Advocacy and Education

Chartered March 11, 1980
Member of Zonta International

Empowering Women Locally

Senate Bill 60 (Buyer Beware Act) signed into law

On February 5, 2020, PA Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 60 into law, which will further protect victims of human trafficking and increase the penalty for traffickers and patrons of trafficking victims. This bill is designed to combat human trafficking by targeting the root of the problem–the demand. The people who buy sex and utilize force labor fuel the industry, creating an unending line of revenue for traffickers. Legislation is needed to redirect punishment from the trafficking survivors to those who buy and sell them.

House Bill 315 (Female Mutilation) passes

In June, 2019, PA Governor Tom Wolf signed into law House Bill 315 that Representative Murt has submitted for many years making female mutilation a felony of the first degree (imprisonment up to 20 years and a fine not to exceed $25,000). This bill amends the Crimes Code by adding a new section 3132 called Female Mutilation and defines the offenses.

Representative Thomas Murt addresses the crowd at the Zonta Says NO to Domestic Violence rally in November 2019. He dilengently addressed this issue at each of our “Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women” rallys for six years.

Unchained At Last Rally

On June 26, 2019 Zonta members joined the Unchained At Last rally held at the Capitol to support an end to child marriage in the state. Executive Director Fraidy Reiss, who is a survivor of a forced marriage was the key speaker. Rep Jesse Topper introduced the bill in the House to raise the minimum age to marry to 18. Sen John Sabatina is the primary sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.

Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women & Children Rally

Each year for the past six years, the Zonta Club of Harrisburg-Hershey has held a rally at the State Capitol to recognize the International 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. The “Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women and Children” Rally was held this year on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at noon in the State Capitol Main Rotunda.

ZI encourages all Zonta Clubs to observe this activity throughout the world.

  • Zonta International believes no woman should live in fear of violence.
  • Zonta International believes we cannot achieve our mission of gender equality and empowering women without social justice.
  • Zonta International says “No” to child defilement.

Zonta International believes no woman should live in fear of violence. Zonta International believes we cannot achieve our mission of gender equality and empowering women without social justice. Zonta International says “No” to child defilement. On June 20, 2018, the House subcommittee that oversees U.S. Foreign Aid spending came out with its recommendation for the 2019 budget.  Soon after the Senate did the same, and we got everything we asked for.

In fact, the committees recommended an increase in funding the state department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Office (the nerve center of all U.S. anti-trafficking efforts), full funding for the Child Protection Compacts that the TIP Office overseas, and full funding for the Program to End Modern Slavery – the new funding account made possible by the passage of the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act.

The Safe Harbor Bill (SB 554) Passes

In October, 2018, The Safe Harbor Bill was passed by both PA houses and became law with PA Governor Tom Wolf’s signature.

Sponsored by Senator Greenleaf, The Safe Harbor Bill SB554 was created to provide immunity to sexually exploited juveniles and will treat them as victims instead of criminals.  It will provide these young girls services of restoration instead of incarceration. It protects juvenile victims from potential prosecution by diverting them into appropriate human service programs instead of the criminal justice system and establishes the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund. In turn, victims are now able to receive specialized trauma health care and therapy.

On December 4, 2017, Zonta members advocated for the passage of this bill.

The end of human trafficking is a cause that Zonta International has advocated for since 2002.

DVSCP Candlelight Vigil

October is Domestic Violence Month. Club members attend the annual candlelight vigil hosted by Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry County (DVSCP) at the Camp Hill Borough building. The posters represent the victims of domestic violence in the Cumberland and Perry counties.

The Zonta Club of Harrisburg-Hershey strives to reach out to other like-minded organizations to collaborate on projects or events. Those organizations are (but not limited to) Shalom House, Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry County (DVSCP), Greenlight Operation, She’s Somebody’s Daughter (SSD), Randi’s House of Angels, White Dove Domestic Violence Organization, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), the YWCA Carlisle & Greater Harrisburg and Unchained at Last.