Mobilize the Constituency
Advocates should engage and empower the community and individuals to take action. To do so, advocates should create and communicate a clear and universal message that coalition leaders and the community can support. In addition, advocates should involve the community in decision-making whenever possible. 
 
Perhaps the most important aspect of mobilizing the constituency is to listen to their concerns. The position of the coalition must include the legitimate concerns without compromising the overarching goal. Advocates should work diligently to develop buy-in from the community early in the process by demonstrating an understanding of the issues and its impact on the lives of individuals.
 
Finally, advocates should share information about the specific legislative or policy proposal, including the talking points and specific draft language. Advocates may want to investigate and utilize the technological tools available to help disseminate such information and to allow constituents to quickly, easily, and effectively respond to calls to action.
 
 
PROMISING PRACTICE:
  • In 1997 in Slovenia and Croatia a coalition of trade unions, women’s groups, and universities instituted massive campaigns to raise awareness about workplace sexual harassment. The campaigns focused on changing attitudes in the workplace and educating women about their legal rights to a workplace free from sexual harassment. See: Promising Practice: Raising Awareness in Slovenia & Croatia, StopVAW.
CASE STUDY
  • In 2006, the Coordinadora Departamental de Defensorías Comunitarias del Cusco (CODECC) won an award for social innovation from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean based on its work developing a community defenders program. This program trains women from poor and marginalized communities in the Cuzco region of Peru to help other women who have been victims of violence to come forward and report the crime. Many of the volunteers had themselves been victims of domestic violence. The volunteers support women throughout the difficult process of telling their story, filing police report and legal claims, and seeking justice in court. The organization also provides legal and psychological aid among other activities focused on defending the rights of women in Peru to be free from violence. See: Milagros Salazar, Cuzco Women Stand Up to Violence, Nov. 4, 2009.