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by Brook Bolen
Categories: Causes, People
Tags: .
Photo: Shutterstock

Eve Ensler wants to give women all over the world the sweetest Valentine of all: a world free of violence.

This past Valentine’s Day, the activist playwright launched her latest initiative, One Billion Rising, an “escalated effort” to end the ongoing global epidemic of violence against women. Ensler hopes that one billion women and men, irrespective of borders, will “dance, strike, and rise” to actively demand that this violence cease. Ensler sees dance as a community action that “takes up space, and allows expression of joy and outrage.” The estimated “one billion” is not arbitrary, but based on the United Nation’s statistic that one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.

This yearlong action will conclude February 14, 2013, the fifteenth anniversary of Ensler’s V-Day campaign, whose mission of ending violence against women laid the groundwork for One Billion Rising. To that end, through nationwide performances of Ensler’s play, the Vagina Monologues, V-Day has raised over 85 million dollars.

Through One Billion Rising, many national and global concerns will be addressed, including violence in post-earthquake South Africa, rape in the military, the sexual trafficking of women, and “corrective rape” in Haiti and Jamaica. Ensler’s latest mission is sophisticated in scope and implementation, utilizing social media to spread the word. For more information, please see OneBillionRising.org, connect on Facebook and Twitter with #1BillionRising, or opt for mobile updates by texting BILLION to 50555 (only in the US).

via Huffington Post