Help ‘de-normalise’ violence

2015-08-22 09:33

WE have heard of the train and taxi crash which cost 16 lives. My concern here is not with the accident itself but with our blasé attitude to exposing the public to further violence unnecessarily, either directly or through graphic reporting.

The Witness graphically reports an eyewitness’s perspective on the crash. This raises two questions: why were train passengers not protected from, or at least warned about, what they were about to see? Apparently the inspector just “blew her whistle and ordered us off the train. She simply said we had hit something or someone … what we saw was definitely something we did not expect”.

Did the inspector not think that passengers should be protected from witnessing that scene?

The eyewitness now says he can’t get the images out of his head. He is probably experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms.

The second question is: is it necessary for The Witness to report in such gory detail?

“Secondary traumatisation” can happen even just from hearing or reading about a traumatic event. Violence, and repeated exposure to violence, is not okay. It has consequences.

Let us treat violence and its effects with proper seriousness. Let us help to “de-normalise” violence.


Mooi River

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