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Press watchdog moves towards creating domestic-violence reporting guidelines

IPSO have asked for a meeting to discuss the Dignity For Dead Women campaign, launched by The Pool and Level Up earlier this week

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By Emily Baker on

On Monday, The Pool launched feminist group Level Up’s campaign to give dignity to women murdered by their partners. Within hours, the petition to introduce domestic-violence reporting guidelines to the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s (IPSO) rulings garnered at least 3,000 signatures, pushing the target number up from 5,000 to 20,000. Now, IPSO want a meeting.

The watchdog has contacted Level Up to arrange a discussion on how the suggested guidelines could be properly implemented. It’s an encouraging step towards ensuring domestic-violence victims are offered dignity by journalists.

Campaign manager Janey Starling said, “The campaign has had an amazing response from the public, journalists and now IPSO, but we won't stop until every journalist in the country has been briefed on domestic-homicide reporting. Women killed by their partners or ex-partners do not have dignified deaths, the least they deserve is dignity when their deaths are featured in the press. Reporting domestic-violence deaths with accuracy and dignity will be a huge step towards preventing more women dying.”

Introducing these guidelines to newsrooms up and down the country amounts to the monumental task of changing a culture

The suggested guidelines call for accountability for any violence to be placed firmly on the perpetrator, not the victim, and that reports shouldn’t sensationalise the story through words such as “tragedy” or “horror”. Level Up also wants helpline numbers to be shared alongside any piece referencing domestic violence.

A meeting with IPSO is an exciting, positive step forward, but there’s still work to be done. Introducing these guidelines to newsrooms up and down the country amounts to the monumental task of changing a culture. You can help by signing the petition here.

@emilyrbakes

For confidential support, call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit womansaid.co.uk

If you or your family have lost a friend or family member through fatal domestic abuse, AAFDA (Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse) can offer specialist and expert support and advocacy, for more info visit www.aafda.org.uk

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