Avon Foundation Awards $2.5 Million for Female Victims of Violence

The Avon Foundation for Women has announced grants totaling $2.5 million in support of front-line services for female victims of gender-based violence.

Announced in anticipation of International Women's Day as part of the New York City-based foundation's #BeBoldforChange initiative, the grants will bolster initiatives to end violence against women globally and include more than $1.2 million in support of front-line services for women in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Romania, and Argentina. Recipients include UK-based Refuge, which was awarded more than $306,000 to underwrite the cost of more than forty-eight hundred nights in a refuge for victims of gender-based violence and their children. Avon and Refuge recently collaborated on a study of coercive control, with a focus on how that form of gender-based abuse affects women between the ages of 16 and 21, and will use the findings as the basis of a new campaign.

The foundation also awarded a grant of more than $1 million to the Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence, a public-private partnership between Vital Voices Global Partnership, the U.S. Department of State, and the Avon Foundation for Women that works to facilitate effective, coordinated criminal justice responses to violence against women in countries around the world. To date, the Avon Foundation has invested more than $2.5 million to launch and convene ten justice institutes in eight countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, India, Mexico, Nepal, the Philippines, and South Africa.

"To date, Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women have contributed more than $1 billion to the causes that matter most to women," said Avon CEO Sheri McCoy. "This new landmark donation from the Avon Foundation builds on a legacy of work to speak out against domestic violence and support victims around the world. Since 2004, the Avon Foundation’s Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative has been a powerful voice for women, with programs in fifty countries. We've already served eleven million women, educated twenty-nine million about domestic violence, and contributed nearly $60 million to empowerment programs. This new donation expands our impact further and will make a significant difference to NGOs supporting women in need of help."