By Hannah Smith
One billion people came together around the globe for one big reason. What was that reason? Women’s justice. One billion people came together to stand up for women rights and equality; to stand up against violence and abuse – to stand for change. One billion people rose for this cause with dancing, laughter, and a unity of love.
Students, faculty, and staff from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, as well as students from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana State University, and Ivy Tech Community College came together on February 13, a day before the worldwide event, at the Indiana Theater for the One Billion Rising movement, hosted by SMWC Peace and Justice Committee.
Rebecca Kloskowski, SMWC junior, claimed, “Although [the negative statistics] were surprising, I was more surprised by the one billion people who have come together across the world, and that, to me, was really inspiring and made me really happy to be a part of this event.”
While some were surprised to see the statistics shown during a video at the event, others were aware of how women are treated globally, and were eager and reassured to see a change happening.
Katherine Simons, SMWC senior, admitted, “I have known women who have been victims of abuse . . . I think it’s really important for women to know that they are valued, and that they should not have to put up with the things that they do [put up with].”
“The most surprising statistic, for me, was that it is 1 out of 3 women that get sexually harassed, abused; I didn’t realize it was such a large number. I knew there was a lot, but that many… it’s really sad. Really,” a student from Rose-Hulman stated.
Some people weren’t very startled at the statistics; however, a few were aware of the problem and that is why they participated with One Billion Rising.
“I’ve seen the statistics before, but you don’t come numb to them. They surprise you every time. Hopefully, the statistics will go down, but I think [the statistics are] good for people to see, because 1 in 3 people – that’s significant.” Andrea Beyke, SMWC campus minister, said.
Many guests had personal reasons for attending. Some knew friends experiencing abusive relationships, or knew girls who have been raped.
A Rose-Hulman student confessed that he has a friend undergoing an abusive relationship. “She won’t admit [the relationship] is a little abusive, and it hurts me to see her deal with that every day, and how it is really hurting her.”
Simons also claimed, “I believe that women should band together and support one another.”
For whatever the reason may be, the evening was full of friends, fun, and music.
So, what do you rise for?
For more information on One Billion Rising, visit onebillionrising.org