At the start of the last decade, Ana Bella got into the house of millions of families through their televisions. For eleven years, this Sevillian endured psychological and physical abuses from her former husband. One night she quit her home with her four children, she denounced her husband to the police and got fostered in women’s refuge. She then shared her positive testimony as a survivor of abuse in front of the cameras.
Her message was so powerful, her story so inspiring, that shortly after she created the Ana Bella Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to helping more than 1200 women every year to break their silence. But that’s not all; it also offers numerous pre-emptive trainings in education centers, associations, companies and other forums.
At Homuork we are hugely concerned about the fact that in Spain, 1 out 10 women suffer from gender-based violence at least once in their lives. That’s why, being convinced of the transformative power of e-learning and of its a capacity to reach thousands of people, we offered Ana Bella to create a MOOC with her teachings. From this collaboration, the online course on “Preventing Gender-based Violence” was born.
It´s the time of the Agents for Change
Figures are overwhelming: only 27% of victims dare to step forward and report, of which one can deduct that there are more than a million and a half women in our country who are still invisible. In order to revert this situation, at the Foundation they deem fundamental to define a role that we all can play with the adequate training: the Agent for Change.
“Companies have a key role, as they are the place in which the victims spend most of their time. So they can train both male and female workers to become Agents for Change”, states Ana Bella, who thinks this type of trainings has a strong impact on the acceleration of social change.
The course we have developed aims at exactly that. Employees will learn about what violence is, ways of exerting it, warning signs, guidelines to report on a colleague being abused, and how to break silence. “We will gain them as Agents for Change against abuse. We cannot expect the victim to react by herself. Society as a whole must work towards equality”, says the author.
Is the couple relationship of the professionals healthy?
The course on “Preventing Gender-Based Violence” goes beyond training and raising awareness, it also helps to detect possible cases of abuse. It does it by means of a totally anonymous auto-evaluation test that brings about several questions on the couple relationships of the professionals. Data suggests that there is still a long way to go to build egalitarian relationships.
Thus, 3 out of 10 of the surveyed employees have shown symptoms of abuse, typical in toxic relationships. Besides, the test has detected that 1.4% of participants have suffered physical aggressions or threats. In these cases, given that the tool is totally anonymous, the person is automatically given the contact details of the responsible person in the company and the Ana Bella Foundation.
Companies for Social Change
The MOOC “Preventing Gender-Based Violence” has been wonderfully received among companies from several sectors. Damm and Louis Vuitton have been the first to become aware of their power, and to act in favor of social transformation towards an egalitarian society in which abuse is unthinkable.
Since 2018, more than 5000 thousand employees have been trained through the twenty video lectures and the different materials that make up the course.
If you think that your company must take part in this change towards a violence-free society, you only have to access the course’s website and leave us your coordinates. You will then access the complete signup form of the MOOC, and we will get back to you with all the details.
Prize Amor en Acción 2019: the recognition of a whole team
On the 14th of February of 2019, the Foundation celebrated its first meeting with the Network of Surviving Women, a mutual support group that Ana Bella started herself. Nowadays, the Network has managed to unite more than 20000 women from Spain, Romania, Guatemala, Canada, United States, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico and Argentina through social media.
The choice of Saint Valentine’s Day wasn’t accidental, as the event was calling upon #AmorContraElMaltrato (#LoveAgainstAbuse). A love that was felt by all the companies, institutions, media and people who are making efforts to put an end to gender-based violence. IKEA, Facebook, Unilever, Lindt or Chanel, to name a few, attended the event along with sixty other firms.
During the event, the Ana Bella Foundation awarded Homuork with the Prize Amor en Acción (Love in Action), rewarding its efforts as an Agent for Change against abuse. The award recognizes all the company’s workers for having produced and distributed a MOOC that is capable of socially transforming the heart of organizations.
Fundación Ana Bella