Intro I, Survivor Talking With Enemy Violence against women V-Day History Timmons vawa shelter events

One in three.

One-third of all women worldwide—let's call it an even 1 billion—will be victims of violence because they are women.

You could get depressed or apathetic when you see that overwhelming figure, or you might fall silent to avoid talking about the uncomfortable topic.

Or you can take to the streets.

Feb. 14 marks the 15th anniversary of V-Day, an international day of activism to put a stop to violence of all kinds against women. 

The organizers of V-Day (who say the "V" stands for victory, valentine and vagina) are marking the anniversary with events they are calling "One Billion Rising," a cathartic movement to march, dance, protest and make clear that violence against women must stop.

In Oregon, there are signs of hope and reasons for worry.

In Portland, police report that domestic assaults decreased 27 percent between 2001 and 2012.

But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 55 percent of women in Oregon will face domestic or sexual violence in their lifetimes, well above the national average. And more than 27 percent will be raped—making Oregon's rate the second highest in the U.S., behind only Alaska's.

WW is taking this moment to draw attention to the movement.

In the following pages, survivors tell their stories. We look at an innovative program that puts other survivors face to face with abusers; what activists hope Salem can do to help; and why one of four local shelters for women in crisis is closing.

We're also running a schedule of local One Billion Rising events. We hope you'll join in.