Thoughts and Insights

I read a blog today in which the author kept referring to people who have been through rape or sexual assault as victims.  Normally I just let it go and think of this as the terminology of someone who doesn’t understand.  However, this time the person who was writing was doing the writing to try to show what life is like for a victim after the fact.  I commented on this explaining that to call someone who has been through this horrible ordeal a victim, just serves to re-enforce that they are a victim instead of empowering them to be a survivor.

Having said this, I want to ask you all.  Do you take issue with the word victim?  Have you gotten to the point where you know you are a survivor?  Do you feel that calling us victims is a bad thing that re-enforces that we are victims or that it is just a word that means nothing?  I am asking you because I want to know your thoughts.

Personally I loathe the word victim.  That was a part of my life where I let what had happened to me cloud my world, rule my ability to love and ruin my ability to be in a safe, happy and healthy relationship.  That is why I named this blog VictimNoMore.  Because I have moved past being a victim into the realm of survivor and I am much happier here.


About wtfhappenedtomyreallife

I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter, neice, friend, confidant and I am ready to speak my mind.

Posted on August 15, 2011, in Counseling, Rape, Therapy, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I don’t really take issue with, but yeah, I do think survivor is better, and much more accurate xx

  2. Hmm, the word victim is tricky because it is a double edged word. I used the word victim (mostly in the context of ‘victim blaming’) in a post you actually commented on recently: in order to emphasize the duality between victim and perpetrator.

    Essentially the argument was that victims should not be responsible for making their own justice. The perpetrators must take full responsibility. On the other hand, I think the idea of victim-no-more is important insofar as we must all make our own way as individuals. I do often wonder if we can use the word victim in such a way as to emphasize to total responsibility of those who perpetrate violence, while acknowledging our own responsibility to live our lives as people and not victims. If you have another word that would fill this need, I would love to hear it.

    • Your post was very good and I stand by what I said there and here. You make a very valid point. I do not mean that I take issue with the word victim in the way that you have used it. What I meant is the way that people use the word victim to call someone who has been through these things as a victim. What I was referring to was a post I had read where the person did an interview with a “victim” and kept saying “the victim” referring to that person over and over again as a victim. People who go through things like this do have a tendency to see themselves as victims, not survivors. I merely mean to say that it is more positive to refer to people who have been through this as survivors and help them to learn how to be survivors instead of living victimized by what happened to them. Teaching them to survive instead of letting the person(s) who did this to them win.

      I wish that there was a good word to combine both. As of yet I have not found it. I am going to bring this up in the support group and in my dealings with INCASA I will ask if they have any verbage that they would recommend for something to take the place of these words.

      Great comment! Thank you! I very much welcome all comments and ideas/opinions on this.

  3. I saw myself as a victim when I felt trapped in my abusive situation, could not see a way out, felt hopeless and powerless to ever be free and safe, hated myself. A victim sees suicide as the only way out.

    A survivor not only survived the abuse, but is surviving the effects of the abuse. Survivors are coping, starting to heal, aware. But survivors are also defined by their abuse. I am a survivor and still feel constricted by my issues.

    I hope one day to be relatively healed, be a thriver. I will always be affected, but no longer defined by the abuse. I will see myself as limitless.

    • You know, honestly, I see myself as limitless. There are moments where I feel the affects of what was done to me…and I feel that strangling sense of helplessness…but for the most part I think that maybe I am a thriver who likes the word survivor because for me it defines a fighter…someone who is fighting for themselves and for others.

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