PULLMAN, Wash. – The critically acclaimed “Vagina Monologues” will be performed at Washington State University Feb. 28 and March 1-2 to benefit the fight against the physical and sexual abuse of women.

WSU staff and students will perform the Obie Award-winning play by Eve Ensler at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1, and 2 p.m. March 2 in Daggy Hall’s Jones Theatre. Tickets are $5 for WSU students and $7 for nonstudents.

Proceeds from the local production, presented as part of the university ’V-Day 2003 celebration, will go to the WSU Sexual Violence Task Force, Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse and the Indian Country Project. This year’s goal is to raise $6,000 for the beneficiaries.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a woman is sexually assaulted every two minutes somewhere in America. With numbers like this in mind, the Sexual Violence Task Force was set up to respond to the sexual victimization of students and the WSU community. The purpose of the task force is to decrease and ultimately eliminate forced sexual encounters. Its mission is to gather and review information on sexual assault and inform the administration at WSU on how to address the wide array of issues related to sexual assault, including formulation of policy, prevention education, reporting assaults, victim support services and accountability of perpetrators.

ATVP provides assistance for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The organization has served Whitman and Latah counties and surrounding areas since 1979. ATVP provides many services, including counseling, crisis intervention and support groups. It hopes to create a nonviolent society by honoring diversity and challenging community standards by directing youth towards healthy boundaries and behaviors.

Violence against women and girls in the Indian Country is at epidemic proportions. The rate of sexual assault of Native American women is 3.5 times higher than any other race in the United States, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the number continues to grow. The V-Day Indian Country Project will increase awareness of the epidemic facing Native American and Native Alaskan females in the Unites States, as well as the First Nations women in Canada. The movement is led by Native American activist Suzanne BlueStar Boy and will raise money to provide resources for these Indian women.

The New York Times has hailed the production as “funny” and “poignant.” The play was first performed off-Broadway by Ensler, who has since performed it all over the world, including London, Jerusalem, Oklahoma City and Seattle.

V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls by promoting creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing antiviolence organizations. It generates broader attention for the fight to stop worldwide violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sexual slavery, and provides funding to create and nurture innovative programs to stop the violence.

Event sponsors include the Sexual Information and Referral Center, Residence Hall Association, National Organization for Women, Coalition for Women Students and the Eating Disorders Prevention Program.

For more information on the local production or to schedule an interview, please contact Kelly Ozalitis at (509) 335-7472. Additional information on V-Day is available at www.vday.org.