Category Archive: Advocacy

  1. Greater Miami Says NO!!

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    Greater Miami Club set up a display at Cutler Bay Library for the 16 days of “Zonta Says No” activism. We pinned ribbons on library patrons and distributed Zonta brochures and domestic violence information received from the Coordinated Victim Assistance Center.


  2. Tallahassee Says NO!

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    Zonta Club of Tallahassee, Florida, USA members Michelle Wilson, Judy Bishop and Peggy Allen show support for survivors of domestic violence at the Refuge House Vigil. The display showed the comfort packs they prepare every year for over 100 victims of sexual violence in Leon County.

  3. Zonta Club of Columbia – Silent Witness

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    Observing the 18th annual Silent Witness ceremony, wooden silhouettes represent the women and men who have died due to domestic violence in 2014. The 40 silhouettes represent 29 known female victims, 10 known male victims and one for those victims of whom we are not aware. This program is sponsored by the SC Attorney General’s Office.
    Marion Watson and Judy Barnes
    Marion Watson and Judy Barnes, Columbia Club holding a silhouette
    Marion and Judy with SC Attorney General
    Marion and Judy with SC Attorney General, Alan Wilson

  4. Savannah’s Initiative to Fight Sex Trafficking

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    The Zonta Club of Savannah and its President, JoAnne Garcia-Melendez, were thanked publicly for their help throughout this Initiative. President Garcia-Melendez remained available 24/7 for 5 months as a resource for the offices of the Georgia Attorney General and the Mayor of Savannah. She and the Zonta members managed picking up and serving meals to law enforcement daily, for each of the 12 Police training classes offered during the week of September 14th. They also handled registration and check-in for the October 26th event, as well as provided refreshments. The Zonta Club of Savannah, in 2008, was the first organization in Savannah to publicly address the issue of Human Trafficking.

  5. Zonta Club of Tallahassee promotes workplace violence awareness

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    The Zonta Club of Tallahassee is urging all employers to develop workplace policies against domestic violence and sexual assault.

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    Karl Etters
    Democrat staff writer 

    A local chapter of an international women’s organization is urging all employers to develop workplace policies against domestic violence and sexual assault. The Zonta Club of Tallahassee pushed its message on Tuesday, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the federal Violence Against Women Act. Club members were joined by representatives from county and city government, top officials at Florida A&M and Florida State universities and Tallahassee Community College, private sector businesses and the legal community for a discussion about awareness of domestic and workplace violence and options in assisting victims. Sooni Raymaker, Zonta Club of Tallahassee’s president, said Tuesday’s event was about promoting a culture of workplace violence policies and programs to help employees with domestic violence issues.

    “As with anything with violence against women, or violence generally against citizens, is becoming more and more prevalent,” Raymaker said. “There are victims of violence they’ve been suffering in silence and this is to raise awareness of that and get them assistance.”

    Raymaker added that employees with domestic issues often affect productivity in the workplace through absenteeism, others having to share in work responsibilities and a feeling of insecurity in the workplace. It is estimated that domestic and workplace violence cost U.S. businessesalmost $36 billion annually.

    “If there is a workplace that will support a victim of violence, you will have a better return on your productivity, it’s a safer environment and it’s economic security for the victim,” she said.

    Domestic and workplace violence is not limited to women, said lawyer Robin Hassler Thompson, who specializes in violence against women issues. “So even though we talk about women being victims,” Thompson said, “we know that men are victims in same-sex relationships and in heterosexual relationships but at a much smaller percentage.”

    Thompson said one in three women will become victims of domestic violence and one in five female students will be a victim of rape. With three major institutions and more than 65,000 students in Tallahassee undefined FSU, FAMU and TCC undefined those numbers are alarming, she said.

    Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare President and CEO Mark O’Bryant said the hospital sees about 125,000 domestic violence cases a year, but few patients seek assistance after their initial visit. The effects of domestic violence can linger and have an effect on quality of life.

    “We oftentimes think of the immediate (physical) impact, but there is the whole lingering effect of secondary conditions,” including behavioral, emotional and mental health, O’Bryant said.

    “When we talk about domestic violence and the impact that has on emotional health, we need to recognize that we cannot have a high quality of life without embracing this issue and addressing it in a very proactive way,” O’Bryant added.

    The Zonta Club is an international women’s organization focused on improving the status of women and girls and holds a seat on the United Nation’s High Commission on the Status of Women.

    The Tallahassee chapter has worked with the city and county in developing their workplace violence policies and implementing programs for employees experiencing domestic violence.

