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If you are a journalist reporting on sexual offences you may find the following information helpful: Independent Press Standards Organisation’s Guidance on Reporting of Sexual Offences.
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is regularly contacted by editors and journalists seeking advice on how the Editors’ Code of Practice (the Code) applies to the reporting of sexual offences. The Code extends significant protections to the victims of sexual offences to protect their identities.
This guidance provides editors and journalists with a framework for thinking through important questions and some examples of relevant decisions by IPSO’s Complaints Committee.
- There are legal protections for victims of sexual offences.
- The Code also puts restrictions on reporting of sexual offences to protect the identity of victims.
- Carefully consider the information you want to publish to ensure that a victim is not identified, or likely to be identified.
- Take care when making enquiries to avoid disclosure of a victim’s identity.
- Additional protections apply in cases involving children, especially when there is a familial relationship between defendant and victim.
If you are survivor of sexual offences IPSO has also created a guide for contact with the media. This information covers the rules the press should follow when reporting on sexual offences and can help you to decide whether or not you want to speak to the press.