How to write about gender violence

Please read “Ten commandments” to cover news related to gender-based crime.

1. The following terms are correct: violence against women, gender-based violence and sexist violence.

2. Gender-based violence is a crime, and if illegal behavior occured, it should be prevented and punished, it is  also a social problem, an attack on the right to life, dignity, the physical and psychological integrity of women and the society needs to provide  the protection of human rights.

3. We exclude   the term “crime of passion” in relation to the killing of women who became  victims of gender-based violence    from our work and lexicon. There are no any  crimes of passion.

4. It is crucial to protect the privacy of the victim, not the aggressor. Clearly indicate who is the aggressor and who is the victim, and pay attention to what perceptions and aspects of the situation put women in violent relationships.

5. Some of the information may cause harm to the victims and their families. It is not always possible to specify the name of the victim. But it can also be offensive to talk about the victim using nicknames.

6. We never look for excuses or “motives” (alcohol, drugs, quarrels, jealousy, couple breakup, infidelity and so on) that only distract attention from the central problem: violence. The reason for gender-based violence is the control and dominance that some men try to achieve using women.

7. It is necessary to look for all the facts, especially from official sources.

8. Keep an interest in the topic, speaking out against violence in all forms: psychological, economic and emotional, do not wait for a woman to be killed. Tell the story, taking into account the uniqueness of each event, and the elements that are characteristic of each of these cases. This will help to avoid such expressions as “again” or “another case”, which leads to blunting of sensitivity to the topic.

9. Be especially careful when choosing photos and images as illustrations for the article. Respect the victims and their families, avoid sexism, sensationalism and obscenity. Never steal images or audio from the victim. Using a musical background, do not choose motifs that convey horror, or songs that talk about “obsessive love” or jealousy.

10. Our reports should always include toll-free phone numbers to help victims and other information they may need.