Recognizing Excellence in Communications to End Violence Against Women

Speaking Out to Accelerate Change

For International Women’s Day 2012, at the 2nd World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Washington, D.C., from Feb. 27-March 1, 2012, the Avon Foundation for Women recognized best practices in communications campaigns and programs from around the world that focus on ending violence against women. The conference convened more than 1,500 activists and advocates from more than 90 countries who work in shelters or programs dedicated to assisting domestic violence victims and families. The goal was to accelerate the sharing of effective solutions by leveraging limited resources and promoting worldwide partnerships that foster collaboration and catalyze change.

Avon's Andrea Jung and Avon Foundation Honorary Chairperson Reese Witherspoon presented the Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women on Feb. 28, 2012, to four organizations from among 19 outstanding finalists in the categories of Storytelling, Innovation, Break the Silence, and Global Excellence in Communications.

Storytelling Award Winner

The Storytelling Award recognizes an organization’s artful use of storytelling to increase knowledge and awareness about violence against women, and to inspire action.

Women’s Aid (UK) won the Storytelling Award for its CUT movie campaign. This movie, starring Keira Knightley, depicts a woman suffering a brutal assault. On the day of CUT’s launch, the story was the most read entertainment story on the BBC News website, and within six days, the film received over a half a million hits.

Innovation Award Winner

The Innovation Award recognizes innovative and unique approaches to communicating about violence against women.

YWCA Canada won the Innovation Award for its "Safety Siren” app and campaign. The “Safety Siren” app promotes healthy dating and provides specific ways to help stop violence against women. The unique app, which has been downloaded more than 4,000 times, is activated with a press of a button or a quick shake, turning a mobile device into a multifunctional safety device. The YWCA Safety Siren app has been downloaded more than 4,000 since it launched.

Break the Silence Award Winner

The Break the Silence Award recognizes communications materials that encourage individuals or community members to step in and speak out against violence against women.

Rwanda Women Network won the Break the Silence Award for its domestic violence campaign. Its campaign poster shows a disturbing image of a man physically abusing a woman with witnesses watching the assault. The poster shows violence against women as a societal problem and encourages the community to take responsibility and offer assistance to victims.

Global Award For Excellence In Communications Winner

The Global Award for Excellence in Communications recognizes a campaign that is global, is long-lasting, and employs communications strategies that can be easily replicated across the world to stop violence against women.

Breakthrough (India) won the Global Award for Excellence in Communications for its “Bell Bajao! (Ring the Bell!)” campaign. This campaign helps to bring domestic violence to a halt with real-life scenarios of neighbors interrupting violence behind closed doors. These powerful public service announcements show that “ringing the bell” is one way to break through and put an end to domestic violence.

The Communications X-Change

The materials behind these award-winning campaigns and many others will be available in June 2012 on the new Communications X-Change, funded by the Avon Foundation and managed by Futures Without Violence. The exchange will serve as a global hub for awareness and action to end violence against women and children.
Learn more

The Avon Foundation for Women presents the 2012 Avon Global Communications Awards.

Over the past two decades, communications campaigns about violence against women have evolved in significant ways. Learn more by downloading our new report: Violence Against Women: The Communications Evolution