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Our 2020 - 2021 Annual Report

Annual report front cover. Background image of two women. Zero tolerance logo. Text reads “Annual report. 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021.

Our annual report is now available!

The report shows highlights of our work from 1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021. A big thank you to everyone who worked with us and supported our work during this time, including our funders: Corra Foundation, STV Children's Appeal and the Scottish Government.

Hear from the chair of our board on what made this year challenging and some of our highlights.


Over the last year, amidst a global pandemic, we continued to work towards our vision of a world without violence against women and girls (VAWG). Our team quickly adapted to work in this uncertain and challenging environment, rapidly amending project plans, responding to requests for support from our partners and, like many others, moving much of our work online.

Our core priorities continued to be to:

  • raise public awareness of violence against women and girls, particularly lesser-known forms of violence and under-represented groups of women subject to it
  • improve media reporting of violence against women and girls. Too often our media presents this violence as surprising and unusual, rather than the direct consequence of a society that perpetuates harmful attitudes to VAWG
  • support early years care and education providers to challenge gender inequality and end violence against women and girls by providing clear guidance, training and advice for frontline practitioners
  • advance the education and support young people receive around gender inequality and the prevention of violence against women and girls, helping them to challenge and change the attitudes around them in their lives
  • support decision-makers and influencers to better understand what they can do to help end violence against women and girls by making our society more equal

Following the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls’ 2018 report, the Scottish Government commissioned us to develop a framework for an organisation to change public attitudes towards the equality and rights of women and girls. We worked with researchers from The Collective to produce the ‘We need this to do things differently’ report, which provides ground-breaking insight into what is most needed to tackle harmful social, cultural and gendered norms that fuel the root cause of violence against women - gender inequality.

We know online activities made our work more inclusive for some people. For example, bringing our Violence Unseen photography exhibition online made it accessible to those who previously could not travel to see it in person. Making these adaptations helped us to think more creatively about future delivery of our projects, whilst being mindful to ensure our prevention programmes reach people with no or limited access to technology and the internet.

We are deeply committed to working in partnership to improve the lives of women and girls in Scotland, and the following pages provide a snapshot of the scale, scope, breadth and depth of our engagements. After completing this report, we were particularly shocked and saddened to lose Emma Rich, Executive Director of our partners Engender, one of the leading campaigners for gender equality in Scotland. Our thoughts and care are with her family, friends and colleagues.

We also know that Covid-19 has had an immediate and significant negative impact on women and girls. Incidences of reported abuse rose as lockdown trapped people in unsafe environments. As we emerge from the pandemic, rates of rape are rising in the UK and globally the political, medical and educational rights of women are under increasing threat. The longer-term impact of Covid-19 on the lives of women and girls in Scotland is yet to be seen, however, as it emerges Zero Tolerance will continue to be at the forefront of evidence-based campaigning to deliver a more just and safer world for women and girls.

Jude Henderson, Chair

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