Post by Katie Rosenthal
The Help Anna online and offline campaign was started by UN Women Singapore in 2006 and aims to stop violence against women. “Anna” represents women and girls who are victims of any form of gender based violence who suffer in silence and are unaware of their rights. This violence could take the form of, for example, trafficking, domestic violence or physical abuse against sex workers. The campaign’s website features four “Annas” from different countries and backgrounds who are affected by violence against women, highlighting that violence does not discriminate and can happen to anyone. “Anna’s” condition improves or worsens depending on the number of visitors to www.helpanna.com. This aims to demonstrate how violent scenarios affect the mental and physical well being of victims. The site also features information and signposting to help victims and those concerned about gender based violence.
This year’s Help Anna campaign has partnered with Hom Yoga on a project entitled “Help Anna Yoga Series- End Violence Against Women. The partnership hopes to offer a new platform to reach varying audiences and inspire change. Hom Yoga founder Malvina Risby explained that “in our yoga practice, we learn about concepts of equality, freedom, acceptance, truth and peace. These concepts complement the campaign messages of Help Anna”. The partnership will consist of four yoga events, each based around a specific yoga practice. Funds raised from the events will be donated to the Help Anna campaign. Ms Trina Liang-Lin, President of the Singapore Committee for UN Women explained her hope that “awareness translates to the community members being proactive in learning and sharing their knowledge”.