Video: Avon Global Ambassador Reese Witherspoon Signs Petition To Call For Better Services For Women

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3rd December 2009, 12:48pm - Views: 891

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Video: Avon Global Ambassador Reese Witherspoon Signs Petition To Call for Better Services for

Women Experiencing Domestic Violence

LONDON, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

    Reese Witherspoon supports Avon and Refuge's groundbreaking new campaign at 

                          the Houses of Parliament

    Reese Witherspoon, Global Ambassador for Avon, headlined a press conference at the House of Commons

today to promote a powerful new campaign against domestic violence. The campaign has been launched

jointly by Avon Cosmetics and Refuge, the national domestic violence charity. The event saw Reese

Witherspoon become the 1353rd person to sign a petition to call for more Government support for women

experiencing domestic violence in the UK.

    To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:

    The event marks the mid-point in '16 Days of Activism' which began on November 25, the International Day

for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

    Avon and Refuge's FOUR WAYS TO SPEAK OUT campaign urges people to speak out against domestic

violence in four simple ways:

    - Buy and wear an Avon empowerment necklace

    - Sign a petition calling for the UK Government to provide more

      support services for abused women and children

    - Download a poster to display in your local community so that

      women know where to get help

    - Invite your friends and family to join the campaign

    A team of powerful female panellists joined Reese Witherspoon at the event. She sat alongside Anna

Segatti, President of Avon UK and Sandra Horley, Chief Executive of Refuge. Baroness Helena Kennedy QC,

a human rights barrister and Patron of Refuge opened the speeches for the morning and domestic violence

survivor, Wendy Turner Webster, joined the panel to tell her own story. Lynda Waltho MP acted as the host.

    Says Reese Witherspoon, Avon's Global Ambassador:

    "Women involved in domestic violence situations often find it difficult to reach out to others for help. We can

all play a role in bringing this issue to light and breaking the silence that surrounds it. That's why I'm so

proud to be here to launch Avon and Refuge's FOUR WAYS TO SPEAK OUT campaign. Together we can

make a difference. Together we have the power to raise awareness, provide support, and increase the funding

for this vital cause."

    Also announced at today's conference are the results of new research commissioned by Avon and Refuge

into perceptions of domestic violence in the UK, which reveals more than nine in 10 people (92%) claim they

don't know anyone experiencing domestic violence. That's despite official statistics showing that one in four

women in England and Wales experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime. The research also

shows over half of the people questioned (54%) wouldn't know where to turn if they did suspect someone they

knew was experiencing domestic violence.

    Says Anna Segatti, President of Avon UK:

    "As the company for women, empowering women by supporting vital causes like this is part of our DNA. It's

an ugly reality that domestic violence affects one in four women in the UK and the majority of people who think

they know someone experiencing domestic violence wouldn't know where to turn because the services simply

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aren't there. Today's event gives something tangible to all those women and men who are either not aware of

this silent pandemic or would not know where to turn if they thought someone was suffering."

    Says Sandra Horley, OBE, Chief Executive of Refuge:

    "It's a shocking fact that one in three local authorities provide no domestic violence services for women

whatsoever. Where are abused women supposed to go to get help? What can they do? To whom can they

turn? Refuge and Avon have launched this campaign to urge the Government to put an end to this postcode

lottery, and to raise awareness of the huge issue of domestic violence. Everyone everywhere must speak out.

By failing to speak out against domestic violence, we make ourselves part of the problem.

    "Refuge is incredibly grateful to Avon for its unstinting support over the last two years. In this current

economic climate, where many corporates are tightening the purse strings, it is a huge reassurance to have

such a dedicated partner. With Avon's help we have been able to reach many more women and children living

in the terrifying grip of domestic violence."

    Avon has supported Refuge for the last two years, donating 80% of the UK proceeds of its empowerment

necklace and bracelet to support services for abused women and children. The remaining 20% is donated to

UNIFEM in the UK. Worldwide sales have raised US$8.1 million, which has gone towards funding 

programmes in 53 countries. Avon UK has pledged to more than double its support for domestic violence

charities in 2010.

     SOURCE: AVON Products, Inc.

    CONTACT: AVON Products, Inc.

             Natalie Deacon


   , or 

             Elizabeth P. Bergman 



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