One billion rise against violence

Sarah Ricevuto

Women gather and dance on V-day to raise awareness and demonstrate collective strength.
Photo from video courtesy of Sarah Ricevuto.

In a crowd of V-Day celebrators, a t-shirt says “Stop Bitching and Start a Revolution” in red and black. UNF students are sharing in a revolution.

One out of three women will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. To raise awareness about violence against women, the UNF Women’s Centered hosted One Billion Rising on Feb. 14, calling the world to join and dance together and demonstrate their combined strength.

“It marks the 15 anniversary of the Vagnina Monologues. Each year there is a spotlight campaign. We are trying to raise awareness,” said Sheila Spivey, director of the UNF Women’s Center.

One Billion Rising is a national campaign started by Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina Monologues. Notably this year, the worldwide event was tweeted about by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Events coordinator for the UNF Women’s Center India Powell said, “We are dancing as a statement. It is something globally we can do to shake up change.”

Katie Flynn, senior sociology student, says that it is extremely important for colleges to be aware.

“College age women have the highest chance of being raped,” Flynn said.

The Alpha Chi sorority supported the campaign and used it to raise awareness of their own healthy relationships campaign.

“I think its a great cause. Every little bit makes a difference,” said UNF criminal justice junior Skyler Yackee.

Yackee attended with several of his Phi Cappa Psi brothers, in support of their Alpha Chi sweetheart.

“College students are the voice of a new generation. They are the movement,” said Sarah Hagerbrant, a member of Americorps who came to visit UNF just for the event.

“I love knowing that I can come to a school where people actually care,” said Robin Graber, Jacksonville Women’s Center.

Graber said he is proud of UNF students for their efforts.

Email Sarah Ricevuto at [email protected]