"Changing the Narrative"

[Content Note: Rape culture; sexual violence.]

Jessica Luther has written a terrific piece for Sports on Earth about how sports reporters write about sexual assault cases involving allegations against athletes—and how they should be writing about it.
We end up relying on sports journalists, a resoundingly male group, to talk about a crime whose victims are overwhelmingly women.

...Many women never report their assaults, and they may be made to feel that they're at fault for a crime committed against them. Because of this, sports journalists — whether they like it or not — have a responsibility to be fair in how they write about sexual assault cases.
She speaks to four experts on sports and/or rape culture (of which I am one), and breaks the advice down into six categories: Treat Victims as Human Beings, There Is No Right Way for a Victim to Act After an Assault, Read the Police Report, Know the Facts about False Reporting, Understand the Personal Costs of Reporting, and Avoid the Sensational.

It's such a good piece, and a perfect opening salvo in a conversation that needs to happen. Now the people at whom this advice is directed need to have it.

I hope you'll read the whole thing—and bookmark it for sending to sports writers, the next time they fail to write sensitively and responsibility about a sexual assault case.

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