By Sharyn Carroll
Rape; \rap\~ [noun]
The word rape originally comes the Latin “rapere” – meaning to abduct, grab or snatch. Somewhere along our linguistic evolution, its meaning morphed to include intimidating, threatening or forcing someone to have sexual intercourse.
Sexual assault replaced the term “rape” in 1983, under the Criminal Code of Canada. In doing so, we are able to recognize that assaults that are sexual in their nature are not about the act of intercourse but exist on a broader spectrum. This can include inappropriate or unwanted touching, harassment, verbal threats, coercion and physically forcing, with or without a weapon, someone to perform a sexual act. Using this term gives validation to those that have experienced sexual violence while broadening our understanding of our intrinsic human rights.
Let us not forget that the most important verb, when navigating our way through intimacy, is consent. Every time, all the time. Consent is sexy!