied equally. But really, the laws need to be more specific. 

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1 hour ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I'm wondering a bit how you are seeing it used - I don't know that I actually see the term child molester a lot.  I tend to see "pedophile" or "convicted pedophile".  I know I don't see "child rapist" much but I think the reason is that there are fewer child rapists than people who assault kids, and the ones that are rapists have also assaulted kids without raping them.  My impression in the media is they often use terms to be as inclusive as possible.

I do think we concentrate on things we perceive as more scary but which often are much less common - this seems to happen in a lot of risk perception scenarios.  I do think there is a kind of weird psychological transference going on, but I'm not sure it's about minimizing exactly - l sometimes think it's about creating ritual scapegoats.

 

Well, I’ve lived for 27 years, or more than 7/10ths of my life as a rape survivor.  In that time I’ve read a lot on the topic, worked for various groups in various ways working against violence against children and women, been in a research study about the long term impacts on survivors decades later and read pretty extensively. I tend to see the term child rape used more often if the crime was paired with murder.  Most children who are raped are not raped by murderers,  they are raped by people who either *are in their family* or have gained their family’s trust.  Another term we used to downplay this is “incest” the which can also apply to sexual attraction between family members rather than rape.  

At the end of the day, I’ve come to see that calling a spade a spade has value. 

I am quite certain that just like other sex crimes, those involving children are minimized and we, regardless of if we can admit it or not, aren’t doing survivors many, if any, favors. We demand they report it but we don’t do a very good job of listening when they do tell us.  

 

Edited by LucyStoner
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5 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

 

I agree.  Words mean something and just like we all understand the difference between swearing at someone, punching someone, assaulting someone with a deadly weapon and killing someone, I think people naturally do understand that not all sexual misconduct or sex crimes are the same thing.  

I have noticed that what we used to call sexual harassment is sometimes now, culturally (not legally), considered sexual assault.  I really don’t think this is helpful.  It’s important that words have meaning.  Having men yell lewd things at me is simply not the same think as being raped.  The former could be terrifying and traumatic but it’s not one and the same thing as the latter.  The impact on me is different and the legal consequences (if any) are and should be very different.  

 

There can be some confusion there with the underlying definition of "assault." An assault, generally, can mean an attempted battery (battery being unwanted physical contact/force), or it can mean putting the person in fear that they were immediately going to receive a battery. 

With the same logic applied to the definition of sexual assault, it could be anything from behavior that makes the person afraid they are in immediate danger of unwanted sexual contact, to attempting unwanted sexual contact/rape.

Assault in other jurisdictions can mean the same thing as battery, which is where sexual assault can encompass various definitions of rape comes in.

Part of the issue here is that while, in a criminal code, these terms are given specific meanings which make sense within the overall structure of what type of offenses are recognized, in general parlance, overlapping definitions are simply something that must be contended with, because the working definition, if not referring to a legal code or clearly defined in context, is going to be slippery.

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4 hours ago, unsinkable said:

In a few weeks, some posters will say that people on this board blame sexual assault on Satan. 

 

3 hours ago, Quill said:

No, only the Duggars do that. ?

the Pope just did that.  for real.  that satan made those priests abuse children (mostly boys), and made the cardinals cover it up.

he left out what he plans on doing about it . . . .

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10 minutes ago, Ravin said:

 

There can be some confusion there with the underlying definition of "assault." An assault, generally, can mean an attempted battery (battery being unwanted physical contact/force), or it can mean putting the person in fear that they were immediately going to receive a battery. 

 

 

I think this is exactly why it always puzzled me a bit. The word "assault" meant to me a physical aggression of some sort with physical contact. 

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19 minutes ago, Ravin said:

 

There can be some confusion there with the underlying definition of "assault." An assault, generally, can mean an attempted battery (battery being unwanted physical contact/force), or it can mean putting the person in fear that they were immediately going to receive a battery. 

With the same logic applied to the definition of sexual assault, it could be anything from behavior that makes the person afraid they are in immediate danger of unwanted sexual contact, to attempting unwanted sexual contact/rape.

