ISSUE: Language and the use of the term "victim"

“I name the journey to freedom as the journey from victim to witness. I believe it is important to use the term, victim, to emphasize that the victim of abuse is not to be blamed for the actions of the abuser. Naming an act as abuse or victimization can be a pivotal first step toward freedom and healing. It is not to suggest that being a victim is all that a person is or that he or she will remain as a victim. It is also distinct from behaving as a victim. We assume the role of a victim when our actions stem from a sense of being overwhelmed or threatened by forces that are acting upon us. These powerful forces may be real or they may be the product of our own fearful imaginations. And finally, a victim identity develops when our energies, attitudes and self-representation constellate around a victim role.”
— Mary Klein - Spiritual Director