In the news: Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley speaks outs against gender-based violence

Thirty-five percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.

As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence—an international campaign that aims to inspire action and end violence against women and girls around the world—the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley along with members of the local community, displayed the SCV Red Dress Project last Saturday, Oct. 16, during Child & Family Center’s Purple Palooza Walk. We have several dates this fall at Saugus Swap Meet and on Tuesday, Nov. 23rd at City Hall. Check our website for the full schedule. Please visit

At the local level, Zonta clubs across the world have organized activities and events as part of the 2021 Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign, which focuses on the service and advocacy actions of Zonta clubs and districts to prevent and end violence against women and girls in their local communities.

“As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, instances of gender-based violence are on the rise. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we work together to end violence against women and girls,” said Sharon Langenbeck, Zonta International president and a member of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. “Through the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign, Zonta clubs around the world are uniting to raise their voices to bring awareness to this issue and advocate on behalf of gender-based violence survivors.”

Each year during the 16 Days of Activism campaign, which runs from Nov. 25 – Dec. 10,, Zonta International encourages its clubs to participate in advocacy efforts that focus on prevention, protection and prosecution.

The SCV Red Dress Project was inspired by the original REDress Project. The first year our club displayed the Red Dresses was in 2016. It was created to advocate and to share the awareness of domestic violence within our community.

The REDress Project was created by a Canadian artist, Jamie Black in 2010. She initiated this project in response to the missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) epidemic in Canada and the United States.

At one of her art exhibits at a college in Thunder Bay, Ontario, she hung about 100 red dresses around the campus, both indoors and out, as part of The REDress Project. Black said the dresses are empty to represent death and absence. She chose the color red because it signifies many different things. It’s the color of love, and also spilled blood. It has meanings of both the positive and the negative aspects of being an aboriginal woman in Canada.

By her dedication to this project, the Red Dress Day was initiated and is commemorated on May 5th annually since 2017 in Montana. Then in 2021, it was instituted as a national holiday. Red Dress Day is one of many campaigns that have started to call attention to disproportionate rates of violence against Indigenous women.

Then in 2016, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley decided that this should be the new project for our club. It became a joint effort with the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, and the city of Santa Clarita. The red dresses were displayed around the SCV for 2 weeks during the 16 days of activism. The club has decided to display them throughout the year, so the awareness of the project won’t be limited to the two weeks. Our community should be aware of the issues and the effects of domestic violence. Our club advocates to stop violence against women and girls. ZI has made gender-based violence an issue that we should focus on and to help eradicate here in our community and the world. No woman should live in fear of violence.

The red color of the dresses is meant to symbolize the intimacy and blood of domestic abuse. Our club started with six dresses to represent the lives lost between 2015-2016. Then a seventh life was lost was in 2017, so another dress was added. Plus, that year, a young man was the eighth life that was lost, so we added a red sweater in his honor. The seven dresses and the sweater are hung up in trees in various locations throughout the city, where they are exposed to the weather and animated in the wind to represent the lives lost. Future dates will be announced on our website.

Founded in 1974, Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is a dynamic organization of professional women working together to advance the status of women and girls in the Santa Clarita Valley and around the world.

Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women began in November 2012. To learn more and join the campaign, please visit Zonta International’s ongoing efforts to end violence against women and girls at the international level are carried out through the Zonta International Strategies to end Violence Against Women (ZISVAW) program and through Zonta’s partnerships with the United Nations and its agencies. Since the program’s inception in 1999, more than US$9.5 million has been provided to support projects to prevent and end violence against women and girls in 46 countries.

Zonta Internationalis a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. More than 28,000 members in 63 countries work together to make gender equality a worldwide reality for women and girls. Since 1923, Zonta International has pro-vided more than US$45.9 million to empower women and girls and expand their access to education, health care, economic opportunities and safe living conditions. For more information, visit

In the news: Zonta Club of Milwaukee marches in silence to bring awareness to domestic violence

The marchers walked silently for a mile through the blocks of downtown Milwaukee.

