V-Day movement endeavors to support abused women worldwide
February 14 goes by many names, the best known being Valentine’s Day, while others call it Single’s Awareness Day. However, for author and playwright Eve Ensler and scores of people worldwide, it is known as V-Day, a day to raise awareness about abuse against women all over the world.
V-Day began in 1998 after Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues brought many women to her sharing their experiences with sexual abuse. The stories of the women inspired Ensler to create the V-Day movement in an effort to attack the issue of sexual violence against women. V-Day and the associated One Billion Rising movement are part of an effort to raise awareness of the one billion women who have been or will be abused during their lifetimes, compromising roughly one in three women around the globe. The message encourages these abused women and their friends and family to stand up against abuse.
Every year on Feb. 14, abused women and their supporters participate in events organized by Ensler for V-Day. This year, the goal is to, “walk out, dance, rise up, and demand an end to this violence.” Every year plays including The Vagina Monologues and A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer are performed to raise money to help abused women.
This Valentine’s Day, men, women and children in St. Louis and across the world are encouraged to join in flash mobs to show support for and raise awareness about the one billion women abused worldwide. Events will be held across St. Louis at places such as the Missouri History Museum from 4:30 to 5:00, an event that history teacher Eric Hahn is planning on attending. Hahn said he found about V-Day from his involvement with Safe Connections, a local group that deals with domestic and sexual violence.
“It would be good to show support,” Hahn said. “And it’s a way to celebrate survivors.
FACS teacher Kim Boyles had never heard of the movement, but said that she thought it was fantastic.
“I help out with Club [SAVE],” Boyles said. “We’re trying to help out women at an abuse shelter.”
Boyles said she hadn’t heard of any other events, but believed that they could help raise awareness about these issues. German teacher Amanda Kaupp agreed.
“Any time you’ve got a social evil, you need people who have been impacted standing up,” Kaupp said. “People who are genuine have more impact.”
V-Day does encourage abused women to stand up and speak, because, as Kaupp says, they group believes that they are the group who will have the most impact. Freshman Kristin MacKenzie agreed that is it a good idea, and was appalled at the number of women abused.
“Ladue hasn’t had any of the problems,” MacKenzie said. “I haven’t heard of them, but that’s awful.”
Fellow freshman Theodore Turner agrees. He says that he thinks the movement might work to raise more awareness for these issues.
“I would use the power of the internet,” Turner said. “But also reach out to older generations through other means. Awareness is important.” #