'Day Without Violence' held on UA mall

By Heather M. Molina

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The last thing people tend to think about is violence until it happens to them.

In a combined effort with the Body Shop and the Women's Resource Center, Project Volunteer held the first National Day Without Violence on the UA Mall. The event, sponsored by the YWCA, was a part of the National Week Without Violence, Oct. 16 to 20. The purpose of the day was to raise awareness of violence and crime in the community.

"If everyone stops and thinks about violence for just one minute, it means we're all aware," said Project Volunteer student director Cliff Unger, an undeclared pre-med sophomore. Project Volunteer is a student organized program at the UA that offers student volunteers connections to different programs.

Activities included self-defense demonstrations, a forum of speakers on violence and solutions, law enforcement displays and a postcard signing. The signing is a campaign promoted by the Body Shop that sends postcards to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., urging the importance and support of the 1994 Crime Bill passing of the Violence Against Women Act.

The act's provisions include a national domestic violence hotline and shelters and community programs to address sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. It also calls for the provision of $1.6 billion in federal funding over six years, $306,650,000 of which is promised in the next fiscal year for programs to stop violence against women.

"Funding for the programs is in danger of being utterly gutted," said Claire Little, a religious studies junior and Body Shop volunteer. "The focus of the cards is to make sure funding isn't cut. The funding goes toward the helplines and shelters."

Along with providing self-defense demonstrations throughout the day, the Women's Resource Center was promoting National Take Back the Night 1995, an event that will take place Saturday, Oct. 21. The purpose of the event is to gain more awareness of the need of support in women's defense and to inform what both sexes can do to protect themselves.

Activities for the day will include a rally at 6 p.m. in Armory Park with performances by Mama Ritmo, Bloodhut Productions and singer/songwriter Kathleen Williamson, and a march through downtown Tucson at 7:30 p.m. There will be a post-march celebration with musical entertainment and self-defense demonstrations at Armory Park from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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