In the news: Zonta Club of Kankakee includes men in Facebook Zonta Says NO to Violence against women campaign

Dave Stukenborg, former deputy sheriff

The Zonta Club of Kankakee is spreading the Zonta Says No to Violence against Women message through a Facebook campaign. This campaign will include men, youhg men, and boys, from all walks of life, who willingly stand with members of our organization in supporting this most worthwhile cause.


The statistics on violence against women are stark: chances are one of three has been a victim of physical or sexual violence.

This overwhelming worldwide stat is the inspiration behind Zonta Club of Kankakee’s upcoming Facebook campaign, which coincides with an international charge to tackle violence against women.

From Nov. 25 through Dec. 10, the women’s advocacy club will post photos of men carrying “Zonta says no to violence against women” signs.

Those two dates are significant. Nov. 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and Dec. 10 is International Human Rights Day. This annual 16-day campaign is a bridge, reinforcing that violence against women is both a human rights issue and human rights violation.

The men in the soon-to-be posted photos come from different walks of life. They’re doctors, farmers, firefights, high school and college students. They’re men who want to end a human rights issue that’s boiled for too long. They want the women in their life to be safe.

“We want to end violence against women,” said Jackie Fink, chairwoman of the local Zonta Club’s advocacy committee. “The only way that this is going to happen is to get men on board. We need them to support our cause.”

Among these men is Matt McAllister, a grant administrator for Riverside Health Care, who doubles as the board president of Harbor House, a local intervention program for domestic violence.

The 38-year-old has seen and heard his share of violence against women. He also understands how it can affect a family.

“You see kids who witness abuse and how their parents treat each other. They’re silent victims,” McAllister said. “You want it to stop. You don’t want it to continue on to the next generation.”

As a high school teacher at Clifton Central, Fink also hopes young men rise to the challenge of ridding the world of violence against women.

“If we have any hope for our future, it has to start with the young,” Fink said. “I’m a teacher and a mom. That’s what I want to pass on to kids — to respect each other.”

Follow the Zonta Club of Kankakee on Facebook to support the anti-violence against women campaign.

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