Level Up has launched a campaign for a new Editor’s Code to uphold victims’ dignity in media reporting on domestic violence deaths. Responsible reporting can improve public understanding of domestic violence, help victims and their families seek justice and help women at risk access support. Sign the petition here. IPSO is the largest press governing body in the UK, and it's time they introduce guidelines on reporting domestic violence deaths:
- Accountability: Place responsibility solely on the killer, which means avoiding speculative “reasons” or “triggers”, or describing the murder as an uncharacteristic event. Homicides are usually underpinned by a longstanding sense of ownership, coercive control and possessive behaviours: they are not a random event.
- Accuracy: Name the crime as domestic violence, instead of “tragedy” or “horror”, and include the National Domestic Violence Helpline at the end of the article: 0808 2000 247.
- Dignity: Avoid sensationalising language, invasive or graphic details that compromise the dignity of the dead woman or her surviving family members.
- Equality: Avoid insensitive or trivialising language or images.
- Images: Avoid using stock images that reinforce the myth that it’s only a physical crime.