Is “Victim” the Right Word?

Words have power and meaning. Cancer patients after their treatment are “survivors.” So are those sexually assaulted. It implies strength. Victimhood implies disempowerment, helplessness, and weakness.

I suggest we consider replacing “victim” with “aggrieved.” Someone that a criminal has wronged. Someone with a grievance. Someone, as “grieve” also implies, has suffered.They have a grievance against the aggressor, with the protest and anger that that might imply.

This isn’t going to change crime statistics, nor reduce the suffering of those assaulted, burgled, mugged, or scammed. But it changes that person, in description, as someone not weak or disempowered, but as someone against whom a wrong has been done that must be righted.