16 Days of Activism Nov 12, 2021

#SpeakOut: Supporting Associates Experiencing Gender Based Violence

Our global Programme to End Violence Against Women aims to breakdown the wall of silence around gender based violence, signpost to support and raise awareness of different types of abuse.

This Programme extends to, and is just as important for, our associates too. In the midst of a global pandemic when NGOs across the world saw calls to their frontline services and helplines sky-rocket, we launched our global Gender Based Violence (GBV) Protocol.

Our GBV Protocol builds on our commitment to those affected by GBV. If one of our employees is experiencing domestic violence, our message is ‘we are here for you’. We believe that no associate should be held back due to experiencing abuse and provide support for those who need it through trained Ambassadors across our communities and places of work. Further to this, we stand against all discrimination against survivors of abuse, including existing employment and career development.

For example, our Protocol can be activated to provide access to leave if required to deal with the situation or facilitate conversations with managers or HR partners.

Every Ambassador is trained by our global GBV NGO partner Vital Voices to recognise the signs, have safe conversations and signpost to local NGO support, with further training happening in each local community. In 2021, we are proudly partnering with NO MORE to deliver further training for Ambassadors and improve further awareness amongst all Associates.

Nkgokeng Phetla, GBV Ambassador for South Africa shares: “For me gender based violence isn’t just something physical. It’s about feeling too frightened to say ‘no’, it’s about being isolated from all your friends, it’s having your self-worth destroyed, it’s believing everything is your fault, it’s being constantly invalidated, it’s looking in the mirror and being unable to recognise yourself….

Most importantly it’s knowing that with all this, that’s not how your story ends. This is what I’d really like our Associates to know, to know the signs of domestic abuse for themselves and for them to have the willingness to help others where help is needed.”

Maxine Chapman, GBV Ambassador in the UK adds: “I have been through this and I know how hard it is to reach out. I’m proud to be an Ambassador to help those who need it. The training with Vital Voices, and then additionally in the UK with Women’s Aid, was insightful, informative and fundamental to me providing the best support for others while safeguarding myself.”

Marta Gamba, GBV Ambassador for Italy shares: “At Avon, we support women no matter what and our goal is to ensure that they never feel alone. There is still a lot to do around gender based violence and being able to be the point of reference to report abuse for my colleagues makes me feel useful and proud. Thinking that you can be of help to some other person is a great privilege. I have had great support from wonderful women throughout my life and being able to help even one of them is the greatest achievement for me.”

To find out more visit avonworldwide.com/supporting-women