Global News | Aug 13, 2020

A global voice against gender based violence

Avon Foundation announced $1 million in grants to 50 frontline organisations and services in 37 countries

For too many families across the globe, their greatest fear is not the coronavirus but domestic violence. During the isolation measures needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the world saw a spike in cases of gender-based violence.

In response, Avon and the Avon Foundation launched the Isolated Not Alone campaign. Our message to survivors: you may be isolated, but you are not alone. Avon and the Avon Foundation announced $1 million in grants to 50 frontline organisations and services in 37 countries.

One example of an NGO who received a grant as part of this campaign is the proFem Center for Domestic and Sexual Violence, based in the Czech Republic. This centre is using the funds to support social counselling, free psychotherapy sessions for survivors as well as providing them with legal counselling and representation in court. In June and July, the proFem Center provided social and legal counselling to 102 unique clients and psychotherapy to 25 clients.

Another recipient of a grant was Elliniko Diktyo Gynaikon Europis in Greece. This funding has been used to create accommodation for survivors of domestic violence and their children, with a social worker or psychologist available at all times.

Asociación de Mujeres AXAYACATL, Nicaragua is another recipient of the #IsolatedNotAlone grant from the Avon Foundation. The organisation sees around 5 women each day. The AXAYACATL Women's Association has used funds in previous years to empower women through workshops and self-help groups so that they recognise violence, know their rights and what to do. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation is developing a virtual campaign for the prevention of domestic violence to make the issue of gender-based violence visible.

Gender-based violence is an epidemic.  As the lockdown measures start to lift, we’re seeing reports of women being at increased risk, and NGOs continue to be in need.  We will continue to speak out against gender-based violence and work to ensure that survivors are kept front of mind by governments.