Reporting on Sexual Violence in Conflict
Dart Centre Europe has released new guidelines on covering sexual violence in conflict zones, designed for deeper learning, quick reference and easy sharing with colleagues. The guidelines aim to encourage accurate and insightful reporting, while also reducing the risk of further harm to those brave enough to tell their stories. You can access the guidelines here.
Few journalistic challenges carry a greater weight of responsibility than interviewing survivors of sexual violence that occur in conflict. When rape is used in war, it has a devastating impact on individuals and their communities.
Responsible journalism can bring attention and insight to crimes that people have difficulty finding adequate words for. Careless reporting, however, can make things worse by adding to distress and exposing survivors to further danger. These guidelines are written by journalists and filmmakers who regularly work on CRSV (conflict-related sexual violence) issues. They emerge from a recognition that as a collective enterprise journalism needs to do more to define and share best practice. The goal is to achieve more accurate and insightful reporting, while reducing the risk of further harm to those brave enough to tell their stories.
The guidelines come in the form of eight key principles:
THREE FOUNDATIONAL QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE STARTING
Am I sufficiently prepared for this?
Should we be interviewing this person, in this time, and in this place?
Does my interviewee fully understand what they are signing up for?