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NEW YORK — Avon spokeswoman Salma Hayek spent two days meeting with politicians last week, leveraging her megawatt star power to help stamp out domestic violence. Through her affiliation with Avon, Hayek has partnered with the Avon Foundation on its new Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program.

On July 19, Hayek spent the day in Washington testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the importance of renewing and expanding the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which is due to expire in September. Earlier this year, Senator Joe Biden (D.-Del.), Senator Arlen Specter (R-P.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), coauthored the proposed new version of the act, The Violence Against Women Act of 2005, which would provide $795 million a year to fund state and federal programs for training, outreach and education to assist victims. The act also would stiffen penalties for repeat abusers.

The following day, on July 20, Hayek traveled here to join Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Avon Foundation president Kathleen Walas, at the opening of the city’s first Family Justice Center, a haven and support center for victims of domestic violence. The Brooklyn-based center is expected to aid an estimated 7,000 adults and 14,000 children each year, and is the first of 15 centers to open nationwide as part of a U.S. Department of Justice initiative. The Avon Foundation is a member of the center’s Founders’ Circle of donors.

This story first appeared in the July 29, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.