Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

India Chipchase: @BBCNews use of cruel and unnecessary headlines


Edward Tenniswood is currently on trial for the rape and murder of India Chipchase. This is how the BBC has chosen to report on the trial today.Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 22.14.31

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These statements come from Tenniswood's defence testimony. Whilst there are strict regulations on what information the media can publish during a trial to protect the defendant's right to a fair trial, there are no such regulations about respecting the victim. The National Union of Journalists have published guidelines on reporting violence against women and girls but these are non-binding, only applicable to NUJ members and complaints can only be raised by NUJ members. So Tenniswood, on trial for the rape and murder of India Chipchase, has more rights under the law than his victim. But, the media shouldn't need regulations to recognise that such headlines are offensive, inappropriate and cruel. There is no need to use such a headline. Ever.

That the BBC has consistently chosen to use inappropriate and misleading headlines without any thought to the consequence to the victim and their family and friends is well-evidenced. But, this headline crosses so many lines that we are at a loss for words.

India Chipchase deserves better than this.

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