Eve Livingston, winner of Best Student Award for her piece On Rape Culture

Over the festive break, we’ll be sharing reflections from each of our 2015 Write to End Violence Against Women Awards winners which were originally published in the National Newspaper on 11 December 2015.

I’M delighted to have won this award and I’m very grateful to the organisers and judges who make this important event happen every year.

This is an honour that’s made even more special by the fact that, at the inaugural Write to End VAW Awards in 2012, I was lucky enough to win the first ever Best Blog prize.

That blog was about Reeva Steenkamp and the media’s treatment of her after her death at the hands of a man. Last week, almost exactly three years later, that man was finally convicted of her murder.

That it took so long for her killer to be brought to justice shows just how easily rape culture permeates structures as fundamental as criminal justice. But that doesn’t happen on its own, and that those three years have been filled with media discussion of the case ranging from victim-blaming to the idolisation of a murderer shows how reliant such a culture is on dominant narratives which excuse and minimise male violence against women.

That’s why writing is a crucial form of activism; it raises important voices to a rape culture whose enduring popularity relies on rhetoric. It allows us to present counter-narratives to those which bolster structural inequality.

Writing to end violence against women shouldn’t be necessary. But as long as it is, I am proud to play a part.

You can read Eve’s winning piece by linking through here.

Eve

Eve received her award from NUS Women’s Officer, Emily Beever

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