Patient advocacy group calls for sensitivity in reporting on controversial book
21 June 2018
MEDIA RELEASE For Immediate Release
For the first time, victim and patient advocacy groups have come together in response to the impact that the publication and promotion of a controversial book is having on clients they work with. The book, Killer Instinct: Having a Mind for Murder, was written by forensic psychiatrist Dr Donald Grant and published by Melbourne University Publishing on 28 May.
Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI), the State’s leading community legal centre for people living with mental illness, has expressed concern about the impact of the book on victims and offenders alike.
“We are aware of a number of people who have been significantly impacted by this book, including those who were accused of the offences described in this book, and their families and supports,” says Rebekah Leong, Principal Solicitor. “It’s sometimes forgotten that those who are found to be of unsound mind are also victims of the illnesses which caused the offences. Many of our clients experience grief and trauma from the circumstances of these offences, and face a difficult road to recovery”, she said.
“QAI calls on both the press and publishers to show sensitivity to both victims and accused in the media reporting of these issues, in particular to be mindful of the importance of reducing stigma”. Research shows that people with severe mental illness are no more likely to be violent, but in fact are more likely to be victims of violence, than the general population.1
QAI joins in the call by the Queensland Homicide Victim Support Group to encourage anyone identified in this book to make contact with QHVSG or QAI for legal and non-legal advice and assistance.
For more information and support
Queensland Homicide Victim Support Group 1800 774 744 (24 hours)
Queensland Advocacy on 07 3844 4200 (business hours) QAI is an independent, community-based, individual, systemic and legal advocacy organisation for people with disability in Queensland, Australia. Its Mental Health Legal Service provides advice and representation to people receiving involuntary treatment for mental illness across the State.
Rebekah Leong, Principal Solicitor, QAI. Ph: (07) 3844 4200
1 See Sane Australia – Facts v Myth: mental illness and violence https://www.sane.org/mental-health-and-illness/facts-and-guides/fvm-mental-illness-and-violence