Zonta members Christine Cobb, left, and Bev Burton show some of the many Christmas gifts the Zonta Club of Corry is donating to Safe Journey for victims of domestic violence.
Erie County Public Defender Nicole Kondrlik, left, and Assistant District Attorney Rob Ferguson, who heads the Erie County Domestic Violence unit, spoke about domestic violence at the November meeting of the Zonta Club of Corry.
Zonta Club of Corry observes 16 Days of Activism
Members of the Zonta Club of the Corry Area replaced political signs with a new yard sign in about 15 places throughout the Corry area for a few important days.
Those signs read “Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women.” They were displayed by members of the Zonta Club of the Corry Area from Nov. 25 through Dec. 10. During this time, known as 16 Days of Activism, Zonta clubs worldwide focused on ending gender-based violence in all its forms.
As members of Zonta International, the Zonta Club of the Corry Area works year-round to support Zonta’s mission of “empowering women through service and advocacy.”
The main goal of Zonta International’s advocacy is eliminating gender-based violence against women. That advocacy includes observing 16 Days of Activism, which focuses on “Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women, Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy.”
The campaign’s goal is to get more people to not look away but to speak up and act. Through a multitude of events, projects and advocacy efforts, Zonta clubs and members around the world are dedicated to ending gender-based violence.
Connie Cooper is the president of the Zonta Club of the Corry Area. She said the club has set a goal to raise awareness of, and take action to prevent, gender-based violence during 16 Days of Activism.
Cooper posed daily messages highlighting the issues surrounding and actions you can take toward ending violence against women and girls. She asked followers to ‘like’ and ‘share’ every day to spread the message.”
You can view the page, join the campaign to end violence against women, and share the messages by going to Facebook.com/Zonta Club of Corry.
Cooper said, locally, the Zonta Club of Corry supports the efforts of Safe Journey – a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse, and its affiliate, Purple One – both financially and with service projects.
“Specifically, during 16 Days of Activism, the members of the Zonta Club of Corry donate Christmas gift bags filled with essential items to be given to women and children in shelters who are fleeing domestic violence with the hope of bringing a little joy to their world during the holidays,” Cooper said.
During the club’s Nov. 16 meeting, guest speakers were Erie County Assistant District Attorney Rob Ferguson, who heads up the county Domestic Violence unit, and Erie County Public Defender Nicole Sloane Kondrlik. They spoke about the domestic violence program, including what police officers do when they respond to a domestic call, and services available to victims and offenders. Feguson said, though domestic abuse cases are down overall in Erie County compared to previous years, there are still repeat offenders and repeat victims.
The Corry Zonta club also volunteers for Shower the Shelter, when members ask the community to donate essential items to Safe Journey for victims of domestic abuse.
Violence against women and girls threatens countries, inhibits economic progress, and prevents women from contributing to their community and creating better lives for themselves and their families, according to Zonta International.
Cooper said the Zonta Club of Corry is more than willing to join in the effort to halt violence against women and girls.
“I am proud of the women in our local club who selflessly give and advocate so others can have a better life,” Cooper said. “The need is great in our local community, and we are here to help in any way we can.”
In addition to Cooper, officers of the Corry club are Marie Zamiska, second vice president; Reva Lowry, treasurer; Maryann Mook, secretary; and board members Barb Diehl and Donna VanTassel. The office of first vice president is vacant.