Facebook quickly became one of the most used social networking sites. It has grown from a gossip site to include cause- focused advocacy and global issues as part of its information sharing. Participants have shared, weighed in, debated, and joined virtual hands around the world to address a multitude of difficult human rights issues such as violence against women. On Facebook, everyone becomes an activist and adds their voice to keep the subject – be it public rapes, female genital mutilation, or domestic violence – at the forefront of people’s minds with a simple click and share.
News stories, events, and opinions now go viral on sites like Facebook before they reach television. Social networking has replaced the TV news show as a means to spread information happening not only in our communities, but around the world, linking what seemed like disparate and isolated acts of violence into a human rights issue that happens in every society and effects everyone. On Facebook, hundreds of thousands of people share their opinion and demand action. The power of Facebook seems to be limitless as one share equals 12 shares, which turns into 24, then 48, until over 100 people have seen and shared a piece of information, news link, or picture.
In this article, we highlight 16 anti-violence against women Facebook pages that are unique in their message and their delivery. This is our second annual list of recommended Facebook pages and we have selected them because they make an effort to temper humour with information, offer a significant way for their readers to help, and make those in the fight feel more powerful and part of something greater. They present a unique perspective on a global issue. So pick and choose a couple to ‘like’, or better yet – ‘like’ them all and get informed and take action.
Introduction by Michelle Cahill with updates by Regina Yau; 2013 list research and compiled by Jennifer Gallienne; Curated and Edited by Regina Yau and Carol Olson.
Recommended Facebook Page #1: Abuse No More – Global
Abuse No More is a public page of a network of closed Facebook groups designed to offer private and safe spaces for survivors to talk, share, and get support from one another. As part of their mission to help survivors of domestic violence heal and rebuild their lives, their public page offers a variety of positive quotes that help keep spirits buoyant. Like this page if you feel in need of a lift and domestic violence survivors who need a safe space to talk can directly request for admission to the closed support groups.
Recommended Facebook Page #2: Blank Noise – India
Blank Noise is led and run completely by volunteers. A core team of volunteers from across geographical locations and age groups work with the collective. Blank Noise seeks to trigger public dialogue on the issue of street sexual harassment. Fifty percent of Blank Noise members are male and are referred to as Blank Noise Guys. Blank Noise works towards an attitudinal shift towards ‘eve-teasing’ and involves the public to take collective responsibility of the issue. Their Facebook page is one of the best ones out there for those who wish to keep up with news about women’s rights and violence against women in India.
Recommended Facebook Page #3: Catalyst Foundation – Vietnam
Catalyst Foundation helps build communities in Vietnam to fight human trafficking. There is no simple option to stop trafficking. Catalyst Foundation believes there is only a holistic approach to ending this tragedy. Through education and community development, Catalyst works to give these communities and its daughters hope. Their Facebook page is a reflection of this and anyone interested in how the fight to stop human trafficking in Vietnam should follow them to get the latest news about their campaigns as well as more general news about the issue from a Vietnam perspective.
Recommended Facebook Page #4: Draw the line campaign – Canada
‘Draw The Line’ is an interactive campaign that aims to engage Ontarians in a dialogue about sexual violence. The campaign challenges common myths about sexual violence and equips bystanders with information on how to intervene safely and effectively. It is ‘Draw the Line’s hope to educate about how to spot sexual violence and empower users to make a difference. The news mix on their Facebook page a slanted towards reporting on and educating young people in their teens and twenties about the subject of consent and why learning to recognise whether consent is given is one of the keys to stopping sexual assault and rape.
Recommended Facebook Page #5: Free The Slaves – global
Free the Slaves liberate slaves around the world and help survivors of slavery rebuild their lives. They research real world solutions to eradicate slavery forever, and fight the systems that allow slavery to exist in the first place. This organisation uses world class research and compelling stories from the front lines of slavery to convince the powerful and the powerless that we can end slavery. For those who are particularly interested in the issue of slavery, their page offers a great introduction to the cause for first-timers as they share a good mix of articles that put slavery into its historical context as well as human interest stories focused on activists and survivors.
Recommended Facebook Page #6: Global Network of Women Peacebuilders – Global
The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, a program partner of the International Civil society Action network (ICAN), is a coalition of women’s groups and other civil society organisations from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and Latin America that are directly involved in advocacy and action for the full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 (1888, 1889) on Women, Peace and Security at the local, national, regional, and international levels. They work to bridge the “gap between policy discussions and implementation and action on the ground on women, peace and security issues.” Their Facebook page swings between sharing news of the major activities and campaigns undertaken by their partners and members, and key Violence Against Women news in countries like Egypt and Afghanistan where women suffer some of the highest levels of gender-based violence in the world.
