1. Expand your knowledge about violence issues. Get familiar with organizations in your community that provide assistance and resources on issues such as domestic violence, hate crimes and other forms of violence so you will know where to turn if you or someone you know ever needs help.
2. Become an online activist on issues like violence against women by signing up for the YWCA online advocacy network newsletter.
3. Take action to ensure federal, state and local funding for programs that prevent violence against women.
4. Make a donation to help fund activities like the YWCA Week Without Violence.
5. Share the YWCA Week Without Violence link and resources on social media.
6. Donate an old cell phone to a local domestic violence shelter or ask your cell phone provider if they collect phones for victims of domestic violence.
7. Volunteer at a local domestic violence shelter.
8. Have a moment of silence to reflect on the ways that violence impacts you life and those around you.
• Start a "Volunteers Against Domestic Violence" night. Create a volunteer group that meets to help your local YWCA with its domestic violence prevention efforts. The group can meet at your local YWCA weekly or monthly for an hour or two. Focus on short activities like sorting clothing and other items donated to your local shelter, handing out flyers about domestic violence services in the community, posting hotline numbers in the bathrooms at local bars or restaurants, and knitting items for shelter residents.
• Have a “must see TV” night at your local YWCA. Provide popcorn and snacks to guests. Make the star of your evening television programming that is violence-free.
• Work with a local coffee shop or café that regularly hosts performers to host an open-mike night to benefit an anti-violence program in your community. Donate the money collected at the door to go to a domestic violence program, a racial justice program addressing hate crimes and racial profiling, or a sexual assault hotline. Publicize the event on a nearby college campus, on the web, through social media, in your local paper and at your local YWCA.
• Engage your peers and colleagues by starting a dialogue about the prevalence of violence and how it impacts them and the community at large. One simple but creative way to get the conversation started is by posting large pieces of paper in a community or staff room so that staff, volunteers, and community members can express their feelings about violence on this “living wall.” Provide markers, crayons and other art supplies so participants can draw pictures or write messages that address the issue of violence.
• Offer trainings and workshops on violence prevention and education to members of the faith community.
• Organize a free self-defense workshop for teenage girls and women. If your community does not have an established self-defense instructor, ask a representative of a local law enforcement agency to collaborate with a martial arts instructor on providing safety tips and moves.
• Host a brown bag lunch for working women to provide an open forum to discuss violence in the workplace and prevention techniques.
• Remember those who have lost their lives to violence and schedule a No More Violence! March. Hand out YWCA brochures, flyers about your domestic violence, racial justice and sexual assault services, and a list of your week without violence activities.
• Host a special class for your YWCA youth program on online safety. Discuss issues like cyber stalking, and cyber bullying. Have the teens talk about their online activities and their time spent on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and online dating sites and blogs. Provide tips on what information is okay to post and what isn’t.
All women, regardless of class, ability, age, race, ethnicity, education, immigration status, sexual orientation, and religion are affected by violence. Across the country and in our nation’s capitol, advocates and elected officials are working to prevent and end violence against women. By passing legislation that aims to assist survivors in rebuilding their lives, to funding important programs that help survivors heal, hold perpetrators accountable and aim to prevent violence before it starts, these advocates are working tirelessly to affect change on this important issue. Stand with these women and men -- say enough to violence against women, sexual assault, hate crimes, racial profiling and all forms of violence.
Take action and help prevent and end violence against women and girls! Click here to send a message to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator.