The Quest for a Violence-Free Future: Drawing Visual Connections to End Men's Violence Against Women.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Karen CRINALL, Federation University Australia, Australia
The past four decades have seen building momentum in global and local initiatives to address the ‘wicked problem’ of men’s violence against women (MVAW). In 1979 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, now ratified globally by all but seven states. In 1996 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared intimate partner and sexual violence as a global public health issue. Amnesty International launched a campaign to stop violence against women in 2005, and in 2011 Australia implemented the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children (2010-2022). Current statistics indicate an average of one in four women has experienced male violence; in some countries the rate is 70% (WHO, 2010). As yet, there is little evidence suggesting this issue is retracting. Even so, feminist activists retain hope for a future free of MVAW. Prevention campaigns have made widespread use of visual imagery to convey messages through popular media, such as print and television, and social media has now become a key platform. This presentation draws on the case study of a social media initiative led by a regional women’s health organisation in southeastern Australia, known as ‘Make the Link’. The campaign involved the development of a set of posters for display in workplaces, which are designed to challenge beliefs about the origins and nature of MVAW; image-based messages are also conveyed through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. In this presentation I will critically reflect on the various, multi-dimensional visual devices employed in ‘Make the Link’. A key line of inquiry will be exploring how a positive ‘future vision’, ie. a violence-free future for women and children, is founded on faith in the power of the visual to shift deeply entrenched gendered attitudes and practices.