Why didn't she just leave?

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90 Day Report

Progress so far: reporting on the economics of domestic violence

October 28, 2014

Progress

Since receiving the funding through Catapult, Women’s eNews and British reporter Jess McCabe’s focus has been on securing and carrying out interviews with domestic violence survivors from her base in England. A number of women have contacted Jess after learning of the project during the crowdfunding stage. She has begun the interview process with these women, meeting them and recording their stories. This has been made possible with your support and other forums of social media.

Jess is also reaching out to domestic violence shelters located in the UK. She created posters that are being display around the country by organizations who have agreed to showcase them in their centers to help publicize this project. Jess hopes to access a broader range of women to interview through this step, including women who are not accessible through social media.

Risks and challenges

The largest challenge has been finding women willing to speak up about their experiences with domestic violence. This challenge was expected by the reporter as people can be reluctant to talk about the subject, as well as experiences of economic instability. Jess is not discouraged and hopes that by reaching out to relevant organizations in more places, she will be able to overcome this challenge.

Get personal

Due to the nature of 'Why didn't she just leave?’' the quotes and stories are yet not ready to be shared. Accompanying visuals are likewise limited due to confidentiality and safety for the female participants.

Next steps

The next step is widening our public outreach to meet more women who have experienced the financial reality of abusive relationships. Over the next few weeks Jess will travel to different parts of the UK to carry out more interviews. She is anticipating analyzing this phase of the project to see if women’s experiences vary in different parts of the country. At this stage Jess is still gathering the interviews; towards the end of the 2014, she will begin writing the first articles for the project.

More information

Jess McCabe and her work as an activist for social justice has gained recent media attention:

Listen to her interview with Journalism.co.uk on the influence of crowdfunding on journalism.  

See her ranked among Shinyshiny’s 50 inspirational women to follow on Twitter

Further reading

Please follow Jess McCabe's tumblr for more information and updates on 'Why didn't she just leave?' 

 

  • Economic security
  • Media
  • Violence against women

We’re shedding a journalistic light on the economics of leaving an abusive relationship.

Why we care: Each week, two British women are murdered by their current or former partners. Women are often blamed for the violence they suffer because they didn’t “just leave.”

How we’re solving this: By investigating the economics of leaving an abusive relationship through extensive interviews with survivors across the UK. Women's eNews and British reporter Jess McCabe will highlight women’s voices on this issue and analyze how the economic impact of domestic violence is changing.

The hard fact is that money can play a powerful role in why domestic violence victims stay with their abuser. Sometimes this takes the form of financial abuse - for example, the abuser keeping control of the victim’s bank balance.

Our news reporting will highlight the voices of women directly affected. In addition, we’ll analyze how the economic impact of domestic violence is changing as a result of recent changes to government policy including welfare changes and the introduction of Bedroom Tax. 

With your support, we’ll draw more attention to this significant issue, and support the mainstream media’s ability to report on it further by providing the framework for a nuanced, sensitive approach. 

No other news organization has the global focus and sensitivity to women’s voices that Women's eNews has. Women's eNews creates impact by:

  • Helping set up the news agenda for conventional media;
  • Influencing opinion leaders and policymakers;
  • Serving as a resource and catalyst for rights organizations and activists;
  • Uncovering injustices, drawing attention to issues, disseminating information, and empowering readers.

Help us support journalism that puts women in the picture.

Photo credit: Pete Riches via Flickr

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