One Billion Rising event empowers Gettysburg women

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By Kira Goodwin, Staff Writer

Recently, Gettysburg College hosted One Billion Rising, an event on campus hosted by the Gettysburg College Women’s Center and Survivors Inc. to shed light on the campaign in hopes of getting more people involved.

One Billion Rising is a worldwide campaign meant to represent the fact that, at present, about one billion women in the world have been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, and that number is still rising. The campaign is trying to spread awareness for this problem around the globe while simultaneously inspiring women.

Gettysburg’s event opened with a performance from Upscale, the college’s all-female acapella group. They performed renditions of “What Kind of Man?” and “Boy,” both meant to be inspiring to females and thus working for the cause.

Afterwards, student representatives from the Women’s Center came up and talked a bit about the campaign and what the goal for it was before they introduced the representative from Survivors Inc. She went on to discuss the purpose of Survivors and some of the things it does. For example, it provides shelter to women who are running away from domestic violence; it also has a 24-hour helpline that victims of abuse or violence can call and get help from; and it offers regular support group meetings to survivors of sexual violence or people who know someone who has been through it. In other words, they acknowledge that abuse is difficult for those who go through it but also for those close to them.

The representative discussed how although some may view it as unrealistic, they still retain their overarching goal of ending all violence. Violence should never be tolerated in any form, and although it may be hard to overcome, we should not grow so accustomed to violence that it becomes viewed as a way of life. The goal should always be to put an end to it, even if realistically it may not be feasible, at least in our lifetimes.

They went on to discuss how this year’s theme for the One Billion Rising campaign was Revolution. The idea was that people all across the country were rising together in support of victims of sexual violence, but they were not just gathering for support but rather uniting and fighting back.

The final part of the event consisted of decorating T-Shirts in support of the campaign. They had stencils and fabric pens that could be used to write “One Billion Rising” or any other meaningful slogan on the shirts. Towards the end, they put on their video from last year, which consisted of people from all around the world gathering together and dancing.

Overall, the event was empowering and served as a great introduction to what we need to be doing to put an end to violence against women and violence in general. But it was also a reminder that while attending these types of events is important, to truly make a difference more must be done; these events are just the beginning.

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