    The fight to end violence takes the involvement of large community, Raymaker said.

    “It’s not just one voice,” she said. “We have 38,000 members so we think advocating change takes an entire community and with that many voices and many more voices joining we can effectuate change.”

    “If there is a workplace that will support a victim of violence, you will have a better return on your productivity, it’s a safer environment and it’s economic security for the victim.” 

    SOONI RAYMAKER, Zonta Club of Tallahassee

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  6. Dothan Eagle Letter to the Editor

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    Zonta Club of Dothan fights abuse of women
    Zonta Club Logo_Horizontal_Color_DOTHAN AREA

    Letter: Zonta fights abuse of women
    Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014 3:54 am

    I would like to commend those involved in the recent conviction of the human trafficking suspect. Until my daughter attended a Passion conference in Atlanta three years ago, I had never heard the term “human trafficking.” While I learned some about it then and though the stories were horrific, I still thought this slavery was a crime mostly perpetrated in large U.S. cities and in other countries. I wanted to believe that surely our lovely community in and around Houston County was not implicated in this tragic epidemic.

    Then I joined the Zonta Club of Dothan. As an organization whose mission is to advance the status of women, we give time and resources to serve alongside several local groups that help women and girls as well as to participate in health and advocacy projects directly benefiting females globally through Zonta International (

    During a recent community meeting sponsored by LIA Ministries on trafficking, I was shocked out of my rose-colored world to learn that we have opportunities here in the Wiregrass to battle the evil of human trafficking. It is easy to be naïve about this ugly truth; however, recent arrests in Geneva County prove this is happening right here. As my daughter heard at the conference, I pose the question to our citizens, “If you saw human trafficking, would you do anything to end it?” I do see it now, and that’s why I, along with thousands around the world, am convicted, committed, and courageously supporting the “Zonta Says No” campaign to eliminate violence against women–

    Obviously, our law enforcement team made sure that justice was swift and firm in Houston County. Hopefully, their tough action sends the message that abuse of girls and women will not be tolerated here.

    Sandi Hodge

  7. Zonta Says NO! Announcement

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    Dear District 11 Zontians,

    As clubs and districts struggle with how we say NO, the Zonta club of Galati County Romania (District 30) has created “Peace Is In Our Hands” project. Zontians from around the world can join in and with our hands, just say No to violence against women.

    Yours in Zonta,
    Cherry Temple, Zonta Club of Myrtle Beach

    The following was posted by Corina Drujescu of the Galati club on the Zonta International LinkedIn group:


    “We can’t and mustn’t ignore the fact: violence against women and girls is still pervasive in all kinds of countries and societies. It’s in our back yard. Zonta International has been committed to its prevention and eradication for many years. In 2013, as the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women focuses on fighting violence against women, we support the initiative with “Zonta Says NO”, a worldwide campaign saying no to violence against women. Do not look away. Join us!”
    Zonta International President Lynn McKenzie

    “PEACE IS IN OUR HANDS” – Starting today 17th APRIL 2013

    The Invitation to support the campaign to end violence against women


    The hands – represent non-violence to all life. Hands are a strong symbol of power and energy in the interaction between people. Symbolism of hands is extremely important because it can help us understand the deep level gestures and analyze them from a whole new perspective.
    Shoot your hands, complete the form and send us an email on until 31th july 2013. This is the soft power way to show the world that we are part of the communion of Zonta International. The photos and forms specifying the name, age, occupation and nationality, (area, district etc.) are listed in the end of the project in a special book-CD (film).
    * Participants in the project will send their form, complete with pen and signed in respective fields. Pictures are by donation project.


    Together, we can make a difference in the lives of women and girls in our local communities and around the world!

    Clubs participate in the fight to end violence against women

    Zonta clubs and Z and Golden Z clubs are finding unique ways to put a spotlight on the issue of violence against women in their local communities. Below are a few examples of what clubs are doing to focus on the issue. To see what other Zonta and Z and Golden Z clubs are doing, please visit or the Zonta Says NO Facebook page. I also encourage you to share your club’s story on how you are making a difference in the fight to end violence against women and girls!

    Zonta Says NO campaign ribbons and wristbands are now available via the Zonta Store. You can also download templates for Zonta Says NO banners directly from the Zonta Says NO website. Please share these resources with your clubs.

    District and Club Participation

    16 out of 32 districts have participated in the Zonta Says NO campaign so far. Districts 12 and 13 have the most participation with three submissions each. Keep up the great work!