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 into the relevant information that was needed to support and draft the guidelines. The role consisted of consulting with key stakeholders and assist in the revision of the guidelines with the team. As well as write up relevant case studies of good approaches to the use of information/screen cards, the display of information before or following the television program.

The guidelines are available below for download:

Several case studies were reviewed. This included EastEnders Ruby Allen dedicated a whole episode tackling rape culture. Another case study explored was Hollyoaks story line focusing on football coach Buster who was abusing his power to groom Ollie, one of his football students, as well as 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, as well as the 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 aim of the project for the campaigning organisation, 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.

Please see link for further information on the campaign:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/provide-support-information-after-tv-programmes-available-online

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

1.       Rape Crisis: Helpline 0808 802 9999

www.rapecrisis.org.uk

2.       Victim Support: Helpline 0333 300 6389

3.       The Survivors Trust: 0808 801 0818
www.thesurvivorstrust.org

4.       Survivors UK – Male Rape and Sexual Abuse Support

www.survivorsuk.org

Reference:

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

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