Crime Victim Advocates Urge Better Ties With Media


The importance of sensitive media coverage of crime victims was highlighted yesterday at the first national conference sponsored by the National Center for Victims of Crime in Washington, D.C. “Journalists are first responders” and should learn how to interview victims, said Frank Ochberg, Michigan State University psychiatry professor and chairman emeritus of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, which trains journalists.

The discussion featured Amy Herdy and Miles Moffeit of the Denver Post, who have investigated sexual abuse of women in the military. One victim military rape victim told the conference that “validation” of the offense against her came not from the military justice system–where she never was told about her assailant’s confession– but rather by agreeing to share her story with the Post. Herdy urged victim advocates attending the conference to build relationships with journalists who cover crime and justice issues.


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