The National Organization for Women’s Safety Awareness, Inc. (“NOWSA”), a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, helps prevent violence against women and teens by raising awareness about sexual assault and other forms of violence while promoting personal safety through education and by creating and advancing violence prevention and safety initiatives.The NOWSA reaches out to individuals, civic and corporate partners, schools, colleges, universities, public safety departments and government agencies and encourages them to help promote the message that sexual assault and other violence against women and teens must not be tolerated. The NOWSA asks them to become our “Voices for a Cause®”.
The NOWSA also gives victims of sexual assault and violence a forum where they can “Be a Voice” and share their personal stories of tragedy and triumph in an effort to help build confidence and self esteem in themselves and others.
Here’s an example why “Voices” matter:
“I have decided to share my story to regain a sense of control over myself and the reality of the incident that occurred. I want everyone to know that they should not be embarrassed to say they have been a victim of a sexual assault because sharing their story can help others. I also tell my story with the hope of inspiring other women to seek help and let them know that they are not alone. The act of sharing and telling is an act of empowerment, a way to reassert control over my life. My name is Randi. I was a victim and now I am a Voice”
Women and Teens have the inalienable right to live violence free lives. Individuals and communities everywhere must take responsibility and take action to help maintain this fundamental freedom.
During her reign as Mrs. New York America 2006, and continuing as Mrs. New York International 2009, Lidia Szczepanowski-Goldsmith, Esq., has spoken to thousands of women regarding her chosen pageant platform, “Women’s Safety Awareness.” Having over a decade of martial arts training and holding a black belt in karate, Lidia educates women on how to avoid being the victim of a crime while also teaching them how to physically defend themselves if necessary. She heard story after story, from one woman after another, about how they were the subject of sexual assaults, robberies, rapes and other physical crimes, many of which were never reported or disclosed. She also saw first hand the destructive personal, social, and economic consequences these crimes had on their victims.
It was clear that something dramatic and significant needed to be done in an effort to help prevent these crimes from happening to our daughters, our mothers, our wives and women everywhere. Being the victim of a sexual assault herself at the age of thirteen, Lidia wanted to share her personal experiences and her martial arts acumen to teach women how to stay safe while inspiring them to be self-aware, self-confident, and be the best they can be. The NOWSA was born from this vision.
The NOWSA’s goal is simple – to help prevent crime and violence against women of all ages and from all walks of life.
We accomplish this by raising awareness about women’s safety issues while stressing the importance of prevention through education and when necessary, the use of defensive measures.
The NOWSA is working towards establishing a network of organizations including various civic and corporate partners, public schools, colleges, universities, public safety departments and government agencies, that will promote women’s safety awareness in many different ways, such as through speaking engagements and seminars, campaigns, internet programs and other events. Our audience includes women of all ages, with a focus on our youth.
Our key objective is to sponsor, fund or otherwise subsidize the costs of these women’s safety awareness and other educational programs in an effort to decrease and ultimately prevent crimes against women and to implement services that will help women who were the unfortunate victims of crime.
Another goal of the NOWSA is to fund other women’s safety awareness related activities, such as the distribution of informational and resource materials while advocating education, prevention, and self-protection.
Almost everyday we pick up the morning paper and shudder when we read about the young woman who was physically assaulted in the local mall parking or at her school, or the 85 year old great grandmother who was attacked in the street right in front of her apartment. Sometimes we read the entire article but other times we just skip over the story because the facts are all too familiar and we’ve heard them before.
Although achievements addressing violence and crime against women have been forthcoming, these efforts are not nearly enough. The NOWSA is making great strides to expand the availability of women’s safety awareness training to women of all ages, particularly women under the age of 18, and to develop strategies to engage all persons within our communities including individuals, corporations, men and boys, parents, and survivors, as active participants in this work. We support strategies that engage community residents in activities to change behavior in government, institutions, or within their own communities.
So what’s next in the work to end crimes and violence against women? The NOWSA believes change can occur through:
- Grassroots activism and programs addressing a more significant prevention agenda towards ending crimes against women
- New concepts for community awareness where community members and leaders are more involved in a societal response to violence against women and in its prevention
- Addressing the non-violent majority of individuals including men and boys as critical partners in the equation to end violence against women in all its forms
Help spread the word about the NOWSA and its many types of Voices For A Cause:
If you have a blog or website, link to us
Learn more about volunteer opportunities by sending an e-mail to info@theNOWSA.org.
The National Organization for Women’s Safety Awareness (the NOWSA) is not affiliated in any way with the “National Organization for Women” or the “Network of Women Students of Australia”.