Avon Foundation for Women awards 25 grants to colleges nationwide as part of its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative

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Babson College has received a $10,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative. The grant will fund the development of a bystander intervention program through the newly-created Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services at Babson.

The grant is one of 25 Avon campus grants, totaling $250,000, awarded to colleges nationwide to fund programs focused on preventive education on dating abuse and violence, sexual assault, stalking, and the promotion of healthy relationships. The grant also offers local resources and provides referrals for community-based domestic violence experts. It also supports educator training, materials, and support sessions about healthy relationships.
Young women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates ​​​​​​​​​​​​​(pdf)​ of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Since the Clery Act was passed in 1990, a variety of initiatives have been developed to educate college administrators on the issues of gender violence, particularly sexual assault, and to provide resources for college campuses to reduce violence.

In April 2014, the White House issued NOT ALONE: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​(pdf)​, highlighting steps school administrators can and must take to honor their obligation to protect all students from sexual assault and violence. Recognizing that school administrators bear the burden of responsibility to provide safe communities for all students, the Avon Foundation partnered with Futures Without Violence to develop Guidelines for Preventing and Responding to Gender-Based Violence in Higher Education ​​​​​​​​​​​​(pdf)​. These guidelines highlight best practices for creating and promoting a campus norm of interpersonal respect and non-violent relationships, and can be downloaded for free.

“We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women shares our mission and has chosen to support our program,” said Ryan M. Travia, Babson’s Associate Dean of Students for Wellness. “With the creation of Babson’s first Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services, this grant will serve to jumpstart our efforts around bystander intervention training for Babson students. We are particularly excited to partner with the Department of Athletics, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Residence Education on developing a novel training program for our student-athletes, fraternities and sororities, and resident assistants, with plans to expand this program throughout the undergraduate and graduate school at Babson.”

​About the Avon Foundation for Women

The Avon Foundation for Women is the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women. Since its inception in 1955, the Avon Foundation has promoted or aided charitable, scientific, educational, and humanitarian activities, with a special emphasis on activities that improve the lives of women and their families. Through 2014, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has contributed nearly $1 billion in over 50 countries. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses on funding breast cancer research and advancing access to quality care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program.

About Babson College 

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​®​ as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.​​​​​

By Barbara Spies Blair,, 781-239-4621 | 10/01/2015 05:00