The Pixel Project Selection 2014: 16 Striking Anti-Violence Campaigns for the Cause to End Violence Against Women

Give Peace a ChanceIn the past year we have come across groundbreaking campaigns and have been inspired by extraordinary women leading the fight against assault on women.  Women of different backgrounds have come together to add their voices in shaping a better future for women and girls globally.  Ordinary, yet brilliant, movements like ‘#YesAllWomen’ and ‘Take Back The Tech’, prompted frank and honest debates concerning sexual harassment online and in our daily lives.  Actress Emma Watson helped launched a new initiative—the ‘He4She’ campaign—with the UN in support of gender equality.  And the courageous 17-year-old, Malala Yousafzai, won the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to human rights and advocacy for the education of girls and women.

While we’ve seen progress, the ongoing battle that women face must be noted and addressed.  We live in a world where women are still regarded as collateral damage in war zones when they are taken hostage, raped or killed for political motives. Women are still the victims of hate crime as witnessed in the Isla Vista Killings. Women’s rights are still infringed upon in ordinary public settings, such as being harassed and touched without consent on the streets, as seen in Sam Pepper’s disturbing YouTube videos.  Add all this to domestic abuse of women in their homes, and it becomes startlingly clear that women are viewed as second-class citizens in many parts of the world.

So today, in honour of all VAW activists, nonprofits and grassroots group who toil in such thankless situations to bring about positive change to the lives of women and girls facing violence, we present 16 of the most striking campaigns/programmes we have come across in the last year of our work.

What these campaigns have in common are:

  • The built-in “water-cooler” factor that gets the community buzzing about the campaign and, by extension, the issue of VAW.
  • A good sense of what works in and for the culture and community where the activist/nonprofit/grassroots group is trying to effect change.

We hope that these campaigns and initiatives inspire you to take action and get on board the cause to end VAW.

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

– Written and compiled by Samantha Carroll

99c4edb83bStriking Anti-VAW Campaign #1: Act together in Prevention and Response to GBV and Child Abuse – Rwanda

The Rwandan government, with the support of the National Police force, took proactive steps in reducing violence against woman with plans to have the Isange One Stop Centre overhauled by 2017.  Isange, launched at the Kacyiru Police Hospital in 2009, provides free medical and legal services to those affected by violence. The campaign’s top priority was addressing the number of sexual crimes as well as spousal murders that take place within the country.  The Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Odda Gasinzigwa, called on citizens to get involved and support the police in preventing gender-based violence (GBV) and the abuse of children.

cp_and_gbv_messages_english_pdfStriking Anti-VAW Campaign #2: Amani – Jordan

The ‘Amani’ campaign launched in Za’atari, a refugee camp in Jordan with a population of 81, 000 Syrian men, women and children who fled Syria after the civil war broke out in 2011.  Much of the harassment in Za’atari is faced by women and young girls and Amani’s goal was to protect children and women from violence while teaching Syrian women about agencies they could contact for help and spreading awareness. Social workers visited homes to provide information about gender-based violence and child protection.  The message of the campaign was: “Our sense of safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #3: #AmINext – Canada

Loretta Saunders was murdered while writing a thesis on violence against Aboriginal women in Canada.  In response, her cousin Holly Jarrett, started a petition on which received 320,000 signatures.  What followed was a viral campaign with Canadian women using the #AmINext hashtag on Twitter.  Women tagged friends to post an #AmINext selfie to draw attention to the widespread violence against Aboriginal women.  Many called on government and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to act.  It is estimated that there are 1,186 missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #4: AWAM’s Nationwide Campaign on Domestic Violence – Malaysia

A nationwide campaign on domestic violence launched in July of 2013 and ran through to September 2014 in Malaysia.  SOGO Kuala Lumpur funded the campaign, which looked to provide information and services for families affected by domestic abuse.  A Community Message Video was released and used for public education and training activities.  Celebrities, non-governmental organizations, and service providers, such as Hospital (OSCC), Police (D11) and the Welfare Department (DV), all came together to lend their support.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #5: Blow the Whistle – South Africa

1 in 3 South African women will have been abused before the age of 18.  News headlines of grotesque rape and murders are as recurrent as they are shocking.  Legacy Lifestyle teamed up with South African celebrities and ambassadors to create the Blow the Whistle campaign.  The campaign intends to keep South African women and children safe by means of whistles as well as a mobile app.  Blow the Whistle urges men and ordinary bystanders to take charge and act when they witness atrocious crimes being committed against women.  Whistles are sold on the Blow the Whistle website, and the proceeds are donated to the DNA Project and the development of DNA forensic technology, which will ensure that perpetrators of rape are accurately identified and held accountable.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #6: Carry the Weight Together – United States of America

In August 2012, Emma Sulkowicz was raped in her college dorm room at Columbia University.  Sulkowicz reported her rapist to Columbia’s disciplinary panel who found him “not responsible”.  Thereafter, two more female students came forward and identified the same individual as their rapist.  This past September, Sulkowicz, a visual art student, did something novel, which sparked a nationwide movement on college campus’ around the US:  she began carrying her mattress with her everywhere and vowed that she would not put it down until her rapist was expelled or left Columbia on his own accord.   On October 29th, students from various colleges around the US amassed to Carry the Weight Together by carrying mattresses in support of Sulkowicz and other rape survivors, and raising awareness of sexual violence.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #7: #Choice4Life – Nigeria

A social media campaign that brought together young Nigerians set the web ablaze in support of safe abortion and stopping violence against women and girls.  #Choice4Life advocates encouraged the appropriate punishment for perpetrators of gender-based violence and the protection of women’s rights.  In the past year, one in ten Nigerian women said they had experienced violence.  The choice to use social media tools like Twitter successfully ensured that the youth of Nigeria were engaged in raising awareness.  The #Choice4Life campaign also opposed the sexual violence committed against school girls who were taken hostage by Boko Haram earlier this year.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #8: MAN UP – Ireland

ManUp was the first campaign in Ireland to adopt new national public awareness guidelines that were published by COSC (the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence).   These guidelines moved to raise awareness of safety information for survivors while also focusing on the behaviour of perpetrators.  As the campaign name suggests, men were invited to participate in finding a solution for ending violence against women in Ireland.  The campaign took a bold approach by sharing stories that, albeit unsettling, were necessary to wake up the public, and men in particular.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #9: Man vs Woman: Stop This Match – Italy

