An important feature of CASA House's service is to use language consistent with our philosophy and to communicate the approach taken by the agency. When referring to victim/survivors of sexual assault we use the feminine pronoun to acknowledge that the vast majority of victim/survivors are women. Conversely, we refer to offenders as 'he' because most offenders of sexual assault are men.
Men and boys are also victim/survivors of sexual assault and we do not wish to deny or mininise their experiences. The decision to use gendered language is based on analysis of statistical data provided by police reports, hospital records, sexual assault centres and other research. These sources indicate that overwhelmingly sexual assault is perpetrated against women and children.
Some other examples of the terminology we use are;
- Centre Against Sexual Assault - to indicate that we are working towards the elimination of sexual assault
- Victim/Survivor - to emphasis the capacity of people who have been sexually assaulted to survive the experience
- Counsellor/Advocate - to emphasise the role of the worker. We provide counselling and support, but also advocate on behalf of victim/survivors.