Author Archives: writeawards

Erin Kelly wins ‘Best Creative Writing’ award

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our 2017 Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here.

You can also listen to interviews with attendees of the Write to End VAW awards, on Engender’s Podcast ‘On The Engender’.

Erin Kelly won our inaugural Creative Writing award for her three poems. Read Erin’s wonderful poems, ‘Silence’, ‘Deep Water’ and ‘Survive’ here.

Judges’ comments

“Taking no prisoners in her work, Erin’s poems are visceral and visual in a way that makes her work stand out from the crowd. She wants her readers to take notice of what’s wrong with complicity and victim shaming and is succinct in doing so.”

“I love the immediacy of these poems and the use of evocative honesty. The writer has an impactful, stripped back style as she hits on the harassment and subjugation of women’s lived reality.”

You can read Erin’s writing on her website. 

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Niamh Anderson and Polly Smythe win Best Student award

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our 2017 Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here.

You can also listen to interviews with attendees of the Write to End VAW awards, on Engender’s Podcast ‘On The Engender’.

Polly Smythe and Niamh Anderson won the ‘Best Article – Student’ award for their writing on domestic abuse at university. Read the article here: Domestic abuse is happening at university. So why don’t we talk about it?

Polly and Niamh wrote about the fact that our stereotypical image of a domestic abuse victim is not a young university student, despite the fact that women aged 16 – 24 are the group at the highest risk of experiencing domestic abuse. They wrote about university initiatives which tackled sexual harassment and the limitations within these initiatives, as well as how reluctance to label behaviours as ‘coercive’ can prevent reporting.

“Not only are there misconceptions about who can experience domestic abuse, but misconceptions about what that abuse looks like. Women’s Liberation Officer Chris Belous told us that recognition tends to be for the more “obvious signs of abusive, violent relationships, while other things like emotional abuse and gaslighting go unnoticed”. When talking about domestically abusive relationships, so often the first question asked is ‘did they hit you?’. Not only does this significantly downplay the catastrophic effects emotional abuse can have, but makes victims less likely to come forward as they do not feel their relationship is abusive if there is no violence.” 

Judges’ comments: “A hugely important subject with clear and economic prose.”

“Extremely well researched and evidenced and written in an engaging style and strong gender analysis”

Read Polly and Niamh’s article here: Domestic abuse is happening at university. So why don’t we talk about it?

A special mention was awarded to ‘Inside the hospitality industry: a culture of harassment’ , by Richard Joseph with Meilan Solly and Jonathon Skavroneck writing for The Saint. Judges called this piece “A very well researched expose on exploitation in the hospitality industry.”

If you are concerned about your own safety or that of a friend, the Scottish Women’s Aid helpline is free to call, and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on 0800 027 1234. 

Talat Yaqoob wins ‘Best Blog’

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our 2017 Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here.

You can also listen to interviews with attendees of the Write to End VAW awards, on Engender’s Podcast ‘On The Engender’.

Talat Yaqoob won the Best Blog award for her writing on the subject of online misogyny. Read the blog here: “Just Ignore It”

On the gendered nature of online misogyny, Talat writes, “Why does this matter to the Women 5050 campaign? Because sexist abuse online and the disproportionate abuse of our women leaders prevents other women from aspiring to these roles. Last year, GirlGuiding UK released a report stating that “49% of girls aged 11–21 say fear of abuse online makes them feel less free to share their views”. Earlier this year, Unison Wales told us that online abuse was putting women off politics.”

Judges’ comments: “This blog makes an elegantly constructed argument about the virulence of misogyny experienced online by women, and women politicians in particular.  Talat Yaqoob frames the argument around the advice of men to ignore this abuse either because it isn’t worth a response or because we all “have bigger fish to fry” in domestic and sexual violence and FGM, for example.  Yaqoob aptly names the silencing inherent in both pieces of advice, and the tweets used to illustrate her argument remind us just how dangerous a place public space is for all women.”

“Brilliant! A tightly written, evidence based challenge to how women experience gender based violence online. The creative use of categories to guide the reader through the piece added to the impact of the blog.”

Read Talat’s blog here: “Just Ignore It”

Find out more about Women 5050 here.

Vicky Allan wins award for ‘Best article – feature’

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our 2017 Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here.

You can also listen to interviews with attendees of the Write to End VAW awards, on Engender’s Podcast ‘On The Engender’.

Vicky Allan won the Best Feature award for her 2016 article about Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Bill.

Read Vicky Allan’s piece here: Domestic abuse: This article will upset you but it is vital that you read it

Writing for the Sunday Herald, Vicky explored the ways in which this groundbreaking new bill could make a very real difference to women’s lives. With almost 60,000 domestic abuse incidents reported to Police Scotland in 2014-15, it is important to recognise that abuse presents as a pattern of behaviour, rather than one incident of violence. The piece stood out due to Vicky’s inclusion of interviews with domestic abuse survivors, all of whom spoke about the impact that psychological and emotional abuse had had on them.

Comments from the judges: “This article is a terrific piece of reporting, presenting shocking and horrific details from several cases of domestic and sexual violence in a dramatic but respectful telling.  Liberal use of direct quotes from agency staff and the women themselves gave the stories such credibility and power, and the surrounding context laid bare the context of gendered oppression that is so often missing from features like this.  A tour de force of a story.”

“As the title suggests, difficult to read, but vital. This was the most powerful piece for its successful engagement with both the factual and the anecdotal, in a way that grabbed attention and maintained it. With a relentless opening paragraph to set the grim scene, Vicky knows how to exemplify a troubling tone within a victim’s experience and bring it round to the relevance that was the Domestic Abuse Bill, new at the time of writing. An essential read for all – an important window into a victim’s life that is understandably so difficult to share, done so with tact and empathy.”

Read Vicky Allan’s piece here: Domestic abuse: This article will upset you but it is vital that you read it

Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage helpline: 0800 027 1234

Annie Brown wins award for ‘Best article – News’

Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our 2017 Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here.

You can also listen to interviews with attendees of the Write to End VAW awards, on Engender’s Podcast ‘On The Engender’.

Annie Brown won the Best News award for her investigative piece on the lack of forensic services for survivors of rape or sexual assault on Scotland’s Northern islands.

Read Annie’s piece for the Daily Record here: ‘Island rape victims forced to endure second hell due to lack of local forensic facilities’

Writing for the Daily Record, Annie shines a light on the fact that rape survivors must be escorted by police on a passenger flight or ferry to Aberdeen, because there are no forensic facilities on the Orkney or Shetland islands. This is both traumatic for the women and risky as there is a chance they may be recognised by locals on the plane or ferry with their police escort.

The pieces contains interviews and insights from Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis Scotland, Linda Gray of Shetland Rape Crisis and Zelda Bradley of Orkney Rape Crisis.

Comments from judges: “This article raises a very important issue through a well written and original contribution. It draws well on agencies that have expertise in this area and links well to wider issues around VAW as well as the particular issue addressed. “

“This article had everything – it’s a very important subject that needs more attention, it spoke to real victims of the lack of services, it suggested how this might be remedied. It was both wide-ranging and specific, and was written clearly and cleanly.”

Read Annie Brown’s piece here: Island rape victims forced to endure second hell due to lack of local forensic facilities

The Rape Crisis Scotland hotline is 08088 01 03 02.

Contact Orkney Rape Crisis on 01856 872298 or at contact@orkneyrapecrisis.scot

Contact Sheltand Rape Crisis on 01595 745078 or 07570 062362 or at contact@shetlandrapecrisis.scot

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