Tips & Tools

Sexual Violence

Rape is violence, not "sex." Reporting on sexual assault means finding not only the language but the context and sensitivity to communicate a trauma that is at once deeply personal and yet a matter of public policy; immediate and yet freighted with centuries of stigma, silence and suppression. Reporting on sexual violence requires special ethical sensitivity, interviewing skills, and knowledge about victims, perpetrators, law and psychology.

Dart Resources

  • Tip Sheet

    Reporting on Sexual Violence

    Quick tips on covering sexual violence, from preparation to writing the story.

  • Dart Award Honorable Mention

    A Hidden Cause of Chronic Illness

    This illuminating feature explores the connection between domestic violence and chronic illness, drawing on recent scientific research and interviews with medical experts and survivors of violence. Judges called it “a tremendous story on a new concept” and praised Jetter for “clearly articulating the biological ramifications of trauma.” Originally published in More Magazine in November, 2013.

  • Dart Award Winner

    Grace Through Grief: A Shattered Family Recovers

    This intimate seven-part print and multimedia series tells the story of Arturo Martinez, who suffered life-threatening injuries after an intruder broke into his house and sexually assaulted and murdered his wife and daughter while the rest of the family slept. Judges called "Grace Through Grief" a “deeply reported and inspiring portrayal of a family in the aftermath of horror.” Originally published in the Las Vegas Sun in April, 2013.

  • Dart Award Honorable Mention

    The Price of a Stolen Childhood

    This thought-provoking feature tells the stories of victims of child pornography and chronicles their pursuit of restitution from men who view their images, exploring a wide range of legal and emotional issues. Judges praised “The Price of a Stolen Childhood” for “gracefully delivering on its promise to illustrate the emotional, legal and financial impact of a new source of trauma,” and for “showing the complexity of legal interventions and their unintended consequences for victims and survivors.” Originally published in The New York Times Magazine in January, 2013.

  • Excerpt

    Gavin Rees On "The Trauma Factor"

    In a new book about challenges facing journalism, Dart Centre Europe Director Gavin Rees contributes a chapter about recent insights into trauma science and what journalists and media scholars can learn about them.

More Features »

Outside Resources

  • Reporting On Rape and Sexual Violence

    Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Young Women

    The Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Young Women saw a need to create a Media Toolkit that addresses common issues stemming from how media currently structures news around rape and sexual violence, and how journalists can better report on these issues.

  • Futures Without Violence: Domestic, Dating and Sexual Violence

  • A Frustrating Search for Justice

    Center for Public Integrity

    An investigation of the institutional barriers to justice for victims of sexual assault on college campuses.

  • Child Sexual Abuse

    National Center for PTSD

    A National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet. It details the effects of sexual abuse on children, and adults exposed to sexual abuse as children.

  • Men and Sexual Trauma

    National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    A fact sheet defining sexual assault among males and giving an overview of its immediate and long-term effects.

  • Sexual Assault Against Females

    National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    A fact sheet defining sexual assault among females and giving an overview of its immediate and long-term effects.

  • Sexual Assault FAQs


    Answers to frequently asked questions about sexual assault from the United States federal government source for women's health information.

  • Cardinal Law

    Boston Phoenix

    Complete coverage of the 2002 Catholic Church priest sexual abuse scandal.

  • Telling the Truth About Rape

    Poynter Online

    A series of essays by journalists exploring the coverage of sexual assault.

  • Covering Tragedy

    ABC Radio

    2007 Ochberg Fellow Lisa Millar talks about trauma journalism on the National Media Report.