Vagina Monologues performance empowers anti-violence message

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From left are Sexual Assault Support Service executive director Meilssa Hatch, as well as co-op student Kelsie Granger and public education co-ordinator Jessika Thompson.

Cornwall will step up to the plate in the battle to end violence against women with a reading of the award-winning play The Vagina Monologues.

The performance takes place March 2 at 7 p.m. at the Ramada Inn.

The Vagina Monologues has become a focal point for local advocates who are trying to draw awareness to violence against women through a so-called "V-Day Campaign" - an attempt to mobilize women and men to discuss violence issues so that stigmas can stop.

"It's all about raising awareness about violence against women in general," said Melissa Hatch, executive director of the local Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS) office.

SASS has been sponsoring the event for four years, and uses money generated from the performance to fund local programs that help abuse victims and their families.

While the idea of women talking openly about their vaginas remains taboo for some, especially men, SASS public information co-ordinator Jessika Thompson said the idea of the performance is to tell stories that educate through entertainment.

"It makes people feel more at ease," she said.

Despite the success of the last four years, where money raised is measured in thousands of dollars, Hatch said it's likely next year's event will go in a different direction.

"We're thinking that maybe this production has gone through its cycle," she said, adding a new performance will be in place next year.

Tickets are $15 ($20 at the door) and may be purchased at the ScotiaBank outlets in both Cornwall and Maxville.

To learn more about V‑Day Cornwall, call 613-932-1755 or e-mail the organization at director@sassforwomen.ca.  To learn more about V‑Day and its campaigns visit www.vday.org.

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