V-Day raises rape awareness

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By Shannon O’Leary

By Shannon O’Leary

Bells rang out every two minutes across the A.G. Paul Quadrangle marking another rape.

“Every two minutes a woman is raped,” Latonya Kuzak said over the PA system during the V-Day activities.

Tears streamed down the faces of some on lookers as facts about rape were read.

“During the hour we’ve been up here, 30 women in the United States have been raped,” Jamie Brown said.

All the women involved wore purple ribbons in remembrance of those who have been raped and abused, and in acknowledgment of the seriousness of the problem.

The Clothesline Project drew a crowd on its own. Pink, yellow and blue T-shirts were hung between trees in the Quad.

“Women of domestic violence and rape and those who knew a victim can put a name or phrase in acknowledgement,” Tovah Smith said.

In order to draw attention to the objectification of women, a “catwalk” was set up to put male students on display, in order to try to make them feel the uneasiness a “catcall” evokes in a woman.

Aimee Macalingay stopped the men walking through and said, “Hey, let my girls get a look at what you got.”

As men tried to walk away she would get in front of them, forcing them to stop as the other women made vulgar comments. The whistling and comments diverted most men to walk through another corridor. When coerced through, their facial expressions told what they felt. They looked appalled, embarrassed and uncomfortable.

“It’s a little embarrassing,” Freddy Bedolla said. “Sometimes, I see fellows standing here doing the same thing and I am embarrassed for them.”

“It causes a generalization with men; not all men I know whistle at all women that pass by,” Greg Summers said.

However, the female students who walked through the “catwalk” only experienced reassurring comments relating to their image.

V-Day is a worldwide movement to stop violence against women and young girls, including rape, domestic abuse, female genital mutation, sexual slavery and sexual abuse. It is a non-profit corporation that uses creative events to raise money and increase the motivation and morale of existing organizations. V-Day is a group of people who take part in the annual activities, it is the communities that support it, and it is people who are committed to stopping violence against women.

The V-Day activities were put on by the Women’s Resource Center and Awakening Ophelia, RCC’s women’s club. The activities were March 1 and March 3.

During the months of February and March communities and colleges around the world present V-Day benefit productions of “The Vagina Monologues.”

V-Day spotlights a particular group of women who are experiencing violence, with the goal of raising awareness and money to put a worldwide media spotlight on this area and to aid groups that are currently addressing the problem.

This year’s focus was the treatment of the women in Iraq. The treatment of women in Iraq has never been the best, and since the occupation of Iraq their treatment has gone from bad to worse. V-Day provided funding that helped open the first shelters for women in Iraq and Egypt.

The proceeds from this years RCC’s productions of “The Vagina Monologues” go to non-profit organizations such as: Alternatives to Domestic Violence, Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center, V-Day International Spotlight on Iraq, and to activities ending violence at RCC.

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