What to do if you are concerned about the media

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If you are worried about how someone you know behaves around children or what they do online, we encourage you to get support by working through these sections and contacting our anonymous helpline.

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The media don’t publish information about every every sexual offence committed against a child, but it’s something people often tell us they’re worried about when a loved one is arrested.

Court reporters attend criminal courts and may choose to cover any case. These reporters are overseen by the Independent Press Standards Organisation, adhering to clear reporting guidelines. They are permitted to report information presented in court about the criminal case, as long as the details are publicly available.

What to do

  • You might want to think about whether to tell close family or friends if you’re worried they discover the situation through the media.
  • For people under investigation and their families, we recommend temporarily deactivating social media accounts or adjusting privacy settings during sentencing hearings to minimise exposure to media coverage.
  • If you are worried about potential targeting by people in the community, it’s advisable to get in touch with the police, who can assess the possibility of implementing added security measures.

What not to do

  • Don’t look for similar cases covered by the media. It can be distressing and sentencing outcomes vary from case to case.

If you have any concerns, questions, or would just like to talk about what you are going through, our non-judgemental helpline advisors are here to support you. You can stay anonymous and don’t have to give your real name or any contact details. If you’re not ready to speak to anyone yet, you can also use our live chat or send a secure email.

You are not alone

hear from others who’ve been in a similar position

Listen to a case from a partner or read it below.

 

Coping with the media advice from others

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Try not to read it. Definitely don't read the comments. Remember that you haven't done anything wrong and hold your head high. If people are supportive they will behave normally with you or reach out and offer support without asking questions. You may lose friends but it doesn't hurt as much as time goes on.

Try not to read it. Definitely don't read the comments. Remember that you haven't done anything wrong and hold your head high. If people are supportive they will behave normally with you or reach out and offer support without asking questions. You may lose friends but it doesn't hurt as much as time goes on.

"Try not to read it. Definitely don't read the comments. Remember that you haven't done anything wrong and hold your head high. If people are supportive they will behave normally with you or reach out and offer support without asking questions. You may lose friends but it doesn't hurt as much as time goes on".

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"I took myself off social media before my son attended court. That meant I didn't see the online reports and the comments that accompanied them. As a family we hid away for a couple of days but both my OH and I received personal messages of support. It's not easy but very quickly became old news. My son still struggles to go to places where he is likely to see someone he knows but is gradually taking small steps in the right direction with this. I no longer worry. I make sure I treat people in exactly the way I did before it came out and I find people respond in the way they always have done back to me".

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"I took myself off social media before my son attended court. That meant I didn't see the online reports and the comments that accompanied them. As a family we hid away for a couple of days but both my OH and I received personal messages of support. It's not easy but very quickly became old news. My son still struggles to go to places where he is likely to see someone he knows but is gradually taking small steps in the right direction with this. I no longer worry. I make sure I treat people in exactly the way I did before it came out and I find people respond in the way they always have done back to me".

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"My husband's case was in the press and on social media twice. I read all the comments and was then subject to online bullying, had my house graffitied and then burgled.

I thought everyone knew. But 18 months down the line I'm amazed how many people have no clue.

As others have said - it becomes old news".

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"My oh went into a local ish newspaper online but didn't seem to make Facebook nobody as mentioned it. I checked the other day and nothing else as been put up since it's horrible to read it went up about a week later my heart sank I was scared to go out of anyone finding out but as of yet nothing so fingers crossed for you".

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