SVRI Knowledge Exchange: The power of language and its use in the GBV field

Elizabeth Louis and the SVRI
This Knowledge Exchange focuses on language with the understanding that it’s a tool of communication, an exchange of perspectives, and can be a sacred form of expression.

Language and terms have been reclaimed by individuals and groups to ensure that their narratives are authentically voiced and portrayed appropriately. The writers recognize that this piece is written in English and it brings in a bias in the ways we communicate information. Language bias can be defined as words or phrases that may make certain individuals or groups feel excluded or underrepresented. In our own awareness of the importance of meaning through language, we must not forget that continuous efforts must be made to decolonize language. To rid language of colonial influence that has shaped the lens we use in our genderbased violence work. The writers intend for this piece to be disseminated to a wide audience of practitioners, researchers, advocates, survivors, and those with lived experiences of violence driven by gender inequality to reflect and discuss the ways language is used and its implications. We strive to attain language justice that focuses on equity, shared power, and inclusion of voices that have been misrepresented or undervalued in the field of GBV. It is our hope that dialogues, critical analysis, and renewed commitment to intentionally unpack, revise, and retrieve all forms, dialects or translations gives rise to language that is wholesome, validates and honours within diverse beloved communities.

Read the SVRI Knowledge Exchange: The power of language and its use in the GBV field.

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