Lanuage matters
Quick Escape

Language Matters When Talking About Sexual Violence

Words have power. Each of us has a responsibility to make sure that what we do, say or write is not adding to the myths about sexual assault or contributing to rape culture. Be part of the solution and do not add to the problem by:

  • blaming the victim (ex. “She asked for it.”)
  • downplaying sexual assault (ex. “Boys will be boys.”)
  • telling sexually-explicit jokes
  • tolerating sexual harassment
  • judging the victim
  • assuming only promiscuous women get raped
  • assuming that men can never be victims of sexual assault
  • refusing to take seriously accusations of sexual assault or other sexual violence
  • believing that preventing sexual assault is only a woman’s responsibility


The Media Hub is an Ottawa-based project that provides the media with easy access to guidelines, information and statistics for reporting on violence against women.

Use the Right Words: Media Reporting on Sexual Violence in Canada offers information about sexual violence, resources for journalists, infographics and statistics on sexual violence with a Canadian perspective.