New Ending Violence Against Women Media Awards launched

12 May 2016

The End Violence Against Women (EVAW) Coalition, of which Rape Crisis England & Wales is a member, has launched its inaugural ‘Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Media Awards’ to recognise the very best reporting on issues of violence against women and girls.

Chaired by author and journalist Joan Smith, these new UK-wide Media Awards aim to encourage greater investment in stories about violence against women and girls that are informed, accurate, sensitive and fair, and that help to ‘set the agenda’ and create public debate and change.

Chair of the Awards Joan Smith said: 

“The media has the capacity to create a much better informed debate about violence against women and girls. It has the reach and influence to expose apparently invisible of forms of abuse such as trafficking and so-called ‘honour’-based violence, while also challenging the state response to apparently routine and inevitable forms of abuse, including sexual and domestic violence.

 “Documentaries like Roger Graef’s ground-breaking exposure of the way Thames Valley Police “interrogated” a rape complainant as to her conduct, and more recently the London Evening Standard’s high-profile campaign on FGM, have helped to change the way our society responds to these crimes.

“We are launching these new awards on Press Freedom Day so that we can highlight the importance of protecting and upholding a free press which is unafraid of challenging abuses of power. It’s often forgotten that women and girls are among those who benefit most from fearless reporting.”

The Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Media Awards are launched at a time of critical change. After the exposure of Jimmy Savile by a daring ITV documentary – as well as other well-known men who abused their position - more survivors of rape and sexual abuse than ever before are approaching police and support services for help. Young British-born women are putting FGM, forced marriage, sexual harassment and the culture of sexual bullying in our schools on the agenda. 

The Government in Westminster has a Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy which aims to address and prevent different forms of abuse. But victim-blaming remains a powerful inhibitor of the confidence needed to challenge abuse, and support services are facing serious cuts. Continued, high quality reporting on all forms of violence against women and girls is absolutely critical. 

Joan Smith continued: 

“These awards have been created to recognise those journalists and editors who, despite the prejudice that still exists towards victims, report on violence against women in a sensitive and constructive way. 

“They will reward those who take time to understand the issues, consult with experts and survivors, report on the context of abuse and barriers to preventing it, and use sensitive language to tell important stories.  It is hoped that these awards will encourage editors to commission, invest in and prominently feature stories about violence against women and girls.” 

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Media Awards categories will include:

  • News - print, digital
  • Broadcast News – TV, radio
  • Features - print, digital (includes photojournalism)
  • Documentary - audio / TV / digital platforms
  • Opinion/comment – print, digital, broadcast (includes blogs with a wide reach)
  • New journalist
  • Wooden spoon

Further judges will be announced shortly and will comprise working journalists and experts on violence against women and girls.

Entries which were published/broadcast/shared from 1st January 2016 are welcome, and the closing date for entries will be Monday 3rd October 2016. The award winners will be announced on 25th November 2016, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Contact media.awards@evaw.org.uk for more information and details on how to nominate an entry.