IPSO launches information for survivors of sexual offences at Women’s Aid Conference

IPSO has launched a revised public information leaflet for survivors and victims of sexual offences at the Women’s Aid Conference in Birmingham

The information for survivors is designed to help people understand the rules which newspapers, magazines and digital news services regulated by IPSO must follow when reporting on sexual offences. It informs them about what to expect from journalists, empowering them to speak to the media should they wish to, and to know where to go for help if they do not.   

A roundtable discussion at the Women’s Aid Conference (12-13 July, 2023) will introduce IPSO and cover the reporting of sexual offences by the media. There will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions about IPSO, the way the press reports and how survivors and families can deal with approaches made by journalists or make complaints about reporting.   

The Head of Standards and Regulation at IPSO, Jane Debois says the work is enriched by engaging with organisations like Women’s Aid:  

“Our work with representative organisations, such as Women’s Aid supports our efforts to promote high standards of journalism among the publications we regulate. We are proud of this work and this latest information for the public on the reporting of sexual offences should provide important help for women and organisations who support them.   

“In addition, IPSO has guidance for journalists on reporting of sexual offences which provides a framework to report on these issues appropriately and with sensitivity.”  

 Teresa Parker, Head of Media, Brand & Relationships at Women’s Aid says IPSO was invited to the conference for the second year running because of the significance of the information they can provide to survivors and victims of sexual offences.  She said: 

“At Women’s Aid we are really pleased to welcome IPSO to speak at our National Conference for the second year running, to reflect on working together to encourage best practice in the reporting of domestic abuse, and to introduce to our member services the new guidance on the reporting of sexual offenses we have advised on. We really value the opportunity for our member organisations to speak directly to IPSO, to better understand press regulation and have the opportunity to ask questions and share experiences.”   

The theme for the two-day Women’s Aid conference is ‘Transforming the future for survivors together’. It will have a wide range of talks, panels and workshops with practical solutions for key policy and practice issues that affect services and survivors.  

 IPSO has a number of valuable resources that can help survivors of sexual offences including a domestic abuse leaflet that was launched at the Women’s Aid conference last year.It also has information on how victims can contact IPSO about Private Advisory Notices which can be used in the case of press intrusion, as well as other support. 

The press has a responsibility to adhere to high editorial standards. Care must be taken to ensure that the identities of victims of sexual offences are not revealed, and no other private information is included in a story that can identify survivors and cause them more distress. IPSO guidance also puts together useful case studies to aid journalists and editors reporting on such cases.   

For more information on how IPSO can help survivors as well as members of the press, please contact: inquiries@ipso.co.uk 

 Published 12 June 2023