The assault on women's bodily autonomy in Texas. Women's rights being eviscerated in Afghanistan. Violence against women skyrocketing during lockdowns.
All of these attacks on women have one systemic thing in common.
Our voices are being silenced.
We can continue to put bandaids on the problems with our money and activism when they reach a boiling point, coming together to help women only when these urgent crisis level situations occur, but until we tackle the root of the issues, we will be constantly and forever scrambling during times of crisis and never stand a chance at stopping the bleeding at its source to reach stability and equality.
Through our creative portrait and film awareness campaigns and empowered storytelling workshops, we work to attack the root of the problem by dismantling the shame, blame, stigma, stereotypes, and systems keeping women silenced, disempowered, and at an unstable, unsafe, and unequal position in private and public life.
Because together, our voices have the power to move mountains.
And we're running out of time to make them heard. So, we're funding three mission-critical initiatives to make this happen.
We have three main initiatives we are funding with this crowdfunder, each one is integral for our survival and long term mission-driven success so we can help the most women around the world.
1. Launch our Domestic Abuse Awareness campaign
2. Keep the lights on for our charity until we can secure long term grant funding
3. Launch the Pilot Program of our Empowered Storytelling Workshops for Domestic Abuse Survivors
Globally, an estimated 736 million women—almost one in three—have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life.
One hundred thirty-seven women are killed by a member of their family every day.
Calls to helplines have increased five-fold in some countries as rates of reported intimate partner violence increase because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Restricted movement, social isolation, and economic insecurity are increasing women’s vulnerability to violence in the home around the world.
This must change, and our campaign will do its part to illuminate the issues at hand and ignite a spark for action.
We'll be taking London by storm with our second campaign, designed to break the stigma, silence, and shame associated with women talking courageously about domestic abuse. We will be featuring the brave stories of seven survivors from around the UK who are working within their communities to break the systems that perpetuate abuse in a series of creative portraits, short films, and a feature length documentary.
Your donations will fund:
- London Underground escalator takeover - messages of hope and strength reaching tens of thousands of people over 2 weeks (OFFICIALLY FUNDED!)
- Documentary Film screening and fundraising event
- Our guerilla marketing efforts
This is not a campaign like so many which show a woman with a black eye, state abuse facts, and send you on your way. These are images and stories of hope, of resilience, of transforming pain into power. These are stories that show abuse is not just physical, and that the pain inflicted isn’t always in external bruises and broken bones. These are real women, not actors, not celebrity spokeswomen, not shielded by anonymity, who are all bravely sharing their stories in service of breaking the silence to help other victims and survivors like them.
These awareness components are meant to change the narrative about abuse and put the power back in the hands of the women who have lost it for far too long. This also will be critical to securing future grant funding and making wider spread systems change.
So we can keep fighting our fight to help women find the power of their voices.
We are out of money and won't be able to sustain our operations past October. Without your help we will have to shut down, and silence our voice, and the voices of every woman who has trusted us with her story. We haven't been able to qualify for grant or government funding yet because we're so new, and we've stretched our initial seed funding as far as it could go, so we need the crowd's help to hold us over until we do so we can keep fighting for women on your behalf.
Helping women in the UK, and around the world, take ownership of her story and create her own personal action oriented rallying cry for change in her community.
We are currently developing a series of digital and in-person empowered storytelling tools and workshops to expand our impact beyond the stories and women in the campaign.
Our workshops will use our unique blend of modern storytelling tools to develop an actionable "I Have a Dream"speech in film form for each woman involved, and provide her with the knowledge and community to help her go out into her community to use her voice to change the broken, toxic systems that keep women silent, disempowered, divided, and unequal.
Your Donations will fund:
- Our pilot workshop program for Domestic Abuse Survivors in London
- Digital workshop development for global access
These tools and workshops will be free of charge to all women who participate, and the development, staffing, and execution will be supported by our fundraising efforts and sponsorships. We will begin the pilot workshops in London, and eventually expand to digital delivery and global in-person offerings.
If we hit this stretch goal, we will be able to develop the pilot program and take our first 25 women through the workshop, allowing us to prove our concept to gain large scale grant funding, thus laying the groundwork for a full rollout of the program.
It will not happen overnight, it will not be easy, but it will happen with your help. This will become the core work that we do throughout the year, and has the largest potential for worldwide impact.
Launched by a bunch of suddenly unemployed creatives grounded by the pandemic on the island of Bali, Indonesia, our first campaign shared the stories and amplified the voices of women in the informal, domestic, and hospitality economy whose lives were devastated by the impact of Covid-19 when their jobs - and hope - immediately disappeared when tourists left the island.
