Lanark County Interval House proved this Valentine’s day that you don’t have to leave Lanark County to stand up, dance and speak out. Led by Louise Parry, the dynamic founder of ZumbaFunFit, residents, staff and friends of Lanark County Interval House tied on our belly dance scarves and turned up the music to participate in the international One Billion Rising Campaign.
A search on One Billion Rising on Valentines evening retrieves news articles from India, Russia, the UK, France, China and Australia. Women, men and children in over 200 countries came together on February 14th to dance, sing and join in world-wide solidarity to end violence against women and girls.
The United Nations Development Fund for Women estimates at least one in every three women across the world, one billion women, are beaten, raped or otherwise abused during her lifetime. This knowledge prompted the V-day organization, founded by Eve Ensler author of the Vagina Monologues, to launch the One Billion Rising campaign. Its aim, to bring people together from all walks of life to pledge their commitment to ending the violence.
In an interview with Time magazine, Ensler notes that it was only one year ago on February 14th 2012 when she announced her vision for One Billion Rising. She attributes the overwhelming response to the many violent crimes against women that were so prominent this year, the shooting of the young school girl, Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan, the horrifying gang-rape and murder of Jyoti Singh in India and the recent gang rape of the high school student in Ohio. These events have finally incited outrage around the world at the most grass-roots level.
As the only agency in Lanark County dedicated to supporting women and children escaping violent homes, the board, staff, volunteers and clients of LCIH find renewed hope in the success of One Billion Rising. We recognize this tremendous demonstration of unity as a step towards ending violence for women and girls in Eastern Ontario as well as around the globe.