Section 1: Victim Media Advocacy
Crime Victims and Public Awareness
Impact on Your Organization
Educating the Media
Impact of Coverage Can Affect Victims
Types of News Stories
Major Concerns of Coverage
Impact On Victims of Specific Crimes
Cultural Competency
Victim Privacy v. Media
The Role of Victim Service Providers
Victim Referrals to the Media
Tips for Crime Victims and Survivors

Link to A Guide for Journalists Who Report on Crime and Crime Victims
Link to Crime Victim Outreach Tip Sheets
Victim Media Advocacy:
How to Facilitate Sensitive and Respectful Treatment of Crime Victims


a. Foreword
b. Publication Project Sponsors
c. Introduction


Victim advocates and the news media share a common goal of educating the American public about crime and victimization and its impact on individuals and communities. Reliable and trusting relationships among crime victims, victim service providers, and the media can help reach this goal and ensure that crime victims and survivors are treated with dignity and respect by the news media.

Victim assistance organizations and the news media often rely on “the power of the personal story” of crime victims and survivors to relay the often devastating impact that crime has on their lives. When crime victims are provided with guidance and resources to help them speak out, they can become passionate, articulate spokespersons to address victims’ needs, rights, and concerns.

There are two initial components to this series:

A Media Guide for Victim Service Providers features two sections. Section I addresses how victim advocates can facilitate sensitive and respectful treatment of crime victims by the news media, effectively advocate for victims in the media, and serve as their liaisons to media professionals. Section II is designed to help victim assistance organizations build positive relations with the news media. This guide is coauthored by Anne Seymour and Bonnie Bucqueroux.

A Guide for Journalists Who Report on Crime and Crime Victims can help journalists fulfill their unique role in helping people understand and work to improve the ways in which the United States deals with crime and victimization. This guide is also designed to provide the most current, complete, and specific information and advice on reporting on victims and witnesses, as well as their families and friends. In addition, it is intended to explain the role of victim advocates and service providers and explore ways that journalists can work with them effectively to serve the needs of victims in the context of promoting public safety. This guide was written by Bonnie Bucqueroux with support from Anne Seymour.

(top of page)

Publication Project Sponsors

These publications were developed by Justice Solutions, NPO, in conjunction with Anne Seymour and Bonnie Bucqueroux serving as co-authors and consultants and funded under a cooperative agreement from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office for Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Justice Solutions is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing rights, resources, and respect for victims and communities affected by crime.

This document was prepared by Justice Solutions under grant number 2002-VF-GX-K013, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

(top of page)



photoVictim service providers have a key role in educating media professionals about how their coverage of crime, victimization, and individual cases affects victims and survivors, as well as organizations and agencies that serve them. In addition to serving victims as advocates in the aftermath of crime, they can publicly advocate for responsible, sensible media coverage of issues related to victimization and serve as sources for timely, relevant, and accurate data about crime and victimization. The news media are not “advocates” for crime victims. Journalists are objective observers and reporters of important current issues in society, with crime and victimization among such issues. Over the years, news media professionals have been a driving force in publicizing vital information and trends about public safety. The media—

(Top of Page)