V-Day stands as reminder of love’s power, danger

V-Day, the shortened name for Valentine’s Day, conjures up positive emotions for many. Elementary school students devote an entire afternoon to decorating brown paper bags and eating candy. Couples take time out of busy schedules to celebrate their relationships. Store owners watch happily as greeting cards and flowers fly off the shelves.

But for many women, the name V-Day also invokes emotions of strength and resolve.

V-Day, an organization founded in 1998, ‘promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations,’ according to the group’s Web site, http://newsite.vday.org. V-Day raises funds through volunteer performances of Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues across the country, producing documentaries about violence toward women both in the U.S. and foreign nations and hosting celebrity-studded benefit events.

Hollywood stars such as actresses Jessica Alba and Kerry Washington attended the annual V-Day luncheon on Friday in Los Angeles. The event focused on violence against women in Congo, but discussion also hit closer to home as talk turned to the dispute between singers Chris Brown and Rihanna. Both singers, who were dating, cancelled appearances at the 2009 Grammy Awards show after a woman reported Brown attacked and injured her after a pre-Grammy party on Feb. 8. According to newsday.com, Rihanna reported bruises and scratches on her face and is working with police to build a domestic violence case against Brown.

‘This is a problem that spreads from the Congo to Hollywood … what I hope is that people become less and less afraid to talk about how truly devastating this social illness is,’ Alba said at the luncheon.

In having the bravery to report Brown to the police, Rihanna stands as an example of what any woman who has been the victim of abuse should be.

Love can make one blind to another’s faults, but in some cases, it goes too far and the relationship becomes abusive. Neither partner should hurt the other, and having the courage to speak up against domestic violence is the most important way to bring the issue to light.

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