American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence Awarded Avon Foundation “Speak Out Against Domestic Violence” Grant
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8, 2008 – The Avon Foundation has awarded a $55,000 one-year grant to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence to develop a comprehensive, online, searchable directory of programs providing pro bono legal services to victims of domestic violence throughout the United States. It is the first year that the commission has received Avon Foundation funding to support its work.
The “ABA/Avon National Domestic Violence Law Fellowship” will support a full-time legal fellow at the commission to research and compile, for the first time, a comprehensive national database of programs providing pro bono legal services to victims of domestic violence. The online directory will include the types of cases these programs accept – e.g., immigration, housing, protection order, family law; the scope of representation; the frequency and content of trainings for pro bono lawyers; and the on-going supervision and/or support provided to pro bono attorneys. This vital directory will also identify gaps in the provision of pro bono legal services, link existing programs to address these gaps, help identify funding and support for additional programs, and identify opportunities for collaboration among pro bono programs to pool their resources.
Around the world, at least one in every three women has experienced some form of violence or abuse during her lifetime, and studies show some 10 million children witness domestic violence each year. Men can be victims as well, although research shows most victims are women. Programs such as those conducted by the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence help ensure that victims have access to quality legal representation to help them rebuild their lives and break the cycle of domestic violence for themselves, their families and future generations.
“We are proud that the Avon Foundation shares our mission and has chosen to support our program. With these funds we will be able to begin to fill a vital resource and information gap, and increase the quality and availability of legal services to victims,” said Judge Pamila Brown, chair of the commission.
Since the launch of the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program in 2004, the Avon Foundation has awarded more than 90 grants totaling more than $4 million to domestic violence organizations across the United States, including the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence.
“The Avon Foundation is committed to speaking out against domestic violence and is proud to support the ABA/Avon National Domestic Violence Law Fellowship in its work to help victims of domestic violence across the country,” said Carol Kurzig, executive director, Avon Foundation.
About the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence
Founded in 1994, the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence is the only national organization that focuses exclusively on improving the legal response to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The mission of the Commission is to increase access to justice for victims of domestic violence by mobilizing the legal profession. Recent studies have confirmed that access to legal representation is one of the most effective resources for victims of domestic violence to escape violent situations. The Commission addresses the acute need to increase the number of well-trained and supported attorneys providing representation to victims of domestic violence by providing on-going in-person, web-based, and telephonic training opportunities for attorneys, law students, and other legal advocates. Additional information is available at www.abanet.org/domviol.
About the American Bar Association
With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
The Avon Foundation and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence
The Avon Foundation, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and their families, and through 2007 Avon philanthropy worldwide has raised and awarded more than $580 million. Now past the half century milestone, the Foundation brings its mission to life through the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program and the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Launched in 2004, Speak Out supports domestic violence awareness, education, direct services and prevention programs. Fundraising projects include the Need for Speed Relay Against Domestic Violence and special products sold by Avon Sales Representatives and at avonfoundation.org. Global expansion was initiated with the launch of Speak Out Against Domestic Violence by Avon Mexico, which won awards for their domestic violence public service announcement.