In November, Avon convened its 16th Justice Institute on gender-based violence. The goal of the Institute is to improve the quality of legal protections for gender violence victims and guarantee their effective application.
Held in Romania, the initiative brought together judges, judicial officials, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and representatives of government agencies. Top non-governmental organizations and other leaders came together for three days of training, followed by Avon Romania’s CSR4WOMEN, an annual program that highlights and recognizes social projects to help improve the lives of Romanian women and their families.
Statistics show that violence against women continues to be a problem in the country. However, women are often afraid to ask for support because they either don’t trust authorities or feel that nothing can be done to help them. In Romania:
- 1 in 4 women is a victim of an abuse in her family
- In 2016, nearly 16,000 women had the courage to speak up
- Authorities estimate that 80 percent of victims remain silent
The Justice Institute aims to change these statistics.
“We’re learning that although each country faces different challenges, Justice Institute participants all around the world are reporting a common barrier: existing laws are not understood or consistently enforced, often leaving women unprotected and their abusers unaccountable,” said Christine Jaworsky, Director, Avon Foundation for 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.”
At a press conference for the new Justice Institute, Angela Cretu, Group Vice President Avon Central Europe said, “I believe the voice of civil society is extremely powerful when we have the same mission. And I consider that through our Avon Representatives, the donations we make, the call for journalists and other key opinion leaders we are successful in generating real change in the Romanian society. It is the same belief we had in mind five years ago, when we have launched CSR4WOMEN by Avon, the only conference in Romania dedicated to social causes for women.”