Recommended Facebook Page #7: Gotstared.at – Global
GS.A is a counter-culture movement that raises awareness on social issues of violence, gender, and discrimination, and believes in the power of the internet to reach out. What began as an outlet to vent frustrations has now taken shape as an extensive movement through social networks online. Their Facebook page shares a wide range of anti-Violence Against Women news as well as a mix of feminist memes as well as videos that provoke discussion and thought not just about violence against women but gender inequality as a whole.
Recommended Facebook Page #8: Haitianwomennetwork.org – Haiti
Haitian Women Network is an advocacy group whose sole purpose is to campaign against abuse of young girls and women in Haiti, as well as to promote equality and dignity. On their Facebook page, they focus on sharing news about Haitian women’s rights, the progress in the rebuilding of Haiti after the earthquake, as well as news links about key violence against women issues and events from around the world.
Recommended Facebook Page #9 – New Light Kolkata – India
New Light is a non-profit community project based in Kalighat, Kolata, on of the oldest red light districts of the city. Urmi Basu founded the organisation in 2000 to provide a variety of services and support for children, girls and women in the Kalighat community who are victims of trafficking, prostitution and other needs of women and girls. The New Light Facebook page provides updates about their work and campaigns, providing an insight about how working on the ground to help survivors of sex trafficking and forced prostitution is like in India.
Recommended Facebook Page #10: No More.org – USA
NO MORE is a movement centered on a powerful new symbol that brings together all people who want to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Like the peace sign, the yellow “support our troops” ribbon, the red AIDS ribbon, or the pink breast cancer ribbon, the goal of the NO MORE symbol is to help spark a national dialogue and move the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault higher on the public’s agenda. Their Facebook page features coverage on high profile celebrities supporting their cause through PSAs, quotes and speaking out publicly about domestic violence.
Recommended Facebook Page #11: Project Unbreakable – Global
The mission of Project Unbreakable is to increase awareness of the issues surrounding sexual assault and encourage the act of healing through art. Since the project’s conception in October 2011, it has featured over two thousand images of sexual assault survivors holding posters with quotes from their attackers. Project Unbreakable has been featured media outlets such as Glamour, TIME, The Huffington Post, and The Guardian. Unbreakable’s Facebook and Tumblr pages have thousands of photos from users of all races and ages and genders.
Recommended Facebook Page #12: Safe Dehli Campaign – India
The Safe Delhi Campaign aims to mobilise people in the city to act and make a change. This campaign believes that women and girls have a right to live a life free from violence and fear, and that all of us have a role to play in making this a reality. This campaign focuses on strategies to create safer environments for women and girls, and ways of getting different groups of people in the city involved. On their Facebook page, they share news links, videos and informational graphics about safety apps for women and girls, urban planning for the safety of women and girls, as well as selected news about efforts by major anti-VAW organisations such as UN Women.
Recommended Facebook Page #13: The Invisible War – US
The Invisible War, directed and produced by Oscar and Emmy-nominated Kirby Dick and Emmy-nominated Amy Ziering, is a searing expose of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military, the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence, and its profound personal and social consequences. Their Facebook page provides up-to-date information about media coverage and statistics of sexual assault in the military.
Recommended Facebook Page #14: The Pixel Project – Global
The Pixel Project is a global, totally volunteer-based initiative with volunteers spread across the world. Their goal is to stimulate the fight against gender violence through volunteering, men’s involvement and fundraising. Its completely virtual platform encourages one to step outside the box and see what is happening all over the world, all while encouraging participation in what is happening at home. The Pixel Project’s Facebook page shares information from all over the globe, encourages thoughtful discussion and keeps their followers up to date on what’s happening in the fight against gender violence.
Recommended Facebook Page #15: UltraViolet – USA
UltraViolet is a new and rapidly growing community of women and men across the U.S. mobilised to fight sexism and expand women’s rights, from politics and government to media and pop culture. UltraViolet works on a range of issues, including health care, economic security, violence, and reproductive rights. Their Facebook page, though U.S.-centric, reflects their mission very well as they share news and information about a wide range of issues including domestic violence against women and sexism in politics and the workplace.
Recommended Facebook Page #16: White Ribbon Campaign – Pakistan
The concept of men working to end violence against women is not only novel in Pakistan, but internationally as well. It is challenging, keeping in view the social and religious context of the culture. The aim behind WRCP is to instill in men that masculinity does not lie in using power against women. Rather, it lies in channeling this power for building a better future for the society. Their Facebook page is focused on sharing news of their campaigns and projects in Pakistan, and they try to keep things upbeat with a smattering of positive quote pictures popping up fairly regularly.