V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls inspired by Eve Ensler's play, The Vagina Monologues. The movement was started in the late 1990s by author, playwright and activist Eve Ensler. Ensler has been quoted as saying that it was women's reactions to the play that launched V-Day. After seeing The Vagina Monologues, women would line up after to tell Eve their personal experiences, most often of sexual violence.
In 1998, a non-profit charity, "V-Day", was incorporated with the intent of using performances of The Vagina Monologues to raise money to benefit female victims of violence and sexual abuse. Since its inception, the movement has expanded its use of art and activism to include film — most notably the documentary Until The Violence Stops (2004), readings of the compilation A Memory, Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer, marches, and festivals such as UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS: NYC (June 2006).
Beginning in early 2001, V-Day activities expanded to a host of international activities, with V-Day hosting leadership summits for women in Afghanistan, an international gathering of activists worldwide in Rome in September 2002, launching the Karama program in the Middle East, and more. In some societies where the original monologues are considered too vulgar, such as Monte Carlo, Monaco, V-Day events revolve around the book A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer, a collection of monologues written by acclaimed writers, at the request of Ensler to celebrate the play's tenth anniversary.
In 2008, over 3700 V-Day benefit events have been held or planned. These events are being coordinated by volunteer activists in over 1250 locations around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls.
V-Day is seen as an ongoing process, that will not stop until the violence stops. The organization strives to unify and strengthen existing anti-violence efforts by raising money and consciousness, and to lay the groundwork for new educational, protective, and legislative endeavors throughout the world.
V-Day proclaims Valentine's Day as V-Day, to celebrate women and end the violence.
There are two types of V-Campaigns. The College Campaign and the Community Campaign.
The V-Day College Campaign engages members of college and university communities around the world to present benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer, Until the Violence Stops, Any One of Us, and What I Want My Words to Do to You on their campuses to raise money and awareness to stop violence against women and girls.
The V-Day Community Campaign invites communities around the world to present productions of The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer, Until the Violence Stops, Any One of Us, and What I Want My Words to Do to You to raise money and awareness to stop violence against women and girls. An example of a community campaign would be V-Day Montréal.
Each year V-Day spotlights a particular group of women who are experiencing violence with the goal of raising awareness and funds to put a worldwide media spotlight on this area and to raise funds to aide groups who are addressing it. The 2009 spotlight is on women in prison.