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Women's Resource Center - Vagina Monologues
What are “The Vagina Monologues?”
A performance written by Eve Ensler (V-Day founder/playwright) based on interviews with more than 200 women. It celebrates women’s sexuality and strength.
Purpose of Vagina Monologues: The Vagina Monologues were created to raise awareness and inspire a movement to end violence against women. They have been designed to empower and celebrate strong, confident women through artistic performance of real women’s stories.
Importance: One out of every three women in the world will be physically or sexually abused in their lifetime. Most women have to deal with the pain of violence against indifferent authority, unsupportive families, and a public who is calloused to the violence being inflicted on women. If women stay silent, the violence will continue to be ignored.
The Vagina Monologues are giving more and more women a voice to fight against the violence they have been victim to and served to encourage and empower other victims to speak up about their own stories.
Violence against women affects everyone. Males and females of every race, ethnicity, and social class are affected by violence against women. These women are the mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends of the present and future.
Core Beliefs of V-Day
- Art has the power to transform thinking and inspire people to act
- Lasting social and cultural change is spread by ordinary people doing extraordinary things
- Local women best know what their communities need and can become unstoppable leaders
- One must look at the intersection of race, class, and gender to understand violence against women
- One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, and 10% of sexual assault victims are men. (2004 National Crime Victimization Survey)
- In a 1995 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease control of 5,000 students at over 100 colleges, 20% of female college students or one in five answered “yes” to the question “In your lifetime have you been forced to submit to sexual intercourse against your will?” (Douglas, K. A. et al. (1997). Results from the 1995 national college health risk behavior survey. Journal of American College Health, 46, 55-66.)
- A review of victim reports in three states in the US in 1992 revealed that 46% of rape victims under age 12 had a family relationship with the perpetrator, and 20% were raped by their fathers. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
- One of every seven victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were under age 6. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Incident-Based Reporting System, based on reports from law enforcement agencies of 12 States from 1991 through 1996)
- Nearly three in four family violence victims are female – 73%. (US Bureau of Justice, June 2005)
- US Bureau of Justice found that family violence accounted for 11 to 33 percent of all violent crime from 1998 to 2002, depending on whether the source was victimization surveys or police data.
- More than 90% of women in prison have experienced violence in their lives. (Women in Prison Project, 2005)
- As many as 90% of the women in jail today for killing men had been battered by those men. (Allison Bass, “Women far less likely to kill than men; no one sure why,” The Boston Globe, February 24, 1992, p. 2)