“I have never been so proud to be a Santa Paulan,” concluded Vincent.
Crosswhite herself had posted on social media when she learned One Billion Rising had been cancelled at the church, specifically chosen because of its proximity of those the event was trying the hardest to reach, Spanish-speaking women and girls.
“I am truly, truly heartbroken that anyone would cast judgment on our event, calling it and us cruel things. For the past four years, my colleagues and community/county partners and I have come together to try to raise awareness about domestic violence, cycles of violence, abuse, rape and human trafficking. We have poured our blood, sweat and tears into trying to get the word out because one woman, man or child suffering in this way is one too many. I would not wish this experience on my worse ‘enemy,’ let alone my friend or family member. The reality is that 1 in 3 women will be raped or abused in their lifetime. That means that we are ALL affected, if for no other reason by virtue our interconnectedness as human beings, but I promise you, you all know someone, if not yourselves. This is not a political event. This is a raw, beautiful, educational, healing event that has come to mean so much for so many over the past 4 years. The state of our country, and apparently even our community these days, where we jump to judgment without having all the facts, breaks my heart all over again. I am not pointing fingers at anyone I am sharing the depth of my sorrow with you all. I have no other agenda, and neither does anyone else planning Saturday’s event here in Santa Paula, than to raise awareness. We have remained silent for far too long while our neighbors and loved ones have suffered in silence. This being said, I have been inspired by everyone who has come together to make this event still possible, including the City of Santa Paula. I am grateful for each and every one of you — you know who you are.”
Following the event Crosswhite said “It was so incredible to walk out of the Community Center,” after One Billion Rising, which features the group dance Break the Chain, “and see a rainbow in the sky. Wow. God is good. Even as the storms in our lives and our country rage on, this promise remains. I am thankful for every person who helped make our event possible yesterday, and everyone who came out and took resources they can share with people they know, or for themselves. Even in the darkness the light will shine...”