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W&L Receives $10,000 Grant from Avon Foundation for Women to Promote Healthy Dating Relationships


News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
jhanna@wlu.edu
(540) 458-8459

Washington and Lee University has received a $10,000 grant to promote healthy dating relationships among college-age women and men. The grant is from mark., the beauty and fashion boutique, and is part of that company's Healthy Relationship Peer Educator Program, which is managed by the Avon Foundation for Women.

The grant will fund the Violence • Intervention • Prevention program at Washington and Lee. This is the first year Washington and Lee University has received funding from the m.powerment program.

The grant is one of 23 m.powerment by mark. Healthy Relationship Peer Educator Program grants totaling nearly $220,000 awarded to colleges nationwide. W&L will build upon its current peer education groups, One in Four and SPEAK, to provide preventive education on dating abuse and violence, sexual assault, harassment, stalking and the promotion of healthy relationships, as well as offer local resources, and provide referrals for community-based domestic violence experts.

The grant also supports further development of the Green Dot bystander intervention program. Green Dot is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that capitalizes on the power of peer influence which targets all community members as potential bystanders, and seeks to engage them, through awareness, education, and skills-practice, in proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as intervening in high-risk situations.

Women ages 16-24 experience the highest rates of partner violence and dating abuse, which affects millions of people and often results in physical and emotional injuries and even death. According to the National Dating Abuse Helpline, one in three girls who have been in a serious relationship say they have been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner. While strides have been made in the fight against this abuse, many victims will not get the support they need.

"We are proud and honored that the Avon Foundation for Women and m.powerment by mark. share our mission and have chosen to support our program," said Jan Kaufman, director of Health Promotion at Washington and Lee. "With these funds we will be able to enhance the scope of our peer health educators, develop a current W&L video on sexual assault with an emphasis on bystander behavior, and to create a network of students who have been trained to recognize problematic situations and to provide them with the skills to be active bystanders."

Avon Foundation for Women and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence

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. The Avon Foundation 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 2010 in the United States, the Avon Foundation has donated more than $23 million to the domestic violence cause. Globally, Avon supports efforts to end violence against women in more than 50 countries by raising funds through special Empowerment product sales and raising awareness through educational information disseminated by more than 6 million global Avon Representatives.

m.powerment by mark.

m.powerment by mark. is a philanthropic initiative committed to breaking the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence. In June 2008, mark. launched m.powerment by mark. in an effort to bring awareness to - and help educate - young women about the potential for abusive relationships to impact their lives and to help them recognize the signs of healthy relationships. Since its launch in 2008, m.powerment by mark. has raised more than $700,000 to break the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence among women ages 16-24, who experience the highest rates of partner violence.

For More Information

For more information on the Violence • Intervention • Prevention program at Washington and Lee University, please contact Jan Kaufman at jkaufman@wlu.edu or 540-458-4501 or visit the VIP webpage at go.wlu.edu/VIP.

For more information about relationship abuse, please visit www.breakthecycle.org. To receive immediate help, please contact the Student Health Center if you are a W&L student at 540-458-4501, or locally Project Horizon at 540-463-2594, the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or the National Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474 .

To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women, call 1-866-505-AVON or visit www.avonfoundation.org, where you can access information about Speak Out Against Domestic Violence and download a free Domestic Violence and Dating Abuse Resource Guide in English and Spanish.

For more information on m.powerment by mark., visit www.meetmark.com/mpowerment.