Anti-Violence ‘V-Day’ Movement Holds Events On Guam
By Louella Losinio
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Feb. 14, 2013) – Spurred by the need to increase awareness of violence against women and girls, activists and supporters on Guam are convening an alternative Valentine’s Day celebration today – linking local advocacy to the growing global movement to end this challenging issue that affects individuals, families and communities.
The V-Day movement, which started as a call to action against violence against women, or VAW, was based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 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."
"When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women," Eve Ensler, playwright and founder of the movement, said in a news release. "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 Feb. 14, 2013 to demand an end to violence against women and girls, it will be a truly global voice that will rise up."
Guam, as part of the movement, will have a wave at the ITC intersection from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Event coordinator Olympia Terral, who is also a research associate at the University of Guam’s College of Natural and Applied Sciences, is inviting residents to show up at the ITC intersection, starting at 4 p.m., with signs or to honk their support for ending violence against women and girls.
"It is important for people to understand that women and girls are targets of violence and we need to raise that awareness and speak out because if we stay silent, nothing will change," Terral said.
A second event will be held at International Sports Center, Hagåtña, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. with yoga, dance, and self-defense demonstrations. The International Sports Center and Yoga Guam organized the gathering which will culminate the V-Day commemoration on-island.
In honor of the victims of Tuesday’s incident at Tumon, Terral said they are going to have a moment of silence and prayer at the event.
In 2012, more than 5,800 V-Day benefit events took place around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls. Last year, Guam mounted a production of the Vagina Monologues as well as a play featuring stories by local women.
To date, according to a release, the V-Day movement has raised more than $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 more than 14,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in various locations around the world.
Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com
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