The Pixel Project Selection 2017: 16 Of The Pixel Project’s Best Interview Articles

For almost 9 years, The Pixel Project has worked at the intersection of social media, pop culture, the arts, journalism, activism and new technologies to shine a light on the the many ways violence against women (VAW) affects the lives of women and girls in communities and cultures worldwide.

Blogging is one of the major pillars of our social media-driven awareness-raising and educational work. More than any other social media platforms that we use, blogging empowers us to present in-depth articles, op-eds and interviews that go beyond the soundbites. As we grew as an anti-VAW organisation, we have gradually focused our blogging efforts on interviews to help activists, allies and survivors tell their stories and share their ideas with others first-hand.

In 2017, we marched on with our annual interview-format blogging campaigns:

Together, these interviews form an inspirational tapestry of ideas, stories and calls-to-action from remarkable individuals, communities and allies that are at the front lines of bringing the change that is so desperately needed to end VAW.

If you have missed any of our blog interview campaigns this year or are new to The Pixel Project’s work, this selection of this year’s 16 best Pixel Project blog interview articles of 2017 will be a great starting point. We hope that the stories we shared motivate you to join the effort to end VAW.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

Written and compiled by Regina Yau. Introduction by Regina Yau.

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Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #1: Inspirational Interview – Anuja Gupta, India

Anuja Gupta is one of India’s leading experts on the issue of incest/child sexual abuse. In 1996, at a time when no one in the country was talking about this taboo subject, Anuja started the pioneering non-profit RAHI Foundation, India’s first incest/child sexual abuse response organisation. RAHI’s work has laid the foundation for this issue to come to light and continues to shape the way it is addressed in the country. Anuja says: “Everyone has to make violence against women and children their issue and I think the strongest action we can take is to not lose momentum regardless of our social or political contexts. No matter how far away it may seem, always keep an eye on the goal of a world free of violence.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #2: Inspirational Interview – Brynhildur Heiðar- og Ómarsdóttir, Iceland

Brynhildur manages the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association (IWRA) which was founded in 1907 and works towards increasing women‘s representation in parliament and the judicial system, combating gendered wage inequality, making gender studies a mandatory subject in secondary schools and raising awareness about harassment and violence against women online. Brynhildur says: “ We need to speak out forcefully against violence of any kind, and we need to teach our children about gender equality and human rights in schools. Most importantly, we need to support the victims of violence, to ensure that survivors have easy access to psychological and legal aid. But we also need to find ways to rehabilitate perpetrators of violence, to incorporate them into society while making sure that they do not re-offend. Violence against women is such a massive social problem that it can only be solved by all of us, together.

 

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #3: Gaming For Pixels Interview – Hyacinth Nil and Reed Lewis, USA

Hyacinth Nil and Reed Lewis are the co-founders of Abyssal Uncreations. Hyacinth Nil is a nonbinary interactive artist, musician and game maker from New York. Reed Lewis is a nonbinary novelist from New York. They are purveyors of dark media with a purpose, creators of multifaceted narratives meant to simultaneously unnerve and shine a light on issues of identity, queerness, gender, neurodivergence and other themes they’d like to see more of in media they consume. _transfer is their first video game. When discussing how gamers can stop violence against women and girls, Reed notes that “the most basic thing that can be done, especially for male gamers, is to call out misogyny when they spot it, and be honest with themselves when they say or think misogynistic things.  Don’t allow gaming culture to be a misogynistic culture, and don’t let gamers’ spaces be spaces where violence against women is joked about, dismissed or encouraged.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #4: Gaming For Pixels Interview – Ian Gregory, Singapore

Ian Gregory is the co-founder and creative director of Witching Hour Studios, which created the award-winning MASQUERADA. In 2010, his second year at university, Ian co-founded Witching Hour Studios with some friends. Six years on, Witching Hour has garnered awards and international recognition for their line of Ravenmark games and the off-kilter Romans in My Carpet!. Its latest title, Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, was successfully funded on Kickstarter. When talking about how gamers can help stop violence against women and girls in the gaming community, Ian says: “Talk about it: the conversation must be had; discomfort must be felt. A good cause to make everyone feel good for being involved is only one half of the solution. We need to actually talk about these uncomfortable things in the light. Hopefully, this will be catharsis to victims and call out abusers regarding their behaviour. Many victims are too afraid to voice their suffering, and surprisingly, many abusers are unaware of their actions. By putting the topic front and centre, both parties might find a way out of this horrible cycle.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #5: Inspirational Interview – Karin Alfredsson, Sweden

Karin’s engagement in the cause of violence against women began in 1979 when she published the first nonfiction book about violence against women in Sweden. She has worked on many journalistic projects covering the issue. In 2012, Karin launched the international Cause of Death: Woman project, covering different aspects of VAW in 10 countries. Karin has also written five crime novels about violence against women in different parts of the world and was recognised by the Swedish Crime Literature Academy several times. Karin says ending violence against women “is a matter of gender equality. The day men start to respect women, our choices and right to live our own lives, then things will start to happen. This means that we will have to start with the small boys. Legislation is fine, but if we are not working to change attitudes, very little will happen.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #6: Inspirational Interview – Lesley Ackrill, Canada

Lesley Ackrill is one of three executive co-directors at Interval House, Canada’s first shelter for abused women and their children. Lesley directs Resource Development and Communications, Human Resources and the Residential and Community Programs. During her tenure at Interval House, she produced the only television fundraising campaign ever made for a women’s shelter. Alongside her co-director, Lesley led Interval House through its $5 million capital campaign that purchased and renovated Interval House’s current facility.  Lesley says: “I think equity is a big step forward in helping end violence against women. When women take their rightful place as leaders in all spheres of our lives and all dominions—corporate boardroom, government, family—when they take the 50/50 leadership on and share it equally with men, I think we will have a huge step forward in ending violence against women by men. That is on a macro level – on a big scale.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #7: Survivor Stories Interview – Lisa Foster, USA

Lisa Foster survived child sexual abuse by her father and went on to found parillume to empower victims of sexual violation to continue past the survivor stage and heroically reclaim the treasure of their trues selves shining in the world without shame. Lisa’s advice to victims and survivors is: “The first step is finding a safe person to share your story with who can also help you find the recovery resource that works best for you. If you can’t afford therapy, there may be a non-profit that can provide you the support you need. Just begin. Read books, watch videos, check out the parillume website. Begin to feel and move through the pain and know that there is a fierce hope available to you. You are worth it.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #8: Inspirational Interview – Madeleine Rees, OBE, United Kingdom

Madeleine Rees, OBE is a lawyer specialising in discrimination law and women’s rights. From 1998 to 2006, she ran the OHCHR in Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to Geneva in 2006 to head up their gender unit, moving on in 2010 to become the Secretary General of The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014 for services to human rights, particularly women’s rights, and international peace and security. Madeleine says: “[Violence against women] will end only when violence is stigmatised by men as well as by women, which means we have to work on that fundamental shift in power, what it is, how works and for whom. We have to move away from a system which needs and feeds off the creation of a masculinity which is prepared to do violence.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #9: Survivor Stories Interview – Martha Wells, USA

Martha Wells is a science fiction and fantasy writer whose first novel was published in 1993.  Her most recent series are The Books of the Raksura for Night Shade Books, and The Murderbot Diaries for Tor.com.  She has also written short stories, media tie-ins for Star Wars and Stargate: Atlantis, YA fantasies, and non-fiction. She survived being stalked by a former male friend in college who threatened to kill her. Martha says: “I think education, especially about consent, starting as early as possible, can help a lot.  Teach kids to respect each other as people, teach boys that girls are not somehow less deserving of bodily autonomy than they are.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #10: Gaming For Pixels Interview – Michelle Tan, Malaysia

Michelle Tan is the founder and CEO of Fundeavour – a social platform looking to improve the lives of gamers worldwide, including YouTubers, streamers and content creators. Through a combination of Facebook, LinkedIn and Coursera-style elements, the platform empowers its gamers to build relationships with other gamers, work with brands, gain more exposure and learn how to transform their passions into a potential career. Michelle says: “I honestly think the strongest form of support an individual gamer can lend [to stopping violence against women] at the moment is by actively “living” it themselves – by treating their female friends with respect the way they’d want to be treated, especially in-game, and advocating it to others who aren’t being kind. Breaking the cycle of stigma has got to be a concerted effort, but it has to first begin at the individual level with friends and family.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #11: Survivor Stories Interview – PC Cast, USA

Award-winning #1 NY Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author PC Cast is a survivor of rape. With more than 20 million books in print in over 40 countries, she writes multiple bestselling YA series. PC is a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. PC says: “The only way we can end violence against women is to end the patriarchy. As long as men rule – in politics, in corporate America, in positions of power – women will continue to be abused because MEN ARE NOT MADE TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS. Over and over again the media shows us examples of men who are convicted of rape, only to receive mere slaps on the wrist because their lives could be ruined. THEY SHOULD BE. The Good Ol’ Boys’ club is alive and thriving, especially with Trump as President. Men don’t hold each other accountable for their bad behaviour, so women must. Until more women are in power this ideology will continue.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #12: Inspirational Interview – Pragna Patel, United Kingdom

Pragna Patel has trained in law and has more than 35 years of experience in advocacy, policy and campaigning work with some of the most marginalised women in British society. She has been at the forefront of key case and campaigning milestones throughout the history of Southall Black Sisters (SBS) and was a founding member of the pioneering Women Against Fundamentalism. She also has written extensively on race, gender and religion. Pragna says: “Ending violence against women for good is a tall order but not beyond us if there is political will, courage and imagination. Violence against women is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality and so our aim must be to tackle gender inequality at all levels in all communities. This will involve working in solidarity with others.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #13: Gaming For Pixels  Interview – Sig Gunnarsson

Sig Gunnarsson is the co-founder, gamer designer and art director of Studio Wumpus. Brooklyn-based Studio Wumpus is the acclaimed developers of Sumer – a digital board game inspired by M.U.L.E. and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Sumer draws on modern Eurogame design elements like worker placement, territory control and auctions. Its unique innovation is to place these into an action video game. When discussing how gamers can help end violence against women and girls, Sig says: “Gamers are also parents and one good thing to keep in mind is to be mindful in how we raise our sons and daughters. We need to raise respectful individuals and talk to them about things like gender and equality. Gamers should also continue calling out sexism in games and keep asking for the types of games they want. Money is a great way to vote on the market. Buy the games you’d like to see more of and skip the games in which you don’t like the message.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #14: Gaming For Pixels Interview – Stephanie Harvey, Canada

Stephanie Harvey is the Co-Founder of Misscliks. A five-time world champion in competitive Counter-Strike and longtime female pro-gaming icon, Stephanie Harvey currently plays professionally for the all-female team CLG Red. She also worked as a game designer for Ubisoft Montreal, having notably been part of development for Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and Far Cry Primal. Her 16 years in e-Sports as a player and 7 years in the industry as a developer awarded her a Forbes 30 under 30 title in 2014 and one of the BBC 100 women of 2016. When discussing how to tackle sexism and misogyny in gaming, she says: “I believe there is no perfect solution to harassment in gaming but I do believe there are multiple steps that we can do to help. For example, I believe that game companies need to be aware and provide tools for players to protect themselves from harassment. I also believe that online platforms such as Twitter, Twitch or YouTube could do a lot more more to help against harassment on their websites.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #15: Survivor Stories Interview – Trisha Williams, USA

Trisha Williams is a survivor of domestic violence, a Christian, a writer, and a wife, mother and grandmother dedicated to her community. Despite being diagnosed with a host of nerve conditions due to domestic violence, she leads a busy life. After leaving her job at the Department of Labour, Trisha reinvented herself and began a successful career in writing fiction; she has published 6 novellas and a Christian stage play for teens. Trisha recently became vice president of Purple Hightops N Stilettos, a group leading the fight against domestic violence based in Las Vegas. Trisha says: “Join and collaborate with other survivors and domestic violence organisations. If your community doesn’t offer one, start one. Americans need to keep writing to Congress to stay on top of domestic violence laws and provide funding for continued advocacy programmes.”

Pixel Project Blog Interview Selection #16: Survivor Stories Interview – Vanessa King, USA

Vanessa King, a survivor of domestic violence and founder of Queen Nefertiti Productions LLC, produces beauty pageants. She’s one of the first recipients of the Jewel Award and has appeared in “Who’s Who in Black Columbus” for exemplary work in her community. She’s also received recognition for community service from government officials. Vanessa says: “I want to tell other women and girls facing the same situation that they are not alone, they are beautiful and there are people who love them. It may be hard to get out of the situation, but there are resources, organisations and people who will help them not only get out of the situation, but also help them to start a new life without the violence. Speak out and let family and close friends know what is going on – don’t be silent. There are many people who will help. Make a plan to get away from your abuser.”

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Photo Credits:

  1. Anuja Gupta – Courtesy of RAHI Foundation
  2. Brynhildur Heiðar- og Ómarsdóttir – Courtesy of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association
  3. Hyacinth Nil and Reed Lewis – Courtesy of Abyssal Uncreations
  4. Ian Gregory – Courtesy of Witching Hour Studios
  5. Karin Alfredsson – Courtesy of Karin Alfredsson
  6. Lesley Ackrill – Courtesy of Interval House
  7. Lisa Foster – Courtesy of Lisa Foster
  8. Madeleine Rees, OBE – Courtesy of The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
  9. Martha Wells – Courtesy of Martha Wells, Photographer: Igor Kraguljac
  10. Michelle Tan – Courtesy of Fundeavour
  11. PC Cast – Courtesy of PC Cast
  12. Pragna Patel – Courtesy of Southall Black Sisters
  13. Sig Gunnarsson – Courtesy of Studio Wumpus
  14. Stephanie Harvey – Courtesy of Stephanie Harvey
  15. Trisha Williams – Courtesy of Trisha Williams
  16. Vanessa King – Courtesy of Vanessa King

16 Memorable Stories of Standing Up to Street Harassment 2017

The Pixel Project is pleased to share the seventh annual blog list of 16 memorable stories of women dealing with street harassment, which has been kindly compiled by Holly Kearl, Founder of our partner Stop Street Harassment and one of our 16 Female Role Models of 2010.

Through Facebook and her Stop Street Harassment website, Holly receives and shares stories of women fighting back against street harassment. She shares these stories to help raise awareness of this particular type of violence against women as well as provide inspiration and ideas for everyone on making public places and spaces safe for women. Almost 100% of women and girls experience street harassment in their lifetimes, ranging from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous.

This list provides a starting point for all to learn about and discuss the impact of street harassment. We hope it’ll inspire you to take action.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

– Regina Yau, Founder and President, The Pixel Project

Holly’s picture is courtesy of Stop Street Harassment.

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Empowering Response #1: Street Harasser Selfies – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

For a month, 20-year-old Noa Jansma, a student from Amsterdam, took selfies with every man who catcalled her to show how often it happens. Her 30 photos taken with men who willingly stood with her and didn’t seem to understand that their behavior was inappropriate or wrong went viral. Her project was covered by every major media outlet, bringing lots of attention to the topic. Only one man even asked her why she wanted the photo. She was harassed more than the 30 times, but other times felt too unsafe to ask for the photo or the man was already gone.

Empowering Response #2: Reporting an Upskirting Creep – Washington D.C., USA

A woman riding an escalator at a Metro station in Washington, D.C. felt a man’s hand go up under her skirt. She later filed a report at www.wmata.com/harassment and when the transit police reviewed the CCTV footage, they saw the young man had taken an upskirt photo of her. They also saw him do it to other women across that day at the same location. Later, thanks to her initial report, they were able to arrest him.

Empowering Response #3: Publicly Humiliating A Harasser – Chicago, Illinois, USA

CG was walking her dog in Chicago when a man in a work uniform knelt down to pet her dog. When he got up to walk away, he slapped CG’s ass. At first, she was stunned, but then she followed him for 10 minutes yelling that, “THIS GUY JUST ASSAULTED ME WITHOUT MY CONSENT” and “THIS GUY’S A PERVERT.” When he turned around and yelled that CG was “crazy” and “should go home and act like a lady,” she really let him have it. She said, “I’ll bet he thinks twice before he assaults someone again.” She suggests to others: “Calling them out on it. LOUDLY. And if you’re on the street and someone is calling a harasser out, go to her and ask if she needs help. Just be there in case the asshole tries to retaliate.”

Empowering Response #4: Publicly Humiliating A Harasser – Los Angeles, California, USA

Anonymous was getting onto a bus in Los Angeles and her husband and friends were boarding behind her. As she looked for a seat, a man stood up and pulled her onto a seat next to him and said, “You’re sitting HERE!” When she tried to get up, he pushed her back down. Anonymous said that’s when she lost her temper and yelled at him and pointed out that she wasn’t alone. When the guy turned to look, she stood up and shoved him across the aisle. His instinct was to look at her husband and worry he was going to hurt him, but the husband laughed and said it looked like his wife could take care of herself.

Everyone on the bus laughed at him then and the guy went to the front of the bus and waited to get off at the next stop. The bus driver yelled at him when he exited, “Don’t ever come back and leave women alone!” Anonymous said, “That was when I finally stood up for myself…I stopped tolerating harassment a lot after that.”

Empowering Response #5: Shutting Down A Pervert – Anonymous

One day as FM was waiting for the bus with a friend, a car driven by an old man stopped near them and he asked for information about a street. She gave him this information, and then he questioned her, “Do you enjoy sex?” She was very embarrassed and didn’t know what to say. Then he asked several other questions about sex before she asked pointedly, “Do I have to call the police?” and he left.

Empowering Response #6: Making Street Harassment A Crime – France

France’s secretary of state for gender equality, Marlène Schiappa, who has experienced street harassment directly, has spent the past few weeks working to make street harassment a national crime. Her efforts have raised a lot of important conversations about street harassment in the country.

Empowering Response #7: Cream Cakes Against Harassers – Scotland

FL was walking along a busy street in broad daylight in a town in Scotland. She was 14-years-old. A man who was part of a group of men walking behind her came up to her and stuck his hand up her skirt and groped her. She turned around, shocked and saw that they were all laughing. She immediately took the cream cake she was eating and smacked it in her assailant’s face.

Empowering Response #8: Calling Out A Pest – Texas, USA

Sarah in Texas was walking from her office to the bus stop when a man kept pestering her, following her and trying to get her attention. She said that finally, after another “just want to talk to you” comment from him, she turned to him and very loudly said, “I don’t want to talk to you!” He got the message and walked away.

Empowering Response #9: Flipping Off A Catcaller – Wokingham, United Kingdom

Heather in Wokingham, UK, said she was cat called by a man who sat in the passenger seat of a white van when she was walking to her car after work. She noticed there was a girl’s school very nearby and she worried whether he did that, or worse, to the girls. She gave him a withering look, turned around and showed him her middle finger before taking down the license plate of the van and reporting it to the police.

Empowering Response #10: Butts Are Not For Leering At  – Alaska, USA

When anonymous was 16-years-old and in a store in Alaska with her mom, an older man let them pass by him. Then he said, “I let you go in front of me so that I can watch you from behind. Oh, I’m sorry, that was a compliment, you should take it as one.” Anonymous said she felt scared, embarrassed and disgusting, but her mom turned to him and told him off.

Empowering Response #11: Preganant Woman Pushes Back  – Anonymous

Anonymous was walking down the street in Washington while 35 weeks pregnant. She noticed a white unmarked van driving very slowly behind her. Once the van was alongside her, the driver leaned out the window leering at her. He then said, “Oh yeah baby, daaamn.” She told him that she thought he was disgusting.

Empowering Response #12: Bus Driver Takes Action  – Manchester, United Kingdom

RP was 17-years-old and riding a bus with a friend in Manchester, UK, from school to band practice.  An older man in his 40s kept leering at her and smiling creepily. When the girls got off at their stop, he got off too. RP and her friend got on different buses at that point and the man got on RP’s bus. The bus was pretty empty, and yet he followed her and sat right by her. She got up and ran to the bus driver and told him she thought the man was following her. Her stop was coming up and it was in a remote area and she worried what he’d do next. Thankfully, the bus driver believed her and when she got off the bus, he didn’t allow the man to get off at that stop. Some of the other passengers assisted the driver. RP made it to her destination safely. She wrote, “All I can say is thank you to that bus driver and fellow passengers who stopped him following me inside the primary school. I’m also thankful I wasn’t headed home as he doesn’t know where I live.”

Empowering Response #13: Hauling Up The Police – Quezon City, The Philippines

When a 21-year-old woman experienced catcalling at the hands of police in Quezon City, The Philippines, she filed a police report. Street harassment is illegal in the city under a 2016 ordinance. The two men were charged with violating the ordinance and while they wait for sentencing, they have been put on leave from their jobs. This is the first case filed under the new ordinance.

Empowering Response #14: A Comforting Hand  – Rome, Italy

A man grabbed AC and he kept trying to pull her toward him on the street in Rome. When she broke free, she ran across the street into traffic to escape. She said when she reached the other side, “An elderly woman gave me a kind smile and patted my arm without saying anything. That gesture did so much to comfort me and helped me know that I’m not invisible.”

Empowering Response #15: Intervention With Luggage  – San Francisco, California, USA

When AH was riding the train in San Francisco, she noticed a man standing too close to a woman. She stuck her luggage between them and he moved and found a new target. AH kept trying to get his attention, but he ignored her, so she tapped the young woman on the shoulder and pointed out what was happening. He got angry and shoved AH’s bag, but he did exit the train. AH wrote, “I was very shaken up. I had never called someone out for harassing another person before, but I felt very protective of other women in that moment. People came up to me afterwards and said I did the right thing and they would have backed me up. The first girl also thanked me because she wasn’t sure what had happened until she saw him do it to someone else. I hope that my choice to step out will cause others to be aware of their surroundings and to speak up if they see someone being harassed.”

Empowering Response #16: Male Ally Does Good  – Texas, USA

Kensa was walking in Texas when a man on a motorcycle pulled up next to her and began paying her “compliments.” At first, she said thank you to appease him, but then he kept demanding she get on his bike and take a ride with him. He got angry when she refused and repeatedly pestered her until a man nearby intervened, saying, “You can clearly see that she is not interested. You’re scaring this poor girl.” This did not deter the motorcyclist at first and he kept telling her to get on, but the bystander stayed with Kensa and kept telling the man, “She’s not interested.” Finally, the motorcyclist left.

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Photo Credits:

  1. Picture 1 – From Dear Catcallers (https://www.instagram.com/p/BZeIQuoF6CZ/)
  2. Picture 2 – From ‘France considers tough new laws to fight sexual harassment and abuse’ (The Guardian/PDN/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock)
  3. Picture 3 – Courtesy of Stop Street Harassment (www.stopstreetharassment.org)
  4. Picture 4 – From ‘2 cops lose smirk in QC’s 1st case vs catcalling’ (Inquirer.net)

The Pixel Project Selection 2017: 16 films about Violence Against Women

Welcome to the 6th annual The Pixel Project selection of powerful and thought-provoking films, documentaries and television shows that depict violence against women and girls. This annual list that sheds light on the various forms of violence against women seeks not only to educate but also to catalyse change. And it is our hope that with understanding comes action, even it is in the form of small contributions – ‘little stones’, as one documentary on this list puts it.

This year, our selection includes documentaries that are decades old, yet the issues they bring up still affect women and communities around the world today. And in this age of Trump, Weinstein, and #MeToo, it would also be remiss of us if we did not also include the latest and most talked-about television series of 2017  –  Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s eerily prescient The Handmaid’s Tale which depicts a world where violence against and the subjugation of women is completely normalised, something we could easily imagining happening should nothing be done to stem the tide of violence against women.

Yet all hope is not lost, though. The 16 films, series, and documentaries essentially tells the stories of survivors and others who are fighting to change things. We hope that their stories will inspire you to think about what you can do to contribute to the fight to end violence against women.

