There is a tragic story in the Washington Post today about a 17 year-old male stabbing his 19 year-old girlfriend to death. There was a prior history of violence in their relationship. We’re really just starting to learn about the sad realties of teen dating violence. Read the story 17-Year-Old Accused of Killing Girlfriend here.
I must say, the reporters did not use the Snap, Cackle, Pop! “template” I accused them of in my letter to the editor just last week. They speak kind words about the victim. They don’t excuse the behavior of the aggressor. They manage to present the pain of the father of the perpetrator to remind us that this tragedy impacts more people than just the victim and the perp – it will, indeed, have many victims.
I think the media can be held accountable to report domestic violence in a compassionate and non-biased manner (and I want to applaud them when they do so, too). I also think we have a lot to learn about teen dating violence and this tragedy reminds us of what is at risk if we chose to ignore it. My condolences goes out to this family.
UPDATE: I wrote a brief letter to the reporter at the WaPo commending her for the article and she responded. She said she did see my Letter to the Editor (LTE) last week and was thinking about it when she wrote her article. She agreed that these types of stories should not involve victim blaming.
Keep writing those LTEs or those emails to the reporters – they do read them and they can be effective.