'Vagina Monologues' Writer Says Campaign Would Have Helped Her Stand up to Abusive Father

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Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler founded the One Billion Rising campaign in 2012.

People around the globe are rising up to end violence against women.

The One Billion Rising campaign is encouraging people to dance in the streets around the world in solidarity for women's rights.

The campaign is spearheaded by Vagina Monologues playwrite Eve Ensler, who suffered abuse from her father as a child. She says her life might have been different had pepole been dancing in the streets for women's rights back then.

"If I had been dancing in the streets with my mother to end violence against women when I was eight years old — when my father was beating me or giving me bloody noses — I think I would have told him he didn't have a right to do that," Ensler tells The Hollywood Reporter. "That's what coming together as a community does — you realize there's a billion of us! We're not alone. "

The campaign, now in its third year, has taken on many forms this year. In Washington state, coaches put up billboards encouraging boys to respect women's rights. In the Philippines, 4,000 women did a rising outside a catholic school.

"Every single country in the world picked up the call," says Ensler.

This year's theme, "One Billion Rising: Revolution," celebrated at a gala Feb. 7 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, with attendees including Rosie O’Donnell, Thandie Newton, Kathy Najimy and  Orange is the New Black's Emma Myles.

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