Petitioning Leader of Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn MP and 1 other

Encourage the media to adjust their terminology regarding rape and sexual assault

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When the media refer to an individual who has been raped, they ought to refrain from using the word "victim" as it can be very damaging.

Having been through such traumas at a rather young age and again as a young adult and more recently, I have personally come to find the term "victim" demeaning and oppressive. It's pitiful and tragic. As a person in general, I am neither of these things but that word made me feel all of them and worse. Victim is so finite.

As a young adult, I considered myself a rape "victim" and couldn't process my thoughts and feelings. I felt so small and insignificant and almost as if I had a sign above my head saying "rape victim".

Once I started using the term rape "survivor", I noticed a change in how I perceived myself and it truly helped my recovery. I have never got over being raped but it hurt a lot less realising I was a survivor. The term survivor is empowering. It is uplifting. It gives us control!

The media plays such a huge role in how stigma is perpetuated and this one little adjustment can make so much difference and help reduce stigma attached to those who have experienced rape and could well encourage more individuals to come forward.

Words affect us all on an unconscious level. We don't even realise it until we change these words.

Survivor implies strength. It may not be felt by the individual immediately but it sure will help.

 

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