Working with the media

Media professionals, including social media outlets, should be included in any implementation strategy for a new law on violence against women. In order to effectively implement laws addressing violence against women, the public must first be made aware of those laws. In addition to communicating the substance of the laws, the media can help shape public perceptions about violence against women in general and build public demand for new laws addressing violence against women. The media plays a significant role in educating and raising awareness about violence against women, but that role can have both positive and negative affects on the fight against violence. The subject matter chosen for coverage by the media, in addition to how those topics are portrayed, has a strong impact on the public’s perception regarding those issues. For example, femicide and domestic violence cases are often mischaracterized in the media. Advocates should take seriously the charge to consistently engage with and educate media professionals about the dynamics of violence against women the impact that their work has on the issue. The following resources for media professionals and activists address the issue of how to present violence against women in the media without perpetuating stereotypes or sensationalizing the subject. (See also Media sub-section in Advocacy)

Picturing a Life Free from Violence: Media and Communications Strategies to End Violence Against Women (UNIFEM)

Reporting Gender-based Violence (Inter Press Service)

Mission Possible: A Gender and Media Advocacy Toolkit (World Association for Christian Communication)

Women and Media Resources (Internews)

Take Back the Tech (Association for Progressive Communications)

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