Missing The Point: Conservative Group Tries Turning Sexual Assault Stats Into Political Statement (Video)
It's a sad day when sexual assault is used as a topic for drawing even deeper partisan lines, but conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute is clearly willing to stoop so low as to accuse the Obama administration of inflating the number of sexual assault crimes in the US.
But to what aim? There's a fine line between wanting honest facts and being an outrageous "truther" and clearly, the calling into question of how these statistics have been shared is insulting and petty.
What would the Obama administration gain by misreporting these rape figures to be higher? And what does the AEI get out of "revealing" that these figures are off?
In this YouTube clip, which is gaining all too much traction on the Internet, Christina Sommers claims that President Barack Obama has (purposefully and deceitfully, we're lead to assume) made the number of women who have fallen victim to some form of sexual assault much greater than it actually is.
In a speech and other countless White House memos, Obama asserted that "one in five women will be a victim of rape in their lifetime."
Sommers contests this statistic, claiming that the Justice Department's annual crime survey reports that there were 188,380 rapes in 2010.
It's clear the "rapes" that were reported in 2010 may only make up a small part of the "sexual assaults" that actually occur, hence the lower number.
But perhaps more troubling is that the Justice Department's numbers only indicate the number of reported rapes — and, as so many people know, a huge problem with any form of sexual violence is how women believe they'll be perceived or shamed after, which leads to an unfortunately low number of reported cases.
And speaking of shaming, it's reprehensible that Sommers has adopted a new method of "shaming": by essentially wagging her finger at those who want to bring to light the prevalence of sexual violence, she's again faulting those who are brave enough to speak up about and out against the issue.
The "true number," Ms. Sommers, is this: 1 is 2 Many.
Let's focus on that instead of this political posturing that seeks to detract from the real issue: that we haven't succeeded against sexual assault until the only figure we're concerned about is zero.