Blog Article | 9 December 2016

Effective campaigning against domestic and sexual violence

By Pamela Zaballa, Head of Policy for Women & Children’s Services at Hestia.

2016 has been an interesting year to say the least. It has seen some of the common ground shaken and allowed us to measure the levels of misogyny that still exist. Indeed, it has shown us that the struggle for women’s rights is far from ending. This year has also proved that there is a lot to do if we want to engage the public in ending domestic violence and sexual assault, and not just be silent bystanders.

For Hestia, who is running the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign, it has been an energetic year. It’s been a year that has a growing network of partners coming together to say NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault. We have been able to prove that many agencies have more in common than they believe, and that a true barrier is the lack of awareness of the day-to-day work that we all do.

So what makes a domestic and sexual violence campaign truly effective?

The success of a campaign can be measured by its multiple layers. In our case, we believe partnership is the foundation of the work that we do. Engaging organisations which each other is the start of true institutional change. A campaign can act as an enabler between parties that do not know each other, and create opportunities for them. In a way, we can start a community of organisations who might work directly with victims of domestic and sexual violence or might just want to take a stand against it.

It is important also to understand organisational worries, aspirations, conflicts and internal politics. Share your experiences with them and give advice were possible. The common knowledge that even though we all work in our micro-environments, but that there are others like us with the same set of emotions, creates organisational engagement.

In a Hestia survey (2016) 63% of women who came into a refuge did not know they existed before they actually needed one.

This highlights the need to inform the public of the support available if they are victims themselves or to support others. A campaign therefore must act as bridge of information and at the same time celebrate the fantastic work that some organisations are doing regarding domestic violence and sexual assault – small and large charities, local authorities and corporate organisations. As a result, the campaign will create a climate of trust for the individual to come forward with confidence, to either look for support or champion the cause regardless of gender and race.

In a world where communication is constant, we have all day information at our fingertips. This means that in order to influence any individual, a campaign needs to engage them; providing platforms such as an interactive website, responsive social media or a picture gallery to name a few. Ensuring that we use social media to educate not only to inform, providing the public the knowledge to challenge when they hear colleagues or family members addressing issues of violence poorly.

Finally, a campaign must also actively engage with the public – not just expect they will stumble upon the information. This means ensuring that we are taking the campaign message to local colleges, festivals, community events, local sports clubs, or churches means that we are giving more opportunities for people of all ages to engage.

Campaigning against domestic and sexual violence has proven not to always be easy, but encouraging when we see organisations seeking to partner; individuals sending us their pictures and telling their stories; men and women each day joining our social media platforms and our group of young student ambassadors asking us what we can do next.

The best advice – let’s keep up the fight, let’s do it together and let’s make sure we do not forget any individual on the way who wants to raise their voice against domestic violence and sexual assault.

From the UK SAYS NO MORE team we will like to thank you for your support during these 16 Days of Activism!

Effective campaigning against domestic and sexual violence

[maxbutton id=”12″] [maxbutton id=”11″]


UK Says No More urges victims to make use of Safe Spaces as incidents are expected to rise during Euros.

UK Says No More has joined together with high street banks and pharmacies to urge anyone at risk to access support via designated Safe Spaces found on high streets across the UK.

Read full story

NatWest marks ‘No More Week’ by opening Safe Spaces for economic and domestic abuse victims

6 March 2024 NatWest Group is announcing that starting this week it will offer Safe Spaces to people experiencing economic and domestic abuse in over 360 branches across the UK including NatWest, Ulster Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland branches.  Safe Spaces, part of Hestia’s UK Says No More campaign, are designated locations which anyone ...

Read full story

Nationwide – the UK’s biggest branch network – joins Hestia’s Safe Spaces

Nationwide – the largest branch network of any UK banking brand -– will offer Hestia’s Safe Spaces scheme to people experiencing domestic abuse across more than 400 branches across the UK. A recent poll by Nationwide shows almost half (48%) the population have experienced, or know someone who has experienced domestic abuse, with almost one ...

Read full story