Language Matters When Engaging Survivors of Domestic Violence in Discussion

Picking Up the Pieces

Words have the power to be dangerous, and when you are speaking in terms of domestic abuse, semantics do matter.  So often, statements and quotes offered up in attempt to encourage a survivor of domestic violence actually end up having the opposite effect.  How many of us will internalize what you said without seeking clarification, maybe being influenced to change the meaning attached to the simplest of words that could result in us reassigning blame to ourselves?  How many of us would momentarily protest but give up once we have been talked over enough?  How many of us would speak up in our defense and make our voice heard?

Opening up and holding a dialogue open about how abuse happens is imperative.  With the number of reported cases climbing, and taking into consideration the vast number of victims not coming forward, it is urgent that we talk openly about it…

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