Assault in other jurisdictions can mean the same thing as battery, which is where sexual assault can encompass various definitions of rape comes in.

Part of the issue here is that while, in a criminal code, these terms are given specific meanings which make sense within the overall structure of what type of offenses are recognized, in general parlance, overlapping definitions are simply something that must be contended with, because the working definition, if not referring to a legal code or clearly defined in context, is going to be slippery.

 

What I think OKBud and I were discussing is the use of the colloquial term even beyond the context of the law.  It’s not a crime for instance, to say something suggestive in many or even most contexts, even if it is gross or unwelcome.  Not all sexual misconduct is criminal in nature.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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in answer to the OP #1 post, at what point does it become a problem? when it happens.

the person don't have to understand - I didn't understand the long-term effects being molested when i was three would do to me.  (teenage neighbor, I NEVER forgot the details).  I didn't tell anyone,  - I didn't understand. I displayed many behaviors typical of molested children. around the same time (I don't know the timing), I was taken in to my pediatrician and diagnosed with an infection "down there" - but it was easier to just assume a three year old girl was having a reaction to her bubble bath than something untoward. I don't think telling my mother would have changed anything.

I was  assaulted (and battered) by a stranger, not raped, in my own home as a young wife and mother - but it left me paranoid and afraid to be alone in my own home.  

damage is damage.

 
I had typed out details (not graphic), but I think it's better to delete them.

including dsil's paranoia after a female college friend was raped in her dorm room. (I don't know if they were just close friends, or he'd been dating her at the time.)

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9 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

 

I think this is exactly why it always puzzled me a bit. The word "assault" meant to me a physical aggression of some sort with physical contact. 

the police at the time of mine tired to explain  the difference- assault being the threat of violence, battery as the actual physical blows.

such as: I was s3xually assaulted, I wasn't raped.  I was also battered.

consider "battered wife" (one who is beaten.)

molestation is rarely as physically violent.  there is a lot of subtle mind games getting the victim to cooperate.  those mind games can be worse in some ways because it changes how the victim sees things.  the victims are generally young.    I don't think it's prejudicial to call what happens to small children molestation - I think it indicates this is a horrific crime, of an adult against a young child.

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In my state sexual assault

includes sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated sexual assault, indecent assault and acts of indecency (these offences generally involve inappropriate touching, including genitals or other intimate areas or forcing a person to touch the genitals or intimate areas of another person). An offence is aggravated if there is a threat, whether actual or implied, or it is done in the company of other people, or is committed upon a person under a certain age or under authority of a person (teacher/relative/carer) or involves the use of a weapon, force or threat."

 

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

 

the Pope just did that.  for real.  that satan made those priests abuse children (mostly boys), and made the cardinals cover it up.

he left out what he plans on doing about it . . . .

Since according to Catholic teaching, Satan can't *make* anyone do anything, I am almost certain the Pope didn't and wouldn't say this.

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5 hours ago, Amy in NH said:

 

Fight or flight aren't the only two adrenal responses to a perceived danger. 

It is often called:

fight, flight, freeze, or fawn

OR

fight, flight, freeze, or appease

I think a lot of us have the freeze or appease response, which sets us up for accusations of consent because we didn't fight or flee.

 

Yes. I’m aware of that and just mentioned the general phrase to get my point across. Buy I’m glad you pointed it out because you are totally right that those other categories are OFTEN viewed as acceptance or even approval when a woman does it. And they just aren’t. They are viewed entirely differently when men have them.

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4 hours ago, J-rap said:

 

I didn't participate in the other threads because I was scared away by all the hate toward each other.  Also, because I actually believe that we agree on far more than we realize.

But, what you say is absolutely true.  That is what I, myself, thought in high school.  That was in the 70's.  We just grew up thinking that (some) boys were like that.  You went to parties, you drank a little, and some boys became "a little forward."  No one actually thought it was outright wrong.   It just was the way it was, and even seemed quite normal.