Introduction by Anushia Kandasivam and Regina Yau. Written and compiled Anushia Kandasivam with additional content by Regina Yau

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Selection number 1: A Better Man

This Canadian documentary comprises a series of intimate conversations between ‘Steve’ and Attiya Khan, a former couple who were in an abusive relationship twenty years ago. Khan and Steve’s two-year physically- and emotionally-abusive relationship ended when Khan, then 18, literally ran away from him one night. The documentary, filmed with consent from both parties, sees Khan and Steve speak about what they remember of the relationship and gain understanding of each other and themselves. An interesting look at intimate partner violence, the film makes clear that abusers need help, not just societal censure.

 

Selection number 2: A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story

This 1989 TV-movie is about a woman who leaves an abusive relationship, only to be stalked and harassed by her ex-husband, while being unable to get help from the apathetic local police force. The film is based on the 1985 ruling of the US court in Thurman v City of Torrington, where Thurman sued the city police department for failure of equal protection under the law for ignoring signs of domestic violence and casually dismissing restraining orders and other legal bars to keep Thurman’s ex-husband away from her.

 

Selection number 3: A Walk to Beautiful

Women in rural Ethiopia face a long and arduous journey, literally and figuratively, when they go to the capital Addis Ababa to seek treatment for obstetric fistula, a complication of childbirth that sees them become outcasts in their villages and a hidden epidemic that nobody talks about because it is a problem of poor women. This award-winning Ethiopian documentary shows the physical, social and psychological trauma these very young women go through because of their condition and what successful treatment means – a chance for new and fulfilling life.

 

Selection number 4: Brave Miss World

In 1998, six weeks before being crowned Miss World, 18-year old Miss Israel Linor Abargil was stabbed and raped while on a modelling job in Milan. This documentary sees her telling her story without shame, something she has done from the very beginning, and shows how Abargil’s advocacy for victims of VAW has encouraged women in Israel and around the world to report their rapes and tell their own stories.

Brave Miss World – Theatrical Trailer from Brave Miss World on Vimeo.

 

Selection number 5: Calling the Ghosts

A first-person account of two women’s experiences of torture and rape during the Bosnian War, this award-winning documentary is an intimate, emotional and sometimes graphic look at what Jadranka Cigelj and Nusreta Sivac, childhood friends, lawyers and Muslim Croats, went through at the hands of their Serb captors. The film also documents how they eventually channelled their experiences into fighting for justice for other women, successfully lobbying to have rape included in the international lexicon of war crimes by the UN Tribunal at the Hague.

 

Selection number 6: God Sleeps in Rwanda

This award-winning documentary follows five Rwandan women as they navigate their lives after the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which left the country majority female. This unique film touches on how the lives of women have changed, both in terms of opportunity and burden, as they live through the unprecedented consequences of the national tragedy, documenting their strength and perseverance.

 

Selection number 7: Invisible Crimes

This sequence by German filmmaker Wim Wenders is part of a series of five short films called Invisibles that examine problems that are overlooked around the world and the people who suffer from them. It was shot in the town of Kabalo in the Democratic Republic of Congo and documents war crimes, specifically rape as a weapon of war. The film has several women tell their stories to the camera frankly and openly as they fade in and out of view, giving the viewer an intimate insight into their experiences and understanding of how invisible they really are.

 

Selection number 8: Killer’s Paradise

A scathing look at the inadequacies of a police force and justice system, this documentary is about the unsolved murders and other forms of violence against women in Guatemala, an epidemic that has been growing since the end of the Guatemalan Civil War that ended in 1996. This film explains how fear of retaliation, unwilling and apathetic authorities, widespread corruption and a pervasive culture of misogyny and societal machismo contribute to the epidemic. Not without hope, the film also touches on new national programmes that aim to improve the situation and efforts to bring international attention to the plight of women in Guatemala.

Killer’s Paradise-English from Giselle Portenier on Vimeo.

 

Selection number 9: Little Stones

This documentary comprises the personal narratives of four women in Brazil, India, Germany and the US who are using art as a weapon to combat violence against women. The film’s title comes from a quote from suffragist and women’s right activist Alice Paul: “I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone.” This film shows how these four  women use dance, song, fashion and graffiti art to educate, raise awareness and raise funds, each adding their little stone to the greater  movement to end violence against women, and hopefully encouraging others to add more little stones.

 

Selection number 10: Love You to Death: A Year of Domestic Violence

This documentary tells the stories of each of the 86 women who were killed by their male partners in the United Kingdom in 2013. Filmmaker Vanessa Engle wanted to give a face and a name to the figures of victims of domestic violence in her home country. It also gives voice to the survivors of the tragedy, who speak about their mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece or friend, allowing the viewer to get to know the women, how they lived, and how they died. Engle has said that the documentary holds a mirror up to life and she hopes that anyone seeing their own situation in the film will be able to “realise that it is bad, and that they might consider getting out of it”.

 

Selection number 11: Mrs Goundo’s Daughter

Mrs Goundo is an immigrant from Mali who went through female genital mutilation (FGM) as a young girl and is fighting for political asylum in the USA not just for herself but also for her two-year-old daughter for whom FGM is a real possibility if she returns to Mali. This documentary shows how women are particularly affected by the legal struggles surrounding immigration, and provides some insight into FGM and the communities who continue this practice.

 

Selection number 12: The Accused

This 1988 Hollywood movie starring Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis is loosely based on the real-life gang rape of Cheryl Araujo and the resulting trial that received national news coverage in the US. The film was surrounded by controversy before and after it was released, with producers having to fight to get it made and because of what was considered one of the boldest portrayals of sexual assault on film at the time. This film is one of the first to explore the complex issues surrounding rape, including victim blaming and the responsibilities of bystanders.

 

Selection number 13: The Handmaid’s Tale

This television series has been called one of the most unnerving series to have ever come to the silver screen not just because of its clear, no-holds-barred depiction of what the politicisation and normalisation of violence against women can do to communities, society as a whole and even to civilisation as we know it but also because, the current state of the world being what it is, it is so easy to imagine the world it depicts becoming a reality. Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, this series is set in the near future where human fertility rates are near zero and the few women found to be fertile are stripped of their identities and forced to be ‘handmaids’ whose sole purpose is to bear the children of upper class men. It follows the struggles of one handmaid as she fights to retain identity and dignity and escape totalitarianism.

 

Selection number 14: Umoja: The Village Where Men Are Forbidden

This documentary is an interesting and insightful look at Umoja Uaso, an all-female matriarch village in Kenya. Umoja Uaso was originally founded by a Samburu woman as a women-only community for survivors of rape who were forced out of their homes by their husbands for being ‘defiled’. Now, the village welcomes women and girls who are survivors of domestic violence and rape or running away from forced marriages and female genital mutilation. The village’s founder and matriarch Rebecca Lolosoli has faced threats and the village has been attacked by local men but she remains undeterred and determined to provide a sanctuary for Kenyan women and girls who have faced gender-based violence.

 

Selection number 15: Very Young Girls

In the United States, the average age for entry into prostitution is 13. This documentary follows the lives of 13- and 14-year-old girls who are seduced, abused, and sold on the streets of New York by pimps in a form of human trafficking that is rarely talked about. When arrested, the girls are also treated as adult criminals by the US justice system. The film features intimate interviews of the girls, footage of their interaction with their pimps and interviews with the people trying to help them find a new life.

 

Selection number 16: Woman

This documentary series takes a look at violence against women from a different angle by exploring its political impact throughout the world. It reports on issues such as domestic violence, sexual violence, unacknowledged murders of women, forced marriage and incarceration of mothers, and examines the status of women as an indicator of a nation’s stability and economic growth.

The Pixel Project Selection 2017: 16 Authors Saying NO To Violence Against Women

Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labelled: “This could change your life.” – Helen Exley

Violence against women (VAW) is a prevalent and entrenched part of countless societies around the world but it is still considered a taboo topic, even to a certain extent, in developed and first-world communities.  Pop culture media, therefore is invaluable at raising awareness, and promoting and prompting advocacy against VAW, doing much to break the silence.

The Pixel Project’s Read For Pixels campaign was first launched in September 2014 in recognition of the longstanding power of books to shape cultural ideas and influence the direction of history. From Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird to to J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series to Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, popular authors and their stories have been instrumental in planting ideas, triggering thoughtful water-cooler discussions, and providing food for thought for communities. And in the age of geek culture and social media, bestselling authors wield influence beyond just their books as they are able to directly communicate their readers and fans via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media channels.

Since then, the campaign has gone from strength to strength. To date, over 80 award-winning bestselling authors from genres as diverse as Science Fiction, Fantasy, Crime, Thrillers, and Horror have participated in various Read For Pixels campaigns and initiatives, raising more than $48,000 to date for the cause to end VAW.

In this article, we honour 16 award-winning bestselling authors from our 2016 and 2017 Read For Pixels campaigns. They hail from genres as diverse as Comics, Horror, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, and Science Fiction. Many of them are global celebrities with strong fan followings, others are well-respected in their countries or genres. Still others are up-and-coming stars who have decided to use their talents for good. It is the movement to end VAW that unites and inspires them and we hope that all of them will continue to work with the movement in years to come.

To learn more about each author and their books, click on the author’s name.

To learn more about what each author has to say about violence against women, click on their quote to be taken to the YouTube video of their Read For Pixels Google Hangout or their blog articles.

Written and compiled by Regina Yau, with Google Hangout transcriptions by Anushia Kandasivam, Bernardo Rosa Rodriguez, Bridget Hudacs, and Regina Yau.

NOTE: 24 authors participated this year and those not featured in this year’s list will be featured in next year’s list.

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Author Against VAW 1: Adrian Tchaikovsky

Adrian Tchaikovsky is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor, has trained in stage-fighting, and keeps no exotic or dangerous pets of any kind, possibly excepting his son. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Shadows of the Apt series, the Echoes of the Fall series, and several stand-alone novels, including Children of Time, winner of the 30th Anniversary Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. When talking about violence against women, Adrian said: “The chief problem with violence against women is violence by men. So I’m looking at a problem where I am of the demographic that perpetuates this problem. I have all the advantages of birth, of being a man in society, which is pretty much a better thing than being a woman because of the way people will react to you, because of the opportunities you have. I think that does put a sort of positive duty on me to try to redress the balance.”

Authors Against VAW 2: Aliette de Bodard

Aliette is an engineer, a writer, and a keen amateur cook. Her love of mythology and history led her to speculative fiction early on. She is the author of The House of Shattered Wings, the first Dominion of the Fallen Novel, plus numerous short stories, the Aztec noir trilogy Obsidian and Blood, and the award-nominated On a Red Station, Drifting, a space opera based on Vietnamese culture. She has won two Nebula Awards and a Locus Award. Aliette says: “I support [stopping violence against women] because it’s still one of the major causes of damage to be done to women in various guises […] and the statistics are pretty horrific […] ” and says that authors can support ending violence against women by “being as outspoken as they can when it happens.”

Authors Against VAW 3: Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint is the author of more than seventy adult, young adult and children’s books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library’s Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint’s books among the top 100. When talking about how men can help stop violence against women, Charles says: “It’s pretty basic. Just as we shouldn’t let racist comments from our friends and acquaintances slide, neither should misogynist comments or jokes go by without questioning them. You don’t have to get heavy about it. Even just saying, “I don’t understand,” as often as necessary to someone trying to justify it to you, sends a clear message that this attitude no longer flies. Speak up when you become aware of something that’s not right, be it trolls on the Internet or some jerk on the street. And always be a rock for those who might need our support. Treat your partners and women friends with the genuine respect and honesty they deserve.”

Authors Against VAW 4: Colleen Houck

New York Times Bestselling Author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter before switching careers to become an author. When talking about violence against women, specifically domestic violence, Colleen said: “It’s hard for me to wrap my head around a situation where a person is afraid of the person that they married or the person that is their parent. […] And it’s something that, you know, if we know about it we need to do something about that because it’s not right. […] It’s one that if we can open our eyes we can see, and if we see it we can do something, we can act. And I think that is a very important thing to talk about and to talk to people about.”

