Roundtable | Breaking the Silence: Reporting on High-Profile Cases of Sexual Violence

May 22, 2024
Reid Hall
4 rue de Chevreuse
Paris, 75006, France
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In the past year, there has been a new wave of high-profile investigations into allegations of sexual exploitation, abuse, and rape, based on testimony from a range of individuals—including women, gender minorities, and men—who had the courage to collaborate with journalists. But what does it entail to work with survivors of such traumatic events? 

A panel of esteemed journalists and authors will discuss the successes and perils of these investigations, in a conversation moderated by Marie Doezema, Special Projects Manager for the Paris Center. Rianna Croxford, Hélène Devynck, Lorraine de Foucher, and Juliana Ruhfus will discuss how journalists and editors can ensure the protection of survivors – both those who come forward publicly, and those who wish to remain anonymous. What measures are taken to prepare sources for the potential impact of publication and social media? And what unfolds when law enforcement launches a criminal investigation or when accused parties challenge survivors' testimonies and journalistic integrity in court?


Rianna Croxford is an award-winning Investigations Correspondent for BBC News. Based in London, her reporting covers a wide range of areas including politics and social affairs. She also presents and produces podcasts and documentaries. Her recent series for BBC Panorama, “World of Secrets: The Abercrombie Guys”, has led to the FBI opening a criminal investigation and a lawsuit accusing the former CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch of running a sex-trafficking operation.     

Hélène Devynck is a journalist and screenwriter. She worked for the TF1 group for over 20 years. Impunité (Seuil, 2023) is her first book.


Lorraine de Foucher is an investigative journalist at Le Monde. She primarily writes about violence and also produces documentaries, such as "Femicides" (France 2) in 2020, which received a special mention at the Europa Prize, and "Philippines, Online Child Rape, the Hell Behind the Screen" (Arte) in 2023, winner of the DIG Award in Italy and selected for the Albert Londres Prize. She is also the author of the column "Loving Each Other as We Part," published as a collection by Fayard and adapted into a podcast for Spotify.

Juliana Ruhfus took over as director of Dart Centre Europe (DCE) in 2022, a relationship that started in 2010 with her attendance of one of Dart’s first UK retreats. Juliana is an award-winning internationally known broadcaster and journalist with a career spanning more than twenty-five years working as reporter, film-maker and executive producer in documentary and current affairs production. She received the Dart Ochberg fellowship in 2012, followed by a scholarship for Harvard’s Global Trauma Programme in 2013, and more than ten years as a trustee on DCE’s European board of Directors. Outside DCE Juliana continues to work as a mentor on investigative journalism projects for organizations that include and Open Democracy. You can find out more about her work here.

Laura Brimo will serve as interpreter. A translator, an editor and a bookseller, she has worked as an editor for various publishing houses in France, including Gallimard, Gallmeister, and Les éditions du Sous-Sol after living in New York and collaborating with the Book Office of the French Embassy. She has also been part of a co-owned bookstore in Paris for the past years, and continues translating novels, short-stories and essays under various pen names.


The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma is a resource center and global network of journalists, journalism educators and health professionals dedicated to improving media coverage of trauma, conflict and tragedy. It is a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, with international satellite offices in London and Melbourne. Through the innovative work of its staff and the active engagement of volunteer news professionals, clinicians, and researchers, the Dart Center has been able to respond to exceptional events challenging journalism while expanding a core commitment to innovative training and support for all news professionals encountering violence and tragedy in the practice of their craft. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma is a global leader in journalism ethics and innovative reporting practice; news organizations' duty of care;  safety training for news professionals; and expanding press freedom.

The Columbia Global Paris Center addresses pressing global issues that are at the forefront of international education and research: agency and gender; climate and the environment; critical dialogues for just societies; encounters in the arts; and health and medical science.

Columbia Global brings together major global initiatives from across the university to advance knowledge and foster global engagement. Those initiatives include the Columbia Global Centers, Columbia World Projects, the Committee on Global Thought, and the Institute for Ideas and Imagination. Our mission is to address complex global challenges through groundbreaking scholarly pursuits, leadership development, cutting-edge research, and projects that aim for social impact. Our long-term goal is to reimagine the university’s role in society as not only a nexus for learning and intellectual exploration but also as a catalyst for creativity and impact locally, regionally, and globally.


Nestled in the Montparnasse district, Reid Hall hosts several Columbia University initiatives: the Columbia Global Paris Center, the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Columbia Undergraduate Programs, M.A. in History and Literature, and the GSAPP Shape of Two Cities Program. This unique combination of resources is enhanced by our global network whose mission is to expand the University's engagement the world over through educational programs, research initiatives, regional partnerships, and public events.

The views and opinions expressed by speakers and guests do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the Columbia Global Paris Center or its affiliates.

This event will be held in English.

Co-sponsored by the Columbia Global Paris Center and Dart Centre Europe.

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This event will conclude with a cocktail reception.