This year, we are shining a spotlight on women who are experiencing or fighting workplace violence, on your campus, in your town, in your city. In addition to a Spotlight Monologue written by V (formerly Eve Ensler), we are asking each V-Day production to amplify the voices of local women through the use of testimonials to be featured as the body of the spotlight. Having these testimonies as a part of your production will help engage the audience in a personal way, and go a long way towards raising funds and awareness to end this type of violence in your community.
In case they are helpful, here are some tips to guide the process of writing a testimonial.
This year’s focus is on women workers and we have suggested that your at least one third of each cast consist of women workers, so right there you have access to many women workers. As a part of the rehearsal process, invite the cast members who are workers if they are interested in writing and/or sharing their testimonials of workplace violence on performance night.
If the women in your cast do not want to share personal stories of workplace violence they have encountered, invite them to start a dialogue with other women they work with to see if a colleague is interested in sharing a story –again either as a performer or an author.
NOTE: The author is not REQUIRED to perform the piece, if they are not comfortable or it puts their employment at risk. They can change the name and ask for another cast member to read it.
The director or cast member can frame the request in the following ways:
The testimonies should be 3-5 sentences in length. You can work with the author to write the piece, or they can write it on their own, you can collaborate on the edit – whatever works. Each piece should be specific – where they worked, how old they were, who was the perpetrator (Do not use real names, but identify them as a customer, a colleague or a supervisor etc.*) and how the experience made the woman feel or what impact it had on her. Lastly, if the woman sought some justice, healing or reconciliation afterwards, she can share that as well.
Here is an example of how activists in similar campaigns effectively used testimonials to share their stories of workplace violence. Share it with those who are interested in writing a piece as reference. Fight for $15 – Sexual Harassment in the Fast-food Industry.
If you have any questions or concerns, the campaigns team is always around to support you. Remember to share the testimonials with us in writing via email campaigns(at)vday.org.
*V-Day assumes no liability for any statements made by performers or that you otherwise submit to V-Day in the form of testimonials. Please remember that your performance is public. If you/they are pursuing legal action please do not post real names, including your own, in association with your/the story. Gathering Testimonials about Workplace Violence in your Community: