“How these stories are shared is important because human beings are story-telling and listening creatures. We use narratives to internalise our space. Attitudes are part of what needs to be changed in the battle against domestic violence.”
A major motivating factor in creating WomenSpeak – Women Tell Their Stories of Discrimination was the belief that using first-person narratives of Caribbean women in telling the truth about women’s lives, would lead to greater understanding, empathy and a change in attitude towards those societal norms and practices that give rise to discrimination and violence against women.
Journalists definitely have a part to play in the way stories about intimate partner violence are reported and discussed. Journalists have a point of view and they absolutely do influence public perception of the issue of violence against women. To simply roll out the gruesome details of women being murdered by men, day after day, is just not good enough. I don’t buy the argument that the journalist’s role is to be neutral and just report the facts. The way facts are reported also influences the perception of the story, how the public interprets the facts, and the language people use in their daily lives to speak about violence – not a ’domestic dispute’.
What do you think the journalist’s role should be with regard to dealing with the issue of violence against women in the news.