The Kering Corporate Foundation’s efforts to stop domestic and sexual violence against women is being bolstered in the U.S.
Building off the success of its partnership with the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence and the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the foundation is extending an employee training program that aims to stop sexual and domestic violence to the U.S. Similar training has been done in France, Italy and the U.K.
Violence against women in the U.S. remains a serious problem, considering a woman is sexually assaulted or beaten every nine seconds. In addition, one in every three women have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by a partner.
To try to help decrease those figures, the Kering initiative will be announced tonight by Kering’s chief sustainability officer and head of International Institutional Affairs Marie-Claire Daveu; NAESV president Monika Johnson Hostler and NNEDV executive vice president Cindy Southworth at the Glasgow Caledonian University. Through their alliance, they have created a training program for all 1,200 U.S.-based employees in Kering’s corporate office and the group’s luxury Maisons. Staffers are learning the correct protocol to intervene when they encounter these situations in their personal or professional lives. Women in the U.S. lose about $727 million of their wages each year as a result of the 80 million days of unpaid leave they are forced to take due to domestic violence.
Through the Kering-led effort, there is a focus on understanding violence against women, recognizing and dispelling stereotypes, establishing a supportive work environment for survivors and discussing available support services. With more than 45 years of combined experience, the NAESV and NNEDV provide local expertise, having advised policymakers and informed the general public for years.
The first training sessions in the U.S. have already taken place. Internationally, more than 500 employees have received training thanks to partnerships already set up under the Kering Foundation’s “Charter to Combat and Prevent Domestic Violence” training program. The NGO Fédération Nationale Solidarité Femmes was put in place in 2010 in France, followed by Donne in Rete contro la violenza in Italy and last year Women’s Aid was established in the U.K.
Kering’s first antidomestic violence partnership in the U.S. builds off its support of “We End Violence” online prevention training, and “It’s on Us” a program to address sexual assault on college campuses. François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering and president of the Kering Corporate Foundation, said, “The workplace can provide an escape and a means of financial independence for those experiencing violence….In providing our group’s employees with the support they require to support others, I hope we can build on the momentum of positive change taking place worldwide.”