Use murder stories to highlight domestic violence patterns.
By choice of sources and with background to frame the issues, reporters can highlight recurring patterns of abusive behavior that put the more vulnerable members of families—particularly women, children, and elders—at risk.
Domestic violence victims, for instance, commonly hide the abuse. A reporter highlighted this as a pattern by quoting a victim's sister followed by an expert:
"McManus' sister, Kelly Dean, has called her sister a private person . . . it would not be like her to divulge aspects of her personal life." Citing the Director of the Rhode Island Supreme Court's Domestic Violence Training and Monitoring Unit, Janice Dubois: " 'This [privatizing] behavior is not uncommon. People know, friends know.' Dubois places part of the blame . . . on 'family secrets,' a reluctance by the community—friends, family, coworkers—to acknowledge there is a problem by confronting the victim and/or the perpetrator." (Narragansett Times, 7/5/96)