Section 1:
Crime Victims and Public Awareness
Impact on Your Organization
Educating the Media
Impact of Coverage Can Affect Victims
Types of News Stories
Major Concerns of Coverage
Impact On Victims of Specific Crimes
Cultural Competency
Victim Privacy v. Media
The Role of Victim Service Providers
Victim Referrals to the Media
Tips for Crime Victims and Survivors

Link to A Guide for Journalists Who Report on Crime and Crime Victims
Link to Crime Victim Outreach Tip Sheets

Victim Media Advocacy:
How to Facilitate Sensitive and Respectful Treatment of Crime Victims

5. Impact of Coverage on Victims


a. Benefits of Speaking to the Media
b. Risks of Speaking to the Media

How Crime Coverage Can Affect Victims

From the perspective of crime victims and advocates, the news media often wield a “double-edged sword” in covering crime and victimization. Victim service providers should be aware of both the benefits, as well as risks, of media coverage of crime victims so they can explain options to victims and help them explore both the potentially positive and negative consequences of speaking to the media.

a. Benefits of Speaking to the Media

b. RISKS OF SPEAKING TO THE MEDIA: How Inappropriate or Intrusive          Reporting Can Revictimize Victims in Trauma

Group of young girls laughing, whispering, and pointing at a girl whose head is hung in shame. (Photo staged with professional models).For some victims, the trauma of victimization can be compounded by speaking publicly about their experiences in the aftermath of a crime. It takes time to cope with the shock and trauma of being victimized and to participate in police investigations and criminal or juvenile justice processes. The detrimental mental health consequences of victimization are well documented. Media coverage in the wake of a crime can result in a “secondary victimization” that may exacerbate victims’ trauma and cause unnecessary additional harm. The shame that some victims feel, as well as the blame they sometimes feel from others, can be increased by untimely, inappropriate, or intrusive reporting.

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