The Write to End Violence Against Women Pledge
A charter for best practice in the reporting of violence against women and girls (VAWG)
Zero Tolerance Commits to:
- Provide media outlets with detailed guidance on reporting VAWG.
- Deliver free seminars for media professionals on the causes of VAWG and how this should impact reporting.
- Offer ongoing phone support for reporters and content producers on the reporting of VAWG.
- Supply media outlets with a current list of contacts for reporting on VAWG.
- Support media outlets to undertake the charter process and implement relevant policies.
- Audit annually the gender balance of content & byline production and publish the results.
Editors Commit to:
- Circulate Zero Tolerance Handle with Care guidance to all staff members involved in content creation.
- Ensure that images chosen to illustrate stories about VAWG do not distort the story, its seriousness or contribute to the problem by further objectifying women.
- Support staff to attend Zero Tolerance training on reporting of VAWG and its causes.
- Allow Zero Tolerance access to archives to research and monitor VAWG reporting.
Journalists and Producers Commit to:
- Conduct all contact with survivors of abuse and violence with respect for their experience, dignity and safety.
- Avoid the use of humour in reporting VAWG which risks minimising its pervasiveness and severity.
- Refer to national and international statistics to place individual incidents in their wider social context to provide their audience with the ‘bigger picture’
- Consider the view, held by both the Scottish Government and Zero Tolerance, that commercial sexual exploitation including prostitution, pornography and human trafficking are part of the same continuum of violence against women.
- Never imply the victim is to blame for any abuse they experience through reference to their behavior.
- Accurately portray perpetrators of violence as men, boys, husbands, fathers etcetera. Instead of using terms such as brute, beast, fiend or monster which distance their abuse from ‘ordinary’ men. VAWG is always committed by ordinary men.
- Identify the real cause of violence against women – gender inequality and do not imply alcohol, football, or other external factors are to blame.