Millions join together to protest violence against women

By staff writers
February 14, 2013

The One Billion Rising global activist movement to end violence against women and girls has today brought together hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries to call for change.

The global reach of the campaign through the media is being counted in the billions. The demonstrations and actions are highlighting the horrifying fact that one in three women on the planet (approximately one billion) will experience gender violence during their lifetime.

Throughout a 48 hour cycle, starting on 14 February, the One Billion Rising events taking place in Bukavu (DRC), Karachi (India), Banjul (Gambia), New Delhi (India), Belgrade (Serbia), Johannesburg (South Africa), New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Hawaii (USA) are being live-streamed on the campaign website http://www.onebillionrising.org.

The event, the culmination of a year's mobilisation that began on 14 February 2012 (Valentine's Day), is the largest day of mass action ever to stop violence against women and girls.

Protesters are gathering to express their outrage, and to strike, dance and rise to support an end to gender violence once and for all.

“February 14, 2013 will change the world not because it is a day of magic, although there are indeed mystical elements surrounding this campaign. It will change the world because the preparation for it and organising for it has already created an energetic wind or wave igniting existing efforts to end violence against women and create new ones,” said V-Day Founder and award winning playwright Eve Ensler.

She continued: “It has brought together coalitions of groups and individuals that have never worked together before; brought in all kinds of new people and groups and associations and masses of men who are not aware of the issue but are now working on it; brought violence against women, through our numbers and efforts to the centre of the discussion.

"On 14 February, we are rising together because it is in our connectedness, in our stomping feet and uncontrollable hips that the path and energy will be created to bring in a new world. We will galvanise the will and the passion of everyone rising around the world to create change,” declared Ms Ensler.

The campaign is leveraging the strength of V-Day’s 15-year activist network in colleges and communities worldwide and utilising the power of social media to catalyse action on a global scale.

Through a series of videos, including the One Billion Rising short film (http://vday.org/shortfilm) which has already surpassed 600,000 views on YouTube, a music video called “Break The Chain,” the accompanying how-to dance videos by renowned choreographer Debbie Allen, and hugely successful video series “I Am Rising ” – in which activists and celebrities shared their reason for rising – V-Day has invited a global audience to rise together against violence and show the world what one billion looks like.

The campaign began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that a third of women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.

* Visit the website: http://onebillionrising.org/

* One Billion Rising UK on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Billion-Rising-United-Kingdom/50296274...

* 'One Billion Rising: working together to end exploitation and domination', by Jill Segger: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18001

* Westminster debates violence against women, but without ministers: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18002

* One Billion Rising on Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/OneBillionRising

[Ekk/3]

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