"Language can never be neutral; it creates versions of reality. To describe an event is inevitably to characterize that event."
~ Bavelas & Coates

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Journalists play an important role by informing the public about the significant impact of sexual violence in our communities. MNCASA is eager to connect reporters and the media with statistics, sources, spokespeople and stories that can inform and improve reporting on sexual violence.

Reporting on Sexual Violence:
A Guide for Journalists

Reporting on Sexual Violence: A Guide for Journalists (PDF) is a valuable source of guidance and support for reporters, editors, and others as they consider the language of reporting on sexual violence. 

This guide supports the work of the media by providing:

Insights into current trends

Analysis of recent major news stories

Resources to report on sexual violence with accuracy and sensitivity

Sources for statistics and information as background to news stories

Contacts for local, state, and national experts on sexual violence

We believe the recommendations in this guide improve professional communications by maximizing accuracy and clarity in sexual violence reporting, and avoiding words that create confusion, perpetuate misinformation, hurt victims, or contribute to a climate of doubt and victim blame.

The Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) developed this guide with input from journalists, state and federal administrators, victim advocates, legal and law enforcement professionals, and educators.

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