Media Advocacy Presentation – The 7 A’s
The goal of my media advocacy presentation is to inform audience of the costs to society that is caused by violence against women. It is meant to raise awareness and provide a call to action and facilitate real change. The photo essay is meant to create a visceral impact on the viewer and shock them into knowing just how much domestic violence can cost to both the individual and to society as a whole.
There are many different audiences for this project: policymakers are able to have incredible influence over the creation of initiatives and programs meant to help those who are experiencing domestic violence, and the average citizen has the greatest amount of power over that decision. Those who are experiencing the violence can stop it at the source, and people can be made more aware that this type of violence is occurring. Violence against women is a universal issue that people of all political leanings can relate to.
I intend to send this message through a photo essay that will showcase the horror of violence against women, as well as the health and financial detriments that result from that. The architecture of the project is framed by personal responsibility vs. social responsibility – showing that the individual is responsible for societal change, and the actions of others can affect you no matter what. The problem of regular beatings and increased costs to society has a simple solution – stop violence against women. This can be done through greater awareness and action taken on the part of the audience.
The photo essay will show that the underreporting of domestic abuse and violence is an issue, and that social media and advocacy groups can be of great use to those who are still suffering. The essay itself will feature at least 40 stories and/or photos, which is the goal for the project. The project is made in the hopes that as many people as possible will be able to participate in and see the final product.
Report – Violence against women
Violence against women takes many forms: from physical injury to rape, emotional and mental abuse. Homicides, unwanted pregnancies, STDs and the like are all terrible consequences of this type of action. However, some of the other effects are financial – the health costs incurred, as well as development failings due to people moving away from violent areas, are often immense in even the most developed countries. In this report, we will examine what violence against women costs society, from both a societal and financial perspective.
Society suffers incredibly from the presence of domestic violence against it; the health care costs alone make it far more expensive for those women who have experienced sexual assault to be treated than someone without. Violence against women is almost at epidemic levels, and the research behind it still needs greater focus, due to the often undisclosed nature of instances of violence (Alhabib, Nur, & Jones, 2010). What’s more, the police and legal costs of sexual and domestic violence cases cost taxpayers millions of dollars a year, as offenders must be found and prosecuted. Women who have experienced violence are also less able to contribute to society, due to the mental and emotional issues it brings out, as well as the hit to their self-esteem and ability to deal with the stresses of the work place. They take more personal days, are less focused at work, and easily quit their jobs or drop out of school. They are more likely to avoid environments where the abuser lives, making the workplace or the classroom a dangerous place to be. Parents of abused women can even keep their girls away from the workplace or school for fear of further sexual or domestic violence (“Violence Against Women,” 1997).
The health of a woman who has experienced violence of some form becomes more at risk, negative health outcomes occurring with nearly every instance of domestic violence. This type of violence typically occurs at the hands of the intimate partner of the victim; this leads to lack of sleep quality and disruptive nighttime behaviors (Woods, Kozachik, & Hall, 2010).
Violence against women is often used as a display of power of men over women; men use this violence as a tool to exert their own control. This is especially true in instances when the women in an intimate relationship make more money or are more sought after than their abusers, which makes men perceive their prosperity as a threat to their masculinity (Kalaca & Dundar, 2010). This violence is but a symptom of a generally violent society; people are hurtful by nature, and this is just another example (Renzetti, 2010).
Women’s advocacy groups have attempted to raise awareness of these issues for thirty years, especially in developing countries, but insufficient ground is being made (Kalaca & Dundar, 2010). It is the hope of this media advocacy project that greater awareness would be made on violence against women, in order to increase the number of calls to action that are made by both community leaders and the average citizen.
Alhabib, S., Nur, U., & Jones, R. (2010). Domestic Violence Against Women: Systematic Review of Prevalence Studies. Journal of Family Violence, 25(4), 369-382. doi:10.1007/s10896-009-9298-4
Kalaca, S., & Dundar, P. (2010). Violence against women: The perspective of academic women. BMC Public Health, 10490-496. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Renzetti, C. M. (2010). And the Bear Just Keeps on Dancing: Violence against Women in the Context of a Violent Society. Sociological Viewpoints, 49-54. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Violence against women: health consequences. (1997). World Health Organization.
Woods, S. J., Kozachik, S. L., & Hall, R. J. (2010). Subjective sleep quality in women experiencing intimate partner violence: Contributions of situational, psychological, and physiological factors. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23(1), 141-150. doi:10.1002/jts.20495