Guide to good media practice on 'how to sensitively report on domestic violence cases'

for journalists & colleagues

Please find here the Guide to good media practice in preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The original Portuguese Guide was translated by our Portuguese team member Paulo Machado and received formal authorization from CIG (Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality).

The guide consists of 10 objectives and several concrete examples of practices for communication that protects victims and makes it clear that violence against women and domestic violence is unacceptable. "Tolerance towards violent behaviour and towards the aggressor is zero and the message that needs to be conveyed is that of full support for women and children victims", writes the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality in the introduction of this guide, highlighting the decisive role of the media in understanding, preventing and combating this crime.

According to the Portuguese Government, "the way in which crimes of violence against women and domestic violence are treated by the media is decisive for the way they are understood and interpreted by the public. The frequency with which incidents are reported, the prominence is given to them, the information included or omitted, the words used to describe what happened - all these factors make the difference in the social understanding of violence.

This document, which will reach newsrooms and journalism schools all over the country, presents a list of objectives that reinforce the informative and empowering role of the media in this context, and is the result of a work in partnership with the various media groups and media, with the Media Regulatory Authority, with the Union of Portuguese Journalists and with experts in gender and communication, who readily accepted this challenge.