Fixed It: Accused rapist is not the object of sympathy

The Daily Telegraph reported that the NSW Supreme Court again refused bail to Douglas Dixon, who is accused of kidnapping, drugging and raping a woman.

The whole tone of the headline is sympathetic, calling him a “dad” not a man charged with rape, and calling it a “plea for bail” instead of reporting that it’s the third time the court has refused his bail applications. The alleged victim in this case doesn’t even get a mention. She’s invisible and irrelevant to the reporting of violent crimes allegedly committed against her. 

To be clear, the man has not yet been tried and he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Only the court can find him guilty or not guilty. This commentary is not speculating on his guilt or innocence, it is specifically and only about how men’s violence against women is reported in the media. 

Men accused of violent crimes against women are all too often given more sympathy and made more human by the media than the women they allegedly attack. This is both the reason Fixed It exists and the reason it should not have to exist. 

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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