Performance of “The Vagina Monologues” benefits survivors of domestic and sexual violence

BIG RAPIDS, Mich.-- Hundreds of people attended an annual performance of "The Vagina Monologues" at Ferris State University to raise money for programs which offer support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The series of monologues and skits were written and made famous by Eve Ensler in 1996. They are based on real-life interviews with women on their life experiences. Students at Ferris State put on a performance every year, but many say this year it's taken on a new meaning.

“It’s really great to have this entire performance that’s really just education for the masses about women and women’s rights and all that goes with our own bodies, especially consent," performer and student Danielle Moore tells FOX 17.

With a focus on domestic violence and sexual assault, 90 percent of the performance's proceeds will go toward Women's Information Service (WISE). WISE is an organization that provides support to any person who is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault in Mecosta, Osceola and Newaygo counties.

Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit V-Day, a global movement to end violence against girls and women.

“We serve so many women and it’s just really eye-opening to realize how many people need services, how many people need help and a lot of people don’t know where to turn to, which is where I think WISE comes in a lot because if we can’t specifically help them, we have connections with all the resources in town that can," Kathleen Cook, a legal advocate for WISE tells FOX 17.

Cook says lately, she's noticing more survivors coming forward.

“I think the #MeToo movement and movements like it have helped decrease the stigmatization that is, you know, it’s hugely stigmatized, domestic violence, sexual assault, especially. No one wants to talk about them," Cook says.

Organizers say Thursday's performance of "The Vagina Monologues" should prove that domestic violence and sexual assault aren't one-gender issues.

“I think that we talk about the male side a lot and I think it’s important to see the other side and make it known that there (are) issues going on and they need to be talked about, and if we don’t talk about them at all, the issue’s never gonna be solved," Vice President of Ferris State's Social Work Association Nicholas Hadley tells FOX 17.

It's a bold cause, one that the performers say shouldn't hide in the shadows anymore.

“It kinda has to be in your face because of history, the students of history will tell you over and over again that so many things have been hidden and left out of history books," Moore tells FOX 17. “It has to be brought to the forefront now because it never had a spotlight before.”

If you, or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault, you can call the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) 24-hour hotline at 800-656-4673.

If you are a resident of Mecosta, Osceola or Newaygo counties, you can call WISE's 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-800-374-WISE.

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3 comments

  • Danielle Smith

    Do not be surprised if there is a very very small turn out. I am a survivor and will NOT attend something with such a leud title. Poor choice is titles bring poor numbers. Don’t go so lib you run off even the lib/conserves like me. Bad taste.

  • Clucko

    And brainless women like these wonder why their words fall on a lot of deaf ears. The title alone is beyond tasteless. It’s revolting.