I imagine this was the scenario that Kavanaugh and Ford grew up in.  It is easily a scenario that someone like BK could have completely dismissed and forgotten.  

We've come a long way since then.  It's really a completely different time.  Now we understand that it was very wrong.  Boys are taught differently now.  Wow, sometimes I wish I could do high school again today.  I'd have such a different attitude.  As shocking as it seems, we truly just didn't know.

 

I will say, though, having grown up in the 70's and 80's, that while boys got away with a wide range of behaviours, it didn't generally involved pinning a girl down with his hand over her mouth. That was going too far, even for the 70's.

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46 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

I will say, though, having grown up in the 70's and 80's, that while boys got away with a wide range of behaviours, it didn't generally involved pinning a girl down with his hand over her mouth. That was going too far, even for the 70's.

Absolutely.

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What acts are "proscribed"?  For example, is grabbing someone's butt considered sexual assault? Taylor Swift would probably say so.  And yet, I would be a sexual assault victim about 10x over because it happened to me in large crowds nearly every time I went to a Browns games with my dad when I was a teen.  As much as I would have liked to identify the person and give him (I assume him) a huge piece of my mind and maybe a big slap, it was impossible.  It was disgusting and annoying but I've never felt like an assault victim.  At the same time, who am I to say that other women shouldn't feel victimized for the rest of their lives because of it?  (I have my opinion on it, of course.)  

Adding that Taylor Swift was apparently wearing a thong or no panties because the guy put his hand up her skirt and it was on bare skin. I was grabbed through my jeans.  But I was also a child.  All of these little things come into the picture and create context.  I just think that we're having a hard time delineating.  Matt Damon was excoriated for saying that there is a spectrum of this stuff and not to conflate two very different things.  People went insane over that so how are we to decide??

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1 hour ago, unsinkable said:

Since according to Catholic teaching, Satan can't *make* anyone do anything, I am almost certain the Pope didn't and wouldn't say this.

It's fairly easy enough to google a news source of your liking to verify this information. Here are two to get you started. 

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/410401-pope-says-devil-trying-to-divide-attack-the-catholic-church

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/sex-abuse-scandal-pope-seeks-prayers-fight-devil-58168326

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27 minutes ago, MeghanL said:

Neither of those articles have the Pope saying Satan *made* the priests do anything. According to the RC Church, Satan can't make you do anything.

Which is what I said...And since I don't have access to everything the Pope said, ever, I qualified my statement with "I'm almost certain" he didn't say it.

 

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2 hours ago, 6packofun said:

What acts are "proscribed"?  For example, is grabbing someone's butt considered sexual assault? Taylor Swift would probably say so.  And yet, I would be a sexual assault victim about 10x over because it happened to me in large crowds nearly every time I went to a Browns games with my dad when I was a teen.  As much as I would have liked to identify the person and give him (I assume him) a huge piece of my mind and maybe a big slap, it was impossible.  It was disgusting and annoying but I've never felt like an assault victim.  At the same time, who am I to say that other women shouldn't feel victimized for the rest of their lives because of it?  (I have my opinion on it, of course.)  

Adding that Taylor Swift was apparently wearing a thong or no panties because the guy put his hand up her skirt and it was on bare skin. I was grabbed through my jeans.  But I was also a child.  All of these little things come into the picture and create context.  I just think that we're having a hard time delineating.  Matt Damon was excoriated for saying that there is a spectrum of this stuff and not to conflate two very different things.  People went insane over that so how are we to decide??

 

In some states that is assault and in others it is sexual battery. It is a crime. It was a crime. Wearing a thong to avoid panty lines or for your own pleasure and kicks isn’t an invitation to be touched without your permission. Here’s a nice story about an LEO encouraging somebody to press charges for exactly that sort of behavior. Why? To protect his daughters from experiencing the same.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10217628450566765&id=1343766684

Edited by Sneezyone
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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

You know what? I've been thinking about this a lot tonight and I think this is the answer. 

