Deconstructing the Myths About Intimate Partner Violence : A Critical Discourse Analysis of News Reporting in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2227-2245
Journal / PublicationJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number11
Online published20 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


This article depicts the dominant discourses on intimate partner violence (IPV) in newspapers and discusses how the myths about IPV are perpetuated in news reporting in Hong Kong. The myths about IPV consist of a set of prevalent assumptions in society that adversely affect the help-seeking behavior of survivors and impede social change. It is sometimes assumed that the victims cause the abuse and are personally responsible for solving the problem. In this study, we reveal that news reporting in Hong Kong perpetuates the IPV myths by engendering unequal power relations through the language and text used in newspapers. A critical discourse analysis is performed to depict the language used in the text and the embedded meanings in discourses on IPV in two local newspapers, Apple Daily and Ming Pao. The findings indicate that the two newspapers tend to use five major discursive frameworks in reporting on IPV, namely, (a) gender symmetry, (b) stereotyping the abusers, (c) labeling the abused women, (d) blaming the victim and (e) ignoring women’s rights. The study reveals evidence of the systematic stereotyping of IPV abusers and blaming of survivors in newspaper reporting. These powerful discourses may perpetuate the myths about IPV and marginalize IPV survivors in society.

Research Area(s)

  • domestic violence, cultural contexts, anything related to domestic violence, perceptions of domestic violence