EVENTS, GENDER POLITICS, SEX AND SEXUALITY

Press release: V-DAY LAUNCHES ONE BILLION RISING:A Global Call to Challenge and Shatter the Worldwide Acceptance of VAW

V-DAY LAUNCHES ONE BILLION RISING:

A Global Call to Challenge and Shatter the Worldwide Acceptance of Violence Against Women

ONE BILLION PEOPLE TO STRIKE, DANCE, AND RISE TOGETHER IN 2013

Johannesburg (June 30, 2012) – Last year Tony award-winning playwright and activist, Eve Ensler delighted South African audiences with her play I am an Emotional Creature showcasing an all-girl all-South African cast.

Now she is back in Johannesburg to announce the launch of a new global campaign to end violence against women and girls: ONE BILLION RISING. This year-long campaign, V-Day’s most large-scale yet, will culminate on February 14, 2013, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, when women, activists and concerned citizens across the world will organize community gatherings to express their outrage, demand change, strike, and dance in defiance of the injustices they have suffered.

Beginning this year V-Day activists will launch the campaign at over 5,800 colleges and community events across the world. From Zambia to Poland to Malaysia, local V-Day activists will ignite and spread the message of One Billion Rising.

“More than 1 out of every 3 women on this planet will experience violence during her lifetime. With 7 billion people on the planet, that’s one billion women. Stopping this violence is as crucial as addressing the issues of disease, hunger, and climate change,” said Eve Ensler.“One Billion Rising is a global strike, a call to refuse to participate until rape and rape culture ends. It’s a solidarity reach, a new refusal, and a new way of being.”

Over the past 14 years V-Day has mobilized activists from more than 140 countries and worked tirelessly on a grassroots level to demand an end to all forms of violence against women and girls. In the face of resistance V-Day activists have raised consciousness, changed laws, funded rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters (often keeping the doors open), educated their communities, and raised over $85 million for groups doing the essential work of ending violence and serving survivors. Still, violence against women and girls persists and takes atrocious new forms. One Billion Rising is an ultimate protest, a battle cry, an inspiration, and a global call to action.

One Billion Rising activists are encouraged to focus on local issues affecting women and girls including work places, home life, laws and legislators, media that supports violence against women and girls, and governments or religious institutions that have not done enough to stop it. Some may even decide to stop working or participating until the violence culture ends.

As part of this outreach, V-Day will provide a monologue called “OVER IT,” written by Eve Ensler, to be read at productions of The Vagina Monologues and other V-Day events. They will challenge its college and community organizers to mobilize their friends, families, and networks to commit to rising up on February 14, 2013 to express their outrage about what they are “over” in relation to the prevalence of violence against women and girls. Activists are also encouraged to write their own OVER IT monologues to give voice to their outrage. V-Girls activists will also play a vital role in the “OVER IT” campaign.

On February 14, 2013, together V-Day activists will move the earth, activating women AND MEN to dance across every country. The celebration of One Billion Rising will be a worldwide happening.

In advance of the 15th anniversary, join V-Day and One Billion Rising to SAY NO TO gender-based violence. Sign up to learn more and join the global call. To get involved with V-Day and One Billion Rising:

• Sign up at www.onebillionrising.org

• Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/vday

• Follow on Twitter @VDay; #1BillionRising

• Sign up for text message updates, text BILLION to 50555 (US only)

# # #

About 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. In 2011, 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 $85 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 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. Over 300 million people have seen a V-Day benefit event in their community. V-Day has received numerous acknowledgements 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. www.vday.org

Contact:

Gillian Schutte: 083 598 0505

gillian@onebillionrising.org

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