Every.single.time. Make a report. Make it known. Stop the idea that a woman's body is public property if she goes outside. Stop the idea that "This doesn't actually ever happen; only for your 15 minutes of fame." Make it inconvenient and make it stop. 

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1 hour ago, MeghanL said:

You know what? I've been thinking about this a lot tonight and I think this is the answer. 

Every.single.time. Make a report. Make it known. Stop the idea that a woman's body is public property if she goes outside. Stop the idea that "This doesn't actually ever happen; only for your 15 minutes of fame." Make it inconvenient and make it stop. 

 

My daughter and her friend were harassed at a water park overseas. Her friend was physically touched, DD was not. When the girls and the friend's dad went to park security and police viewed the video footage, the guy (18+) was arrested. Yes, the authorities practically begged the girls to renounce their claims and 'let him go' but that's because the punishments there are much more harsh for these types of offenses. Rape/statutory rape of a child under 14, and aggravated sexual assault are all death penalty offenses. We like to think women are treated so much worse in other countries, and in some ways they are, but the guy that did that to my daughter and her friend spent the night in a craphole jail, was immediately expelled from the country, and had to pay a $1,500 USD fine...within 48 hours.

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4 hours ago, MeghanL said:

You know what? I've been thinking about this a lot tonight and I think this is the answer. 

Every.single.time. Make a report. Make it known. Stop the idea that a woman's body is public property if she goes outside. Stop the idea that "This doesn't actually ever happen; only for your 15 minutes of fame." Make it inconvenient and make it stop. 

I have to admit, I've enjoyed the three videos I've seen (I think all were in asia) of guys groping a girl in a very public place (then walking on by as though nothing had happened), and she whips around and punches him.   and instead of being angry at her - the crowds have all backed up the girl when they find out what happened and hold the jerk for the police to deal with.

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I've never been traumatized by sexual assault. I've only ever experienced what I would personally call very low level assault - guys grabbing my rear at a party in my youth kind of level stuff. It's sexual assault by the definition provided for sure - it was sexual contact without my consent. But while I didn't like it, I also wasn't deeply bothered by it. I never felt unsafe. I always felt I could walk off or throw a drink in someone's face or whatever if I needed. I always had allies around me (hooray for women's colleges). It never became an unrelenting thing for me. I know other women who have experienced what I would call greater levels of assault without experiencing trauma as well - things like guys kissing or cornering them and rubbing against them or holding a wrist down briefly. And they were able to shake it off. Because some people can.

One of the things that bothers me is that some people who had those experiences and were able to shake them off seem to think everyone should be able to. And that's an unfair standard. I mean, just because I wasn't deeply scarred by having my breast fondled without my permission as a teen doesn't mean it was okay in any way shape or form. It's still a problem.

Even when the sexual assault doesn't merit a legal punishment - such as when it's an elementary school kid grabbing or kissing another inappropriately or possibly even a teen or young adult who grabs and the victim doesn't want to press charges - it's still a problem.

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10 hours ago, MeghanL said:

You know what? I've been thinking about this a lot tonight and I think this is the answer. 

Every.single.time. Make a report. Make it known. Stop the idea that a woman's body is public property if she goes outside. Stop the idea that "This doesn't actually ever happen; only for your 15 minutes of fame." Make it inconvenient and make it stop. 

 

I think you're right, but the issue is there is a big difference in severity.  I was thinking perhaps there should be a lesser degree - groping over clothes is different than under or something, but if that was added it would simply be a way for lawyers to plea down to a lesser offense.

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7 hours ago, Farrar said:

I've never been traumatized by sexual assault. I've only ever experienced what I would personally call very low level assault - guys grabbing my rear at a party in my youth kind of level stuff. It's sexual assault by the definition provided for sure - it was sexual contact without my consent. But while I didn't like it, I also wasn't deeply bothered by it. I never felt unsafe. I always felt I could walk off or throw a drink in someone's face or whatever if I needed. I always had allies around me (hooray for women's colleges). It never became an unrelenting thing for me. I know other women who have experienced what I would call greater levels of assault without experiencing trauma as well - things like guys kissing or cornering them and rubbing against them or holding a wrist down briefly. And they were able to shake it off. Because some people can.

