One Billion Rising increases awareness of women’s rights

One Billion Rising took place on February 13th and promoted action to end violence against women (Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College Women’s Center)

By Michaela Sweeney, Women’s Center Correspondent

Violence against women is one of the largest and most under-reported human rights issues of our time. The statistics are staggering—the UN estimates that one in three women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime, a figure amounting to more than one billion women and girls worldwide. In the US alone, one in six women are victims of attempted or completed rape, and one in four women experience intimate partner violence throughout their lifetime. Additionally, as national news and frequent notifications from Gettysburg College’s Department of Public Safety suggest, college campuses are no exception–one in five women will experience attempted or completed sexual assault while attending college.

These statistics illustrate that we can no longer stand by as more than one billion women and girls experience violence. It is on us to stop the violence.

On Friday, February 13 at 4 p.m., Gettysburg College Women’s Center will be hosting its third annual One Billion Rising event in the College Union Ballroom. The One Billion Rising campaign was started in 2012 by playwright and activist Eve Ensler, most known for her play The Vagina Monologues, and is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. Last year alone, people in more than 200 countries around the world participated in One Billion Rising events. This year’s campaign theme is Revolution, which calls for “a radical shift in consciousness and braver, bolder, and more creative actions that can bring about change.”

This year, Gettysburg College’s One Billion Rising event is coordinated by Women’s Center Program Coordinator Lisa Rivoli ’15 and the hour-long program

will include a combination of dancing, music, film, and spoken word. Jeanne Arnold, Chief Diversity Officer at Gettysburg College, will be sharing her vision of what a Revolution would look like on campus and beyond, and will offer her ideas on how we can all be leaders for social justice in our communities. Among other highlights include an interactive dance lesson with Zumba instructor Julie Schuldt ‘17, a short film about the movement, and a photo booth hosted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) student chapter.

Survivor’s Inc. of Gettysburg and Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA) will be hosting informational tables during the event. Connect with us on social media throughout the event using #GburgRising, #1BillionRising and #Rise4Revolution. For more information, please visit the Women’s Center’s website at www.gettysburg.edu/women or onebillionrising.org.

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Author: Isabel Gibson Penrose

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