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Home >> Business Section >> Business Articles >> News

Avon Implement Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence


Avon Foundation for Women and Vital Voices Global
Partnership Return to South Africa to Implement the
second Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence in Pretoria


Initiative Provides Multi-disciplinary Training and Technical Assistance to Public Service Officials and NGO Representatives to Protect Victims and Improve Criminal Justice Response


November 1, 2016 – Pretoria, South Africa – Avon, Vital Voices, and the U.S. Department of State launched the second Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence in South Africa.


Funded by the Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on causes that matter most to women, the Justice Institute is an innovative and interactive multidisciplinary training and technical assistance program that brings together prosecutors, members of law enforcement, government officials, and NGO advocates. The Institute seeks to improve victim protection efforts and criminal justice response to domestic violence in South Africa by facilitating the creation of a holistic response and ensuring collaboration between allied professionals across disciplines. In addition to the South Africa chapter, Avon has funded and launched Institutes in Brazil, Colombia, India, Mexico, Nepal, and the Philippines.

“Domestic violence is a major barrier to the social and economic empowerment of women, and it violates the basic dignity and opportunity that every person deserves.  At the Avon Foundation, we refuse to accept this as the status quo. That’s why, in 2004, Avon launched its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative. Since then, Avon has contributed more than $60 million to support awareness, education, direct services and prevention programs aimed at stopping domestic and gender-based violence in nearly 50 countries,” said Christine Jaworsky, Avon Foundation for Women Program Director.
“Since Avon Justine launched the Speak Out against Domestic Violence in South Africa in 2010 we’ve raised over R7 million towards helping victims of abuse as well as much needed public education. The Justice Institute initiative will help NGO’s as well as professionals within the justice system to assist survivors better while also ensuring higher conviction rates,” said Avon Justine communications manager Vicky Saunders-Flaherty.


A three-day training will be held from 1-3 November 2016, bringing together international and local experts on domestic violence and sexual violence laws to engage participants to understand how to implement these laws and also why it is important to do so. Working in collaboration with their peers across disciplines, participants create community strategies to overcome the challenges facing the prosecution of domestic and sexual violence in South Africa.

The Institute was established as a public-private partnership between Vital Voices, the Avon Foundation for Women, and the U.S. Department of State to address extreme forms of gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices all around the world

“We’ve learned that although every country faces different challenges, each has reported a common barrier: existing laws are not understood or consistently enforced, often leaving women unprotected and their abusers unaccountable. To address this, the Global Partnership created The Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence, designed to ensure that existing laws better protect women. While we have a lot of work ahead of us, I am inspired by what these Institutes have already accomplished, and the myriad effects for years to come,” Jaworsky added.

“We are honored to be able to provide the Justice Institute in Pretoria,” says Cindy Dyer, Vice President of Human Rights at Vital Voices and former Director of the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. “The Justice Institute is designed to help criminal justice professionals make the law keep its promise to victims by ensuring that offenders are held accountable while at the same time protecting the rights and dignity of victims.”

The Justice Institute represents one component of an initiative launched in March of 2014 by the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women, a collaboration between Vital Voices, the Avon Foundation for Women, and the U.S. Department of State. This initiative also includes special funding for victims of extreme forms of gender based violence through the Voices Against Violence: The Global GBV Initiative. Together, these two initiatives work to combat violence against women around the world.  

About Vital Voices Global Partnership

The leading non-governmental organization that identifies, invests in and brings visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. Founded in 1997, the organization trains and mentors women leaders as agents of transformative change in economic development, human rights and political participation.


About Voices Against Violence: The GBV Global Initiative

Voices Against Violence: The GBV Global Initiative is a public-private partnership between Vital Voices, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and the Avon Foundation for Women. The program is designed to address extreme forms of gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices around the world by providing short term financial support to victims of extreme violence; technical assistance to service providers; and creating an international focal point for networking and coordination.


About Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women

Avon is a global corporate leader in philanthropy focused on causes that matter most to women. Through 2015, Avon and the Avon Foundation have contributed over $1 billion in over 50 countries. Avon global philanthropy programs focus on funding breast cancer research and advancing access to quality care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. The company’s global markets sell special products to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and domestic violence, conduct hundreds of events for these causes, and educate women around the world through its global army of nearly six million Avon Representatives.


About Avon Justine

The largest direct-selling company in South Africa, Avon Justine, is this year celebrating 20 years in South Africa. The company came into being after Avon joined the market in 1996 with the acquisition of Justine. Together, Avon Justine has been empowering women across the country ever since, enabling them to make a sustainable income in an economy characterised by high unemployment and low participation of women. In addition to its earning opportunity, the company has Corporate Social Responsibility programmes that focus on issues pertaining to women including a sustained campaign to help end violence against women as well as a breast cancer education and awareness programme. Avon has raised over R7-million since 2010 and has worked with over 10 NGOs nationally to educate the public about gender based violence with a view to changing attitudes and eventually the behaviours of men who abuse women. In addition, Avon Justine has donated over R20-million towards breast cancer education and awareness in the country, reaching over 15 million South Africans with key breast cancer messages with the aim of saving lives.

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