Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Appearance before a Select Committee – we need your help!

We are delighted to announce that one of our team, Jo Costello, has been invited to present oral evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights and Violence Against Women and Girls on Wednesday November 19th at 9:45am. Jo has previously provided written evidence to the committee previously, on the subject of 'The adequacy of the response of the police, prosecution and judiciary to Violence Against Women and Girls', which is published on the UK Parliament website.

The oral evidence to be presented by Jo will be discussing media sexism and the representation of violence against women in the media. We know what we'd like to discuss, but without contribution from you, our supporters, we'll not be able to cover the (countless!) issues with the UK media.

So it's over to you - which articles or media coverage have you found particularly upsetting, distressing, inaccurate, offensive or just downright ignorant? Leave a link to the article or piece in question (with a brief outline of the problems with it) in the comments below, on our Facebook or Twitter feed and we'll include as many as we can in the evidence to the Select Committee.

Thanks for your help - we can't do this without you!


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11 thoughts on “Appearance before a Select Committee – we need your help!

  • Diane Pringle says:

    The whole Justice for Ched debarcle has been very upsetting. Allowing a convicted rapist’s girlfriend and family access to mainstream media to promote the victim blaming website set up on his behalf is just astounding. Even as recently as 10th November the Sheffield Star published this as its “Star Letter.”


    But from his conviction onwards the newsprint media has continued to use victim blaming language when reporting this case.

    • Admin says:

      Thanks – this is awful and definitely one we’ll be talking about. It’s just utterly grim :(

      • Flick says:

        I agree, I’m tremendously upset that this letter was even published, let alone made their star letter! :( I couldn’t even read it to the end, what I did read was sickening enough.

  • Liz says:

    Good to hear about this. As well as the awful Ched business you have been doing great work hi lighting the many stories that take a word or phrase used by the defence counsel and use it in the headline: the whole ‘jealous boyfriend strangled cheating partner’ syndrome. I think that’s exactly the stuff that goes unnoticed by most people. Also most journalists, unless it is dinned into them – I speak as a retired journalist.

  • Claire Moore says:

    Pretty sure you will have all these but – The ‘puppy farm murders’ when it was actually two women murdered

    Also ‘Two dead after attack in hostel’ They’ve changed it to include cannibal –
    The most disturbing coverage I saw was in the Daily Star – here’s a do not link – link – http://www.donotlink.com/cfys the comparisons and details are a blight on our humanity! This is the BBC link http://bbc.in/1tDbAQ0

    And ‘Man dies after woman stabbed to death’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-29860843

    I complained to the BBC about the ‘puppy farm’ term, also asking that they include dv helpline – this was their reply

    Dear Ms Moore
    Reference CAS-2999073-FGW9VF
    Thanks for contacting us regarding the BBC News website.
    I understand you believe it’s inappropriate to state ‘puppy farm murders’ in our headline.
    This site would be well known by the public as being where the murders took place. In reporting on this story, the headline will try to offer something more specifically related to the case however this isn’t intended to seem insensitive. The BBC also offer many lines of support on programmes accompanying storylines with domestic violence and has reported in detail cases of such domestic abuse against women. There is no intention to show a lack of any respect towards victims of such violence and abuse.
    There’s also more reports on domestic violence against women and girls at:
    That said, we really do value your feedback about these issues, especially as you’d like to see a domestic violence helpline featured at the end of reports like this. All complaints are sent to senior management and news teams every morning and I included your points in this overnight report.
    These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensures that your complaint has been seen by the right people quickly. This helps inform their decisions about current and future programmes.
    Once again, thank you for contacting us.
    Kind regards
    Philip Young
    BBC Complaints

  • Kate Young says:

    There’s a current petition to remove ‘Dapper Laughs’ from ITV.

    I must admit I haven’t seen the show & from friends comments it is a very misogynistic show.

    The petition is on change.org. I can’t seem to post the link.

  • Reports across the whole media of the Isla Vista shootings minimised or ignored the motive of misogyny even though it was explicitly stated in Eliot Rodgers’ manifesto.

    The tabloids’ reporting of ‘sex crimes’ continues to break all guidelines, e.g the Sun:’I was sex slave in Fred West’s old house’ (Jan 7th) was the titillating headline with which the newspaper chose to introduce the horrific story of a young woman who was trafficked into forced prostitution, enduring gang-rape by many men over an extended period of time. The sensationalist, salacious tone continued over a two page spread on pages 4 and 5, with a second headline: ‘Slave gang forced me to have sex with 5 men at a time’. The words were accompanied by a large, staged photograph of a young woman, supposedly a prostitute.

    Sandwiched in the middle of this report of horrendous sexual abuse was the Page 3 image – a topless woman of around the same age as the victim in the story.

    The Sun’s front page of the Reeva Steencamp murder was ‘3 shots. Screams. Silence. 3 more shots’ next to a full page image of her in a bikini.

    Coverage of the Pistorius trial across the media focused on him and how this ‘tragic event’ would impact his status and career – the evening before his sentence announcement ITN News ran an extended tribute to him from his brother and sister.

  • Camilla Mills says:

    The awful trope suggesting a girlfriend/wife who left a violent man somehow serves as the reason for the murders he commits rather than it being his decision, and his decision alone. Still, in 2014, this persists.

    Perfect recent example (unsurprisingly from The Daily Mail) regarding murders committed by Rurik Jutting. “Did British banker murder two prostitutes after fiancée CHEATED on him? Public schoolboy ‘was devastated by her betrayal and became obsessed with money and power’, friend claims”


  • Redskies says:

    The coverage of the murder of Andrea Johnson by her husband Keith Johnson in Cromer, Norfolk, this time last year, and his suicide.

    An example is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-20577126 but google him and you’ll find endless articles about what a wonderful man he was, how he was a councillor, how tragic his loss was, with gushing tributes to him. Minimal information about his victim Ms Johnson.

    Of course, it turned out he was a domestic abuser who lured his wife to a last meeting with the clear intention of killing her for leaving him.

    This is the case that had me weeping at the sheer injustice of it all and donating to Women’s Aid in her name.

  • Hecuba says:

    Article by Independent concerning Fathers4Justice and a civil case brought by male founder of Fathers4Justice against a female MP.

    Independent’s women-hating headline was ‘Fathers 4 Justice and The Mother of All Hate Campaigns.’ Given this alleged ‘hate campaign’ was created by men and directed at women therefore the campaign cannot be ‘mother of all hate campaigns.’ Such misogynistic language reinforces male beliefs that women are evil incarnate.


  • Redskies says:

    And just to show that nothing has changed since last year


    It is clear that once again a man has murdered a woman and killed himself. The article is all about him and we learn nothing about her other than that she was his wife. Her whole life defined as the wife of the man who killed her.