Women's Aid and beauty company Avon have joined together to develop a new and improved website to support those who are facing domestic violence. It coincides with the launch of the charity's annual statistics report which shows domestic violence remains a very serious issue in Irish society with over 14,000 incidents of abuse disclosed in 2009.
The new website (www.womensaid.ie) was made possible through a donation to Women's Aid by the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence programme earlier this year. The partnership between the two organisations is part of a global Avon programme designed to encourage women to 'break the silence' that surrounds this issue by seeking help from organisations such as Women's Aid.
The website is a very informative, modern and user friendly resource for women experiencing domestic violence, and their family and friends. The site promotes and encourages online safety for women and includes informative guides for protecting safety while using home or mobile phones, accessing the internet, engaging with social network sites and guarding against cyber-stalking.
Speaking at the launch of the website in Dublin, Allyson Russell, Country Manager for Avon Ireland, said, "The ability to access information easily is vital and Avon is proud to support the new Women's Aid website through our Speak Out Against Domestic Violence programme. We hope this new facility will reassure women they are not alone and that help is available. Through our nationwide network of women selling primarily to women, we are well-placed to spread the message and raise awareness... together we can make a difference."
Margaret Martin, Director of Women's Aid agreed, "We recently highlighted the links between domestic violence and technology. Many callers disclosed that their current or former boyfriends, husbands and partners were using many forms of technology - old and new - to control, coerce and intimidate them. However, while technology can be used as a tool to control and abuse women it can also be their lifeline. That is why we are also delighted to launch our brand new website today. We hope that for the many women who access our website for support and information it continues to be a lifeline, online."
Ms Martin thanked those who supported the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence programme. "Women's Aid would like to acknowledge the support of Avon distributors, Representatives and customers across Ireland who purchased the Avon Women's Empowerment Necklace last year to raise the money that has enabled us to bring our website into the 21st Century. We know that thousands of women affected by domestic violence access our website for information and support each year. The Avon donation means we can now provide this information in a more up to date and easily accessible way."
Women's Aid is pleased to partner with Avon for a second year in 2010 to raise awareness of domestic violence through the sale of both the necklace and a new Women's Empowerment Ring. The design of both pieces incorporates the infinity symbol which represents a future of infinite possibilities for women. Both ring and necklace can be purchased through a network of independent Avon sales Representatives all over the country. The price is just €4.50 each and 100 per cent of the profits of sale will go to domestic violence charities including Women's Aid. To see an Avon brochure or find your nearest Representative please call 01 870 6540 or visit www.avon.ie
The Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline
is open from 10am - 10pm, 7 days a week
1800 341 900
For more information contact Christina Sherlock or Laura Shehan at 01-8684721 or 087-9192457.
Notes to editors/producers: