Thursday, 29 January 2009

Thursdays in Black: Auckland Sexual Abuse Help

I'm going to try to do a post most Thursdays about a local initiative aimed at raising awareness and combatting violence against women, inspired by the Thursdays in Black campaign.

What is Thursdays in Black? I'll let explain:
Thursdays in Black is an international event. It began as a grassroots response to rape and violence against women in Argentina in early 1970’s. During that time in Argentina, women were being raped, murdered, and disappearing in alarming numbers. In, response local feminist organizers begin organizing “Thursdays in Black” to raise awareness about the violence that women faced, and to put pressure on governmental officials to do more to stop the violence. Since those beginnings, Thursdays in Black has been taken up by communities in Bosnia, Israel, the Sudan, New Zealand and throughout Europe. It has more recently begun happening in the United States, mostly on college campuses.
Last year I was very fortunate to be asked to speak about our work here on ALAC's Lisa Advert at the AUSA relaunch of Thursdays in Black, which in Aotearoa has been organised historically via NZUSA and local students' associations. It was a very useful panel discussion, and one of the organisations present is the first I'm going to highlight in this series.

Auckland Sexual Abuse Help
(aka ASAH or Help) runs a preschool safety education programme known as "We can keep safe", alongside their many other services such as a 24 hour crisis and rape call out service (phone 09 623 1700).

We Can Keep Safe runs in the Auckland area:
Developed in 1995 after extensive consultation with experts in the field of child sexual abuse, the programme is run by two facilitators who use drama, games, songs, role playing, story telling and puppetry to engage children and their caregivers. The curriculum is taught in a logical, lively and engaging manner which encourages consistent messages in the home and classroom.
To find out more about the We Can Keep Safe programme, or to book it for your preschool centre, you can call ASAH on 09 623 1700.

And organisations like ASAH are always in need of support. You can
find out more about offering your help, be it a donation, a bequest, voluntary work, or even a job, here.

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