The Sun and the Daily Mail have today been accused of publishing frontpage coverage which trivialises domestic violence and gives voice to an remorseless abuser at a moment when cases of domestic abuse are reportedly on the rise.
Domestic Abuse Campaigner David Challen said,
“Column inches should never be given to perpetrators. It’s enough for victims of abuse to have their stories published recounting their abuse to then only have your abuser given a voice is extremely and dangerously irresponsible.
This kind of irresponsible reporting violates widely shared guidelines, and has the power to shape the public’s understanding of domestic abuse. As it stands, victims and survivors of that violence are being repeatedly failed.”
Hacked Off Boardmember and former journalist Emma Jones said in response,
“The toxic headlines in The Sun and Mail, giving voice to a domestic abuser, are dangerous and highly irresponsible and place vulnerable women in danger.
At the height of a domestic abuse crisis, precipitated by a pandemic which has placed women’s lives at risk, these newspapers choose an inflammatory article which bears no relevance to responsible public interest reporting.”
“There must be robust action in the form of an enforceable Code change so that there is meaningful independent regulation on this life or death issue.”
Background: David Challen @David_Challen
David Challen is a campaigner for victims of domestic abuse, who successfully campaigned to free his mother Sally Challen in a landmark case.
The Sun has since issued a statement claiming it stands up for women’s rights and is always on the side of victims. However this is not the first time in recent months that the paper has been accused of publishing sexist and dangerous coverage of fatal domestic abuse that again and again breach guidelines. This story, for example, appears to trivialise and justify a domestic homicide :
The Editors’ Code Committee has refused to change the Code to cover domestic violence reporting, leaving regulatory complaints impossible, despite recent campaigns from Hacked Off and feminist charity Level Up – and many more in previous years.
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