Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Improving the Lives of Women through Service, Advocacy and Awareness.
“Say No to Violence Against Women!” The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. It created the first federal legislation acknowledging domestic violence as a crime and provided federal resources, such as law enforcement training and rape victims free examinations; however, domestic violence is still a challenge! In 2016-2017 the Domestic Violence Center (DVC) has served 1661 Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) victims to date, 4218 participated in support groups and 1333 shelter beds were occupied overnight.
“Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women” is presented in Zonta Clubs in 66 countries. This awareness and educational campaign is held during the United Nations 16 days of Activism from November 25 through December 10, 2017. Each club creates their own message.
Locally, Zonta in collaboration with the DVC, City of Santa Clarita and the local Sheriff’s Department adopted the “Red Dress” project to raise awareness of domestic Violence. “Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women” displays seven red dresses which symbolize the six women in Santa Clarita who lost their lives in 2015 through domestic violence, and one dress for a young girl who left a safe location only to return to her danger zone and lose her life. The travelling display will be at over 14 locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV), including SCV court house, Veterans Plaza, COC Honor Grove, DVC – SAVIA Community Center, Farmers Market – Newhall, The Center, Newhall and Via Princessa Metrolink Stations, and numerous high schools. These seven red dresses symbolize the reality of domestic violence in our neighborhoods.
Eleven SCV agencies have formed the Domestic Intervention Violence Education Resource Team (DIVERT) Task Force; their website, www.DIVERT.santa-clarita.com , provides access to free classes, programs, seminars and specific help from these agencies. It also includes programs, often court-mandated, for abusers and targeted services for children.
The Domestic Violence Court Advocate Program (DVCAP), comprised of Zontians and other volunteers, assist Domestic Violence victims navigate the restraining order process and court system by helping them to understand what to expect in court, their demeanor, attire, how to address the court, etc. To provide this service, volunteers must complete a 40-hour DV training program and additional training offered by Neighborhood Legal Services. In 2016-2017, 231 Temporary Restraining Orders were approved in Santa Clarita, with the help of the court advocates.
Say “No to Violence Against Women”! Reduce the number of domestic violence victims through awareness, be “up-standers not bystanders,” and help keep the Red Dress Display at seven dresses!
For more information about Zonta, visit www.scvzonta.org or call Phyllis Walker at 661-251-1172.
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