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By Mara Koch
Special to The SUN
On Thursday, Feb. 14, at 5:30 p.m., Pagosa area residents will join with activists around the world for One Billion Rising, the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.
Last year in Archuleta County, 284 women and 67 girls were victims of violence. These numbers only reflect those who reported the violence they experienced, and it is likely that the true number of victims is much more.
One Billion Rising began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.
On Feb. 14, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, the community of Pagosa Springs will join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world as they express their outrage, demand change, strike, dance and rise in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.
“When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women,” said Eve Ensler. “Now, we are both stunned and thrilled to see that this global action is truly escalating and gaining force, with union workers, parliament members, celebrities and women of all backgrounds coming forward to join the campaign. When we come together on February 14, 2013, to demand an end to violence against women and girls, it will be a truly global voice that will rise up.”
Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program (ACVAP) is organizing a flash mob dance event as one part of its V-Day events. Community members will come together publicly to dance to the One Billion Rising anthem, “Break the Chain.”
“We hope that everyone in Pagosa — young and old, women and men — will come together and rise up to join the rest of the world in bringing an end to the violence. You don’t have to dance. Just show up and show that you want to be part of the solution,” said Carmen Hubbs, executive director of ACVAP. Contact ACVAP at 264-9075 for event details and to join the Rising and participate in this global event.
About One Billion Rising
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. On Feb. 14, the group is inviting one billion women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to this violence. One Billion Rising will move the earth, activating women and men to dance across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders. Join V-Day and One Billion Rising today and say “no” to violence against women and girls. To sign up and learn more, visit www.onebillionrising.org.
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. In 2012, 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, Egypt and Iraq. Over 300 million people have seen a V-Day benefit event in their community. V-Day has received numerous acknowledgments, including Worth Magazine’s 100 Best Charities, Marie Claire Magazine’s Top Ten Charities, one of the Top-Rated organizations on Philanthropedia/Guidestar and Great Nonprofits. V-Day’s newest campaign is One Billion Rising, which will culminate on Feb. 14 with a global action worldwide.
To learn more about V-Day Pagosa Springs, call 264-9075 or e-mail Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about V-Day and its campaigns, visit www.vday.org