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 will have donated almost $58 million to support the cause in nearly 50 countries.
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 is 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 highlights many of the lesser-known signs of domestic abuse.
In recognition of International Women's Day 2013, Avon Foundation for Women Ambassador Salma Hayek Pinault and Avon Products, Inc. CEO Sheri McCoy announced the winners of the “2nd Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women.” Four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from Peru, Pakistan, Nepal and Tanzania, as well as a governmental organization from the Ukraine, were each honored for their outstanding work in bringing attention to the need to end violence against women. The awards were presented at the United Nations Headquarters during the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
In 2008, Avon expanded its efforts to fight violence against women when it 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, the company’s philanthropic arm (which is based in the United States), 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.
Avon Global Believe Fund
To honor Avon's 125th anniversary, the company established the $2 million Avon Global Believe Fund to support women's domestic violence shelters and agencies around the world. It was also created to draw attention to the alarming lack of adequate services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
The first 16 grants were awarded to domestic violence organizations in Avon markets that hosted the Avon Believe World Tour in 2011. Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women presented 10 new grants in 2012 during the 2nd World Conference of Women's Shelters.
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.