The Zonta Club of Birmingham, Alabama, USA joined its sister clubs in the U.S. and around the world in a united effort to stop violence against women and girls.
On 25 November, the club kicked off a 16-day “orange ribbon” campaign to raise awareness about violence against women in general. It also launched a drive to collect no-longer-used cell phones and accessories that will be refurbished for victims of domestic violence. Both efforts were announced at the YWCA Central Alabama.
“The YWCA is thrilled to have the support of the Zonta Club of Birmingham in ending violence toward women,” said Amanda Carmichael, Assistant Director of Domestic Violence Services for the YWCA Central Alabama. “While the YWCA provides direct services to victims and their children, we need many community partners, civic groups and individuals helping in the effort to raise awareness of the impact of domestic violence in our communities.”
To raise awareness about violence against women, members of of the Zonta Club of Birmingham wore orange ribbons from the start of the campaign, 25 November, through 10 December. The color orange was selected to demonstrate Zonta’s partnership with the United Nations and its agencies, which use orange to draw attention to their ongoing efforts to eradicate violence against women and girls around the world.
The Zonta Club’s “Orange Monday” also was designed as a counterpoint to the traditional “Black Friday”, which took place later in the week and marked the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
“Unfortunately, we know from experience that women don’t get a holiday reprieve from violence,” said Sidney Hoover, co-president of the Zonta Club of Birmingham. “If anything, women are at even greater risk at this time of year. We at Zonta want to seize this opportunity to remind everyone – victims, perpetrators, neighbors, friends – that violence against women is not OK.”
To help promote women’s safety, members are collecting cast-off cell phones and accessories to donate to Verizon’s Hopeline Campaign. The refurbished phones will be programmed to make emergency calls and will be made available to victims of domestic violence.
To donate old phones, go to one of these collection sites: Vital Smiles, 111 B.Y. Williams Sr. Drive, Midfield Vital Smiles, 2302 Center Point Pkwy, Center Point Vulcan Materials Company, Corporate Office, 1200 Urban Center Drive, Vestavia Hills, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The Zonta Club of Birmingham is a dedicated advocate against domestic violence locally and all violence against women and girls locally and internationally,” said Joan Cardwell, co-president of the Birmingham Zonta Club. “We are asking everyone to take a stand against violence against women and girls. Show your support by wearing orange. There is not a more worthy cause because so many forms of violence against these women and girls are so well hidden.”