FACT: One of every three women world-wide will be or has been a victim of physical or sexual violence (United Nations).
MYTH: This is normal. (Common belief, worldwide).
ACTION: It is time we get informed, get involved, stand up, and speak out. That is what we did last night – 18 of us and an audience of about 50 people with music and spoken monologues: *WWf(a)C V-DAY 2019: SPEAK YOUR TRUTH.
* WWf(a)C is the acronym for Women Writing for (a) Change.
Since 1998, each February, V-Day has been honored and recognized through innovative gatherings, films, and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against women and girls.
I’m honored one of my blog followers showed up to the event, leaving with a greater awareness of this social concern through a heart-felt connection.
This event wasn’t free and some folks didn’t attend, expressing it was a steep ticket price. Yet, I say, this price is not as high as the price women and girls pay each day as victims. Proceeds from this event, both here in my Cincinnati area, and in other communities worldwide, fund programs, local to each community, that work to end this violence.
WHAT IS V-DAY?
V-Day, is a non-profit 501c3 corporation and as stated on their website, “V-Day is a global movement of grassroots activists dedicated to generating broader attention and funds to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sex slavery.”
In essence, V-Day is an artistic uprising meant to serve as a mechanism to move people to action.
This involvement has educated communities, raised social consciousness, and has changed laws to protect women and girls.
It reaches, inspires, and transforms people. It brings lasting social and cultural change.
VIOLENCE IS OUR CONCERN
Poverty, racism, environmental conditions, and war are often key factors in the ignorance or defiance concerning the safety for all people. Violence against women and girls occurs in the home by entrusted family members; it happens in the streets by strangers; it is created by acquaintances, and it is found in every economical class, from suburban family homes to inner city streets to homeless camps to the White House.
RECAP OF WWf(a)C V-DAY 2019: SPEAK YOUR TRUTH (Cincinnati/Silverton)
I was especially touched by a message shared through a personal essay, in which it was emphasized we mustn’t remain silent when victimized, otherwise, the violence will be deemed socially normal. We must speak up and say, “No more.” That piece was shared by a woman who dedicated her story to her teen-age daughter.
Another moving piece was a song written and sung by Randy Weeks. It is found at the end of this post.
At my turn, I shared a memory from my childhood; a story which is found in Chapter 3 of my published memoir. Here is an excerpt from my monologue, “Alone in the Dark without my Candy.”
Ebony brown branches from the camellia bush lunged forward, overpowering my sidewalk stride. I put my arm up in reaction. It was too late. Heavy. Dark. A tall lanky guy; tall to my four-foot-one stature was on top of me. I was down. On the sidewalk, butt first. His head at my face. His head is covered with a knit black hat. I close my eyes at the sight of his eyes piercing through two holes in his hat. A hot stench of air reels from the mouth hole in his hat.
He grabs my arm with one hand and my clenched fist with his other hand. I’m holding tight on to my bag of candy. My fight to keep my pride isn’t strong enough to ward him off. With one yank, he has overpowered me. I yell, “Stop!”
STOP THE VIOLENCE
I believe this V-Day movement and the events in honor of it, such as the event I was a part of last night, is our call-to-action. What can you do?
- Get informed
- Get involved
- Stand up
- Speak up
Please share in the comments of what you can do or are doing to end this violence.
The ‘V’ in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.
V-Day: An organization with a global movement to end violence.
Women Writing For (a) Change. This was the venue for last night’s event and is the venue for many support writing circles. Link to WWf(a)C.
Blog Post, “Brave to Share, Brave to Change Things” – Feb. 17, 2018. Link to the post which shares last year’s event: WWf(a)C V-Day 2018 Hometown Monologues, Rise Resist Roar.
Music by Randy Weeks, below. Find him at weeks.org
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