The monologues of women’s stories
To the Editor:
Women and girls have a right to be safe – seems like a fairly straightforward and reasonable statement. Unfortunately, not all people support this right. Around the world, and in Oxford County, Maine, it is estimated that at least one in three females experience sexual or physical violence, most often by a person known to them.
We all too commonly hear about incidents of incest, child sexual abuse and sexual assault to adults. Sexual violence also may include “rites of passage” or “social customs,” as well as sexual exploitation involving arranged marriages, sex trafficking and prostitution. Rape of girls and women is common practice during wartime…and peacetime.
Women and girls also have a right to be comfortable with their bodies.
Unfortunately, not all people support this right either. From an early age, girls are all too often given the messages that their bodies are smelly, dirty, shameful and certainly not for pleasure, except perhaps to procreate.
The Vagina Monologues, created by playright Eve Ensler and performed since 2002 worldwide, is both a condemnation of violence against girls and women, and a moving celebration of their bodies and sexuality.
It provides frank, humorous and moving stories common to the experience of girls and women around the world.
REACH, the sexual assault center serving Oxford county, and the towns of Harrison and Bridgton, is honored to be hosting two performances of The Vagina Monologues. The monologues will be read by girls and women, ages 15–60, from
Oxford county who have courageously stepped forward to raise awareness and their voices against violence to girls and women. They believe girls and women have a right to be safe and to celebrate their bodies!
For almost 30 years, REACH has welcomed survivors of sexual assault to express themselves during our Annual Speak-Out. This year, we will continue the tradition of survivors “speaking out” with displays at The Vagina Monologues performances, including artwork, writing and recently designed Clothesline Project T-shirts.
We welcome women, men and older teens to attend The Vagina Monologues on Friday, May 6, 7 p.m., at Telstar High School, Bethel and Friday, May 13, 7 p.m., at Mtn. Valley High School, Rumford. Tickets are available at Books N Things in Bethel, at Bartash Cards & Gifts and Red Hill Natural Foods in Rumford, and at the Reach office
in S. Paris.
Community Outreach, REACH