Not everyone who comes to our office needs to be or thinks of themselves as a victim. That word is helpful for some people and unhelpful for other people at times, and it certainly can carry a stigma. Some people would prefer to consider themselves survivors. The Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) is not here to label you or your experience and we understand that not everyone identifies with the word victim.

Some definitions of the word victim include:

  • A person who suffers from a negative or harmful action
  • A person who is deceived • One who is harmed by another
  • One who is harmed by or made to suffer
  • A person who suffers from injury, loss, or death
  • A person who is tricked, swindled, or taken advantage of

Victim can mean that something unpleasant, unwanted and/ or upsetting has taken place. Another example of the word victim is:

An individual who has suffered loss, injury, pain or death as a result of abuse or violence committed by another individual.

One definition of abuse is:

The intentional physical, emotional or sexual invasion of another’s boundaries; mistreatment or misuse of another person.

The Office of Victim Assistance is here to help you know your options and resources, as well as be a supportive place to talk about how this event has impacted you regardless of whether you identify as a victim.

OVA’s topic areas are:

  • Accidents
  • Bias motivated incidents/hate crimes
  • Crime
  • Death
  • Harassment
  • Hazing
  • Intimate partner abuse
  • Physical Assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Trauma
  • Other . . .