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Stop placing articles on child rape, sexual exploitation and abuse under the heading of "Arts & Entertainment"

The BBC coverage of trials of child rape, sexual exploitation and abuse have been placed, on the online site, under the heading of "news" and the heading of "Arts & Entertainment" when the person accused or convicted has worked in the entertainment industry. 

I have complained numerous times about the inappropriateness of labelling the trials of Rolf Harris, Freddie Starr, Stuart Hall and Max Clifford as "Arts & Entertainment" as it minimises the crimes for which they were investigated, charged, and, in some cases, convicted. Trials of child rape, sexual exploitation and abuse are not entertainment, regardless of whether or not the man under investigation worked in the entertainment industry. It does tremendous harm to victims to see their experiences of sexual violence minimised in such a manner by implying that the former employment of the man charged is more important than the crimes committed. 

In the most recent letter from the BBC in response to my complaint, the BBC claims that placing such articles under the heading of "Arts & Entertainment" is exactly the same as placing an article on the use of the internet in sharing images of children being sexually exploited, abused and raped under the heading of technology. The fact that the BBC's official response so clearly misses the point shows just how little they understand the impact of victim blaming and the minimisation of sexual violence on victims and the ability to have sexual abusers and rapists convicted. 

Please join me in asking the BBC to reconsider their policy of placing articles featuring child sexual abuse, exploitaton and rape under the category of "Arts & Entertainment".

 

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    Louise Pennington started this petition with a single signature, and now has 448 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.