I just got off the phone with Renata and I have to share this with you!

She told me, “When I found out she was free, I just ran around the house yelling, ‘she’s out! she’s out!’ I was shaking and giggling like a little kid. I yelled for my husband, grabbed him and started dancing around. I had no idea how much change just one person can bring!”

Renata was talking about Hannah*, an Austrian woman who was facing prison in Dubai for extramarital sex, after reporting her brutal rape to the police!! When Renata read about her in the newspaper, she was “horrified and angry. Then I thought of Avaaz. I thought I can ignite a fire, get others to join.”

Her petition to Austria’s foreign minister got over 150,000 signatures in one day and was quickly at the center of a media firestorm in Austria and around the world. Suddenly, after six weeks of inaction, the Minister scrambled a crisis team with high level negotiators who flew to Dubai, and three days after the petition was launched Hannah’s horrible ordeal was over and she was free!

Any of us can use Avaaz’s petition site to do the same thing, and now Avaaz is going to send the top 10 petitions to 10,000 people each to jumpstart their impact. Click below to get started, andlet’s get more shaking and giggling happening in the world 🙂


The difference between reading about the worst news stories and actually being able to do something to change them can feel like a huge chasm — but it’s not. The internet is bringing people together in powerful ways faster than ever before, and by simply starting a petition, countless members of our community are literally saving lives.

Renata’s petition is just one story — petitions started by people just like her have protected a vital park space in Italy, helped bring us inches away from ending a corrupt secret voting practice in Brazil and helped get the national government to move to protect habitat for orangutans in Indonesia. The potential of this simple step to change the world is why Avaaz is pledging to send the top ten petitions chosen by our community to 10,000 people straight away, making sure that the best petitions started by all of us can quickly have impact. That means that a great idea can go from 100 to thousands in hours, the first important step to the media mega-storm Renata used to save her fellow Austrian from a terrifying future.

It only takes a couple of minutes to get started, and there are tonnes of tips and advice to help you along the way. Click below to start a petition now:


We’re winning every day, but the world is full of opportunities for impact. With almost 35 million of us, we can spread our power like wildfire and bring justice across the globe. Let’s get started changing the future for all of us.

With hope for all we will achieve together,

Christoph, Jeremy, Patri, Ari, Alice, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team

*Hannah is a pseudonym used to respect this woman’s request for anonymity


Austria brings home rape case woman from Dubai (Reuters)

Sebastian Kurz under pressure to secure release of Austrian woman in Dubai (Austrian Times)

Nude protest against Brazil secret vote (IOL)

Brazil’s lower house approves end to secret voting in congress; reform now goes to senate (Fox News)

176.000 signatures save Abruzzo’s Regional Park, in italian only, (Gaia News)

Global calls to save Aceh Forest, (The Jakarta Post)