This award-winning campaign by Avon and Looking for Water sought to eliminate violence against women through advertising.  ‘Man vs Woman: Stop This Match’, was created after it was noted that violence seemed to be a man’s favourite sport, with a woman seen as the fitting opponent for domination.  The campaign was also concerned with the subtle, nuanced, and non-violent ways in which women experience abuse via name-calling, humiliation, control and manipulation. The face of the ‘Man vs Woman’ campaign was Italian rugby union footballer, Mauro Bergamasco, who denounced violence against women.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #10: The National Anti-Rape Campaign (NARC) – Nepal

Nepal’s Anti-Rape Campaign has been busy for a little over a year trying to secure protection for women even after the failure of government to amend the nation’s rape law. A sit-in protest began at Bhadrakali, Kathmandu on April 29th after demands issued by campaigners were disregarded.  Campaigners demanded that new, effective laws against rape be implemented and aligned with human rights, a constitution that guarantees the rights of women be developed, and that the Truth and Reconciliation Committee have more female representation.  Action Works Nepal (AWON) has been actively participating to see that the ‘National Anti-Rape Campaign’ demands are met.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #11: #NOTokay – Canada          

#NOTokay, the social media campaign by the YWCA, began as a question:  “Why are we treating violence against women lightly in popular culture?”  The campaign highlighted music videos, internet memes and television programmes that show an industry that makes belittling, sexualising and abusing women seem normal and “okay”.  This campaign aimed to raise awareness about the media we expose ourselves and our children to and what consequences these misleading messages are bound to have. [TRIGGER WARNING: The animation clips below contain graphic depictions of violence against women.]

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #12: Shine a Light – Australia

Domestic violence claims the life of a woman every week in Australia and 1.6 million Australian women have experienced abuse in their homes.  It is said that less than half the victims report their cases to the police due to fear of social alienation or economic ruin.  The ‘Shine a Light’ campaign, created by the Herald and Daily Life, intends to raise awareness of violence towards women, hold government accountable, and create safer living environments for families across Australia.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #13: Spot of Shame – India

Stop Acid Attacks is an Indian organisation that aims to stop the brutal acid attacks suffered by 270 women every year.  This year the organisation started an intrepid campaign called Spot of Shame.  The campaign, held from 22 January to 2 February 2014, encouraged women to mark certain areas in cities (Spots of Shame) with black and yellow stamps, where victims were attacked, assaulted or abused.  The organisation targeted train stations as many women are raped on crowded trains or buses.  300 protestors converged in Mumbai at Bandra Terminus to lend support to the campaign.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #14: #StandUpWorldCup – The United Kingdom

Recent Lancaster University research showed that domestic violence can rise to 26 percent when the English football team wins or draws, and rises a further 38 percent when the national team loses a game.  The Tender Education and Arts group in the UK put together a campaign under the tagline #StandUpWorldCup, and produced a haunting PSA via YouTube.  The PSA depicts an anxious woman watching a football game and hoping with all her might that the right team wins because she knows the likelihood of what will happen if they do not.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #15: The Brave Is Not Violent – Brazil

Another World Cup campaign to stop violence against women was ‘The Brave Is Not Violent’ initiative launched in the 2014 host nation, Brazil.  The campaign aimed to alter sexist behaviour and highlight the responsibility of men to advocate for an end to gender-based violence.  Football fans who attended FanFests were approached by volunteers and received stickers with such slogans as ‘Valente not Violent’ printed on them.   UN Women in Brazil supported the campaign by installing trailers next to the FanFests where HIV testing was conducted and condoms were freely distributed.  The representative of UN Women in Brazil, Nadine Gasman, stated that a sporting event was a great occasion to draw attention to violence against women and to eradicate gender stereotypes.

Striking Anti-VAW Campaign #16: Women Confront VAW using ICTs – Uganda

The Association for Progressive Communication and Isis-WICCE partnered together to create an initiative that incorporated technology to combat violence against women in the fishing community of Namaingo, Uganda.  Although technology has advanced, many women in remote communities lack technical knowledge, skills and appropriate resources to properly engage with others already connected to the worldwide web.  The initiative provided ITC training which helped the women send out SMS messages to local leaders and the general public, denouncing acts of violence against women.  The SMS messages were sent in local language and helped educate the Namaingo community about VAW.

16 Ideas for Helping Survivors of Violence Against Women Rebuild Their Lives


There is no single definitive solution for rebuilding one’s life as a survivor of gender-based violence because the personal journey to healing varies for each individual woman or girl. Though many have suffered these experiences, the conduit to recovery is a unique one. Every woman or girl reacts and processes her experience of violence differently; every individual heals and comes to terms with post-trauma at their own pace. In addition, the way each survivor deals with her trauma depends on the culture she is in, the community of which she is a member, and the resources to which she has access.

Although recovery is complicated, frustrating and long-term process that is always a work-in-progress, building a new life is not impossible for many survivors. In this article, we list out a number of actions and starting points that may be able to help clear a pathway to healing and make it a little easier for survivors and the network of potential supporters around them (e.g. friends, family, community) who are also often at a loss as to how to help ease their pain and be there for them on their journey. Together, both survivors and their supporters can work through the healing process and deal effectively with the traumatic experience.

We have divided our ideas/tips into a section for communities and a section for survivors themselves.  These suggestions are by no means comprehensive but we hope they will not only help with kickstarting the healing process for some survivors and their supporters, but also awareness that we can all help improve upon the how individuals and communities can mitigate and work their way through after-effects of traumatic experiences such as domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and female genital mutilation.

NOTE: This article is a companion article to last year’s article about 16 ways you can help support VAW survivors which you can read in tandem with this article to get more ideas and suggestions that you may be able to apply to your situation/community.

Written and compiled by Ashley Sapp with additional content by Regina Yau. Introduction by Ashley Sapp and Regina Yau.


8 Ideas/Tips for Violence Against Women (VAW) Survivors

Survivor Tip #1: Acceptance

The first building block in reclaiming your life after the violence is acceptance because acknowledging what has occurred can help start you on the road to recovery. Much like with grieving, part of being able to move forward and rebuild one’s life is to accept what has happened to you and how it has changed you and your life. This is because denial may prevent you from acknowledging where your life currently stands and how to go about healing from your wounds, especially when it comes to the complications of living with the consequences of violence. Acceptance does not mean that you are “over it” because your healing process can never be rushed and many survivors find that it is a long-term process that requires constant work but it’s a process that requires a first step. And acceptance is that first step.

Survivor Tip #2: Self-Awareness

There is nothing more important than recognising the emotions and thoughts you may be having, particularly after a traumatic event. Shielding yourself from your own mind is akin to putting up a partition that prevents you from working through your experiences and hinders the healing process. Understand that although you are not alone and others have shared this type of experience, the way you heal and behave and react can and will be unique.  No one follows the same pattern, and this is okay. Also, everyone deals with this at their own pace, so whether you prefer to face it immediately or to put it away for a while until you have healed physically (if you have sustained physical injuries), it’s up to you. Just remember that it’s important to do so before your emotions and thoughts begin festering and causing you more hurt.

hobbiesSurvivor Tip #3: The Power of Creativity

Even if you are not the best writer or the most artistic person in the world, writing and crafts can serve as therapeutic tools after your traumatic experience. Very often, there is a feeling of loss after experiencing any sort of violence because violence is inherently destructive. Channeling your emotions and thoughts into words, art, dance, or music can be a pivotal part of working through everything that accompanies being a VAW survivor for several reasons. Firstly, creative activities may be able to help with revealing more about how you are feeling and dealing with what has occurred, and can also bring about new understanding that could be beneficial to your recovery. Secondly, creative activities may be a cathartic way for you find your voice after your traumatic experience. Thirdly, for some individuals, being able to create something using your hands and imagination may well be able to counteract the destructiveness of the violence inflicted on them by their abuser. For examples, see The Center for Women & Families.

Survivor Tip #4: Hobbies

If you are currently at a place in your recovery where you are not inclined to do creative activities, a simple activity you may want to consider undertaking is to remember the hobbies you enjoyed before the act of violence occurred. Even though you are dealing with a painful life-altering experience, it may help for you to remember some of the positive aspects of your life before the trauma. It can be easy to lose interest in hobbies and feel underwhelmed/ overwhelmed in general in the process of rebuilding yourself as a person and your life as a whole. However, if you are able to do so, being diligent about getting involved with the hobbies and activities that bring you joy (when you are ready) can be important in helping you because they can take you out of your mind for a bit into a place of happiness or, at least, comfort. In fact, if you have never had a hobby before, perhaps it is time to consider taking on one that can pique and absorb your interest effectively.

Survivor Tip #5: Use Available Resources

Sometimes it takes a long while for a survivor to reach this point, but the important thing is working towards being able to reach out and utilise all the tools and resources available around you that may be able to help you take the next step in reclaiming your life. Whether that means seeking help from family or friends, discussing what has happened with a survivors group, seeing a therapist, or calling a hotline number, feeling comfortable enough to explore your options is imperative to rebuilding. Some resources can be found on The Pixel Project’s Resources page.

Survivor Tip #6: Understand Timing

We all heal differently and within specific time frames and following our own distinctive patterns. No matter how quickly or slowly you move through the healing process, it only matters that you are moving through it at all. Comparing how you deal with your pain and how you manage your situation with how other survivors do it is unnecessary because there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Do what feels right. Do what helps you. But the main thing –the most important thing—is to take care of you. Listen to what your body and mind need and try to communicate that with both yourself and loved ones.

Survivor Tip #7: Unlearn Shame

Though hearing from others that what happened to you is not your fault can help, it is something you must learn and understand for yourself. You have no reason to feel guilty for your abuser’s/attacker’s actions because it was their choice to inflict violence on you. You have no reason to doubt that you are a survivor in every sense of the word, and though you will feel a bewildering range of emotions that come with being a survivor, shame should not be one of them. It is possible to unlearn shame as long as you continue to remind yourself of the truth: you are not to blame for what happened to you. Place post-its and reminders of this on your wall or your mirror until it sinks in. Another crucial step you can take in unlearning shame is to put distance between yourself and the people in your life and your community who insisting on blaming the victim (you) for what has happened to you. This is a difficult action to take as victim-blamers may include your family and friends but it is important to identify those who will recognise that it is not your fault and who will focus on helping you heal instead of making you doubt yourself.

Survivor Tip #8: Network, Network, Network

While your healing process and experience is unique to you, it is something that others are working through too. Joining a network of victims and survivors of traumatic events such as assault, rape, domestic violence, and female genital mutilation can help break down the barriers of feeling alone or unequipped to handle recovery. These are your peers who understand at least part of the emotional terrain that you are navigating and those who are further down the line in their own healing may have some helpful advice that you could apply to your own situation. Plus, sharing your own insight and tips with other survivors could help you heal as well. You can find support groups locally or online, in places like Trauma Survivors Network.

8 Ideas/Tips For Communities, Families, and Friends of Violence Against Women (VAW) Survivors.


Supporter Tip #1: Listen And Believe

When a survivor of any sort of gender-based violence or harassment—domestic violence, rape, female genital mutilation, and so on—reaches out to talk about her experience, she is not necessarily seeking advice. Instead, she is looking for a safe environment and people who will actively listen to her in a non-judgemental way. Survivors need to be heard and assured that their experience is important, instead of having their trauma explained away, blamed for what happened to them, or have decisions about their future made on their behalf without their consent. Nothing can change what has already occurred to the survivor, but having a trustworthy, stable, and accepting community of supporters (friends, family, helplines like RAINN) who believes her and does not blame her will do wonders for her recovery. Another advantage of making the commitment to listen to the survivor is that you will be better able to find out directly from her what she needs and what you can do to help alleviate her pain.

Supporter Tip #2:  Support In Appropriate Ways

For many VAW survivors, the healing process is a difficult one and what often brings the healing process to a halt is feeling too alone and isolated by the surrounding community to continue. As you listen to a survivor detail their feelings, thoughts, and experiences, it is important to remain supportive and to show that support in ways that the survivor is comfortable with. A few first steps you can take include: being reassuring, offering assistance when she needs or asks for assistance, doing research on healing resources for both you as a supporter and her as a survivor. Sometimes what is needed most by those who are recovering is simply knowing someone else will be there to help them and  walk with them through this journey of rebuilding. At the same time, amplify your public support for the survivor (and all survivors in your community) by challenging the attitudes of those around you who stigmatise the survivor. For example, if you hear someone shaming the survivor (or gossiping unkindly about them), speak up to call out that person’s behaviour.

Supporter Tip #3:  Do Your Research

Something that can help in any situation is to be well-informed, particularly when it comes to helping a VAW survivor in appropriate ways. One of the key steps to understanding the issues these survivors are facing as they progress toward healing (including: anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder) is to do your research – go online to educate yourself about them and what you can do to help the survivor. Although every survivor’s experience is unique, there are stages, symptoms, and signs of post-trauma recovery that the majority of survivors go through which you can learn to recognise in order to provide timely help. Once you are familiar with all this, you will be in a better place to take action to help  Here’s a quick starting point: Check out The Pixel Project’s VAW Facts section to learn about the different types of violence against women, then go to our “Getting Help” section to get checklists and tips for helping survivors.

