Lagos – The Zone 2 Police Command, Lagos on Wednesday urged journalists to report all cases of sexual and gender-based violence professionally.
The command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Dolapo Badmus, made the appeal at a one-day seminar for media practitioners on “Investigating and Reporting Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)’’.
The training was organised by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT).
Dolapo said that journalists should avoid judgmental languages in their write ups.
“Writing about a survivour’s history, what they wear, what were they doing or what time of day the abuse occurred could imply survivour blame.
“Generally, contextual factors such as those just listed should be avoided in all media reporting on SGBV.
“Unless justifiably relevant to the story, survivours and perpetrators’ ethnicity should not be reported,’’ Badmaus said.
She also urged journalists to give life and hope to survivours and also indicate prevention measures in their write-ups.
“Treat survivours with respect, ensure privacy by conducting interviews in a secure environment and avoid questions that are sensitive.
“Report precisely, concisely and carefully for clarity of purpose and also avoid putting up details that can further put a survivour at risk,’’ she advised.
Dolapo urged journalists to work in collaboration with the police in order to bring perpetrators to book and save survivours from shame.
Also, Mrs Bola Akinsete, a member of DSVRT, said that journalists should be mindful of the way they describe sexual attack on survivours.
Meanwhile, the Coordinator of DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, has said there was the need to train media personnel in reporting SGBV properly.
“It is very important that journalists understand and describe key concepts and basic principles of reporting gender-based violence.
“I believe this training will improve participants’ ability to write in a way that will be well understood by the community and also expose the atrocious acts in our society,’’ she said.
Vivour-Adeniyi urged journalist to always address victims as a survivours.