The Vermont Cynic

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Period drive to give products to women

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April is Sexual Violence Awareness month, and this year, women are helping other women provide for their reproductive health.  

Junior Alicia Gusan, in collaboration with community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, has been collecting boxes of tampons, pads and other products to drop off to the Women Helping Battered Women shelter.

Women Helping Battered Women is a community organization that provides legal advocacy for women who have been victims of sexual or domestic violence. It also provides a support shelter in an anonymous location for women to escape dangerous situations, according to the organization’s website.

They supply donated products to women without access to these products. Gusan, an SGA member, was in charge of running the drive.

“I read an article stating that for a lot of homeless women on their period, their budget gives them a choice between either a box of tampons or their next meal,” she said.

While both are a necessity, food tends to take precedence, but not using feminine hygiene products still leaves a woman feeling physically uncomfortable, she said.

She also found out the Women Helping Battered Women shelter frequently runs out of feminine hygiene products due to such a high demand, and wanted to address this problem by giving homeless women more access, Gusan said.

“This will give homeless women the ability to feel good about themselves and help move someone forward,” said junior Daniella Simpatico. “I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be to do something like go to work or go to a job interview but not feel confident because I don’t have access to a basic necessity.”

“There’s a negative stigma about menstruation that makes people feel uncomfortable talking about it,” she said, “but homeless women don’t have the same access that we do, which a lot of students wouldn’t really think about.”

The outcome of the donation has been a huge success with over 1,000 total individual products donated, according to Gusan.

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Period drive to give products to women