Authors Against VAW 5: Elizabeth Bear

Elizabeth Bear is the multiple Hugo award winning author of over twenty-five books and a hundred short stories. She specialises in science fiction and fantasy. Recent works include Karen Memory and the Eternal Sky sequence. When asked why she supports efforts to stop violence against women (specifically domestic violence), Elizabeth said: “For me it’s a very personal issue. I grew up in an abusive household. And I grew up in an abusive household that is not the sort that is fashionable to discuss because it was a same gender household and it was a mixed race household. And I feel like all of this informs your life, informs your outlook, informs your view of yourself. Also, my certification has long lapsed but at one point I was a State of Connecticut certified domestic violence counsellor and I volunteered at a domestic violence shelter in Hartford. So it’s totally personal, I’ll cop to that.”

Authors Against VAW 6: Karen Chance

Karen Chance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cassie Palmer novels and the Midnight’s Daughter series. She has lived in France, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong, but always comes back to America. When talking about her support for the cause to end violence against women, Karen said: “So it’s not just the women you would think of who are battered; it could be anybody, anybody at all. It needs to be pounded into little girls’ heads and older women’s head that this is not alright, this is not ok. And hopefully, after generations we’ll see change. And the younger generation is seeing a lot of change in how men and women interact. And I hope that’s one of the changes we’ll see.”

Authors Against VAW 7: Karen Rose

Award winning, internationally bestselling romantic suspense author Karen Rose earned her degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland. She lived in Cincinnati and worked in the engineering field for years before she began writing novels in 2003. Rose currently lives in Florida. When talking about what parents can do to stop violence against women and girls, Karen said: “I think we should teach our sons to respect women. I think a lot of people aren’t really clear on all the ways women get disrespected in our society so they don’t know how to teach their sons not to do that. […]  It’s things like teaching a husband to be respectful of his wife’s opinion, her career and goals in life. He’s not more important, she’s not more important. They are equal together. I think that is something we as parents owe our children. I think once we all start doing that the world is going to be a better place.”

Author Against VAW 8: Ken Liu

A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, Ken Liu is the author of The Dandelion Dynasty, a silkpunk epic fantasy series (The Grace of Kings (2015), The Wall of Storms (2016), and a forthcoming third volume) and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016), a collection. When talking about what men and boys can do to stop violence against women, Ken said: “Violence against women is a human rights problem so everybody is involved and needs to be involved. When it comes to boys, I think a fundamental part of our effort needs to be directed into instilling a fundamental respect for women, for girls, and absolute adherence to equality of the sexes and respect for gender diversity as part of the human condition. But at the same time I think it’s very important also to teach boys to understand the perspective of privilege, of power, what it means to benefit from an unequal systems so they can see the ways in which the narrative they’re in in not universal, ‘natural’ or deserved.”

Authors Against VAW 9: Martha Wells

Martha Wells is the author of over a dozen science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Books of the Raksura series, Star Wars: Razor’s Edge, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as short stories, nonfiction, and YA fantasy. Her books have been published in seven languages. When speaking about her personal experience, Martha says: “I was stalked when I was in college and it damaged my ability to trust for quite a long time. Probably still does and something like that just affects you on so many different levels. [,,,] Even people I just met casually – once we all started talking about it, they all had some sort of story about being stalked or having something happen to them. It was so common.” When asked why she supports stopping violence against women “because it’s just something that’s going to lift up everybody […] Fighting misogyny is like fighting racism: it’s gonna make the world better for everyone. It’s something everybody should think about.”

Authors Against VAW 10: Martina Boone

Martina Boone is the acclaimed author of the romantic Southern Gothic Heirs of Watson Island series, including COMPULSION and PERSUASION which are out now, and ILLUSION. She was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English, which is what she blames for her mad love of words and fairy tale settings. When discussing what needs to be done to reduce violence against women, she said: “I think what we have to do is to work actively, to educate, to empower women, to provide networks where they can go to get support when they need it, and more importantly to get the message out that women are equal, deserve as much as men, that women contribute as much as men even if it’s in a different way, and that all people deserve to be respected and honoured, treated well and lifted up as opposed to being trodden down. I think if that message can go out as often as possible, it will counteract the [opposing] messages that you hear from so many people in authority and who are so-called role models.”

Authors Against VAW 11: Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of The Glamourist Histories series of fantasy novels and a three time Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction appears in Uncanny, Tor.com, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago. When discussing the use of rape tropes in story-telling and why it is usually a lazy shorthand done badly by many authors, Mary said: “One thing about rape and violence against women is that it is never about the person it happens to. It affects them deeply and it affects them for the rest of their lives. But it is never about them or the choices they made or their lives. It is about the person who did it to them. And that’s why I fell it is a very poor story-telling technique. Because what you are telling me about is about the character who did it. That act of violence is not specific to the person.”

Authors Against VAW 12: Michelle Sagara

Toronto-based New York Times bestselling author Michelle Sagara writes as both Michelle Sagara and Michelle West. Reading is one of her life-long passions, and she is sometimes paid for her opinions about what she’s read by the venerable Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. When talking about the connection between parenting boys and male violence against women, Michelle said: “I think women really suffer. I think partly it’s our upbringing […] You can put a person in a position where “it’s her fault”: “He wouldn’t get angry if I didn’t do this; he wouldn’t hit me if I hadn’t done this.” And NO! Really, NO! But that goes back to the infantilisation of male children. […] I mean a four year old can punch you in the leg and then you take him upstairs to his room where he can sit for 20 minutes and think about this carefully. But you can’t do that with a 40 year old and not when you’re his wife. And part of responsible parenting is [teaching] a little bit of self-control, a little bit of awareness that you actually don’t have the right anymore to have a temper tantrum when you are breaking lives.”

Authors Against VAW 13: Paul Tremblay

Paul Tremblay is the author of DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL’S ROCK, the award winning A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS. A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS, THE LITTLE SLEEP, and the forthcoming THE FOUR (summer 2018). His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and numerous “year’s best” anthologies. Paul is on the board of directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards. Paul is also a teacher at a boys’ school and he said: “I enjoy where I’m teaching but there’s a huge problem with it because there are no girls in the classroom […] because it’s all boys, they feel there are no consequences for what they say but there are certainly consequences if they say anything sexist or misogynist in my classroom. The hard part is doing it in a way that doesn’t make them think that I’m the enemy or something like that but do it in a way that I’m not shaming them because they are going to make mistakes. I want the classroom to be a safe place where they can make mistakes.”

Authors Against VAW 14: Rachel Vincent

Rachel Vincent is the bestselling author of the SHIFTERS, SOUL SCREAMERS and UNBOUND series, a former English teacher, and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her #1 fan from the start. Rachel talked about the role parenting plays in dismantling sexism, misogyny, and violence against women. She said of her own efforts: “This is what we do with my own son: we do a lot of questioning. If you hear your son, your brother or whoever saying something that is sexist or biased, ask questions. What would you say if the gender roles were reversed? Why is it the way it is? And I think you have to start [asking questions] early because the world bombards children with gender bias in toys, in clothing, and in roles. If ‘it takes a village,’ then you already know the rest of the village is going to be giving them one point of view. It’s our responsibility as parents, as educators and anyone who has influence over young minds to show them that there is another perspective, another way. That life may not be fair, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stop trying to make it fair.”

Authors Against VAW 15: Soman Chainani

Soman Chainani’s first book, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List, has been translated into 25 languages across six continents, and will soon be a major motion picture from Universal Studios, produced by Joe Roth and Jane Startz. When asked about why how authors can help stop violence against women, Soman said: “I think for me I’ve always had that view that women are the stronger and smarter of the two sexes. That a world run by women would be a safer, happier, more peaceful place. There was a reason why when the Women’s Marches happened in the US, they are the only protests that ever happened with no violence. So, to me, I support the project because the idea of violence against women just runs so deeply against what I think should be happening in the world. In terms of authors supporting it, everything has to come down to the art. It becomes about changing people’s minds through writing.”

Authors Against VAW 16: Susan Dennard

New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. As a marine biologist, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to Asia one of these days!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two dogs, and she is extremely active on social media. When asked why she supports The Pixel Project and ending violence against women, she said: “It seems like such a no-brainer to me – of course I would support ending violence against women. I got that question recently too and I was like ‘Obviously? I mean not to sound rude but yes, of course, there’s not even an option not to? It’s easily one of the most important causes that exist.”

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Photo Credits:

  1. Adrian Tchaikovsky – Courtesy of Pan Macmillan UK; Photographer: Joby Sessions.
  2. Aliette de Bodard – Courtesy of Ace, an imprint of Penguin Random House
  3. Charles de Lint – Courtesy of Charles de Lint
  4. Colleen Houck – Courtesy of Colleen Houck
  5. Elizabeth Bear – Courtesy of Elizabeth Bear
  6. Karen Chance – Courtesy of Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House
  7. Karen Rose – Courtesy of Berkley, an imprint of  Penguin Random House
  8. Ken Liu – Courtesy of Ken Liu; Photographer: Lisa Tang Liu
  9. Martha Wells – Courtesy of Martha Wells; Photographer: Igor Kraguljac
  10. Martina Boone – Courtesy of Martina Boone
  11. Mary Robinette Kowal – Courtesy of Mary Robinette Kowal
  12. Michelle Sagara – Courtesy of Michelle Sagara
  13. Paul Tremblay – Courtesy of Paul Tremblay; Photographer: Michael Lajoie
  14. Rachel Vincent – Courtesy of Rachel Vincent
  15. Soman Chainani – Courtesy of Soman Chainani
  16. Susan Dennard – Courtesy of New Leaf Literary

16 Ways Healthcare Professionals Can Help Prevent Violence against Women

This year, The Pixel Project is pleased to welcome a guest “16 For 16” article from RANZCOG – the leading standards body responsible for the training and education of doctors in obstetrics and gynaecology in Australia and New Zealand. RANZCOG provides consultative leadership and advocacy in #WomensHealth to ensure excellence in #obstetrics and #gynaecology training.

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In Australia and around the world, violence against women is widespread, but it is also preventable. Intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 15 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor.

As trusted leaders in the community who are on the frontlines of patient care, healthcare professionals are in a unique position to both respond to, and help prevent violence before it occurs.

Knowing where to start or what to do can be overwhelming. However, there are many opportunities to initiate change at any stage of your career, regardless of whether you are in training or are currently practicing.

Through awareness raising and education, by addressing attitudes that enable violence, and by working with support organisations, health professionals can make a major difference to the lives of women and girls experiencing violence.

Here are our 16 ways that health professionals can help prevent violence against women.

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Idea for Healthcare Professionals #1: Integrate Awareness-Raising Through Learning

One of the best ways learning institutions can equip health professionals with the knowledge they need to help prevent violence against women, is to ensure that they are aware of the issues and drivers that enable violence. Raising awareness through the inclusion of modules or exam questions in the curriculum not only develops competency, but highlights violence against women as a very real problem.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #2: Provide Opportunities to Level Up Skills

Ensuring that health professionals have access to skill building opportunities and resources is crucial to promoting best practices. Beyond knowing how to identify, respond and refer patients appropriately, it is also equally important that health professionals are skilled in handling these interactions sensitively and respectfully.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #3: Support Research

By supporting, providing expertise to, and investing in research initiatives, health professionals across disciplines can contribute to understanding why these issues persist, and contribute to finding ways to prevent violence before it happens. For example, Melbourne University has some great partnerships and resources as part of the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children. Click here for more information.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #4: Acknowledge That Stereotyping of Violence Exists

A common trap that we fall into is the idea that violence is only perpetrated by, and to, a certain kind of person. While statistics tell us that there is a gendered nature to violence, it is important for health professionals to remember that violence occurs across all cultures, communities and religions regardless of wealth and education. There is no stereotypical victim of violence, but acknowledging that these attitudes exist is important.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #5: Be A Leader, Speak Up

Recent research by the Medical Board of Australia found that doctors are among the most trusted professions. As leaders in the communities, health professionals are well placed to promote respect as part of a holistic approach to good health and well-being. By calling out behaviours that contribute to negative attitudes towards women, health professionals are able to set standards in their clinical practice, and amongst their colleagues, that violence is not acceptable.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #6: Call Out Sexism

There is an opportunity for health professionals to prevent violence against women at an individual level by understanding the attitudes that drive violence. Sexist language, comments and behaviours are enablers that allow negative attitudes towards women to persist. By calling out these actions and making it very clear that this is not tolerated or accepted in the workplace, clinic or medical institution, it’s a step that all health professionals can make to help address damaging attitudes.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #7: Set the Example

