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V-Day's Impact Around the World
This year, 1150 college and communities are confirmed to present V-Day 2006 benefit productions of "The Vagina Monologues.” Since 1998, V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls and V-Day organizers in communities and colleges around the world have raised over $30 million dollars to combat violence against women. V-Day 2006 will feature more than 713 college and 437 community productions - the most in V-Day’s history, with performances in over 54 countries, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Charlotte, North Carolina, from Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, California.
Through its universality and mission, V-Day and “The Vagina Monologues” have empowered and enlightened women and men around the world. Few forms of entertainment or art about violence against women have had a truly wide appeal. Fewer still have effectively mobilized social outcomes or community organization. By combining art and activism V-Day enables groups to raise money and consciousness and it unifies and strengthens existing anti-violence efforts.
We want to share with you some personal stories from organizers of V-Day productions. These stories attest to the power of V-Day and the benefit performances of “The Vagina Monologues” as a fundraising, educational, empowering, and awareness-raising tool. Additionally, we have included local and international news stories highlighting the importance and vastness of V-Day as well as links for more information about V-Day and the various V-Day campaigns.
Personal Stories of Victory
“This production has sparked an interest in discussions about academic freedom on our campus & many others across the US. More importantly though, it touched the lives of many of the students here, and taught us all to really question our motives and to re-define ourselves as who we are as women and as artists. It was a great experience for everyone involved.”
V-Day Catholic University of America
Washington, District Of Columbia, USA
“This is the second time we have done the show in Quito. Last year, we had 15 actresses and a full crowd. This year we had 28 actresses and two full nights of an over-flowing crowd. We had housewives, students, teachers and friends from all over South and North America participating this year. It was so empowering, it brought tears to my eyes as we stood before a standing ovation.”
Quito, Pinchinca Province, Ecuador
“Being part of the monologues has changed my life and the lives of the other participants in the play. Thank you for giving us this opportunity. That day on stage, we realized we were part of something bigger than us. The faces of the directors of the women's shelter and the teenage mother shelter and the Rape crisis center when I handed them checks of approx $6000 each made me realize what the power of theater can do to change the world.”
Madison, Wisconsin USA
“Many people's eyes are opened to the experiences of other women. Living in the ‘Sportsman's Paradise,’ Baton Rouge isn't a place to really have awareness about women's issues. In this post-Hurricane Katrina state, our small contribution allows the Baton Rouge Battered Women's Program to continue though budget cuts and raise awareness that spousal abuse is still a problem.”
V-Day Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
“V-Day has had an enormous impact on the Notre Dame community. Because our school is Catholic, we have faced a great deal of controversy in putting on “The Vagina Monologues.” However, thanks to the controversy, we have been able to reach a much greater number of people with the V-Day message. Last year, our campus opened its first Gender Resource Center. This year, we are currently composing a proposal to add a specific rape crisis component to the GRC, and hopefully a pregnancy resources component as well. A number of campus groups have chosen to hold events (auctions, dinners, etc.) and give the proceeds to our past beneficiaries, SOS and YWCA.”
V-Day University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
“We really wanted to reach men this year. Well we did! A male student has started a chapter of "1 in 4" (a men's group that is dedicated to educating men about rape) here at Millersville. “
V-Day Millersville University
Millersville, Pennsylvania, USA
““The Vagina Monologues” have been an amazing way of raising money for a very important group, the Women's Rape Crisis Center. It also has opened people's minds to the ongoing women's problems that are often overlooked.”
V-Day Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas, USA
“People of all ages made reference to the fact that they learned something from this presentation. We also were able to obtain some additional funding for our local Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task Force so that they can continue helping victims in need.”
Gainesville, Florida, USA
“I feel like we gave ‘feminism’ a credibility that our campus had never seen before. Everyone was very surprised by what we were doing at first, but most ended up being very supportive. After the performances were over each night, and I had SO MANY people come up to me and tell me that it was eye-opening, profound, emotional, etc. I feel like we really did make our case and people accepted for probably the first time on our campus.”
V-Day Drury College
Springfield, Missouri, USA
““The Vagina Monologues” has and continues to have a profound impact on the Mount Holyoke College community and the five college community in the Pioneer Valley. I think the biggest impact V-Day MHC has is on individual people coping with some of the issues the show brings up--whether that is being a survivor of sexual abuse or not being comfortable with her vagina. Each year we hear at least 10 students explain why “The Vagina Monologues” has changed their lives in some way.”
V-Day Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA
“[This] was an incredibly rewarding experience. “The Vagina Monologues” created opportunities for many women in our community. The process of preparing for our show was a deeply emotional, empowering and spiritual experience. Thanks to V-Day, we now have a community of queer women of color who will continue performing and growing as individuals. Many members of the audience expressed the need for more spaces like this in our community. For us, this is only the beginning...”
Austin, Texas, USA
“Several people from both the campus and local community have expressed how empowered they felt after the performance. One in particular, hugged a member of the group saying "Thank you. I feel stronger now". She had been molested, and was having trust issues and seeing the show helped her to move on, and feel stronger.”
V-Day Green Mountain College
Poultney, Vermont, USA
We have new people wanting to come to our church now and we have two women who want to join our social justice group. We are now considered the coolest church ever.
V-Day Middleton, Nova Scotia, Canada
Anglican Church in Nova Scotia
“Putting on “The Vagina Monologues” has opened my heart and mind in so many incredible ways. I felt most moved by the men who were brave enough to come and thank me personally for the experience. Many of them were in tears. Every year I am eternally grateful to be given this opportunity. There were many, many times in my life when I thought I would not make it through. “The Vagina Monologues” gives me a reason to do so.”
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
“An incident occurred where the wife of one of the Men's Writing Workshop participants was able to disclose a rape to her husband for the first time, get counseling, write about it, and speak publicly about her experience to other Native women in her town and in other villages. This experience demonstrated just how important our work was, and how V-Day provides a catalyst for communication and change.''
Bethel, Alaska, USA
“I will never forget the first woman who walked up to me following my first production. The woman took both of my hands in hers and simply said "All I want to do is to thank you. Thank you for allowing these women's voices and other nameless women's voices around the world to be heard and celebrated." Much to my surprise, this middle-aged woman then proceeded onward to inform me about her prolonged experience with domestic violence. Whenever Eve speaks about her experiences with the movement, she emphasizes the endless number of women who ask to speak to her subsequent to her performances to talk about their experiences with domestive violence and rape.
I have realized that the performances and accompanying events have provided men and women with a safe space...a personal space where they are able to speak about their experiences and allow their voices to be heard without fear of ostracism or doubt.
V-Day University of Leeds
Leeds, Yorkshire, England
“The week after [our production] one of the artist who performed with us went to the police to report her husband who did violence against her. She said that finally she realized that she must report her husband after involved in “The Vagina Monologues.””
Following is a selection of the hundreds of media articles covering V-Day 2006 benefits:
Hasfat's new war
C'mon, guys, there's nothing to be afraid of
The Salt Lake Tribune
Finding sisterhood in the telling of The Vagina Monologues
Old Main packed for "Vagina Monologues"
The Campus Press, Colorado
Vagina Monologues: So much more than feminist
The Times-Standard, California
Unitarian church puts on 'Vagina Monologues'
The Lyttleton Independent
Vagina Monologues coming to Taipei to combat domestic violence
County woman confronts her feelings in The Vagina Monologues
Fort Saskatchewan Record, Canada
Violence against women unacceptable
The Auburn Plainsman
Reclaim your body with words
UNI Northern Iowan, Iowa
V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery.
Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities.