Grace Millane: "She should have been safe here"



Violence against women, Rough sex gone wrong, Media reporting, guidelines for journalists


INTRODUCTION: This research examined how news media framed the prosecution of the murder of Grace Millane and whether it was consistent with journalists’ guidelines for reporting violence against women (VAW). Previous literature on media reporting of VAW has found that victims and perpetrators of VAW were othered to obscure them from the context of the larger social issue that VAW presents and that victims were blamed for their assaults.

APPROACH: Employing a singular case study research design, we conducted a thematic analysis of the documents that reported on the prosecution of the murder of Grace Millane. Some 25 articles were extracted from the Newztext database, an archive of Aotearoa New Zealand newspaper sources. Five themes were generated from the texts and were compared to previous literature about news media reporting on VAW.

CONCLUSIONS: This study concluded that journalist guidelines, although available, do not seem to be widely used. This has led to victim blaming and minimising sexual violence in the news media.


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How to Cite

Appleyard, K., & Julich, S. J. (2024). Grace Millane: "She should have been safe here". Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 36(1), 32–44. Retrieved from



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