They held flags, each one carrying the story of someone whose life ended because of domestic violence.

They passed out cards to onlookers, explaining their mission of memorializing victims and their commitment to ending domestic abuse.

The Zonta Club of Milwaukee’s sixth annual walk, “Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women,” came at the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and less than two weeks after a report found Wisconsin experienced a record number of domestic violence-related homicides in 2020.

Fifty-eight people were killed in acts of domestic violence last year, according to the annual report from End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin.

In addition, eight perpetrators died by suicide and two others were killed by responding law enforcement, for a total of 68 people dying in domestic violence incidents, the report found. 

That’s about one death every five days.

Behind every number are a host of loved ones left to grieve — people like Carrie Scott-Haney. Her daughter, Audrey “TuTu” Scott, went missing in 2017 from a downtown bar and was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

Scott-Haney came to Monday’s walk to push for change. She has started a petition to create a “Purple Alert” system for adult women who go missing and have previously been victims of domestic violence.

“There’s so many people that go missing and when their remains are found it’s never determined if it’s domestic abuse, but their families know” that it was, she said.

Scott-Haney was among the speakers at City Hall, where the nearly 50 marchers gathered after the walk sponsored by Zonta, a women’s service organization seeking to end gender-based violence and empower women.

Karin Tyler with the city’s Office of Violence Prevention shared some of her personal experiences with domestic abuse.

“I am a survivor,” she said, her voice echoing in the City Hall rotunda. 

She had been strangled and threatened with a gun, and she focused on keeping her children safe, she said.

“It infuriates me when I hear people say ‘Why did she stay?'” she said, describing how abusers can return again and again, and how women run into barriers when trying to leave.

And men have to be part of the effort to end domestic abuse, said Shawn Muhammad, director of The Asha Project, which serves African American women in Milwaukee.

“In order for us to eradicate intimate partner violence it will take all of us, and if the sisters could do it on their own, it would be eradicated already,” he said.

Deaths from domestic violence are the tip of the iceberg, said Carmen Pitre, executive director of Sojourner Family Peace Center.

“What it sits on is thousands of other situations right here in Milwaukee, where people are living in terror, who are suffering and who are living in isolation,” she said.

She called on those gathered to reflect on the stories they had carried. She shared how, at one point in the walk, a gust of wind tore her flag from her hands and sent it tumbling down the block. 

She chased after it, thinking of the 60-year-old woman honored on it, a woman only a year older than her.

“She was lost once, she doesn’t need to be lost again,” Pitre said.

In the news: Zonta Club of Sault Ste Marie Area displays orange shoes throughout community

In 2019, the Zonta Club of Sault Ste Marie Area highlighted the issue of gender-based violence with a display at the public library of 48 pairs of women’s shoes, representing the 48 women who lost their lives in the preceding year in Ontario to intimate partner violence.

“This was a stunning and moving display. Orange is the international colour used by the United Nations and Zonta International for violence against women and girls”, said Sharon Kirkpatrick, the local club president. “Because of COVID-19 this year, we are taking the campaign online, showing 37 pairs of orange shoes in various locations in the area. In the past year, the Femicide list from the Ontario Association of Transition and Interval Homes (OAITH) reported 37 fatalities. We want people to understand that these orange shoes represent real women- our daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts and friends.”
Visit the club’s Facebook page to see more photos.

In the news: Zonta Club of Jefferson City advocates to end violence against women

“The Zonta Club of Jefferson City takes pride in helping Zonta International promote the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence through the ‘Zonta Says No’ campaign,” said Sarah Veile, president of the Zonta Club of Jefferson City. “It is just one of many ways we are helping to spread Zonta’s message in an attempt to make our local community a place where every woman can achieve her full potential.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the local Zonta Club’s main advocacy will come through its Facebook page this year.

