Raped or "Seduced"?: How Language Helps Shape Our Response to Sexual Violence
Monday, April 15, 2013 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM (EDT)
Presenter: Claudia Bayliff, Project Attorney, National Judicial Education Program, Legal Momentum
Webinar Description: “Language can never be neutral; it creates versions of reality.” Yet when we discuss sexual assault, we constantly use the language of consensual sex to describe assaultive acts. This language often implies consent and romance, rather than criminal acts. In addition, we describe violence against women in passive terms, which allows the perpetrators of this violence to remain invisible and unaccountable. We also use language that objectifies or blames sexual assault victims.
This interactive webinar will explore the language of sexual assault: how we talk about and write about this crime. We will discuss specific examples of the language we use and explore how to discuss sexual assault in a way that more accurately depicts the crime.
Audience: This session will provide useful information and strategies for a wide variety of professionals, including prosecutors and other lawyers, law enforcement, medical professionals, judges, victim advocates, journalists and communications professionals, and others who interact with and write about sexual assault victims.
Closed Captioning; Please contact Eliana Theodorou at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require closed captioning at least 72 hours prior to the webinar. Please put “closed captioning” in the subject line of your e-mail.
 Bavelas, Janet and Linda Coates, Is it Sex or Assault: Erotic Versus Violent Language in Sexual Assault Trial Judgment, 10 Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless 29 (2001).
National Judicial Education Program, Legal Momentum
Since 1980, the Natioanl Judicial Education Program has been educating judges and justice system professionals about the realities of sexual assault.