Zonta kicking off 16 days of advocacy

Published 1:00 pm Friday, November 24, 2023

For another year, an Austin service club that advocates for women and young girls, will be taking a stand against violence during its Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women.

The 16-day initiative, starting Saturday and going through Dec. 10, is an initiative whose platform stands against violence to women.

“This time of year violence rises so much because of the holiday,” Austin Zonta Club President Cheryl Retterath said. “People are stressed for money — different things cause a lot of violence. We want to stop that violence.”

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According to pamphlets distributed across Austin by Zonta, 30% or about one in three women, have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence from partners.

In 2012 the international Zonta organization began its 16-day period devoted to this advocacy, which this year includes the theme of Orange the World, something Zonta will be pushing for more of in the coming years.

During the campaign, people are urged to display orange lights during the time period showing support for the effort.

In Austin, signs have been placed at major intersections, orange flags fly at the downtown Peace Plaza and the flyers have been placed in businesses around town.

The message is the same throughout.

“Basically be kind,” Retterath said. “Everybody is going through problems at times, going through COVID and everything else. If everybody showed a little bit of kindness the world would be a better place.”

However, Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women, is just one of the things the club does to honor and support women and girls.

Over the years, the Austin chapter, formed in 1951, has taken part in a number of projects and has grown and strengthened each year.

The group raises funds to donate locally to programs like More than Pink, a group devoted to young girls in Austin. Zonta donates pink backpacks with personal items that girls may not otherwise receive.

They also donate locally to groups like Rachel’s Hope.

Anybody wanting more information should visit: zontaclubofAustinMN.org.