SINGAPORE – In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March, beauty brand L'Oréal launches its #YouDeserveBetter campaign, in partnership with United Women Singapore (UWS), to support survivors of domestic violence by helping them rebuild their confidence and break the cycle of violence. The campaign also aims to raise the public’s awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence within the community and empower individuals to support the survivors.
Through the month of March, L'Oréal and United Women Singapore will provide 2,000 curated personal care kits to women and children in more than 10 shelters and homes in Singapore and female advocates in the mission to eradicate violence against women. The kits contain skincare, haircare and cosmetic products of the best quality from L’Oréal and have been put together for the beneficiaries with the hope that it will help them rebuild their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Mr Jaren Ong, Marketing Manager, L’Oréal Paris, said, “L'Oréal champions women’s empowerment and celebrates women, their beauty, strength, and resilience. Recognising that beauty and self-care empower women, we hope to encourage and boost the confidence of domestic violence survivors with these personal care kits and our #YouDeserveBetter movement. Everyone deserves to feel valued and worthy of the best and that is what we are conveying through our care kits to our beneficiaries.”
More domestic violence reported since the COVID-19 outbreak
Family violence has become a more pertinent issue since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The number of domestic violence cases in Singapore has risen since March 2020 due to many factors, including loss of employment, financial insecurity and social isolation measures imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak. In January 2021, Minister of State for Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said Singapore saw a 10% rise in family violence cases monthly, between April and December 2020.
Many domestic violence survivors may be socially isolated from friends, family and neighbours, and hence suffer in silence. Raising public awareness of anti-domestic violence response can make a difference to the lives of survivors of domestic violence. In view of this, L’Oreal and UWS are collaborating to support and aid these survivors.
Ms Georgette Tan, president of United Women Singapore, said, “It is important that the public be able to identify the signs of domestic violence, and raising public awareness can enable support to be provided to domestic violence victims in the community and in the workplace. By creating a community of care, individuals can break the cycle of violence and direct victims to the support services available. We are happy to partner with L’Oréal to raise awareness of domestic violence in Singapore and to advocate for the public, especially for corporations to advocate for employment policies that protect the rights of victims of domestic violence.”
Supporting their road to recovery
Many survivors of domestic violence have shared that the traumatic experience eroded their self-esteem and self-confidence. During the period of victimisation, some women may have been isolated and are afraid of being stigmatised. This is why some individuals experiencing violence are afraid to seek help.
Many survivors may be socially isolated from friends, family and neighbours and suffering in silence. Raising public awareness of domestic violence prevention and support services available can make a difference to the lives of survivors of domestic violence.
Ways to make a difference, join the movement
UWS outlines a “3R” approach, Recognise, Respond and Refer, that the public can adopt to identify and interrupt the cycle of violence. Members of the public can raise their awareness of the signs of an individual experiencing violence which may manifest as physical, emotional, and behavioural indicators. Signs can include cuts and bruises, a sudden change in preference for long-sleeve or high-coverage clothing, fear or anxiety, sensitivity when asked about home life, low interest in social activities and a decline in work performance.
If anything seems amiss, a concerned member of the public can respond by approaching the individual in private to lend a listening ear and share with them that they can reach out when they are ready if they need support or referrals to services available.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) recently launched a 24-hour domestic violence helpline for victims and members of the public to seek help. The number for the National Anti-Violence Helpline is 1800-777-0000. Organisations that are keen to educate their employees about the workplace impacts of domestic violence and policies and strategies to combat those impacts can get in touch with UWS to learn more about its GenSafe Workplaces programme.