The word “victim” is a heavy label that follows a person—shaping an internal narrative about psychologically damaging events. “Survivor” is much better. There's a reason Gloria Gaynor's song (“I Will Surive”) persists as a cultural staple: the anthemic message is uplifting and champions the downtrodden and encourages them to pick themselves up and persevere. From personal experience, I can tell you that storytelling is cheap therapy. Even more importantly, it’s empowering.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year the relevance is especially poignant. High profile celebrities stand among the accused. In the wake of this national discussion, many people who’ve never suffered so much as an unwelcome sexual advance, ask the question, “Why don’t victims speak out right away?” For survivors of sexual assault, harassment or abuse, the reasons for remaining silent are complex. Some victims suffer an anonymous and violent attack. Others