On February 14th we united with women and men from around the world and danced, as part of One Billion Rising, to raise awareness about violence against women and girls. Then, following 500 days of inaction, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was finally reauthorized by the U.S. House of Representatives. We danced, we e-mailed, we called, we wrote, and we spoke out.
So here, we stand on March 4th, one of my favorite days because it commands you to make an effort, take a risk, or refuse to let excuses come between you and your goals. Even on a day that inspires, somewhere another man will rape or beat their partner. And by the end of today another woman and another child will experience pain at the hands of someone who pledged to love them.
We can continue to enact legislation and laws. We can continue to raise awareness and alarm. But are we all fully committed to make the systematic and social change needed to eliminate these horrific crimes? Are we ready to examine what is keeping us from having safe, equal and accountable communities? Are we prepared to insist, demand, and expect our leaders to make equality a top priority?
March Forth – right now. The simplest way to start YOUR march is to be educated. Educate yourself about domestic violence and sexual assault by visiting HAVEN’s website. Armed with this information, pass it on. Share this post with others. Send the links above to family and friends and encourage them to read for themselves and then pass it on. Become advocates and ambassadors – tweet about it, post it on Facebook, talk about it with your co-workers. E-mail your elected officials and thank them for reauthorizing VAWA and remind them there is still much work to be done.
Let’s not wait another moment longer. It is time to capitalize on the One Billion Rising movement and the reauthorization of VAWA and keep this issue on the forefront. Let’s March Forth together and insist on this necessary social change.