29 May 2018

[Links] Concerns about the Reportage of Sexual Violence

I wrote about the legal and ethical issues involved in reporting sexual violence over at scroll.in.

Extracts:
...the tale isn’t necessarily a story about the malicious against the well-intentioned. The law may well be breached not just by those who are ignorant of it or who maliciously choose not to respect it but also by those who believe that it is structurally toxic.
...even where there is law, there is uncertainty. And, where law is scant, the uncertainty only rises. The most glaring example of this is probably demonstrated by the intrusive and explicit reportage of sexual violence that is sometimes ostensibly used to raise awareness about violence. Although the publication of obscene content is legally prohibited and privacy is a constitutional right, reportage could easily be gratuitously intrusive without reaching the level of incontrovertible illegality.
...clear-cut answers to questions about how to report sexual violence are often hard to come by. The law could be considered to prescribe minimum standards which attempt to protect those who have been subjected to sexual violence. The law alone, however, isn’t enough. Framing reportage in a manner which does not retraumatise victims, and which holds perpetrators to account requires one to go above and beyond the letter of the law.

The entire piece is accessible here.

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