G-08 - WordWatch: Reflecting on How Language Impacts Our Response to Sexual Assault

The words that we use to talk about sexual violence influence the way we all perceive and respond to the issue. Using “unaccountable” language perpetuates a culture where victims are blamed and devalued, sexual violence is tolerated, and perpetrators are not held accountable. This is especially critical within the courts, as the language used directly impacts public discourse around sexual violence. This presentation will highlight how language, utilized in report writing, can shape the response to sexual assault. The participant will learn how to review categories of language to avoid, analyze language usage in legal documents and offer alternatives to describe sexual assault in a way that more accurately describes the crime.