Grantee Spotlights

Domestic Violence Grantee Spotlight

2015: Korean American Family Service Center

The Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) is a leading, nonprofit organization that supports and empowers adults, youth and children to lead safe and healthy lives based on dignity, compassion and mutual respect. The organization is committed to preventing and ending domestic violence and sexual assault by providing counseling, education and advocacy programs for individuals and families in the New York Tri-State area in a culturally and linguistically appropriate setting.

The AVON Foundation for Women has supported and funded the development of the Self-Sufficiency Program at KASFC. The program aims to give disadvantaged women a second chance for a new start by encouraging and helping initiate the drive to improve job readiness, increase socialization, and improve the self-esteem of domestic violence sexual assault victims.

Through English classes, tutoring, career support, and referral services, in the past year, the Self-Sufficiency Program has engaged more than 200 women in the New York tristate community.

Domestic Violence Grantee Spotlight

2015: NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy

In partnership with the Avon Foundation for Women, the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence works to prevent violence and promote healthy teen relationships through the NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy.

In NYC, more than 1 in 10 teens in dating relationships report experiencing physical violence at the hands of their partner. The NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy was established in 2005 to provide educational and skills-building training for adolescents, parents and organizations that provide services to young people.

The Academy offers workshops on the topics of dating violence and healthy relationships for adolescents, young adults and parents. Each workshop is facilitated by two trained Peer Educators and consists of highly interactive activities designed to encourage discussion and critical thinking about the challenging topic of relationships.

On average, the Academy provides 30 workshops every month for approximately 500 youth participants in settings such as after-school programs, faith communities, juvenile detention centers, GED programs, schools, and runaway homeless youth programs. Today, the Academy has been able to provide over 2,100 workshops across all of New York City and has reached over 41,000 young people.

Domestic Violence Grantee Spotlight

Battered Women’s Justice Project (2014)

The Battered Women’s Justice Project is one of the few domestic violence programs in the country with demonstrated experience in engaging military and domestic violence organizations to build a coordinated military-civilian response to domestic violence crimes committed by military personnel.

The Avon Foundation for Women has supported the development of an e-learning course, “Safety at Home – Intimate Partner Violence, Military Personnel, and Veterans.” This course increases the capacity of advocates to work more effectively with military-related victims and to address the issues of veterans during batterer’s treatment. It also offers insight and support to social service and mental health practitioners who are working with these victims and their families.

The online course, which supplements the Department of Justice-funded program, “Building Effective Civilian Responses to Military-Related Victims of Intimate Partner Violence¸” is comprised of eight modules. Each self-paced module includes mini-lectures, case studies, practice scenarios and self-assessment. The following modules are currently available online:

  • Context of Violence
  • Risk and Danger
  • Combat Stress
  • Co-Occurring Conditions and Intimate Partner Violence

We will continue to update our links as more modules become available.


Breast Cancer Grantee Spotlight

Food & Friends

For the past decade, Food & Friends has been transforming the lives of those facing breast cancer and their families through its “Pink Ribbon Delivery Program.” The program has provided 1 million home-delivered, nutritious meals and specialized nutrition support to more than 2,250 breast cancer clients and their families in the Washington D.C. metro region, the majority of whom live in poverty.

The impact this program has had on its community comes in large part because of the support of the Avon Foundation for Women, which has contributed $3.63 million since 2001 and was the major source of initial funding behind the program. In 2013, as a result of funding provided by the Avon Foundation, Food & Friends will home-deliver more than 196,000 meals to more than 500 clients, including its 1 millionth meal.

“Many clients living with breast cancer have families to support and are emotionally and financially stressed,” says Executive Director Craig Shniderman and 10-year Avon Walk participant, better known at times as his drag queen counterpart, “Ivanna Beat Breast Cancer.” “Our services provide a safety net for many who are ill and in need. The life-sustaining meals we provide to our clients not only offer vital nutrition, but also crucial stress relief from the many burdens of living with a serious illness.”

Food & Friends is a regular participant in the Washington DC Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The organization recruits Walk teams, cheers Walkers along the route, and caters lunch on the second day of the Walk — not to mention making between more than 5,000 cookies for D.C. Walkers.

Breast Cancer Grantee Spotlight

Georgetown Lombardi
Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Avon Foundation for Women provides funds to the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, to conduct cutting-edge research and provide screenings and care for women facing breast cancer.

Dr. Bassem Haddad, associate professor of oncology, studies genetic changes in healthy cells that may be involved in causing cancer. The Avon Foundation has provided $700,000 to fund Dr. Haddad’s team to develop new ways to screen for the earliest changes in the breast — by screening fluid directly from the breast, called ductal lavage.