For most of the women, they said this was the first time in their lives where someone truly listened to them, the first time someone showed them just how extraordinary they were.
Our mission and vision expanded after we saw just how much our work changed the lives of everyone involved (for real, read and watch the testimonials), and since then we have doubled down our efforts to create lasting change in the space of gender equality as a formally registered charity, using our own secret sauce of creative storytelling - but we can’t do it without your help.
We know without a doubt that our work is working (hear it from Lejla, one of our survivor storytellers below), and we know what we need to do to expand that work to reach more women. But we can't do it without your help.
About Our Domestic Abuse Storytellers
Our storytellers are everyday women from all over England and Wales using their voices to raise awareness and create change in ways big and small, personally or professionally.
- We have Erica, a 21 year old university student who reported her three year abusive relationship to the police only to find nothing could be done because the 6-month time limit for prosecution had passed (Sky News even came and interviewed her on our set!), and is now using her voice to change the law.
- Britain's strongest woman over 40 and Guiness Book of World Record Holder for hauling an airplane, Sam, tells the story of same sex domestic abuse and raises awareness for the complexities of abuse in LGBTQI+ relationships.
- Lejla, a single mom and refugee from Kosovo, uses her bold presence on Instagram to empower other women to share their stories and educate on the warning signs of abuse in all its forms.
- We have Melanie, a graphic designer, uses design as a tool to heal herself and educate others on what she wishes she would have known.
- We also have a poet, Louise, who uses her writing and creativity to build a whimsical world to inspire others who went through what she did.
- Then there’s Steph, who turned years of abuse in her university days into a mission to help every woman feel her most empowered self.
- And finally Stella, who wrote a memoir about her experience to help other women in her shoes feel not so alone.
We have created two editorial style portraits for each woman which represent her own unique story. The first portrait represents the control she experienced in her abusive relationship and the journey toward healing. The second represents the freedom she gained after the storm, and how she has risen from the ashes to find empowerment.
Every woman and every woman’s story is different, yet we quickly found in our interviews that they all carry striking similarities which serve as powerful messages in the fight against abuse. In the film, we are weaving together a narrative of these common threads, give hope for a better world, and inspire all of us to take action in our own unique ways. We will be submitting it to film festivals, and are seeking a location in London to do a big screening during our launch week!
The more we raise, the safer our mission is, the more we can do, and the more women we can help. This is what each target will allow us to achieve:
15k: We will be able to launch our London Tube Station takeover in October, and keep our lights on until the campaign launches, buying us time to reach a wider audience of donors and supporters to help fund and build our mission.
30k: We will be able to launch our full campaign marketing plan, including our London Tube Station takeover, print merchandise to sell online and in local shops to generate more funds, and keep our lights on for 6 more months.
60k: We will be able to do all of the things in our 30k target, plus take 25 domestic abuse survivors through the pilot program of our Empowered Storytelling workshops, building the foundation for a sustainable organisational future.
100k: We be able to do all of the things in our 60k target will safely live to fight for the voices of women everywhere for another full year, getting us to the next campaign launch.
Your money will be used in service of funding our organisation and our projects with these promises:
1. We will empower women to bravely share their stories in order to improve a sense of community, confidence, self-worth, authorship, agency, and hope for a brighter future.
2. We will show that creativity is a powerful method for healing and empowerment, and that every woman possesses some creative way to express her story and find her own personal rallying cry.
3. We will educate the public on the issues which keep women from achieving equality, safety, and empowerment.
4. We will shift the collective narrative - personal, cultural, and mythical - about women’s issues through our stories.
5. We will shine light on the cracks in the system and promote system change through specific attainable actions.
6. We will reimagine and build a future where there is no need for our work.
Q: Why do you focus on a different issue of gender inequality each year?
A: We don’t only focus on one issue as an organisation, like domestic violence or medical bias or economic inequality, because gender inequality does not happen in a silo, it is intersectional. We cannot focus on only one piece of the story, because that story would be incomplete (and as someone who funded us in the beginning we’re going to ask for your vote on what issue, and where, we tackle next!
Q: Will your workshops only focus on domestic abuse survivors?
A: We will develop our storytelling toolkit and workshops so any woman can experience it, no matter her lived experience, and our goal is to eventually make it accessible globally. During our pilot program of hands-on workshops in London, we will work with domestic abuse survivors since that is the focus of our current campaign. The scope of what we can do, and how many workshops, and where the workshops are run, will depend on the amount of funding we can secure for the program.