One of the things that bothers me is that some people who had those experiences and were able to shake them off seem to think everyone should be able to. And that's an unfair standard. I mean, just because I wasn't deeply scarred by having my breast fondled without my permission as a teen doesn't mean it was okay in any way shape or form. It's still a problem.

Even when the sexual assault doesn't merit a legal punishment - such as when it's an elementary school kid grabbing or kissing another inappropriately or possibly even a teen or young adult who grabs and the victim doesn't want to press charges - it's still a problem.

 

My feeling is that those traumatized encountered more violence, some also mention the eyes don't show humanity.  It's not someone experimenting, or loosened inhibition, its a predator. The chill is there along with knowing its going to be very difficult to get away alive or unraped.

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7 hours ago, Farrar said:

I've never been traumatized by sexual assault. I've only ever experienced what I would personally call very low level assault - guys grabbing my rear at a party in my youth kind of level stuff. It's sexual assault by the definition provided for sure - it was sexual contact without my consent. But while I didn't like it, I also wasn't deeply bothered by it. I never felt unsafe. I always felt I could walk off or throw a drink in someone's face or whatever if I needed. I always had allies around me (hooray for women's colleges). It never became an unrelenting thing for me. I know other women who have experienced what I would call greater levels of assault without experiencing trauma as well - things like guys kissing or cornering them and rubbing against them or holding a wrist down briefly. And they were able to shake it off. Because some people can.

One of the things that bothers me is that some people who had those experiences and were able to shake them off seem to think everyone should be able to. And that's an unfair standard. I mean, just because I wasn't deeply scarred by having my breast fondled without my permission as a teen doesn't mean it was okay in any way shape or form. It's still a problem.

Even when the sexual assault doesn't merit a legal punishment - such as when it's an elementary school kid grabbing or kissing another inappropriately or possibly even a teen or young adult who grabs and the victim doesn't want to press charges - it's still a problem.

 

I think though that the while sometimes there is no way to affect how someone experiences such things, the way we conceptualize them on a group level can also affect how people experience such things.  The experience that really made me start to think about this was a male friend of mine who was, according to the legal definition, raped.  He however didn't think about it that way, and he didn't really experience any of the effects you'd expect - and I'm sure those things were directly related.  He thought the person involved was rude, and he was really ticked off that he got an STD, but it was the way you'd experience someone butting in line,, not an assault.

That's an extreme example, but more generally I think we can see instances where society places the line in a different place affects people's experience.  In some more prudish times it's been placed where it includes even verbal interactions as a kind of assault, and some people correspondingly found them shocking or traumatizing.  I'm not sure it's good for people as a whole to make every bad/rude/selfish sexual interaction as something we perceive as assault, any more than it would be if we conceptualized of other social interactions that way.  

Don't tend to think it would even be positive from a legal standpoint, as some have suggested, if we levelled out sexual assault and relentlessly pursued every example.  I don't know that it would have the effect of making people revile it more - if it did, it might well lead to injustices.  I think what is just as likely is that people would be less inclined to take action over less serious instances, because they wouldn't feel right about it resulting in severe consequences.

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This post has reminded me of an incident I had in middle school. I lived in a largely migrant area and my middle school was a primary ELL resource for Mexican immigrant's teens. We had 3 main halls and the west hall housed classes for us but also these teens. Their culture dictated very different norms and when girls would go down that hall the boys would all be hanging around lockers wagging their tongues, licking their lips, grabbing at any body part they could reach. No amount of "no" seemed to work. They would laugh and try harder. The girls all panicked if they got stuck with a locker in west hall for the year because it was impossible to get your stuff. We complained numerous times to staff and were told to not take offense because it was part of their courting rituals in their culture. This made it worse because we felt like we had to endure it or we were insulting their culture. It also set a presidence around the school to the other boys to be more bold. I still feel like I want to take a shower every time I think of my 2 years as a female in that middle school. Of course the times were different and it would never fly now thank goodness. 

