Category Archives: Announcements

The Write to End Violence Against Women Pledge

The Write to End Violence Against Women Pledge

A charter for best practice in the reporting of violence against women and girls (VAWG)

Zero Tolerance Commits to:

  • Provide media outlets with detailed guidance on reporting VAWG.
  • Deliver free seminars for media professionals on the causes of VAWG and how this should impact reporting.
  • Offer ongoing phone support for reporters and content producers on the reporting of VAWG.
  • Supply media outlets with a current list of contacts for reporting on VAWG.
  • Support media outlets to undertake the charter process and implement relevant policies.
  • Audit annually the gender balance of content & byline production and publish the results.

Editors Commit to:

  • Circulate Zero Tolerance Handle with Care guidance to all staff members involved in content creation.
  • Ensure that images chosen to illustrate stories about VAWG do not distort the story, its seriousness or contribute to the problem by further objectifying women.
  • Support staff to attend Zero Tolerance training on reporting of VAWG and its causes.
  • Allow Zero Tolerance access to archives to research and monitor VAWG reporting.

Journalists and Producers Commit to:

  • Conduct all contact with survivors of abuse and violence with respect for their experience, dignity and safety.
  • Avoid the use of humour in reporting VAWG which risks minimising its pervasiveness and severity.
  • Refer to national and international statistics to place individual incidents in their wider social context to provide their audience with the ‘bigger picture’
  • Consider the view, held by both the Scottish Government and Zero Tolerance, that commercial sexual exploitation including prostitution, pornography and human trafficking are part of the same continuum of violence against women.
  • Never imply the victim is to blame for any abuse they experience through reference to their behavior.
  • Accurately portray perpetrators of violence as men, boys, husbands, fathers etcetera. Instead of using terms such as brute, beast, fiend or monster which distance their abuse from ‘ordinary’ men. VAWG is always committed by ordinary men.
  • Identify the real cause of violence against women – gender inequality and do not imply alcohol, football, or other external factors are to blame.

One week to go: Friday’s featured category – Student and Youth

This is the final week to nominate articles for the 2016 awards! Each day during‎ WritetoEndVAW‬ ‪#‎1Week2Go‬, we’ll be featuring a different award category.

Students and young people often bring new perspectives and insightful thought to writing on gender inequality and violence against women. The Write to End Violence Against Women Awards recognise the excellent work of the next generation of journalists with a dedicated category for Best Article – Student and Youth.

The terms and conditions for this category are:student-category-photo

  • Article must have been written by a student
  • (this includes students at school, college and university as well as mature students) or by an author aged 26 or under.
  • Article can be news, comment or feature.
  • Author may or may not have received financial compensation for the piece.

Deadline for Submissions: 30th September, 2016

You can nominate your own writing or someone else’s, and you can make as many nominations as you like!

For full details, please visit our How to Enter page.

To stay informed about the awards, like the Write to End VAW Awards Facebook page and follow our Twittefeed. Follow the hashtag #WritetoEndVAW.

Alex Renton, winner of the Best Article – Comment and Features category for his investigative piece in The Observer titled “Rape, child abuse and Prince Charles’s former school”.

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 so pleased and proud to get a prize in these excellent awards – particularly because my 11-year-old daughter Lulu came along to Holyrood to see me get my hands on the glassware.

It’s good that she knows Scotland will not tolerate violence against women and children – and that her dad’s job, often pretty silly-looking, can be part of that task.

Our long investigation of child rape and other crimes at Gordonstoun School in Moray was motivated by two things. One was the need to show that the flaws in protection systems for the vulnerable occur at all levels of society: in “great” public schools as well as in care homes. So does the culture of complacency and cover-up.

The other was to point up how terribly the Scottish legal system lets down survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Scottish advocates will tell you that we have the best legal system in the world; but it is plain to victims of rape or of violence in the home that, for them, our system is one of the worst

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


Alex received his award from Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP

Winners of 2015 Awards

The organisers of this year’s awards were extremely excited  to have a full house at the Scottish Parliament garden lobby last night for the 2015 Write to End Violence Against Women awards. We are incredibly grateful to all our speakers and supporters, especially Fiona Hyslop who presented the Best Article Comment & Features award and Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale for sponsoring the event. We were also delighted that Green MSP Alison Johnstone, whose support has been instrumental in building and growing the awards, was in attendance last evening.

