When someone is murdered, that person's life is completely taken away. There is no hope of recovery. There is no life after being murdered. There is...Nothing but death.
Rape, as bad as it is, simply doesn't end the life of a victim. The victim can still live his or her life after being raped. In some cases, rape can leave severe psychological trauma, but it is possible to recover from this. There may also be some physical damage, but, again, it is still possible for one to recover from this.
Rape is bad, but it is certainly something that one can recover from. Even if one is raped, there is still hope left, and there is still a life left to be lived.
I'd also like to say something about the necessity of this debate. I feel that the only real reason this is even something that is up for debate is because of third-wave feminism and what its obsession with rape. Now, I'm not trying to belittle rape or be a rape apologist or anything like that, but I believe that the only reason this is even up for debate is because third-wave feminists have created so much stigma and taboo around rape that we almost feel like it's the ultimate crime. In fact, we almost forget that things like murder exist.
To summarize, a rape victim still has his or her life to be lived, whereas a murder victim has nothing else and no hope. There is no recovery from murder.
A rape victim can recover and go on to live a happy life. A murder victim can not recover and go on to live a happy life because they are dead. For the families, loosing someone is worst than watching someone go through rape. Both are horrible but murder is worst.
Despite the face that rape is one of the worst crimes that can be performed, the impacts of it can be reversed even up to a point where the person will no longer care about it ever happening if he/she is mentally strong enough. The physical damage of rape will also be reversed after a certain amount of time.
A victim of murder can't heal, feel better or reverse the damages that were on him while being murdered. A murder is final and once done, nothing can fix it.
And this is coming from someone who is male.
To the person who said that the only reason we have this debate is because of third-wave feminism, I feel it is a huge exaggeration to say they and other people "almost forget that things like murder exist." Some people are aware of murder existing, but they think rape is worse anyway. Rape may not be the ultimate crime (In my opinion, slavery is the worst), but it is generally worse than murder.
For one thing, some people may not really get over being sexually assaulted (I'm saying sexually assaulted instead of raped because some other people don't really believe that males can be victims of rape when the perpetrator is female), and sometimes sexual assault victims may commit suicide. When the victim is male, some states make them pay child support if their assailant gets pregnant and gives birth, unfortunately (as evident in some statutory rape cases). When the victim is female, she could get pregnant, and some people will judge her horribly if she chooses to get an abortion. Just because people can survive rape and get past it doesn't mean that everyone does, unfortunately. I believe that a crime that can make some people want to kill themselves is worse than murder itself.
There can be moral (not legal) justifications for murder (revenge, vigilante justice, death penalty, PRE-EMPTIVE self defense, etc.) but never for rape. When people murder, they want to get something out of it. They try to get people out of the way in accomplishing their goals. What do people accomplish from sexual assaults? They do it to humiliate, dominate, and control another person..To cause suffering to another person. It is more about power than it is about sexual gratification. Therefore, it is more morally reprehensible.
Rape, molestation, and other sexual assaults, while non-homicidal, are still irreversible crimes. To the person who said that is is reversible, just know that that's not what reversible is. What you're describing is moving on from the event.
There are people who say murder is worse because it ends your life, no recovery, puts an end to everything you will be, and you can't choose to come back to life. While those things are true, I still believe that sexual assault is worse because you can get raped/molested/etc. Twice or even more times, but you only die once. You can't be killed/murdered again.
I also believe that rape being worse than murder can be a reason that we have a death penalty and not a rape penalty (Yes, I realize that the death penalty for rape has already been ruled unconstitutional twice).
Yes, you can have really evil people who murder, such as dictators (Stalin, Hitler, etc.), and that, I will admit, is not better or worse than sexual assaults. But when you take into account cases of pre-emptive self defense and vigilante justice, I would say that rape, molestation, and other sexual assaults are worse than murder on average.