Journalists/media outlets are encouraged to enter work published or broadcast to a Victorian-inclusive audience between 1st January 2012 and 31st December 2012. See here for more information on how to enter.
The EVAs are judged by an expert panel with representatives from the media industry as well as violence against women, family violence and sexual assault sectors. The awards are judged according to the following criteria.
General criteria for all awards:
1. Promotes public awareness and understanding of violence against women* and/or
Violence against women is a prevalent and serious issue. Its impact to the Victorian community is profound, it is the primary cause of death, disability and illness for women ages 15 to 441, and costs the Victorian economy an estimated $3.4 billion each year2.
Despite its commonality, violence against women is not well understood by the wider community. There is misconception about the causes of violence against women, and the social dynamics that allow it to occur.
The media plays a powerful and important role in improving community perceptions of the social reality of violence against women. Insightful and accurate reporting is essential to creating a community where violence against women does not occur.
Excellent reporting that promotes awareness of violence against women demonstrates the following qualities:
- Promotes gender equality and respectful relationships
- Challenges common stereotypes about violence against women
- Gives voice to those experiencing violence against women
- Provides information about how friends and family can support those affected by violence against women
- Provides information about resources and services available to those who are affected by violence against women
- Draws attention to the relationship between community attitudes and violence against women
- Describes the effects of violence against women including its effects on the community as a whole
- Reflects on the impact of unequal distribution of power and resources between men and women
- Encourages men to take responsibility for their use of violent or abusive behaviour and the prevention of violence against women
- Draws on current research on violence against women
- Explores key social and economic determinants of violence against women such as gender roles and relations, and social norms and practices relating to violence against women
- Raises awareness of successes of community projects that seek to reduce violence against women
2. Promotes public awareness and understanding of the links between violence against women and violence against children.
Research shows strong links between violence again women and violence against children. Most violence against women is perpetrated by men known to the victim3 and it often occurs in the home. Children are therefore very likely to be exposed to violence against women, and can be directly harmed in instances where they try to intervene4,5.
In 2007/8 children were identified as aggrieved family members in 7.5% of all reported family violence incidents in Victoria6. One quarter of children and/or young people aged 12 to 20 years are said to have witnessed an act of physical violence against their mother or step mother4.
It is crucial that reporting on the issue of violence against women highlights its connection with violence against children and considers the subsequent impact on the wider community. Excellent reporting on this issue:
- Challenges stereotypes about violence against children and violence against women
- Draws attention to the relationship between violence against women and violence against children
- Draws on evidence of the links between violence against women and children
- Acknowledges the ways in which children are impacted by violence against women
- Acknowledges the ways in which children are used in acts of violence against women
3. Contributes to public benefit such as influencing policy or legislative change.
Media hold an important responsibility in gathering and disseminating news. Their role in informing the public of prevalent issues such as violence against women encourages community awareness and interest in these issues. Community influence can play a significant role in improving policy and legislation such as the abolition of the provocation defence in Victoria and the Brodie’s Law campaign. Accurate and diligent reporting makes an essential contribution to the preservation of community focussed legislature.
4. Shows courage, originality and creativity in reporting of violence against women.
Violence against women is described as one of the least visible but most common forms of violence3. Improving community understanding of this issue is crucial to its ongoing reduction. It is therefore essential that violence against women remains at the forefront of newsworthy reporting and public dialogue is encouraged to continue. Reporters show courage in creating engaging and insightful coverage that explores various aspects of this significant issue.
5. Demonstrates accurate and balanced presentation of events / issues.
6. Demonstrates quality of research / writing / reporting.
7. Demonstrates the use of appropriate language.
Suggestive and inflammatory language in reporting on violence against women can greatly detriment community understanding of the issue and its wider implications. Great reporting uses language that indicates the significance of the issue without overemphasising dramatic details. It is respectful, thorough and aware of its own power.
ADDITIONAL CRITERIA FOR PHOTOGRAPH/ CARTOON/ ILLUSTRATION
• Artistic flair
• Appropriate style and technique
• The power of the photograph/ cartoon /illustration to represent the story/ issue
ADDITIONAL CRITERIA FOR BEST USE OF THE ONLINE MEDIUM
• Newsworthiness, professionalism
• Effective or innovative use of the medium, including engagement with the online environment, use of multi-media
1. VicHealth (2004) The health costs of violence: Measuring the burden of disease caused by intimate partner violence. Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne.
2. State Government of Victoria (2009) A Right to Respect: Victoria’s Plan to Prevent Violence against Women 2010-2020, Melbourne.
3. VicHealth (2007) Preventing violence before it occurs: A framework and background paper to guide the primary prevention of violence against women in Victoria.
4. Flood M &Fergus L (2008) An assault on our future: The impact of violence on young people and their relationships, White Ribbon Foundation, Sydney
5. National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and Children (2001) Young people and domestic violence: National research on young people’s attitudes and experiences of domestic violence, Crime Prevention Branch, Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra
6. Department of Justice (2009) Measuring Family Violence in Victoria: Victorian Family Violence Database 1999-2008