Equal Press #FeatureFriday is a space to highlight individuals or organizations doing noteworthy work in the areas of media, violence prevention, or gender equality.
Featuring Level Up
Level Up is a new feminist organization based in the UK, working for gender equality and to end sexism in three main areas: school & work, harassment & violence, and media & marketing.
“We want a membership from all walks of life. Our race, class, sexuality, gender identity and ability affect our experiences of sexism, we run campaigns that take that into account.
We want feminism to be easy to understand: Plenty of people care about gender equality who haven’t read lots of feminist theory or been involved in activism. Level Up is the place for them.
We want to have fun: Living with sexism can be tiring. We want to make campaigning as fun and enjoyable as possible and try not to take ourselves too seriously all the time.”
Level Up’s most recent achievement came when they successfully campaigned the two largest press regulators (IPSO and IMPRESS) in the UK to introduce media guidelines on reporting domestic violence deaths in a dignified way.
Campaign director Janey Starling commented on their success,
“In the UK, two women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner. In almost every case, there’s a long history of controlling behaviour that escalates to murder, but you’d never know this from the way newspapers report it. We started this campaign alongside victims’ families to end the victim-blaming narrative that newspapers perpetuate in domestic homicide cases. The fact that the press regulator has backed our guidance demonstrates the need for more awareness and training for journalists on this specialist issue – and hopefully this is the beginning of the end of bad reporting”
Level Up is doing fantastic work in the UK and is inspiring to us at Equal Press to work toward similar progress here in British Columbia!
Dignity for dead women: Media guidelines for reporting domestic violence deaths
- Accountability: Place responsibility solely on the killer, which means avoiding speculative “reasons” or “triggers”, or describing the murder as an uncharacteristic event. Homicides are usually underpinned by a longstanding sense of ownership, coercive control and possessive behaviours: they are not a random event.
- Accuracy: Name the crime as domestic violence, instead of “tragedy” or “horror”, and include the National Domestic Violence Helpline at the end of the article: 0808 2000 247.
- Dignity: Avoid sensationalising language, invasive or graphic details that compromise the dignity of the dead woman or her surviving family members.
- Equality: Avoid insensitive or trivialising language or images.
- Images: Avoid using stock images that reinforce the myth that it’s only a physical crime.
To read the full guidelines and report, click here.