step upThe Autonomous Women’s Center is honored to call on youth who support human rights to participate and compete for an award for best youth video in raising consciousness about violence against women. The Autonomous Women’s Center encourages young people between 18 and 25 years old, youth organizations, (film and arts) schools and university departments focused on media, as well as all other interested young people, to participate in this call. The main goal of this call is to raise awareness about violence against women and to encourage women and young women who are surviving violence to seek help and support.

Videos should aim at answering questions about how communities can best support young women who are surviving violence, how institutions and organizations should react/strengthen/support young women who are leaving violent relationships, and passing on key information about violence against women. Videos should explain the ways in which women can leave violent relationships, and our minimal requirement is that a phone contact for an SOS line of a women’s organization from the Women against Violence Network[1] is presented at the end of the video. Phone contacts of civil society organizations are available at the Women against Violence Network’s web site (link:

The Autonomous Women’s Center is a women’s civil society organization that has been working on the issue of violence against women and domestic violence professionally since 1993. In January 2016 we began the “Zero Tolerance for Gender Based Violence” project, supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF), which aims at increasing security, especially of young women, in relation to sexual and gender based violence. We strive to accomplish this goal by, among other things, educating and informing young people, influencing their attitude about sexual and gender based violence, as well as motivating young people to become activists against violence. This call represents the start of our campaign for raising awareness and encouraging youth activism on the issue of violence against women. The campaign’s title is “I Have The Right to Refuse! - Love Isn’t Violence”.

The award for youth videos is part of the European “Step Up!” campaign (2016-2017), which started on May 25th, and was launched by the Women against Violence Europe Network – WAVE[2]. The campaign strives at increasing European efforts to stop violence against women, raise consciousness about this problem, and offer protection to survivors through activities aimed at various decision makers and others.

Video content

The video’s focus should be on strengthening women and young women who have survived violence. The content may focus on any form of violence against women and young women and should show victims what support services they have at their disposal. Survivors aren’t merely victims of violence, they show their strength not just by surviving but also by finding ways to leave the cycle of violence. Therefore, videos may directly work on raising awareness about existing protection services in Serbia (police, centers for social policy, prosecution, judiciary, non-governmental organizations), and providing phone numbers for SOS lines for victims[3]. There are no technical limitations for the video, so participants can be as creative as they want. However, some ethical issues pertaining to violence need to be taken into consideration and participants need to think about what messages they are sending and what ethical aspect they’re providing. For instance, explicit scenes of violence should not be shown, and the video should not discriminate the victims or harm them in any way. We urge video makers to include encouraging messages for women from marginalized groups (Roma women, women and young women with disability, women in rural areas, older women, young women, women with different sexual orientations, and others). Also, the selection committee will pay attention to other issues, such as: the presence of sign language, whether members of various group of women were involved in making the video, how different women are portrayed in the video, whether there may be messages in minority languages and if the video is sensitive to various social groups.

Video format

Videos should not exceed three minutes in duration. There are no technical limitations (without sound, with sound, animated, with actors, theater, etc.). The video should have English subtitles (translation), since the second part of this competition is set to take place on the European level.

Three of the best videos will be selected and awarded on December 10th 2016, while the winner will be given the opportunity to compete on the European level. The three best videos on the European level will be invited to the final Step Up! Ceremony in Brussels (Belgium), with all travel expenses paid.

Time Frame

  • November 25th – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and beginning of the “16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women” campaign – deadline for video submissions. Videos should be sent to the Autonomous Women’s Center via email at; online via Wetransfer[4] or on disc to: Autonomous Women’s Center, Tirsova 5a, 11000 Belgrade.
  • December 10th 2016 – International Human Rights Day – winners for the three best videos in Serbia will be announced at the awards ceremony
  • March 8th – International Women’s Day – European awards ceremony (at the final Step Up! ceremony in Brussels)


Videos cannot contain artwork (such as music) without receiving prior permission from the author. The Autonomous Women’s Center, as the national campaign organizer, will have the right to use all submitted videos. Examples of various videos are available at:

  1. “I’m Signing” campaign's call for participation
  2. Autonomous Women’s Center’s SOS Line promotional video
  3. Video with Nadja Higl for the “I’m Signing” campaign
  4. The Australian Government’s video against violence against women
  5. WAVE Network’s videos
For more information about the award on the European level visit or the WAVE Step Up! campaign's web site, or see WAVE’s Step Up Blueprint campaign

For all additional information on the call for youth videos, write to the Autonomous Women’s Center at

[1]  The “Women against Violence” Network is a network of women’s civil society organizations in Serbia which provide specialized support services to women and young women victims of violence.
[2]  The WAVE Network was established in 1994 and became a formal network of women’s civil society organizations in 2014. It consists of European women’s non-governmental organizations which combat violence against women and children. Today, the WAVE Network has 114 member organizations who work on national levels in 46 European countries. The Women’s Autonomous Center is one of these organizations.
[3]  Phone numbers of civil society organizations are available at the Women against Violence web site: