Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Public Awareness


Overview of the Issue

Accurate and responsible reporting about domestic violence can help to inform the public about the issue as well as make people aware of what help is available. Unfortunately, this is not always the way domestic violence is portrayed in the media. Rather, domestic violence reporting often reinforces common misconceptions about what domestic violence is, is sensationalized to make it more interesting to readers, and does not provide information about where victims can get help.

The media is faced with challenges when reporting on this issue. Reporters often do not have the time or resources to provide the level of coverage they would like. They are sometimes unaware of what services are available in their communities, and do not have established relationships with domestic violence experts to help them put the incidents they are covering into context within the larger framework of domestic violence.

Similarly, domestic violence service providers are often frustrated with how the issue is covered by the media. They are not often used as sources to help explain domestic violence incidents within the larger framework the issue and to explain what services are available to assist victims.