Archive for May, 2022

Nonprofits Fighting Gender Violence Have Struggled Since Losing Buffetts’ Funding. They Urgently Need More Support.

Posted: May 26, 2022

Two years ago this month, the NoVo Foundation stunned the nonprofit world by announcing at the height of the pandemic that it was halting funding for critical programs focused on women and girls. For those of us working to prevent gender violence, the announcement hit especially hard. NoVo, a fund run by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, accounted for 96 percent of all funding for such work in the United States.

Today, many antiviolence organizations are still navigating the impact of NoVo’s exit — underscoring the overall dearth of philanthropic investment in curbing gender violence, and in women and girls more broadly.

Kaethe Morris Hoffer, executive director of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, told us that “the impact on our programmatic capacity has been real. We’ve only been able to avoid layoffs by the skin of our teeth and currently have to leave open a number of positions that we value but simply don’t have the resources to support.”

At our organization, Sanctuary for Families in New York City, NoVo was by far the largest foundation supporter for more than a decade, enabling us to launch and ultimately expand our Anti-Trafficking Initiative, which provides legal, case-management, counseling, and other services to 400 trafficking survivors annually.

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Domestic Violence in the Bangladeshi Community: The Murder of Arnima Hayat

Headlines rocked shockwaves across Australia and Bangladesh following the brutal murder of 19-year-old Arnima Hayat. The aspiring surgeon was found decomposed in a bathtub of acid, following a welfare call to Sydney police. Her husband, 20-year-old Meraj Zafar, is currently in custody and has been charged with her murder.

Hayat was second-year medical student at the University of Western Sydney. She and Zafar were together for a short period of time before getting married, despite the disapproval of their parents. According to Australian reports, Hayat’s parents reportedly lost contact with their daughter shortly after she moved in with her husband. She was killed just four months after getting married.

News video of her distraught and distressed parents went viral. As Bangladeshi media outlets covered her death, some speculated that Zafar was her live-in boyfriend, and not husband, leading to a myriad of verbal abuse across social media. 

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