Although there is plenty of work to do to achieve full gender equality and tackle all forms of violence against women in Scottish society, it was incredibly inspiring and heartening to be in a room packed full of people — from our speakers, to our judging panel, to our shortlisted writers, to our political leader, to women’s sector representatives — who are working tirelessly to make Scotland a more equal society where violence against women is not tolerated.

So, without further ado, the winners of the 2015 Write to End Violence Against Women Awards are. . .

Best Article – News

Judith Duffy
Scottish women taking on the sexist curse of street harassment
Sunday Herald

Best Article – Comment & Features

Alex Renton
Rape, child abuse and Prince Charles’s former school
The Observer

Best Blog

Isabelle Kerr
“Fifty Shades of Grey” Saviour of Relationships or Abuser’s Handbook
Glasgow Rape Crisis Blog

Best Student Article

Eve Livingston
On Rape Culture
Personal blog –

Gender Equality Award 2015 Sponsored by Women 5050

Gina Davidson
Let’s Hear it for the Smart Girls
Edinburgh Evening News

Wooden Spoon

This year’s Wooden Spoon Went Collectively to “Headlines”

A lot of reporting about good violence against women is sold short by headlines that seem design to capture readers’ attention in the most graphic way possible. In 2016, we’ll be encouraging media outlets to think more deeply about how they headline their stories. Watch this space for more developments. . .


To read more about the 2015 Write to End Violence Against Women Awards, please visit our media partner, The National Newspaper.

Shortlist Announced for the 2015 Awards

We are delighted to announce the 2015 shortlist. The shortlist was chosen by a shortlisting panel that reviewed anonymised text of the nominations. Nominations were open to writers themselves and member of the public submitting others’ writing.

Jenny Kemp, Co-Director of Zero Tolerance says about this year’s shortlist:

“This year, with the support of the National, we’ve really been able push the boundaries of the award and reach out to a wider audience than ever before.

Fundamentally, we want to encourage media that is informed and responsible about VAW reporting, across a variety of formats and platforms.

So we’re delighted that this year, we’ve attracted a record amount of public nominations from diverse sources and we’re really pleased that our shortlist includes a broader range of voices.”

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced on 10 December at the Scottish Parliament.

Shortlist for four main categories

NB: There are two additional categories which will be announced at the ceremony: 1) the Gender Equality Award 2015: Women 50:50 Gender Equality in Political Reporting and 2) the Worst Article / Wooden Spoon award.

Best Article – News

Judith Duffy
Scottish women taking on the sexist curse of street harassment
Sunday Herald

Libby Brooks
Rape prevention campaign targets young Scottish men and bar staff
The Guardian

Lisa Hodge
(With further explanation of corroboration by Douglas Coulter)
Special report: A Kilwinning woman’s heartbreaking story of childhood abuse
Sister papers: Irvine Times, and Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald

Michael Alexander
Woman’s domestic abuse warning (WriteVAW Michael Alexander 1 & WriteVAW Michael Alexander 2  )
The Courier – Fife Edition

Best Article – Comment & Features

Alex Renton
Rape, child abuse and Prince Charles’s former school
The Observer

John Niven
Jonathan King must have wondered why he was the only one in the dock for using his fame to sexually molest young people
Sunday Mail

Marion Scott
My Tears, My Terror, My Torment, My Hell
(WriteVAW Marion Scott 1WriteVAW Marion Scott 2WriteVAW Marion Scott 3WriteVAW Marion Scott 4, & WriteVAW Marion Scott 5)
Sunday Mail

Paul O’Hare
Scots are helping babies born through sexual assault in ‘rape capital of the world’ Democratic Republic of Congo
Daily Record

Best Blog

Christina O’Neill
Close the ‘protection gap’ for women seeking asylum in Scotland

Isabelle Kerr
“Fifty Shades of Grey” Saviour of Relationships or Abuser’s Handbook
Glasgow Rape Crisis Blog

Isabelle Kerr
Because she is a woman
Glasgow Rape Crisis Blog

Joint collaboration of the RASASH team, led by Jane Ferguson, with input from Moira Paton, Rebecca Fletcher, and Melody McIndoe
Why Women Groping Under Men’s Kilts is NOT Sexism
Rape & Sexual Abuse Service Highland – Everyday Sexism Highland

Best Student Article

Emilia Bona
Ched Evans saga calls football culture into question
The Student

Louisa Power
16 Days at Activism at GCU

Olivia Morgan
Justice not served by Pistorius verdict
The Student

Eve Livingston
On Rape Culture
Personal blog –

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