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            February 14th is in less than two weeks. Restaurant reservations have been made, manicures scheduled, dresses bought and cards written. Valentine’s Day is all about love and romance, but for the last fifteen years, it has shared the spotlight with the V-Day movement, which is dedicated to ending violence against women.  

            V-Day’s purpose is to spread awareness, raise money, and return attention and spirit to already existing anti-violence organizations. The day is celebrated worldwide by the performance of The Vagina Monologues, a play written by Eve Ensler, the creator of V-Day. The Vagina Monologues is a work of compiled interviews conducted by Ensler with women around the world who have experienced violence. The monologues not only shed light on a serious issue around the world, but also encourage women—survivors of violence or not—to embrace their sexuality, love their bodies, and speak out to end the silence surrounding violence towards women.

            Emory will be participating in V-Day by adding its own events to the 5,800 planned throughout the country. Feminists in Action (FIA) will have a table at the February 13th Wonderful Wednesday at which students can sign a banner with their painted handprint as part of a pledge to End Violence Against Women. FIA President, Lindsay Falkenberg (C’15) says, “These events are so important to Emory because by confronting [this issue], we help to build a safe and respectful community for everyone.” FIA is sponsoring the Emory production of The Vagina Monologues, which will be the culmination of the V-Day celebrations here at Emory. Performances will be held on February 28th, March 1st, and March 2nd. In addition to The Vagina Monologues, Sexual Assault Peer Advocates (SAPA) will be hosting One Billion Rising, along with ASAP and FIA. One Billion Rising is a special event created in honor of the fifteenth anniversary of V-Day. Its aim is to get the friends, relatives, and loved ones of survivors—or just those who care about ending violence—to get up to dance, walk, move to draw attention and demand an end to violence. It is estimated that one billion women will be raped or beaten daily. One Billion Rising aims to get the same number of people to stand up around the world and fight for an end to the senseless violence. Emory’s own One Billion Rising will be on February 14th in Asbury Circle. Emory dance groups are expected to perform and there will be music playing throughout the day for members of the Emory community to dance to and rise up with.

            Join any or all events to educate yourself on the issue or to take part in the fight to end violence against women and children.

For more information, go to the V-Day site or the One Billion Rising site.

 

Originally a New Jersey native, Emily now calls London, England home. She is a Creative Writing/English major and is a rowing, Grey's Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars enthusiast. 
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