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The Zonta Club of Burbank hopes to shed light on gender violence

The Zonta Club of Burbank is trying to help shed light on violence against women and girls from communities around the world and to put an end to it.

This past Saturday, the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign kicked off worldwide. Groups such as the Zonta Club, Rutgers University and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women use the 16 days between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and International Human Rights Day to discuss how violence against women is a human rights issue.

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To show its solidarity to the cause, Burbank City Hall will be illuminated with orange lights throughout the 16 days, said Nickie Bonner, a past president of the Zonta Club of Burbank.

"We're trying to do locally what we can do to advocate for the larger global campaign," Bonner said.

She said the campaign is more important than ever, especially during the recent uptick in women in the media industry, Washington, D.C. and various businesses who have come forward with sexual assault allegations against men they have worked for or alongside.

"What recent events are showing us is that gender violence is more widespread than any of us could have realized," Bonner said. "What it's proving is that it cuts across countries and society in general."

Bonner said the campaign is relevant in Burbank because these allegations can occur anywhere. She said she hopes the awareness brought forward during these 16 days gives those affected by gender violence the courage and strength to speak up.

"When we draw attention to this in Burbank, we are hopefully empowering women and men to be voice their experiences, to advocate for each other, to be more aware of gender violence and how we all need to be supporting each other in this cause and not just imagining that it's someone else's problem or that it happens somewhere else, because it doesn't," Bonner said.

Twitter: @acocarpio

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