Each day, the group will post a picture of a new community leader involved in related groups — Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, the Rape and Abuse Crisis Service, HALO and the Pregnancy Help Center, to name a few — with information about their services or statistics on gender-based violence. They will also feature local government officials who have used their time in office to fight for the rights of women and families.

Joan Imhoff, secretary for the Zonta Club of Jefferson City, said the focus is to connect people experiencing abuse or a difficult situation with resources and make them aware of the people fighting for them. She said this year is especially important as everything is on the rise — suicide, depression, abuse and child abuse.

“When people pay attention to the campaign more because of issues occurring it’s just good at this time to get it out there for people to see,” Imhoff said. “If they need help, they’re not alone, and they shouldn’t be embarrassed to make contact with someone who can help.”

In the news: Zonta Club of New Providence hosts ceremony to remember mother and daughter homicide victims

A precious eight-year-old little girl is on a memorial billboard at the entrance of Nassau Village. She shouldn’t be there. She should be counting down the days to her birthday on December 12. She should be trying to adjust to the new normal of online schooling and thinking about what she wants for Christmas. But on September 28 this year, Ednique Wallace became the victim of murder. She and her mother Alicia Sawyer lost their lives together in a senseless act of violence that occurs too often in our society.

The Bahamas ranks tenth in the world for intentional homicides. Alicia and Ednique were killed in their home in Nassau Village, an area which has been declared an epicentre of domestic violence in The Bahamas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Days ago, Zonta Bahamas began their version of UNECSO’s “Orange the World” campaign to end violence against women and girls by hosting a ceremony at the Nassau Village entrance. There, Patricia Minnis – the wife of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis – tied the first orange bow and said to Bahamians: “We are better than this!”

The Zonta Club of New Providence, Families Of All Murder Victims (FOAM), the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, the Nassau Village Community and other NGOs joined together to erect a memorial banner for Ednique and her mom and also murder victims Gloria Rolle, Kenrica Martin and Cleo Lockhart. Below that banner is the community’s entrance sign, with the motto “The Place of Love, Peace and Unity”. Member of Parliament Halson Moultrie made a heartfelt appeal to residents to make this their reality.

Instead, we have a society which has yet to solve its violence issues and live as if it’s truly paradise. This sunny, peaceful clime has been marred by horror stories that make no sense on such a small island. “We are not barbarians,”, said Ann Marie Davis, wife of PLP leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis’, as she joined Zonta in the campaign launch.

Women and girls like Alicia and Ednique deserve the protection of society. Zonta says there’s a way every single person can make a difference – by “saying no to violence in all its forms.” Everyone has to make it a point not to tolerate violence in order to reverse an ugly trend that leaves countless families in this country hurting for the loss of their loved ones.

Edward Wallace knows that hurt. His “little princess” was so special that “everyone who came into contact with her was amazed at how full of life and kind she was”. She was a very protective sister to her younger siblings Edward Wallace Jr and Krishan Wallace and even extended that nurturing spirit to her older sister, Kenlisa Monfils.

“She really enjoyed traveling,” Edward said about his daughter.

“Every summer we would go to Miami and spend time with her uncle and aunt. I remember two years ago, we went shopping in Walmart and she got lost. I searched the whole store looking for her until we got a call saying she was at the front entrance. Just last year we went on a cruise to Key West, Orlando and Mexico. While on the cruise, she loved hanging out by the pool and eating tons of ice cream.”

Edward’s family and friends, as well co-workers at BAIC, are offering support and love, but it is crucial that people come together to avoid tragedies like what this family has to overcome.

“Ednique was a curious and ambitious girl.” Edward said.

“She always loved learning new things and seeking new challenges. She got that from her mother. Lisa Sawyer was a very determined and hard worker who also loved learning new things and seeking new challenges. She was a kindred spirit. She was undoubtedly, a great mother to her three children and did her absolute best never to steer them wrong. She was an Andros-based woman who loved to cook. I met Lisa in 2008 while I was on patrol as a security guard and she was working at Hibiscus Inn. Our relationship was always an honest, respectful one and I thank the Lord for the time we spent in each other’s lives.”

