Out of the Shadows: How information provision by broadcasters can support people affected by abuse and violence

In 2020, a project was commissioned by campaigning organisations to develop a code of ethics and guidelines for television companies to ensure supportive information was provided after all programmes which feature forms of abuse or/and violence, regardless of whether they were shown live, downloaded or streamed. For this project, I co-researched the relevant information needed to support and draft the guidelines. The role consisted of consulting with key stakeholders and assisting in revising the guidelines with the team. As well as write up relevant case studies of good approaches to the use of information/screen cards and the display of information before or after the television program.

Several case studies were reviewed. This included EastEnders Ruby Allen
dedicated a whole episode tackling rape culture. Another case study explored
was Hollyoaks storyline focusing on football coach Buster who was abusing his
power to groom Ollie, one of his football students, and looking into the
historical abuse of a previous student, Brody, and how it impacted his
life. Television shows such as Coronation Street and Hollyoaks have
covered stories focusing on sexual abuse and sexual violence. Shows such as
these can use their platform to develop a talking point on sexual abuse. UK
Says No More (2019) states that mainstream TV has increased the number of
reports and the number of survivors of violence seeking support and media
coverage over the Me-too movement. The Me-Too movement has increased awareness of sexual violence and therefore increased the rates of reports.

The project’s aim for the campaigning organisation is to advocate with Ofcom
and TV companies to adopt these guidelines. Thus, making a national
significance to survivors, with the introduction of support details on programs
demonstrating any violence or/and abuse, could encourage victims to report or
seek support.

The guidelines are available below for download:

Please see link for further information on the campaign:


If you require further information, advice or need support, please contact one of the following organisations:

1.       Rape Crisis: Helpline 0808 802 9999


2.       Victim Support: Helpline 0333 300 6389

3.       The Survivors Trust: 0808 801 0818

4.       Survivors UK – Male Rape and Sexual Abuse Support



UK Says No More (2019) UK Says No More. Available at: https://www.hestia.org/uksaysnomore

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