Feb 5, 2022

"Victim" Is Not A Weak Shameful Word

"Victim mode", 

"Victim Mentality", 

"Victim Mindset" 

"Stop playing a Victim", 

"It's tempting to be the victim"- Leslie Vernick, author of The Emotionally Destructive Marriage

"Be a survivor, not a victim", 

"You're a victim, but you don't have to live there. You have a choice", 

"Victim thinking is actually self centered" - Vicki Tidwell Palmer CSAT, Moving Beyond Betrayal 

"You are only a victim for a nanosecond" - Pia Mellody via Vicki Tidwell Palmer CSAT, Moving Beyond Betrayal 

"Where there is choice... it is impossible to be a victim." - Vicki Tidwell Palmer CSAT, Moving Beyond Betrayal 

"After the actual event of being victimized, you are no longer a victim in the present moment" - Vicki Tidwell Palmer CSAT, Moving Beyond Betrayal 

These phrases and beliefs should NEVER be used with actual victims. I'm tired of the word "victim" being wrongly used as a weapon or way to control/silence victims under the guise of "empowerment". Can you imagine someone saying these things to a victim who just lost their entire home to a natural disaster? : "Stop playing the victim, get out of your victimhood. It's not presently happening to you anymore, you're no longer a victim of natural disaster. Stop being self centered. You have a choice"?? That would be incredibly insensitive and outright mean. 

Contrary to popular belief, being an actual victim is not a feeling, a mood, or state of mind. There's no connotation of weakness in the dictionary definition of "victim". See?:

Victim Definition: "to be hurt, damaged, or killed because of something or someone; a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else" 

"Victim" is simply a word that describes that something bad happened to us that wasn't our fault. That's all. Ie. Victim of a car crash, victim of assault, victim of natural disaster, etc. It's not who we are. When we talk about the word "victim" as if it's a negative label, feeling, mood, or state of mind, we are only fueling the belief that there is something wrong with the word "victim". Why WOULDN'T we want a word that means what happened to us wasn't our fault? That's a good thing! 

"I use the terms victim and perpetrator..they're situated actions terms, they're not identity terms..I know a lot of people prefer survivor and that's cool, but the word victim at least denotes that a crime has been committed against you. The word survivor does not. So there's something in the word victim that is important."

"The word victim contains a criminal act." - Dr Allan Wade, Centre For Response Based Practice 

But, can these phrases be used accurately in any context? Yes, these phrases are commonly and accurately used to describe a perpetrator who is pretending to be a victim of the person they victimized. For example, by definition "victim mentality" means that someone who is not a current victim is playing a victim :

Victim Mentality : "an acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognize or consider themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave as if this were the case in the face of contrary evidence of such circumstances." 

However, again, phrases like this should never be used on someone who is actually a victim. Only people/perpetrators who are pretending to be a victim. For anyone to tell an actual current victim that they are in "victim mode", "victim mentality", etc. is LITERALLY TELLING THEM THEY AREN'T A VICTIM AND ARE JUST ACTING LIKE IT! 

By acknowledging that I'm a victim, I'm acknowledging that I'm injured and it's not my fault. Again, this is good. But to imply I'm only "playing" a victim, it insinuates that I have fault in my injury, or am not that injured and am just being dramatic. Which is disgusting, incorrect, and wrong.

Please stop pathologizing & stigmatizing the word "victim" . It's not a dirty shameful weak word. I can be a survivor of abuse and also a victim of abuse. They don't contradict.

These articles below are amazing 🙌💗


"There’s no shame in being hurt by what we’ve experienced. The shame is in hurting us. Telling victims not to ‘be victims’ and show or admit their hurt further traumatizes victims. They have nothing to be ashamed of."


"I understand: we want the person who has been wronged to somehow come out the victor. It appeals to our sense of not having to take action ourselves, ‘cause somehow magical space-karma will solve the situation fairly for us.’ Sorry: life isn’t like that."


"Those that make others victims are the problem. Not the victims. Forget ‘victim mentality’, show me the a**holes with ‘perpetrator mentality’ because they are the problem here. Not me."


"‘Victim’ is a word that describes an individual who has been wronged. It doesn’t describe their response. I stand with all victims. The ones that fought back, the ones that died, the ones that put the experience behind them and got on with other things, the ones that put on a tough front, the ones that wonder why they don’t cry any more, even the ones that prefer to call themselves ‘survivors’ and the ones, like me, who occasionally scream at well-meaning people in train stations and then feel terrible about it.

There isn’t a right way to respond to being a victim. All there is a right way to stop being a perpetrator. Maybe that’s the word people should be ashamed of."




"Fact: If you experience trauma or abuse, you are a victim.  

Opinion: The way society uses the word victim is abusive and shames or blames them - which makes proper healing impossible." 


"If you react negatively in any way to the idea of being a victim, you’ve proven my fact thesis that in our minds, victim is a bad thing. And that's not ok.

We think victim is a dirty word because we tag a f*** ton of negative crap onto it when it should just be a benign description. 

My straight up, full on, unapologetic opinion and possibly newly identified fact: The language we use around the word victim and the way we use the word victim, NEEDS to change."



(Images are from this article ^) 


"Historically, the word “victim” and “victor” have the same root origin; the prefix, vict, is Latin and means “to conquer.” Yet a rape culture that perpetuates victim-blaming has made the term more of an insult than an accurate identifier that indicates one person has endured a trauma at the hands of another person (or persons). "


" In the wake of this cultural degradation, a new term has emerged. Victims are now lauded as sexual assault “survivors”; superhuman beings who have overcome their traumas and surpassed their overwhelming anguish to proudly proclaim that they’re not defined by their assaults. While I’m not in the business of telling anyone how to identify — and have even called myself a survivor on many occasions — this term doesn’t sit well with me. “Survivor” isn’t indicative of how I feel on any given day. It doesn’t accurately describe my ongoing experience as someone who was assaulted. In my opinion, it paints a misleading picture of victimhood, and healing, while silently promoting a super-human response that encourages victims to “get over” an unspeakable violation. All so that those around them can feel more comfortable when faced with the realities of such a heinous act."




"What’s wrong with being a victim?

Obviously, becoming a victim is undesirable. We don’t wish for bad things beyond our control to come along and interfere with our plans. But once the bad thing has happened, why are we so allergic to using the simplest, most accurate language to describe the condition of being post–bad thing?"