Behave in a way that signals to everyone that you take these issues very seriously. Everyone enjoys and is productive in a fun work environment, but sexist jokes, comments, and conversations set a poor example. Calling out sexist comments, allowing women to speak without interruption, and being respectful of physical boundaries are simple ways that you can show those around you how it’s possible to be a person people enjoy being around without demonstrating or encouraging poor behaviour.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #8: Make Resources and Messaging Visible To Patients

Placing support resources around the workplace may seem like an insignificant measure, but it capitalises on an opportunity to reinforce a safe space without any formal exchange of words. Regardless of how friendly a workplace may be, there are many women who do not report violence for a number of reasons. Where possible, having these resources in both highly visible, and more discreet areas of the office, may allow a woman the opportunity she needs to access this information.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #9: Create a ‘Cone of Trust’

Often times it is in a clinical or medical setting where evidence of violence is either identified and/or disclosed. For such reasons, the relationship between a health professional and patient is of significant importance. Ensuring patients feel safe, heard, and have confidence in the practitioner’s ability to provide the right support, enables a culture of trust where help can be sought.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #10: Ask the Right Questions

Utilising a domestic violence screening tool can assist health professionals in identifying and responding to patients who are at risk of, or experiencing violence. Checking in with patients by asking general questions about their well-being is a good way to keep the communication pathways open. When violence is suspected, remaining sensitive to the reasons why a woman may have chosen not to disclose this information, and by asking the right questions can prompt opportunities for discussion.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #11: Be Mindful Of Creating Unintentionally Unsafe Spaces

In circumstances where a woman has separated herself from a violent situation, it is useful for health professionals to be mindful that creating an unintended unsafe space is a possibility. Personal documentation and health records pertaining to a child or dependent from a previous violent relationship may allow a perpetrator unknown to health professionals, access to personal information, potentially compromising the safety of the woman. Ensuring that all staff that care for the patient are aware of such circumstances will ensure that confidentiality is upheld.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #12: Know How, And Where, To Refer

Building relationships with legal centres, domestic violence crisis centres and community organisations that support women experiencing violence will ensure that the referral process is smooth and efficient. Maintaining these connections not only supports a collaborative approach, it also ensures the patient receives the right mental, social and medical supports necessary.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #13: Understand Legal and Administrative Pathways

Having some basic knowledge of legal rights is extremely useful. Where it is not possible for a staff member on-site to have this knowledge, at the very least having access to legal support services or legal professionals will assist health professionals in providing an appropriate response. There are some great resources and initiatives out there, In Australia, 1800RESPECT has resources for support workers and professionals responding to women experiencing violence. Health Justice Partnerships in Victoria are also implementing a new legal welfare model into hospitals to make legal advice more accessible to women.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #14: Take Good Notes

In the instance where a disclosure has been made, and a woman chooses to take legal action, patient notes can sometimes be called on as evidence to support her case. Doctors can assist in these circumstances by keeping detailed patient notes.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #15: Recognise Your Unique Position

Healthcare professionals who care for women during pregnancy occupy a unique position in society. Demonstrate that you understand this by being a champion for women of all ages. Establish an environment of respect, challenge behaviours that cultivate negative attitudes towards women and don’t hesitate to let people know that violence or disrespect is not tolerated.

Idea for Healthcare Professionals #16: Use Your Influence

Never miss an opportunity to advocate for women’s safety. Your role in women’s health sets you apart and delivers unique opportunities for you to influence policy. Look for opportunities to have these discussions with your colleagues and professional networks. Don’t be afraid to make suggestions as to how your workplace could be more equitable. Get involved in initiatives that support prevention initiatives and tell your friends about it. Make the point. Deliver the message. Argue for change.

16 Things You Can Donate to Women’s Shelters to Help Change Lives

Women’s shelters are often the first-stop safe location for women who are seeking refuge from abusive relationships. Shelters are halfway houses where many women and children get their first reprieve from a life filled with fear and pain; where they get their uninterrupted night’s sleep in days, months, or even years; and where they can take their first steps in their journey towards healing from their trauma and rebuilding their lives.

While shelters do provide a roof over the women and children’s heads, they are also chronically underfunded and always overstretched, relying on the surrounding communities and generous donors to provide some of the basic necessities needed to help get survivors back on their feet again. Whether it’s providing items to meet a baby’s needs, or sponsoring gas or a public transport pass to get a survivor to a job interview on time, we can all give a little something to support the efforts of shelters to help victims survive and thrive.

Here are 16 items that you can donate to help women in women’s shelters, for when they first arrive and when they are starting to rebuild their lives.

This is by no means a comprehensive list but it’s a start. When in doubt as to what necessities your nearest women’s shelter would welcome, always call to ask. And finally, if you can’t decide what to give, consider giving a cash donation instead so the shelter can buy what they need.

Introduction by Regina Yau and Samantha Joseph; List compiled by Samantha Joseph; Additional content by Regina Yau.

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When they first arrive at the shelter

Recommendation for Donation 1: Bras and Underwear

We may take the basics for granted, but because of the circumstances of most women when they leave an abusive home – no time to pack, plan or prepare – even necessities have to be left behind. Bras and underwear will always be appreciated by women in shelters who may have left their abusive home with just the clothes on their backs.

Note: For hygiene reasons, please always donate new bras and underwear, not second-hand ones.

Recommendation for Donation 2: Gift Cards for Clothes

While donated clothes are always welcome, not everyone at the women’s shelter will be able to find clothes that fit right. It may seem small – after all, some might say, at least they have clothes – but when you have little to nothing of your own and you’re trying to start over, clothes that fit and fit the occasion can make a huge difference. It will enable them to buy something simple like pyjamas which play a practical role in providing comfort and giving them back some dignity by giving them something to sleep in aside from their day clothes.

Recommendation for Donation 3: Bed Linens and Blankets

A good night’s sleep is a rare commodity for many victims and survivors. Survivors newly arrived at shelters are often exhausted and sleep deprived. You can help shelters provide a comfortable, clean sleeping environment for survivors by donating clean bedsheets, linens, pillows, pillowcases, blankets, and even mattresses.

Recommendation for Donation 4: Laundry Detergent

Keeping clothes clean and fresh gives a boost of confidence and self-respect to women at the shelter and doing laundry (a very run-of-the-mill task) may help some survivors feel more normal again. So when you’re packing clothes, bed linens and other washable items to take to the shelter, don’t forget to include a few jumbo bottles of laundry detergents (including at least one type for sensitive or allergy-prone skin) with them.

Recommendation for Donation 5: Toiletries

There’s nothing like the feeling of cleanliness that comes with a good shower. Every shelter houses women with different hair types, skin types and hygiene requirements. So make a small but thoughtful donation by providing them with choices of hair care products, dental hygiene products, deodorant, body wash, and soap for something as basic as bath time.

Recommendation for Donation 6: Pads and Tampons

Even among women, we rarely talk about the need for sanitary products at shelters, but they are very necessary and often in short supply. Imagine not being able to access these things when you need them. It’s an easy and affordable thing to do to pick up a few boxes for donation the next time you’re at a pharmacy or supermarket.

Recommendation for Donation 7: Baby Supplies

Infants and toddlers who come in to shelters with their mothers are at a vulnerable age and need certain things – baby formula, baby blankets, age-appropriate toys like small stuffies, clothes for little ones that fast outgrow what they have would make a big difference in providing a little hope and easing a mother’s concern. So why not put together a nice box of all these necessities to donate to your nearest women’s shelter? At the very least, consider adding a few new packs of diapers and baby wipes to the list of items you plan on donating.

Recommendation for Donation 8: Kids’ Games, Crafts And Books

Children at women’s shelters are going through a confusing and often traumatic time in their lives but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be given the opportunity to still be children. Games, crafts, and books will help both children and mothers find moments of peace and creativity. So if you have board games and video games that your children have outgrown, add them to the stash of things you plan to donate to the shelter. Pick up some extra sets of craft supplies the next time you’re shopping for your craft hobby or your kids. Get children’s books that your children have outgrown. Then box them all up and take them to the nearest women’s shelter.

Recommendation for Donation 9: School Supplies

Older children and teenagers at the women’s shelter should not have their schooling disrupted. Whether they will resume going to school or will be home-schooled for their safety, they will need school supplies. Ease the worries of both mother and child by donating stationery, text books, learning aids, used tablets and laptops, and even bus passes to help the kids get to school.

Recommendation for Donation 10: Pet Supplies

In homes riddled by domestic abuse, pets are often held hostage or tortured as part of the abuser’s modus operandi for controlling his partner and children. In many cases, women and children are reluctant to leave their home because they are unable to bring their beloved pet with them. Some women’s shelters are now recognising the need to house pets as part of helping survivors escape. If your nearest women’s shelter does so, consider donating jumbo packs of dog and cat food, pet shampoo, pet toys, cat litter, and other pet basics to help keep the shelter’s kennel residents clean, fed, and comfortable while they provide comfort to their human family.

When they are rebuilding their lives

Recommendation for Donation 11: Second-hand Work Clothes and Shoes

Do you have work attire like suits, formal button-down shirts, tailored skirts, and pairs of nearly-new work heels that no longer fit you or which you just haven’t worn in months? Donate your gently-used work clothes and shoes to your nearest women’s shelter – this will give the women something suitable to wear when they go for interviews to start rebuilding their life, where potential employees are often judged first based on how they look. Remember to send them to the dry cleaners or launder them before donating them to the shelter so they are all fresh and ready to wear.

Recommendation for Donation 12: Personal Grooming Supplies

Seemingly inconsequential but incredibly impactful, nail polish and makeup provide an extra boost of confidence for survivors who are taking their first steps towards find work. Being well-groomed alongside being well-dressed will help them make a positive impression on potential employers.

Recommendation for Donation 13: Public Transport Passes and Gas Cards

Getting from one place to another in time for a job interview, meeting or just to get to work while staying at a shelter can be difficult, especially with the cost of transportation and gas going up year on year. Access to public transport for survivors at city-based shelters and helping survivors with cars to fill a tank with petrol will significantly ease this struggle. Depending on the location of the shelter, you could donate annual or monthly public transport passes to women at shelters in cities. For survivors with cars or doing car pools in suburban or rural areas, gas cards loaded with enough credit for several tanks of gas will help with up to a month of getting to work and back.

Recommendation for Donation 14: Cell Phones

When applying for jobs, cell phones are a crucial instrument of communication because it allows survivors to make follow-up calls and inquiries as well as provide potential employers with a way of reaching the survivor. If you have a few older models lying around at home, why not pass them to your nearby women’s shelter to be recycled and reused? Better yet, organise a cell phone drive to collect used – but still functioning – cell phones from your friends, family, and co-workers and deliver a box full of them (together with the right cell phone chargers) to your local women’s shelter.

Recommendation for Donation 15: New SIMs and Call/Data Plans

Some survivors do bring their cell phones with them when they escape. However, their source of income or access to their bank account may be cut off by their abusive partner or spouse who control the family finances. So donate a few prepaid SIMs for them to simultaneously obtain a new phone number that their abuser cannot reach them at while giving them a means to make calls to potential employers and landlords as they get ready to rebuild their lives. For those with smartphones, get them pre-paid data plans or make arrangements to pay for 1 – 3 months of a basic data package for them.

Recommendation for Donation 16: Laptops, Desktops, and Tablets

As part of applying for jobs, survivors will need access to computers to fill out online forms, write resumes, and email application letters. So if you have still-functional desktop computers, laptops, and tablets that you are no longer using or are thinking of replacing with a newer model, consider donating them to your nearest women’s shelter. Make sure to delete all your personal files but keep a word processing programme like Microsoft Word and a browser like Firefox or Google Chrome in the computer, laptop, or desktop you’re donating so that survivors have instant access to these basic tools.

16 Ideas for Using Technology to Prevent and Stop Violence against Women

More than any other time in human history, the 21st century has seen a breakneck pace in the development of new technologies and the constant improvement and refinement of existing technologies. Almost half the world has internet access now with the rest catching, up as smartphones become increasingly cheap and ubiquitous in even the most remote areas of the world.

