Marjorie Duffie

The University of South Carolina’s Stand Up Carolina program awarded the Avon Foundation for Women Campus Grant to activate bystanders to reduce sexual assault and dating abuse

The University of South Carolina’s Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention has received a $10,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative. The grant will further fund the Stand Up Carolina bystander accountability program at the University of South Carolina to continue activating bystanders to reduce sexual assault, dating abuse and stalking.

The grant is one of 25 Avon campus grants totaling $250,000 awarded to colleges nationwide to fund programs focused on preventive education on dating abuse and violence, sexual assault, stalking and the promotion of healthy relationships, as well as offer local resources and provide referrals for community-based domestic violence experts. The grant also supports educator training, materials and support sessions about healthy relationships.

Young women ages 16-24 experience the highest rates of dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.  Since the Clery Act was passed in 1990, a variety of initiatives have been developed to educate college administrators on the issues of gender violence, particularly sexual assault, and to provide resources for college campuses to reduce violence.

Students must also be part of the solution to help prevent violence perpetrated against and by their peers. With this new grant, the Avon Foundation has funded campus dating abuse programs to educate significant numbers of student groups and faculty to create awareness, to recognize the warning signs of abuse and to encourage students to safely intervene to help prevent violence.

“Having the Avon Foundation grant will be a tremendous help in achieving one of my main goals - to embed Stand Up Carolina in our university’s culture,” said Shannon Nix, associate director for Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention and manager of the Stand Up Carolina bystander accountability program. “In this way, we hope to see more Carolinians stepping in and standing up for one another, preventing acts of interpersonal violence and enhancing the sense of community and integrity that is so much a part of being a Carolinian.”

A program that empowers students to intervene and prevent sexual and physical violence on campus, Stand Up Carolina encourages people to step in and speak up in response to unacceptable behavior. Through educational presentations, social media messaging and on-campus events, Stand Up Carolina educates students, faculty and staff on the role of active bystanders, how they can intervene in harmful situations and what resources are available on campus.

Avon Foundation for Women and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence

The Avon Foundation for Women is the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women.  Since its inception in 1955, the Avon Foundation has promoted or aided charitable, scientific, educational and humanitarian activities, with a special emphasis on activities that improve the lives of women and their families. Through 2014, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has contributed nearly $1 billion in over 50 countries. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses on funding breast cancer research and advancing access to quality care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Visit for more information.

For More Information

For more information on Stand Up Carolina at the University of South Carolina, please contact Marjorie Duffie at 803-777-4199 or

For more information about sexual assault resources and prevention programs at the University of South Carolina, visit

For more information about relationship abuse, please visit To receive immediate help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or the National Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474 

To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women, visit, where you can access information about Speak Out Against Domestic Violence.