Avon Foundation for Women-Funded NO MORE Survey Uncovers Staggering Silence and Inaction Around Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Overwhelming majority of Americans have never discussed these hidden issues with children or friends and 65% of victims who come forward say no one helped


New York, NY, Sept. 23, 2013 – The Avon Foundation for Women today announced results from the “NO MORE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Survey of Attitudes and Experiences of Teens and Adults,” a new, national survey it funded that explores attitudes toward and experience with dating abuse, partner violence, and sexual assault among teens and adults. The results show that the overwhelming majority of Americans know victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, but they do not talk about the issues with their children or friends, or take steps to help victims. The findings underscore the urgent need for increased awareness, conversation and education around domestic violence and sexual assault, with an emphasis on what bystanders can do to prevent violence and help victims before it is too late.

“The Avon Foundation for Women funded this survey to better understand why domestic violence and sexual assault remain so inherently hidden and marginalized in our society,” said Carol Kurzig, President of the Avon Foundation for Women. “The data shows us that conversations about these issues simply are not happening. That silence leaves victims trapped by the shame, stigma and fear that these crimes carry. If we can encourage more people to start talking, we can end that cycle and bring these issues to light in a new way.”

No More Study Findings
Some of the most significant findings of the NO MORE study, which surveyed teens (ages 15-17) and adults (ages 18 and older) and was conducted by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, include:

  • 60% of Americans know a victim of either or both domestic violence or sexual assault
  • Three out of four (73%) parents with children under the age of 18 said that they have not had a conversation about domestic violence or sexual assault with their children.
  • 67% of Americans say they have not talked about domestic violence with their friends; even more, 73% have not discussed sexual assault.
  • Even though 75% of Americans say that they would step in and help a stranger being abused, the reality is most people do not help.
  • For example, among the women who experienced domestic violence and then told someone about it, more than half (58%) said that no one helped them.
  • But 64% of Americans say if we talk more about domestic violence and sexual assault, it would make it easier to help someone.

Breakthrough Bystander Behavior Training Programs
To address the silence and inaction of Americans on these critical issues, the Avon Foundation for Women will fund the development of and help launch, “Breakthrough Bystander Behavior Training Programs,” to provide tools to help employers educate their employees about recognizing the signs of abuse and better supporting victims. The Avon Foundation will fund the Bystander Training Programs as part of its Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. The new training programs will be rolled out across the country in collaboration with local experts through the Avon Foundation’s partnership with the national NO MORE coalition, which consists of hundreds of domestic violence and sexual assault service and advocacy agencies across the country. This collaboration will ensure that companies will have access to local experts to assist in presenting this educational opportunity.

“By joining forces with local experts and companies across the country, the Avon Foundation aims to leverage our collective resources to amplify discussion about domestic violence and sexual assault in the workplace,” said Kurzig. “Our goal is to build awareness and improve referrals to support and prevention programs for victims and their children. We hope that this program will be a catalyst in the movement to break the silence and stigma associated with gender violence.”

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The NO MORE Study Methodology
Avon Foundation for Women commissioned and funded the NO MORE Study (NO MORE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Survey of Attitudes and Experiences of Teens and Adults), conducted by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, to research domestic violence and sexual abuse experience and attitudes among teens, ages 15-17, and adults 18 and older. GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications Group conducted interviews with a total of 1,307 respondents, 15 years of age and older. The study was conducted using the KnowledgePanel. The data was weighted to the population it represents. The margin of error for this study was +/-3.2 percentage points.

Avon Foundation Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Program
The Avon Foundation for Women launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence, as well as direct services for victims and their families. By 2013, the Avon Foundation for Women will have donated more than $38 million in the United States to support domestic violence programs, services and education. Globally, Avon supports efforts to end violence against women in nearly 50 countries by raising funds through special product sales and raising awareness through events and with educational information disseminated by more than 6 million global Avon Representatives. Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information.