Supporter Tip #4: Help Build Resources

Whether or not you are a survivor yourself, the issue of violence against women is faced by many; therefore, resources are invaluable in every community. If there are limited or no shelters, helplines, and funds nearby to assist survivors where you live, one place to start is with your employer or community center. Still no luck? Then start looking for ways to build resources in your community by raising awareness about VAW via flyers, community fundraisers, and networking with others who are willing to help create more resources and cognizance locally.  This can begin a movement in your community to ensure survivors have a safe environment to recover in while addressing victim-blaming and rape culture to effect wider social change.

Supporter Tip #5: Therapy Helps

Therapy can be beneficial part of the rebuilding process for survivors of rape, incest, domestic violence, and other forms of gender violence as it provides an additional level of help for healing on both an emotional and psychological level. However, therapy is not just for survivors – it can also be helpful for friends and family who are actively involved in helping the survivor. The right therapist can assist in better enabling you to be an effective supporter as someone equipped to help your loved one through this experience. There are sessions for you individually and that you can attend together with the survivor or as a group: utilise them. If private therapy is too expensive, find out if there are support groups or anti-VAW organisations nearby who may be able to help locate affordable therapy and counselling/guidance services for both survivors and the families/communities of the survivors.

Supporter Tip #6: Avoid Being Overbearing

While it is important to remain caring and supportive, there is a difference between doing so and being overbearing. Remember to respect the survivor’s needs. Do not push for more details when she is not ready nor should you try to “fix” problems or force her to talk beyond what she is comfortable discussing. Silence is not a bad thing and can in fact say quite a bit. Being there for a survivor means allowing her to be and to not pretend everything is okay.  When in doubt, ask the survivor about what she needs and how she would like you to help her. If she asks for some space or insists on accomplishing a task on her own steam, respect her decision to do so as this is part of her journey towards regaining her self-confidence and self-respect after the violence.

Supporter Tip #7: Be Attentive to Flashbacks or Panic Attacks

Flashbacks and panic attacks can be fairly common in VAW survivors, and responding to them in a compassionate and appropriate manner will go a long way towards helping the survivor manage and recover from these episodes. Help the survivor to breathe properly, let them know you realise this feels real to them, but remind them that it is not are all key actions to take. Describe her surroundings and have her do the same, turn off any triggering music/television, and bring the focus back to the moment. Remind the survivor there is nothing wrong with undergoing flashbacks or attacks, as they are an opportunity to understand and to work through her experiences. If the flashback or panic attack is very severe, call for appropriate medical or professional assistance.

Supporter Tip #8: Recognise The Importance of Self-Care

Finally: Friends and family of survivors of violence often experience their own feelings of guilt, shame, or loss of intimacy because they were unable to help the survivor when the violence was inflicted on her or feel helpless when faced with the survivor’s suffering. Chances are that you will also be affected by this experience, so be sure to help and take care of yourself through it as well because you need to keep yourself healthy on all levels in order to continue helping the survivor for the amount of time it would take for her to heal.

The Pixel Project Selection 2014 – 16 Notable Anti-VAW Activists and Organisations You Should Follow on Twitter

Twitter with MegaphoneWith Twitter quickly becoming a reliable, if not the most reliable, news source for many individuals, activism is beginning to play a major role within social media. For many, it is how resources are found, knowledge obtained, and discussions begun. Furthermore, organisations have taken notice and also use this new form of media to gain better outreach worldwide. Online volunteer charities and groups, such as The Pixel Project itself, are becoming a major staple in this modern age of activism.

Twitter offers a real-time view and perspective of what is occurring both elsewhere and in our own communities, enabling us to become more aware of social issues like violence against women. Information is very often a weapon of power, a tool to help us better our world through understanding. In this way, we are also creating an atmosphere of solidarity worldwide, which is something to take notice of.

Being able to look up a hashtag – #vaw for example – in order to find news sources, helplines, or other activists is a simple yet incredibly useful way to become involved. With that in mind, The Pixel Project presents our 2014 Twitter selection. 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 groups and people who will keep you informed simply because they share the passion to create a better tomorrow for girls and women everywhere.

Written and compiled by Ashley Sapp

Twitter Follow Recommendation 1: Canadian Women’s Foundation (@cdnwomenfdn)

Cdn Women FdnThe Canadian Women’s Foundation is a national organisation whose goal is to empower women and girls throughout Canada, aid them in moving out of violence and poverty, and rediscover a life of confidence and freedom. Furthermore, they host a wonderful campaign called Donate Your Voice, where the voices and faces of women who have been forced into sex trafficking are used to share stories by Canadians.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 2: Daughters of Eve (@daughtersofeve)

DOEDaughters of Eve is a non-profit charity organisation that campaigns to end gender-based violence and female genital mutilation worldwide in order to protect women and girls. Their work includes a broad advancement of physical, mental, and sexual health rights in order to bring an end to the FGM practice and prevent the young women at risk of being subjected to it.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 3: Everyday Feminism (@EvrydayFeminism)

everyday feminismLaunched in 2012, Everyday Feminism is an online magazine that works to amplify and accelerate the progressive cultural shifts taking place across the US and the world. With a following of 3 million users in over 200 countries, its mission is to not only shed light on the everyday discrimination, violence, and marginalization that occurs globally but also to bring an end to it. In doing so, it seeks to create an environment in which we can live without fear of silencing, violence, and dominance in our communities and everyday lives.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 4: Everyday Sexism (@EverydaySexism)

Everyday SexismThe Everyday Sexism project founded by Laura Bates has as its mission the documenting the experiences of harassment, sexism, and assault that occur on a day-to-day basis in order to create solidarity and raise awareness of how widespread the problem is. It aids in calling out how these levels of sexism are normalized in society and discussing ways to change this.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 5: Fem 2.0 (@Fem2pt0)

Fem2Pt0Feminism 2.0 is geared toward bringing together women’s grassroots organisations and online communities in order to connect voices, stories, and missions addressing women’s issues. Founders of Fem2pt0 recognised the potential of breaking down barriers between the many feminist activists utilizing new media and chose to enhance this pathway. Based in Washington DC, the group intends to create a better world and policies for women, families, and society.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 6: FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture (@UpsettingRape)

FORCEFORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is a creative campaign geared toward upsetting the culture of rape. Furthermore, the organisation has formed the Monument Project, a display that calls for an end to violence against women through this monument dedicated to survivors of rape and abuse. It is a crowd-sourced platform of stories from survivors of sexualised violence.


Twitter Follow Recommendation 7: Girl Up (@girlup)

Girl UpCreated by the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up is a campaign with a vision of creating and upholding a world where all girls and women, no matter where, have access to education, justice, and rights in order to become the next generation of leaders. The campaign is geared toward raising funds for UN programmes that aid some of the world’s most difficult-to-reach adolescent girls. In this way, they are providing access to resources to many who might not otherwise have such support.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 8: Girls’ Globe (@girlsglobe)

Girls GlobeA group of organisations and individuals with the mission of improving the lives of girls and women worldwide, Girls’ Globe works on raising awareness of global issues that affect the health, education, and rights of women. Based in Sweden, Girls’ Globe is a non-profit with team members around the world all focused on sharing stories, news, and information in order to create an environment for women that is without violence, injustice, and discrimination.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 9: Laurie Penny (@PennyRed)

Laurie PennyAn English journalist, writer, and activist, Laurie Penny speaks on the subject of gender issues, pop culture, and social justice for The Guardian, Salon, The Nation, Vice, and others.  She is also the author of her fourth book, Unspeakable Things, and Editor for The New Inquiry. She appeared on the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publication shortlist in 2012 for her book, Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 10: Leyla Hussein (@LeylaHussein)

Leyla HusseinRecipient of the Emma Humphrey Award for her work on ending female genital mutilation and other violence against women and children in 2011, Leyla Hussein is an activist and psychotherapist. She is also the co-founder of the project Daughters of Eve. She has previously spoken on these issues on several local, national, and international TV and radio programs, such as BBC World, BBC Today, and Al Jazeera.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 11: National Network to End Domestic Violence (@NNEDV)

NNEDVThe National Network to End Domestic Violence is an American national non-profit organisation founded to be the leading voice of domestic violence survivors and their allies with a network of over 2000 organisations nationwide. Their focus is on addressing all aspects of domestic violence with a goal of forming an environment without economic, political, and social injustices for all girls and women.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 12: National Sexual Violence Resource Center (@NSVRC)

NSVRCThe NSVRC’s mission is to prevent and respond to sexual violence through resources, research, and collaboration. Their goal is to celebrate diversity and ensure the world treats all women and girls with dignity and respect, creating a safer and healthier environment where people have full control over their bodies and sexual expression.


Twitter Follow Recommendation 13: Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (@RAINN01)

RAINNThe largest in the United States, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network is an anti-sexual assault organisation. They are home to the Department of Defense Safe Helpline which provides one-on-one support and information online. It is a secure, anonymous, and confidential resource available online and via telephone, text, chat service, or mobile app. RAINN is also the partner of over 1,100 rape crisis centres across the country.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 14: Soraya Chemaly (@schemaly)

Soraya ChemalySoraya Chemaly is a writer and activist who discusses gender inequalities in pop culture, media, politics, and religion. She particularly focuses on the repression of women in all forms and uses media activism to draw attention to everyday sexism. Furthermore, she writes often on the subject of violence against women, and has appeared in The Nation, Salon, Time, CNN, Huffington Post, and many other platforms.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 15: Young Fems & Allies (@NOWYoungFems)

NOW Young FemsThe National Organization for Women has created the first virtual chapter for young feminists and allies with the purpose of bringing young women, men, and non-gender-conforming individuals onto the activism path.  In doing so, this organisation offers a voice to many who often feel underrepresented. They tackle many issues, one of which is the oppression and violence faced by many nationwide.

Twitter Follow Recommendation 16: Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell)

Zerlina MaxwellZerlina Maxwell is a political analyst, writer, and speaker on multiple cultural issues including gender inequality, domestic violence, victim blaming, and sexual assault. She has visited various universities and colleges to speak on the subject of rape culture and feminism. She was also selected by TIME magazine as one of the best feeds to follow on Twitter in 2014.

The Pixel Project Selection 2014: 16 Films About Violence Against Women

Film-Reel-225x300 (1)One of the most useful awareness-raising and educational tools at our disposal is the craft of film. To portray the real experiences and lives of individuals—particularly women who suffer tragedy, abuse, and revival—is something not to be taken for granted. It is just one way to open public consciousness and heighten awareness to the breadth of the issue of violence against women worldwide.

However, it is common for filmmakers to use violence against women as shock value or to be gratuitous, implying that such violence is either blithe or exemplary.Such portrayals further perpetuate the notion that sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence are a non-issue when in reality, they affect 1 in 3 women worldwide. Films that depict the violence girls and women experience in their daily lives are a great step towards building a better tomorrow simply by recognising the reality of today.

Many of the following films can be found online, which is yet another reason why video is a vital avenue for discussing worldwide and community issues like violence. Video-streaming sites like YouTube and Vimeo allow people to upload their own work or that of others, thus reaching a broader audience and bringing the conversation home. We hope that our 2014 selection of 16 documentaries show just how important film can be in advocating for the truth of these issues, enlightening audiences, and hopefully enabling others to join the fight to end violence against women.

Written and compiled by Ashley Sapp.

Selection Number 1: Casablanca Calling

Casablanca Calling is a 2014 documentary that showcases the social revolution slowly occurring in Morocco where approximately 60% of women have never been to school. Despite political conflict, Moroccan women are being trained for the first time to be leaders. The film follows these women as they circulate in schools and other sites, speaking on marriage, education, and employment. In doing so, the film highlights the promise of change and indicates the importance of empowerment among girls and women.

Selection Number 2: Defending Our Lives

The Oscar-winning documentary Defending Our Lives emphasises the seriousness and prevalence of domestic violence in the United States. The video features the testimonies of battered women who have been imprisoned for killing their husbands. The women in the film are members of ‘Battered Women Fighting Back,’ an organisation formed initially as a prison support group but expanded into a community-based task force. Each woman who appears in this video has experienced domestic violence firsthand via stalking, harassment, and abuse by their husbands and partners. The video focuses on how these women defended their lives and were subsequently put behind bars for it.

Note: Please go here to watch the trailer for this documentary as the video is unavailable on YouTube or Vimeo. TRIGGER WARNING: There are images that may be distressing for survivors of domestic violence.

Selection Number 3: Duma

Duma was a controversial documentary about the abuse women face in Palestinian and Arab societies. It is regarded as the first film to fully document and shed light upon the sexual abuse women face in Arab society. The documentary features women and the experiences they have endured at the hands of friends and family as well as the resulting silence imposed upon them. By giving voice to these perspectives, the film not only reveals the abuse but gives hope to survivors that they will no longer be silenced.

Selection Number 4: Heaven on Earth

In the 2008 film Heaven On Earth, a young Indian Punjab woman moves to Ontario, Canada, for an arranged marriage to an Indo-Canadian man. However, her husband is an abuser who continues to isolate her after she has already left behind her community in India. The film explores a real problem for immigrants who are victims of domestic violence as they struggle not only to find resources but also ways to communicate what is occurring in their home lives.

Selection Number 5: I Am a Girl

Simply by being female, girls are more likely to be subjected to poverty, violence, disease, and other disadvantages. The 2013 film I Am A Girl follows the lives and stories of various young girls and teens as they face forced marriage, pregnancy, and threats against their lives if they seek education. These girls live in places like Cambodia, Australia, New York, and New Guinea, signaling the fact that these issues are faced worldwide.

Selection Number 6: Jazz Mama

The 2010 film Jazz Mama focuses on the sexualised violence of Congolese women and also how they remain pillars of strength, as survivors, within their community after their experiences. This film has also become a movement inspired by the strength and resilience of these very women from the Congo. It was given the Zanzibar International Film Festival award in 2010.

Selection Number 7: Maria in Nobody’s Land

A film by Marcela Zamora Chamorro, Maria in Nobody’s Land takes an intimate look at the journey of three women from El Salvador as they travel to the US. The decision is not a light one, but they each decide to leave behind their abusive husbands and seek a better life outside of poverty. In doing so, they face prostitution, rape, kidnapping, and death, which is similar to many other immigrants’ stories. This 2010 film highlights the dangers many women endure.

Selection Number 8: Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter

Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter is a film featuring a woman originally from Mali now living in the United States. However, if deported back to Mali, her two-year-old daughter would be under the threat of female genital mutilation. The movie follows Mrs. Goundo as she seeks political asylum and works on convincing an immigration judge of the danger her daughter faces. This film demonstrates the struggles women often face when it comes to immigration laws and human rights.

Selection Number 9: No Burqas Behind Bars

The 2013 film No Burqas Behind Bars showcases the experiences and life of women in Afghanistan prisons. For example, in the Takhar Prison, 40 women and their 34 children were locked behind bars together within four cells. The film investigates how imprisonment is used to control women in Afghanistan, with some even facing longer punishments for fleeing their husbands than others who have commited murder.

 Selection Number 10: Private Violence

Premiering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Private Violence won the Candescent Award, which was created to support socially conscious documentary films. The feature-length documentary narrates the stories of domestic violence survivors while breaking down the knee-jerk reactions of asking why victims stay with their abusers. In doing so, the film works to change the conversation and build a different future for women.

Selection Number 11: Silent Voices

The film Silent Voices is a docudrama that discusses the issue of domestic violence in the United Kingdom. It was later released as a DVD in 2008 in order to raise funds for the charity National Centre for Domestic Violence. The film features fictitious characters ranging from the ages of 10 to 40 performing monologues based on real events and experiences.

Selection Number 12: Six Days: Three Activists, Three Wars, One Dream

By following three human rights defenders as they move through Iraq, Liberia, Georgia, and Abkhazia, Six Days offers insight into the everyday plight of women worldwide. Education, honour killings, and health issues are just a few examples explored in the 2013 documentary which enlightens audiences to the challenges women face but also the changes, the empowerment, and the differences they are making in order to create a better tomorrow.

Selection Number 13: Telling Amy’s Story

Telling Amy’s Story is a film that recalls the timeline of a domestic violence homicide that occurred in 2001 through interviews with the victims’ parents, co-workers, law enforcement, and others. The actress and activist Mariska Hargitay hosts while Detective Deirdri Fishel narrates. Through this film, further awareness is raised on the issue of abuse against women.

Selection Number 14: The Conspiracy of Silence

This PBS documentary focuses on the silence that follows domestic violence, as victims feel they cannot come forward about the abuse they have experienced whether by fear of their abusers or the stigma surrounding such abuse. Often the victims believe their silence will prevent further violence from occurring. The film goes beyond economic and racial lines in order to demonstrate that domestic violence does not discriminate and can happen to anyone.

 Selection Number 15: V-Day: Until the Violence Stops

Until the Violence Stops documents the way in which The Vagina Monologues developed into the international movement V-Day, geared toward ending violence against women and girls. The film features women from around the world who each share their stories and experiences of abuse and rape as well as circumcision. In doing so, both the film and the resulting movement have aided in raising awareness of the prominence of violence within global societies and breaking the silence surrounding abuse.

 Selection Number 16: War Zone

Though there are multiple forms of assault and abuse, one that often goes unnoticed since it is considered the norm is street harassment. The 1998 documentary War Zone engages men in order to seek answers as to why they catcall, whistle, or otherwise make comments at women. As director Maggie Hadleigh-West explores this issue within the United States, some men apologize or converse while others yell or even attempt to hit her. Through this film, the very real experience of women is put into the spotlight to be analyzed and discussed.

The Pixel Project Selection 2014 – 16 Notable Facebook Pages by Anti-Violence Against Women Organisations

Foto-FacebookIn only ten years, Facebook became a social media powerhouse, with 829 million daily active users as of June 2014. Of those users, 654 million log in from their mobile devices every day. 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 home. They can follow organisational news, participate in grassroots campaigns, and donate right from their mobile phone or computer.

Violence against women is one of the global issues finding supporters on Facebook. Now, one story can be heard by millions of people around the globe. In this article, we highlight 16 anti-violence against women Facebook pages that are unique in their message and their delivery. This is our third 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.

Written and compiled by Rebecca DeLuca

Recommended Facebook Page 1: A Call to MenUnited States of America

A Call to MenA Call to Men is a violence prevention organisation geared towards men. The organisation educates men to be loving and respectful, so all women and girls can be valued and safe. A Call to Men believes shifting social norms about manhood is an integral step to ending domestic and sexual violence. Understanding that preventing violence against women is primarily the responsibility of men, A Call to Men utilises training, keynote presentations, consultation and education to challenge men’s understanding of masculinity. The Facebook page, while focused on United States media, shares global news about men’s roles in ending violence against women.

Recommended Facebook Page 2: Create Consent Culture by Providing Youth the ToolsCanada

Create Consent Culture by Providing Youth the ToolsCreate Consent Culture by Providing Youth the Tools is a Facebook community geared toward educators. The community’s goal is to develop resources to integrate consent-based education into schools. This Facebook page is a place for discussion about rape culture, a resource exchange, and an idea hub for educators. While many of the posts discuss education and educational institutions, followers will also find information for parents and news about other feminist organisations.

Recommended Facebook Page 3: Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their ChildrenAustralia

Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their ChildrenThe Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children is an Australian organisation working to raise awareness about violence against women. The Foundation shares articles about empowering women, violence against women, and tips to end abuse. The Foundation’s Facebook page is also a resource for members to find information about upcoming women-focused events in various Australian communities.

Recommended Facebook Page 4: Girls Not BridesGlobal

Girls Not BridesGirls Not Brides, an organisation also featured in our 2013 edition of “16 Notable Activists and Nonprofits to Follow on Twitter,” is bringing global attention to the issue of child marriage. The Girls Not Brides Facebook page is a collaborative resource for discussions about ending child marriage and bringing awareness to child brides. While important news articles are shared, the Facebook page’s most important resource is real, first-hand stories from women and girls affected by child marriage. 

Recommended Facebook Page 5: Human Rights Project for GirlsUnited States of America

Human Rights Project for GirlsHuman Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls) is an organisation that focuses on gender-based violence and its effects on women and girls in the United States of America. Focusing on sexual violence, domestic violence, rape, and trafficking in the U.S., the organisation uses education and engagement to demand policy changes. The Rights4Girls Facebook page shares information on laws and policies affecting women and girls across the United States.

Recommended Facebook Page 6: Men Against ViolenceMauritius

Men Against ViolenceMen Against Violence (MAV) is a Mauritius nonprofit organisation framing violence against women as an issue men need to solve. The MAV Facebook page develops messages targeting men and boys and shares them in English and French. Not only does the organisation upload relevant news articles to its Facebook page, but it also shares videos, photos, and other forms of multimedia discussing violence against women.

Recommended Facebook Page 7: Object! Women not Sex ObjectsUnited Kingdom

Object Women not Sex ObjectsObject! Women not Sex Objects challenges the sexual objectification of women in the media and in popular culture. Object! uses grassroots activation and political lobbying to achieve its vision: a society free of sexism, in which women’s diversity is fully embraced and represented. While Object! focuses on ending sexual objectification, their Facebook page also acts as a hub for research and articles about a broader range of women’s rights issues. 

Recommended Facebook Page 8: Pandora’s ProjectAustralia and United States of America

Pandoras ProjectPandora’s Project is a haven for rape and sexual abuse survivors, and their family and friends. With an active community, the Facebook page acts as an online support group where survivors can tell their stories and connect with others. Pandora’s Project shares inspirational quotes, powerful messages, and articles about survival and coping.

Recommended Facebook Page 9: Sexual Violence Research InitiativeGlobal

Sexual Violence Research InitiativeThe Sexual Violence Research Initiative promotes research and generates empirical data about sexual violence. The organisation connects researchers, policy makers, donors and activists from around the world to ensure that sexual violence is recognised as a global issue. Those looking to study the effects of sexual violence, incorporate best practises into their teaching or therapy, or follow important research will find weekly SVRI updates including new research, grants, proposals and relevant news stories on the organisations’s Facebook page.

Recommended Facebook Page 10: Stop the Worldwide War on GirlsGlobal

Stop the Worldwide War on GirlsStop the Worldwide War on Girls is an active Facebook community building awareness about the frequent injustices women and girls face. If you are looking for global violence against women stories and updates, Stop the Worldwide War on Girls is a suggested place to begin. The Facebook page also has an active community, allowing you to engage in discussions, tell and read personal stories, and connect with like-minded activists.

Recommended Facebook Page 11: Take Back the TechGlobal

Take Back the TechTake Back the Tech! is a campaign calling for the control of technology to end violence against women. The campaign accompanies the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence in its daily actions, however the Facebook page is active the rest of the year too. Focusing on how technology and violence against women are connected, Take Back the Tech! engages its supporters in surveys, provides an anonymous harassment reporting service, and shares articles focusing on technology’s role in ending violence against women.

Recommended Facebook Page 12: The Girl Code Movement United States of America

The Girl Code MovementThe Girl Code Movement, founded by youth in New York, unites college women from across the United States to become activists in ending rape. The college-focused organisation uses education and training to empower women to become active bystanders. The organisation’s Facebook page includes stories from rape survivors, female empowerment quotes, news, and Cock Block Tips, which are tips to help women end rape.

Recommended Facebook Page 13: The Official 16 Days of Activation Against Gender Violence CampaignGlobal

The Official 16 DaysThe 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign aiming to end all forms of violence against women. Individuals and groups use the 16 days between November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day) to illustrate that violence against women is a human rights violation. The Official 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence’s Facebook page is a focal point for the campaign, sharing actions and news and stories from the numerous individuals and groups involved. The rest of the year the Facebook page is a resource for those interested in the fight to end violence against women, sharing international news and important actions.

Recommended Facebook Page 14: The WAVE NetworkEurope

The WAVE NetworkWomen Against Violence Europe (WAVE) is a network of European NGOs promoting the human rights of women and children. Through raising awareness, empowering women and children, and lobbying, WAVE’s mission is to end violence against women. The WAVE Network uses its Facebook page to share articles about violence European women face. Also, the WAVE Network shares its lobbying efforts, event updates, and photos of their meetings, conferences, and events.

Recommended Facebook Page 15: V-DayGlobal

vdayV-Day, a global moment to end violence against women and girls, promotes creative events that increase awareness and raise money for anti-violence organisations. One of V-Day’s signature campaigns, One Billion Rising, brings together a billion people from across the globe to rise, dance, release and demand justice to end violence against women and girls. The V-Day Facebook page shares information about global anti-violence movements and events, making it easy for supporters to get involved.

Recommended Facebook Page 16: Women Against AbuseUnited States of America

Women against abuseIn 1976, a time when services for victims of domestic violence were unheard of, two social workers started Philadelphia’s first domestic violence hotline. Now, Women Against Abuse is one of the largest domestic violence agencies in the country. Though the non-profit organisation is located in Philadelphia, they share statistics, research, and articles that are pertinent to victims and survivors across the United States.

The Pixel Project Selection 2014: 16 Songs About Violence Against Women (and Staying Strong and Positive)

Girl Playing Piano 1“Where words fail, music speaks.”― Hans Christian Andersen

Music has evolved into something more than a form of entertainment. It has become a vehicle for critiques and social change. In the global fight to end Violence Against Women (VAW), music works in unique ways.

Through music, those whose lives have been touched by violence tell stories that resonate deep within the listener’s soul. One song can inspire someone to seek help, or can remind a survivor that healing is possible. Music can empower women to find strength to overcome obstacles, embrace their differences, and love themselves unconditionally.

As music continues to educate, enlighten, and help with the social change needed to stop VAW, The Pixel Project presents our 2014 selection of 16 songs about or related to VAW and women’s empowerment. Our selection spans an assortment of genres and a variety of artistes. These diverse songs reflect on abuse and VAW, send messages of hope, and empower women everywhere.

Without further ado, here is this year’s selection of 16 songs presented in alphabetical order. We hope they inspire and move you as much as they have inspired and moved us.

Written and compiled by Rebecca DeLuca; Additional song selections by Regina Yau and Crystal Smith.

Song Number 1: Broken Girl – Matthew West

Matthew West’s “Broken Girl” is a song about child abuse and the everlasting effect is has on a person. Letters and confessions about abuse by West’s fans inspired “Broken Girl.” “Anybody who sent me their story that dealt with the topic of abuse,” West said, “that’s their song.”

Song Number 2: Do My Thing – Estelle ft. Janelle Monáe

Estelle and Janelle Monáe came together to create the female empowerment anthem “Do My Thing.” The song encourages women to surpass expectations and defy stereotypes, and make no apologies while doing it: If you are expecting me to give you an apology / For being nothing that you used to, used to / Well go on right ahead and wait / Hold your breath and concentrate / Keep holding till your face turns blue.

Song Number 3: Fixing Her Hair – Ani DiFranco

In “Fixing Her Hair,” DiFranco tells a story of a woman changing herself for a romantic relationship: She bends her breath when she talks to him / I can see her features begin to blur / as she pours herself into the mold he made for her. DiFranco is hoping for a revolution, and reminds all listeners to stay true to themselves and demand their worth.

Song Number 4: Girl in a Country Song – Maddie & Tae

Teenage songwriting duo Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye used their debut single to challenge the popular “bro” themes in country music: Like a girl in a country song / How in the world did it go so wrong? / Like all were good for / Is looking good for you and your friends on the weekend / Nothing more. “We cannot live up to those expectations,” Maddie said about the stereotypes of women today’s chart-topping hits.

Song Number 5: Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys

“Girl on Fire” celebrates strong, passionate women. Keys sings about a girl who enthralls everyone around her with her strength: Everybody stares, as she goes by / ‘Cause they can see the flame that’s in her eyes / Watch her when she’s lighting up the night.

Song Number 6: Hero – Mariah Carey

Deemed by many as her signature song, Mariah Carey’s “Hero” reminds audiences of the strength that lies within them: So when you feel like hope is gone / Look inside you and be strong / And you’ll finally see the truth / That a hero lies in you. Carey receives letters from listeners who have realised they can be their own heroes after hearing to the song. “That’s an unexplainable feeling,”  Carey said in an interview with Fred Bronson. “Like I’ve done something  with my life. It meant something to someone.”

Song Number 7: His Hands – Jennifer Nettles ft. Brandy Clark

Jennifer Nettles’ “His Hands” begins as a story of love and passion, before turning into a story of abuse. “When you start to hear the second chorus, you realise: ‘This is a completely different his hands on me than I originally thought,’” Nettles said. Written as a duet between two abused women, they express the promises their abusers made, and encourage each other to get out: Yeah I should have known better when the last three times he swore / that he would never lay another finger on me but the truth’s on my face.

Song Number 8: I Love Myself Today – Bif Naked

In “I Love Myself Today,” Bif Naked sings about making the decision to leave an unhealthy relationship. Once alone, she falls in love with herself and realises she will survive: I love myself today / Not like yesterday / I’m cool, I’m calm / I’m gonna be okay!

Song Number 9: Keep Holding On – Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne’s song “Keep Holding On” is about supporting people going through troubling times. Lavigne sings about staying strong when situations look inescapable: I’ll be by your side, you know I’ll take your hand / When it gets cold / And it feels like the end / Theres no place to go / You know I won’t give in.

Song Number 10: On Fraternity – Default Genders

James Brooks of Default Genders wrote “On Fraternity” to call out rape-culture, and his male peers who support a system where other people are victims. “This is a song about why it is worth fighting fearlessly against a patriarchal world where women are second class citizens,” Brooks said.

Song Number 11: Play On – Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood believed “Play On” would be an anthem for people facing adversity or hard times. “Whenever stuff goes wrong, you’ve just got to get up in the morning and you’ve got to play on, finish your song, finish what you started, even when things don’t look good,” Underwood told AOL’s The Boot about the song’s lyrics: Cause you’re going to make mistakes / It’s always worth the sacrifice / Even when you’re wrong / Play on.

Song Number 12: Remember That – Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson’s “Remember That” acknowledges the pattern of abuse that many women experience: When your phone keeps ringing all night long / And that same old weakness gets so strong that you’re helpless / Remember that. Simpson tells her fans that they deserve better, and encourages them to leave abusive relationships.

Song Number 13: Rescue – Yuna

Malaysian-born singer songwriter Yuna wrote “Rescue” for a friend who overcame hard times and came out happier and stronger: She said a little prayer, she found herself / Yeah shes got light in her face / She dont need no rescuing / Shes okay. “I wrote about all the song women in my life,” Yuna said. “I just wanted to celebrate that strength.”

Song Number 14: Suggestion – Fugazi

The 80’s punk band wrote “Suggestion,” the anti-rape and anti-harassment anthem, from the perspective of a female. The song challenges the idea that a woman’s body exists solely for the male’s gaze: Why can’t I walk down a street free of suggestion? / Is my body my only trait in the eyes of men? Concerned the song would not resonate with women if sung by men, Fugazi had Amy Pickering sing the emotional song in concert.

Song Number 15: Try – Colbie Caillat

In this empowering song, Colbie Caillat urges women to be true to themselves instead of trying to “belong.” She also challenges women to answer the question: maybe they like you when you try so hard to fit in, but do you like you?

Song Number 16: Who Says – Selena Gomez

In “Who Says,” Gomez encourages her listeners to feel beautiful in their own skin. She sings about her own imperfections: Im no beauty queen / Im just beautiful me. “I hope that the song really inspires my fans to embrace who they are,” Gomez said.