Alicia is the daughter of Tiffany Reckley and Norman Knowles. She attended Lowe Sound Primary, then North Andros High School. She is described as deeply family-oriented and well known for her kindness and compassion. A hard worker, Alicia worked for Dunkin’ Donuts where she worked herself up to a management position. Social media reports say Alicia made previous complaints to the police about the suspect of her murder.

[25 November was] the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It also marks the beginning of “16 Days of Activism to Say No to Violence Against Women and Girls”, which culminates on December 10, International Human Rights Day. Each year, Zonta uses this time to paint the town orange. This year, say no to violence garbage bins have been placed throughout several communities. Zonta’s “40 Orange Bows”, and the bright orange banner at Nassau Village’s entrance is a poignant reminder of how very important this campaign is.

Zonta members decided that Nassau Village would be the focus this year, even before it became the epicentre of domestic violence for The Bahamas. President of the Zonta Club of New Providence Theresa Adderley-Smith said for the past seven years, their focus has been bringing a heightened awareness of the scourge. However, they have moved towards advocacy, working with government and non-government organizations to make policy changes so the laws are in place to protect and advance women and girls.

Mrs Minnis pointed out that men are just as important and “this is not a feminist movement where women are trying to get ahead of men; we want to be equal partners with love and respect”. Zonta’s national advocacy campaign chair Marisa Mason-Smith invited representatives of partnering NGOs to speak, including Charlene Paul of the Caribbean Institute of Women in Leadership (CIWiL) and Coralee Adderley of the the National Women’s Advisory Council.

Zonta Club of New Providence, a member of Zonta International, is committed to empowering women through service and advocacy. Zonta will host a series of events during the campaign.

Zonta Club of Liestal shares information on violence against women in city center

The Zonta Club of Liestal, Switzerland, hosted an information booth on 28 November to make people aware of Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women.

The booth was set up in the center of Liestal, and club members distributed cards with an emergency number for women concerned. They also handed out small bottles of disinfectant with labels spreading the message to stop violence against women.

District 31 Zontians join in Taiwan to advocate against gender-based violence

Zontians from District 31 gathered in Changhua County, Taiwan to participate in the child care and new emigration activities on 29 November.

In addition to caring for people with physical and mental disabilities, members from District 31 organized with Changhua New Residents Development Association to hold the Asian Food Cooking Competition, encouraging the new emigrate residents in Taiwan to improve their economic abilities, self confidence and respect multiculturalism.

For the event, which took place during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Zontians dressed in orange shirts and shouted, “Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women” as they marched.

Through service and advocacy, from awareness to action, the team showed orange power to arouse the attention for standing against gender-based violence and work together to maintain the harmony and progress in Taiwan.

Zonta Club of Brampton-Caledon engages leaders to support social media campaign during pandemic lockdown in Ontario

Due to being in lockdown through 21 December to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Zonta Club of Brampton-Caledon in Canada had to change their plans to engage in the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.

Canceling their poster campaign because of the lockdown, the club is posting on their social media accounts daily, focusing on gender-based violence and human trafficking.

Local leaders such as Caldeon Mayor Allan Thompson, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and the Peel Regional Police have participated in the social media campaign.

Zonta Club of Parma hosts virtual interview with TEDxAssisi speaker

The Zonta Club of Parma, Italy, organized an online interview with Sonia Montegiove, one of the 100 most influential women in the digital space, as part of its Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.

Topics included the gender pay gap, gender inequality and gender violence. Sonia was interviewed by Matilde Perego, third-year medical student at the University of Pavia, and Allegra Semenzato, third-year student at the International Relations and Organizations Faculty at Leiden University.

The interview was broadcasted via Facebook Live on 21 November.