Victimhood, it is argued, is a term that is preferentially applied to and adopted by women. Victimhood is not a psychiatric diagnosis although psychological factors, such as gender development and sociological factors influence the acquisition of the victim role. This article reviews the sociological and psychological contributions to the labeling of a person as "victim." Victimhood is relevant to psychiatry because psychiatric patients often describe themselves, or are described as victims. Victimhood is generally seen as a negative identification, but this article will argue that identification as a victim is the first step in identifying the need for services.