Domestic violence is closer than you think. It is often perpetrated by someone close or intimate with the victim. More than 600 million women live in countries where intimate partner violence or domestic violence is not considered a crime. Domestic violence and abuse do not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or background. Women and children are often more vulnerable to domestic violence, which rears its head in various forms, including physical, sexual, financial and emotional as well as controlling behavior. Domestic violence and abuse are used to gain and maintain control, keeping victims under the abuser’s thumb. There are many causes of domestic violence and abuse. It may start when one partner feels the need to control and dominate the other because of low self-esteem, extreme jealousy, difficulties controlling strong emotions or when they are under a lot of stress.
We at L’Oréal fully understand the seriousness of domestic violence and felt the need to take action against violence and stand up for those who are most in need. We want to use our brands and partnerships with non-profit organizations as a platform for meaningful campaigns that spread knowledge and raise awareness about domestic violence and mental health issues, with the hope that it can be useful and further contribute to meaningful change as well as to help break the stigma behind domestic violence as well as ally the trauma of the abused victims.
During this difficult time we brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown situation, we hear and see heartbreaking stories of domestic abuse becoming increasingly prevalent. Many women are trapped living with an abusive partner during the lockdown and are unable to seek help from experts, organizations, friends, loved ones or colleagues.
One of our brands, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty in Paris, France, launched the “Abuse is Not Love” program in November. It is a global program aimed at helping combat intimate partner violence (IPV). Approximately 1 in 3 women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime and prevalence rates have increased from 30 percent to 60 percent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, United Kingdom and France, one woman is killed every three days by their partner. Abuse is Not Love is supporting the prevention programs of its non-profit partners through funding academic research to develop thought-leadership around youth and prevention, training YSL Beauty employees and beauty advisors on intimate partner violence in the workplace as well as educating at least 2 million people by 2030 on common signs of IPV. If key warning signs can be detected early, we may be able to recognize it better and seek or offer help to the victims. Abuse is Not Love was launched as a global program with 3 key partnerships in 2020: En Avant Toute(s) in France, Women’s Aid in the UK, and It’s on Us in the U.S., with more partnerships coming in 2021 in other countries.
“Supporting women, especially when it comes to their independence, is central to the way the brand acts. Intimate partner violence hinders the safety, wellbeing and independence of women,” said Stephan Bezy, International General Manager at Yves Saint Laurent Beauty. “It therefore felt very natural to work on an issue that stood in opposition to our core values and beliefs.”
Maybelline New York also felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which has taken a physical and mental toll on everyone around the world. More than 284 million people experienced anxiety disorders. Depression affects more than 264 million people. Half of all mental health conditions start by age 14, and with the Covid-19 pandemic, these numbers are rising. With anxiety and depression on the rise, as the no. 1 international makeup brand, Maybelline New York wants to provide the right support to help tackle obstacles that are in the way of women and young adults making their mark. With the help of leading mental health NGOs, experts and advocates are offering hands to help Maybelline during this program which is the “Maybelline Brave Together Program”. It is a global cause that provides critical one-on-one support and helps everyone, everywhere.
“Maybelline has always believed in the power of making things happen in your life. And we know that mental health is critical in feeling ready to do that,” says Trisha Ayyagari, Global Brand President, Maybelline New York. “We want to use our global voice to de-stigmatize the conversation around mental health and make support easily accessible. Now, more than ever, we need to be there for those living with anxiety and depression.”
Maybelline’s Brave Together program aims to help teenagers and young adults who are struggling with anxiety and depression, to break down the stigma around anxiety and depression, and provide cross-generational support. By partnering with leading non-profit organizations, the program has a specially curated online platform that gives people around the world access to an online community. The program was announced on @Maybelline Instagram account and maybelline.com/bravetogether in September.
Over the past two years, Maybelline has commissioned an expert-led research and conducted focus groups to better understand the topic of mental health. In the focus group, people need a globally accessible platform featuring resources and tips on mental health. Our online community will foster an open, diverse and inclusive destination with inspiration and stories from real people and experts worldwide. To let them know that they are not in this alone, Maybelline has partnered with leading non-profit organization Crisis Text Line to provide increased access to free, 24/7 confidential crisis counseling via text message — those in need can text TOGETHER to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor. Maybelline also wants to expand this program even further and has committed to investing $10 million over the next five years to mental health organizations worldwide who share its goal of making a real difference. Maybelline Brave Together will continue to grow and develop with the current environment with support from its partners.
An international survey on sexual harassment in public spaces, conducted in partnership with L’Oreal Paris, Ipsos and researchers at Cornell University, reveals that 78% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces. Only 25% of victims say someone helped them. Moreover, 86% of us do not know what to do when we witness it happening. Also, the survey found that 79% of victims of sexual harassment in public spaces say it improved the situation when a witness intervened. These results are extremely alarming. Armed with information and the determination to stand up for all women and combat against everyday street harassment, L’Oreal Paris launched an international bystander training program called “Stand Up Against Street Harassment” in partnership with NGO Hollaback! The program aims to train 1 million people globally in bystander intervention to tackle street harassment. Stand Up aims to simultaneously discourage harassers, support victims, and encourage bystanders to intervene in a bid to overall effect a cultural shift in the global response to street harassment. With the brand’s signature tagline, “I’m worth it”, L’Oréal Paris has multiplied brand initiatives to break down the barriers that prevent women from fully believing in and realizing their self-worth. Leveraging its global reach, today, the Stand Up movement takes the brand’s support for women into the public space by tackling the intimidating behaviours that impact girls’ and women’s very sense of freedom to move through the world.
“L’Oréal Paris stands for empowerment in every walk of a woman’s life. By removing obstacles preventing women from fulfilling their ambitions, we are committed to elevating their sense of self-worth. With Hollaback! and other local NGO partners we invite women and men to stand up, to safely respond when they witness or experience street harassment. Together we can create a world for girls and women to march confidently forward into a future free from street harassment.” Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, Global Brand President of L’Oréal Paris.
The Stand Up program was launched in five countries on International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8. It will be launched in more countries including Thailand. The program aims to drive awareness of street harassment on a global scale to create a call-to-action. To prevent street harassment happening in the future — from schools to public transport to festivals to online spaces — Stand Up will grow a global community of 1 million upstanders trained in the 5Ds method: Direct, Distract, Delegate, Document, and Delay.
Thai women also encounter domestic violence, street harassment and depression. L’Oreal Thailand will activate the brands’ global campaigns as well as provide tools and trainings in Thailand to help raise awareness and fight against these issues.