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Understanding the Impacts of Sexual Misconduct

What Should I Call What Happened to Me?

We understand that healing from an experience of sexual assault can be different for every individual. One of the things that you might have questions about is what to call what happened to you. While some students might have a difficult time naming what they experienced as violence, this does not minimize the impact of what they might be going through. 

Some students refer to themselves as survivors after recovering from an incident of sexual assault, while others prefer to be recognized as victims of a crime. There is no wrong way to talk about how you feel following an episode of sexual violence, and your support network at Boston College will do its best to respect the language you choose to talk about it.

(BARCC, 2012 University of Virginia, Sexual Assault Education and Resources, 2012)