One Billion Rising in Washington D.C.

Published: 24 January 2014

The DC Rising group is working hard to gather students, survivors, advocates and policy makers into our circle of “risers.”  We’re here in the heart of our nation’s capital and gathering the hearts, minds and attention of policy leaders and over-worked advocates is no easy feat.  That said, we are excited that there are a multitude of events throughout the metropolitan area.  Productions of the Vagina Monologues abound on campuses and in the community and all will feature OBR’s “rising for justice” theme.

We have a “survivors quilt” which will be displayed on the national mall on V-Day with a soapbox and mike for survivors to speak out, rail, demand and heal. We have a reception at the Capitol featuring women Members of Congress and Eve Ensler herself.  RSVP’s are flooding in!

We have a rally in front of our Supreme Court at noon on V-Day.  We even have a poster-making party to prepare banners and slogans for this rally and will be showing the OBR film featured at Sundance. How could we not stand outside our highest court and demand justice?  Judges all across our country are reducing sentences and denigrating survivors of sexual assault. And women are not in our Constitution, which is the greatest injustice of all.  We have no mother root from which to grow and gain our equality, justice, safety, respect and dignity.

And despite our massive and successful campaign last year to reauthorize our Violence Against Women Act, domestic and sexual violence still ravages our families, campuses, military troops, reservations, detention camps, prisons, workplaces and communities.  Rape kits are still untested.  Star athletes, ace pilots, priests, and predators elude and escape prosecution and punishment.  Victims who report the crime of sexual violence still lose their jobs, their friends, their minds and their souls.

So as we rise and join our voices and spirits in this worldwide explosion of caring, concern, anger and outrage, we must also make sure that we explode and expand our cocoon of solidarity and determination.  We must include our sisters and brothers who live in poverty, who are disabled or in nursing homes and detention camps, who have been “disappeared” on reservations or in Juarez, or gunned down in their own homes or havens of escape.

That’s why were promising here in DC to enhance our demands for “justice” to include accountability, responsibility, liability and enforcement, asking our lawmakers, our media and entertainment industry, our churches and military and businesses and schools and courts and law enforcement agencies and medical providers, our fathers, partners and sons, to join us in this march for equality and justice and an end to sexual violence.