16 Songs for 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women
While the international campaign 16 days of activism to end violence against women gains force across the world, Victorians have been marking the event creatively. A hip-hop CD containing messages against violence and promoting respectful relationships has been created and distributed across the country, with the Ballarat CASA branch distributing for this region.
The project was developed to engage young people who access housing support services due to issues associated with violence against women. "Approximately 20 young people participated in the groups and considered the issues relating to violence against women. These groups were co-facilitated by social workers and Australian hip hop artists," says Karen Gray from the YWCA.
The process was lengthy giving the participants' time to develop their skills. Gray explains that; "groups ran weekly across 20 weeks. In partnership with Obese Records, the project team developed and produced a CD for the project. Australian artists linked to the Obese label were keen to show their support for ending violence against women by offering tracks for use on the CD."
Despite the range of professional involvement, the young participants were at the heart of the process. They worked on track selection and developing their own track based on what they had learned throughout the 20 weeks. "Tracks were chosen based on their content and relevance to these young people. Young people were encouraged and supported to develop their own hip hop track in relation to the discussions in the groups," says Gray.
The culmination of the project was a launch at Federation Square and the distribution of the album, "5000 free CD's are being distributed throughout Australia to young people accessing housing support services or who are engaged with sexual assault services," says Gray.
The project was a partnership between Obese records and CASA House (Royal Women's Hospital), Melbourne Citymission and YWCA Victoria and was funded under a grant from the Australian Government.