The UK’s two press regulators, Ipso and Impress, have endorsed guidelines for reporting domestic violence deaths proposed by feminist campaign group Level Up.
The guidance is based on the need for editors and journalists to take into account:
- Accountability – place responsibility solely on the killer, thereby avoiding speculative reasons or triggers;
- Accuracy – name the crime as domestic violence, instead of tragedy or horror, and include the National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247);
- Dignity – avoid sensationalising language, invasive or graphic details that compromise the dignity of the dead woman or surviving family members;
- Equality – avoid insensitive or trivialising language or images; and concerning
- Images – avoid stock images which reinforce the myth domestic violence is only a physical crime.
Level Up argues: “Every bad article on domestic violence is a missed opportunity to help prevent further deaths. Responsible reporting can improve public understanding of domestic violence, help victims and their families seek justice and help women at risk access support.”
Two women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner in the UK.