NOW President Patricia Ireland, center, joined Alaka Paul, of Asian Women Self Help Association, left, and author Charlotte Fedders at a forum on domestic violence sponsored by Takoma Park NOW.

Takoma Park (Md.) NOW

On October 9, Takoma Park NOW sponsored "Domestic Violence: A Community's Problem . . . A Community Solution." This forum brought NOW activists together with service providers and survivors of domestic violence to talk about the epidemic of violence in our homes. Robin Abb, chair of the Takoma Park NOW Anti-Violence Task Force said, "The goals of the conference were to educate the community about the resources in Takoma Park for victims of abuse, to increase public awareness of domestic violence and to network with different members of the community. I was pleased to see representation from many communities in Takoma Park."

Speakers included Patricia Ireland, president of NOW; Charlotte Fedders, author of Shattered Dreams; Alaka Paul, Asian Women Self Help Association; Jean MacLeod, Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence; Robert Phillips, chief of the Takoma Park Police Department; and Teresa Bevin, Montgomery County Crisis Center. A local cable station taped the program and continues to broadcast it.

San Diego (CA) NOW

In the midst of an intense Elect Women for a Change campaign, San Diego NOW found time to confront the racism, homophobia and sexism of the right wing on Halloween night. A local church, the Potter's House of Christian Fellowship, sponsored an annual haunted house graphically portraying events such as a gang rape and a medically and ethically inaccurate abortion. Unsuspecting visitors saw stereotypical portrayals of women as victims, an African-American woman as a voodoo queen and Latinos as gang rapists.

San Diego NOW members picketed outside the church, carrying signs uncovering the true horrors of this haunted house. Affiliates of at least two major networks covered chapter president Jennifer Coburn's remarks exposing the church's right wing scare tactics.

Nassau NOW (NY)

Two years ago, members of Nassau NOW planted a tree outside of the local courthouse to remember the women who have been victims of violence. This October, Nassau NOW chose that site to launch "Moving Toward a Non-Violent Future," a 10K walk- and wheel-a-thon.

The day culminated in a rally where Patricia Ireland, Norma Grill, New York congressional challenger and Karen Burstein, candidate for New York attorney general, spoke about the importance of working to stop violence against women. The money raised will help support the battered women's shelter, lobbying efforts and education around the issue of violence against women.

Lincoln (NE) NOW

On November 10, Lincoln NOW sponsored "Imagine Beyond Red," an evening designed to motivate listeners to take action to end violence against women. The University of Nebraska's Multi-Cultural Center provided the setting for folk songs, poetry and education about violence against women. Between performances, organizers projected slides bearing the statistics on violence against women.

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