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LifeWire and Domestic Violence

Media contact

Wendi Lindquist
LifeWire Communications & Events Specialist
wendil@lifewire.org
425-562-8840 ext. 249

Writing about domestic violence (DV)

Historically, media coverage of domestic violence has perpetuated myths and present a false impression of what happened. Pitfalls to avoid include victim-blaming, excusing an abuser’s behavior, claiming an abusive incident came from out of the blue, and not labeling DV murders as such.

Place crimes or events within the context of domestic violence. Acknowledge that DV is not a private matter, it impacts our communities and businesses. Convey that DV is a pattern of abusive behavior that often escalates when a survivor is trying to leave or has left a relationship. Focus on an abuser’s actions rather than a victim’s behavior.

In 2008, the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence put together a media guide for writing about DV. While the data and some of the language may be outdated, it still offers a good starting place for covering domestic violence crimes accurately and completey.

WSCADV’s Guide for Journalists and Other Media Professionals →