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8 minutes ago, nixpix5 said:

This post has reminded me of an incident I had in middle school. I lived in a largely migrant area and my middle school was a primary ELL resource for Mexican immigrant's teens. We had 3 main halls and the west hall housed classes for us but also these teens. Their culture dictated very different norms and when girls would go down that hall the boys would all be hanging around lockers wagging their tongues, licking their lips, grabbing at any body part they could reach. No amount of "no" seemed to work. They would laugh and try harder. The girls all panicked if they got stuck with a locker in west hall for the year because it was impossible to get your stuff. We complained numerous times to staff and were told to not take offense because it was part of their courting rituals in their culture. This made it worse because we felt like we had to endure it or we were insulting their culture. It also set a presidence around the school to the other boys to be more bold. I still feel like I want to take a shower every time I think of my 2 years as a female in that middle school. Of course the times were different and it would never fly now thank goodness. 

 

Sexual harassment still goes on in schools in a major way.  My niece is in 11th grade this year and it’s been a big problem since 7th grade.  The administration doesn’t come down on it unless they see it, which of course they rarely do, and girls don’t want to report it because they won’t be taken seriously and they will get blow back from their peers.  

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17 hours ago, 6packofun said:

What acts are "proscribed"?  For example, is grabbing someone's butt considered sexual assault? Taylor Swift would probably say so.  And yet, I would be a sexual assault victim about 10x over because it happened to me in large crowds nearly every time I went to a Browns games with my dad when I was a teen.  As much as I would have liked to identify the person and give him (I assume him) a huge piece of my mind and maybe a big slap, it was impossible.  It was disgusting and annoying but I've never felt like an assault victim. 

 

Isn't that part of the discussion though, whether how a person *feels* changes the status of what happens?

That Facebook story was great.  No, I don't consider ass grabbing equivalent to full on rape.  But it seems to easy too blow it off, and then guys just keep doing it, or worse. As others have noted, it's part of a culture that assumes male right to access women's bodies.  People demeaned Swift for taking it to court, but she said at the time she was tired of that kind of behavior being accepted or blown off.  It makes a statement as a society what we choose to accept as normal, or just annoying.

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What made me mad was when recently a restaurant employee punched a guy for grabbing her butt, she got in trouble for it.  I don't think it's something you go to the cops about (especially if it's one time and not adult-on-child), but it's not OK either.  I would be glad if my kids physically punished a guy who did that to them.

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21 hours ago, Janeway said:

 but then I hear cases of..being called sexual assault..where someone does something and later changes their mind, that would be sexual assault. Some say coercion constitutes sexual assault. But then we would need a definition to say what the difference is between coercion and convincing. Some say only a woman can be sexually assault. Some say if both parties to the act were incapacitated, then only the man has committed a crime and the woman is a victim.

One puzzlement though..if both people are incapacitated and then have sex.......either both should be charged with rape or neither. It should not be the male gets charged and the female is a victim. And when women rape, they should receive as much punishment as men do. The laws should always be applied equally. But really, the laws need to be more specific. 

 

I have never heard anyone say that having sex and then later changing their mind equals sexual assault.  Unless you are referring to deciding to have sex but then saying no at some point during the encounter?  I hope you would agree that it is okay to change your mind and either leave or stop during the encounter.

Regarding the line between coercion and convincing...power balance comes into play there, and well as implied negative consequences for refusing, as well as physical intimidation.

I have honestly never heard a woman say that men can't be assaulted, although I'm sure there are some out there.  I have heard men say or imply that, and I think it's disgusting. 

If both parties are equally incapacitated then I agree both are equally responsible.  However, a man (or anyone) can't claim he was "equally incapacitated" when he is fully functioning and the other party is either unconscious or close to unconsciousness.  That seems more common in these cases than "equally incapacitated".

