Reporting GBV: Journalists Trained To Protect Survivors

Over 25 journalists have been trained on reporting Gender-Based Violence by Medecins du Monde Suisse while introducing a document with a code of ethics that can be used as a working guide to reporting cases of GBV, revealing stories of survivors.

Participants met on December 9th, 2021 at Blue Pearl Hotel Bamenda to discuss effective ways of reporting stories of survivors of gender-based violence. It is in line with this that a working document on Gender-Based Violence was introduced.

The Code of Ethics has principles of ‘do no harm’, sorting out ways to reduce the suffering of the vulnerable, while fighting gender inequality and promoting access to health for women and girls.

Singeh Helen is a Gender-Based Violence manager working with the organization Medecin du Monde Suisse, a humanitarian-based organization in Switzerland aimed at improving the health conditions of women and children as well as the vulnerable population in Switzerland and the rest of the world.

"We have a listening and orientation unit at Regional Hospital Bamenda where we receive all survivors of Gender-Based Violence while providing medical and legal needs", she explained, urging all survivors of GBV to visit the unit.

"We are out to provide care to survivors of GBV in Bamenda, as well as protect them. Sometimes, journalists increase stigmatization rather than protection. The way we tell our stories goes a long way to determine if we will protect the survivor or expose them,” she furthered. 

The code of ethics has been made available to guide these journalists and reporters. 

"Before you write a story, it is important to rethink and protect our survivors rather than stigmatizing them. We want to reduce the ignorance of GBV and make everybody aware, especially cautioning journalists on how to report on GBV cases or its survivors", Singeh Helen expatiated.

Journalists have to protect survivors, not expose them, she harped. 

Communicators, therefore, will have the need to be reminded from time to time on how they treat survivors of GBV in their reports so that they are not stigmatized which may leave a negative indelible mark on their person.

By Fozoa Vaniela
UBa Student

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