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Survivor vs Victim

This use can vary, some people say that victim is more appropriate as they were the victim of a crime, while others have felt that survivor portrays who they are and that they do not see themselves as a victim. Be sensitive to this nuance as it changes from individual to individual.


This term is largely used by advocacy groups to acknowledge the strength of an individual who endures trauma such as a sexual assault. Not every individual refers to herself or himself as a survivor and when interviewing survivors, reporters are encouraged to use the term preferred by the individual.


Used to describe the individual who was assaulted. This word is most commonly used. Please note to never use the term accuser. When making this decision you need to consider the specific story and the individual's preference.

Learn more about our CSAM Media guidelines for reporting on child sexual abuse.

Survivor vs Victim
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