One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising

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UI joins global campaign to stop violence against women, girls Feb. 14

Iowa City and University of Iowa will join with activists around the world at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, for "One Billion Rising," the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. The event will take place at the Old Capitol Town Center, by the Washington Street entrance in downtown Iowa City.

Logo of One Billion Rising, Strike, Dance, Rise! with sexual assault awareness campaign

"One Billion Rising" began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime, according to Susan Junis, education coordinator at the UI Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP).

With the world population at seven billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls, Junis says. She adds that on Feb. 14, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, the UI and Iowa City community will join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and people across the world as they express their outrage, demand change, strike, dance, and rise in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.

"We are not insulated from gender and sexual violence in Iowa City," Junis says. " This global movement allows members of the University of Iowa and Iowa City communities to come together to rise up and demand an end to violence against women, in our community, and globally.”

Junis adds that V-Day, coinciding with Valentine's Day, is intended to raise awareness through benefit productions in some communities of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler's award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. Though no productions are planned locally, Janis says they hope to raise awareness.

“When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women,” Ensler said in a press release. “Now, we are both stunned and thrilled to see that this global action is truly escalating and gaining force, with union workers, parliament members, celebrities, and women of all backgrounds coming forward to join the campaign. When we come together on February 14, to demand an end to violence against women and girls it will be a truly global voice that will rise up.”

The Iowa City event will include music, dance, and guest speakers. Speakers include the following: Karla Miller, RVAP director; Jacob Oppenheimer, coordinator of the Men's Anti-Violence Council in the UI Women's Resource and Action Center who is also a UI graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs in the College of Education; and Iowa Rep. Mary Mascher.

The event is co-sponsored by RVAP, WRAC, and the Domestic Violence Intervention Program.

Local participants are encouraged to attend to perform music or dance. For more details, visit

The Feb. 14 event is free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. For more information or special accommodations, contact the RVAP office in advance at 319-335-6001.

RVAP is a full sexual assault victim services center offering information and free, confidential counseling, advocacy and support to victims/survivors of sexual assault and harassment, stalking, and dating violence and their partners, friends, and family members.

To learn more about V-Day at the UI, call 319-335-6001 or e-mail Junis at To learn more about V-Day and its campaigns, visit

See related Campus Voices column: Be a Real Man: Pledge to stop violence this Father's Day.

Related story: Spotting red flags: UI campaign promotes dating violence awareness, panel presentation.


Susan Junis, Rape Victim Advocacy Program, 319-335-6001


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