This isn’t a post about crime as much as it is a critique of traditional media. But we can’t do that without talking about the crime itself.
24-year-old Joshua Edward Vihnanek of Escambia County, Florida was arrested in late June for what essentially amounts to statutory rape. Vihnanek allegedly sent a minor girl an explicit pic of himself over Snapchat. He was said to have had sex with the girl over a period of several months.
The media and possibly the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said that Vihnanek had a ‘sexual relationship’ with the girl. The connotation of a relationship means that there are two people consensually engaged in the affair. By legal definitions, a minor can not consent to a sexual relationship.
I understand that certain terms used in the media in regards to sexual assault can be traumatic to people who have survived such a crime. However, the term ‘relationship’ should be banished from stories like this. It gives the impression to certain segments of the population that girls like this are not victims.