Media violence encourages attacks on women: experts

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DAILY SABAH WITH AA

Rarely does a day pass without a new report of violence against women, and experts say the media can turn into a powerful tool either in raising awareness or negatively shaping the behavior of people who are already prone to violence. The average time Turkish people spend watching TV is five hours a day according to Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council. This does not include the time spent on various social media platforms on the internet and self-involving video games containing violent content. Violence is everywhere, in movies on TV, advertisements popping up on the internet, or applications on smartphones.

Most popular TV shows, even those in the “family” time slot, often depict violence, mostly against vulnerable women.

Viewers can become immune or insensitive to the trauma of violence by being continuously exposed to such violent content, start accepting violence as a way to solve problems, imitate the violence they watch on TV or associate themselves with certain characters and victims, Deniz Ünay, a social media expert, told Anadolu Agency.

“Unfortunately, TV and many smart devices, which have become a part of our daily lives, are constantly imposing violent content,” said Ünay.

“When constantly exposed to this intense violent content, people can normalize even criminal behavior, including violence against women,” Ünay added. “The strong characters on TV shows may foster negative attitudes and behaviors toward women,” which may in time normalize violence against women, and also curb efforts to prevent it, the expert said.

Referring to such productions, he said the trailers broadcast on TV or internet channels throughout the day include violent scenes on purpose.

Kamil Ekinci, a lawyer conducting social responsibility projects on violence against women and children, said these kinds of incidents are widespread all around the world and legal precautions should be taken to avoid violent content on TV channels. On Nov. 20, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said violence against women dropped to 14% in Turkey this year compared to 2018. He said a total of 279 women were killed last year, compared to 353 in 2017, and the number rose to 299 this year. This year, the average homicide rate for women per 1 million population was 13 in the world, seven in the EU and 3.8 in Turkey, Soylu added citing a U.N. report.

 

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