Empowering Communities to End Violence Against Women

By Lara Pukatch
Senior Global Development Manager, Women Thrive Worldwide

It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed when you realize that one in three women worldwide will experience violence at some point during her lifetime. Or to feel powerless when you hear about the use of rape as a tool of control and humiliation in the Syrian civil war or the consistent violence against young girls living as child slaves in Haiti.

But these horrifying statistics and anecdotes are only one side of the story – the other side is one of resounding hope.

What will it take to end violence against women and girls?

By Allison Dearing
Campus Coordinator, Crisis Center’s Rape Response Program
Submitted by the YWCA Central Alabama

Allison Dearing

Allison Dearing

In the age of tweeting and information-at-my-fingertips, I have to admit: I still love a good bumper sticker. Recently, sitting in my car at a red light, bumper stickers on two separate cars caught my attention. To my left, the sticker asked, “Got Hope?” The sticker on the car in front of me simply stated, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” It struck me, sitting there waiting for the light to change… do I really have hope that peace will ever prevail?

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: A Call to Change our Culture

By Rick Azzaro, LCSW, Chief Services Officer
YWCA York

In a time of broad and pervasive disagreement on a variety of social issues, most of us agree that all forms of sexual violence are despicable. Most of us are not rapists or child sexual predators. Most of us don’t believe that we will be a victim of sexual assault. We also don’t believe our family or friends will fall prey.

Yet all of us will know a victim, and all of us are susceptible to the influence of a rape culture in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices and media excuse, tolerate or even condone sexual violence.

We are barraged by media voyeurism in which the coach molests boys, the high school students rape a girl, the clergy molest and cover up, the college turns a blind eye to rape accusations, the scout leader is indicted, and politicians state that pregnancy does not result from rape or sexual assault does not happen on our college campuses.

The names change and we witness it all once again.