V-Day 2005:Until the Violence Stops

By Gus Bode

World-famous ‘The Vagina Monologues’ makes its way to McCloud

V-Day:Until the Violence Stops

Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. According to surveys conducted by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, one out of every six American women has been a victim of an attempted or completed rape and a total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes. About 3 percent of American men, a total of 2.78 million, have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

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Women between the ages of 12 and 34 are at the highest risk for sexual assault. Girls between the age of 16 and 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault, according to the network. Also, 44 percent of rape victims are under age 18 and 15 percent are under age 12.

Since 1998, “The Vagina Monologues” has toured the world educating women and men through Eve Ensler’s Obie-Award winning play. Incorporating “V-Day” as their slogan, every year in February and March, beginning on Valentine’s Day, women around the globe promote creative events to create awareness and raise money to stop violence against women and girls. This includes rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sexual slavery. V-Day’s mission is simple:”It demands that the violence must end.”

According to V-Day’s website, through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual benefit performances of “The Vagina Monologues” to raise funds for anti-violence groups in their community. Erin Coatney, a senior studying theater, is producing this year’s event, which will take place March 9 and 10 at the McCloud Theatre. Coatney said that the monologues are important for both women and men.

“Men tend to think that “The Vagina Monologues” is a male-bashing event and that is not the case,” Coatney said.

V-Day is a celebration in support of men and women who are “changing the paradigm and perception of violence against women.” Coatney also said that the theme for V-day usually changes every year. However, this year’s theme is the same as last years:”Vagina Warriors Lead the Way.”

Unlike most plays in McCloud Theatre, this one is structured a bit differently. Each actress, or “Vagina Warrior,” will recite a monologue taken from the original play that was compiled from several women across the globe citing their unfortunate experiences.

After the show, a “Vagina Warrior” is honored for her efforts in leading her community to end the violence. This year’s recipient, Lydia Waligorski, is the volunteer coordinator for the Carbondale’s Women’s Center. She has played an active role in raising money and promoting the event. All proceeds from “The Vagina Monologues” will go to the Women’s Center.

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