Stop Abusive and Violent Environments
December 18, 2011
A majority of Americans worry about the federal government extending its reach into citizens’ everyday lives. Now, following release of a Centers for Disease Control report, critics of big government have a new cause for alarm.
Rape is personal tragedy and a societal anathema, and victims of rape deserve our protection and support. Fortunately, the number of rapes has tapered off dramatically in recent decades, along other types of violent crime.
But to the Centers for Disease Control, much more needs to be done. So the CDC devised a radical approach.
This past week the CDC released its long-awaited survey called the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf. The study was widely publicized in the traditional media with startling headlines that blared, “Nearly one in five U.S. women has been a victim of sexual assault.”
But many viewed the one-in-five statistic with skepticism. Citing a “history of twisting rape statistics,” columnist Robert VerBruggen took issue with the basic definitions of the CDC study. VerBruggen explained, “Researchers ask women about their sexual experiences, and then classify some experiences as ‘rape’ that most people, including the women themselves, do not consider to be rape.” (http://www.nationalreview.com/phi-beta-cons/285936/re-sexual-assault-and-college-robert-verbruggen ).”
This is what the Centers for Disease Control did to inflate its rape count: It asked if persons had ever had sex when they were “drunk, high, drugged, or passed and unable to consent.” Any person who answered “yes” to this question was included in the CDC’s tally of rape victims.
Now consider these 2 scenarios:
1. Bill and Wanda have a picture-book wedding ceremony. At the reception, they share numerous champagne toasts. Afterwards, they retire to their room to consummate the union.
2. Miguel and Maria are discussing ways to commemorate a decade of marital union, and Maria proposes that they celebrate at a New Year’s Eve party in a nearby hotel. Like many other couples, the two liberally indulge in alcoholic beverages. As the gala is wrapping up, they make their way to their room where they celebrate their years-long relationship by making love.
Most persons would view these scenarios as exemplifying loving and respectful marital relationships. But according to the CDC, Wanda and Maria are rape victims — and Jack and Miguel are common rapists.
So the CDC definition turns common sense on its head, recasting the couples’ celebration of marital union as a sinister prelude to an abhorrent crime.
The CDC’s definitional hijinks are only the first step, of course. Because representatives of the abuse industry will now take the “authoritative” CDC definition and use it to push states to implement similar definitions in their criminal statutes.
The CDC rape definition represents an unprecedented, unwarranted, and radical intrusion of federal power into the private lives of couples — a step that could eventually exact baleful effects on the institution of marriage and on healthy, respectful relationships between men and women.