Lingual injury: Crime victims between the criminal justice system and the media

Dana Pugach, Anat Peleg, Natti Ronel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This qualitative, phenomenological study conducted in Israel consisted of interviews with 14 close relatives of murder victims whose cases generated media interest. The research offers a comprehensive view of the endeavors of the participants to be heard in both the criminal justice system and the media. The findings indicate that despite the growing recognition of co-victims’ rights and media attention to their narratives, both the justice system and the media disappoint these victims and largely fail to respond to their need to convey their messages. The participants experienced ‘lingual injury:’ the repudiation and muting of their own language in favor of professional jargon. Lingual injury is an innovative concept that describes particular aspects of secondary victimization; it contributes to the existing literature by enabling a detailed mapping of co-victims’ simultaneous difficulties in the interplay between the criminal justice system and the media. It highlights the need for developing professional tools, both legal and victimological, to alleviate this situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-23
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Review of Victimology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Co-victims
  • criminal justice system
  • homicide victims
  • media
  • victimization

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science


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