Victory, valentine and vagina

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V-Day is a yearly opportunity to raise awareness regarding violence against women, consent and sexual assault ("V-Day"/unco.edu)

The University of Northern Colorado’s Women’s Resource Center and Assault Survivors Advocacy Program, known as ASAP, held V-Day in the McKee Breezeway on Wednesday.

V-Day is held on Feb 14, Valentine’s Day, and is a movement to end violence against women and girls.  According to the WRC, the “V” stands for victory, valentine and vagina. The movement began with a play, “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler about social stigma surrounding rape, abuse, and women’s sexuality. In 1998, Ensler and other New York City women created V-Day benefit performances on Valentine’s Day, starting the V-Day movement around the world.

Every year, a V-Day event is held on Feb. 14 around the world, and over 5,800 events occur annually.

ASAP and the WRC were raising awareness for the movement.

V-Day’s mission statement is “V-Day is a fierce, wild, unstoppable movement and community. Join us!” V-Day visions a world where women can live safely and freely without having to recover from atrocities, and where rape, incest, sexual slavery and the like ends.

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The V-Day tables had free t-shirts, consent packets, love language packets, consensual Valentine cards and vagina lollipops. The consent packets included charts to fill out what sexual and romantic activities someone is okay with, and what they are not okay with. The love language packet included a 30-question test in order to find out whether someone feels loved through words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, quality time or receiving gifts.

An ASAP Advocate read personal monologues and slam poetry during the V-Day event about consent.

“Consent is a YES that is freely given, when the option of NO is both present and viable,” the ASAP consent packet reads. “Sexual and romantic activity is only sexy when enthusiastic consent is present, and respecting a ‘no’ shows your partner(s) that you respect them.”

The monologues and information presented at the ASAP tables focused on consent and the importance of it, as well as ending violence against women and girls.

“They had lots of cool flyers and free shirts stressing the importance of consent, and we should all come together against assault and be there for survivors,” said Cheyenne Espinosa, a freshman early education major. “The table had lots of credible information to let women and men know they’re not alone.”

ASAP is a confidential resource on campus for survivors of assault, and is offered to students, staff and faculty, friends, family, and others who are concerned. ASAP is located on the second floor of Cassidy Hall and the office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ASAP also has a 24-hour crisis line, which can be reached at (970)-351-4040.

The WRC is located in Scott-Willcoxon Hall and offers a variety of resources for women and marginalized gender issues including an inclusive environment, breastfeeding feeding support, gender and women issues, women’s health, family support, etc. The WRC is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at (970)-351-1492.

Assault Survivors Advocacy Program: http://www.unco.edu/assault-survivors-advocacy-program/

Women’s Resource Center: http://www.unco.edu/womens-resource-center/

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