The Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence is an innovative training program within Voices Against Violence: The Gender-Based Violence Initiative – a public-private partnership between Vital Voices Global Partnership, the U.S. Department of State, and the Avon Foundation for Women – which aims to facilitate holistic, coordinated community responses to addressing violence against women in countries around the world.

14, November 2017 – The Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence launched its first Justice Institute in Romania in the city of Bucharest today. This groundbreaking initiative convenes judges, court officers, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, representatives of government agencies and non-governmental service providers with the aim of improving the quality of legal protections, as well as ensuring their effective enforcement. Through its interactive, multi-disciplinary model, the Institute fosters collaboration between allied professionals and seeks to improve both criminal justice responses and victim protection efforts to address violence against women in Romania.

The Justice Institutes represent a partnership between Vital Voices, the U.S. Department of State, and the Avon Foundation for Women. With this first Institute in Bucharest, to date 16 Institutes will have been conducted in 10 different countries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Nepal, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, and Romania.

“It is an honour to host the first Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence in Romania. Taking into account that domestic violence is one of main barriers to the social and economic empowerment of women, our purpose is to generate new instances of discussion, training and joint work, in order to generate new enablers for women to live with dignity” said Angela Creţu, Avon Romania Group Vice President Avon Central Europe & General Manager.

The Justice Institute in Bucharest, Romania, launched with a media event on 14, November 2017, and is followed by a three-day training through 16 November. “Here at the Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence in Romania,” says Nicole Hauspurg, Program Manager for Human Rights at Vital Voices Global Partnership, “we will work collaboratively with judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, services providers and advocates to help facilitate holistic responses to violence against women, centered on offender accountability and – above all – victim safety.”

To date, over 600 participants have been trained through the Justice Institutes. In all, 96% of participants have reported a deepening understanding of domestic violence and sexual assault in their countries, and 95% have reported gaining a sense of empowerment to combat these crimes.

“We are learning that although each country faces different challenges, Justice Institute participants all around the world are reporting a common barrier: existing laws are not understood or consistently enforced, often leaving women unprotected and their abusers unaccountable,” says Christine Jaworsky, Director, Avon Foundation for Women. “While we have a lot of work ahead of us, I am inspired by what these Institutes have already accomplished, and the myriad effects for years to come.”

Avon Foundation, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on causes that matter most to women, has invested more than $3.2 million in programmatic grants to Vital Voices, most recently to launch 10 Institutes in nine countries through 2017. The Justice Institutes underscore Avon’s ongoing commitment to ending violence against women across the world, and are an integral part of Avon’s global Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program which launched in 2004. Since 2004, Avon has contributed more than $60 million to support awareness, education, direct services and prevention programs aimed at stopping gender violence worldwide.

With this in mind, Jaworsky stated: “We must make both women and men are aware of gender-based violence because this is not just a woman’s issue, it is a matter that affects everyone and it is important to provide useful tools to those who suffer from violence to eradicate this serious problem. Together we can create solutions that make a difference not only in the most alarming entities, but in every corner of the country.”

About Avon

Avon is the company that for 130 years has proudly supported beauty, innovation, optimism, but above all women. Avon products include recognized and appreciated brands such as ANEW, Avon Color, Avon Care, Skin so Soft, and Advance Techniques, sold by nearly 6 million active and independent Avon Representatives. Learn more about Avon and its products at

About Avon Foundation for Women

Avon is a global corporate leader in philanthropy focused on causes that matter most to women. Through 2016, Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women have contributed over $1 billion in over 50 countries. Avon global philanthropy programs focus on funding breast cancer research and advancing access to quality care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. The company’s global markets sell special products to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and domestic violence, conduct hundreds of events for these causes, and educate women around the world through its global army of nearly six million Avon Representatives.

About Vital Voices Global Partnership

In 1997, Vital Voices was created to make space for women to be heard. Our founders knew then what has now become a universal truth: that women are essential to progress in their communities. Our world cannot move forward without their full participation. Today, Vital Voices organization is the product of the women we have worked with, their insights into leadership and our changing world.

Vital Voices invests in leaders because they take the responsibility to improve societies. They strengthen laws, create jobs and defend political freedoms. Our investment in one leader impacts hundreds and thousands more. We partner with women who demonstrate leadership that unites and inspires people. They exhibit visionary thinking and take risks to innovate. Each leader in our global network believes in mentoring the rising generation and shares her knowledge, experience and influence with others.

About Voices Against Violence: The Global Gender-Based Violence Initiative

A public-private partnership led by a Consortium, including Vital Voices, Promundo, IOM and the Global Fund for Women, and funded with support from the Department of State and the Avon Foundation. The Voices Against Violence Initiative aims to ensure that victims and survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful traditional practices around the world have better access to services, protection, and the justice they deserve.

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