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The problem of violence too close to home for many

By Trish Snyder

For the past five years, I have been a volunteer with the San Miguel Walk Against Domestic Violence. Lots of friends have asked, “Why would you give up so much of your free time for such hard work?” My usual response was, “I don’t quilt.” That would get a laugh and then I’d ask for a donation and invite them to volunteer. But as of last week, I can’t make a joke of why I am involved. Last week I met my first child victim and I can’t get her innocent face out of my mind.

10th annual San Miguel Walk Against Violence Sendoff
Wed, Jan 23, 2pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
Phone 121-0612 for details

The San Miguel Walk Against Domestic Violence committee is comprised of Mexican, Canadian and American men and women. We hand out brochures, sell No Mas Violencia caps and collect donations from friends and family to benefit the domestic violence program at CASA. For the 10th year, we will walk as a bona fide group of one of the most significant and grueling pilgrimages in Mexico – the Caminata a San Juan de los Lagos. As thousands of pilgrims depart the Jardin at 5:30am each January 24, we are right there with them. The pilgrims walk to pay homage to the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos who is particularly known for bestowing miracles for women and children. We walk to spread the word of No Mas Violencia.

While the pilgrims walk for nine days, our volunteers will walk for just seven kilometers. A team of young people from CASA will walk for three days.

The problem of violence towards women and girls worldwide is huge. The facts in Mexico are staggering. According to Dr. Aurora del Río with Mexico’s Health Ministry, sexual assaults are rampant:

-13 percent of Mexican women have been sexually abused as a child.

-22 percent have experienced sexual abuse in their lifetimes.

-6 percent of women have been raped.

The World Health Organization states that 60 percent of Mexican women have been victims of domestic violence.

The personal stories are heartbreaking.

-An eight-year-old girl raped by her cousin while they were at their grandmother’s house

-A mother and her eight children had to flee their home in the middle of the night and couldn’t return for three months.

-A friend’s housekeeper had no choice but to go home after work. She had to protect her three children from their violent father.

Where do these people go for help? The answer is CASA, a 31-year-old grassroots, youth-driven organization that serves 80,000 people a year.

Our goal is to raise US$30,000 that will be matched by US$20,000 from four generous women who are part of the CASA Investor Network. US$50,000 will completely support the Previolencia program – including three psychologists, legal assistance, medical services, emergency shelter, travel, workshop and training materials – everything. CASA provides these services at no charge because these victims have few resources.


How can you get involved?

-Come to the Teatro Santa Ana on Wednesday, January 23 at 2pm to sign up for the Walk and drop off your donation. US checks to San Miguel CASA, Inc.; Canadian checks to Amistad Canada. Cash donations also accepted. A program is planned including short films from the Guanajuato Film Festival; walk bandanas for all donations; and a complimentary margarita or soft drink.

-Click on the link and make your donation online.

Drop off your donation in an envelope marked San Miguel Walk at La Conexion, Aldama 3.

Call CASA at 154-6060 for information in Spanish; call Trish at 121-0612 for information in English.


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