Technology cannot end violence against women (VAW) – only people can do that within their families, communities, and cultures. However, technology can be invaluable tools in the fight to end VAW in various ways:

  • It is a staple part of the anti-VAW activist’s toolkit to help stop VAW from happening, bring awareness to the issues surrounding VAW, and move society closer to ending it.
  • In today’s uber-connected world, technology functions as a magnifying glass for gender inequality and gender-based violence – the Internet, social media and mobile phones put a spotlight on stereotypes, misogyny and harassment.
  • Technology can also be a tool of empowerment for women, bringing them education and avenues through which they can tell their own stories. In this way, it can be life changing.

In this 16 for 16 article, we present 16 actionable ideas as a starting point to inspire you to use the technologies available to you to help stop VAW in your family, community, and culture. It is by no means a complete list but it’s a good place to begin.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

Introduction by Anushia Kandasivam and Regina Yau; List curated, compiled, and written by Anushia Kandasivam; Additional content by Regina Yau.

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Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 1: Crowdsourcing Data

One of the most important tools in the fight to end VAW is accurate and comprehensive data about VAW. Data is essential to understand VAW and for education and policy making. There are initiatives and programmes around the world that enable women (and men) to contribute data in the form of testimonials on VAW. This data can be used to shape policy and efficient implementation and develop innovative strategies to build safe and inclusive public spaces. For example, HarrassMap in Egypt collects stories on street harassment, gang abuse, women being assaulted during the Arab Spring demonstrations and more, and also maps where these incidences occur. Global initiative Hollaback also gathers testimonials and maps where they occur.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 2: Education and Training via Digital Libraries

According to the United Nations, 31 million girls of primary school age are not in school and of these 17 million are expected never to enter school. There are 34 million female adolescents out of school. Lack of education keeps women in poverty and makes them even more vulnerable to gender-based violence including domestic violence, child marriage, and forced marriage. Lobbying your local government to provide community centres equipped with digital resources for self-learning and where locals can work together through peer-learning can be a first step to breaking down some socio-economic and gender barriers that challenge women.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 3: Educating Through Gaming

Though video games have a dark history of promoting misogyny and violence, there are a growing number of Facebook, computer and mobile games that were created to educate players about VAW, stimulate the experience of VAW, or just start the conversation about VAW. Some games to check out are the interactive Angry Brides, created by matrimonial website Shaadi.com that raises awareness about the tradition of dowry and the impact it has on women in India, and Hannah, where the gamer uses tools to assist Hannah, a victim of domestic violence.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 4: Wearable Tech

Wearable technology is becoming more mainstream now, but most people know it only for its ability to monitor health and fitness, and link you to your smartphone. There are, however wearable technologies that double up as tools to help women stay safe. For example: ROAR For Good’s wearable fashion accessory Athena is also a high-tech rape whistle linked to a mobile app that activates when a button is pressed for three seconds. The user can activate a loud alarm and flashing lights, and trigger Athena to alert local authorities and chosen contacts. The Safelet, which looks like a bracelet, has two buttons that when pressed sends a message to a contact, along with an alert that allows the contact to automatically call an emergency number.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 5: Empowering SMS Services

Not everyone in the world who has access to a mobile phone has a smartphone or access to the Internet, which is why having SMS services that help women stay safe is important. According to the World Bank, if a mobile phone exists in a household, then all members could theoretically use it. This extended access means better dissemination of information. Technologies that connect apps to SMS exist for those who do not always have access to the Internet. For example, you can ask Kitestring via SMS to check up on you in a set time after which Kitesting sends you a text. If you do not reply, it will send a message you created to your emergency contact.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 6: Social Media Awareness

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been used for years to spread awareness, tell women’s stories and engage the public. On-going campaigns such as #RedMyLips, #YesAllWomen and #EverydaySexism reach millions of people, attract the attention of mainstream media and get people talking. You can share your stories, experiences and thoughts on VAW and feminism via these and various other campaigns on social media, including #WhyIStayed, #MasculinitySoFragile, #NotBuyingIt and #RapeCultureIsWhen.

 

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 7: Staying Safe with Apps

There are apps for everything nowadays, so it is not surprising that there are numerous safety apps for women as well as apps that educate users about VAW and what they can do to prevent it. For example, Watch Over Me, Circle of 6 and Safetipin are good safety apps that allow users to quickly contact trusted friends or emergency numbers, or instruct the app to contact them in certain situations. The Love is Not Abuse app is aimed at educating teenagers about dating violence.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 8: Helplines and Hotlines

Technology does not always have to be the latest to be effective. In rural areas around the world, phone technology is being used to provide national hotlines to provide counselling, support and advice to women and girls facing violence. In recent years, sophisticated computer systems linking phone networks has meant more efficient operations and more people assisted. In Palestine, the Women’s Protection Helpline and Child Protection Helpline also gather data on demographics of violence in the country. In Afghanistan, some cases handled by the first toll-free family support hotline, locally known as 6464, have seen legal action. You can help your local helpline by donating or volunteering your services.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 9: Connecting Rural Women

Traditional systems of communication and information dissemination, such as radio broadcasts, are still widely used around the world. However, women in rural areas are less likely to have time and space to sit and listen to the radio because of their domestic workload. Innovative digital communication networks can help bring awareness and education to women and girls very rural areas where the majority of them are illiterate and may live without consistent access to electricity, which limits their connectivity to information technology. For example, US-based non-profit Media Matters for Women has initiated a project in rural Sierra Leone that links special radio broadcasting programmes with mobile phones to distribute critical news and information to women and girls about their rights and available support services

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 10: Holding Governments Accountable

A lot of the time, evidence of VAW is difficult to impossible to produce, meaning that women and girls are unable to lodge proper reports, bring perpetrators to justice or even escape from violence. Information communications technology can help bridge this gap by enabling organisations to strengthen documentation, reporting and monitoring processes of gender-based violence and use the evidence to put pressure on governments to deliver on commitments to combat and eliminate VAW. The Women’s Rights Programme of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) partnered with local organisations in Cambodia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to do just this, using free and open source software to post information on an online interactive map.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 11: Stripping the Social Acceptability of VAW

In most places in the world, VAW is not seen as a big problem for various reasons. Street harassment for example, is not seen as a problem and instead seen as ‘harmless teasing’ or ‘something that always happens’. Women do not come forward to authorities because of fear and a lack of proper reporting avenues, making VAW an invisible problem. Technology can go a long way to help bring VAW into the spotlight, from social media campaigns to apps and other software that allows reporting and data collection. HarassMap is one such tech – once a month, trained volunteers forming Community Action Teams go to local communities to talk to leaders about what they can do to stop street harassment, using data collected from HarassMap to inform and assist planning.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 12: Hackathons Against VAW

The tech community plays an important role in developing tech tools to prevent and eventually end VAW. Hackathons, where the community gets together to raise awareness and develop new technology, are great ways to do this. In the past, hackathons have resulted in some innovative tech that have helped fight VAW. For example, in the World Health Organization’s Hackathon Against Domestic Violence, the winning team built an anonymous cyberspace forum for victims to learn from and share their experiences without having to give up their privacy. Other prototypes included a web and SMS-based app to alert trusted friends and family in the case of teenage girls being taken abroad and an SMS- and web-integrated hotline that provides information on gender-related violence and how to report an incident

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 13: Responsible Design

There are several ways responsible design can help in the fight against VAW: in the creative design of advertisement – educating the public about VAW or ensuring ads, packaging and other commercial items do not contain sexist or misogynistic messages – and in the design of apps and other tools women use to help them fight violence. One example of the former is the UN Women advertisement campaign that used real Google searches to show how widespread sexism and VAW is. As for the latter, responsible design is important to ensure vulnerable groups are not at risk from using apps and other tools. For instance, safety app Circle of 6 is designed to look like a social app so that you can use it in front of someone who is making you uncomfortable without them knowing what you are doing.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 14: Challenging Stereotypes, 21st Century Style

Software development and programming are among the biggest industries today, so it is no wonder that education in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are increasingly popular. These are traditionally seen as ‘masculine’ subjects and dominated by males in the workforce but more and more girls and women are challenging these stereotypes and breaking barriers. Organisations such as Girls Who Code bring education and awareness to the public about why it is important to provide equal opportunities in these areas for girls and provide avenues for that education. Global non-profit Girls In Tech focuses on girls and women who are passionate about technology and provides support and training for female entrepreneurs in the technology startup space.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 15: Easing Access to Healthcare

VAW is a burden on healthcare worldwide but at the same time women who suffer from violence generally have little access to healthcare either because they live in remote or rural areas, or they are prevented from seeking healthcare. Mobile healthcare technology has made healthcare access easier for some of these women, and governments are now starting to train healthcare professionals to use mobile health tech to detect domestic abuse. For example, India’s Mobilise! programme trains nurses to identify women at risk of violence and encourage them to disclose their experiences. And in Indonesia, the government mobilised 100,000 midwives by providing them with up-to-date healthcare practices through an SMS programme called Bidan.

Anti-VAW Tech Use Technique 16: A Mobile Education

The mobile phone can be used as a standalone technology to enable girls in schools to improve their education and learning. According to UNESCO, which held its Mobile Learning Week in March, mobile learning can promote inclusion in education. Girls in some countries are unable to go to Internet cafes to access resources for school work, so a mobile phone becomes an essential tool for their education. Mobile learning is still a new concept, so it will take more research and definitely some government policy to develop local content and provide access to enable it to work where it is needed.

16 Things You Didn’t Know About Incest/Child Sexual Abuse And How To End It

We are pleased to welcome a guest “16 For 16” article from the RAHI Foundation. Established in 1996, RAHI is a pioneering organisation focused on women survivors of Incest and Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). RAHI’s work includes support and recovery through the distinctive RAHI Model of Healing, awareness and education about incest/ CSA, training and intervention, and research and capacity building – all established within the larger issue of social change.

In this article, they provide an overview of what incest/child sexual abuse is and the steps we can take for prevention and intervention when we recognise it in our communities.

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Child sexual abuse is the abuse of a child involving sexual activity by a more powerful person. When this person is a member of the child’s family or close enough to the child’s family to qualify as ‘as if’ family, the abuse is called incest.

Incest/child sexual abuse (CSA) is veiled in silence. Like all forms of abuse and harassment, we want to believe ‘it doesn’t happen here’, but the reality of incest/CSA is far grimmer and made up of uncomfortable truths. Incest/CSA is more common than we realise, and usually perpetrated by someone loved, respected and trusted by the child. They can have damaging consequences on the child which can continue into adulthood. However, its scars are not permanent, and victims and survivors of incest/CSA can heal from their abuse, leave their past behind, and lead rich, fulfilling lives.

Incest/CSA is also shrouded in myths and misconceptions, which none of us are immune to falling for. Here are 16 things you didn’t know about incest/CSA.

*NB: We use the term ‘victims’ for children who have been sexually abused and ‘survivors’ for adults who were sexually abused when they were children.

