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Rape Victim Vs. Rape Survivor

show starting post by victoriaplaceo
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cebbec   in reply to Plastic
I completely agree with your Plastic. First off: Rape doesn't kill people. Murder does, and sometimes rape can lead to suicide but to be frank, the word survivor is a little misused compared to how it's typically been used in the last 100 years. People survive near death experiences. Rape simply isn't that. As I said in my own comment, and you said it in yours, it's pretty clear that rape victims are simply trying to use the word survivor to (for a lack of a better term) make themselves feel better. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that. If misusing a word helps someone heal than I think it's worth it.
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cebbec
I first heard the term "rape survivor" listening to NPR and I immediately knew exactly what you described in this post: That people had obviously decided to change the term to give victims a more positive/empowered outlook on their situation and themselves. I'm not saying it's wrong.. but it feels like another example of people trying to control language to suit their needs (political correctness?)
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evolutiongoneastray
this is the topic to my application essay to colleges. and i definitely agree, i played victim far too long. i am a survivor.
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victoriaplaceo
 in response to Plastic...   Not going to ignore you Plastic LOL. I really do not know how to respond and all I can do is say thank you for another opinion to take into consideration! I asked for opinions and I got them!

I really mean that and not sarcastically sometimes you can comment places and one never knows if you are being sarcastic, aggressive...so I thought I would clarify:)

So I appreciate your input
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Plastic
On second thoughts, what do I know, and who am I to all know-it-all about this kind of thing? Well done for keeping on keeping on and feel free to ignore me.
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Plastic
I found this post because I was wondering about the use of the two terms - the topic has been in the news recently and I'm due to take part in a "Slutwalk".

I won't bother with dictionary definitions because there will be hundreds of them to suit any purpose, but to me a survivor would be simply "one who survives" (as opposed to being killed or dying). It would be appropriate to use the term when describing an incident which could have gone either way - eg earthquake survivor or holocaust survivor.

Serious and horrific as it is, rape itself does not take life. Murder does, but obviously there's no such thing as a "murder survivor" - you could talk about "surviving an attempted murder", although since the murder was only attempted the clue is already there.

Hence I don't feel survivor is an appropriate word here. No-one would call themselves a "bike theft survivor"; they would be a victim of bike theft, even if they had clung onto the bike and put up a struggle.

That isn't to belittle rape, or compare it to bike theft in any other sense - I can't begin to understand how it must feel to go through it and I would respect the right of the victim/survivor to use any term they chose if it helps them - whatever gets you through. Perhaps someone might feel that rape does take something from their life and describing themself as a survivor goes some way to getting it back?


But I would worry that using the word survivor takes an emotive subject and complicate the matter further. We can't rationally discuss the crime of rape while in the back of our mind we are confusing it with murder. The word is inaccurate and generally I would chose to stick with victim.
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