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Media guidelines for reporting on Child Sexual Abuse

Acts of sexual abuse towards children are heinous, and their consequences are often devastating. Responses to media reports of child sexual abuse range from horror and moral outrage by the public, to shame and risk of further revictimization for the survivor.

Journalists have great power to bring this public health problem into collective consciousness, and a responsibility to do it well. This is the first of twelve-part series as part of Safer Internet Day we cover the areas of Privacy, Language, and Narrative in reporting stories of Child Sexual Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse Material. In addition, we have created a framework for media guidelines. This guide is intended for media outlets and control standards to ensure that Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) stories follow best practises set by child protection organisations. Our goal is to promote the application of these guidelines around the world while maintaining the vital reporting needed to spread the world on these crimes and increase the publics awareness on what to do if they come across CSAM online.

Access our CSAM Media guidelines here.

Reporting about child sexual abuse should empower survivors to report abuse while raising awareness of the problem among the general public. It breaks the taboo surrounding the topic providing political support for preventive and retrospective support services, and re-enforces the importance of online safety to young people and their carers. Articles capture the horror of the acts, and the contextual factors relating to the issue, without providing identifying details of the individuals subjected to them. INHOPE is always looking for ways to grow our impact and work together with organisation to fight Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) online as well as reduce the revictimisation of those impacted.

If you work in media policy and media guidelines and have input for our team on our template for Media Guidelines on CSAM reporting then please reach out to communications@inhope.org

Media guidelines for reporting on Child Sexual Abuse
15.02.2022
Photo by INHOPE
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Journalists have great power to bring this public health problem into collective consciousness, and a responsibility to do it well.

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