148 – We are back to the Language: Labels Matter

Dr. Sandra Morgan and Dave Stachowiak discuss the media’s response to the criminal trials against the pimp and murderer of Aubreyanna Sade Park. During the case against her pimp, the media referred to her as a sex-trafficking victim, but during the case against her murderer, the media referred to her as a prostitute. The different words send a mixed message about her innocence, and that’s why the words we use matter.

Key Points

  • Calling someone a prostitute vs calling that person a sex-trafficking victim changes society’s response.
  • Language helps us define who is the victim and who is the perpetrator.
  • Historically, a prostitute has been considered a perpetrator. That’s ingrained in society’s mindset.
  • Threats against a victim’s family are a common way to control a person.
  • By changing our language, we can change the public’s perception.


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Sandie Morgan

Sandie Morgan, PhD, RN is recognized globally for her expertise in combatting human trafficking and working to end violence against women. As Director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women & Justice (GCWJ), she oversees the Women’s Studies Minor as well as teaching Family Violence and Human Trafficking.
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