Working with representatives of media and government institutions to better inform the public on gender-based violence with firearms

This fall, SEESAC organized a series of 2-day trainings for journalists and representatives of Ministries of Interior and Police Services, focused on the Ethics of Informing the Public on Gender-Based Violence with a Focus on Incidents with Firearm Misuse. The trainings were held in Belgrade on 30 – 31 October, Skopje on 13-14 November, Podgorica on 27 – 28 November, and Sarajevo on 11-12 December 2023.

These sessions presented an opportunity to better familiarize the participants with the phenomenon of gender-based violence, to explain the dynamics of this kind of violence when it is committed with a firearm, and to delve into ethics of reporting to the public on these events. To facilitate the process, SEESAC also presented the results of the Analysis of Media Reporting of Firearm Misuse in Male Gender-Based Violence Against Women in the Western Balkans and recently developed Guidelines for MOIs/Police Services on How to Better Communicate with the Media Regarding Incidents of Gender-based Violence with SALW. 

Trainings involved both theoretical instruction and practical exercises, enabling participants from the media on one and government institutions on the other hand, to gain a better understanding of the restraints each of them is working under. Through this process, communication between two groups was significantly improved. Both representatives of MoI/police services and journalists expressed appreciation for the training, as it facilitated heightened collaboration and improved their working relationship. Additional trainings are planned in the remaining two jurisdictions in early 2024.

The comprehensive research conducted by UNDP SEESAC has provided extensive evidence pointing to the different effects firearms have on women and men.

These trainings were organized within the scope of SEESAC’s efforts to raise awareness and increase the operational capacities of relevant beneficiaries through the Regional IPA project in Support of Enhancing the Fight Against the Illegal Possession, Misuse, and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the Western Balkans funded by European Commission.