The Raped Are The Accuser

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The dictionary defines the word victim as being “A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action” (Random House Dictionary, 2011). When a person reports rape it is a very serious accusation but also it has a very traumatic effect for a victim on an emotional level and physical level. They become a victim because they have been harmed, as stated in the definition, on more than one level. In Georgia, a state legislator feels that the legal term “victim” should instead be “accuser” for rape, stalking, and domestic violence cases. Words can create a certain connotations in every situation. The word “accuser” means “someone who imputes guilt or blame”, but also in the Old Testament of the Bible the word accuser was another name for Satan, the adversary, and one who opposes (New World Encyclopedia, 2011). Thus being said immediately any word being defined by something evil has a negative connotation, which impacts the people and situation in which the word is used. To call a victim of rape an accuser has major psychological effects on the victim, jurors and judges, the public and potential rapists. Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, and 60% of rapes are still being unreported (, 2009). The word accuser makes victims feel like they could have controlled what happened to them and that even when they do report their rape, society will put them down and not believe them. To be a victim is bad enough but to be treated like a criminal as well is even worse. A research study in the psychological effects of crimes shows that the psychological effects of sexual violence are commonly worse than physical injuries (Rautio, 2008). Furthermore, not only does the label accuser affect the victim psychologically but also those determining the fate of the rapist. Although those victimized by rape

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