Fixed It: Getting stabbed is not a “fight”

My GC reported  a man was charged with “wound person, intend to cause grievous bodily harm (DV), assault occasioning actual bodily harm (DV), common assault (DV), destroy or damage property (DV), and possess prohibited drug” after a woman was stabbed in the leg earlier this week.

The headline claimed she was in a “fight” when she was stabbed, implying it was an equal or at least mutual dispute. This matter hasn’t been to court yet, so we don’t know what happened, other than that the police said the woman was taken to hospital with stab wounds and a man known to her was charged with multiple domestic abuse offences. 

I’ve lost count of the times journalists have argued about fixes because they misunderstand sub judice contempt rules. Avoiding sub-juidice contempt does not mean reporting violence as the victims fault. In fact it forbids publishing anything that “criticises or creates sympathy for the accused OR THE VICTIM” (my emphasis). 

Victims have little legal standing and are not represented in court, so criticising them or creating sympathy for their alleged abusers carries a smaller legal risk. That doesn’t make it any less wrong or misleading. 

(as usual, if you’re reading this on social media, links are in the OP at www.patreon.com/JaneGilmore )

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

If you would like to know more about how and why the media’s erasure of men’s violence against women occurs, the Fixed It book is out now! Buy your copy here or at any good bookstore. Extracts available on why Fixed It started in The Guardian, rape and other violence myths in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald and the Good Guy trope on my website.

1800 RESPECT
Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
Ph: 1800 737 732
www.1800respect.org.au 

Djirra – Aboriginal Family Violence Response & Support Service
9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday
Ph: 1800 105 303
djirra.org.au 

Suicide Call Back Service
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1300 659 467
www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Kids Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 55 1800
www.kidshelp.com.au

MensLine Australia
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1300 78 99 78
www.mensline.org.au