In the news: Zonta Club of Oneida Area raises awareness for gender-based violence

At an Oneida Common Council meeting on 1 December, Zonta Club of Oneida Area President Cindy Thurston “shed light on the subject and point residents in a direction to help.”

“Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation no matter where you are. There’s no national or cultural barriers; violence can take place at any time, anywhere,” she said.

Early/forced marriage, domestic abuse, and human trafficking are only a few of the many ways gender-based violence can manifest, Thurston said, and it can take both physical and psychological forms. Gender-based violence affects both men and women publicly and privately worldwide. It can also find its way into small towns like Oneida and the surrounding area where the issues may not get the attention they deserve—this is where the Zonta club steps in. 

The Zonta Club of Oneida Area has chosen to heighten awareness through signs on the Kallet Marque and reminders of violence against women on the electronic sign in front of city hall.

At a Zonta meeting this month, Oneida Mayor Helen Acker gave the Oneida Zonta club a proclamation regarding this initiative.

Action is also a powerful step the Oneida Zonta club takes against gender-based violence. The club says that it routinely donates sweatpants to the Oneida Health Emergency room for victims of violence.\

“We also advocate and have given money towards Liberty Resources,” Thurston shared. In particular, Liberty Resources’ Help Restore Hope Center, which provides education and training for prevention of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and child and elder abuse, has been a focus of the local Zonta club, Thurston said. “And they empower the survivors with support and resources. It’s a vital resource we have right here in our community,” she remarked.

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