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Finding Aid for the Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) collection, 1964-1994
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing History
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Chronology
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Related Material

  • Title: Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) collection
    Collection number: 1850
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 4 oversize boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1964-1994
    Abstract: The Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) Collection is a mixture of papers and organizational records, publications, ephemera and audio-visual materials collected by organization member Dani Adams (national office in Los Angeles). Of particular interest are the internal memos and complete run of national newsletters produced by the Los Angeles Chapter for national chapter distribution and slides and scripts from the WAVAW slide show, the presentation that chapter members showed to audiences nationwide. There is also extensive coverage of WAVAW's actions against the film "Snuff" and the Rolling Stones's "Black and Blue" advertising campaign and national boycott of Warner Communications, Inc. (WCI).
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Selected digitized images from this collection.
    Creator: Women Against Violence Against Women

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Dani Adams.

    Processing History

    The collection was processed by Janine Liebert in May, 2008.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) collection (Collection 1850). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), a feminist activist organization, was founded in 1976 in Los Angeles by anti-pornography activist Marcia Womongold. The Los Angeles chapter of WAVAW was formed out of an ad hoc coalition of feminist groups who joined forces to protest a film called "Snuff" and the advertising campaign for the Rolling Stones album, "Black and Blue."
    WAVAW first began as a reaction to the Los Angeles debut of "Snuff" in March of 1976. This film was advertised as having been made in South America where "life is cheap" and claimed to show the actual murder and dismemberment of a woman. In Southern California this film opened in 22 theatres in Los Angeles and Orange County, including the Mann Theaters. Due to WAVAW protest over the ad and the film, "Snuff" was withdrawn from circulation in the entire Southern California area one week after it opened.
    In June of 1976, Atlantic Records-a Warner Communications, Inc. (WCI) subsidiary-put up a billboard on Hollywood's Sunset Strip to advertise the Rolling Stones' album "Black and Blue." It depicted a beaten, bound young woman saying, "I'm 'Black and Blue' from the Rolling Stones and I love it!" WAVAW in cooperation with the California state chapter of the National Coalition for Women (NOW) protested, and the sign was subsequently removed during the night before the group held its press conference beneath the billboard on Sunset Boulevard and picketed at the site.
    In response to pressure from WAVAW, Atlantic Records scaled back its "Black and Blue" advertising campaign but did not eliminate it. WAVAW's campaign to stop the use of images of violence against women as an advertising campaign began. When Warner, Elektra and Atlantic Records--subsidiaries of Warner Communications, Inc.--failed to reply to demands that they cease and desist in the use of images of violence against women, and sex-violence, as an advertising gimmick, WAVAW, in coalition with California state chapter of the National Coalition for Women (NOW) called a boycott of all WEA labels (Warner Bros., Reprise, Elektra, Asylum, Nonesuch, Atlantic and Atco) in December 1976. The WCI boycott generated letters from thousands of individuals and organizations such as NOW chapters, YWCA's, and rape crisis hotlines demanding that WCI companies institute a responsible advertising policy. The letter-writing campaign developed as a follow-up to WAVAW's slide show, a presentation of offensive album covers that had been shown to hundreds of women's groups, schools, universities and community organizations across the country.
    In 1979, after three years of national protesting, presenting community slide shows, letter-writing, phone-calling, attending shareholders' meetings, leafletting and boycotting, WAVAW secured a policy from Warner Communications, Inc. stating they had agreed to cease and desist with the use of images of violence against women and sex-violence as an advertising gimmick. As a result of the agreement, WAVAW and California NOW ended a three year boycott of WCI Records. On November 8, 1979, WAVAW and WCI made joint statements to the press at dual news conferences in New York and Los Angeles announcing that an agreement had been reached. The agreement announced on November 8, 1979, was presented to the public in the form of a joint press statement, which was negotiated by representatives from WAVAW's national coordinating committee and from the office of David H. Horowitz who is in charge of WCI's record division.
    Subsequently, the Los Angeles chapter of WAVAW turned to local projects involving protests against films and campaigns against advertising including the United Artists film Windows in November/December 1980 and Playboy's First Amendment Awards in 1982.


    1976, Mar "Snuff" campaign
    1976, Mar 17-20 "Snuff" opens in 22 theatres in the southern California area and coalitions are formed under the name Women Against Violence Against Women in L.A. and Orange County to stop the showing of the film.
    1976, Mar 20 "Snuff" closes in southern California after playing only one week because of coalition efforts
    1976, June Atlantic Records (a WCI subsidiary) launched its promotional campaign for the Rolling Stones' album "Black and Blue."
    1976, June 20 Atlantic Records has the Rolling Stones billboard on Sunset Strip removed. WAVAW holds press conference in front of where the billboard had been.
    1976, Nov WAVAW (in coalition with California NOW) sent letters to each of the WCI record companies demanding that they issue and implement a policy statement against the use of violence against women as an advertising technique.
    1976, Dec WAVAW and California NOW called for a boycott of all WCI record labels (Warner/Reprise, Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch, and Atlantic/Atco).
    1977, Jan Articles of Incorporation of WAVAW.
    1978, Sept First national WAVAW meeting (in New York City) defined organizational structure (national office in Los Angeles), accountable to local/regional chapters via the national coordinating committee.
    1978, May 25 Members of New York WAVAW attended the annual WCI stockholders' meeting.
    1979, Nov 8 WAVAW and WCI made joint statements to the press at duel news conferences in Los Angeles and New York announcing that an agreement had been reached.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 66466867 

    Related Material

    This collection forms part of the The June L. Mazer Archive   at UCLA.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW)