"The Vagina Monologues" creator Eve Ensler‘s annual V-Day luncheon in Los Angeles was focused on violence toward women in the Congo.

But Jessica Alba and Kerry Washington, two celeb supporters of the international organization that has — since 1998 — raised more than $60 million to stop global violence against women, also spoke about the recent Hollywood drama about Rihanna’s alleged assault by boyfriend Chris Brown.

"When things happen publicly, it just makes it a more universal problem that more people can relate to," Jessica Alba told the Associated Press.

"Whether it’s about the Congo or about
celebrities, domestic violence is a social illness that does not
discriminate," Kerry Washington told the Dish Rag.  "We have to start talking more openly about this."

Eve referred to Rihanna’s alleged assault and the shooting deaths of three members of Jennifer Hudson‘s family  last year, telling the audience, "All these women are our sisters."

We spoke to Eve about the large number of reader comments on the Dish Rag blog implying that Rihanna may have been to blame for the alleged attack.

Are there socio-economic or racial divides regarding acceptable violence against women?

"I don’t believe it’s a cultural thing," Ensler said. "In every community in the world, one out of three women are beaten or raped. I’ve seen justification for it in every community in the world.  The climate will exist until we shift the mindset of violence against women being unacceptable and not normal.  We are still living in a world where the victim — the woman — is blamed.  It’s not a cultural thing. Violence against women keeps patriarchy and its oppression and domination in its place.  It keeps a structure where men and women can’t live in their full selves.  It’s in every social strata and in every section of society."

Maria Shriver told all the luncheon guests, including Maria Bello, Charlize Theron, Oscar nominee Anne Hathaway, Rosario Dawson, Glamour magazine’s Cindi Leive, ex-Paramount head Sherry Lansing and producer Paula Wagner:"Violence goes on in the best of homes and in poor areas — particularly in times of struggle. Let’s all go out and change one boy, man today."

What do you think? Does our culture still tend to blame the victim? Why are so many readers still supporting Chris Brown and so ready to forgive?

Related Chris Brown and Rihanna news:

Chris Brown feels ‘bad’ about Rihanna

Chris Brown just lost his ‘Got Milk?’ money

Chris Brown’s stepfather ‘not surprised’ at abuse allegations

Chris Brown loses Wrigley deal, leaves L.A. on private jet

Rihanna allegedly assaulted by Chris Brown

Kanye West ‘devastated’ by Rihanna assault news

Photo: Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson at the V-Day Lunch at the Four Seasons last week.

Credit: WireImage

Reporting: Leah Sydney

Posted by:Elizabeth Snead