NEWBURGH – While many recognized last Thursday as Valentine’s Day, it was also "V-Day." 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.
Last year, over 5,800 V-Day benefit events took place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $90 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, reopened shelters, and funded over 14,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq.
Locally, Safe Homes of Orange County and 4-Women Justice (Safe homes, The Rape Crisis Program of Mental Health Association of Orange County and Planned Parenthood of the Mid-Hudson Valley) joined forces to bring attention to this important issue. This year’s theme: "One Billion Rising".
A discussion panel entitled "Break the Chain" was held in the morning to "Strike, Rise, Dance" and say "No" to violence against women and girls. Safe Homes also had on display its Clothesline Project for attendees to get a visual of the long lasting effects of violence. It was followed by a Flash Mob on the plaza of 280 Broadway.
Over one hundred participants joined in the Flash Mob. All were invited to "walk out, dance, rise up, and demand an end to violence." According to the group, one in three women on the planet is raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is one billion women violated. One billion daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, lovers and friends.
This year marked the 15th Anniversary of V-Day. With One Billion Rising, the goal was to activate women and men to dance across every country. V-Day wants the world to see their collective strength, numbers and solidarity across borders, and end the violence.