Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

A tale of two Mirrors – victim blaming in the press

TW: Child abuse, grooming

On 9 January 2014, the Mirror published the following article

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/paedophile-cop-christopher-semak-gets-3006714

The article describes the sentencing of a policeman who "sexually abused a teenage girl". She was 14 when this began. The relationship lasted 18 months.

Det Supt Tim Bacon is quoted as saying:

“It is clear he groomed the victim for his own gratification. His actions were disgraceful.”

The article written by Martin Fricker seems as good example of its kind as you will find. Well done, the Mirror.

The next day, 10 January 2014, the Mirror published a second article about a different man. Burford, an assistant head teacher, was also being sentenced for grooming and sexually abusing a teenager. The girl was 14 years old when the relationship began. it lasted 2 years.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/assistant-head-teacher-paul-burford-3009327

The article describes the sexual abuse as "a two-year affair with a schoolgirl", "when they had sex", "he had sex in lay-bys in his car with the girl", had sex with her in motorway service stations".

The article is dominated by Burford's lawyer's speech which, of course, is seeking to minimise the sentence by saying how devastated the man is by never being able to teach again etc so that the focus of the article is on how indulging in a "wholly inappropriate relationship" has devastated the man's life, losing his job, his wife and rarely havingcontact with his daughter. Journalist Jeremy Armstrong feels no need balance this by quoting either prosecution or police on the seriousness of the abuses.

The same newspaper, two such similar cases, yet two completely different articles. How could you do this, the Mirror?

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One thought on “A tale of two Mirrors – victim blaming in the press

  • Hecuba says:

    Typical malestream media ploys wherein male owned media and I include the Daily Mirror decide which male initiated sexual crimes against women and girls are ‘real’ and which ones are ‘just another female seducing an innocent male!’

    Commonly malestream media scrutinises the female victim in order to see if she is ‘the right kind’ meaning she has to be white; middle class; respectable and from a good family.’ If the female victim is deemed to be a ‘real victim’ by malestream media then the male perpetrator can be demonised as another ‘paedophile (sex non-disclosed of course) who preyed on an innocent person.

    These male created lies are designed to confuse female readers because if malestream media can’t tell the difference between ‘real male sexual violence/male sexual exploitation of women and girls’ then this means how can women and girls.

    Both those two men are not paedophiles – they are mundane male sexual predators who enacted their male pseudo sex right to teen girls. That term paedophile is a male myth created by men to make the false claim ‘only a tiny number of males are “paedophiles” because majority of males are not like them!!’ Reality check – innumerable males continue to enact their male pseudo sex right to females of all ages and malestream media such as The Mirror condones/justifies and/or minimalises these male sexual predators’ actions.

    An excellent book on the subject of how malestream media has for decades endorsed and promoted mens’ lies concerning ‘which female is a real female victim’ is Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes by Helen Benedict. Another excellent book on the subject of how media continues to distort the facts concerning pandemic male sexual violence against women and girls is: Media and Violence: Gendering The Debates by Karen Boyle.

    Both reports in Mirror are male centric because it is the male voice which is being claimed as the definitive truth. The young womens’ experiences are as usual erased by malestream media.