Eve Ensler: Advocate for Girls

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 30 percent of adolescent girls have been a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

For more than 10 years, author and playwright Eve Ensler's worldwide organization V-Day has raised awareness about violence against women and girls. Her new book is called "I Am An Emotional Creature."

Read an excerpt of "I Am An Emotional Creature

Ensler, who appeared on "The Early Show" said there's a lot more violence in the teenage world than everyone thought.

"Many more girls are getting beat up or slapped or kicked and violated in some essential way than we knew about," she said. "It's all connected to a larger theme, which I hope the book is addressing, which is girls having rights and girls knowing their rights and girls feeling good about themselves."

Ensler said in her travels she's found that there's an international mandate for women to please.

"(The mandate) is to do what somebody else, whether it's the culture or the religion or the parents or friends or boyfriends, want girls to do," Ensler said.

Staying in a violent relationship, Ensler said, is just one example of doing what the boy wants instead of what you want.

Her book, Ensler said, looks at how that mandate is placed upon women, and how girls resist that mandate throughout the world.

In her book, Ensler writes a monologue that begins "Dear Rihanna," addressed to the singing star who was famously caught up in an abusive relationship with Chris Brown. Ensler writes, "You're so strong Rihanna. I watch you in the videos. You look right into the camera. You are so much stronger. You could help Chris."

Ensler said when the story broke about Rihanna, many girls were writing online that Rihanna should stay with Brown, and not dump him just because he hit her once.

"I started to think about girls. How we have the capacity to be, as women, to feel what somebody else isn't feeling. Sometimes we feel what boys feel or what men feel because they've been so disallowed their feelings," she said. "I think often when girls stay with boys, it isn't always because they want to be beat up, it's because they're feeling their sorrow, or they're feeling their insecurity, or they're feeling their grief, or they're feeling something boys don't feel. So they're overcompensating for that."

Ensler added that empathy is an asset for girls. However, she said, "How we negotiate that and how girls take care of themselves with that asset is a really important thing to be thinking about."
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