Dr. Haddad is examining the cells collected in breast fluid and looking at changes — so-called metabolomic and micro-RNA markers — to see if these markers can improve breast cancer screening and early detection.  His pioneering work was selected to be presented at the 2013 American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in April 2013.

The cornerstone of the community work — founded in partnership with Lombardi, MedStar Health and Avon Foundation — is the Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC).

The CBCC was established because of unacceptably high mortality rates from breast cancer in the D.C. area, particularly among minority women.  With Avon support totaling $6.5 million since its founding in 2004, CBCC reaches out to the community and helps navigate women into getting screened, and if needed, into treatment.

Today, CBCC serves 2,000 women each year, most of whom do not have health insurance and who have not had a recent mammogram.

Photo: Dr. Haddad and Luisa Matos Do Canto, a member of his group, analyze the data from the breast ductal fluid studies conducted in his lab at Georgetown University and funded by the Avon Foundation.

Domestic Violence Grantee Spotlight

Honor Our Voices (2014)

More than half of the residents of battered women’s shelters in the United States are children1. To combat this, an innovative online training program, Honor Our Voices, aims to elevate children's voices, so that domestic violence service providers may better hear, understand, and respond to the children and families they serve.

The project was created by the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA) and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota, with grant support from the Avon Foundation for Women.

Honor Our Voices features a range of online stories, told by children who have experienced domestic violence firsthand. Website visitors gain invaluable information about child exposure to domestic abuse.

“This learning experience is informed by some of the best practitioners and researchers in the field,” says Jeffrey Edleson, former professor of social work at the University of Minnesota and one of the world’s leading authorities on children exposed to domestic violence. “It provides a unique focus on the needs of children from the children’s perspectives.”

The stories on the website are composites of real-life experiences and are told through a combination of diary entries, pictures, and audio clips. Alongside each entry, current research and effective practices related to the content are highlighted.

“With information gained from this site, professionals will be able to better respond to the needs of these children,” Edleson says. “And it is freely available for those professionals working on the front lines to complete at their own pace while sitting at their desk or at home.”

Practitioners and advocates are invited to visit the site for new tips and perspectives in working with this vulnerable population.

1National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2010


Domestic Violence Grantee Spotlight

Safe Horizon (2014)

The Avon Foundation for Women awarded a $250,000 grant to Safe Horizon in August 2012 to expand its Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) program, which provides counseling intervention services to children who have been affected by domestic violence.

The expansion of the CFTSI program will support the more than 3,000 children living in Safe Horizon domestic violence shelters throughout New York City. Programs such as these ensure children who have witnessed family violence will have access to services that reduce traumatic stress.

"With these funds, we will be able to reach many more children who've become victims of domestic violence," said Ariel Zwang, CEO of Safe Horizon. "[We will be able to] provide the interventional counseling services that are vital to their futures."

Safe Horizon is the largest victims' services agency in the United States, with more than 50 locations touching the lives of 250,000 children, adults, and families affected by crime and abuse throughout New York City each year. Since 1978, Safe Horizon has provided a wide range of comprehensive support to victims of domestic violence, child abuse, human trafficking, rape, and sexual assault, as well as homeless youth and families of homicide victims.


Breast Cancer Grantee Spotlight

San Francisco General Hospital

The Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) Medical and Trauma Center is the entry point for most patients at the hospital who require breast evaluation. Since 2011, the Avon Foundation for Women has awarded the Avon Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center more than $22.2 million for breast cancer research, community outreach and education, and "safety net" medical care. Each year, the center serves more than 21,000 patients, many of whom are uninsured and come from underserved minority populations.

Through the support of Avon Foundation funding, SFGH:

  • uses a mobile mammography outreach van (a "mammovan")
  • built an imaging center
  • quadrupled its screening capacity
  • increased free counseling and testing for ethnically diverse women
  • developed a DVD on cancer risk

Avon Foundation-funded research at SFGH includes tissue banking, laboratory research, and behavioral research on topics such as decision-making support, clinical trials barriers, and access to information.

SFGH has a Women's Cancer Network that provides financial and social support, and it also trains patient navigators, including Spanish-speaking navigators. Support groups at SFGH include the Circulo de Vida "Anjelitas program," which pairs Latinas diagnosed with breast cancer with Latina breast cancer survivors; and Cancer Awareness Resources and Education (CARE), which provides education and psychosocial support to cancer patients who receive their medical care at SFGH in English, Spanish, and Cantonese.

SFGH website