Pomellato Urges Everyone to Become Social Sentinels to Prevent Violence Against Women

MILAN — Pomellato is launching a new awareness campaign to honor International Women’s Day on Friday.

The Milan-based jeweler, controlled by Kering, is once again teaming with Jane Fonda and other international activists for the seventh annual Pomellato for Women video to denounce the persistent problem of violence against women.

“With this initiative, we encourage all to be social sentinels who speak up for change,” said Sabina Belli, chief executive officer of Pomellato. “Across every culture on Earth, almost one in every three women has experienced some form of violence — usually carried out by a male partner or family member. With a destructive ripple effect, this is an issue that affects every one of us.”

In an interview, Belli expanded on the issue, which has been close to her heart for years. “There is some progress but we need to keep the attention high. I am pleased to see that the association between the brand and the Pomellato for Women initiatives is increasingly clear and strong.”

For the campaign Fonda is joined by American actress and mental health advocate Lucy Hale; American actor and humanitarian Jesse Williams; Lucia Annibali, an Italian lawyer, advocate for marginalized women and former acid-attack victim; Amina Seck, a Senegalese Italian model and former domestic violence victim; Andréa Bescond, a French author, director, actress and victim of childhood assault; Kulsum Shadab Wahab, an Indian foundation director, humanitarian and advocate for marginalized groups; Gregorio Paltrinieri, an Italian award-winning freestyle swimmer, and Fabio Roia, an Italian magistrate, the President of the Court of Milan, and a lifelong defender, scholar and educator about domestic violence issues.

“We asked ourselves why gender-related violence and domestic violence continues to prevail,” Belli said. “Whenever there is a question — and this is a very difficult one — an answer is expected. The question shouldn’t just hang in the air. The complexity lies also in the fact that there is not a single and univocal response, but many.”

Studies point to patriarchal domination across the board and with deep roots in all global societies. “If there isn’t a single solution, we must find ways to protect women,” Belli said.

A starting point is “to listen to and believe women, rather than doubting them,” she said, urging the creation of “a system of laws that protect women. Gender-related violence is a crime and it must be punished by law, without dragging on for years.”

Becoming social sentinels means “raising red flags to avoid a behavior that is no longer acceptable. We must educate and prevent, not shut our eyes in front of things that generate verbal, economic and group violence. The foundations are respect and understanding and another objective is to educate men to become social sentinels, too.”

“Men aren’t born wanting to commit violence against women,” Fonda says in the video of the campaign. “Proving your masculinity has nothing to do with violence,” concurs Paltrinieri. Despite this, Hale notes that “one-in-three women experience some form of violence, and children who grow up with violence are more likely to become violent.”

Belli, who joined the Milan-based jeweler in 2015, launched the Pomellato for Women platform two years later with an inclusive, inspirational and diverse group of women from various disciplines, ages and arts to inspire and promote women’s empowerment, inclusion and gender equality and raise awareness on the problem of violence against women.

Belli was the first to develop the tagline “Pomellato, caring for women since 1967,” the date the Milan-based jewelry company was founded.

Once again, Pomellato is supporting different associations such as CADMI, a domestic violence center in Milan and the Kering Foundation’s Los Angeles-based partner FreeFrom, an organization helping to provide the groundwork for long-term financial security for survivors of domestic violence.

Pomellato will also contribute to Wahab’s Hothur Foundation, helping the differently abled and underprivileged with initiatives for education, infrastructure, medicine and counseling.

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