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Media reporting of crime and autism: let’s set the record straight


Posted on 27 May 2019 under News

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The Amaze team was deeply saddened by the murder of Courtney Herron, reported over the weekend. We join the community in mourning her death.

Today, and in coming weeks, you may see reports that the alleged perpetrator of this crime could be autistic. Regardless of whether this is a fact, it is simply not relevant to story or the alleged crime. These reports perpetuate a harmful stereotype that autistic people are violent – when evidence shows that autistic people are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators – and serve to distract from the factual issues in this tragic situation.

Amaze encourages all members of the media to download, read and use our guide on respectful reporting of autism, Talking About Autism. The language used in the media matters. When it comes to violence and autism, it’s time to set the record straight. Visit www.amaze.org.au/news/media-kit for more information.

We send our thoughts and condolences to Courtney’s family, friends and community during this difficult time.

If reporting on this story has caused you distress, please contact 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au.