How can we end violence against women?

If people see the statistics, they will see this is huge problem, especially on campus.

Every day women are raped, beaten and murdered. Twenty percent to 50 percent of females worldwide are victims of domestic violence. Even when people realize the devastating statistics, they often feel the problem is not in their country.

People seem to convince themselves that violence does not happen in industrialized, modern and “civilized” countries such as the United States. This is not true. In the United States, one in four women will experience violence with an intimate partner. This violence is not as far away as many would like to think. More specifically, according to the University’s Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education, one in four to five college women experience rape or attempted rape.

When I think of that statistic, I think of my classes. In many classes more than half the students are women, which means throughout the day, I interact fairly directly with at least 100 women that attend the University. This means that, statistically, 25 of the women I interact with on a daily basis are or will be victims of rape or attempted rape. This is a terrifying statistic.

With this type of situation being so prevalent and so clearly a problem not only in the United States but specifically on college campuses, I don’t understand how people can look away. Rather than ignoring a situation as dangerous as this one facing us, it seems that everyone should seek a way to better it. We can no longer afford to ignore this incredibly dangerous situation – we need to act now to find a way to put an end to this violence.

“The Vagina Monologues,” by Eve Ensler, is being performed at the University for the sixth year. The groundbreaking play explores women’s relationships with their bodies. V-Day is a campaign to end violence against women and to proclaim Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate women. All proceeds will benefit local women’s organizations and shelters. By attending this event, which takes place at the St. Paul Student Center Theater on Saturday, you will not only be attending an event that raises awareness about these extremely important issues, but also be supporting local women’s organizations that are critically needed.

Sara Trowbridge is a University student. For tickets and information on the Vagina Monologues, contact MPIRG at (612) 627-4035 or online at www.mpirg.org. Please send comments to [email protected]