Fri, May 03, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Abuse victims find voice in ‘Monologues’

OPENING DIALOGUE:The Garden of Hope Foundation said it hopes the performances of the ‘Vagina Monologues’ will encourage victims of abuse and discrimination to seek help

Staff writer, with CNA

Former victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence will be among a group of women performing in a series of Vagina Monologues presentations around the nation next month to raise awareness of violence against women.

The play will be performed by members of the Garden of Hope Foundation’s Playback Theatre troupe, which is comprised of former sexual victims of abuse and domestic violence, as well as women concerned about gender issues, the foundation said.

The foundation established the troupe in 2008 to promote gender equality and help members share their stories with other abuse victims and the public through theater.

It is the ninth year that the group is staging the Vagina Monologues, which was written by US playwright Eve Ensler and relates stories about sex, love, rape and other issues affecting women, said an official with the foundation surnamed Lin (林).

“This year’s presentations are special because they will be performed mainly by the troupe instead of by the foundation’s social workers and other employees,” she said.

One of the performers, nicknamed Shu-chen (淑真), said she wants to share her experience of domestic violence with other abused women.

Drama therapy has helped her heal her own wounds and reach others who are hurting, she said, adding that the “scabs covering her wounds come off a little more” every time she tells her story.

The foundation said it hopes the performances will encourage more female victims of sexual abuse and discrimination to seek help.

Next month’s performances will include a monologue about an elderly woman who had never enjoyed sex, and one about the vagina’s rage over the discomfort caused by tampons, thongs and the instruments used at obstetrics and gynecology clinics.

The performances are being staged parallel to the global V-Day movement to end violence against women. The movement, initiated in 1998 by Ensler, raises funds from performances of her play to help female victims of sexual abuse and other forms of violence.

The performances are scheduled for June 1 and June 2 in New Taipei City (新北市); June 8 and June 9 in Greater Tainan; and June 15 and June 16 in Greater Taichung.

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