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Part 1: Get The Facts About Incest/Child Abuse

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #1: It’s more common than you think. Incest/CSA is the epidemic no one speaks about. A government-led study on child abuse in India in 2007 revealed that out of a sample of over 14,000 children, 53.3% had experienced some form of sexual abuse in childhood. RAHI’s own research, detailed in Voices from the Silent Zone (published, 1998 – you can order a copy over email), found that amongst 600 English speaking middle- and upper-class women in cities in India, 76% had experienced sexual abuse in childhood out of which 40% was incest.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #2: It mostly takes place in families. Media reports on incest/CSA usually portray it as an act committed by a stranger. However, the majority of cases of CSA are cases of incest with the perpetrator being a member of the child’s family, or someone close to and respected by the child’s family.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #3: Abusers are not monsters. As much as we would like to believe that abusers are different from us and place them in the guise of ‘monsters’ or ‘mentally ill,’ the truth is that abusers are more like us than they are not like us. It is impossible for us to identify an abuser unless we know that he is abusing.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #4: Victims and survivors find it difficult to disclose what has happened to them. Disclosure is especially difficult for children who may lack the language to speak about what happened, may have been threatened by the abuser or may fear not being believed if they do disclose. Survivors of incest/CSA may only speak up about their abuse years after it takes place. Some may never reveal it at all. It takes an enormous amount of courage to speak about one’s own abuse.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #5: The majority of cases of incest/CSA are unreported. The rate of reporting of incest/CSA cases is even lower than the rate of disclosure. Fear of social stigma, the complexity of the victim’s feelings for her abuser and the daunting process of navigating the criminal justice system all contribute to the hesitation to report abuse.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #6: Survivors of incest/CSA may remember the abuse months, years or decades after it happened. Survivors may suppress memories of their abuse and how it made them feel. Some may not even recall having been sexually abused. However, these memories may be triggered by events or experiences that take place later in the survivor’s life.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #7: Incest/CSA has a long term impact on a woman’s emotional, mental and sexual health. Survivors of incest/CSA deal with comments like ‘It happened so long ago – it’s no big deal’ or ‘ just get over it’. However, when left unchecked, the impact of incest/CSA manifests in adulthood in the form of low self-esteem, relationship issues, eating disorders, self-harm or other destructive behaviours, and more.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #8: Recovery is possible. Survivors do not have to live with the effects of incest/CSA all their lives. Counselling that focuses on recovery and healing from the abuse empowers a survivor to acknowledge what happened and decide to act to reclaim their lives. Through the healing process, survivors are able to move beyond the abuse and build fulfilling lives for themselves.

Part 2: Things You Can Do About Incest/CSA

Incest/CSA can be identified and prevented. It is the responsibility of the adults in a child’s life to identify signs of abuse or distress and take action. Here are 8 things you can do to prevent incest/CSA:

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #9: Accept and believe that incest/CSA could happen in your own family or home. While we want to believe that incest/CSA doesn’t or would never happen in our family, by denying the possibility that our own home could be unsafe for a child we make the space even more unsafe. When we believe that incest/CSA is as likely to happen in our own homes as anywhere else, we can take the necessary precautions to create safe spaces for children and decrease the risk of incest/CSA happening.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #10: Seek help for your own abuse, if any. If you are a survivor of incest/CSA yourself, it is possible that the impact of your own abuse is affecting your behaviour. Survivors may show overprotective or overcautious behaviour that may end up hindering children’s development rather than enabling their independence. When you have resolved the issues around your own abuse, you will be better equipped to take the steps needed to prevent incest/CSA .

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #11: Watch out for signs. While children may not be able to disclose that they are being abused, certain behaviours or signs, such as inappropriate sexual behaviour with other children or writing stories about sex or abuse, indicate that the child is facing sexual abuse. More general symptoms such as frequent illnesses, withdrawal and isolation, and eating disturbances are also signs of distress in a child.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #12: Educate yourself. Read about incest/CSA on the Internet and follow organisations working on the issue on Facebook and Twitter. If there is an organisation near you working on incest/CSA you can volunteer with them or see if they are holding any workshops and training programmes that you can attend (you can reach out to RAHI Foundation for information by writing in to info@rahifoundation.org). When fighting to end incest/CSA, a sound education on the subject is the most formidable weapon in your arsenal.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #13: Talk to children about sexuality and boundaries. Children should grow up knowing that sex is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about. It is up to us to teach them their rights and tell them that it’s OK to say ‘no’ – even to an adult. Children should also know who they can go to in case someone does something to them that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #14: Create a safe space for children. Make sure you create an environment in which children and their opinions are valued and respected. In a safe space, a child is not fearful of approaching an adult or wary that she might be reprimanded or punished for saying what she feels. A child that is involved and treated as a vital part of the community – whether it is within the home, school, or any other setting – is more likely to be able to tell a trusted adult if she is being abused.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #15: Talk about it. Since so many cases of child sexual abuse are cases of incest, bringing incest/CSA into everyday conversation challenges the very foundation of the family unit, making it an issue people are reluctant to talk about. This, of course, makes it all the more necessary to talk about it. Talk about incest/CSA as you talk about current events with family and friends, take part in online campaigns and conversations around the issue, and if you have any influence in the media (especially social media), make it a part of your agenda to include the topic in your public conversations whenever possible.

Recognising & Ending Incest/CSA #16: Know how to react. In order to prevent incest/CSA from recurring you need to know what to do when a child discloses their sexual abuse to you. The most important thing to do is to believe the child. Reassure her that she did the right thing in coming to you and that the abuse was not her fault. When you take action, make sure you tell the child what action you are taking. If she feels you are talking about the abuse behind her back, she will feel like she did something wrong. Involve the child and respect her feelings when deciding on what course of action you will take.

The Pixel Project Selection 2017: 16 Notable Facebook Pages by Anti-Violence against Women Organisations

Since it was founded in 2004, Facebook has become a social media powerhouse with over 1.94 billion monthly active users as of June 2017. Facebook has grown from a basic social connection website to a life platform. It is used to find, connect and catch up with friends, to read the news, to conduct business, to shop, and to learn.

Facebook is also used to find causes, organisations, and events that are important to us and to advocate for various issues. Now Facebook users can learn about and support global issues from their own homes. Violence against women (VAW) is one of the global human rights issues finding supporters on Facebook. Now, a story about VAW can be read, watched, or heard via Facebook by millions of people around the globe. They can follow organisational news, participate in grassroots campaigns, and donate right from their mobile phone or computer.

More importantly, more than a billion Facebook members worldwide can now locate anti-VAW organisations’ Facebook pages to learn about VAW or quietly get VAW victims and survivors the help they need should they be unable to speak on the phone or otherwise physically get help. Every little bit helps!

This is our sixth annual list of 16 recommended Facebook pages which we have selected because of their unique approach to fighting all kinds of VAW. To make it as representative as possible the selection covers a wide range of countries across different continents. So choose a couple to ‘like’, or better yet ‘like’ them all, get informed, and take action.

Introduction by Rebecca DeLuca and Maria del Rio; Written and compiled by Maria del Rio with additional content by Regina Yau.

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Recommended Facebook Page #1: Afghan Women’s Writing Project – Afghanistan

The Afghan Women’s Writing Project reaches out to women teachers in the United States and engages them, on a volunteer rotation basis, to mentor Afghan women online. The aim of this project is to encourage women to share their stories from their unique perspectives, as sharing is itself a healing process and also a way of helping other women understand their own issues and problems. The blog aims at raising awareness while protecting the privacy of the courageous women who contribute to it. The importance of this blog is four-fold: it helps women feel proud of their stories and heritage, it educates people about Afghan women’s lives under the Taliban and their current issues, it is a method to document their present lives, and it promotes a positive link between Afghans and Americans that goes beyond what they have heard of each other’s countries.

Recommended Facebook Page #2: Edinburgh Women’s Aid – Scotland

At the Edinburgh Women’s Aid they believe that our society should be free from domestic abuse and that women and children deserve to live their lives without fear or violence. With over 40 years of experience, they provide practical and emotional support to women, children and young people at risk of domestic abuse and raise awareness by providing emotional and practical support to survivors. More importantly, their motto is to never judge anyone that reaches out for help, respecting women and their personal choices and providing them with resources.

Recommended Facebook Page #3: EVE Organization for Women’s Development – South Sudan

EVE Organization for Women Development was founded by South Sudanese women from many Sudanese Universities who came together to help transform the lives of women in South Sudan. Because of political instability, they focus their work on women’s peace and security, and socio-economic stability. However, they have gone further and are pushing for women’s participation and inclusion in decision-making and peace processes, as they understand women need to be part of the negotiations in order to achieve positive impact. They focus their community work on issues of utmost importance in South Sudan: fostering school attendance and promoting girls to go back to school, societal perception of women and their roles in the community, economic empowerment, and training and awareness for capacity building.

Recommended Facebook Page #4: Kvenréttindafélag Íslands (The Icelandic Women’s Rights Association) – Iceland and the Nordic countries

This non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Reykjavík, Iceland works on combating online VAW (including revenge porn) and has been fighting for women’s rights and gender equality since 1907. In spite of Iceland being the best country for gender equality (according to the Global Gender Gap Index), not a single territory on this planet has achieved full equality. Founded by Bríet Bjarnhéðinsdóttir, a woman who fought for suffrage rights, its focus now is on increasing women‘s representation in parliament and other leadership positions in big organisations. They also elaborate reports for the Icelandic parliament and other ministers and lobby to make gender studies a mandatory subject in secondary schools, and raise awareness about harassment and violence against women online. Moreover, they celebrate women‘s history in Iceland and support women‘s culture and women artists all year round by hosting open meetings, conferences, seminars, and other events.

Recommended Facebook Page #5: Liberty from Violence – Australia

Liberty from Violence is the newest of the chosen organisations for this year, aiming not only at raising awareness against gender violence, but also fundraising. The money raised will be used to fill in the gaps in the survivors’ paths, and they are doing so by researching current available resources in Wagga Wagga, Australia, and matching them with the current needs of the survivors. There are three programs: providing support for survivors of domestic violence (women, mothers with children and youth); supporting local refugees to help them settle, and providing funds for emergency relief purposes for survivors of domestic violence so that they don’t have to return to a violent home.

Recommended Facebook Page #6: Namibia Women’s Health Network (NWHN) – Namibia

Namibia Women’s Health Network (NWHN) is a community-based organisation, with a group of fourteen women who registered with the Ministry of Health and Social Services in 2007 to empower those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in Namibia. They currently work with civil society organisations and the national and local governments to address the issues faced by HIV positive women in Namibia. The network currently connects 1400 members across the 13 regions of Namibia to disseminate accurate information on sexual reproductive health, prevention of mother to child transmission, cervical cancer, etc. Moreover, among other services, they guide women on organisations fighting gender-based violence and sensitising community members, policy makers, and traditional leaders on issues affecting women living with HIV.

Recommended Facebook Page #7: Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development – South Africa

They host numerous campaigns online, with the aim of raising awareness and educating people on forms of violence against women. Currently, the organisation is running a campaign on sexual consent called “Consent is Sexy!” Their unique approach is their two-fold strategy: consent not only in more casual encounters but also the importance of consent in marriages. They also host a radio program with 30-minute episodes centered on issues faced by women in their community, with the aim of encouraging open and honest talks about gender and violence against women while educating the listeners. Their third campaign is about date rape but tackles issues beyond consent such as HIV/AIDS, dating tips and support strategies for the rape survivor.

Recommended Facebook Page #8: Red Thread Women: Crossroads Women’s Centre – Guyana

Founded in 1986 (and available on Facebook chat) the Red Thread is a grassroots organisation that works with women to better their life conditions, bridging the gap between differences to transform their status. They work with women and children who have suffered the consequences of unequal distribution of power in their society and provide them with tools to help them change the power differences from within their relationships. They approach topics of world-wide interest from a local perspective: from the gender pay gap to fighting all kinds of violence against women, to foster unity and defy fights inside society.

Recommended Facebook Page #9: The RAHI Foundation –– India

RAHI, a non-profit organisation based in New Delhi, India, is a one-of-a-kind organisation in the country: it works with adult women survivors of incest and childhood sexual abuse, and offers services by providing individual and group services for survivors aimed at their psychological, emotional, sexual and spiritual recovery. Moreover, it also works with girls who have experienced child sexual abuse, works to raise awareness about incest and other forms of child sexual abuse, and offers advice to other organisations that want to start support groups in other parts of India. Furthermore, whenever they have a person online, Facebook chat shows the following message: “RAHI Foundation is active now. Start a conversation” so that visitors can chat.

Recommended Facebook Page #10: WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre – Canada

The WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre focuses on ending all forms of violence against women by challenging the status quo and the way we think about and look at things. They provide support and healing therapies to help survivors of sexualised violence and help them develop leadership for prevention of future violence. Moreover, they promote legal, social, and attitudinal changes to dismantle systemic oppression of women that perpetuates violence. Moreover, they welcome all Facebook users to engage in conversation with them, however, they are also very strict: any hateful, women-blaming comments are deleted and the user will be banned from their Facebook page.

