Investigating Sexual Abuse: Reporting Tips and Tools

The subject of sexual violence remains a sensitive if not taboo subject in much of the world and often goes unreported. Watchdog journalism has started digging deeper into sexual violence, but these investigations are still few relative to the estimated number of cases worldwide. This guide is based on tips and techniques drawn from a November 2020 GIJN webinar, Investigating Sexual Abuse, and augmented by a GIJN Resource Center search of relevant case studies, useful organizations, and guides. The webinar featured speakers Lénaïg Bredoux, gender editor at Mediapart; Sophia Huang, a freelance journalist in China; Ashwaq Masoodi, a freelance journalist in India; and moderator Susanne Reber, executive producer of podcasts at Scripps, a US media company.  
Case Studies
Useful Organizations and Guides
Tips for Reporting

Research Laws and Statistics

Find Stories

Build Trust

Compile Evidence

Recognize Patterns

Use Precise Language

Recognize Your Responsibility

Case Studies
Here is a selection of recent stories about investigations into sexual abuse or violence.

GIJN Webinar — Investigating Sexual Abuse: Reporting Tips & Tools

In this global GIJN webinar we bring together three journalists from France, China and India who have substantial experience in investigating cases of sexual abuse. They will share their strategies and reporting tips, ranging from collecting evidence to how to deal with survivors and their families during and after the investigation.

Data Journalism Top 10: North Korea Ghost Ships, Trolls Attack WHO, Al Pacino’s Wardrobe, COVID Air Travel

Satellite imagery has become increasingly useful in establishing evidence of human rights abuses and in shining a light on dubious activities being conducted in secretive parts of the world. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from August 17 to 23 finds NBC News utilizing satellite data to solve a long-standing mystery about North Korean “ghost boats” washing up on Japanese shores, The New York Times analyzing footfall data to determine how the coronavirus pandemic has influenced consumer spending, and Bellingcat revealing a coordinated network of attacks on Twitter against the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO).