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Avon Global Ambassador & Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation for Women Reese Witherspoon and Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung awarded four global non-governmental organizations with the inaugural Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women for their campaigns that are bringing attention to the need to end violence against women.
Witherspoon and Jung presented the awards, funded by the Avon Foundation, at the 2nd World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Washington, D.C., which brought together more than 1,400 advocates, activists and leaders from 96 countries to collaborate to change attitudes about such violence. The awards are part of the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program, which has donated nearly $40 million globally to end violence against women.
Avon Communications Awards Winners
The Avon Foundation recognized the U.K.’s Women’s Aid, YWCA Canada, Rwanda Women Network and India’s Breakthrough for their exemplary communications campaigns. A global panel of judges selected the winners from among 19 finalists identified through an Avon Foundation-funded global survey to determine strengths and challenges in communicating efforts aimed at reducing violence against women.
Survey results revealed that communications campaigns have evolved significantly over the past two decades and the portrayal of women has changed from victim to survivor, empowered by the tools and services available to her.
To view the award-winning campaigns in each of the four categories – Storytelling, Innovative Campaign, Break the Silence, and Global Excellence in Communications – as well as other finalists’ campaigns, please visit: http://www.avonfoundation.org/globalspeakout/avon-communications-awards.html. These materials and many others will be available in June 2012 on an online global hub, the Communications X-Change, funded by the Avon Foundation and managed by Futures Without Violence.
Storytelling Award Winner:
Women’s Aid (UK) – CUT the movie campaign
This movie starring Keira Knightley shows a woman suffering a brutal assault. On the day of CUT’s launch, the story was the most read entertainment story on the BBC News website, and within six days, the film received over a half a million hits.
Innovation Award Winner:
YWCA Canada – “Safety Siren” app and campaign
This “Safety Siren” app promotes healthy dating and provides specific ways to help stop violence against women. The unique app, which has been downloaded more than 4,000 times, is activated with a press of a button or a quick shake, turning a mobile device into a multifunctional safety device.
Break The Silence Award Winner:
Rwanda Women Network campaign
The poster shows a disturbing image of a man physically abusing a woman with witnesses watching the assault, demonstrating that violence against women is a societal problem by encouraging community responsibility and victim assistance.
Global Award for Excellence in Communications Winner:
Breakthrough (India) – “Bell Bajao! (Ring the Bell!)” campaign
This campaign is helping bring domestic violence to a halt through real life scenarios of neighbors interrupting violence behind closed doors. These powerful public service announcements show that “ringing the bell” is one way to break through and end domestic violence incidents without confrontation.
Other Avon Foundation Initiatives at World Conference of Women’s Shelters:
Avon Foundation-Funded Domestic Violence Counts Survey
The National Network to End Domestic Violence released its annual Domestic Violence Counts survey, funded by the Avon Foundation. The survey, a one-day snapshot of services provided across the United States, found that more than 9,500 requests from domestic violence victims for services and assistance go unmet every day in the United States.
That is almost 3.5 million families that aren’t getting the help they need every year, and 60 percent of those victims are seeking emergency shelter or transitional housing.
Reese Witherspoon Shares Three Ways to Speak Out Against Domestic Violence
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Reese Witherspoon also is offering “Three Ways to Speak Out” against domestic violence through a video she is encouraging people to share (http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/VOD/46212_a_3Ways_0228.zip).