Keeping Ashland Women Safe Task Force is working in the community in numerous ways. Our overarching mission is to inspire and ignite community involvement so that individually and as a community the message is loud and clear: Zero Tolerance for Violence, Not In Our City.
This brings the question: “What is our individual and community responsibility to one another.” We hold events of deep dialogue with Women as well as Women and Men together to discuss the aspects of roles that are changing and emotions, experiences, insights and agreements.
Please see our Mission and Vision Statements below.
We envision a world—starting with our local community—where women and all people are safe and free from violence in all its forms, including physical, sexual, and verbal assault, harassment, and unwanted attention.
We envision a robust culture of compassion and empowerment where people care for each other appropriately, are mindful of one another’s wellbeing, and work together to create an environment of peace, kindness, and mutual respect.
K.A.W.S. pursues its vision within our local community in the following ways:1) Via its website and select events, as a curator and disseminator of essential information regarding the various resources available within our local community that serve the needs of women and others as it relates to their:
A) Proactive awareness and preparedness regarding their safety and wellbeing
B) Ability to respond and connect with organizations, agencies, and systems that assist women and others in the event of violence of physical, sexual, and verbal assault, harassment, and unwanted attention they or those they care about may have been subjected to.
2) By collaborating with other organizations and agencies to coordinate, co-sponsor, and provide available resources for training, awareness campaigns, publicity, promotions, and other activities that generate support and empower women and others in need of such assistance.
While K.A.W.S. is not a first responder, the organization gratefully acknowledges, salutes, and provides vital information on our website regarding the efforts of those who do provide such valuable services to the community.
We have also been instrumental in an expanded brochure of information given to all who report sexual assault.
An ongoing physical survey of Ashland is in place that we initiated wherein Women tell us areas of the city that they are experiencing problems such as being followed or harassed, or where they feel unsafe due to lack of lighting or other reasons. We forward this information to APD who then acts to find out what may be done such as extra patrols or contacting the city or owners of private parking areas.
We are developing relationships with our city officials such as City Council, Representatives and Oregon Senators in order to bring the importance of safety and equality for Women and lobby for funding to help cure the space shortage problems in the jails, plea bargaining as well as changes to the city that will help further the safety of Women. Changes to legislature is another important aspects of our task force in order to create a more just system for Women.
We work with local businesses for improved safety measures, bring empowerment trainings to the Women of Ashland. We are in the process of expanding the resources for these trainings, as well as trauma recovery professionals and other safety prevention and response trainings, and with with leaders in the culture changing fields. While we want all Women to walk in confidence and enjoy the wonderful life in this special city, we believe that increased awareness and empowerment is key to this, for knowledge is power.