The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is outraged by Rep. Russ Diamond’s statement comparing rape to vaccinations. Comparing other experiences to sexual violence to make tasteless jokes dilutes the seriousness of victims’ experiences. Rep. Diamond swore to serve his constituents, not humiliate or insult them.
Diamond’s post dishonestly implies that the experience of vaccination is as invasive and traumatizing as sexual assault.
It is wrong to tokenize the trauma of sexual assault survivors for any reason, especially for such a cheap and inaccurate analogy. When sexual violence is minimized for the sake of attempted cleverness or dramatic effect, it only accentuates the trauma and pain that survivors and their families experience every day. It reminds them that some people in society and in power still don’t believe or understand them. Statements like these can silence and trigger victims while they suffer emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
Rep. Diamond has offered no apology to those who have suffered sexual violence.
PCAR respectfully requested Rep. Diamond remove this harmful post. We continue to demand that Rep. Diamond remove this post and its flagrant comparison of vaccinations to sexual assault. PCAR welcomes an opportunity to discuss with Rep. Diamond the importance of consent and the trauma experienced by survivors of sexual assault as we work together to support these victims and create a Commonwealth that safeguards its citizens from sexual assault. We encourage Rep. Diamond to listen to survivors and learn how statements like his make them feel. He must recognize the harm these victims suffer when their abuse is used as political fodder.