How can we all have a better conversation about sexual and domestic abuse? We think that working with the media and exploring new ideas for content together can help society understand the impact these experiences can have on those around us. In the last few months we’ve met with video reporting staff from the Evening Standard and The Independent. The interaction was planned to make friends, look at how we could inspire ideas and potentially collaborate on new video content.
In an hour and a half, nine people talked about sexual violence; sharing experiences, frustrations and reflections. A group of people with personal experience of sexual assault, rape and childhood sexual abuse, along with experts who work in the sector, joined the senior journalists for coffee.
We talked about…
Discussions focused on survivors’ experiences of liaising with the police and going through the courts. Survivors shared their experiences of being told what to wear in court and how to behave.
There was a conversation about how the media can shape a juror’s understanding and ultimately how they might make a decision on a sexual violence case.
“Overall excellent experience. A fantastic workshop, I feel much more prepared to tackle video stories on this topic.”
Amy Ashenden, LGBTQ Correspondent & Assistant & Video Editor, Evening Standard online
We chatted about images and representation in the media and how video can be more creative in portraying survivor’s experiences. The group encouraged the journalists to move away from potentially damaging stereotypical images like of a person in a dark corner covering their face with their hands, as these can often be misleading and depict weakness, passivity or being stripped of agency.
They raised the importance and need for a person to see themselves represented in print and video in order to recognise their own experiences. That courage and strength can also be portrayed when reporting sexual or domestic violence and abuse.
“I took a lot from it, it was very important I feel to simply introduce [and] motivate a critical grappling with the issue of sexual violence, and be inspired by the first-person accounts of the participants brought along as volunteers. The multiplicity of volunteers was really helpful and illuminating…it’s an incredibly useful session, if for nothing other than reminding us how much there is to listen to and integrate into our work on this particular topic, and the benefit of these kinds of sessions for a host of other topics.”
Tom Goulding, Video reporter, Independent
A new video series
Since we met, a group of people from Angles are collaborating with The Independent on an online video series. Inspired by the conversations from the interaction and with On Road Media’s support, in consultation with Dr Nina Burrowes and Winnie Li, the series focuses on the aftermath of sexual violence, what it means to be a survivor and reflections on the impact abuse can have on careers. It touches on people’s experiences with the criminal justice system, media representation and advice for others.
Other interactions between Angles and the media in 2017 have taken place with BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, Metro and The Observer. Read our Testimonials from participants to find out about their experiences.