by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AVON has offered a lifeline of much-needed sanitary amenities to shelters and institutions working with survivors of gender-based violence in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, to help them protect themselves and their families against possible infection from the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).
The donation is in line with Avon’s quest to complement government’s initiatives of providing support to vulnerable women during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
According to Avon, abused women are often disempowered and dependent financially on their abusive spouses, including for provision of critical amenities such as soap and sanitizers.
“As a company for women, we believe that we have an ethical and moral obligation to provide support to survivors of gender-based violence, particularly during this difficult time that our country is going through,” said Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director of Avon Justine Turkey, Middle East and Africa.
He said survivors of gender-based violence could offer comfort in the knowledge that they and their children will have the means to protect themselves against possible infection.
“This is one of the ways that Avon continues to champion the rights of women and contribute meaningfully to the fight against gender-based violence. We wish to say to women: We haven’t forgotten you during this time, we are in this together,” Mareletse added.
Lindiwe Zulu, Social Development Minister, said vulnerable women and children who are at risk of abuse can turn to the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre for help during the 21-day national lockdown.
Women and children who feel vulnerable during the lockdown period were urged to call 0800 150 150.
The command centre will also be assisting through Skype via “HELPMEGBV”, a toll-free line (0800 428 428). Survivors can also send a call back for assistance by dialling *120*7867#.
– CAJ News