Zonta International’s “16 days of Activism” is held annually from Nov. 25 – Dec. 10. Since 2016, Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley has participated in the annual “Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women” campaign in collaboration with the Child and Family Center.
To bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence in our community, the Zonta Club of SCV displays 7 red dresses that symbolize 7 women who lost their lives to domestic violence in Santa Clarita. The dresses are displayed outdoors, in public places. They are a haunting and inescapable symbol of bloodshed in our community. Domestic violence is happening in our neighborhoods and it cannot be ignored. We must speak up if we see or hear of domestic and family violence.
In addition to domestic violence, human trafficking is another issue affecting women in our community. The I-5 corridor is an area of concern since it has been identified as a major artery for human trafficking. Vulnerable girls, such as formerly incarcerated youth and emancipated foster youth, are often targeted as victims. Zonta Club of SCV has worked with the girls at Camp Scott and emancipated foster youth at Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) in the fight against human trafficking.
In addition, Zonta Club of SCV’s advocacy committee is working in conjunction with law enforcement on providing emergency personal comfort supplies in a backpack for survivors of human trafficking. There is so much more to do. The committee is also working on a separate program that will encourage women to contact a hotel or bar staff member if they are uncomfortable with their date or companion.
For more information, visit www.scvzonta.org/advocacy-and-awareness.