Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence is surging. This is the unintended consequence of the isolation measures needed to contain coronavirus – that women and children at risk are trapped at home with their abusers. Frontline women organizations are already seeing a significant increase in domestic violence cases resulting in a greater demand for support services.
Here’s an open letter from Avon And Natura &Co
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: THE SILENT PANDEMIC AMIDST COVID-19
• Avon launches Isolated Not Alone campaign to raise awareness of silent epidemic exacerbated by isolation during the global Covid-19 crisis;
• The Avon Foundation for Women announces $1m commitment to front-line services to support women and children in need and at risk; and
• Avon’s network of Representatives are rooted in communities and can offer lifesaving sign-posting to those affected.
Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women are launching an initiative to supportwomen and girls at increased risk of and suffering domestic abuse fueled by self-isolation and pressures of Coronavirus.
Women’s charities and organisations across the world are warning of an increase in violence, with reports of a spike in demand on front-line services, which are already under funding pressure. Reports from China suggest a threefold increase in cases reported in February compared with the previous year*. Domestic violence hotlines in the UK and US are reporting a similar spike – doubling according to some sources.
In response to this, the Avon Foundation for Women has pledged $1m to NGOs providing front-line services such as helplines and refuges. Additionally, Avon is launching a communications effort among its 5 million Representatives worldwide and their customers and communities. The campaign will focus on:
• raising awareness of the issue,
• signposting where to go for help and how to identify and support those at risk,
• calling on governments to support the provision of life-saving services, which are in danger of further funding cuts and de-prioritisation.
Angela Cretu, Avon CEO says: “Domestic violence is already an epidemic which is hidden behind closed doors. Like Covid-19 it’s a silent killer. An unintended consequence of the isolation measures needed to combat Coronavirus is that vulnerable women and children are trapped at home with abusers, and unable to reach out for help. Avon is a movement, and through our 5-million strong network and vast digital reach we will speak out and spread the word. And we invite others to join us. We’re going to make sure those who are isolated know they are not alone. “We also need to take urgent action to keep front-line services open. In addition to giving funds to NGOs through the Avon Foundation For Women our Avon teams will be donating vital products - from personal care to hand sanitisers and soaps - to refuges across the world.”
Avon is already disseminating information through and activating its network of Representatives across Latin America, working in partnership with sister company Natura. To protect those at risk in Argentina, for example, Avon is embedding emergency hotline numbers and other life-saving information into lifestyle content delivered digitally through Avon Representatives, so that women can access the support they need with reduced risk of exposure to abusers.
In the Philippines, based on the preliminary findings of the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), one in four (26%) ever-married women aged 15-49 has ever experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence by their husband or partner. One in five (20%) women has ever experienced emotional violence, 14 percent has ever experienced physical violence, and 5 percent has ever experienced sexual violence by their current or most recent husband or partner**. That is why Avon embarks on supporting local NGO partners who in turn will be able to rescue and support victims of domestic violence through this donation in the hope of making a huge difference during this period of social distancing and increased isolation, because we want women to know that they are not alone.
The latest $1m contribution from the Avon Foundation builds on a 15-year commitment to help end violence against women and girls. It expands on a pledge by Avon and the Avon Foundation to donate $10m to charities supporting women and girls’ health and welfare in 2020. Avon and the Avon Foundation have donated over $80m to NGOs tackling violence against women and girls to date and will continue to support vital life-saving services through the new raft of grants.
For more information go to www.avonworldwide.com local website.
*According to Wan Fei, the founder of an anti-domestic violence not-for profit
We need you to spread the word. Show your support for the campaign by sharing the campaign on your social media with the hashtag #isolatednotalone on any social media channel. Should you have any information about anyone who may need support against domestic violence during the enhanced community quarantine, you may reach out to any of the the following Avon NGO Partners:
Luna Legal Resource Center for Women and Children
Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (GWAVE)
(035) 422 84 05 | +63 915 259 3029 | +63 999 576 6679
Women’s Care Center Inc. (WCCI)
+63 999 577 9631 | +63 920 967 7852 | +63 917 825 0320 | (02) 514-4104
ING MAKABABAYING AKSYON (IMA) Foundation
Uniting for domestic violence survivors
To our governments, governors, mayors, and legislators:
Like COVID-19, domestic violence knows no geographic or demographic boundaries. It’s a silent epidemic that is estimated to touch the lives of 35% of women around the world and is often hidden behind closed doors. And now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, those women and children are increasingly vulnerable to domestic abuse: an unintended consequence of the isolation measures that leave survivors trapped at home with their abusers.
Frontline women’s non-profits and organizations are already seeing a significant increase in domestic violence cases, resulting in a greater demand for support services.
Supporting UN Women’s call to prioritize domestic violence survivors at this time, Natura &Co and its family of brands, Avon, Natura, The Body Shop, and Aesop are uniting with national and international organizations that deliver frontline services to domestic violence survivors. We respectfully ask that you ensure at risk women and children—particularly those who are socially disadvantaged—in your countries, cities, and communities have the support and resources they need.
In the spirit of collaboration and connection, we believe it is important to:
1. Give funding to specialist services that support women and children at risk of domestic violence—including shelters, helplines, and other resources—and ensure that resources are expanded, where necessary, to deal with the increased incidence of violence
2. Keep domestic violence front of mind with public awareness campaigns to ensure the problem is not overlooked
3. Declare domestic violence shelters essential services and lift restrictions on domestic violence survivors for whom self-isolation may be their most life-threatening option
At Natura &Co, we believe business can and should be a force for good. Together, our four brands represent the world’s largest women’s network, connecting more than six million representatives and consultants, and 40,000 employees with 200 million consumers in 110 countries. Together, we can make a difference, and this is what drives us to support domestic violence survivors with our #IsolatedNotAlone campaign:
1. The Avon Foundation has committed US$1 million to domestic violence support groups around the world that focus on direct impact, grassroots initiatives.
2. Avon, Natura, The Body Shop, and Aesop will donate essential personal care packages to shelters in their local markets, and will engage their customers to donate locally.
3. Each brand will raise awareness through its social media channels to support survivors, their friends, and their families, sign-posting help and sharing advice on staying safe
In this extraordinary and challenging time, we are so grateful for the efforts of governments, businesses, and civil society to protect all of us from the coronavirus pandemic. Our ask is that we do not allow domestic violence survivors to become the hidden and forgotten victims of this terrible situation.
#IsolatedNotAlone #AvonCares #SpeakOut
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