For International Women's Day 2012, the Avon Foundation for Women, as part of their ongoing domestic violence initiative, recognized best practices in communications campaigns and programs from around the world that focus on ending violence against women. The awards were presented at the 2nd World Conference of Women's Shelters. This dynamic global summit provided opportunities for over 1,500 delegates from 96 countries around the world to network, share best practices and lessons learned, hold critical conversations, present current research, participate in a range of workshops, view documentaries, hear shelter showcases from other countries, and join regional roundtables to create global awareness, analyze, critique and grow the movement to end gender-based violence. Awards given in each of four categories include:
StorytellingWomen's Aid (UK) won the Storytelling Award for its CUT movie campaign. This movie, starring Keira Knightley, depicts 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-million hits.
InnovativeYWCA Canada won the Innovation Award for its "Safety Siren" App and campaign. The 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. More than 4,000 copies of the YWCA Safety Siren App have been downloaded since the launch.
Break the SilenceRwanda Women Network won the Break the Silence Award for its domestic violence campaign. Its campaign poster shows a disturbing image of a man physically abusing a woman with witnesses watching the assault. The poster shows violence against women as a societal problem and encourages the community to take responsibility and offer assistance to victims.
Global Excellence in CommunicationsBreakthrough (India) won the Global Award for Excellence in Communications for its "Bell Bajao! (Ring the Bell!)" campaign. This campaign is helping bring domestic violence to a halt with 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 put an end to domestic violence.