Graphic Logo for COSC depicting a harp and text

The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

An Oifig Náisiúnta um Fhoréigean Baile, Gnéasach agus Inscnebhunaithe a Chosc

  1. The European Commission exchange of good practice seminar on awareness raising on violence against women and girls

The European Commission exchange of good practice seminar on awareness raising on violence against women and girls

The European Commission organised an exchange of good practice seminar in London on the 7 - 8 February 2012 which discussed awareness raising activities as a tool to end violence against women and girls.

Ireland was represented by Cosc and an independent expert appointed by the European Commission.  UK and Greece presented their action plans in the field which in both cases contain ‘awareness raising’ components.  The papers related to the exchange of good practice can be accessed via: 
http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/tools/good-practices/review-seminars/violence_en.htm  

The European Commission reported that the discussions during the seminar highlighted the fact that a campaign needs to be both anchored in an action plan and linked to other measures, including support to victims. It requires clear political commitment and a close partnership with stakeholders and NGOs. There must be a coherent awareness raising strategy with well-defined key elements and target groups. It was noted that there seems to be a shift from campaigns with undifferentiated target groups towards more specific ones addressing victims, bystanders, potential perpetrators, professionals, young people or minority groups. However, few campaigns focus on men as potential supporters of prevention (through images of positive masculinities, men as role models, etc.). For all target groups, the key messages have to be carefully formulated accordingly, in order to increase community ownership of the campaigns.

Moreover, the European Commission reported that it became clear during the seminar that awareness raising campaigns should pay greater attention to the images they convey, for example to avoid reinforcing the representation of women as passive victims and men as perpetrators. Furthermore, in the current period of austerity, ways to raise awareness without having to allocate huge resources might help ensure the continuity of actions. The lack of adequate research and data and the difficulty in evaluating the effectiveness and impact of awareness raising initiatives were also discussed.
Source: European Commission/Justice website