V-Day events aim to educate students on sexual violence


Students gather around tables to learn about safe sex.

Jasmine Demers, News Editor


CSUSM students and health educators recently took part in a global phenomenon in order to represent important social issues and to take a stand against violence.

V- Day, held on Feb. 14, is an annual, worldwide movement to end violence against women, and to raise awareness for related issues.

On Feb. 10, organizations such as Student Health & Counseling Services (SHCS), the HOPE and Wellness Center, Active Minds, Students Talking About Relationships and Sex (STARS), Planned Parenthood and North County Health Services, gathered together to create interactive education opportunities for CSUSM students.

Organization booths and tables were set up right outside the University Student Union (USU) and surrounding the Library Plaza. Students were able to participate in activities and educate themselves on issues regarding women, including health and sexual violence.

Cathy Nguyen, CSUSM Health Educator and HOPE and Wellness Center Coordinator, explained that V-Day was created after the Vagina Monologues took off in 1996. She hopes that they will be able to reach out to all students and encourage them to take part in this movement.

“Our message for students is more along the lines of what is considered sexual violence, what is considered consent and if you have consent, how do you engage in sex and make it safer. We then, of course, want students to know what their resources are and what their options are as survivors,” Nguyen said.

The V- Day effort also gave life to another powerful event called One Billion Rising. Launched in 2012, One Billion Rising is a flash mob that has taken place in over 200 countries and allows for the expression of outrage against women’s injustice, gender violence and patriarchy.

“The One Billion Rising dance is an accompaniment of V-Day to express sexual violence awareness artistically. We will be performing it at the Vagina Monologues on March 13 and 14,” said Nguyen.

Karen GuzmXn, student activist and campus leader, says that the importance of V-Day and One Billion Rising is that they have the ability to evoke empowerment.

“As women, you are taught to only take up a small amount of space and to be quiet. We want to rebel against these social norms. In One Billion Rising, we are taking up space and being loud,” said GuzmXn.

She highlights the need for students and community members to be an active voice in these issues.

“One in three women around the world will experience a form of abuse in their lifetime. We want to put faces to the numbers and tell people that it is time to stand up and do something. This is why we rise,” GuzmXn said.

CSUSM students are encouraged to take part in this movement to end violence against women and to initiate change amongst the student body and community.

For students who have experienced any type of violence, SHCS offers free confidential counseling and a safe place to connect with other survivors. For more information on campus support and health services, visit their website at http://www.csusm.edu/shcs/ or http://www.csusm.edu/hope/.