The photos in this piece were taken on a beautiful summer day on Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. A bunch of compassionate surfers paddled out together to stand up to violence against women and bring awareness to the issue, both locally and globally.
According to a statistic released by the UN, one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
This means that one billion women will be assaulted at some point in her life – a colossally staggering reality. The first time I heard that, my heart sank. I felt defeated. This issue extends beyond my own neighborhood and country. It is a worldwide issue of humanity, one that threatens the freedom and personal bodily rights of 1/8th of the population of this earth.
When I heard about Eve Ensler, a writer and women’s rights activist who started the organization “V-day” and the movement known as One Billion Rising, I knew a revolution had already begun. The goal of One Billion Rising is to end violence against women and to rally both women, and men, to rise up and take a stand. Millions have begun to tell their stories, tweet, make videos, write, blog, and speak up, and share with the world why they rise.
Here is WHY I RISE:
I rise for my friends and for my beautiful sister. I rise for a girl I waited tables with once who told me her story. I rise for the horrifying stories I heard during college, and for the girl who was raped in our school library. I rise for my future daughter, for her innocence and beauty, and for the kind of society she might grow up in. I rise for the women I’ve read about in Egypt, Cambodia, and South Africa, and for collective women everywhere. I rise for my freedom, my strength, and my sense of place in this world. I rise in opposition to the objectification and dehumanization of women. I rise for the countless times I’ve been verbally harassed or touched against my will. I rise for my motherhood, for my kin, for my loved ones. I rise because there is an imperative and dire need for a revolution. I rise for the one billion. I rise because I should. One billion is too many because one is too many.
And so I choose not to sit back quietly. I choose not to be silenced. Women are humans, not trophies, or objects; we have emotions and a beating heart. This is my body and I choose to take a stand. I choose to rise. And man or woman, I hope you do too.
Learn more about this cause at www.onebillionrising.org
This is an article from Salty at Heart Magazine, a bi-annual inspirational surf/art culture magazine. Read more stories like these by ordering your copy at www.saltyatheart.bigcartel.com or check out their website www.saltyatheart.com. The mags ship anywhere in the world!
Image Credit: Jason Andre