Eliminating Violence Against Women Media Awards

Judging and Entry

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Award Categories

The EVAs awarded media across eleven distinct categories that reflect the diversity of reporting in various media platforms.


The Gold EVA Award honoured the best reporting across all categories. Each individual category winner was eligible to win the Gold EVA Award.



  • Best Media Across Categories



  • Best News Report in Print
  • Best Feature in Print (Newspaper)
  • Best Opinion/Commentary in Print
  • Best Suburban Report in Print
  • Best Regional/Rural Report in Print
  • Best Magazine Report/Article in Print
  • Best Photograph/Cartoon/Illustration in any Medium
  • Best Use of the Online Medium


* NB:  Best Suburban and Best Regional/Rural categories are restricted to items published in suburban/regional/rural forums.




  • Best Radio News
  • Best Radio Feature/Current Affairs
  • Best Talkback Segment




  • Best Television News
  • Best Television Current Affairs/Feature (Less Than 15 Minutes)
  • Best Television Current Affairs/Feature (More Than 15 Minutes)



Judging Criteria

The EVAs were 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 were judged based on the important criteria listed below to illustrate quality of reporting.


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 focused 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.





• Artistic flair

• Appropriate style and technique

• The power of the photograph/ cartoon /illustration to represent the story/ issue  



• 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



Each year, The EVAs Judging Panels were selected to reflect the cross-section of community required to make real steps in the prevention of violence against women.They include professionals from the media, legal, community, health and academic fields. 


Agnes   Cusack

Director,   Multicultural Media Exchange

Amanda   Crane 

Director,   Development and Training, Metro Media Publishing

Brett   Mcleod

Journalist,   Nine Network Australia

Clare   Arthurs

Independent Journalist and Trainer*

Danny   Blay

Executive   Officer, No To Violence Male Family Violence Prevention Association

Fiona   McCormack

Chief   Executive Officer, Domestic Violence Victoria

Jen   Hargrave

Policy   Officer, Women with Disabilities Victoria

Judge   Jennifer Coates

Chief   Judge, Coroner's Court of Victoria

Dr   Jennifer Morgan

Professor,   Melbourne University

Kathy   Bowlen

National   Media Manager, Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Kiri   Bear

Senior   Project Officer, VicHealth

Leanne   Miller

Executive   Director, Koorie Women Mean Business

Maya   Avdibegovic 

Chief   Executive Officer, InTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence

Michelle   Edmunds

Regional   Manager Victoria, CPR Communications

Phil   Johnson

Journalist,   3AW

Sophie   Black


Dr   Leigh Gassner

Partner,   Reos Partners

Margaret   Simons

Director,   Centre for Advanced Journalism, Melbourne University

Maya   Avdibegovic 

Chief   Executive Officer, InTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence

Michelle   Edmunds

Regional   Manager Victoria, CPR Communications

Nick   Richardson

Learning   Delivery Lead, Editorial, News Ltd

Magistrate   Noreen Toohey

Magistrate,   Sunshine Magistrates’ Court

Pauline   Gilbert

CASA   Forum

Sarah   Capper

Policy,   Advocacy and Communications Officer, Victorian Women's Trust

Dr   Suellen Murray

Associate   Professor, RMIT University

Vicki   Lee Thomas

Quality   and Projects Manager, Pact Community Support

Vig   Geddes

Executive   Officer, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria


*Please note that Clare Arthurs did not judge the Radio Category in 2013 due to a Radio National entry to the awards.