Marie Renaud: One Billion Rising – Strike, Dance, Rise!

“One in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped in her lifetime.  One billion women violated is an atrocity.  One billion women dancing is a revolution.”

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On February 14th, one billion people all over the world will come together and do one thing – dance.  Men and women everywhere will help shake the world and demand an end to violence against women.  It is unbelievable that a billion women will be raped or beaten.  A billion is too big.  One is too big.

First created by Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues, V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.  She constantly works toward the vision of a world in which women and girls will be free to thrive, not just survive.  Valentine’s Day is proclaimed as V-Day, to celebrate women and end rape, incest, battery, genital mutilation and sexual slavery. V-Day was named one of Worth Magazine‘s “100 Best Charities” in 2001, one of Marie Claire Magazine‘s Top Ten Charities in 2006, and was named as one of the Top-Rated organizations on GreatNonprofits in 2010.  In fourteen years, the V-Day movement has raised more than $90 million.  The “V” in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine, and Vagina.  It is a movement that is active in 167 countries.

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One Billion Rising is taking place on the 15th anniversary of V-Day.  It is an invitation for women everywhere and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up, and demand an end to violence.  It is a way to show the strength of women and their solidarity, demonstrating their power and common struggles.

Why dancing?  It’s a release; it’s fun.  Whether you are dancing alone or with others, you will know on this day that you are not alone.  Dance is also used as protest in many parts of the world, and is often led by women.  It represents freedom not only of the body, but also of the mind and spirit.  Dancing is a way for women to embrace the control they have over their own bodies.  Celebration can be so incredibly powerful, and every woman has the right to live in a world that celebrates her body.

You have the choice to dance and stand up to violence against women.  I hope that you join the celebration!

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