Something I've been thinking about is the idea that although something might not be criminal, or prosecutable, it can still be WRONG as well as traumatizing.  The idea that well, if it was really bad it would have been reported or prosecuted, or the man found guilty... that's just not true.  Many things, like butt-grabbing, may not be reportable or prosecutable.  But neither should it just be accepted as part of life for women.  I'm glad we are seeing a change there.

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1 hour ago, LucyStoner said:

 

Sexual harassment still goes on in schools in a major way.  My niece is in 11th grade this year and it’s been a big problem since 7th grade.  The administration doesn’t come down on it unless they see it, which of course they rarely do, and girls don’t want to report it because they won’t be taken seriously and they will get blow back from their peers.  

 

Reporting intensifies it as it gives the males power.  My neighbor removed her dd to private school, my dc confirmed that the harrassment she was experiencing was what she claimed.  Due to teaming, every single day of tenth grade featured a small group of boys from one culture in all but one class who would softly tell her in graphic detail what they'd like to do to her body sexually. The classmates nearest could hear it, and of course when the teacher came over they would stop.  She couldn't learn in that environment and she wasn't from a culture where this is accepted.  She would never had to put up with this if social promotion was not used - they had flunked the class every year, but were moved along while the school watered the content of each succeeding class down.

Edited by HeighHo

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On 10/10/2018 at 12:04 AM, Farrar said:

Even when the sexual assault doesn't merit a legal punishment - such as when it's an elementary school kid grabbing or kissing another inappropriately or possibly even a teen or young adult who grabs and the victim doesn't want to press charges - it's still a problem.

 

I'll delete this later, but...

... 

I wanted to share this because it's so easy to think that because there is no violence there is little impact.  

Edited by goldberry
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6 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

Reporting intensifies it as it gives the males power.  

 

Can you clarify this?  Are you saying that females should not report these things or try to stop them?  What's the alternative?

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5 minutes ago, goldberry said:

 

Can you clarify this?  Are you saying that females should not report these things or try to stop them?  What's the alternative?

 

I'm saying that once the males know its been reported, it gives them the info that they have obtained power over the victim.  They then ramp up. 

The alternative to the victim having to respond is for the adult do their supervisory job --  rearrange the situation so that the harrassment can't happen or follow the school discipline code.  

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3 hours ago, HeighHo said:

 

My feeling is that those traumatized encountered more violence, some also mention the eyes don't show humanity.  It's not someone experimenting, or loosened inhibition, its a predator. The chill is there along with knowing its going to be very difficult to get away alive or unraped.

The eyes don't show humanity? Is this more "Mark of the beast" stuff?

 

 

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16 minutes ago, SKL said:

What made me mad was when recently a restaurant employee punched a guy for grabbing her butt, she got in trouble for it.  I don't think it's something you go to the cops about (especially if it's one time and not adult-on-child), but it's not OK either.  I would be glad if my kids physically punished a guy who did that to them.

Sorry, I can't get behind this. 

People bring up false accusations of rape often, so I can't see how the legal aspect would work if a woman hauls off and punches a guy for pinching/grabbing/etc. "Light" sexual assault (for lack of a better phrase) would be even harder to prove than rape, and now a woman has done physical harm to a man, so it's pretty obvious to me that what happened to the waitress would be the default as she would be the one who gets caught. 

Taking it to a physical fight is just going to physically hurt the woman because the man will then escalate the altercation and usually win and/or get her in trouble with the law for an "unprovoked" attack. 

This is not to say that I don't love the idea of a woman taking down some man who can't keep his hands to himself, he 100% deserves it. But I don't think we can assume that it would be, "oh, okay, you say he touched you. No problem, ma'am, you're free to go." 

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57 minutes ago, SKL said:

What made me mad was when recently a restaurant employee punched a guy for grabbing her butt, she got in trouble for it.  I don't think it's something you go to the cops about (especially if it's one time and not adult-on-child), but it's not OK either.  I would be glad if my kids physically punished a guy who did that to them.

 

I don't get your logic at all. Why is it okay for a stranger to get one free grab at the privates of another if they are adults?

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