What’s in a name? - Macleans.ca

What’s in a name?

U.S. media weigh revealing identity of Kahn’s accuser


American media have concealed the identity of alleged sexual assault victims for years, but recent developments in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case have prompted news outlets to revisit this long-held policy. The case appears poised to collapse amidst revelations about the credibility of Kahn’s accuser, raising questions about the circumstances that would justify ignoring the policy and naming the woman. Legally, journalists in the U.S. are not required to conceal the identities of victims and alleged victims of sexual assault. But the prevailing view of the U.S. media is that keeping identities secret help women feel safe reporting sexual assault. News outlets in Europe and Africa have already published the name of Kahn’s accuser, making it easy for anyone with access to a search engine to know her identity.


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