In the hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling about the constitutional right to an abortion, there have been countless reactions to the opinion on social media. But a hot take by U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy, representing parts of eastern North Carolina, raised some eyebrows:
A tweet, since deleted, from the congressman’s official Twitter account on Sunday read: “No one forces anyone to have sex.”
While Murphy or perhaps a staffer removed the tweet later in the day, Raleigh’s News & Observer called out the Third District congressman in its Monday editorial:
It should go without saying that people do force other people to have sex, and it sometimes does result in an unwanted pregnancy. Nearly one in five women has experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime, according to research from the CDC. Many men are victims of rape, too.
Rep. Murphy, who is a medical doctor, should also be aware that:
One in three female victims of rape or attempted rape experienced that assault for the first time between the ages of 11 and 17. (Source: National Crime Victimization Survey)
About 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys in the United States experience child sexual abuse. (Source: CDC)
The majority of sexual assaults often occur at or close to the victim’s home. Fifteen percent of cases occur in an open, public place. (Source: RAINN – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
In a 2019 study of college students at UNC-CH, more than 20% of the nearly 6,000 students who responded to a survey said they experienced sexual touching or penetration involving physical force and an inability to consent or stop what was happening. (Read more about the Association of American Universities’ (AAU) Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct here.)
The NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement (CFWYI) also compiles statistical data for domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault from their grantees. A few number from their latest data:
11,094 clients sought in person or remote help for sexual assault in North Carolina (June 2020-June 2021.)
1,297 of those clients were between the age of 0-12.
1,077 of those clients were between the age of 13-17.
368 of the clients seeking help were victims of human trafficking.
The NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement reports that of the reported offenders in cases of sexual assault, only 4% of the assaults were perpetuated by strangers.
As the Observer‘s editorial board rightly concludes:
Maybe in a perfect world, sexual assault survivors would never have to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy because they never would have been raped in the first place. But that’s not the world we live in. Murphy’s erasure of this reality is shameful and wholly unbecoming of any public official, let alone one who purports to use his medical expertise to advocate for his constituents.
Click here to read the full editorial online in the News & Observer.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can confidentially contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline for help 24/7: 800.656.HOPE (4673)