Nanaimo’s Zonta Club members will stand up to violence against women by raising their voice.
Zonta’s local branch is one of 1,200 around the world participating in the Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women campaign which started Nov. 25 and continues until Dec. 10. That time frame, pointed out Marg Fraser, Zonta Club of Nanaimo president, encompasses Dec. 6, which will mark 25 years since the École Polytechnique killings.
“How do we end it before it gets that far?” Fraser asked. “That’s the extreme and we hopefully won’t see that again in our lifetime, but there is violence that goes on every day.”
Her club has partnered with the Nanaimo Clippers junior A hockey team, and Zonta members will be at the Clippers’ home game against the Merritt Centennials at Frank Crane Arena on Dec. 5, handing out orange bracelets and pins and drawing attention to the issue.
During the Zonta Says No campaign, each local club is asked to raise awareness of gender violence and remind people that it’s not only a women’s issue, but a community issue.
“So that’s why we partnered with the hockey team, because men need to get into this equation as well,” Fraser said.
She agreed that violence against women has been in the news often lately, a sign that the message needs to continue to be reinforced.
“Violence towards women, it does happen in everybody’s life, everybody’s aware of it somewhere,” Fraser said. “And if they see it or they experience it, No. 1, there’s organizations to help, but No. 2, we all have a responsibility to help that individual.”