The Campaign

Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign launched in 2004, shining the spotlight on violence against women all over the world. Over six years, Amnesty became a leading voice on women’s human rights. We campaigned locally and internationally and, working hand-in-hand with women’s organisations, we helped change the lives of hundreds of thousands of women.

Australia’s Contribution

Gil Won Ok was promised factory work at the age of 13, but found herself in a comfort station in northeast China where she worked as a ‘comfort woman’. Gil broke her silence in 1998, 53 years after her traumatic experience. She said of the need to continue campaigning: "the Japanese Government thinks if all ‘comfort women’ die, it will be buried and forgotten…as long as our next generation knows about it, it will not be forgotten".
Gil Won Ok worked as a ‘comfort woman in WWII’. © Amnesty International

In Australia, we focused the spotlight of public opinion on:

  • putting an end to violence against women in Papua New Guinea.
  • the plight of domestic workers in Indonesia.
  • survivors of the Japanese military’s sexual slavery system in World War II.
  • rape as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • exposing the plight of women human rights defenders in Nepal and Iran.

At home, we also focused on convincing the Federal Government to introduce a National Plan of Action to eliminate violence against women.

Thanks to you, people’s lives
have been protected

Thanks to years of dedicated work and tireless enthusiasm from hundreds of stop violence against women activists around the country, we achieved some incredible outcomes. Together with our many partners in the women’s movement, we have contributed to some groundbreaking changes around the world.

Snapshot of Successes

Federal, state and territory governments released a comprehensive National Plan of Action to reduce violence against women and their children.
Papua New Guinea
The PNG Government passed the Family Protection Bill, providing a level of protection to women and children vulnerable to violence and other human rights abuses in the home. It also repealed the controversial Sorcery Act. Read more here.
Solomon Islands
The country’s first sexual assault unit was created and funding for programs relating to violence against women prioritised.
Compulsory documenting of all female patients that show signs of abuse was introduced.
Our lobbying and advocacy, together with that of women’s organisations, contributed to the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act that was passed in 2004.
Parliament unanimously passed a law against domestic violence.
The Gulf Region
Amnesty International brought together political and religious community ‘gatekeepers’ on the issues of discriminatory laws and violence against women in the family.
Sierra Leone
Amnesty International contributed to the enactment of three new laws relating to women’s rights on issues such as female genital mutilation.
Claire Mallinson presented 30 000 signatures from Amnesty supporters to Tanya Plibersek
© Andrew Campbell. Claire Mallinson presented 30 000 signatures from Amnesty supporters to Tanya Plibersek.


Although the Stop Violence Against Women campaign formally ended in 2010, Amnesty continues to fight for women’s rights and gender issues based on this six years’ of solid ground work.

Most importantly, we are continuing to work with women human rights defenders across the globe to ensure they are able to continue their important work.

For more information on our current work in violence against women, visit Gender and Sexuality.


Amnesty campaigns locally and internationally and, thanks to our supporters, we've made a huge difference to the lives of women.

Find out how your donation can help stop the systemic abuse of women around the world.


© Amnesty International
Claire Yinguinza and her 19-year-old daughter Nadia were raped and terrorised in their home in the Central African Republic. Nadia was left HIV positive and pregnant © Amnesty International

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