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WGST asks Valdosta to rise up, strike back

There are approximately three-billion women in the world.

Approximately one-billion of those women will be assaulted, either sexually or physically, in their lifetime.

VSU plans to join others around the world in one, large, revolution to end these atrocities.

“This one-out-of-three translates to One Billion women worldwide, and being a woman and having many friends, coworkers, and relatives who are women makes you open your eyes to how close to home this issue is,” Kat Norsworthy, senior sociology major, said.

On Feb. 14 the Women and Gender Studies Program will be hosting Valdosta’s One Billion Rising event on the Front Lawn.

From noon until 5 p.m., men and women from around Valdosta will rise up, join with others around the world and demand an end to the abuse of women.

One Billion Rising is bringing about a whole new way to protest: asking one-billion women and men to get up and dance for change this Valentine’s day.

“When One Billion bodies rise and dance on [Feb. 14], we will join in solidarity, purpose and energy and shake the world into a new consciousness,” according to OneBillionRising.org. “Dancing insists we take up space. It has no set direction but we go there together.”

The event will feature a DJ, free refreshments for participants and a raffle.

One Billion Rising is the latest project by the group V-Day, a proactive group with the goal of  achieving equality for women.

“When we started V-Day 14 years [ago], we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women,” Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day, said on OneBillionRising.org. “Now, we are both stunned and thrilled to see that this global action is truly escalating and gaining force [….]”

Students may recognize V-Day as the group that hosted the Vagina Monologues on campus last year.

The show has been running nationally for 14 years and also campaigns to end violence against women.

One Billion Rising comes in the wake of several crimes committed against women that have been broadcasted by mainstream news outlets.

A 23-year-old medical student who was gang-raped to death on Dec. 16 after the victim and her brother were lured onto an off-duty bus after attending a show at a cinema in Delhi.

Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old Pakistani girl, was shot by the Taliban for being a woman seeking education. Yousafzai lived and is still campaigning for equal rights for women.

A 16-year-old girl was pictured being lugged around like an object at a high school party in Steubenville, Ohio and was allegedly raped that night by two of her classmates.

Celebrity Anne Hathaway has spoken out in favor of One Billion Rising in a recent article with Ensler that appeared in the January issue of Glamour.

“When I was in college, I’d heard that one in four women would be raped, and I thought, God, that means I must know someone who was raped,” Hathaway said. “Sure enough, I found out a week later that a friend had been. A billion is too big because one is too big.”

“I’m a firm believer that we can tap into a collective energy and consciousness; on the 14th, even if you’re in a field dancing by yourself, you’re going to know you’re not alone.”

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