Family violence focus on stage

HAVING experienced family violence at a young age, it makes sense that Jane Barclay is passionate about raising public awareness of the issue.

“I grew up with an experience of family violence and still, in my mid 30s, I’m doing a lot of healing,” Ms Barclay said.

The Ballarat woman recently joined forces with Sophia Livitsanis to stage the play The Vagina Monologues in a bid to bring the issue of domestic violence to the fore. The play dives into the mystery, humour, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences.

“I have never heard such stories told so frankly and honestly without pity and shame,” Ms Barclay said. “It has helped me tell my own story and I think the more people have these sorts of experiences, the more we can put it out there and be honest.”

The Vagina Monologues will be staged as part of V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through artistic works. Funds raised from the play will be donated to WRISC Family Violence Support.

“The Vagina Monologues has done a tremendous amount in the last 15 years to change the way we think about vaginas,” Ms Barclay said. “It has become a worldwide movement to keep the awareness around violence towards women and children but in a way that is honest, based around women’s stories and is creative as well.”