Rape isn’t sex!

A quick follow-up to this post I found a different story from the BBC, Iraqi women ‘lack basic services’, which is much more closely related to the Oxfam results, and explains why I was having so much trouble trying to figure out how to make the CNN and BBC stories “parallel.” There is an odd difference between the two BBC articles, though. The first one, focusing on the widows’ experiences, includes the following passage:

Her husband and three brothers were killed. Her parents were already dead. Her house was burnt down. She was pregnant at the time and lost the baby.

But, in the months that followed, Nadia Hussein had to endure much more.

Now she lives at a refuge for women in the centre of Baghdad.

She spends her days feeding the pigeons and cooking. It’s a place for her to escape the many dangers widows face in Iraq.

‘Nephew beat me’

“After my husband died, I found work as a house keeper,” she told me.

“A man and his brother tried to make advances on me. They tried to sexually assault me. I refused.

“My nephew, who is an alcoholic, also used to beat me and accuse me of bad things.”

Nadia said the people at the refuge are now her only family. But she still asks for their approval before doing anything or going anywhere.

The newer article, which focuses more on the Oxfam report, summarizes Nadia’s story thus:

One widow, Nadia Hussein, told the BBC she found work as a housekeeper after her husband was killed, but the men tried to have sex with her.

Her nephew also beat her regularly.

I get that they want the short version, since their focus isn’t really on her story. But, uh, “have sex with” is only three characters shorter than “sexually assault.” And yet, it totally changes the meaning of the statement! Because assault is not sex, it is assault! Nadia knew this! Even the reporter knew it, the first time around!

WHY? They didn’t even have to do the whole “alleged” thing, they had a quote right there calling it out as an assault!

Grarrrgh. I have no words.

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