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Avon Foundation for Women Program Awards Montgomery County Sheriff's with $50,000 Grant | News

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Avon Foundation for Women Program Awards Montgomery County Sheriff's with $50,000 Grant
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The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded a ($50,000) one-year grant to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at the Family Justice Center (FJC) for the creation and funding of the Avon Empowerment Self-Sufficiency Program to make an immediate, tangible difference for Domestic Violence survivors by providing them with guidance and assistance to create independent, violence-free lives. The Avon Empowerment Self-Sufficiency Program is the focus of the 2010 Avon Foundation for Women's annual awards program under the auspices of the Foundation's Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative.  The Montgomery County Family Justice Center is among one of the 32 grant recipients selected from among close to 150 applicants nationwide.

As a grant recipient of the Avon Empowerment Self-Sufficiency Program, the Family Justice Center will help Domestic Violence survivors create better lives for themselves and their families. Domestic Violence agencies have faced reductions in funds, while the need for services are at unprecedented levels, and the Avon Foundation is proud to support these 32 programs which will be located in Family Justice Centers or other community-based DV agencies/shelters offering co-located, multi-agency services for victims.

Casey Gwinn, President of the National Family Justice Center Alliance, said: "Economic empowerment and financial self-sufficiency are critical elements for reaching our movement's goals of freedom from violence and long-term safety for victims and their children.  Collaborative service delivery is the most effective and efficient path to these goals and the Avon Foundation is helping to create the path with this exciting initiative."

Domestic violence victims may be less likely to leave and stay away from abusers if they have limited hope of achieving economic stability on their own. Additionally, this lack of economic stability or programs may increase the likelihood of a return to the abuser or lead to homelessness. This vital program will address these issues, and will also provide advocacy and safety planning to victims. 

The Montgomery County Family Justice Center, is a strong collaboration of County and private agencies dedicated to finding innovative programs to preserve the safety and dignity of families.  Among its innovative programs is a video conferencing project between the FJC and the Courts, allowing victims to seek protective orders from the security of the center.  Co-located at the FJC are representatives of the Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office, Police Department, Department of Health and Human Services, The House of Ruth Maryland and other private agencies.

Carol Kurzig, President, Avon Foundation for Women, noted that the Montgomery County Family Justice Center is delivering critical services to the Domestic Violence survivors and their families.  “We are proud to support their efforts to help end the cycle of violence."

Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women launched the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program in 2004 to help end the cycle of domestic violence. Through the end of 2010, in the U.S. alone, the Avon Foundation for Women has provided more than $23 million for the domestic violence and gender violence cause, including support for awareness, education, direct service and prevention programs.

"It is extremely gratifying that the Avon Foundation for Women is supporting the work of the Montgomery County FJC with the Self Sufficiency Program.  This grant will bring us closer to our shared goal of helping domestic violence survivors and their families in Montgomery County, Maryland.  With this funding we will be able to offer victims the ability to achieve financial independence and to reduce many of the barriers to safety that domestic violence victims face," said Chief Deputy Sheriff Darren M. Popkin.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, created by the Maryland Constitution in 1777, engages in general law enforcement, judicial enforcement, prisoner transport, domestic violence, fugitive apprehension and security related functions. Specialized units include K-9 explosive detection, hostage negotiation and high risk Special Response teams, as well as participation in Federal and State gang, firearms, alcohol enforcement, and fugitive apprehension task forces.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is the oldest law enforcement agency in Montgomery County and has been nationally accredited by the Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) since 1995.

The Avon Foundation for Women and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence The Avon Foundation for Women <http://www.avonfoundation.org>, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women, and brings this mission to life through focus on two key issues: breast cancer and domestic violence. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. The Avon Foundation's flagship programs include the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade <http://www.avonfoundation.org/breast-cancer-crusade/> and the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program, which supports domestic violence awareness, education, direct services and prevention initiatives. Through the end of 2010, in the U.S. alone, the Avon Foundation for Women has provided more than $23 million for the domestic violence and gender violence cause, including support for awareness, education, direct service and prevention programs. Fundraising projects include special products sold by Avon Sales Representatives and at avonfoundation.org. The Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program has expanded globally to more than 50 countries to help save lives worldwide.

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