V-Day, Women's Rights, World

This is my stint for the Katrina Relief Effort

Everyone has their own personal interest about who to save or who to support to give money to at a time like this. Personally, I think those affected by the hurricane need any help they can get. And so do the starving Africans. And the stampeded Iraqi’s. And the…oh the list goes on. But here’s my plug in for the Katrina victims –the folks left out to dry, while Bush let them swim– thanks to notification from Vday.

Many of you are reading news and other reports about rapes in the Superdome and other areas, and you share our growing concern for the safety of women and girls in the region. During a time like this, when violence often escalates, everyday services for women and girls who have experienced violence come to a stand still, or possibly no longer exist.

Following Hurricane Andrew in Miami, spousal abuse calls to the local community helpline increased by 50%. The Missouri floods of 1993 saw the average state turn-away rate at shelters rise 111% over the preceding year and an overall 400% increase in need for services.

With the help of our friends at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) we learned that sexual assault services in the gulf region are at risk. There are thirty-six rape crisis centers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and they need your support. They need to repair buildings, relocate survivors, help families, and continue working with survivors of violence.

In addition, thousands of women and children fleeing domestic violence have been evacuated from shelters in the gulf coast region. Several domestic violence shelters have been completely destroyed. The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) states that all direct services for survivors of domestic violence have been suspended. LCADV has received reports of women being battered by their partners in the emergency shelters set up since the hurricane and many women are afraid to register with the Red Cross for fear of being found by their abusive partners. Thousands of displaced women and children who were seeking refuge in now demolished shelters require urgent assistance.

As a V-Day supporter, we know that in a time like this you too think of the immense need for aid in the region, and also specifically the aid needed to keep women safe.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to sexual assault and domestic violence survivors in the region. CALCASA’s Hurricane Relief Fund and The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Emergency Relief Fund will be distributed to sexual assault and domestic violence coalitions and centers in areas most impacted by the hurricane.

California Coalition Against Sexual Assault Hurricane Relief Fund(Hurricane Relief Fund link on front page)

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Emergency Relief Fund(Emergency Relief Fund link on front page; indicate “Emergency Relief Fund” under the section “Would you like to make your donation a tribute to someone special?” on the online donation form.)