The language of this site
We refer to women who have experienced rape or sexual abuse as ‘survivors'. This is because we wish to acknowledge their strength and courage. While the term ‘victim’ evokes a valid feeling for many survivors, they are not defined by this or that experience alone. Having said that, the term survivor is also problematic. It may not acknowledge the victimisation that has occurred, or emphasise ‘moving on’ above processing the feelings that someone goes through after experiencing sexual violence. We acknowledge the issues with both terms, and the challenge inherent in any label which tries to categorise all women’s experiences as ‘the same’.
In recognition of the fact that we work with women survivors, and that most people who experience sexual violence are women, we refer to the survivor of rape as female, and the rapist/abuser as male. However, we acknowledge the existence of same-sex sexual violence, and sexual violence by women against men.
Throughout this website, where we use the word rape in isolation it encompasses sexual abuse and any form of unwanted physical, verbal or visual sexual contact.
Last Updated on Aug182011