New campaign empowers women against bullying, domestic violence

(NC) – The facts are both astounding and disturbing. Did you know that domestic violence will affect nearly one in three women worldwide? Making matters worse, bullying and abuse of young women in classrooms and on campus has significantly increased over the last few years. To help reverse this trend, Avon Canada has set out a mission to empower young women to speak out against bullying and domestic violence through its new “Start Something bracelet campaign”.

In partnership with the Canadian Women's Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, Avon Canada will donate all net proceeds from the sale of each Start Something bracelet to start anti-bullying and girls' mentoring and empowerment programs across the country. The Start Something bracelet doubles as a 1 GB USB key making it ideal to help students spread Avon's message in classrooms and on campuses, where the abuse and bullying of young women has become increasingly prevalent. The bracelet is available beginning in September at www.avon.ca/start for $9 plus tax and a special edition Rhinestone USB Bracelet will also be available for $20 plus tax.

“Our hope is that the Start Something campaign will create awareness and build confidence in young women to rally for change,” said Roberta Lacey, President of the Avon Foundation for Women - Canada, who will kick-start the campaign by donating $200,000 to both the Canadian Women's Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, continuing its longstanding commitment to fight violence against women.

“Support from the Start Something campaign will enable us to broaden our impact of Big Sisters mentoring programs in newcomer communities and ensure that this proven anti-bullying program can positively affect even more girls,” explained Bruce MacDonald, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. “Research tells us that girls who have a Big Sister are four times less likely to bully, fight or act out aggressively than girls without a mentor.”

Avon Canada's contribution will also support the launch of the Avon Safe & Sound program at the Canadian Women's Foundation, which will help female victims of domestic violence recover and regain their confidence after abuse. Over the next three years, this new program will also strive to prevent future incidences of domestic violence by educating women and girls about safe and healthy relationships.

“Thanks to the Avon Safe & Sound program, we will be able to help 30,000 Canadian women and girls affected by abuse rebuild their lives,” says Kathryn Babcock, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Canadian Women's Foundation. “We hope this program will be a catalyst for positive change, empowering women to speak up against physical and sexual violence.” More information on the program is available at www.avon.ca/start.


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