By Jewelles Smith
Get ready for it — V-Day is coming! What, you may ask, is V-Day? V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Communities around the globe rise up on February 14 and use their creative voices to raise awareness and funds for local programs and groups that work to end violence. Last year, 130 countries took part in this event. However, V-Day is more than just an awareness campaign, it is also a celebration of the creative spirit that exists within women and girls.
V-Day began with a call, to the one billion women worldwide who have experienced violence, to rise up and make their voices heard. It is a call to all members of communities to stand together, beside these women, and say ‘no more’ to this oppression of one half of our population. The work of ending violence against women can be depressing, the statistics are staggering, and the stories of abuse and atrocities inflicted against women and girls are heartbreaking. Too often, there is a feeling that the work is insurmountable. Sometimes, when change seems too great, individuals feel paralyzed and unable to make even small actions. It is important to find ways to change attitudes and social norms, one step at a time. Further, we need to take time to look around our community and celebrate successful programs and moments.
Eve Ensler, who founded this event decided that one day each year — Valentine’s Day — we all need to stand up and use our creative energy to draw attention to the issues while celebrating women’s lives. It is Ensler’s belief that if women and men everywhere stand up and declare that they will not tolerate the abuse of women any longer, that we as communities can finally live in a world where “women [can] spend their lives creating and thriving rather than surviving or recovering from terrible atrocities.” People who do this work day-to-day often feel the burden and therefore, February 14 has become a day of protest and a day of dancing, singing, speaking and performance.
This year, in Revelstoke, the celebration of women’s lives will begin with a flash mob dance. You can go online to our Facebook page and download the choreography. Learn the steps, check in on Facebook for the time and place of rehearsal, and then please join us at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Theatre, RSS at 7 PM on Thursday, February 14.
Revelstoke Rising (V-day) is raising funds to support the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society and the Community Response Network (Revelstoke CRN). The Revelstoke Women’s Shelter is a non-profit society that provides a safe space and support to women and their children who are at risk of abuse or violence. The Revelstoke CRN provides support and assistance to vulnerable adults in our community. This includes adults who experience abuse or neglect.
You can find more information by going to our Facebook page. Entry to the event is by donation.
Jewelles Smith is a Revelstoke consultant and writer about issues revolving around women, disability and human rights