Civil society reacts to unprofessional media reporting of gender-based violence

Through a initiative of the Albanian Women Empowerment Network, a group of 36 civil society organizations came together and reacted publicly against the unprofessional reporting of a domestic violence story.

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Civil society reacts to unprofessional media reporting of gender-based violence - NewsMavens
Dua të të bëj të Lumtur on Top Channel Albania

Why this story matters:

In an Albanian TV show focusing on reconciliation, a victim of domestic abuse was treated in a highly inappropriate manner. The show hosts justified and legitimized marital violence, and attempted to create a platform for reconciliation between the victim and the perpetrator.

The woman's vulnerability was taken advantage of by media. She apologized to her husband for going to the police -- as a result, he was detained for eight months.

Although the woman was not coerced, the civil society organizations judged that the media should have opted for a more responsible narrative and not underestimate the violent episodes or empathize with the perpetrator. As a result of these protests, the Audiovisual Media Authority issued a commitment to look into repeated incidents of this type in audiovisual companies.

Details from the story:

  • On January 12, 2019 an Albanian TV show interviewed a victim of domestic abuse and implied that she was partially responsible for the violence she was subjected to, and that she ought to reconcile with her abuser.
  • Thanks to the Albanian Women Empowerment Network, 36 civil society organizations came together and reacted publicly against the unprofessional reporting of this story, also calling for an official reaction of the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA).
  • The public call of the organizations found extensive public support and was echoed in online portals, while there was also an immediate reaction from Audio Visual Media Authority.
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