Support for Victims of Press Abuse

How we can help

 

Hacked Off works closely with victims of press abuse and intrusion, offering them support and advice on what steps to take when they find themselves at the centre of unwanted media attention.

We understand that trauma and bereavement can often be magnified by press intrusion and harassment.

If you would like advice on any of the below or to share your story with us confidentially, please contact us at campaign@hackinginquiry.org or call 020 3735 8844.

We always endeavour to respond to complainants as quickly as possible and we will handle your case with both sensitivity and confidentiality.

 

What can I do if…?

 

1) An article and/or photos have been published about you which may have breached an editorial code

If you believe this has happened, please contact us at campaign@hackinginquiry.org with a copy of, or link to, the offending article as well as a summary of what has happened.

We can then advise you on what your next steps should be, such as whether it is worth contacting a complaints-handling body.  Most publications are either members of either “IPSO” or “IMPRESS”.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is an industry body with a complaints-handling function. It does not cover all news publishers, nor all content. And even when it does, it is so flawed that it is not worth pursuing, as the remedy is never proportionate to the violation.

In our experience many victims of press abuse are often frustrated with the IPSO complaints process or the remedial action they provide, but we can still offer guidance on how best to make a complaint and what other avenues may be open to you.

Other publications may be members of IMPRESS, a regulator better equipped to effectively regulate publications, of the kind Leveson recommended. A list of their members is published here. We can offer advice on their complaints process and further details for contacting them.

 

2) You feel you are being harassed by a journalist 

If you are being harassed by a journalist(s), IPSO has the ability to circulate an alert known as a ‘desist notice’. This communicates to all main newspapers – that you do not wish to speak to the press or be photographed. Reports of how effective these are, are mixed.

Sadly it seems IPSO’s procedure (even worse than the old PCC one) is to simply act a post box in these circumstances.

Please feel free to contact us on 020 3735 8844 in these circumstances and we can help advise on the next steps depending on which body the newspaper is apparently regulated.

 

3) You believe you have been libelled or unlawfully intruded upon 

If you have believe you have been libelled or unlawfully intruded upon by a newspaper or news website, please contact campaign@hackinginquiry.org. We aren’t qualified to give legal advice, but we may be able to put you in touch with appropriate representation.

 

Important information to note

 

We understand that you may sadly be experiencing more than one of the above and we will endeavour to help in any way we are able to.

If you’ve been affected by a serious or high-profile crime, your police family liaison officers may be able to give you advice on how to deal with the media.

There are also reporting restrictions relating to some crimes (such as rape, sexual assault and crimes involving children and young people) as to what the media can and can’t report.

If you have a lawyer involved in your case, you should let them know immediately about any press intrusion or harassment. They may be able to give you legal advice on the appropriate steps to take.