Is There Much Wrong With The Reporting Around Ryan Giggs’ Arrest?

Does it risk perpetuating the idea that women are not to be believed?

ryan-giggs

by Anna Silverman |
Updated on

Ryan Giggs has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend. So can someone tell us why many of the headlines around the former-Manchester United player and Wales manager focus instead on him denying the allegations? Sadly, we think we know. It seems to us it is because many in society still like to assume a woman is lying about assault until she can prove otherwise, even though it’s too early to say one way or the other.

Police were said to have been called to a home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, in response to reports of a disturbance over the weekend. Giggs has been arrested on suspicion of section 47 assault and section 39 common assault and bailed pending further inquiries. A statement released on behalf of Giggs said: ‘He is co-operating with the police and will continue to assist them with their ongoing investigation.’ Police also said a woman in her 30s ‘sustained minor injuries but did not require any treatment.’

He has, through his representatives, denied all the allegations made against him and is co-operating with the police. This morning, the Women’s Equality Party asked whether the BBC are acting as Giggs’ defence, in response to the news website’s headline which read ‘Giggs denies assault allegations after arrest’. The Women's Equality Party (WEP) accused the headline of making it harder for women to speak out.

If your friend/colleague/sister complained to you of abuse or assault, imagine if your first response was to ask if she was telling the truth. Worse still, imagine if you relayed the news to someone else by framing it as something the alleged attacker had denied, rather than something your friend had been an alleged victim of. Do you think your friend would dare confide in you again?

The news about Giggs comes in the week Johnny Depp lost his libel case against the Sun newspaper over an article that called him a wife beater. Depp sued the paper after it claimed he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard, which he strenuously denies. But a judge found 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence had occurred to the civil standard of proof. Even so, the trial used tactics to silence and discredit victims, according to campaigners.

Even after the verdict was heard yesterday so much of the media focus was around the damage this would do to Depp’s reputation instead of acknowledging the way Heard’s name had been smeared through the mud through out the trial, despite the judge’s findings.

These headlines seem to perpetuate a culture we have sadly normalised. We should be using language and writing stories in a way that encourages people to come forward if they have complaints of abuse, not scare them away.

Who is Kate Greville, Ryan Giggs’ girlfriend?

Giggs has been with his current girlfriend Kate Greville on-and-off since 2017. They met in 2013 when she began handling public relations for Hotel Football - which he co-owns. The couple were immediately linked after Giggs' split from his wife Stacey who he divorced in December 2017.

READ MORE: The Reason Amber Heard's Voice Matters So Much

READ MORE: Is Johnny Depp's Career Over? I Doubt It

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