CBAA Webinars

WEBINAR: Responsible reporting of domestic violence - 14 December

Helen Henry, 23rd November 2015

The CBAA has committed to supporting responsible reporting of domestic violence in the community broadcasting sector in line with guidelines released by Our Watch

These guidelines recognise the important role of media in bringing attention to the issue of domestic violence and in driving the cultural change that is required to see it reduced and eradicated.

You can find the guidelines below and further information here.

Who is this webinar for?

It is critical that all community broadcasters understand the importance of responsible reporting of domestic violence and how they can contribute at their station. Station managers and on-air presenters are particularly encouraged to attend to find out more about the guidelines and ask questions about how you can apply them at your station or in your program.

Presented by:

Kristine Ziwica of Our Watch, an organisation established to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call 1800 RESPECT for advice and support. In an emergency, call police on 000.

Key principles of responsible reporting on domestic violence

  1. Name it. Always use the term “domestic violence” when it applies.
  2. Safety comes first. Ensure reporting doesn’t compromise the survivor’s safety.
  3. Know the law. Be aware of the legal parameters that outline what can and can’t be reported in a situation where a protection order of some kind has been issued, or where children are involved.
  4. Violence is never acceptable. The perpetrator is always solely responsible for a violent situation.
  5. Domestic violence is serious and life threatening. It is never appropriate to sensationalise or trivialise domestic violence.
  6. Acknowledge that this crime has both a victim and a perpetrator. Don’t focus only on what happened to the survivor. Emphasise that someone perpetrated the violence, and it is a crime.
  7. Take the emphasis away from ‘stranger danger’. Most violence against women is perpetrated by somebody known to the survivor.
  8. Use sensitivity and good judgement when reporting survivors’ stories. Do everything you can to uphold the survivor’s dignity, and remember there may be trauma associated even with events that occurred many years ago.
  9. Contextualise the story with statistics. Use statistics on domestic violence to frame the story.
  10. Domestic violence has a significant gendered dimension. Acknowledge domestic violence occurs in a context where power and resources are unequally distributed between genders, and that women are much more likely to be victims than men.
  11. Humanise the story with appropriate terminology. Refer to victims by name where possible and where consent has been given. If that isn’t appropriate, be as specific as you can: “woman who has been a victim of domestic violence,” or “survivor.”
  12. Include information about available support options for people who have experienced domestic violence. Including the national 1800RESPECT line.
  13. Call on experts for comment. Don’t just rely on police or the judiciary for comment. Use community experts to put the issues in context.

See the webinar presentation here:

CBA Webinar: Responsible Reporting of Domestic Violence from CMTO on Vimeo.

This webinar was held at 1.00 PM on Monday 14 December 2015.

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Recent events in Western Australia have once again raised the issue of family violence and the urgent need for greater public awareness of this widespread social problem. 


Today, on behalf of the community broadcasting sector, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia joins other media organisations at Parliament House to make a public stand against violence towards women and their children.


Increasingly community broadcasters are taking on the responsibility of providing warnings and other information to their communities in times of emergency.