Domestic abuse: Avon raises voice against the silent pandemic

COVID-19 has forced people to stay home to help reduce the spread of the virus. But for many survivors of gender-based violence, being in quarantine means being in the center of a different kind of danger.

The United States’ National Domestic Violence Hotline has identified some of the unique impacts of the pandemic on victims, pointing out that the current situation has emboldened abusers to exert control over them:

  • Abusers may deny their victims essential and life-saving items like hand sanitizers, disinfectants, or even insurance cards.
  • They may also share misinformation about the pandemic to scare and control their victims, and even prevent them from going out of the house to seek medical help if they show symptoms.
  • Programs that serve victims may be significantly impacted as they buckle under funding pressure. Victims may also fear entering shelters because of the possibility of being in close quarters with others as the threat of COVID-19 remains high.
  • Travel restrictions due to quarantine may also impact a victim’s escape or safety plan.

Institutions like the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) have sounded the alarm on the rising incidences of domestic violence during the pandemic, especially in a country where 3 out of 20 women and girls aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence, 1 out of 20 has suffered from sexual violence, and 1 out of 4 married Filipina has experienced spousal violence (based on the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey).

Given the new challenges victims now must deal with in escaping their abusers and calling for help, these institutions have urged everyone to be vigilant and immediately report any form of abuse in their homes and communities.

The Philippines’ case is part of a global pattern, a consequence of the pandemic and the lockdown orders that followed. This is why Avon is joining women’s organizations and advocates from all corners of the world in appealing to the public to not to turn a blind eye on gender-based violence during COVID-19.

To further support grassroots efforts in securing the safety of vulnerable women, the Avon Foundation For Women has pledged $1 million to non-government organizations providing front-line services such as helplines and refuges, building on its 15-year commitment to help end violence against women and girls.

Avon is also launching a communications effort among its five million Representatives worldwide, their customers, and their communities.

Isolated Not Alone focuses on raising awareness on domestic abuse amidst COVID-19; signposting where to go for help and how to identify and support those at risk; and calling on governments to support the provision of life-saving services, which are in danger of further funding cuts and de-prioritization.

“Domestic violence is already an epidemic which is hidden behind closed doors,” says Angela Cretu, Avon CEO. “Like COVID-19, it’s a silent killer. We’re going to make sure those who are isolated know they are not alone. In addition to giving funds to NGOs through the Avon Foundation For Women our Avon teams will be donating vital products—from personal care to hand sanitizers and soaps—to refuges across the world.”

In the Philippines, Avon is embedding emergency hotline numbers and other life-saving information into lifestyle content delivered digitally through local celebrities and digital influencers, so that women can access the support they need with reduced risk of exposure to abusers. Partner NGOs’ hotlines are also open 24/7 to accommodate victims with capacity-building programs for service providers, food and hygiene packs, and counseling and legal consultations.

“Empowering women is Avon’s long-standing legacy, and their safety is our priority,” says Razvan Diratian, General Manager of Avon Philippines. “As the community quarantine is extended in various regions here, the risk of women and children isolated with domestic violence abusers increases too. Please join us by speaking out if you know a friend or a neighbor who needs support.”

Spread the word. Show your support for the cause by sharing it with the hashtag #isolatednotalone on your social media channels. Let’s reach out to every woman in need. For more information, go to www.avonworldwide.com.

Should you have any information about anyone who may need support against domestic violence during the enhanced community quarantine, contact the following Avon NGO Partners:

Luna Legal Resource Center for Women and Children
https://www.facebook.com/lunalegalcenter/
(082) 306-5761

Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (GWAVE)
https://www.facebook.com/GWAVEPhilippines/
(035) 422 84 05 | +63 915 259 3029 | +63 999 576 6679

Women’s Care Center Inc. (WCCI)
https://www.facebook.com/wcci.manila/
+63 999 577 9631 | +63 920 967 7852 | +63 917 825 0320 | (02) 8514-4104

ING MAKABABAYING AKSYON (IMA) Foundation
https://www.facebook.com/Ing-Makababaying-Aksyon-IMA-Foundation-131515322286/
(045) 323 4750

Jollibee and McCann World Group Philippines pay tribute to moms of frontliners

A mother’s nurturing love indeed leaves a lasting impact on her children’s lives. From teaching them their first lessons at home, instilling values that help shape their attitude and personality, to providing unending support and encouragement, the heroes of today have learned how to draw their character from the example of their mothers.

This May, Jollibee and creative agency, McCann World Group Philippines, pay tribute to strong and brave mothers as they release a touching Kwentong Jollibee Mother’s Day special that shows how a mother’s earnest parenting can determine how far a child can go in life.

Inspired by true stories, the special Mother’s Day tribute presents the realities in the lives of front-liners who are helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It follows the stories of front-liners and volunteers who, even in these trying times, continue to fulfill a higher purpose by carrying out their duties to those they serve. Despite their own circumstances, they set their heart on bringing joy to people, with a love that’s deeply anchored on the nurturing care they received from their moms.

“Our front-liners go out every day, braving different challenges that help flatten the curve and provide aid to those in need. As a brand that is one with the nation in recognizing our front-liners, our Mother’s Day tribute pays homage to their dear mothers — the first person who molded them to be the kind-hearted and noble people they are today, said Francis Flores, Jollibee Global Brand CMO, JFC Philippines Country Business Group and concurrent PH Marketing Head.

