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V-Day spreads love, not violence in support toward the nationwide campaign

Three wood cutouts of women stood silhouetted in the quad, surrounded by red flags. Their presence was part of the “The Third Flag Project,” named for the statistic that one in three women will experience physical or sexual assault during her lifetime. To demonstrate this, two of the cut outs were painted red, and one was painted white to represent the statistic. The flags surrounding them represented every third woman enrolled at Washington State University Vancouver in Fall 2015.

The event’s message was that “V-Day” is not just a day to express love, but also to spread awareness about violence against women and girls. This campaign began on Feb. 14, 2012, and since then, people all over the world have come together to fight against the injustices women are faced with.

On Feb. 10, VanCougs gathered in the quad to raise awareness about the global movement to end violence against women and children with performances throughout the day.

Volunteers wore pink V-Day shirts throughout the day to show their support. Cougs also participated in a flash mob to the song “Break the Chain” by Tena Clark and Tim Heintz in the quad. Students marched from the Dengerink Building to the quad chanting the words “What do we want? Respect! When do we want it? Now!” and repeated substituting “respect” for “consent.”

After arriving at the quad, student and staff volunteers performed monologues from the book “Writings to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls; a Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, a Prayer.” The series of monologues closed with a reading of Alice Walker’s “To Stop the Violence Against Women” performed by Amanda Shannahan and Maribel Ramirez.

Ramirez was proud to share the success of the event saying, “I feel like I am contributing to the movement by educating people about the violence toward women, and [I] really like that men also got involved [in the movement]. It really made me feel appreciated as a woman seeing their support too.”

Due to the graphic descriptions and strong language in the monologues, trigger-warning signs were held up to the audience, in case the content in the readings were to affect listeners. Information to counseling services was also displayed on these posters as a precaution. As volunteers were reading the monologues out in the open, it began to sprinkle, and a rainbow shortly accompanied it.

Celena Lewis, a student volunteer said, “It was very powerful, stories of pain, liberation and women moving through and inspiring others to speak out. I feel like the universe was acknowledging V-Day, expressing the pain and washing it away with the sun to shine light on a rainy day.”

For more information on this event or the movement, stop by the Diversity Center or visit www.vday.org.

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2 Comments

  1. A rain-bow! What a true testament to the resilience we have within ourselves.

  2. I listened to the messages read and participated in supporting the spread of vital knowledge about a troubling statistic (although misrepresented and skewed statistically). Here is my issue with the event though.. Trigger warnings. Do we, adults, seriously need “trigger warnings” to discuss an adult topic? Are you that afraid of real life that you need a counselors phone number at the tips of your fingers “just in case” you get upset at the real world? Put down your teddy bears and coloring books, put your wubie in a keepsake box; just listen and learn about new topics, hear speech from a differing view than yours. I promise you it will not cause you instant seizures or to enter a catatonic state simply because you opened your mind to a world beyond the groupthink echo chamber you’ve been living in. And the best place to start is to listen to Kougradio Friday mornings 7:30-9am The American Radio Show