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Media Coverage Blog

  • lirvine
  • 18 August 2017

Media Coverage Blog

Posted by: lirvine | 18 August 2017| Categories:

Hardly a week goes by when we do not see news coverage of recent events relating to the ongoing Child Abuse Inquiry, documentaries detailing past horrors or the abuse of children being used as story lines in television shows. It would seem it is a subject matter that really has become unavoidable but is the way it is handled by the media always a good thing?

It can’t be denied that raising public awareness of such diabolical crimes is generally beneficial; survivors know that they aren’t alone and that there are people out there who want to understand what happened and help if they can. 

A lot of the abuse which reported has taken place in care settings and there is often stigma which surrounds those children that have been in care. They are sometimes labelled as ‘bad’ or at the best ‘troubled’. Blame at having been placed in care sometimes seems to be attributed to the child when it is in fact beyond their control and is a situation that most would struggle to adapt to. Therefore with all the coverage about abuse suffered by some children who have been in care, why isn’t this changing the stigma? Why is empathy still not shown to any great extend but instead there still seems to be a stereotypical view of those who have been in care.

There is no doubt that some investigative documentaries have helped to bring to light certain cover ups which have helped lead the way for investigations to then be carried out. However as with most things that seem to become common place is that people are no longer shocked by it to the same extent but react in a somewhat jaded manner with sighs of “not again” resigned to the fact that this has happened.

If such behaviour ever seems normalised or is cast aside with “it was different times back then”. Such comments take away the lifelong impact of the effects of child abuse.  This is something that the media has yet to capture and perhaps if it did then attitudes would change more towards people in care and also make people understand that even though someone has now left care it does not mean that their experiences during that time have left their memories and lives.  

Here at the Forum it is this lifelong impact that seems to be prevalent in what people tell us as well as what actually happened whilst they were in care. Perhaps the media should cast an eye over how when abuse occurs it can lead to someone’s past being in their present and that an understanding of this can help those affected to recovery and survive. 

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