News reports are where most people get their knowledge about specific incidents of violence against women as well as general stories about its nature and prevalence. Good reporting can play a vital role in increasing understanding of violence against women and challenging its place in our society.
On the other hand, irresponsible reporting can reinforce myths about the ‘causes’ of violence. Be it through highlighting what a victim was wearing, or by painting rapists and abusers as abnormal ‘monsters’, these myths confuse the issue. They blow some dangers out of proportion and reduce awareness of others. They encourage victim blaming and deflect attention from the perpetrator, and discourage women from reporting violence against them.