Recommended Facebook Page #11: Women’s Aid Leicestershire Limited – England

Women’s Aid Leicestershire Limited provides free and confidential support to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence on their journey to empowerment and also to prevent future violence. When necessary they provide survivors with safe shelter, and they also offer counseling for women and children survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence.

Recommended Facebook Page #12: Women Against Violence Association – Jordan

WAV’s mission is not only to address all kind of violence against women, but also to promote the ways in which women and their roles promote building healthy societies. Moreover, due to Jordan’s geopolitical situation, WAV also has a special chapter on terrorism, from clarifying concepts to exposing motivations to helping prevent attacks. WAV is trying to reach as many survivors as possible through different activities such as publishing articles and other stories, communication strategies, and conferences. Both their Facebook and their website are in Arabic with limited information in English.

Recommended Facebook Page #13: WomenPowerConnect – India

WomenPowerConnect is a non-profit NGO that works to foster women’s empowerment and gender justice. They work to ensure the effective implementation of gender-friendly legislation and the active participation of women in policy outcomes regarding women’s representation in Parliament, budget, prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace, and fighting sex- selective abortions, among other issues. In order to achieve their objectives, they have formed an alliance of over 1000 women’s groups and individuals from all over India to work together raising awareness about women’s issues and therefore influencing legislators and policy makers to create and implement gender friendly policies.

Recommended Facebook Page #14: Women’s Refuge New Zealand – New Zealand

Women’s Refuge is the largest NGO in New Zealand dedicated to the prevention of domestic violence, with a network of 45 affiliated women’s refuges in the country. They also offer women and children a helpline, where they answer almost seven calls every hour. Centred around building a country free from domestic and family violence, they aim to empower women and children to live free of domestic and family violence through social change fostered by education and advocacy. They also have a new program, named Whanau Project, that helps domestic violence survivors at risk of re-victimisation or further attacks to upgrade their homes with state of the art technology to help them safely stay at their place.

Recommended Facebook Page #15: Women Under Siege – International

This journalism project investigates and writes about how sexual violence including rape, was and is being used as a tool in genocide and conflict in the 20th and 21st centuries. It was created by Gloria Steinem, and building on the investigations of Sonja Hedgepeth and Rochelle Saidel (who wrote about sexual violence against Jewish women during the Holocaust and the studies of Danielle McGuire who wrote about sexual violence against black women in the USA). The project started with the intention of understanding our past so that we can prevent our societies from making the same mistakes and with the hypothesis that the gender-based violence that happened in Bosnia and Democratic Republic of the Congo’s conflicts could have been prevented from happening. They have a special chapter documenting sexual violence in Syria through a live crowdsourced map at: https://womenundersiegesyria.crowdmap.com

Recommended Facebook Page #16: The “Women Won’t Wait” Campaign – Latin American Region

This bilingual campaign is hosted in Spanish and English to reach Latin American women across borders. It’s an international coalition of women’s organisations that fosters inclusivity and diversity among its members to gather together talent, perspective and energy to promote a general switch in how societies perceive HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence. The campaign researches the links between gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS and to help break the circle with the aim to help empower women and girls with HIV/AIDS to reduce their vulnerability, by working to change policies and societal views on the issue.

The Pixel Project Selection 2017: 16 Notable Anti-VAW Activists and Organisations You Should Follow on Twitter

In a hyperconnected world that is increasingly dominated by virtual communities and online news, social media has become a major influencer on and driver of how we understand activism and politics in this day and age. This has been made possible by organisations and individual activists taking to social media to expand on their anti-Violence Against Women (anti-VAW) work, putting it to work for the cause in different ways. Among the many social media platforms available, Twitter is a go-to for many people to get news updates, to find out the opinions of specialists working in a particular area about the latest happenings, and to share or engage with discussions online.

Using Twitter, anti-VAW organisations and individual activists and advocates are now able to raise awareness about issues happening in their own community in a way that is accessible  worldwide to anyone with an internet connection. Consequently, Twitter has become a helpful tool – acting as a free impromptu newsfeed for anybody wanting or needing to keep up-to-date with the anti-VAW work of various organisations and activists globally. With just a quick search for the hashtag – #vaw, for example –  a user can be acquainted with a lot of what people are doing in this area in various parts of the world and also contribute/engage in various ways with the cause.

With that in mind, The Pixel Project presents our 2017 Twitter selection to make your task easier by helping you sort your search. We narrowed down the many incredible organisations and individuals involved in the cause to end violence against women to the 16 listed below. These are organisations, grassroots groups, and people who will keep you informed simply because they share the passion to create a better tomorrow for girls and women everywhere.

Introduction by Rebecca DeLuca and Adishi Gupta; Written and compiled by Adishi Gupta.

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Twitter Follow Recommendation 1: Against Violence & Abuse (@AVAproject) – United Kingdom

AVA Project is an independent charity that aims to put an end to gender-based violence and abuse in the UK. It is a survivor-centred organisation driven by and according to the needs and comfort of survivors. The AVA Project’s Twitter account regularly posts updates about its work and also about the work by and information from various other anti-VAW organisations in the UK and beyond.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 2: Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (@GAATW_IS) – Thailand

GAATW is an independent network of anti-human trafficking non-governmental organisations from around the world. It works with trafficked and migrant women around the world and is is committed to galvanising change in the economic, political, social and legal systems and structures that contribute to the persistence of trafficking. GAATW’s Twitter account informs its followers about their latest events and programmes while disseminating useful information and articles about human trafficking worldwide.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 3: Global Network of Women’s Shelters (@WomensShelters) – International

Global Network of Women’s Shelters aims to unite the women’s shelter movement globally in order to put an end to violence against women and their children. Their Twitter account updates its followers about its global conferences about ending VAW, and useful information about the various kinds of violence women are subjected to, its effects on survivors, and the ways to combat it.

 

Twitter Follow Recommendation 4: Her Zimbabwe (@herzimbabwe) – Zimbabwe

Her Zimbabwe is a digital media publishing platform that aims to share and foreground the stories of Zimbabwean women. It publishes Zimbabwean women’s stories and voices across various categories and is a great platform to learn about their stuggles in dealing with different kinds of structural violence, including those rooted in patriarchy and racism. Her Zimbabwe’s Twitter account shares updates not just about their published articles but also about articles and information from various other platforms.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 5: Mama Cash (@mamacash) – Netherlands

Mama Cash is an international funding organisation that supports women’s, girls’ and trans people’s human rights and social justice movements around the world. Diversity is at the heart of its values and thus it supports and promotes initiatives for and by women from different sexualities, ethnicities and professions. Mama Cash’s Twitter timeline keeps its followers updated about anti-VAW news and activism by various organisations and individuals around the world. They also use their Twitter account to announce any upcoming grant application opportunities for organisations to apply for so that they can carry on with their work to fight VAW without running out of financial resources.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 6: Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) – Cairo

Mona Eltahawy, the author of “Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution,” is a public speaker and New York Times columnist focused on Arab and Muslim issues. Named one of the “150 Fearless Women of 2015” by Newsweek magazine, she is fierce in her fight against Islamophobia, violence against women, and control on women’s sexuality, and many other human rights issues. Her Twitter account is an excellent resource for  women’s rights activists and their supporters who are looking for incisive feminist commentary.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 7: Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) – Pakistan

Nighat Dad is the Executive Director of the NGO, Digital Rights Foundation in Pakistan. She is an accomplished lawyer and a human rights activist. She works at a policy level on a wide range of issues like Internet Freedom, Women and technology, Digital Security and Women’s empowerment. Ms. Dad was included in Next Generation Leaders List by TIME’s magazine for her work on helping women fight online harassment in 2015 and was awarded the Dutch government’s Human Rights Tulip awards last year.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 8: Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (@OCTEVAW) – Canada

OCTEVAW is a nonprofit, non-partisan coalition of organisations working in the areas of feminism, anti-racism, and LGBTQ+ rights with the aim of ending gender-based violence. Its work ranges from advocacy to public education to movement-building. It does so by closing down the gaps between frontline service providers, policy makers, and the justice system via collaborating to address problems, develop educational programmes, and serve the community through political action and advocacy. Their Twitter account is a useful resource for survivors to find crisis helpline numbers and for updates on the anti-gender-based violence work of the various members of this coalition.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 9: PCVC (@pcvc2000) – India

PCVC is a nonprofit service provider for women in India who are affected by violence. They offer a wide range of services to survivors, including crisis management, legal advocacy, support and resource services. Their mission is to help rebuild lives damaged by abusive family relationships. They do so by facilitating the process of self-empowerment for women survivors of family violence. PCVC’s Twitter account regularly posts news updates related to incidents of VAW across the country, about their crisis helpline numbers and their anti-VAW work with the survivors.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 10: Rashi Vidyasagar (@mizarcle) – India

Rashi Vidyasagar is a criminologist by education and feminist crisis interventionist by training. She has provided emergency psycho-social support to survivors of sexual and domestic violence and has worked with both the Indian health and the criminal justice system to make them more survivor-centric. At present, she leads multiple teams of social workers across states who provide psycho-socio-legal support to survivors of violence in police stations. On Twitter, she talks about the role of the state in responding to and preventing violence against women and connects women asking for help with organisations who can provide help.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 11: SAFE Ireland (@SAFEIreland) – Ireland

SAFE Ireland is the national social change agency working to end domestic violence in Ireland through the use of innovative and strategic methods to transform society’s response to cases of gender-based violence. While it started out as a network of service providers, SAFE now works in close collaboration with with forty domestic violence services across communities in the country. SAFE’s Twitter account has updates about its various anti-VAW activities and useful information from other anti-VAW organisations.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 12: Sisters Uncut (@sistersglasgow) – Scotland

Sisters Uncut is a feminist group standing united with all self-identified women against domestic violence and all the other types of violence they undergo on an everyday basis. It strongly believes that safety is not a privilege and focuses on women having to live in domestic abuse situations. It is an intersectional feminist organisation and understands that every woman’s experience of violence is affected by her race, class, disability, sexuality and immigration status. Sisters Uncut’s Twitter account focuses on tweeting out informative posts on its anti-VAW work in the form of interactive posters as well as updates from various other anti-VAW organisations.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 13: The Establishment (@ESTBLSHMNT) – United States of America

The Establishment is an intersectional feminist media publishing platform that is funded and run by women. It publishes new articles everyday on various topics relevant to women including violence against women, sexuality, society, among others. The Establishment’s Twitter timeline is updated daily with new content covering feminist topics that are of interest for feminists and anyone who is interested in women’s human and civil rights issues.

 

Twitter Follow Recommendation 14: The Kering Foundation (@KeringForWomen) – International

The Kering Foundation works to combat violence against women in three different areas of the world: the Americas, Western Europe and Asia. It structures its work around three key aspects: supporting NGOs, awarding social entrepreneurs and organising awareness campaigns. Their Twitter account posts regular updates about cases of violence against women around the world and the efforts of various organisations to combat the violence.

 

Twitter Follow Recommendation 15: The Tempest (@WeAreTheTempest) – United States of America

The Tempest is a technology and media publishing platform by and for diverse millennial women, with a reach of millions of millennials per month. They ‘empower, disrupt, and amplify’ all at once. It was started with the aim of filling the gaps in the popular narrative about lives of diverse women belonging to underrepresented backgrounds. The Tempest’s Twitter account has updates not only about its various insightful articles and news, but also relevant content from other organisations concerning issues affecting women and girls.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 16:  Wear Your Voice (@WearYourVoice) – United States of America

Wear Your Voice Magazine is an American intersectional feminist media publication whose mission is to deconstruct mainstream media’s approach to news and culture through an intersectional feminist point of view. It covers a wide range of issues like women’s human rights, LGBTQIA rights, race and gender, body politics, sex, and entertainment. It publishes and writes about violence against People of Colour (POC) in general and Women of Colour (WOC) in particular. Its Twitter account is a helpful go-to for reading their articles as well as relevant information and articles from other publications about the issues that they cover.

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Photo Credits:

  1. Mona Eltahawy: From “Mona Eltahawy’s sexual revolution manifesto for Arab women” (rightnow.org)
  2. Nighat Dad: From https://twitter.com/nighatdad
  3. Rashi Vidyasagar: Courtesy of Rashi Vidyasagar