Language matters: The Refugee Crisis in Europe

At every IOFA training, we start by exploring the importance of language. We talk about words like the conflation of prostitution and trafficking, victim and survivor, and rescuing and empowering. “Why are we even talking about this?” We spend time exploring the words we use around these issues because they matter.

To paraphrase a bumper sticker, what we think affects what we say, and what we say affects what we do. If we truly want to have the desired effect we purport to work for – empowering survivors to recover from experiences of exploitation so they may live happy, healthy, productive lives of their own choosing –then we need to reflect this mentality through the words we use to discuss it.

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