Avon Foundation-funded ‘Communications X-Change’ Goes Live: A Global Digital Library on Ending Violence Against Women and Children

Futures Without Violence and Avon Foundation for Women Call on Organizations and Activists Across the World to Build and Share New Resource

San Francisco (Nov. 27, 2012) – Today, Futures Without Violence (FUTURES) and Avon Foundation for Women (Avon) introduced the Communications X-Change, an innovative website that enables organizations and activists throughout the world to find, share, and learn from communications material focused on ending violence against women and children. The Communications X-Change went live in conjunction with 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an annual initiative that draws attention to global efforts dedicated to ending abuse against women.

“Communications is a powerful tool for changing attitudes and behaviors — raising awareness, sounding the alarm, and spreading news about what to do and where to go for help in abusive situations,” said Futures Without Violence President and Founder Esta Soler. “The X-Change will be a robust digital library of communications materials — from posters and brochures to viral videos and smartphone apps — focused on ending violence against women and children. We invite people from across the world to view and use the awareness-raising material submitted by others, or contribute their own to help build this valuable new resource.”

All organizations or individuals that submit material to the Communications X-Change before February 4, 2013 will be eligible to receive one of the Avon Communications Awards for Excellence that will be presented in March in honor of International Women’s Day. Material will be evaluated by an international panel of judges and the recognition awards, accompanied by Avon Foundation grants, will be presented to organizations whose strategic communications are most effectively helping to change communities, policies, institutions, and behaviors.

“Avon believes in the power of communications and is committed to championing and recognizing best practices and creative campaigns that are achieving behavior change,” said Avon Foundation for Women President Carol Kurzig. “The Communications X-Change is a breakthrough addition to global efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence. We’re proud to support this innovative digital library and the Communications Awards that will shine a bright spotlight on exemplary communications material, campaigns, and tools.”

In observance of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, 16 organizations and activists will be recognized on the FUTURES website from Nov. 25 (International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women) through Dec. 10 (International Human Rights Day). These stories will showcase organizations throughout the world that are using innovative communications — such as those that can be found in the Communications X-Change — to educate, inspire, and ultimately help change behaviors.

The Communications X-Change contains a sampling of international materials that illustrate the promise of using technology to build and share knowledge. Currently, the Communications X-Change hosts materials in four languages from more than twenty countries. As the library of material continues to grow, the website will serve as a resource and hub for information on gender-based violence prevention and education.

“Our challenge is to sustain an environment where communities from San Francisco to Helmand Province in Afghanistan reject violence against women and children,” Esta Soler said. “Adding the power of communications strengthens the policies and implementation efforts in health and education, the legal system, training, services legislation, and civil society. Communications empowers people to find their voice and the strength to say no to violence.”

To learn more about the Communications X-Change, visit: http://xchange.futureswithoutviolence.org/.

Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund
For more than 30 years, Futures Without Violence has led the way and set the pace for innovative educational programs, public action campaigns, policy development, and leadership training designed to end violence against women, children, and families around the world. Instrumental in developing the landmark Violence Against Women Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1994, Futures Without Violence has established a Global Center for Leadership and Action that will engage today’s diverse national and global leaders, stand with survivors, and continue working to break the silence around gender-based violence.

Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2012, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $910 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program.

Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs, as well as direct services for victims and their families. Through the end of 2012, Avon global philanthropy has donated nearly $50 million to support efforts aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence in nearly 50 countries, by raising funds through special product sales and raising awareness through events and information disseminated by more than 6 million global Avon Representatives.