Through the guidance and example that mothers have set, many COVID-19 front-liners are able to fulfill their duties not only in their respective families, but also in the communities they lend a hand to. The material brings to light a powerful truth about how a mother’s love can enkindle a hero out in all of us.

Watch the video here:

Mother’s Day Tribute 2020: Pasasalamat

Galing sa puso, galing kay Nanay. Happy Mother’s Day! #SalamatPoNay

Posted by Jollibee on Saturday, May 9, 2020

Stay strong, Vanessa Bryant

The news of NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s sudden and tragic passing shocked the world on January 26, 2020 (US Time). For a basketball-loving country like the Philippines, we are all affected by it regardless if we are fans of Kobe and the game or not.

I, for one, am not a fan of Kobe’s nor am I big follower of basketball or the NBA. I would only cheer for teams and players that my husband are also rooting for. Yet, I can feel the sadness that envelopes my friends who are big fans of Kobe. My heart is bleeding for them because I could only imagine how it must feel to know that the person you’ve always looked up to is now gone.

I can feel the sadness of everyone who knew and admired Kobe, but my heart is breaking the most for his wife of 18 years, Vanessa Bryant.

Losing a husband is a great ordeal. When two people fall in love and marry, they become like a single person. You live together, you think together, you make dreams together, you work on making those dreams happen together, you go through problems together, you raise a family together, and you commit to love each other forever. You’re like two parts of a machine that won’t work without the other.

Then, suddenly, you lose that other half of you and you struggle to figure out your next move. You wonder without a single clue how to move forward on your own. You grapple with the reality that for the rest of your life you will never get to wake up next to that person again, see him smile, talk to him when you have problems, talk to him when you are happy, listen to him laugh, feel his warm embrace and kisses, and watch him become the man that he was always meant to be.

You are left alone, without a partner, without the person you were meant to share life with, without the person you promised to love and love you back. You carry a heavy burden on your own, but in the history of widows, we have seen a great deal of women move on and rise above the situation. Sure, the wounds take time to heal, but in the right time, they find happiness again.

However, what makes this story even more heartbreaking is that Vanessa also lost her 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant in the same tragic helicopter crash that took her husband’s life. I could not even begin to imagine how hearing about the tragedy must’ve felt for her.

Losing a daughter, a child, a baby you carried in your body and in your heart is absolutely and utterly… devastating. Honestly, that last word is not even enough to describe the horror that you wouldn’t wish to happen to anyone, even your worst enemy.

A promising young talent, Gianna, or Gigi as she was fondly called, was only beginning to carve out her path as a female basketball superstar. She had just entered her teenage years–the period in a girl’s life when her mom gets to take on a new hat as a life mentor, a role model for what a woman should be, and a best friend whom she can share her thoughts with.

I could only assume how much Vanessa was looking forward to take her daughter’s hand as she goes through puberty, gossip about the cute boys in school, give her fashion and beauty advice, give her a taste of her first cocktail, help her pick out her prom dress, see her off for her first date, and many other wonderful things. Now all that is gone and even though she has two other young daughters to share those things with, it won’t be the same as doing them with Gigi.

When a woman loses her husband, she becomes a widow, but when she loses a child, there is nothing to call her. Having to outlive your child is such and indescribable anomaly that none of the world’s greatest minds in all the centuries of human civilization have been able to come up with a single word to call it. Like the thought of it alone is too sickening to even think about.

While I have so much thoughts and feelings about this, the only thing we can all do at this point is to pray for Vanessa Bryant. Pray that she finds the strength and will to go on for herself and her three other daughters, that she finds a solid support system to help her go through all of this, that she finds peace and healing, and that she keeps her faith especially at this trying time.

May the souls of Kobe and Gianna and the seven others who perished in the crash rest in peace. And to Vanessa, from one wife and mother to another, my heart goes out to you. Stay strong.

All photos grabbed from Kobe Bryant’s Instagram @kobebryant

Jollibee Chickenjoy reminds us why Christmas is best spent with family

Christmas is in the air again and that means families that have been apart from each other for many reasons—whether it’s work in other countries, school in distant cities, or relatives from all over—are starting to plan to come home, reunite, and spend the holidays together once more.

Jollibee’s new online video features the heart-tugging stories of parents from various walks of life, preparing for the return of their children for the holidays with the help of the crispylicious and juicylicious Jollibee Chickenjoy.

The video reminds us that the greatest joy of parents during Christmas is the time spent with their children which is highlighted by the campaign message: “Ikaw ang joy nila ngayong Pasko. Ang sarap kapag nandito ka.

Having all your loved ones back home together with buckets of irresistibly crispy, mouthwateringly juicy, and delicious Chickenjoy completes the family’s memorable Christmas celebration.

Get the family together and bond over a bucket of Chickenjoy, the country’s #1 fried chicken, this Christmas, available through dine-in, take-out, delivery, and drive-thru in all Jollibee stores nationwide.

For more info and updates on Jollibee, don’t forget to like Jollibee Philippines on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JollibeePhilippines/), subscribe to Jollibee Studios on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyk1UBhROhDTgFzh6Ls-jRA), and follow @jollibee on Twitter and Instagram.