Reply To: NARSOL condemns civil commitment practices

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David Kennerly

In the “Is It Me Or Is This Creepy & Wrong?” Department: I have spoken a number of times about, to my mind, the cynical and dishonest moves by government and the social entrepreneurs to distort the English language and to foist the term “sexual violence” upon an unsuspecting public to mischaracterize decidedly NON-violent individuals as “sexually violent” (and “predatory”) by redefining “violence” to mean having sexual contact with a minor (and such contact itself having been expansively defined over the years) who is below some arbitrary age (fourteen in California) and even in the complete absence of actual violence or coercion? Am I wrong to feel outrage at this redefinition of the term “violent” which was once commonly understood but which now requires intimate knowledge of statutory codes to comprehend and appreciate its revised meaning? Am I wrong for identifying this redefinition as a fundamentally dishonest ploy to further marginalize the “sex offender?” Am I wrong in my contention that we need to acknowledge, at least within our own community if not in our public message, that the term no longer reliably means what nearly anyone would expect it to mean? I really want to know and would be grateful to hear your views.