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One Billion Rising – It’s not just one bystander getting involved…!

(Warning, the short film linked here has scenes of violence that can be triggering.)

One In Three Women On The Planet Will Be Raped Or Beaten In Her Lifetime. One Billion Women Violated Is An Atrocity. One Billion Women Dancing Is A Revolution.

Join V-Day on
in a global strike to demand an end to violence.

This blog is called “Prevention, Power and Peace.”  I can think of few other people who have struggled so hard in the past few decades to bring the issues of violence against women to light – to spread prevention, power and peace – as Eve Ensler, who created the play “The Vagina Monologues” and founded V-Day.

This year, my agency–the Tri-Valley Haven–is putting on a production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”.  This isn’t a new thing for us.  We’ve put productions on for the past several years, nearly all to very full audiences.  I’m thinking about auditioning–I’ve been in a few productions already.  Being in the play or attending it are ways of being a helpful bystander, because it helps to give voice in a public space to people who have been raped and abused.  More practically, productions raise funds for our agency and many other agencies around the world involved in the work of ending domestic violence and sexual assault.  Also, it’s just an awesome play–by turns funny and heart-breakingly sad and always challenging.  I love some monologues and have an uneasy relationship with others.  It’s a powerful work, a flawed work, a work that sparks debate and anger and life-changes.  Not everybody loves it, but the fact remains that productions of it have done a HUGE amount to raise funds, awareness… and hope.

This year, Eve Ensler’s movement, V-Day, is based around the concept of One Billion Rising.  I urge you to view the film (with the caution that it COULD be triggering, so do not watch if that is a concern!) and to visit the One Billion Rising website.

Step up!  Don’t stand by!



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  1. MasterMind secret of Law of Attraction

     /  November 17, 2012

    I don’t know how to begin with such a sensitive topic for truly it is a heart breaking one. I know how results manifest …. be they good or bad … and when they manifest as good there really is no problem … but when they manifest as bad in our lives … it is time to wake up and accept that yes …. I accept that I caused that negativity to happen via the bad thoughts held in the head, One can never escape God’s punishments for harboring bad thoughts on a continuous basis … they are bound to manifest in your reality. Then just because you are a woman and at the receiving end does not necessarily make you a victim. Its just such a difficult piece of advice to have to share that often times the person at the receiving end is causing it to themselves by holding fears …deep seated ones that tend to cause harm to themselves.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I think I understand where you’re coming from on this–but I think the danger is that when one says that a person’s fears or negativity “cause” abuse to happen to them, then that comes perilously close to victim-blaming, even when it is not meant or intended as such.

    When it comes to things like domestic violence, studies have shown that it is no respecter of nearly any life circumstance — it cuts across race, religion, ethnicity and age. It shows up if you are heterosexual and also if you are gay or lesbian. I personally in my work have known people who are well trained and educated professionals, and people who have not finished high school. People who use drugs and alcohol and people who have never touched the stuff. People who have kids or don’t. It isn’t something one brings upon oneself, although certainly one can learn skills that can help in recovering from it or avoiding it in future partners by knowing the dynamics of abuse and the way in which abusers often show behaviors in common.

    I appreciate your comment saying “…because you are a woman and at the receiving end does not necessarily make you a victim…” I think this gets closer to the reality that a violent relationship can happen to anyone, and that society often pressures women (or men) caught in one to blame themselves for what happened, to question what they “did wrong” that brought this calamity down on themselves. When it comes down to it, the person who has “done wrong” is the abuser who chooses to take a relationship that should be of trust, respect, and love and turns it into a way for them to feel power in their own life and to take anger or frustration out–not on their boss or their parents or the world or wherever it really is coming from–upon the one person they should most be attempting to be gentle with.

    Of course, this is not even getting into all the other images shown in the short movie–female genital mutilation, the woman in the sand whose ravaged features (I am fairly sure, but must research to be certain) are the result of acid being thrown on her, rape, workplace sexual harassment, and the systematically lower place women hold in most societies. As someone who works directly with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, I speak to what I know best. And I do know that women who have been abused are bearing enough burdens of pain and shame. They do not need to also be told that their suffering came down upon them because they had “bad thoughts” and God was punishing them.

    Again, thank you for your comment–I truly do appreciate that you took the time to read the post and share your thoughts. I can see that we disagree in some ways but what I did pick up in your comment is that you do care about violence against women and the suffering of others. I think that is a good thing. A caring heart is a huge gift. I urge you to consider, with the caring you clearly have, that blaming people for horrible circumstances that fall upon them is something that can impact that person’s ability to grow, recover, learn positively about themselves, and move on from trauma.

    Take care!


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