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Already a place of shelter for battered women and their children, now the Salt Lake YWCA wants to be like Switzerland.

At a noon ceremony on Thursday, June 6, the YWCA staked a formal claim to peace. That's when the facility will be dedicated as a community peace site, said executive director Jane Edwards.Inspired by the Persian Gulf war, Edwards said the action is part of the local organization's quest for local contributions to global problems. Working to create peace and freedom is a part of the national organization's mission.

Local peace groups are invited to bring their literature to the YWCA and hold meetings there.

"It's not unlike the idea that came out of the 1980s of the nuclear-free zone, because this place is a refuge," said Cecila Warner, a social work intern at the YWCA. "Women leave violence behind when they come to the Battered Women's Shelter."

Other YWCA shelters have claimed the peace-zone status since the mid-1980s, she said.