‘One billion rising’ calls for action

Xuelu Pan and Farai Harreld, Washburn Review

Washburn will join with activists around the world for One Billion Rising, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, Feb. 14.

One Billion Rising is launched in conjunction with V-Day’s 15th anniversary. V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of playwright/founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play “The Vagina Monologues” and other artistic works.The ‘V’ in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina. V-Day begins as a call to action based on the statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. The number “one billion” comes from a simple estimate: with a world population of 7 billion, one third of this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.

According to KBI, there were 24,159 cases of domestic violence in Kansas in 2011. This makes an average of one domestic violence incident every 21 minutes and 48 seconds. Even though a large portion of sexual assaults and rapes are not reported every year, there were 1103 rapes reported in Kansas in 2011.

“It’s important for us to take a stand as a community  against violence against women,” said Sharon Sullivan. “Our mothers, sisters, girlfriends and daughters are experiencing epidemic rates of violence. We get to decide who we want to be, what we want our community to look like. I want to be part of a community that rejects violence against women and girls.”

As the most ambitious campaign ever in V-Day’s history, one billion women and those who love them will be invited to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to abuse.

One Billion Rising aims at not only presenting the horrible statistics, but also manifesting solidarity and determination across borders.

Participants will gather in the Petro Allied Health Center lobby at 4:30 p.m. and from 5-6 p.m. they will line Washburn Ave. between 17th Street and 21st Street.  The Topeka High School Drum Line will supply the music.  The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment will provide information about sexual and domestic violence in Topeka.  The movement is free and open to the public.

“Washburn University will also join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world as we express their outrage, demand change, strike, dance and rise in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end to violence against women,” said Sullivan.

For further information, contact Sharon Sullivan at 785-670-2246 or e-mail [email protected]

To find other events, visit: http://www.onebillionrising.org.