Tallahassee, FL -- It was a rally cry for women across the globe. Kleman Plaza turned into Tallahassee's central location for the One Billion Rising Valentine's Day event. A worldwide calling for everyone to rise up against domestic and sexual violence against women.
The hour long dance-a-thon served as a reminder of the real life problems women all over the world face.
"One in three women will experience physical or sexual assault in her lifetime, I'm passionate about this event because that is not ok with me! We want to see violence against women eradicated," said event coordinator Licia Berry.
One in three women represents roughly one billion worldwide. Barbara DeVane, of Florida's National Organization for Women, says that the 300 people grooving in Tallahassee are just part of the bigger picture.
"It's so wonderful that this is going on all over the world, that's why we call it 1 billion women organizing against violence and rising up, so it's very important that we all feel connected because that means power," said DeVane.
The event stretched from Tallahassee to Australia and places in between.
"This is a new movement, a new era in feminism and events throughout the world, it's amazing to me that this is a global event. I'm connected to my sisters across the world," said dance goer Kate Snyder.
One of the issues the event was trying to drive home locally was to get those in attendance to write their local Congressman on the Violence Against Women act in Washington.
The act is currently up for renewal in the house of representatives but there are fears it may not pass. The bill provides money to help services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. The bill passed easily through the senate.
One Billion Rising Tallahassee Release
Who: Unite Women Tallahassee, Rumbles Office Equipment Solutions, Oasis Center for Women and Girls, Pace Center for Girls Leon, Big Bend Homeless Coalition, ABJames DJ, Family Tree Community Center, Your Life Expressions, PFLAG-Tallahassee, Unity Church Eastside, Tallahassee NOW, The F Word @FSU
What: One Billion Rising/V-DAY Dance in Tallahassee
Where: Kleman Plaza, on the green
When: February 14, 2013, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
We expect hundreds of people to attend this international event to say NO to violence against women and YES to celebrating women by dancing for one hour. This is a city-wide event....everyone is invited to dance. The purpose of this event is to honor and celebrate women and the One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women.
About One Billion Rising:
One in three women on the planet is raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is ONE BILLION WOMEN violated. One billion daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, lovers and friends. On 14th February 2013, V-Day's 15th Anniversary, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men to dance across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders. Join V-Day and ONE BILLION RISING today and SAY NO to violence against women and girls. To sign up and learn more, visit www.onebillionrising.org
Florida National Organization for Women Release
Florida National Organization for Women releases the following press announcement:
"Florida National Organization for Women (Florida NOW) is proud to be joining with millions of women, and the men who care about them, across the world in this huge event," said Donna Slutiak, president of the Florida chapter of NOW. "We are dancing, singing, and rising up all over the world to draw attention to the fact that violence against women cannot and will not be tolerated anymore."
Violence is everywhere. It is in your neighborhood, behind closed doors. It is across the country in school shootings and high school rapes. It is across the world, where a young woman is shot for trying to get an education, or where rape is used as a weapon of war. It cuts across all socio-economic classes and pays no attention to race or ethnicity.
Florida NOW members are participating in events in all parts of the state. There are events in Tallahassee, Gainesville, Tampa, Ocala, St. Petersburg, and many other towns and cities. Several of the state's universities are planning an event, including Stetson, FNU, and UCF among others.
On Tuesday February 12, the US Senate passed a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, with large bipartisan support. However, it faces strong opposition in the House of Representatives, where foes of the act want to exclude women they deem unworthy of protection. They don't think Native American women, women in same sex relationships, and undocumented immigrants should receive the same protections as other women. We want everyone to contact their congressional representative and urge them to pass the act as approved by the Senate.
"To find an event near you, go to www.onebillionrising.org
or contact me at email@example.com
said Slutiak. "But don't wait too late…I'll be dancing in Ocala with like minded people."