FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TOPEKA – YWCA Northeast Kansas is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. For more than 20 years, the second week in October has been dedicated to a Week Without Violence. Week Without Violence is part of a global movement to end violence against women and girls. YWCA Northeast Kansas joins many other YWCA’s across the nation and world to bring awareness to these issues during the week of October 13 – 19, 2019.
This year, the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment is heralding the message “Gender Justice is Social Justice.” Domestic violence is often thought of as an issue that women in abusive relationships experience behind closed doors, but we recognize that anyone—regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and geographic location—can experience power and control in relationships. “We believe that by fighting for gender justice, we are fighting for all social justice,” says YWCA CEO Kathleen Marker. “The entire community is negatively impacted by violence in relationships, and we are demanding an end.”
The week of public events begins on October 14 when YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment collaborates with the Yellow Ribbon Club of Wabaunsee High School in Alma, Kansas to provide education about the relationship between suicide and domestic violence, as well as teen dating violence. Student volunteers from the FCCLA and partners from the YWCA will also paint the windows of local establishments in downtown Alma that afternoon to acknowledge the Week Without Violence and increase domestic violence awareness in the area.
On Wednesday, October 16, YWCA Northeast Kansas is hosting its quarterly Fall Network Lunch at the YWCA Dining Room at 225 SW 12th Street. Jay Pryor, a transgender person, will be speaking about intimate partner violence in LGBTQ relationships. This event begins at 11:45 AM and costs $12 for lunch ($10 for YWCA contributors). Register here.
At 5:30 PM on Wednesday, October 16, the public is also invited to join a Washburn University psychology class to view the movie “I, Tonya,” followed by a panel discussion. The movie follows the story of Tonya Harding, the Olympic figure skater with a complicated history of domestic violence. This event is free and will include complimentary refreshments and pizza.
YWCA Northeast Kansas is teaming up with Iron Rail Brewing to host “Still A Fan: a Pre-Game Panel Discussion about the NFL and Domestic Violence” prior to the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos football game. This event will take place on Thursday, October 17 at 6:00 PM at the Iron Rail Brewing tap room. Recognizing that major league sports organizations could respond more effectively to intimate partner violence, this event will be exploring how participants can be advocates against domestic violence while also being sports fans. Attendees will receive a YWCA pint glass.
The annual Week Without Violence March and Rally will take place at noon on Friday, October 18, with special guest speaker Governor Laura Kelly. The rally will start at the South Steps of the Kansas State Capitol followed by a march lead by the Highland Park High School marching band to the YWCA Northeast Kansas offices. Upon arrival, the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department will grill and serve free hot dogs to attendees. This is a family friendly event and the public is encouraged to attend during their lunch break for this important cause.
The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, formerly the Battered Women Task Force, has provided vitally important services to victims of sexual and domestic violence for over 40 years. Services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, court advocacy, public education, and case management. The organization provides services to thousands of survivors each year, providing direct services to over 3,000 survivors, taking over 2,500 hotline calls and sheltering over 300 women, men and children annually. Find out more about how to get involved in our mission: https://www.ywcaneks.org
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the 24-hour crisis line: 1-888-822-2983
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