FixedIt: She wasn’t sexually assaulted by a bus stop

The Herald Sun reported that police a searching for a man who sexually assaulted a teenage girl at a bus stop in Carrum Downs.

The man is aged in his late 20s to early 40s, about 170cm tall of a thin build with short black hair. His car has distinct spoke rims (photo of similar car in the HS article).

Despite the fact that police are calling for people who know anything about the man to contact Crime Stoppers, the man himself is not present in the headline.

Invisible perpetrators are a constant in FixedIt. It matters because headlines are supposed to be a short summary of the article and when the article is about violence men commit or are accused of committing, the headline is not telling the story, it’s erasing the story

If all the violent crimes committed by men were reported in the active voice with the perpetrators and their crime as the subject of every headline, it would be overwhelming. Because it is overwhelming.

But we are journalists and it is not our job to erase the truth so our audience is not made to feel uncomfortable. Our job is to describe what is happening in our society. And the sad truth is that around 90 percent of violent crimes are committed by men. Avoiding this fact doesn’t make it less true but it does make it much more difficult to address the underlying cause.

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron


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