We all play a role in ending domestic and family violence in our community, including the media. Media reporting can help victim-survivors to seek support, but it can also hinder. We recommend media follow the national reporting guidelines when reporting on violence against women and their children and the toolkit for reporting on Aboriginal people’s experiences of family violence. Thank you for covering these issues in a safe and respectful way, and thank you for quoting experts and support services in your stories.
Talking to an expert
DFV Specialists and victim-survivors add an important dimension to reporting on domestic, family and sexual violence. We have DFV Specialists available for interview. And we recommend media refer to the Our Watch website for information on interviewing survivors as well as a list of organisations with trained survivor advocates.
We do our best to get back to all media requests, however due to the high volume we receive, we can only respond to those that give a reasonable deadline.
Essentials for reporting on DFV and sexual assault
Referencing DVConnect in your stories
Media Do’s and Don’ts
DO discuss domestic and family violence as 100% preventable because the use of violence is always a choice. DON’T report it as an unsolvable or inevitable problem.
DO name abuse for what it is. DON’T call it “a lover’s quarrel”, “leaking nudes”, or use any other minimising language. Call it what it is: violence and abuse.
DO recognise that in cases of domestic, family or sexual violence, there aren’t two sides to the story because one person in the relationship holds a disproportionate amount of power and control over the other. DON’T give more power to someone using abuse in your reporting.
DO consider how media reporting can affect victim-survivors, people using violence, and the rest of the community. DON’T justify abuse, use victim-blaming language, or go into unnecessary details.
DO contact a DFV Specialist via an accredited, specialist organisation like ours if you need a comment or advice about a story.