Five organizations recognized for outstanding communications material to prevent gender-based violence worldwide

New York (March 31, 2015)—Today, the Avon Foundation for Women announced the winners of the fourth annual Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women, concluding a month filled with events in recognition of International Women’s Day. The five winning global organizations were recognized for their outstanding communications campaigns that are helping change communities, policies, institutions and behaviors to end violence against women and children.

The Avon Foundation recognized non-governmental organizations from Canada, Haiti, Kenya, and the United States, and a governmental organization from Australia, for their exemplary communications campaigns. An international panel of judges selected the winning campaigns from more than 400 communications submitted to the Communications X-Change by 146 organizations in countries ranging from Argentina and Canada, to Uganda and Pakistan.

Launched in 2012, the Communications X-Change was developed and is managed by Futures Without Violence and funded by the Avon Foundation for Women. The Communications X-Change is a digital global communications library that enables organizations and advocates throughout the world to find, share, and learn from the best communications material focused on ending violence against women and children.

Each of the five winners will receive a US $5,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women to fund the continuation of their work. The awards are part of the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program, which has donated nearly $60 million globally to end violence against women since its launch in 2004.

“Communication and education are critical elements to ignite bystanders into action, and without public awareness and education, bystanders often do not intervene to help in abusive situations,” said Christine Jaworsky, Avon Foundation for Women Program Director. “The Avon Communications Award Winners are casting a spotlight on issues that affect one in three women across the globe. We congratulate each of our award winners for their outstanding campaigns within a very competitive process with so many excellent entries.”

“These winning campaigns are an inspiration to the violence prevention community across the globe and a catalyst for change,” said Esta Soler, Futures Without Violence President and Founder. “We’re excited to watch the Communications X-Change flourish with innovative material and campaigns that are helping to transform the way gender-based violence is addressed throughout the world.”

For more information about Avon’s efforts to end violence against women around the world follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @avonfoundation #SpeakOut #IWD.

Full descriptions of the awards and campaign winners are included below:

INNOVATIVE CAMPAIGN AWARD: “Make It Our Business” by Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children (Canada)
The Innovative Campaign Award recognizes innovative and original approaches to presenting messages about ending violence against women and girls through the best information technology, including mobile technology. ‘Make It Our Business’ provides information and education in the form of innovative, digital stories to help employers and other workplace stakeholders prevent and respond to domestic violence in the workplace.

BREAK THE SILENCE AWARD:  “Rape is a Crime: Report It, Prevent It!” by Lawyers Without Borders (Haiti)
The Break the Silence Award recognizes communications campaigns that effectively encourage people to step in to help or speak out against violence against women to promote a shift in attitudes or practices at the individual, family, or community level. ‘Rape is a Crime: Report It, Prevent It!’ is a comic book that uses vivid graphics and a realistic storyline to draw the reader i. The communications tool also informs victims of the resources available to them, and walks them through the steps of reporting a rape and holding abusers accountable.

COMMUNITY CHANGE AWARD:  “Men as Partners” by Coexist Initiative (Kenya)
The Community Change Award recognizes campaigns on ending violence against women and girls that involve the participation of both women and men, or girls and boys, to develop solutions to violence and discrimination against women and girls. ‘Men as Partners’ aims to build competencies, raise awareness, and provide information to boys and men to help eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in Kenya, where the problem is an epidemic. The material seeks to transform men and boys from perpetrators of violence into partners in the elimination of violence against women and girls.

GLOBAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNICATION: “LGL Guide to Girl-Centered Advocacy” and “International Day of the Girl 2014: Girl Leader Blog Series” by Let Girls Lead (United States)
The Global Award for Excellence in Communication recognizes a campaign from an international NGO in the violence against women arena that is global, multi-year, and creates approaches and messages that may be easily adapted in other countries. For the International Day of the Girl 2014, Let Girls Lead teamed up with the Huffington Post on a blog series written by girls around the world. The blog posts highlight issues facing girls and what they are doing to advocate for change. Additionally, their ‘Guide to Girl-Centered Advocacy’ is a full capacity-building curriculum that engages girls and their allies in strategic advocacy to improve girls’ lives around the world.

OUTSTANDING GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION AWARD: “Prevention of violence against women: Leading change in the Victorian local government sector”by the Municipal Association of Victoria (Australia)
The Outstanding Government Communication Award recognizes a Government or its responsible Ministry or Department, whether national, regional or local, for communications efforts and campaigns to end violence against women and girls.  It highlights the essential role that Governments play to end discrimination and violence against women and girls—awards are given to the NGO partner organization working with the Government. The Municipal Association of Victoria developed an innovative booklet that showcases some of the work occurring in the Victorian local government sector, and outlines why this level of government is so important to the prevention of global gender-based violence.

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Avon Foundation for Women and Avon Global Philanthropy
Avon is a global corporate leader in philanthropy focused on causes that matter most to women. Through 2014, Avon global philanthropy, led by the U.S.-based Avon Foundation for Women, has contributed nearly $1 billion in over 50 countries. Avon’s funding is focused on breast cancer research and advancing access to quality care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. The company’s global markets sell special products to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and domestic violence, conduct hundreds of events for these causes, and educate women around the world through its global army of six million Avon Representatives.

About Avon’s Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Program
The Avon Foundation for Women launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education, and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence, and to provide direct services for victims and their families. Through 2014, the Avon Foundation for Women has contributed nearly $40 million in the United States towards this goal. Globally, Avon supports efforts to end violence against women in nearly 50 countries by raising funds through special product sales and educating women around the world through its army of six million Avon Representatives. Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information.

Futures Without Violence
For more than 30 years, Futures Without Violence has led the way and set the pace for innovative educational programs, public action campaigns, policy development, and leadership training designed to end violence against women, children, and families around the world. Providing leadership from offices in San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Boston, Futures Without Violence invests in the power of those affected by violence and brings individuals and communities together to create positive solutions. Instrumental in developing the landmark Violence Against Women Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1994, Futures Without Violence has established a Global Center for Leadership and Action that will engage today’s diverse national and global leaders, stand with survivors, and continue working to break the silence around gender-based violence.