Category Archives: Shortlist

Isabelle Kerr, winner of Best Blog for Fifty Shades of Grey – Saviour of Relationships or Abuser’s Handbook?

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.

ON Thursday it was my 60th birthday, so receiving this award was a lovely present.

Turning 60 made me think about the ways I’d been writing and putting out information over the years, since the beginning of the 1980s in fact.

Blogging is a great way to communicate and so widely available to all of us.

There are many people out there contributing pieces on all aspects of violence against women and it’s growing, so that the voices of survivors of gender-based violence and abuse, and those of us who work in this field, need not be silenced any longer.

The online world is so often seen as the domain of the vicious, vitriolic troll and that is exactly why we must keep shouting out our message, that violence against women is not acceptable and must end.

I was very lucky to be in the company of other writers who had also been honoured with awards for their excellent articles and investigative pieces, and it was a good feeling to know that the torch is burning brightly and survivors of abuse will not be silenced or consigned to the darkness.

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


Isabelle (left) received her award from Engender’s Emma Ritch


Kirsty Strickland: The benchmark has been raised for equality and responsibility in reporting

This article was originally printed in the National Newspaper on 11 December 2015.

IT was Human Rights Day yesterday and, fittingly, also the date of the Write to End Violence against Women Awards. Politicians, women’s groups, and media representatives all came together to reward this year’s successful batch of forward-thinking journalists and bloggers.

The coverage in the build-up to this year’s awards successfully encouraged discussion about the potentially harmful impact of careless reporting of violence against women. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as the saying goes.

We look back on media norms from the past with a shake of the head and a weary sigh. It’s hard for us to imagine now how certain things were ever acceptable – 16-year-old page three girls being an uncomfortable and relatively recent example.

Practices become ingrained and accepted throughout newsrooms. If we aren’t to rely on hindsight in the future then we need to work to speed up positive change; to give responsible newspapers like The National our support for working to be better; and to tell the ones that fall short that we are over the Jeremy Kyle-style reporting, the ogling and the gore.

We’ve grown up a bit as a nation and we know that this isn’t the standard that should be accepted in 2015.

By giving their backing to The Write to End VAW Awards, The National sent out a clear message that they credit their readers with intelligence and maturity.

The deaths of women at the hands of their partners needn’t be sensationalised and salivated over.

Victims of rape don’t need their worthiness held up to the court of public opinion for verdict. This paper has trusted that people will read and care about these issues without the need for the tried-and-tested tabloid formula.

It is my hope that the New Year sees other Scottish newspapers pledge their commitment to responsible reporting of violence. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time writing for The National and have been heartened by the feedback I have received from readers in response to my articles.

Violence against women isn’t a subject that is always guaranteed to be well received.

Warmest congratulations to all the winners and to those shortlisted. The awards are down to the hard work and vision of Zero Tolerance and their partners. It is right that we celebrate them. Let us hope that in 2016 their benchmark is the one that all journalists use.

The Write to End Violence Against Women Awards 2015 039  SA

The winners of the 2015 Write to End Violence Against Women Awards; from left: Eve Livingston, Judith Duffy, Isabelle Kerr, Gina Davidson, Alex Renton; photo by Stuart Attwood

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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