As Avon is the company for women – dedicated to the empowerment of women globally – fighting domestic violence is a cause that’s front and center on Avon’s philanthropic radar. Simply put, the mission of the company’s domestic violence program, Speak Out Against Domestic Violence, is to end family and gender violence.
Launched in 2004, Speak Out Against Domestic Violence focuses on education, prevention and victim support programs. Through 2013, Avon global philanthropy had donated almost $58 million to support the cause in nearly 50 countries.
The Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence
On March 20, 2014, the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women – a collaboration of Vital Voices Global Partnership, the Avon Foundation for Women and the U.S. Department of State – announced the creation of the Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence.
Avon Foundation Global Ambassador Fergie helped to launch the new Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence on March 20, 2014 at the U.S. Department of State.
The Justice Institute is a global gender-based violence training program for law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, government officials, and NGO advocates. It’s designed to ensure that laws achieve their purpose to better protect women who are victims of violence and hold their attackers accountable.
Over the next two years, the program will work with criminal justice professionals and service providers in India, Mexico, Nepal, South Africa and other countries.
The Justice Institute is part of the Global Partnership’s Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative. This umbrella initiative takes comprehensive steps to eradicate domestic violence, sexual assault, honor crimes and other forms of gender-based violence by providing short-term emergency grants. The grant money allows victims in urgent situations to access life-saving services, including: medical care, emergency shelter, legal assistance and other related costs.
On November 25, 2013, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Avon Foundation for Women launched #SeeTheSigns of Domestic Violence. #SeeTheSigns was a social media campaign to educate people daily about the signs of domestic violence during the 16 Days of Activism, a global human rights-based movement against gender violence. The campaign highlighted many of the lesser-known signs of domestic abuse.
A History of Vital Partnerships
Philanthropic partnerships between private companies and the public sector can be powerful forces when it comes to social change. Avon works with many partners, including NGOs, government agencies and other corporations.
In 2008, Avon partnered with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) to promote women’s empowerment and end violence against women. The partnership was announced at the United Nations during the “Global Summit for a Better Tomorrow,” an event co-sponsored by UNIFEM and Avon in celebration of International Women’s Day. A year later, Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women, partnered with the U.S. State Department and Vital Voices to launch “The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women” to combat the most destructive types of violence against women, and to help ensure justice for women and girls worldwide.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns; Vital Voices President/CEO Alyse Nelson; Avon Foundation Global Ambassador Fergie; Avon Products, Inc. CEO Sheri McCoy and U.S. Dept. of State Acting Asst. Secretary Uzra Zeya at the U.S. Dept. of State on March 20, 2014 for the launch of the The Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence.
Avon Foundation Ambassador Salma Hayek Pinault and Avon CEO Sheri McCoy at the 2nd Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out Against Violence Against Women at the United Nations in New York City.
Avon and People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) candlelighting ceremony in Johannesburg honoring
survivors of domestic abuse.