Hundreds of shoppers at Valencia Town Center got an up-close look at the problem of domestic violence through a Zonta Says NO display sponsored by Zonta Club of the SCV. The display’s centerpiece was a tower of more than 150 pairs of women’s shoes — each shoe representing a victim of domestic violence and red shoes representing a woman who died as the result of that violence.
The display also featured posters showing the incidence of violence against women and girls on a local, state and international basis. Another poster listed programs that Zonta International supports across the globe in support of women and girls. Guests at the exhibit were encouraged to write their own messages on paper shoes, which were then taped to the wall next to the posters.
“From the comments of people who visited the display, as well as those from Zonta volunteers who staffed the display, I think we made a difference,” commented Chris Miller, who chaired the local project. Many guests were amazed to learn that the local Domestic Violence Center expects to serve more than 3,000 clients this year—in a community where many residents are not aware that domestic violence is a problem.
The Zonta Says NO display in the mall was the focal point of 16 Days of Activism, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, declared by Zonta International on a worldwide basis. The period kicked off locally with a proclamation from the Santa Clarita City Council naming Nov. 25 to Dc. 10 as the 16 Days of Activism and encouraging local citizens to take action to become aware of and strive to eliminate violence against women and girls throughout the 16 days and throughout the year.
Barely used shoes that were used in the mall display have been donated to the local Domestic Violence Center for use by their shelter residents. Zonta also sold orange Zonta Says NO wristbands, with proceeds going to the Domestic Violence Center. Golden Oak Adult School and the Drug Free Youth in Town club at Golden Valley High School also participated by offering the wristbands to students at their schools to raise awareness of domestic violence.