Renate Schroeder of the European Federation of Journalists says there is a clear need for anonymised reporting.
When we asked our affiliates for some information, we received very few responses. Probably there is a lot of anxiety, that's why anonymous monitoring may be useful."
Therefore, reporting to the ECPMF can also be made anonymously. All cases are handled with greatest care and attention. The reports made to the ECPMF alarm centre will not only be researched, but also collected in a database, with details of the woman’s identity removed in order to protect her. This database will form the basis of an analysis of the scale of the problem across Europe. Its results with be reported to the ECPMF annual media freedom conference taking place in Leipzig, Germany, in October 2016.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, stressed the importance of the topic. Such attacks might cause psychological traumas for the victims – and pose a danger to press freedom. “Constantly being singled out and targeted with abusive comments, many female journalists may re-evaluate the issues they choose to cover. In this way, such attacks pose a clear and present threat to free media and the society as a whole.”
Meanwhile the OSCE has published a collection of essays about different aspects of gender-based threats and violence, with a list of recommendations.